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Home » Camera Lens Reviews » Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Review

Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Review

Looking to find more information regarding the Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED? Read our latest review to learn more about the Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, its specifications, and if it’s a good camera lens for you. 

Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Overview

The first thing I noticed about this lens was how light and compact it was. It’s made of plastic, as is the plastic lens mount. Because I don’t believe this will endure if dropped or banged, it’s a no-no for tough assignments. On my D70, when mounting the lens, there is a little play in the lens mount, not as tight and free as my other metal mount Nikkors. Because this lens still uses the old Nikon screw focusing system on my D70, focusing is somewhat sluggish and to be expected.

Overall, the quality of this lens is excellent. It’s extremely sharp and contrasty. Colors seem to pop more than my D70 kit lens 18-70. The zoom range is ideal for an all-around lens for street photographs. The longer focal lengths’ bokeh is quite nice. I also appreciate the close macro working distance of this lens as well as its near macro close focusing capabilities. If you still haven’t purchased the 18-200VR superzoom, this would make a near ideal travel lens kit with a 12-24mm ultrawide (aperture priority only).

Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Specifications

The Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED was first announced on 02/01/2003 with a Nikon F FX mount type. Below is a summary of this lens’s specifications:

Indicative Price: $300

Focal Range: 28-200mm

Aperture: F/ 3.5-5.6

Filter Diameter (millimeters): 62

Maximum Diameter (millimeters): 69.5

Number Of Lenses: 12

Length (millimeters): 71

AF Motor: None

Stabilization: None

Zoom Type: Ring

Tripod Mount: None Available

Colors Available: Black, Silver

Manual Focus: None

Weight (grams): 360

How Does Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Score? 

Below are the lens metric scores we’ve measured for this specific lens: 

Sharpness: 5.8/10

The Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED is a sharp lens, but not as sharp as other primes lenses within this price range. Sharpness resolution peaks at the 70mm focal length where it scores 5.8/10. The Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED has better optical performance when stopped down to f/11 or beyond, however it’s already good enough for most landscape and travel photography needs wide open at any focal lengths including 200mm.

Vignetting: 6.5/10

This Nikon lens is affected heavily by vignetting (darker corners). At maximum aperture, the Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED suffers wide open at 60mm and throughout its focal length range. Vignetting can easily be corrected in post processing software like Lightroom or Photoshop when using RAW files (when shooting in JPEG you don’t notice this kind of stuff). Stopped down to f/11 or beyond, it doesn’t really affect image quality that much anymore.

Chromatic Aberration: 4.5/10

This Nikon lens suffers from chromatic aberration at widest focal length, but much reduced when using f/11 or beyond. Chromatic aberration is pretty well controlled throughout the entire zoom range.

Distortion: 5/10

This Nikon lens exhibits moderate barrel distortion which can be corrected in post processing software like Lightroom or Photoshop when using RAW files (when shooting in JPEG you don’t usually notice this kind of stuff). Distortion is most noticeable at extremes of the zoom range and it also affects image quality to some extent.

Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Performance

The focus is  a little bit slow, but that could be expected from a screw drive autofocus lens. The Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED has excellent sharpness and color rendering capability starting at the closed down aperture to as wide as f/8 or so by 70mm, where it performs best for this lens. At 200mm it needs an open aperture of at least f/8 for decent results. Distortion is well controlled throughout the entire zoom range with some noticeable barrel distortion at 28mm which can be fixed in post processing software like Lightroom or Photoshop when using RAW files (when shooting in JPEG you don’t usually notice this kind of stuff).

The AF speed is  a little slow, but not a real issue for us. The Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED is a good lens with excellent sharpness performance and it comes in a small package for traveling photographers who want to take along one lens that almost takes care of everything from landscapes to portraits.

Something to keep in mind is the bokeh quality of this lens, which is  relatively poor because of the longer focal lengths and wide aperture. Bokeh quality is a little bit harsh but not terrible for this type of lens.

Another area to note is the ergonomics of the lens. It’s  very small and lightweight so it doesn’t tire you out carrying it around all the time.

Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Pros and Cons

Below are some of the pros and cons regarding this lens. 

Pros: 

  • Very lightweight
  • Great zoom ranges
  • Very sharp when stopped down
  • Minimal chromatic abberations
  • Solid bokeh background

Cons: 

  • Poor plastic housing
  • Barrel distortion
  • Soft lens
  • Poor cornering at 28mm
  • Out of production
  • Slower focus

Our Verdict

The Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED is great for every day users. Even if you’re just dipping your toe into the world of photography, this lens will make you a believer. I used this while shopping and compared it to the 24-120 VR; my photos were sharper in most cases during normal usage, but it can’t compare to the VR’s slow shutter speed. I don’t regret purchasing it, and I’m ecstatic that I have this lens in my arsenal.