Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED

7 July 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart shows a comparison between basic properties of the tested Nikkor and other full frame 28 mm lenses with apertures ranging from f/1.8 to f/1.4. It is clear immediately that the new Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED is physically big and heavy, noticeably heavier than the Leica, a lens, after all, made completely of metal. Certainly its optical construction contributed to that because the new Nikkor features 3-4 elements more than most of lenses in that chart. Only the huge Otus remains heavier, bigger, and has more optical elements inside.

Significant dimensions of the Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED are also emphasized by the photo below, with the tested lens positioned next to the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM, hardly the smallest device around.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount with contacts. The mount goes round a rear element, 31 mm in diameter. The element is positioned on the same level as the mount if you set the focus at infinity. After passing to the minimum focusing distance the element hides inside the casing about 0.5 cm deep. During that process a slit is created between the inner mount ring and the element itself; it is as wide as 1-2 mm so dirt and dust can invade the interior of the lens. It would be difficult to call it properly sealed from this side.

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Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED - Build quality

Right behind the mount, on the casing, you can find a white dot making an alignment with a camera easier, and then a plate with the name, parameters of the lens and a big “N” letter meaning nano crystal coatings were employed. Inside that plate there is a distance scale behind a window, expressed in meters and feet; right below there are depth of field marks by f/11 and f/16. On the left you see a focusing mechanism mode switch (M/A-M) and on the other side of the lens its serial number, parameters, filter diameter and an inscription “Made in Japan”.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED - Build quality

Further on you find a big, ribbed manual focus ring, as wide as 27 mm. It moves smoothly and is well-damped, allowing you very precise settings. During our test we didn’t observe any slacks. Running through the whole distance scale needs a turn through an angle of about 160 degrees.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED - Build quality

At the front of the lens there is an immobile, convex element, 54 mm in diameter. It is surrounded by a filter thread, 77 mm in diameter, and a hood thread.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 14 elements positioned in 11 groups. Two of those are made of low dispersion ED glass and three others are aspherical in shape. Inside there is also a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/16 at the maximum.

It’s also worth mentioning that the „E” letter in the lens’s name means you deal here with an electromagnetic aperture blade control (without a mechanical linkage levers) so its compatibility with older bodies, including the D90 and even the D3000, is limited.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED - Build quality

Buyers get in the box: both caps (LC-77 and LF-4), a soft pouch (CL-1118) and a petal-type hood (HB-83).

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28 mm f/1.4E ED - Build quality