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Customer Reviews

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VINE VOICEon May 5, 2008
Who would have thought that Nikon could have improved on the already excellent 60mm micro? How?

1) It no longer extends when focusing.

2) Hood is now included, and is bayonet style, not screw on.

3) AFS. Quiet focusing.

4) 9 nine rounded aperture blades (instead of 7 straight) for very pleasant bokeh.

5) As sharp as the old one.

6) New Nano crystal coatings supposed provide better color and contrast (only time will tell on this one).

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. Shop around, there are better prices at good stores. Avoid Broadway photo and its related sites.
33 comments|148 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 16, 2008
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.
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33 comments|102 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 29, 2008
An excellent lens. AF and MF both work well on my D200 in macro work and general use. AF-S lets the focus be easily controlled manually after AF, without moving switches. It's a good size match for the D200-300 line. It shouldn't overwhelm the smaller Nikon bodies.

The 60mm focal length gives more perspective & depth compared to longer lenses. It's also great for informal portraitsnon DX format, fitting into the short end of the classic 85-105mm range from film. I like all these aspects. They do mean there's a wider background and you're closer to the subject compared to longer alternatives.

Close focus is a hair tighter than 1:1. You have about 7.5" from the sensor-film plane to the subject. This translates to just under 2" from the lens front, or 1/2" from the front of the hood. The hood can be a problem that close. Backing off to 1:1.5 gains about an inch of distance. DX gives 1x1.5" field there to match 1:1 on FX or film. By 1:3 you've got 4+ inches in front of the hood. You get used to adjusting focus and framing with a mix of lens and camera movements. It's easier in practice than some have described, even on a tripod.

The lens is incredibly sharp and contrasty. You stop down from wide-open for DOF, not because you need better sharpness. Papery low contrast detail on flowers is captured well. Out of focus areas are smooth. Some say it's got the best Micro-Nikkor optics ever (see Bjorn Rorslett's site). You have to look hard to see this lens's few optical flaws (like barely visible CA).

Possible drawbacks (debatable):

The 60 mm focal length is short for some people's taste. Longer macro lenses do give greater working distance. Instead the 60 AF-S is smaller & lighter than 90-105mm macro-micro lenses. The price is lower if you're comparing Nikkors.

Manual focus gearing is quite fast. Infinity to close focus is about 180 deg. Finger tip movements take it from infinity to 7 feet. Manual focus gearing works better in the near range. Slower gearing or even variable ratio would help, though.

[Edited to correct focus & working distances]
0Comment|79 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 6, 2009
The AF-S 60mm micro is a real improvement to the AF-D 60mm micro in many ways...
1. It has a SWM motor, and focusing is really fast and quiet!
2. The lens is sharp from f/2.8, so sharp it'll cut you!
3. The barrel does not extend.
4. It comes with a lens hood, HB-42.
5. Nano Crystal coasting.
6. 9 round aperture blades, which makes the bokeh consistently round.

On a DX camera, this 60mm becomes a 90mm field of view lens. It is good not only for close up work, but you can use it as a portrait lens, and you are guarenteed sharpness.

With the above improvements, and being such a great lens, there are also some problems to it. The SWM is so fast that it can actually overshoot the focusing, and then it just stops. You'll need to press the shutter release button again to focus. This lens viginettes more than the AF-D lens on a FX body. The resolution also starts to decline significantly after f/16.

This is the world's first professtional aspherical macro lens. For the year 2008, Nikon picked up 5 Amateur Photographic Awards, of which the AF-S 60mm f/2.8G got the award in the Fixed Focal Length of the Year category.
11 comment|50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I've owned virtually all of Nikon's short macro lenses, going back to the 1970's, and I have to say, this is the best of them all - and that's saying something.

Not only does it have fast and accurate autofocus (although the previous AF version wasn't bad either), it just gives you jaw-dropping detail, whether you use it close up or focused at infinity.

The 60mm is a little short for serious closeup work as it puts you right on top of the subject...this is why some people prefer the 105, and I might agree if I shot FX-sensor cameras exclusively. But on a DX sensor, this acts more like a 90mm lens, and that's plenty comfortable for the type of work I do. Indeed, I find when I go REALLY close, I tend to use an old-fashioned bellows setup, and again, here I like the 60 instead of the 105.

One point about this particular lens is that it's not just incredibly sharp and contrasty - it also has a wonderfully flat field of focus. On the older lenses, if you photograph, say, stamps or other flat objects, you may have had issues with the corners being slightly out of focus due to curvature of field. Not so with this one, which is flat right out to the corners.

It also makes a great normal lens for day-to-day use, for those of us who like to travel light and leave the monster zooms home.

Highly recommended.
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on February 27, 2010
I use a full frame Nikon camera that is sensitive to low light and can use an f/2.8 lenses in very low-light settings. This is a great lens for macro and general use. It renders close subjects exceptionally well with awesome bokeh. Many sometimes criticize this lens as too short for macro use because you have to get too close to your subject, but except for moving bugs, I have no trouble at all approaching things (flowers, coins in museums, historic documents, etc.) nor do I have any trouble with a lack of available light because of the closeness. However, where this lens really shines is as a general purpose one that you can walk around with knowing that you can capture almost anything because it has superior performance as a "normal" lens and the ability to get close to small subjects if you want to do so. As a normal lens, it produces super sharp pictures even wide open. When I compare the pictures from my Nikon 50mm f/1.4g AFS at f/2.8 to this one at f/2.8, the 60mm produces pictures that have an almost 3-D quality and is much better at differentiating the primary subject from background. At all f-stops, the background is rendered exceptionally well as the bokeh is smooth and great aesthetically. So I often debate whether to carry this lens on my camera virtually all of the time on a day-trip with the family or the 50mm. This one wins more than half of the time because of its clarity and smooth bokeh at f2.8 and the 3-D (depth) quality. The 50mm wins when I want super isolation or it is very dark. However, this lens is so good that if you have a full frame camera that can really use all of its features, the 60mm could be the only lens you ever use or one of two (the Nikon 24mm f/2.8 being the other) that can capture almost 100% of the pictures you would "like" to take. This lens is an extremely well built, extremely useful lens that produces exceptional pictures. I think it is one of those lenses that is destined to be considered a "classic" and I am pretty sure that it will hold its value for resale should you decide you would rather have a zoom lens.
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on March 29, 2010
Received this lens 2 days after ordering from Amazon. This lens did not disappoint me. It is very very sharp. It passed my own AF focus test easily and the AF is very accurate. I didn't compare the AF speed with other lenses as this is a macro lens which typically has slower AF when comparing to other normal (non-macro) lenses.

This little gem has the best technologies Nikon offers currently: Silent Wave motor, AFS, IF (internal focusing), ED Glass, 9-blade rounded diaphragm, and Nano coating. To my knowledge, there is no other Nikon lenses that sell for less and still have all these technologies. The only thing it missed is VR which will make it "perfect".

In additon to very sharp, I also like the background blurry a lot. The lens is very light when comparing to the Nikon 105 VR. This makes it very usable for hand-held close-ups which is the purpose I bought it for.

I'd recommend this lens to anyone who look for a macro lens with a different prospective (than 105 VR) with a Nikon FF camera. You should also consider this lens if you are thinking to get a standard lens (like 50mm f1.4). This lens can focus from a few inches all the way to infinite while normal lenses requires a minimum focus distance of 2-3 feet or more. Also macro lenses are typically sharper than non-macro lenses.

[Updated on 3/30/2010]
Just finished processing the first major batch of images shot with this lens. The color is so vivid and brilliant. The blurry background is so beautiful. The lens is a gem. Highly recommended.

[Updated on 4/24/2010]
I tested the AF today. The AF for this lens is actually very fast. Compare to my other lenses, AF speed for subject great than 2 feet, this lens AF faster than 85 f1.4 and my Sigma 50 f1.4. So I would not say it's slow AF any more.

The more I used it, the more I like it. The images are very sharp.

I also think this lens is a great value considering its great IQ and price.
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 31, 2013
Like many people before me, i bought this lens with dreams of having a 2 for 1 macro/portrait lens combo. After some real world testing, i have realized this lens doesn't quite live up to the aforementioned dream.
As a macro lens i have nothing but great words to say, as do others so i won't bore anyone with those details.

As a portrait lens, some things of note:
1. This lens seems to have great troubles focusing on anything more than about 5 feet away in anything but perfect lighting conditions. At one point, I stood trying to focus on a tree with some moderately harsh backlighting and the thing just would not focus. It THOUGHT it locked focus but upon zooming in, it was not.
2. Spherecromatism on this thing is pretty severe wide open. If you are somewhat close to the subject and don't have EXACT focus, specular reflections on the eye will appear as magenta or green blobs, depending on front or back focus.
3. Bokeh on this lens isn't what its hyped to be, at least not for me, and it doesn't handle out of focus highlights very gracefully.
4. As another reviewer stated, this lens flares up very easily if there is any type of adverse back lighting.

In a studio environment these problems would mostly become minor nuisances, but in the real world they are deal killers. Sorry, i really wanted to like this lens, but i could not. If you are expecting to use this as a portrait lens, i would think twice, except for studio use. Even the 'ED' glass and 'Nanocoating' can't save it.
Clearly Nikon had to make some compromises to get the extreme flat sharpness.
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on October 11, 2008
I upgraded from the old 60 mm macro lens. This is definitely a step up. It's a very sharp lens and focus is lightning fast comparatively.

The one thing I did notice, however, is that you can't shoot at f/2.8 throughout the entire range. Focusing at 18.5 cm, the closest the lens can go, the most open you can get it is f/4.8. Between 18.5 cm and infinity it gradually opens up, giving you f/2.8 focusing at about one meter.
22 comments|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 28, 2013
Sharp pictures with nice bokeh. I've found this is a much more difficult lens to use than I expected, but it produces great pictures with a little extra effort.

Here are some things I think are important to note:

- the maximum aperture reduces as you focus closer (2.8 at just over a meter, 4.8 at closest distance)
- can get pictures as close as 2-3 inches from the front of the lens
- an LED ring light is a pretty inexpensive way to help with close pictures
- the autofocus is quiet and fast
- the lens hood covers the focus ring completely when installed backwards

Thinking that it would be like a normal prime lens that could just focus closer, I was hoping to use it as a walk-around lens in place of my 50mm 1.4. However, because of the reducing maximum aperture I've found it to be more a specialty lens. That said, I'm still very happy with it.
0Comment|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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