A few more words on the 28mm Ai-S as an all-around great non-macro lens:
It's funny, because I was just talking about this as my favorite, all-around lens, for the reasons mentioned (it does super-wide, wide, close-up, and extreme macro ... all in 1 inexpensive lens.)
And then I read this:
"The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8s also famed for its ability to deliver images of extremely high contrast and resolution. It has long been a favorite among many seasoned photographers as one of the best wideangle lens for all round photography ....
"Wide 74° picture coverage lets you handle wide scope of applications, such as it can be used to take candids, portraits of people in their surroundings, landscapes, travel photos, night lights, architecture and interiors, nudes, and star trails etc.
* Focuses down to 0.2m (0.7 ft.) - the closest minimum focusing distance of any Nikkor lens; Close-Range Correction System insures sharp images even at its closest focusing distance.
* Excellent for high-magnification close-ups when mounted in reverse on a bellows unit - up to nearly 9X magnification is possible.
* Superb picture quality from center to edges because it is extremely well corrected for coma and spherical aberration.
* Exceptionally light - weighs only 250 grams."
Check out the full article.
Since "a picture is worth a thousand words," let me post 4 photos that show the extreme versatility of the Nikon 28mm Ai-S:
I used the "infinity" end of the wide-angle lens (properly-oriented) to document the entire area, looking back, where I hiked:
I used the mid-range end of the lens and document the plant/flower upon which I found the spider:
The lens also has a very close min focusing distance (properly-mounted) to get a standard close-up of the flower type on which it was found (again, normal lens mounting):
And then, just slapping on a simple reverse-ring, and turning the lens around, I am able to get an ultra-close 2:1
macro shot of the spider on the end of a flower bud (again, stacked image, natural light, macro rail):
Again, all from 1 small, innocuous lens 8)
All I know is, I am a believer.
The small size + light weight + low price yet high-quality
+ the incredibly-wide range potential applications have made the Nikon 28mm Ai-S my favorite lens on a nature hike.
I still bring 2 other specialized lenses, but this 1 lens does more total work now than any of them. As funny as it may seem, I consider it lens to be the
most versatile, valuable lens in my bag (yet it is also the least expensive).