8 out of 10 points and recommendedOptical quality / Price / Construction / f:2,8 at all focalShort coverage / Push-pull zoom
The cheapest way to have professional results!reviewed March 12th, 2007 (purchased for $300)
I use it for B&W film with a N80/F80. I plan to keep it for ever with my N80 and sell the rest of film bodys and lenses that I no longer use.
I have very good results all the way at all apertures, my unit is a bit soft in the right lower corner at 35mm 2,8 but that's all.
Compared to my 28-105mm it's a lot better, that one had more softer corners wide open and had more distortion and less defintion.
I like "near subject wide fotography" with blur background (for that Magnum look portraits) so I just put f:3,3 or f:4 to be sure and start shooting at everything for sharp results.
I forgot ones about the program and shooted one entire film at f:2.8 for architectural and my 24x30cm prints look great so is sharp enough wide open.
AF is not fast.
It's almost distorsion free (not noticeable in general photography, however I didn't do any wall test) and I do a lot of architectural photo so this is important to me.
Some people look for it as a portrait lens, and I'm sure it will do a good job on a digital 1.5 factor because it's very sharp, but i'll never buy it for that use since the new DX lenses like the 18-70mm are also very sharp and even the kit 18-55mm is super sharp in the center so my advice is save your money for somthing more useful.
Construction is very good and even if I don't like the push-pull zoom I got used to it. I didn't had any dust problems because of the push-pull zoom.
It's perfect weight! lighter lenses have less inertia so it's difficult for me to handhold so steady (but normally others think it is a bit too heavy).
The bad news : a loot of flare and ghosts! but this is also there for the 28-70mm 2,8 be aware (maybe only a bit less) so use the hood and skip front lightsources.
I use a custom made (just black cartoline tube) hood for the middle and long end when doing portraits or studio because the original hood is only useful at 35mm. It can be critical when using light sources in front of the camera, if only the light hits directly the lens you looses a lot of contrast.
In Macro mode I had cool results with a bit soft corners that never bodered me. The macro mode only works in 35mm and it's there just in case. Buy a second hand 55mm micro nikkor for almost nothing for cheap sharp macro.