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Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED 35mm Primes
Product DescriptionA compact, versatile macro lens for close-up, copy work and general photography, which provides continuous auto focus from infinity to life-size (1:1).
Submitted by n8 a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2010
Strengths: - Tack sharp at all apertures
- AF override compared to other brands
- quick, silent, internal focusing
- accurate colors
- Nano coating...apparently that's good.
- includes hood
- minimal focus distance at around 2" away.
- 9 blades for great backgrounds
- Nice solid build, no shaking parts.
Weaknesses: - Pricey. I did also pay the premium of getting it in store rather then getting if from Adorama. Gotta support the local stores once in a while.
- Heavy...unless you like it that way like I do.
- Some may scoff at the lack of a limit switch
- 60mm means getting real close to your subject. 2.8 gives the light, but takes the DoF way down. I would honestly recommend a ring light to get away with stopping down and staying handheld. I found a real nice cheap one on Amazon for about $35.
I actually walked into my local camera store with every intention of getting the newer Micro 85mm 3.5 VR, but actually had to prove to the staff that it even existed, so needless to say, I didn't even get to touch it. Must have been Gods will. I have a habit of buying based on review, and the 85mm would have been another example of that. My next move was to spend 2 hours switching between the Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro and my future Nikkor Micro 60mm 2.8. Right off the bat, the Nikkor just felt better, much more substantial. I'm the kind of guy that equates quality with heft, and the Nikkor had a good deal of it over the Tamron. It also just felt much more put together. Probably the primary reason being that the Nikkor's focus system is 100% internal, while the Tamron extended and retracted a good 3 inches while it hunted for it's focus. Also comparing it to my experience with the Sigma 105mm, the Nikkor's af is silent compared to the jet engine of the Sigma, and much faster. With that said, it will take the Nikkor a couple seconds to focus if I'm going from a subject that's 2" away to one that's 6', but at least it's quiet and smooth while doing it.
Comparing the Nikkor to the Tamron and the Sigma, the control is much preferred. One A/M switch compared to a sliding mechanism plus the need to engage/disengage the af motor on my d90. I'm too new to the macro world to know or care about the full/limit function, but so far I have yet to wish I had it. Also, as with all the newer af-s lenses (that I'm aware of), the auto mode has an easy override with one of the best feeling focus rings I've ever handled. My only gripe about it is that it continues to rotate past the focal limits...not sure why.
As for what really matters...IQ...the Nikkor is nothing short of stellar in my opinion. The Tamron was competitive, however the Nikkor was still sharper in my comparison shots. I do wish I'd done some more specific a/b testing as I did with the Sigma. Considering the rave reviews I've read on the Sigma...I don't know what's to rave about, but I'm assuming they hadn't used the Nikkor. Doing a/b shots of my Nikon lens cap, the Nikkor was noticeably sharper, but even more, was unbelievably more accurate in the color replication. I suppose I was more astounded by how bad the Sigma was in comparison. This matter didn't catch my eye with the Tamron however. My shots since getting it have been remarkable. Zooming in a couple times I my preview screen, I see details that I had no idea were even there. Check my gallery for a few sample images. I have yet to notice any deficiency in sharpness with this lens stopped down all the way. Bokeh is also nice and creamy.
One thing I've come across as fodder for this lens is the fact that the 105's allow you to get close w/o having to get too close, and also allow more light in the process. While this has been true in my experience, I didn't get a macro lens to stay away from my subject, I find that to be part of the process. If I had the $1000 to spend on the 105mm, I'm sure I'd have gotten it though.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $600.00
Purchased At: Lundgren's
Similar Products Used: Tamron 90mm 2.8 Macro
Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro
Nikkor Micro 55mm
Type of photography: Other