Data Sheet: Nikkor K 28-45 mm f/4.5

Pekka Buttler, 12/2023

Pictured: Nikkor K 28-45 mm f/4.5


The table below summarizes the lens’ key specifications (measurements based on pictured sample):

Brand:Nikon Lens nameZoom-NIKKOR 28~45mm 1:4.5
Focal length(s)128-45 mmAngle-of-view274-51°
Maximum Aperturef/4.5In Production1975–1978 (all versions)
Lens mountNikon FSubfamily (if applicable)K-type (Pre-Ai)
Length379,5 mmDiameter475,0 mm
Filter ring diameter72 mmWeight445 grams
Lens element count11Lens group count7
Aperture blades (S/R/C)57 SFocus throw130 °
Minimum focusing distance60 cmsMaximum magnification1:12
Has manual aperture ringYESHas Manual focus ringYES

Further notes:
• This lens was introduced in 1975 – at a time when Nikon’s widest zoom was the Zoom Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5. At the time of its launch, it was the world’s widest zoom lens. You can read more about the lens’ history in this NIKKOR – The Thousand and One Nights article.
• From 1975–1977 the lens was a K-type (pre-Ai) lens, but with the introduction of Ai (Automatic indexing) manufacture transitioned seamlessly between K and Ai types. As furthermore early (Pre-Ai) copies were often upgraded to Ai spec using factory parts (such as with this sample), it is actually somewhat difficult to know with absolute certainty whether an Ai’d lens has originally left the factory as a pre-Ai lens.
• Lenses that still are pre-Ai are likely to never have been Ai’d
• Lenses with a serial number above 210 000 are certain to have left the factory as an Ai lens.
• In the case of this lens (a relatively early serial number), there is reason to believe that it has originally been a K-type (pre-Ai) lens. Hence, I am here classing it as a K-type.
• Nikon offered a dedicated lens hood (the HK-1), but it is not very often needed (as the front lens element withdraws into the barrel as the lens is zoomed in)
• The build-quality of the lens is truly exceptional.
• It’s a two-ring zoom. The rearward ring controls zooming, has a 110 ° ‘zoom throw’ and intermediate markings at 28, 35, 40 and 45 mm. The frontmost ring controls focusing.
• It’s a remarkable lens in that both zooming and focusing happens within the main barrel, meaning that the lens’ overall shape stays rock-steady independent of whatever you do to the control rings. The filter ring does not rotate. The zoom is not perfectly parfocal, but you have to pixel peep to discern that.

There is a JAPB walk-around for this lens.

A brief genealogy of Nikon SLR lens types

Nikon is undoubtedly one of the great names in 35 mm SLR photography. The Nikon F mount has been in continuous production since 1959. During that time, the mount has developed/changed in some detail, however without ever fully sacrificing compatibility.

In short (a longer version is here), the development of Nikon’s SLR lenses can be traced as follows:
• 1959–1977: Pre-Ai. Manual focus lenses that use ‘rabbit ears’ to communicate selected aperture with the camera body. Pre-Ai lenses can further be subdivided into
• F-type (1959–early 1970s: metal focus ring and single-coated),
• C-type (early 1970s–mid 1970s: metal focus ring and multicoated), and
• K-type (mid 1970s to 1977: rubber focus ring and multicoated).
A significant share of remaining Pre-Ai lenses have since been converted to Ai-spec (Ai’d)
• 1977–1986: Ai and Ai-s. Manual focus lenses that may have ‘rabbit ears’ for backward compatibility, but are designed to communicate selected aperture with the camera body through indentations in base of aperture control ring.
• 1986–today: AF and AF-D. Autofocus lenses that do not have a focusing motor within the lens, but rely on the focus motor within the camera. All AF and AF-D lenses are simultaneously Ai-s lenses (they are Ai-s lenses extended with AF) 6
• 1996–today AF-S and AF-P. Autofocus lenses that have an internal focusing motor and do not rely on the body having a focusing motor.

Nikon has manufactured 135 mm f/2.8 lenses for the Nikon F system from 1965 to 2005. The lineage of Nikkor 135 mm f/2.8 lenses is summarised below
• 1965–1971 135 mm f/2.8 (4 elements in 4 groups, 7 blades, 1,5 m MFD, “Nippon Kogaku NIKKOR-Q”, (F-type)
• 1971–1973 135 mm f/2.8 (4 elements in 4 groups, 7 blades, 1,5 m MFD, “Nikon NIKKOR-Q”, (F-type)
• 1973–1975 135 mm f/2.8 (4 elements in 4 groups, 7 blades, 1,5 m MFD, “Nikon NIKKOR-Q•C” (C-type)
• 1975–1976 135 mm f/2.8 (4 elements in 4 groups, 7 blades, 1,5 m MFD, “Nikon” (K-type) [this lens]
• 1976–1977 135 mm f/2.8 (5 elements in 4 groups, 7 blades, 1,3 m MFD, “Nikon” (K-type) “new”
• 1977–1981 135 mm f/2.8 (5 elements in 4 groups, 7 blades, 1,3 m MFD, “Nikon” (Ai-type)
• 1981–1985 135 mm f/2.8 (4 elements in 4 groups, 7 blades, 1,5 m MFD, “Nikon series E” (series E) [data sheet]
• 1981–2005 135 mm f/2.8 (5 elements in 4 groups, 7 blades, 1,3 m MFD, “Nikon” (Ai-s-type)


There are good chances this lens can still be used natively:
• If the lens has been AI’d, this lens can be used natively on all current high-end Nikon dSLRs and several earlier medium-to-high-end older Nikon dSLRs7 as well as all post-1977 Nikon Film cameras.
• If it is in its original Pre-Ai form, it can be used natively on the Nikon Df and on all Nikon F-mount film cameras produced before 1977.

Thanks to being a fully manual lens (manual aperture, manual focus), the lens can be adapted to all mirrorless cameras using a suitable dumb adapter (and such adapters are easy to find). Moreover, a large range of special adapters (helicoid adapters, tilt/shift adapters, speed boosters) for using Nikon F lenses on most mirrorless systems are available.

Using Nikon F lenses on non-Nikon SLRs and dSLRs is likewise a distinct possibility. Thanks to the relatively generous flange focal distance of the Nikon F mount (46,5 mm), adapter rings for all dSLR mounts are available as well as for a goodly portion of film-era SLR mounts. Such rings may not allow for auto aperture, but even then the lenses can be used in stop-down metering mode.


1 Focal length is (unless stated otherwise) given in absolute terms, and not in Full-frame equivalent. For an understanding of whether the lens is wide/tele, see ‘Angle-of-view’.

2 Picture angle is given in degrees and concerns the diagonal picture angle. Rule of thumb:
> 90 ° ==> Ultra-wide-angle
70–90 ° ==> Wide-angle
50–70 ° ==> Moderate wide-angle
40–50 ° ==> ‘Standard’ or ‘normal’ lens
20–40 ° ==> Short tele lens
10-20 ° ==> Tele lens
5-10 ° ==> Long tele lens
< 5 ° ==> Ultra-tele lens

3 Length is given from the mount flange to the front of lens at infinity.

4 Diameter excludes protrusions such as rabbit ears or stop-down levers.

5 S=straight; R=rounded; C=(almost)circular at all apertures.

6 There is a further sub-class of AF-D lenses called AF-I lenses that are otherwise AF-D lenses (meaning, fully Ai-s compatible), but have an internal focus motor. Only long tele lenses were made in AF-I variants.

7 As of this writing, the following Nikon dSLRs fully support Aperture priority and manual metered modes on Nikkor Ai lenses: D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D200, D300, D300s, D500, D600, D610, D700, D750, D780, D800, D800E, D810, D850, D7000, D7100, D7200

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.