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

The Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro-Nikkor lens is a good general, all-purpose lens for macro photography. At medium ranges, it also performs quite adequately as a general photography lens as well.

It features many of Nikon’s recent technological advances in camera lens technology. It provides a clear, crisp picture that is as faithful to real-life reproduction of the subject as any camera lens currently can.

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

Classification

Don’t be confused by Nikon’s use of the newer, hipper phrase “micro lens”. For all practical purposes, the Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro-Nikkor is a macro photography lens. It performs the same functions in the same situations as a macro lens does.

Actual user review:
“Who would have thought that Nikon could have improved on the already excellent 60mm micro? How? It no longer extends when focusing. Hood is now included, and is bayonet style, not screw on. It offers quiet focusing. 9 nine rounded aperture blades (instead of 7 straight) deliver very pleasant bokeh. THe new Nano crystal coatings provides better color and contrast. Is it worth the upgrade? Check this list and see if these are important to you. If not, you can pick us a used 60mm AF(D) micro or maybe still find a new one for less money. As I was not replacing but buying a short macro for the first time, I got this latest version and am very very happy with it. Is it worth the higher price? I certainly think so, but others may disagree.” – R. Lanthier (VA,USA)

Specifications

The Nikon AF-S has a focal length of 60mm, with a maximum aperture of 2.8 stops (minimum aperture is the standard 32). It’s minimum focus distance for extreme close-ups is just over seven inches (18.3 cm), a comfortable distance that allows the photographer room to reach out and adjust the subject if necessary. It has either manual or automatic focusing, and the autofocus provides continual focus from infinity to life size reproduction (1:1 ratio).

Features

A relatively new arrival to the market, the Nikon 60mm f/2.8G Micro-Nikkor takes full advantage of Nikon’s latest development in photographic lens technology.

Two unique aspherical lens elements are designed to almost completely eliminate lens aberration (like coma), even at the aperture that is the widest. The outer lens is coated with Nikon’s Nano Crystal coating, which eliminates internal reflections within the lens. The SIC (Super Integrated Coating) reduces lens flare and ghosting, and ensures better color balance in high-contrast pictures. Finally, Nikon’s ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) glass, used in the lenses, is designed to eliminates the prism-like color dispersion of regular glass, resulting in better image sharpness and more accurate color representation of the subject.

Nikon’s Internal Focusing technology focuses the lens by adjusting the optical elements within in the lens barrel itself, rather than moving and adjusting the length of the barrel. This allows smoother and faster autofocusing. As the length of the lens barrel does not change during focusing, this allows to the use of lightweight, compact lenses ale to achieve closer focusing distances.

Another new element is Nikon’s SWM (Silent Wave Motor) that enables a faster and quieter auto-focusing with minimal motor vibrations that may cause blurring in the final photograph.

Negatives

The Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED Micro-Nikkor’s lack of vibration reduction technology essentially requires the use of a tripod for macro photography. Attempting to use this lens with a hand-held camera creates for extreme close-ups results in extreme difficulty keeping it in focus, and will most likely result in a blurry shot. On the other hand, some would argue, you only get what you pay for. Camera lenses with good vibration reduction technology are usually considerably more expensive.

Another negative about this lens is that the automatic focus is relatively slow, especially compared to similar lenses manufactured by other companies. Considering that one of the goal of Nikon’s Internal Focus technology was to speed up the autofocus procures, this is somewhat puzzling.

Bottom Line

The Nikon 60mm f/2.8G Micro-Nikkor is a very versatile lens with a wide range of uses beyond the obvious purpose of macro photography. It is excellent for plant, wildlife, and landscape photography, portraiture, copy work (such as for maps and documents), and even photojournalism.

It is one of those lenses that is a smart purchase for both professionals and amateur photography enthusiasts. For hobbyists, the Nikon 60mm Micro-Nikkor performs quite well as a general photography lens, as well as being a good, all-purpose macro lens for amateurs experimenting with close-up photography. It’s comparatively low price is well within the price range of hobbyists.

For professionals, the Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro-Nikkor is a good item to have in your lens bag when you go into the field. At medium ranges, it serves well as a general photography lens, as well as an excellent macro lens when the opportunity for close-up shots present themselves. Given all of the cutting-edge features it contains, it is quite reasonably priced.

Average User Rating:

  • “I bought this lens as my entry into shooting macro and haven’t been at all disappointed. I was concerned about the claimed 7.2″ minimum focus but apparently, that’s only for the auto-focus because focusing manually I can get down to 2 or 3 inches. All images are superbly sharp with good color reproduction. This lens will not disappoint, however, if distance is a concern you may wish to look at the Sigma 150mm Macro or Nikon’s own 105mm Micro lens. After being so satisfied with this Nikon 60mm I broke down and bought the Sigma 150mm macro as well and I’m glad I did. Both have their specific uses and sometimes the shorter focal length of this Nikon is exactly what I need for a specific situation. The Sigma is at least as sharp and perhaps a little more versatile as well as being (arguably), one of the best macro lenses currently available. Unless you need to really keep your distance, this lens will serve your needs and blow you away with the crisp detail and accurately saturated color in the pictures you’ll produce. I didn’t think I could get close enough to some subjects but working slowly, I’ve had the end of this lens within 2-inches of wild fence lizards and inside of the minimum possible focal distance with subjects like grasshoppers and bees. It’s almost one of those rare “can’t go wrong” situations. Buy it, you’ll be glad you did. “ – D.Renner (AZ,USA)
  • “This is a really nice Nikkor lens, incredibly sharp, changing from AF to manual focus is done on the fly, great results, it does what it is designed for really well. AF is great in good lighting, it hunts a bit in low lighting conditions. Overall this is one of Nikon’s best lenses.” – P.Gheorghian (OR,USA)

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