Nikkor AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 D IF-ED (FX) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Review by Markus Stamm, published March 2013


In 1999, Nikon announced the first zoom lenses with silent-wave AF-S drive. Unsurprisingly they introduced the then new technology into their high-end products first.

One of these lenses is the Nikkor AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 IF-ED, a fast standard zoom for full-frame cameras. It features the gold ring, indicating a professional grade Nikon lens. In 2007 it was replaced by the Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED.

In this review we'll have a look at how the lens performs on our current FX test camera, the Nikon D3x.

The lens was targeted at professional users and consequently the build quality is superb. Most outer parts are made of metal and carry the crinkle finish typical for professional grade Nikkor lenses at that time.

The focus and zoom rings operate very smoothly and slightly damped. The lens has a reverse zooming mechanism. It extends towards the wide end of the range and the shortest physical length is reached at the 70mm setting. While this may seem odd at first, the system makes sense when attaching the deep hood which remains highly effective at all focal lengths. With attached hood, the size of the whole package remains constant.

Thanks to an IF (internal focusing) design the front element does not rotate, so using a polarizer is no problem.

As already mentioned, the lens features a silent-wave AF drive. Because of this AF-S motor, the lens provides very fast and near-silent AF operations as well as manual focus override at any time.

In addition to the dark finish shown above, the Nikkor AF-S 28-70/2.8 was also available in light grey colour.

Optical construction15 elements in 11 groups inc. 2 ED elements and 1 aspherical element
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5.6)
Dimensions89 x 122 mm
Weight935 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-19 (supplied), petal-shaped
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera. Silent-wave AF drive.

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