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Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens Review

Gary Wolstenholme tests the Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function macro lens.

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Handling and features
Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens

This macro lens for Samsung NX cameras provides an angle of view equivalent to a 90mm lens on a 35mm camera and life size magnification at its closest focus. It also includes optical images stabilisation, silent focusing and is available for around £530.

As no third party manufacturers currently produce lenses for the NX system, Samsung have a monopoly on lenses compatible with their cameras.

Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens

Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens Handling and features

The lens barrel is constructed from high quality plastics and the lens mount is metal. It has a smooth glossy finish and a blue metallic ring between the lens body and focusing ring. With a weight of 389g and dimensions of 73.5 x 84mm, it is quite a large, chunky lens when compared to others in the Samsung NX system and when paired with the Samsung NX200 body used for testing, it can feel like an overly lens-heavy combination.

Focusing is performed internally, and the 52mm filter thread doesn't rotate, which is ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. Focus speeds are fast for a macro lens, especially in good light and the thin manual focus ring feels quite smooth to operate. A focus limiter switch is also provided to limit the amount the lens hunts if it does struggle to focus. In manual focus mode the screen instantly magnifies the centre section of the image, making fine adjustments straightforward. This lens supports Samsung's i-Function feature, which allows manual controls to be accessed quickly via a button on the lens body.

The minimum focus distance of 18.7cm is quite close and care may need to be taken not to shade your subject. The optical image stabiliser allows sharp hand-held shots to be taken with a certain degree of success at 1/13, at normal distances, which is roughly three stops slower than the usual rule of thumb would dictate is possible. The stabiliser also does a grand job of steadying the image on-screen, making composition easier at telephoto focal lengths. At close distances, the stabiliser is much less effective although having a steadier image on-screen can help with composition.

Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens

Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens Performance

At maximum aperture, sharpness is very good in the centre of the frame, and clarity remains good towards the edges. Peak clarity across the frame is achieved between f/4 and f/8, where sharpness is excellent across the frame.

Resolution @ 60mm
Resolution @ 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 Samsung NX200 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are kept well under control only reaching 0.66 pixel widths at f/8 towards the edges of the frame. This low level of CA should pose few issues, even in images with high contrast areas near the edges of the frame.

Chromatic aberration @ 60mm
Chromatic aberration @ 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 Samsung NX200 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners is reasonably well controlled for a wide aperture lens with the corners being 1.2 stops darker than the image centre at f/2.8. Stopping down to f/5.6 or beyond results in visually uniform illumination.

A slight amount of barrel distortion is present in images taken with this lens. Imatest detected 0.231% barrel distortion, which is even across the frame, so it should be easy to correct in image editing software afterwards if required.

Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens Sample Photos

A deep circular lens hood is provided with this lens as standard, which does an excellent job of shading the lens from extraneous light that may cause flare or loss of contrast. When shooting into the light, contrast levels are retained well.

Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens Verdict

Although this lens is a little large, chunky and expensive, it produces excellent sharpness across the frame. The optical stabiliser does an excellent job of providing a steady image on screen to aid composition, but isn't as effective at close distances as it is at normal distances. Overall, it is an excellent quality lens, which just about justifies its price.

The Samsung 60mm f/2.8 is a lens of excellent quality.

Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens Pros

Excellent sharpness
Stabilisation is very effective at normal distances
Very good build quality
Fast autofocus for a macro

Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens Cons

A little large and heavy when mounted on a compact NX body
Stabiliser less effective at close distances


Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro Lens Specifications

Lens Mounts
  • Samsung NX
Focal Length60mm
Angle of View26.4
Max Aperturef/2.8
Min Aperturef/32
Filter Size52mm
35mm equivalent90mm
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Min Focus18.7cm
BladesNo Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsLens caps, Soft lens pouch, Lens hood

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18 Mar 2012 8:06PM
Hi i just had this macro lens.. My issue is when i switch to manual focus and if i move/shake the camera i am hearing a sound like glass is moving inside. Its not affecting the operation of the lens though. But if i turn bck to auto focus the lens'sound will disappear.. Is this normal for a macro lens?

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