Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reviewing the Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8

Note: I am going through a very busy period, with a lot of personal & other obligations. The frequency of articles might suffer a bit for the next couple of months or so, but I expect to be back on a quasi-weekly form by Christmas. Thanks! 


I've reviewed several E Series lenses, and most of them are pretty good - you get a good optical quality for your money. Having said that, all of these lenses are manual focus (duh!), and won't meter on entry-level Nikons. So, what's their value in today's world? That sounds like an excessively philosophical question, so let's just see what the Nikon Series E has to offer, and take it from there.


+ cheap, simple, small, light, expendable. Just what you expect from a good traveling lens (more below).
+ optically no real-world complaints. It won't blow your mind, but no glaring flaws either.
+ f/2.8 at this price? I'll take it, sure.

- if you're counting pixels, the corners are a little bit soft wide open, but hey, it's a wide-angle lens that will mostly be used closed-down a stop or two anyway.
-28mm isn't really wide. It's a decent all-arounder, but it won't give you any superb perspectives.
- in terms of money/performance, its value is good. In terms of scope, not so (more below).

Intended Users

Great for:
  • as a cheap, super-light (and expendable) travel lens, particularly if you're shooting film.
  • training purposes. You'll learn a thing or two if you need to slow down and take your time with a manual focus prime lens.
  • easily adaptable (e.g. to your mirror camera) thanks to the aperture ring

Not for:
  • pointless in DX, particularly with entry-level
  • realistically, you can find better lenses for not much more money.
  • although it's wide, it's not wide enough to give you any wild perspectives.

Final Verdict

Not a bad lens, considering its price. Although in the E Series "e" stood for economy, we've regressed so much in terms of construction quality that I'd rather bang this lens against a rock than a modern alternative. Having said that, autofocus and improved optics are not something to dismiss so easily, although they come at a price, both literally and in terms of increased weight, size, and overall complexity

Search for it here and here.

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