Promaster 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikon-Mount


When I shot mostly 35mm film this was, without a doubt, my favorite lens.

Sure, it isn't the fastest, and in today's DX land of digital cameras (with their image sensor being smaller than a regular 35mm negative) this cheap lens is nearly useless, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.


This cheap plastic lens is constructed of 7 elements in 7 groups and weighs in at about 8.4 ounces.

Maximum Aperture: f/3.5

Minimum Aperture: f/22

Construction: Everything is plastic.

Mount: Plastic here, too.

Filter size: 58mm - An odd size compared to the standard Nikon filter sizes.

Closest Focus: 2.29 feet (0.7 meters) - Like everything else on this lens, from cheap plastic construction to slow f-stop range, this not a great performance spec, yet I still loved this lens.

Included accessories: Bayonet style lens hood - I found this to be quite useful when shooting outdoors and I diligently carried it with me in my camera bag.


This lens was a rock-star for me back in my film days.

When I was down on the field at Bever Stadium (Penn State's football stadium) I could get awesome full wide shots of the field and the stands while at the same time having some zoom to get a player in action.

Yes, I carried an 80-200mm lens with me most days for some extra zoom, but really, it was this lens that I used 90% of the time when I shot 35mm film. I covered so many weddings (I would bring 35mm in addition to medium format) with this lens, so many events, and I did so many head shots I can't even think about the hours or days of my life spent looking through this lens at the world.

I shot almost all of the time in Manual Focus when I used this lens. This is because the good old trusty 35mm Nikon film bodies had big bright view-finders so it was a lot easier to tell if the image was in focus or not. Plus, by not running the AF motor all the time I was able to save battery power.


Since you can't buy this lens new any more, and all of my searching on eBay hasn't found me one just like it I doubt you'll ever happen upon one either. But, if you do, you will be in the presence of greatness and I highly recommend picking one up (it should be dirt cheap) if for no other reason than to rub it in my face.

I have seen other Promaster lenses, and in Nikon-mount flavor, but they just don't look the same as the kind I have so it wouldn't be the same to me.

I can only speculate that the other lenses with the same specifications are the same, but I don't know. I'm happy having my good old 28-80mm lens that has brought me so many fine images.


Following are some sample photos to demonstrate the power of this type of lens and some general uses which will likely yield good results. If you shoot things like these, then this lens may be a good one to think about adding to your camera bag.