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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:14 am 
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It appears as if Nikon has introduced a new Micro (macro) Nikkor lens designed for their DX format lineup of cameras. The new AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G is a compact micro lens with a 1:1 magnification ratio. It features Nikon's SIC (Super Integrated Coating) to reduce flare, a built in SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for quick and quiet focusing, CRC (Close-Range Correction) technology for superior focusing at close distances using floating lens elements plus a M/A (manual/auto) focusing switch to quickly turn the ring to manual focus.

This is Nikon's second Micro-Nikkor in the DX lineup, after the AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G VR which was announced third quarter 2009. The main differences between these lenses would be their focal length, physical size, aperture and the lack of VR in the 40mm. Another important factor of the 40mm is that it's priced at $279.95 USD, a full $250 less than the $529.95 USD 85mm Micro.

The 40mm (left) compared to the 85mm (right)

ImageImage

These images are not to scale. As you can evidently see, the 85mm is quite a bit larger.

The MTF charts compared. Again, 40mm is left and 85mm is right.

ImageImage

Looking at the lens design, you can see that the 85mm (right) features 14 elements in 10 groups and offers an ED (Extra Low Dispersion) element (shown in yellow), while the 40mm (left) features only 9 elements in 7 groups with no ED element. Another point to note is that the 40mm offers only a 7 bladed aperture diaphragm, while the 85mm offers a 9 bladed diaphragm, for smoother better rounded bokeh.

ImageImage

This lens seems like a bit of an oddball, it came as a bit of a surprise and the 40mm length is a bit strange for a micro lens. Of course, when you factor in the 1.5 crop, it becomes 60mm which is a much more common focal length, good for macro shots of flowers or as an all-purpose prime.

Access the lens' web page here.

Some sample images...

Image
f/2.8

Image
f/3.2

Image
f/4.2

View the full list of sample images here.

So what's your opinion on this new lens? Would you be interested in buying it when it hits the stores in August?

I hope that I gave you a little more information about this new lens. If you have anything else to add or want to comment on something, post it down below.

Thanks,
-Evan

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


Last edited by EvanK on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:11 am 
no offence to nikon,but as a smart buyer,I would get the Tamron 60mm F/2.0 instead. I really don't find a 40mm F/2.8 that useful.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:41 am 
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I guess that Nikon's attempt with this lens is to make the 60mm focal length available to DX users, or perhaps introduce day-to-day photographers to macro photography with a small, portable lens that doesn't break the bank.
Besides, the Tamron is larger, almost twice the price and gives an equivilant focal length of 90mm on a DX body. Of course, the f/2 aperture is helpful.

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Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:27 am 
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I'd love a wider angle macro lens myself, there's none in Canon-land, but there is one in Sony-land. If I was in Nikon-land, this would be a likely purchase although I'd prefer something a little wider still.

Specifically on the Tamron 60mm, it is reported to have a poor MF implementation, which is quite important in macro.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:48 am 
see? how awesome would've been a 35 or 30mm macro?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:50 am 
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Tokina has a 35mm macro lens for APS-C bodies?

And if you want it wide, my Sigma 10mm fisheye focuses VERY close.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:02 pm 
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There's wide angle, and there's macro, but you don't really get any magnification once you get very wide. Even around 30mm or so, the working distance already is getting rather non-existent.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:01 pm 
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1:3.3 isn't bad though for a fisheye.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:04 am 
All I could think about when I saw this new less was: How's less than seven hundred bucks for an impressive set of Nikkor fast prime lenses? Sounds like a joke? Well, that's just what you'd spend if you bought the 35mm F/1.8, the 50mm F/1.8 and the new 40mm micro F/2.8.

If this new lens is up to the optical quality of the 35mm and 50mm, we are talking about a serius piece of equipment at a great price!

Besides, 60mm equiv is a great focal length for macro, I wouldn't get close to a bees nest with it, but for most other things it looks like a good choice for me, the more given that the 85mm is twice as costly.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:49 am 
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Looking at the charts this should be a pretty sharp lens. As Baren mentioned, you could get this with the 35 and the 50 for under $700, which is a tremendous deal! You'd have your small, compact 40mm micro for quick flower shots, your 35mm for everyday shots of whatever and your 50mm for portraits.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:58 am 
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I bough my AF-S 60mm macro a couple of years ago, and I've always been happy with it. I think it must be better optically than the new 40mm macro.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:40 pm 
I think you should consider distance between the lens and the subject (there are minimum distances).

If you want to shoot bees or bugs on flowers maybe you want some distance before you disturb them and they fly away.

I am pretty sure a 40mm lens will do a nice job but I just want to say that maybe you want more range in some situations.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:05 pm 
Thanks for the review Evan.

As a noob in DSLR macro I was wondering about the lack of VR in this lens.
For the price is it a good trade off?
Considering that I will attempt most of the shots hand holding at a decent shutter speed or on a tripod.

Thanks for any feedback.

Srini[/img]


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:33 pm 
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Hey, Srini

The lack of VR shouldn't be a problem. Nikon's 60mm f/2.8 Micro doesn't have VR either and doesn't generally cause any inconvenience to people. For outdoors, you should be able to get quick shutter speeds hand held (otherwise I'd use a flash) so VR wouldn't really have too much of an effect, and otherwise you'd probably be on a tri-pod where using VR actually degrades the IQ.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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