Have I Gone Around The Bend?

If you’ve been following my recent discovery of how the 28mm field of view fits with the way I see the world you might think I’ve become a tad obsessed. If not then this news might change your mind. Ready? I purchased two more manual focus 28mm Nikkor lenses over the weekend. One’s already here. Obviously I just had to make some pictures of StupidCrap™ as soon as it arrived. Here’s my first impressions of my <s>new</s> old lens.

Hold on, let’s back that up. What two 28mm lenses you ask and why both? I set out with a specific lens in mind. The much lauded Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AiS. I ended up with that lens as well as the equally praised 28mm f/2.0 AiS. How did that happen? Both were far less expensive that I thought they would be. Better yet both are pristine. Maybe I got lucky but I could swear they were a bit more expensive last time I looked. I grabbed both for under $500. Without a doubt the first $250 spent on the f/2 is the best money I’ve spent in a very long time. With only a few crappy shots under my belt I already know I love this thing.

Shot at the top is wide open. I love the way this lens looks. I love that how it renders is flexible to a large degree as well — like most older optics. The combinatinon of spherical aberration and coma give it a glow wide open. Here’s a closer obligatory 100% view for your inspection (open in a new window to see the native pixels).

I don’t judge lens rendering based on the typical bokeh criteria of which particular lens looks less awful when provoking horrid looking OOF backgrounds. Various renderings look really good in various situations. Instead I get an overall impression of of how a lens looks in a lot of contexts and it usually falls into like, don’t care, or hate. This one is absolutely already in the like category.

Hey, wait a second, that spherical and coma thing is bad right… it makes corners go softer wide open. Umm, yes but getting rid of those things may make a lens that test well but looks not so great for your aesthetic sensibilities. In any case ninty percent of that just goes away at f/2.8 and by f/4 it looks great technially while still rendering focus transitions to my liking. Here’s f/4.

Of course a closer view as well. For reference I was focusing on that leaf.

I can’t wait to have the other little beasty in my hot non-so-little hands. I’ll provide ongoing impressions as I use them in various circumstances. My guess is that I’ll like one more than antoher depending on what I’m making, how I’m shooting, where I stand, differing lighting conditions, etc, etc.

RB

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