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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

14 November 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

8. Vignetting

The thumbnails, showed below, which we got after attaching the Nikkor 28-300 mm VR to the Nikon D200 with a smaller sensor, show that some vignetting problems we can experience at the longest focal length. Our measurements fully confirm it.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting


At 28 mm and maximum relative aperture the vignetting amounts to 18% (-0.57 EV). This value is not high but unfortunately on stopping down the vignetting decreases slowly. By f/4.0 it is 15% and by f/5.6 it remains still 12%. Further stopping down is not very effective because by f/8.0 and f/11 the brightness loss in the frame corners gets to respectively 11% and 10%.


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At 50 mm focal length, even wide open, the vignetting is barely noticeable because it amounts to 14% (-0.44 EV). If you implement the f/5.6 aperture you can eliminate the problem completely because the vignetting decreases to 9% then. Similar performance can be noticed at 100 mm. By f/5.3 the light fall-off in the frame corners is 13% (-0.39 EV) and it decreases to 6% by f/5.6.

At the longer end of focal lengths’range the vignetting starts increasing. At 200 mm it is not very noticeable because it comes to 18% (-0.56 EV) at the maximum aperture and then it decreases to 5% on stopping down by 1 EV. As we mentioned before, small problems occur at 300 mm where, at the maximum aperture, the vignetting reaches 29% (-0.98 EV). Luckily on stopping down to f/8.0 the vignetting decreases to an imperceptible level of 7%.

Let’s check what the situation looks like on full frame.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting


Undoubtedly there will be more problems here. They start to occur at the shortest focal length where, at the maximum relative aperture, the vignetting amounts to 45% (-1.72 EV). The same performance we observed in the case of the D200 – here also the stopping down yields rather unsatisfactory results. By f/4.0 the vignetting comes to 38% and by f/5.6 it reaches 27%. On further stopping down we don’t see any influence on the level of this aberration because by f/8.0 and by f/11 its value is the same – 19%.

A bit better situation can be observed at 50 mm. Here the lens shows the vignetting on the level of 31% (-1.09 EV) when wide open and it decreases to 22% if the device is stopped down to f/5.6. Only after closing the aperture down to f/8.0 and f/11 we see the problems disappear because the brightness loss in the frame corners is respectively 12% and 10%.

Very similar situation can be noticed at 100 mm. At the maximum relative aperture (f/5.3) the vignetting value measured by us amounted to 29% (-0.99 EV) and after stopping down to f/5.6 it reached 28%. By f/8.0 the problem disappears almost completely because the vignetting decreases to a practically imperceptible level of 12% and it is eliminated completely by f/11 (7%).

The vignetting increases again at the longest focal lengths. At 200 mm and by f/5.6 the brightness loss in the frame corners amounts to 34% (-1.22 EV). By f/8.0 and f/11 apertures it is respectively 17% and 10%. Practically identical situation can be witnessed at 300 mm focal length –there by f/5.6, f/8.0 and f/11 we get the results of 34%, 19% and 10% respectively.


Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting