Gear Review | Nikon Nikkor 28-85 f/3.5-4.5

written by Beckie of

I bought the Nikon 28-85 f/3.5-4.5 AF Nikkor because I wanted a decent (also inexpensive) zoom to use as a walk-around lens for those rare times when I didn’t want to carry my entire gear bag with me. This is a great lens for someone on a tight budget!!

For the most part it has a nice smooth zoom and no lens creep! I do sense a little hesitation in the zoom between 28-40mm, but to me that is minimal. There is very little light fall-off (also known as vignetting) when shooting wide open.

The macro mode is activated by rotating the zoom down to 28mm and pressing a button on the zoom ring.  You can get as close as 10″ from your subject. The major downside to the macro mode, is that it is manual-focus only! Big bummer for me as I already have sight issues.

This seems to be a pretty sharp lens! (and I LOVE the bokeh!!) I have read many reviews stating that this lens is even better than the newer versions that replaced it! It is a slightly heavier lens. But it’s got a nice solid body! It’s a plastic shell on the outside with straight metal and glass on the inside!

This lens (now retired) was manufactured between 1990-1999. It retailed brand new for about $600, but you can buy them used from various websites for $65-$130 (I found mine on, rated EX, for $75 after shipping).

If you enjoyed reading my post and would like to follow more of my journey through life in photography, feel free to visit my blog or follow my Facebook page!

About Beckie

I'm Beckie, a fun, think-outside-the-box mama to 2 miracle children.
I love all things photography, and being able to share in this art with others!


  1. Thanks you really made my choice easier I have enough for a d800 with this lens vs d600 with a 35-70 2.8 I’m going d800 thanks to your review

  2. I just bought this lens and as it is old it does not have any instructions. Please, in front of the 3.5 marking on the barrel of the lens there is a little switch with a red marking. It goes forward and back. What’s it for?

  3. Eric Nelson says:

    It would be ice to know what film you used.Camera and lens are only half the game.
    Thanks – Nelson


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