Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D - The Allrounder Lens

Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D front side
Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D close-up Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D vs. Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8D

Lens data for the Nikon AF 28-105 mm f/3.5-4.5D:
Lens construction: 16 elements in 12 groups (1 aspherical lens)
Closest focusing: 0.5 m / 2 ft (0.22m / 0.7 ft in macro mode at 105 mm)
For DX sensors: full frame equivalent: 42 - 157.5 mm
Filter: 62 mm
Hood: HB-18 snap-on, optional
Dimensions: 2.8 x 3.2 in
Weight: 16 oz
Appearance: 1998

Performance on cameras with DX-sized sensors:
The Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D lens is a rather cheap zoom lens with a plastic housing. When at the 105mm setting, the front part of the lens can be moved a few millimeters sideways which is not very promising. Zoom lenses with such a large focal range usually are not famous for excellent optical quality or at least haven't been for the last decades. But this zoom lens is a great companion for travelling or for photo trips where weight is an important factor.

The optical quality is better than one might expect: When closed down to f/5.6 it delivers great images - comparable to the expensive professional zoom lenses. I have compared this zoom lens with the famous, expensive and rather heavy Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8D lens. At f/5.6-f/11 and infinity setting, it is really difficult to tell which lens was responsible for a specific image. At f/4-4.5 the 28-105mm lens delivers images with rather poor contrast and some fog over the entire image. It's not a big deal but it is obvious on a computer monitor at 100%. Considering low light performance, the overall build quality and autofocus performance, the 28-70mm lens is the clear winner, of course. However, this comparison is not fair considering the price difference.

When the 28-105mm is used at f/5.6-11, the lens does a great job in most situations. The macro function is useful but can't be compared to, say, a Nikon AF 60mm f/2.8D Micro lens. The Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D lens works wonderfully with a Nikon D1 camera but the weaknesses of the lens can be seen in some situations when used with a Fuji S2 camera. More on the optical quality (including lens performance comparisons) of the Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D lens can be seen here .
Rating for the Nikon AF 28-105 mm f/3.5-4.5D lens
(Maximum: 5, Minimum: 1):
Image quality wide open: 3.5
Overall image quality: 4
"Bokeh": 3.5 (at f/1.4 only)
Build quality: 3.5.

Lens construction for the Nikon AF 28-105 mm f/3.5-4.5D:

Blue: aspherical element

Image © 2008 Nikon Corporation (source)

External reviews (Nikon AF 28-105 mm f/3.5-4.5D)
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*) Contact me if you know interesting reviews not listed here. The cache numbers in parenthesis next to the links lead to cached pdf files (just in case the original links don't work anymore). The files usually only represent parts of the original contents from January 2010.

Some images taken with the Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D lens
(Sensor: DX format):