Nikon 55mm f/2.8 Micro AI-S 35mm Primes

Available At:
55mm f/2.8 Micro AI-S

Out of production, manual focus lens. Minimum focus: 0.25m

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
William Kazak   Professional [Jan 26, 2005]
Strength:

I wish the F2.8 was an F2. Then it would be fantastic as a normal lens. As it is, it is too slow for indoors available light.

Weakness:

F2.8 is slow to me on this focal length but ok on a zoom or a telephoto.

The sharpest lens in the Nikon line. Good for closups. Also great on the bellows. Compact. Very decent flare control with a lens shade added.

Customer Service

None.

Similar Products Used: Most all Nikon lenses.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Toastesser   Intermediate [Nov 22, 2004]
Strength:

picture quality (what else counts on a micro?) the low weight and small size makes it easy to pick it as 2nd or 3rd for a walkaround.

Weakness:

maybe the plastic build, but it's already 15 years old and still very good.

Went to town to pick a Sigma 105 Macro or 60/105mm micro, depending on the price I could get. Peeking in a stores window I saw the the (used, mint condition) 55 AF one knowing that the AI-S version was a very good one. For the price payed I skipped on the newer ones and I am very pleased with the results. 55 might be a little short for bugs, but I don't like bugs anyway, lol. For anything else it is great and gives 1:1. I also use it for studio shots and I like it there as well (can be a little bit to sharp, lol)

Similar Products Used: no other micro lenses
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
nasution   Beginner [Dec 02, 2003]
Strength:

Optical quality 1:1 magnification

Weakness:

Plastic construction Small focusing ring Useless distance scale

This is a review of AF Micro Nikkor 55/2.8. I want to give a review of this lens because it's really a good lens and I have to put the review here because I couldn't find dedicated place for this lens. It has the same construction as the manual version, so optical quality is (i think) identical though I never compare both. It goes to 1:1. However, it's not so convenience working in life size reproductin with this lens because the distance is so small. You need a TC for longer distance. The AF of my lens is broken so I cannot tell you how fast it is although AF is not really necessary in macro. That's the reason why I could get it cheaply. I don't think the distance scale is important. It's only important to know the magnification ratio you're working on.

Customer Service

never used

Similar Products Used: AF Nikkor 35-70 /2.8 D macro
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Linda Vogt   Expert [Nov 18, 2002]
Strength:

Really sharp and contrasty, close and far, wide open, centre to corner. Metal finish, 52mm thread, low flare, low distortion. Overall quite excellent.

Weakness:

Only goes to 1:2 and it sucks in a lot of dust as you focus from one extreme to another.

One of Nikon's best.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used: 105/2.8 AF Micro, 50/1.8 AF, 200/4 Micro MF, 55/1.2 MF, 55/2.8AF (yes AF).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Morris Gallimore   Casual [Sep 06, 2001]
Strength:

1:2 macro + high quality normal lens in a very compact package. No need for a lens hood (glass is well recessed so flare is not an issue).

Weakness:

None I can think of.

This is truly a gem of a lens. As a macro lens 1:2 it is great but donæt let that stop you from using it as a normal lens for both indoor and outdoor photography. I enjoy natural light photography and this has proven to be a very practical lens for this purpose providing high resolution and excellent contrast even at f2.8 to make these pictures simply stand out. Whem I travel I take the 20mm f2.8, 55mm f2.8 and the 105mm f2.5 which is sufficient weaponry with my FE2 to take some breathtaking photos. Simply a great lens

Customer Service

None

Similar Products Used: 50mm f1.8 AIS, 50mm f1.4 AF, Minolta 50mm 1.8 (55mm f2.8 provides better resolution and contrast than all of these even at 2.8).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Al Smith   Expert [Feb 01, 2001]
Strength:

Mechanically first rate, (compared to the often loose feel of some of the current offerings). Sharp at all distances due to Close Range Correction (CRC), making it usable as a general lens as well as a macro range lens. Deeply recessed front element allows for virtually flare free scenics, even when sun is in picture. Very short rotation in the normal focusing ranges means focus is very fast for general photography... the images "snap" into focus with only a slight turn, (of course in the close-up range the ratio of focusing ring to distance increases).

Weakness:

Not truly a weakness, but a fact of the vintage, this lens only goes to one half life size without the PK-13 extension tube. This might make the transition a bit less smooth than the current 60mm, which goes to full life size, but one benefit is that the overall lens is smaller and lighter than the 60mm lens.

When Nikon announced their auto focus line up, I was deep into the system with every lens from 20mm-300mm. I sold off many of these to buy the latest technology. Sadly autofocus lenses let me down too many times, mechanically and optically. I bit the financial bullet and re-purchased my favorite glass, much of it out of production. My first 55mm Micro Nikkor was bought brand new for just about 200 Dollars. The replacement, a used model with some cosmetic flaws cost 270 Dollars. When I Look at the shots this lens produces, I feel happy to have been able to find the replacement, and would have paid even more for it if I had to. Time was that a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 was considered slow, but today many people are using zooms in the f/4-5.6 range, so the speed of this lens today might be considered fast.

In Moose Peterson's book on Nikon lenses, he lists this lens as one of the true Nikon classics, pointing out the fact of its low availability due to owners keeping their lenses. One of the dumbest things I ever did was to sell the first one I had... and one of my happiest moments was the acquisition of the replacement. I will be using this lens on what ever camera body I am using for years to come... it is a classic!

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used: I am a "normal" lens aficionado, so while this is a close up lens, I use it in the normal ranges for 75% of my shots. Therefore I will compare it to: Nikon 50mm f/2.0, f/1.8, f/1.4 lenses It is also better in everyway than my Tokina ATX 90mm f/2.5 macro.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RD Kenwood   Intermediate [Jan 31, 2001]
Strength:

Sharp.

Reasonably fast.

Light.

I prefer the 55mm focal length for macro work because it preserves a more-natural perspective. This is vitally important when photographing mechanical objects, where the telephoto compression that would take place at, say, 105mm, could cause confusion. Actually, I must say that I also prefer the 55 to longer focal lengths for flowers too - 55 lets you get right in there and create an almost 3-D effect where the telephoto macro sort of flattens the flowers. On the other hand, of course, background control is easier with longer focal lengths.

Weakness:

This is a minor point, but it's kind of pesky to have to use an extension ring to get to 1:1, especially if your subject requires dancing around the 1:2.5-1:1.5 area. Tip: do the math beforehand and know your ratios.

You'll also need your math skills to calculate effective aperture if you're doing any lighting. You could trust in the TTL, but with highly reflective subjects, you'll need to know what you're doing. The only reason I mention this under "weakness" (it's more a feature of macro work, really) is that I thought the original 55/3.5 Micro-Nikkor with the Auto-Compensating diaphragm was a neat idea.

As with any 55mm lens at :2 to :1, your working distance is close. This is both a strength (preserves natural perspective) and a weakness (creates lighting problems, forces you to work very close to your subject).

A sharp lens with CRC. This is one of the few lenses I've formally tested, in a direct comparison with a 55/3.5 AI. Compared to the 3.5, the 2.8 has about 10mm more working distance at 1:2, which can be significant. However, in my slides of watch movements, the smallest screw threads are not resolved as finely as with the 3.5, especially if they are off to one side (indicating slight field curvature even when stopped well down). There is a touch more flare, with one ghost image in severe, sun-in-the-picture backlight (vs. none for the 3.5). There are seven diaphragm leaves instead of six, but the bokeh seems muddier in color transitions, rather than smoother. On the one hand, the extra working distance is a significant benefit. On the other hand, my f/3.5 version was visibly sharper for my purposes. Keep in mind, that this test was conducted with a sample size of ONE of each lens, and my purposes are not the typical ones. I'll rate this one a 5 for value, because it is SO much cheaper than the current 60/2.8, but only a 4 overall because I'm reserving the 5/5 for the 55/3.5.

Customer Service

Not needed.

Similar Products Used: 55/3.5 AI ( smaller, lighter, slower, and - for my purposes - sharper and flatter).
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
andrew schank   Expert [Apr 11, 2001]
Strength:

Compact, fast for a macro, good optics

Weakness:

I found the earlier 55mm f3.5 Micro Nikkor P to be sharper and give better overall image quality.

I would have been happier with this lens if I did not once own an earlier 3.5 version. I actually have since sold the lens and recently bought a mint 55 f 3.5 Micro Nikkor P and find it to produce images that appear better to me than the "new and improved" f2.8 lens.

Similar Products Used: Sigma macro, Kiron macro, Vivitar macro
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Jimmy Chan   Casual [May 07, 2001]
Strength:

Light, sharp, great for travel. With macro function and 'standard' focal length, it's excellent for travelling light.

Weakness:

Not the sharpest. I always have the strange feeling that micro lens is better than normal one in terms of definition. It's of course better, but not 'much' better.

If I want to take three lens with me, I would choose 180 F/2.8, 55 F/2.8 and 20 F/2.8. If I take two, I would pick 180 and 20. If I can only take one, it must be the 55. It's a general lens which is so general that I use it for 90% of my photos. I don't take 'special' photos, I am a general amateur photographer who have committed to generalism.

Customer Service

n/a

Similar Products Used: Nikon AF 105 F/2.8D, 180 F2.8, 50 F1.2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John W   Intermediate [Jul 30, 2001]
Strength:

Excellent build quality, and optical quality. Very sharp images corner to corner - definitely one of my sharpest performers.

This lens is built like a tank!

Weakness:

1:2 mag. ratio.

I would love it to have 1:1 - but again nothing is perfect.

Great 'normal' lens. I am using this lens more and more. I would prefer a 1:1, but I am looking for a good used 105mm MICRO AF, but I will not part with this gem.

Regards,
John
www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Meadows/8847

Customer Service

Not with this lens, but generally Nikon is Toronto is top notch!

Similar Products Used: 20mm AF f2.8
80-200 AFD f2.8
28-70mm AF f3.5-4.5 (a real dog)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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