Quote Originally Posted by nwilkins View Post
Hi everyone,

I have a Nikkor 28/3.5 which is a great little lens but I was hoping a 28/2 would be even better. I bought one used and it looked mint - no marks on the glass, little dust inside. However when used wide open at F2 the performance was terrible. I am attaching two photos of the lenses on a tripod wide open to show you how much worse the 28/2 was. Now I realize my old one wide open is F3.5 so it's not a true comparison, but there is something wrong with the 28/2, right?

The 28/2 didn't seem to have these problems once stopped down to 5.6 or so, but it did not seem to be quite as good as the 28/3.5 until after F8. Stopped way down it looked better that the 3.5 but this was due to improved micro-contrast rather than better resolution.

I returned the 28/2 but now I'm wondering if the image quality will be noticeably better than the 28/3.5 - it really is a nice little lens. Will I notice a big difference if I get a working 28/2 for real world use, or only if I shoot brick walls?

Why do you expect it to be better? I have the 3.5, and it's a superb lens - the biggest issue is slightly dark corners wide open, which disappear by 5.6 or so.
The main reasons to use the f:2 version are (of course) the maximum aperture and it's attendant shallow dof, and the close range correction. High speed films have improved greatly, so fast lenses aren't as neccesary as they once were. The other aspects may be important to you though.
As a sort of parallel, I once had the 35/2.8 and the 35/2, both pre-ai. I kept the f:2 because it had more even illumination.