Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Macro Nikkor Review

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Macro Nikkor Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews Nikon's 60mm f/2.8G macro lens which replaces the old D version and adds a silent wave focusing motor and internal focusing.

 Add Comment

Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED
Price : £404
Rating :
Share :

Handling and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S MAcro Nikkor Review
Nikon's latest 60mm Micro lens replaces the old D version and adds a silent wave focusing motor, a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture, internal focusing and can be picked up for around £365. This lens is compatible with both FX and DX format cameras. On a DX camera, it will provide an angle of view equivalent to a 90mm lens used on a 35mm camera.

The older Nikon 60mm Micro Nikkor also sports the same bright f/2.8 aperture but lacks the silent wave motor found on the newer lens, which means this lens will not autofocus on Nikon's entry level SLR cameras. This older optic can be picked up for around £315, which is only a little less expensive than the newer lens.

Alternatives from third party manufacturers include Sigma's 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro lens, which costs around £245. This lens is also compatible with FX and DX bodies but lacks the silent wave focus motor and internal focusing found on the Nikon lens being reviewed here. Those looking for a 60mm macro lens for their DX format camera, may also consider Tamron's 60mm f/2 Di II LD (IF) Macro lens, which costs around £360. This lens also lacks a silent focusing motor, but has a brighter f/2 maximum aperture and focusing is performed internally.

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Macro Nikkor Handling and features

Weighing 425g, this lens is relatively lightweight and compact. It balances extremely well on the Nikon D700 body used for testing, with or without the MB-D10 battery grip attached. High quality plastics have been used for much of the construction and the lens mount is metal. A rubber gasket has been fitted around the lens mount to help prevent to ingress of dust and moisture into the camera body, although the lens makes no claims about being properly weather sealed.

A large wide rubberised focus ring provides easy manual focus control. The mechanism has just the right amount of resistance for making fine adjustments. The minimum focus distance of 18.5cm provides life size magnification, but as the working distance is quite tight, care needs to be taken not to shade your subject.

Nikon's latest Nano-Crystal coatings have been applied, which promises to help control flare and help retain contrast. A deep circular hood is also provided. As focusing is performed internally, the front filter thread does not rotate, making this lens ideal for use with graduated filters, polarisers and macro ring flashes. Focus speeds are quite fast for a macro lens, although this optic may have benefited from the inclusion of a focus limiter switch, to prevent the lens from tracking through the full focus range at times where contrast or light levels are low.

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Macro Nikkor Performance

At maximum aperture, the lens already produces images with very good sharpness in the centre on the frame, with the quality towards the edges approaching good levels.

Stopping the lens down improves quality across the frame until f/5.6, where the sharpness in the centre is outstanding and the clarity towards the edges of the frame is excellent. At smaller apertures, diffraction reduces resolution across the frame, but results are still good at f/22.

Nikon60mm28MTF
MTF at 60mm
 

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D700 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are extremely well controlled at all apertures and across the entire image area. At its very worst fringing just exceeds 0.4 pixel widths in the centre of the frame at apertures smaller than f/11. This low level of fringing should be virtually invisible, even in large prints.

Nikon60mm28CA
Chromatic Aberrations at 60mm
 

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D700 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners with this lens may be an issue for some photographers. At f/2.8 falloff is very pronounced on full frame, with the corners being 3.3 stops darker than the image centre. Visually uniform illumination isn't achieved until the lens is stopped down to between f/5.6 and f/8.

As might be expected from a fixed focal length lens, distortion is very well corrected. Imatest detected 0.439% barrel distortion, which is a very slight amount. If your application requires completely straight lines, this low level of distortion will be very straightforward to correct in image editing software afterwards, as the distortion pattern is consistent across the frame.

Nikon's Nano Crystal coating does an excellent job of reducing flare and retaining contrast, even in harshly contra-lit situations. The deep circular hood also does an excellent job of shading the front element, although it may need to be removed at close working distances to prevent it shading your subject.

Good sharpness is retained, even at small apertures  - 1/60 sec | f/16.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 200
Good sharpness is retained, even at small apertures - 1/60 sec | f/16.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 200
  Sharpness is outstanding in the centre at f/5.6 - 1/125 sec | f/5.6 | 60.0 mm | ISO 900
Sharpness is outstanding in the centre at f/5.6 - 1/125 sec | f/5.6 | 60.0 mm | ISO 900
As the front filter thread does not rotate, this lens is ideal for use with graduated filters - 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 200
As the front filter thread does not rotate, this lens is ideal for use with graduated filters - 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 200
  Falloff of illumination towards the corners can be quite pronounced at wide apertures - 1/125 sec | f/3.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 1250
Falloff of illumination towards the corners can be quite pronounced at wide apertures - 1/125 sec | f/3.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 1250
1/125 sec | f/10.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 200
1/125 sec | f/10.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 200
  1/125 sec | f/10.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 320
1/125 sec | f/10.0 | 60.0 mm | ISO 320
1/125 sec | f/5.6 | 60.0 mm | ISO 400
1/125 sec | f/5.6 | 60.0 mm | ISO 400
  1/125 sec | f/5.6 | 60.0 mm | ISO 3200
1/125 sec | f/5.6 | 60.0 mm | ISO 3200

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Macro Nikkor Verdict

Those looking for a short focal length macro lens for their Nikon camera can't go far wrong with this new 60mm from Nikon. It is competitively priced and well featured, with the fast silent wave focusing motor and Nano Crystal lens coatings.

Resolution-wise it delivers sharp, contrasty images at all apertures and should satisfy even the most discerning photographer in this department. The lack of a focus limiter switch and pronounced falloff of illumination at wide apertures may pose issues for some, but so long as you are aware of these issues, they can easily be worked around.

The Nikon 60mm f/2.8G lens is well featured, competitively priced and delivers sharp, contrasty images.

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Macro Nikkor Pros

Excellent sharpness performance
Nano Crystal Coating
Fast to focus for a macro lens
Very low levels of CA

Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Macro Nikkor Cons

Falloff of illumination towards the corners at wide apertures
No focus limiter switch.

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL


Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
General
Lens Mounts
  • Nikon AF-S G
Lens
Focal Length60mm
Angle of View0 - 40
Max Aperturef/2.8
Min Aperturef/32
Filter Size62mm
35mm equivalent90mm
Internal focusingYes
Focusing
Min Focus18.5cm
StabilisedNo
Construction
Blades9
Elements12
Groups9
Box Contents
Box ContentsLens hood, Soft Case, Lens caps
Dimensions
Weight425g
Height89mm

View Full Product Details

Explore More

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

There are no comments here! Be the first!


Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.