New Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G full frame lens to be announced in 2012

The discontinued Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D AF lens

In addition to the rumored 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 (see patent) and 16-85mm f/4 (see patent) DX lenses, Nikon will also announce a new Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G full frame lens. The new lens will not have VR and it will be small in size (I guess compared to the 24mm and 35mm f/1.4 versions). I don't know the exact announcement date, but I believe it will be this year (2012).

Nikon discontinued the very popular Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D AF (read more about it here) long time ago - this lens is still selling for record amounts on eBay.

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  • Gab

    I wouldn’t count on it being very affordable for dx users. 28mm + 1.8. I’d say best case scenario 700$..

    • Daryl

      +1 on best case scenario @$700.00, I doubt that it will be anywhere close to the 28/1.4 or 24/1.4 in optical quality, if Nikon places asphericals then it might surprise us.

      • byrom

        And it’ll probably have massive distortion like their newer lenses. Why build low distortion lenses when you can just “correct” and crop the pictures later.

        • B.O.

          Well, as you say – you can easely correct for eg geometric distortion and CA (to some extent) in post.

          So it’s better they tweak the design to correct eg SA and coma, which is much harder (impossible!) to /fix in the mix/…

    • michael

      What makes you think dx users cannot afford 700$ lenses?

      • MJr

        Indeed i’d say that is a very interesting price-point when looking for something more than 28/2.8D but less than 24/1.4. Count me in-terested.

  • photonut

    Where’s the 24mm f2.8 update!?!

    • Landscape Photo

      I already own one. Good contrast, good sharpness till the corners above f/5.6… Does it need an update?

      • GeofFx

        I must have a bad copy. Mine is really soft, even stopped down.

        • Anonymous Maximus

          High sample variation is seen with these lenses unfortunately, esp. with the type that one side can besofter than other.

        • byrom

          Yeah, my copy of the 28mm f2.8D stinks too. I’m not sure about sample variation. This is an outdated lens design. It can only be so good.

          • MJr

            The 28D has always been of lesser quality than the 24D i believe. Anyway i’m happy about my 24D, it’s not a *bad* copy but it’s not as high-end as i’d like a wide-angle prime to be either. If that means a bigger investment so be it, but the 24/1.4 is too much and just a little too large for my non-professional use.

  • Landscape Photo

    Where/when is the Nikkor 28-135mm f/4.5-6.3 VR landscape compact walkaround for D800?

    There are plenty of lenses for different purposes & different budget, but this is the only missing one in Nikon’s lineup that needs urgent attention!

    Because of lack in compact FX VR midrange, I’ll have to set for using DX 16-85mm VR for time & space restricted trips, contrary to FX primes for slow work. BTW, 24-120mm VR f/4 is too bulky, and the older one has a problematic optical quality.

    Does anyone know whether the D800’s viewfinder masks the rest outer frame at DX mode unlike that simple frame of D700?

    • WoutK89

      “Does anyone know whether the D800′s viewfinder masks the rest outer frame at DX mode unlike that simple frame of D700?”
      I think this should have been answered in plenty previews already, no?

    • burgerman

      Copied from elsewhere. The D700 does allow the D3 style greyed out area…

      John, the setting you refer to is the Custom Menu setting #A6 which, when switched to OFF, provides the grayed-out masked surround area à la D3 referred to above. The negative trade-off, which some users find unacceptable, is the loss in the viewfinder of the highlighted ‘initial’ focus sensors which illuminate briefly on default settings as the D700 begins to establish focus.

      • …negative. You’ve misunderstood the question. He’s asking about the DX crop mode. No, the D700 does not offer that feature (although I learned that the hardware is there to do that when my D700 broke and activated it! It must be locked out in software as a “feature”)

        You’re referring to the AF points, which has nothing to do with what the OP is asking. They’re referring to the area outside the DX crop being dimmed/grey-ed when you select DX crop.

        • PB PM

          Actually, the person you replied to is correct, read the D700 manual. I know it works I just did it.

    • Patrik

      You really want the cake and eat it too! The whole thing about FX is that it is bigger. You want more compact, then you need to go to a smaller medium! Currently there are many to choose from. Landscapes require corner to corner detail (normally) that cannot be achieved with a compact lens, especially a zoom!
      The 24-120f/4 is as small as it gets. f/4 is not particularily fast. How do you expect to get decent sharpness with a cheesey f/6.3 lens without a tripod? If you are truely interested in “landscape” (as you call yourself) then a larger lens is nothing compared to the tripod you must be carrying. Walk-around landscape, isn’t that snapshots?

  • Any chance of a DX wide angle prime?
    Come on

    • Johan

      Exactly! When will we get a DX prime? Even the crappy CX system has a wide angle prime but for DX they have not bothered to make one for ten years, amazing! This new lens will not be interesting for DX users since we have the smaller cheaper 35 mm f1.8. What is needed is sth like 16 f2. I could consider a 23 f2 as well. How hard can it be the 35 mm f1.8 has sold very well as far as I understand so why not make the wideangle???

      • …the 35/1.8 has sold well because it’s $200 new! I’m certain that if Nikon had it in their ability to make a wider prime so cheap, they would do it right quick. I’m sure they’d love to.

      • Brandon

        Err, the difference between 23 and 24mm is basically null.

    • Anonymous Maximus

      Simple, use the FX primes…

      • Anonymous Maximus

        I don’t sympathy the idea of full DX prime lineup. Granted 16mm DX is logical, because there’s no 16mm FX. Btw, a filter-taking 16mm FX f/4 would be nice too.

      • Johan

        “use FX primes”… always the same reply. Why do you think people buy DX cameras? FX lenses are expensive and they are unnecessarily big and heavy for a DX users. My favorite lens is the 35 mm f1.8 small, cheap and one of the best DX lenses quality wise. And as you said there is not even an FX 16 f2 or anything really close to it. Almost every other camera system has one. Fujifilms new X-pro 1 is released with a small 18 mm f2 lens. Almost feel like switching if Nikon don’t come to their senses. That camera system at least is released with an interesting bunch of lenses.

        • …my 35/2 is small and cheap AND FX.

          The only reason nikon bother with the newer DX was because they figured out a way to make it cheaper than dirt to produce. If they could do that for something wider, don’t doubt that they would.

          Notice how much Fuji is asking for their 18/2?

          • EnPassant

            Notice how much Fuji ask for the camera compared to Nikons cheaper DX-cameras!

            Nikon make a 10mm/2.8 wideangle for their CX-cameras for about the same price as the DX 40 mm macro lens.
            I imagine a similar (18 mm/2.8) wideangle for DX would not have to be much more expensive.

        • You’re actually better off with a FF lens because the problem areas tend to be at the periphery, so with a dx lens you’ll get the vignetting etc but with a full frame lens you’re cropping out the bad stuff and left with the sweet middle.

          • GrumpyDiver

            But then, you are also paying a premium for a lens that provides a larger image circle than you need.

    • Tom White

      I used a borrowed 20mm F2.8 on a D200 for a while. Worked great. And the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 is pretty small and light, reasonably priced, decent quality and with such a minimal zoom range it might as well be a prime!

      • I bought my wife the Tokina 11-16mm for Xmas. I shoot FX and rarely if ever go below 28mm. With that said I was very surprised at how good the tokina is. I can’t imagine a prime to be much sharper. If you are a DX user who shoots wide landscapes, if you can’t take sharp contrasty photos with the tokina, buddy, it isn’t the lens that’s the problem 😉

  • Well, good news. 😉

  • Landscape Photo

    28-135mm f/4.5-6.3 VR should be the top priority of Nikon as 24-120mm f/4 does not hold well as the kit lens for D800, too heavy & big.

    A tiny 28-135mm f/4.5-6.3 VR for about $1200 will sell like hot cakes !

    • Methinks you missed a memo or two.

      First, hell will freeze over before Nikon will make anything like a 35mm format lens with an aperture of 6.3. They’d make a large format 6.3 lens before even thinking about something that all of their cameras (including cameras like the d3100) will have to be able to focus. 6.3 is just asking for a customer support nightmare.

      Second, anything with a crappier max aperture would likely be crappier wide open, and the 24-120/4 may barely be sharp enough to look good on the D800. You want something even lower resolution?! You’re alone on that one…

      Third, $1200 for a POS lens? There’s a reason the old 24-120 goes for so little these days. It was so bad that Nikon had to kit it to even move the last few.

      Fourth, why hate on the extra four millimeters of wide?

      I think you just need to get the 24-120/4 and quitcherbitchen.

      Oh, and fifth, have you held a D800 yet? It’s about the same heft as a D700. You want a LIGHTER lens for a body that heavy? Time for you to hit the gym. Or look into micro-four-thirds. Or the Pentax Q.

      • Landscape Photo

        “why hate on the extra four millimeters of wide?”

        I don’t hate it for sure, but observed that anything starting from 24mm has a lot of compromise on tele end after 70mm. On the other hand 28-1xx mm optimised for f/8 can be built easier in smaller size.

        I’m a fan of classic “bigger body than lens” shape (not necessarily too big like D3/D4), since its easier to carry on the neck all the day without pointing downwards.

        I’m not a beginner nor snapshot shooter, I’ve worked with Mamiya 7 for years. All I don’t like is the Nikon’s new trend towards bigger & heavier fast lenses. Mamiya primes were smaller than most Nikkors, even though they project to twice diameter image circle. Why bother for f/1.4 if I’m going to use it around f/8 for 90% of the time…

        • EnPassant

          You want a zoom with AF and VR and compare it to manual primes? Heard about apples and oranges?
          Except being manual the Mamiya lenses are far from being as fast as Nikons latest 1.4 primes.

          If you want to make a fair comparance you should look at Leica. There you will find a lot of primes smaller than the lenses for Mamiya. Both are rangefinders by the way!

          I highly doubt many think the lens you want is the most urgent for Nikon to produce.
          How many MP do you really need? Is 24 MP enough?
          That is the MP rumored for the entry level DX-camera 3200.

          Too small and light camera?
          Surely the D7000 replacement, D7100 expected at Photokina this year will not have less MP. And you can add a grip for that camera giving good balance with your 16-85 mm lens.

          Now I saved you a lot of dogh! D800 $3000 and the lens you want $1200. Together $4200 – $1500-1600(?) for the D7100 + grip = more than $2500 saved!

          A thank you would be nice! 🙂

          • EnPassant

            Should be dough!

          • GrumpyDiver

            The Mamiya / Leica comparison is not a fair one; the Mamiya is a medium format camera, while the Leica is a 35mm camera.

            In both cases, the lens can sit a lot closer to the film / sensor plane, which brings other advantages (size) and disadvantages (sharp angle that the light hits the sensor). And of course the image circle of the Mamiya is a lot larger than the Leica’s.

            • EnPassant

              If you read what I commented you would have noticed it was Landscape photo who compared Mamiya 7 lenses with Nikon lenses!

              If one want to compare size between different format it should be the same type of camera to make it fair.
              That explains the Leica comparance I proposed.

              Now if one should compare Nikon AF lenses versus MF lenses Leica S2 or some other MF-system with AF is a better choice although no MF-system I know of have stabiliazation built into their lenses.

            • GrumpyDiver

              That’s a little like saying we should compare FX and DX cameras and lenses.

              Yes, both cameras are rangefinders, but the sensor size is totally different. This means that the lens design is different too. I know where you are coming from, but the comparison is of two totally different designs; one is for medium format and the other is for 35mm.

          • Landscape Photo

            No, thanks for the 24mp DX.

            * I don’t wish to use a non-pro body like D7000 or so.

            * Even Nikon announces a D400, DX has already reached its practical limits at 16mp. 24mp will be optically limited (lenses, dof & diffraction issues). But FX has more room (already reached by 36mp though, most photos in practice will be 24mp-equivalent anyway)

            • GrumpyDiver

              This is a bit of an interesting premise.

              Current camera image quality (IQ) is limited by the sensor; future (i.e. the generation that has just been introduced) camera IQ will be limited by the lens design.

              No big deal; in any design there will be some element that results in some technical limitation. Let’s be realistic; most of the time the real factor limiting IQ is the photographer. We are really splitting hairs here.

    • John

      I’m thinking something along the lines of a 24-105/3.5-4.5 AFS VR

      The 24-85 AFS is a very nice lens on FX, but 85mm is a tad too short. The 28-105/3.5-4.5 is also nice, but 28mm is not wide enough.

      Apparently Nikon can’t make a decent 24-120 for FX, so how about not reaching quite so far and up the IQ.

      The 24-120/4 AFS VR is big and the IQ is not that great, especially at the long end.

  • wanderer

    I will probably buy this over the 24mm 1.4g for my D800 as long as the image quality is as good as the 50mm 1.8g or better, and the price is reasonable. If not, I’ll go for the 24mm 1.4g, but that’s a little wide for me on FX, and a lot expensive.

    I had the 35mm 1.4g, but returned it because the longitudinal chromatic aberration was awful. I wanted to love that lens, and it did have a nice rendering of low-contrast scenes, but tree branches and power lines on a cloudy evening were green and purple (not just a little fringing, but horrible). I thought it would be okay stopped down to f/2 or f/2.8, or that it would only visible when pixel peeping, but it was really horrible zoomed out on laptop monitor. It didn’t totally go away at f/4 or f/5.6. At f/8, and there was still some minor fringing at f/8 at 1:1.

    Maybe I had a bad one. Has anyone else had a similar or different experience with that lens? It seems like the 24mm 1.4g is a much, much better lens for basically the same price, and a wider lens should be harder to make.

    • Dary

      Get the 24mm f1.4, this is Leica M optical quality in slr lens, quite rare to see this quality.

      • Visualiza

        I think it’s time we put this myth to rest that Leica glass is unequivocally superior to anything Nikon and Canon produces.

    • Can you post some shots? What you describe sounds a bit worse than my 35/2, which I find surprising/hard to believe.

      • wanderer

        I’ve posted a series of quick shots at f/1.4 through f/8.0 that I took with the 35mm 1.4g lens the one evening I had it home. I also had trouble getting sharp photos at f-stops wider than f/4.0 or f/5.6, but I didn’t keep the lens long enough to determine if it was a focus problem or just softness. I did try manually focusing and also adjusting the auto-focus fine tune with no major improvement.

        I don’t mean to give Nikon a hard time on this as I’m a big fan of their equipment, and I’m really looking forward to getting my D800. It sounds like they did a great job with the 24mm 1.4g, and I just don’t understand how the 35mm 1.4g could be this bad.

    • Arthur

      I returned my 35 1.4G too, but not (just) because of loCA, but because it was very soft below f4, had horrible bokeh (looked more like ghosting/halos), took four seconds to focus and had very severe and asymmetric distortion. You’re definitely not the only one diappointed in this lens.
      The 24 f1.4G is one of the best lenses out there. Very sharp, great bokeh, few loCA and little distortion which is easy to correct in pp. But 24mm is very wide and not really that suitable for everyday purposes.
      I wish Nikon updated the 35mm f2.0 for FX!!

  • In Australia the price of the 28mm 1.4D has been around $1500 for a while – hardly record breaking..

  • jiamflash

    Admin, any clue on when will the 18-300 be announced? First half or second half of the year?

  • Sounds like a perfect candidate to be my D800 landscape lens.. But can someone please venture a guess for me as to roughly how much this is gonna weigh? Will be lugging it up mountains. Thx!

    • johndeer

      I guess you’ll find out when it’s available for purchase.

      • looon

        I guess I will have to! Lol

  • Kabouter buttplug

    Rather would have a annoucement of a 20mm F1.8 or F1.4 FX!!!

  • Phil S.

    I agree with Zorro that the 28mm (and f/1.8) may be the perfect “normal” (and fast) lens for DX (where it will be the equivalent of a 42mm lens on Full Frame) — I have never felt that 50mm (in Full Frame) was really normal (as it’s just a bit too tight for “normal” in my opinion). Depending on price and quality, this is the lens that I have been waiting to buy. Everyone has his or her preference, but this will likely be mine.

    • bob2

      +1. Been using the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 on my DX Nikons and it works great. Was worried it’d be tight at first (used to 35mm FOV on FF), but it actually works nicely for my style/viewpoint. I’ll be looking forward to this new one, if it actually comes out.

  • Arthur

    I returned my 35 1.4G too, but not (just) because of loCA, but because it was very soft below f4, had horrible bokeh (looked more like ghosting/halos), took four seconds to focus and had very severe and asymmetric distortion. You’re definitely not the only one diappointed in this lens.
    The 24 f1.4G is one of the best lenses out there. Very sharp, great bokeh, few loCA and little distortion which is easy to correct in pp. But 24mm is very wide and not really that suitable for everyday purposes.
    I wish Nikon updated the 35mm f2.0 for FX!!

    • Arthur

      Sorry, was meant as a reply to earlier comment.

  • BJ

    Finally! Canon’s 28mm f1.8 is a fantastic lens, and I’m so happy that Nikon’s putting one out this year.

  • Sahaja

    Is this 28mm f/1.8G going to be another “Made in China” lens like the 85mm f/1.8G?

    • fiatlux

      Most probably, yes.

      But have recent Chinese lenses shown worse IQ or greater variability? I don’t think so. I can tell you that my 85 1.8 AF-S is great from 1.8 and is a definite upgrade in terms of IQ compared to the AF-D version I had before.

      What concerns me more is the tendency of recent primes to become much bulkier (85 1.8 AF-S vs AF-D, 50 1.4 AF-S vs AF-D…). I know the AF-S motor takes some extra space, but the small primes are no longer as small as they used to be…

    • Anonymous Maximus

      Does it really matter? They’ll all be manufactured under Nikon’s supervision.

      • Jack

        It matters to me when Nikon charges made-in-Japan prices for Chinese-made lenses, e.g. the 85mm 1.8G. The Canon version may be ancient, but it’s got better build quality than the Nikon, faster autofocus, 1 more aperture blade, and is $100 cheaper. And yes it’s made in Japan.

  • rene
    • And this has “what” exactly to do with the 28mm f/1.8?

  • MB

    Nikon AF-S 35 f/1.8 G is very good (if not perfect) “normal” and fast lens for DX, much better than Sigma 28 f/1.8 in my opinion, and this Nikon 28 f/1.8 will be very usable FX lens as far as I understood.
    On the other hand do we really need yet another slow “consumer” mid range DX zoom or soft and heavy 18-300? How about fast mid range zoom? 17-55 is due to be replaced for a long time now, just look what Canon has done with 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.
    And I think we really miss at least a couple of Nikon primes, wide and fast 16mm DX lens would be at the top of my list but many others (FX and DX) would be welcomed too.

  • xb897

    I agree that the full frame 28mm 1/1,8 would actually be the best “normal” prime for DX (the “normal” angle of view is given at about 43mm, not 50 or 53. 43 x 3,14 is about 135, that’s the full frame circle.). On DX the FX lens should have much less vignetting, less barrel distortion and better border sharpness. If it’s optically worth it, I am very interested even if the price rises over 500$.
    For FX I don’t know, it’s only moderate wide. It could serve as a backup in low-light situations or when light weight is needed if reasonably priced.

  • wanderer

    I’m actually hoping that they pull out all the stops with this 28mm 1.8g–aspherical and ED glass, Nano coating, corrected for longitudinal CA, decent bokeh–the image quality of the 24mm 1.4g, but not as wide, fast, big, or expensive. I’d pay $800-900 for that and then hardly take it off my D800. With all those pixels, maybe crop is the new zoom.

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