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The Nikon 28mm and infrared

Is the Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AI-s, which is arguably one of the best Nikon lenses ever made, suitable for infrared and full-spectrum photography? Well, there’s a controversy about this question.

If you look online at lists of suitable lenses you’ll find the Nikon 28mm sometimes on the “good infrared performers” side and sometimes on the “bad infrared performers” side. And some people claim that it produces hot spots on the image. So do the Nikon 28mm and infrared harmonize or not?

I bought the lens from a Japanese seller on Ebay some weeks ago. It arrived some days ago, and I’ve tested it twice during the last couple of days. After these sessions I can assure you: It works fine. Actually it’s one of the two best if not the very best infrared lens that I own.

I’ve tested the Nikon 28mm on my full-spectrum Nikon D3200.

I’ve tried out different color infrared filters like the Super Blue from Tiffen and the R72 from Hoya, as well as the B+W 830nm monochrome filter. In every case, the Nikon 28mm produced images with very good infrared effects and superbe sharpness. And it is sharp all the way from f/2.8 to f/11, and no hot spots at all.

So I ask myself now: How does it perform with ultraviolet light? I will try out my UV filter with this lens in the next couple of days.

If you want technical specifications of the Nikon 28mm, check out Ken Rockwells amazing review (link). He’s very clear about the quality of this lens:

This is the sharpest manual-focus wide angle made by Nikon. Even Nikon’s newest and best 16-35mm f/4 VR zoom isn’t any sharper, except maybe in the last few millimeters of the corner, and it distorts.

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