Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor

 
Lens Reviews / Nikon Lenses i Lab tested

Lab Test Results

  • Blur
  • Chromatic Aberration
  • Vignetting
  • Geometric Distortion
60mm $517
average price
image of Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor

(From Nikon lens literature) The most compact Nikon Micro-Nikkor lens for portrait, copy work, and field close-up applications. Close Range Correction (CRC) system provides high performence at both near and far focusing distances. Continuous focusing from infinity to life-size (1:1).

Test Notes

While intended as a macro lens, this 60mmm f/2.8 optic would also make a decent portrait lens on Nikon digital SLRs: With the 1.5x crop factor of Nikon's DX sensors, this lens equates to about a 90mm lens on a 35mm camera.

I confess to being a bit unpleasantly surprised by this lens. Given that it's a prime (non-zoom) lens of modest focal length, I was really expecting superior performance from it, more akin to that of the excellent 105mmm f/2.8 micro Nikkor that I've used extensively on my D70 body. Instead, performance was decidedly mediocre wide open, with the whole left side of the frame noticeably soft. Things did get sharper as we stopped down, but you really shouldn't have to stop down a prime 60mm selling at street prices close to $400 to get decent performance.

The lens did better on the other parameters we measure directly, showing fairly good levels of chromatic aberration and very good shading and geometric distortion figures.

Away from the test lab though, we also observed another unfortunate tendency: While we don't have a good quantative measurement for it, this len seemed to produce far more than its share of flare, whenever there was a light source of any kind in the field of view.

At the end of the day, I'd have to say that this is only a mediocre lens, not really worth its relatively high selling price. There's not a lot on the market that directly competes with it, apart from the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro (which we haven't tested yet, as I write this in early 2006). If you can afford the price difference, it would be well worth saving your pennies to get the excellent 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor. Or, for just a slight increment in street price, consider the very sharp Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro. (The Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro might be a good buy as well, but I obviously can't recommend it directly until we've had chance to test it.)

Nikon 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor User Reviews

9.2/10 average of 21 reviews Build Quality 9.0/10 Image Quality 9.5/10
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (5 reviews)

    very, very good lens
    one of the best I have, although it is kind of old already - I have it since 2006 - it works great on film and digital, all of the product shots I have are made with it - if someone is interested - http://www.dreamstime.com/astrug_info

    reviewed January 18th, 2015
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (4 reviews)
    Image
    Aperture

    SUPER PORTRAINT LENS ON DX

    reviewed January 26th, 2012
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (7 reviews)
    Extremely sharp when stopped down
    Terrible corner sharpness at f2.8 and often require artificial lighting, a tripod or a flash to get results.

    Extremely sharp when stopped down but forget about using it wide open because it is just a blur in the corners and just mediocre in the center.

    reviewed December 4th, 2011
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (7 reviews)
    Sharp, reasonable range, versitile, better focus speed than expected, f2.8.
    None

    You just can't ask for better image quality, this is "the stuff", decent macro range for flowers and stuff that you can't "scare off". This 60mm is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used, works for people, pets, flowers, big bugs, copy work, products..and whatever else life throws into it's focal length. Add one if you don't already have this range covered, and easy choice.

    The lens used for the SLRgear review must have been defective, i hope they test it again someday.

    reviewed February 6th, 2009 (purchased for $275)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (31 reviews)
    quality stopped down
    out of focu quality

    Both in DX and FF, this Micro has absolutely fantastic quality.
    The best is with close up subjects, but it has extremly high results with distant subject, too.
    The bokeh is perhaps worst than the new AFS, but the definition (without any CA and color fringing problem) is at top until f16 and more.
    I've the AF non-D version, and I'd never met any problem with flare or unexpected ghosting.
    The AF is slow, but precise (and it isn't important in Macro photography).

    reviewed December 8th, 2008 (purchased for $360)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (8 reviews)
    VERY sharp, sturdy construction, great for macro
    super noisy operation, focus hunts

    This is by far my favourite lens, really fun to use and very versitile, good portrait lens and excellent for macro, put a UV filter on it though, if you get dirt in it ti's a bitch to clean,

    very happy with this lens, i played with the new AFS version and i found the build quality to be very cheap and i don't think it was any where near as sharp when comparing images side by side,

    reviewed October 3rd, 2008 (purchased for $400)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    Nice build quality...very sharp
    105mm is probably better for macro

    I really question why they posted this review. Obviously they received a bad sample. Dropped? This is generally considered one of the sharpest lens Nikon makes. I would ignore the results above. Don't take my word for it though...check out the following links.

    http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_60_28/index.htm

    http://www.photodo.com/product_42_p4.html

    Clearly the review at photozone and the MTF curves and photodo show this lens sharp wide open. Regarding the lens. The build quality is quite nice. This lens is great for macro and can be used for portraits. Although it is not as fast as the 50 f1.8.

    reviewed November 22nd, 2007
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (20 reviews)
    Sharp !!! Exellent bokeh
    Not so fast

    Great lens. I use it for portraits and have exellent results ! Sharpest lens I ever had. Not so fast, don't have VR, but it's hard to unmount it from my body =)

    reviewed July 16th, 2007 (purchased for $465)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (12 reviews)
    Very sharp, Good limit switch
    Need to be very close to subject

    I have used this lens at work a few times and as one of the Micro Nikkor lenses allows for magnification up to 1:1. It has quite an old design including a push button autofocus ring that takes a bit of getting used to. The focus limit switch is very handy though, allowing you to lock the lens in either standard or macro regions. Switching to full allows focussing from infinity all the way down to 22cm.

    Images taken with this lens are always very sharp and it enables you to make your subject really fill the frame. However, even when using this lens on a Nikon camera with its 1.5x crop, it can feel like you are having to get physically closer to your subject than you want, especially when the barrel extends!

    I have experienced a peculiarity when using this lens on an old Nikon D1. While this is a constant aperture lens I could not get it to allow me to stay at f/2.8 when using the macro facility with it dropping all the way to f/5.6 at the minimum focus distance.

    This lens may not be fully functional on the D40 due to its lack of an internal motor.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (4 reviews)
    Excellent Lens
    None

    This is one very, very sharp lens. If you want to do close up macro photography is is one of the lens you should have in your bag. It's MSRP price is around $630.00 but can be purchased used for around $300.00. Get one you will not regret it.

    reviewed January 8th, 2007 (purchased for $281)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (2 reviews)
    Great product lens. Allows you to get extreemly close
    None

    I bought this lens to do product shots of small to medium items and it has performed perfectly. It is extremely sharp and the colors are well saturated. Also, there is minimal distortion when used properly. I tried the 110mm Macro and found that I had to be too far away from the object I was photographing to get the results I wanted. The build quality on the 60mm Macro is excellent.

    reviewed December 29th, 2006 (purchased for $369)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (36 reviews)
    Excellent build quality, my sample is extremely sharp
    focal length too short for small animals, and shortens as you focus closer

    I would recommend this lens, but with reservations.

    This is a great lens, at least the one I have is. Tack sharp, high contrast, great build quality. I bought it when I moved from film to digital, thinking that its 90mm equivalent would make it about as ideal for small animal photos as the 105mm micro Nikkor I had been using for film shots.

    I quickly realized that was a mistake. As with many modern macro designs, this one shortens its focal length as it focuses closer. Lens to subject distance is far too short for small shy lizards and insects, in general. The problem gets worse as you focus closer. I still own the lens, and still use it occasionally for plants and other things that are not likely to be worried by a short lens to subject distance. the extra depth of field is nice. However, for animals I always use a 105 Micro, and I would recommend that focal length as an all-around macro lens above the 60.

    (added later--a later reviewer commented that themaximum aperture of lens dropped to f/5.6 at minimum focusing distance; this is completely normal; the Nikon DSLRs report the actual effective aperture, and for any physical lens opening, this decreases as the lens extends. You will notice that if you set it to minimum aperture you can get down to at least f/45, although actually using this is a mistake because of the huge effects of diffraction at such tiny lens openings; there is lots of depth of field, but everything looks blurry).

    reviewed December 29th, 2006
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (8 reviews)

    Sharpest Nikkor at less than 7' Excellent contrast.

    One of the only 2 Nikkors with "no measurable distortion", so it now widely used for macro-panoramas.

    If one prints large detailed landscapes, what matters is resolution of 40lp/mm. This lens resolve 0,61 at f/8, ranking 2d of all Nikkors in current production.

    I sell a lot of 12x18" wildflower prints made with this lens. It's a bargain.

    reviewed December 27th, 2006 (purchased for $450)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (8 reviews)
    Micro 60mm with true 1:1 repro
    nothing much, but 60mm is not for photographing insects

    I borrowed this len from a friend for a couple of weeks, and shot a couple of rolls with it. Is light-weight and is made more of metals then the common plastic lenses you see these days. At f/2.8 it isnt slow either, but to my experience, AF can be slightly sluggish when at close range (near 1:1). Limiting the focus range or better still, manually focusing is much better. The focus distance indicator didnt really help (since the hyperfocal markings are so small) unless you are working at near 1:1 range, in which case is superb. There is a manual/AF ring on the lens itself, which took me while to get use to, but became useful once you get the hang of it (I had problems initially when I could not remember if I turned AF off on the camera body or on the lens).

    Being a micro, as expected the lens has extreamly good defination. I didnt take much 'non-micro' shots to compare corner sharpness. But being a prime I would worry a thing about it. Color is beautify natural and although it lacks a bayonet lens hood, the front element is deeply seated into the lens. Flare is the least of the problems.

    The unit that I borrowed was quite well abused. It had a badly dented filter/front mount and a cracked (but functional) MF/AF ring. With the lens elements clean and scratch free, it still functioned perfectly giving beautiful micro shots (but could not focus at infinity due to the badly dented front mount which could no longer recess into the lens to be focused at infinity, lens design draw back? Maybe, I dont know). I therefore stand my this len's built quality.

    Buy? Yes unless you want to photography insects and other creatures in which getting within 22/33cm of the film/sensor plane is not possible and/or otherwise dangerous. As mentioned earlier the front mount does extend about another few cm then focused at 22mm, which usually scared insects away.

    reviewed December 26th, 2006
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (9 reviews)
    sharpness, contrast, saturation

    I often use this as a "walk-around" lens, because it allows me to walk right up to anything small, or take a lovely portrait. Here are links to three of the kind of shots I enjoy from this lens.
    http://www.pbase.com/deanzat/image/52679250
    http://www.pbase.com/deanzat/image/30583636
    http://www.pbase.com/deanzat/image/52679247

    I'm sure I'm not as serious about photography as most of the people on this site, but this lens helps me get the images I want, because of its flexibility.

    reviewed December 12th, 2006 (purchased for $350)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (5 reviews)
    Build and image quality
    Quite big and heavy

    Surprisingly fast focus, manual focusing usable. M/A focus switch is bit funny.

    When used with care seems to give brilliant results, but getting decent macro photos is demanding. Besides for macro photos it seems to be quite nice for upper torso portraits.

    reviewed November 27th, 2006 (purchased for $390)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (9 reviews)
    Excellent optics and build quality
    -

    This lens has been one of the bests I ever used. I did not personnaly owned it, but borrowed it from my dad for my travels, several years in a row- I wish I never had to give it back !!
    Using it on a film F801, it was just the perfect combination - I lve the 60mm for any kind of pictures, and this lens is simply great. Nothing to say about picture quality, I never had any problems mentionned in this review. Build quality is greqt, since I cqrried it qll over the world, dropped it in the sand and took it up on mountains without any misfunction.
    Now, on the D70, it still is a really good lens, especially for macro (tripod required).

    reviewed November 24th, 2006 (purchased for $700)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (8 reviews)
    excellent sharpness in near macro range, good color rendition
    AF is almost unuseable

    I have to disagree with the test review of this lens. It treats it as a normal lens, which this is not. It is a macro lens, you would use it for things that are close up, not far away. It is true that far away the performance is not fantastic, but close up this lens shines. For flowers and other things that you can really get close to this is a fantastic way to get there. For skittish animals etc. longer lenses are better, but if sharpness in the near macro range and good solid construction are what you are looking for this lens provides them at an extremely reasonable price.

    reviewed November 23rd, 2006 (purchased for $390)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    Sharp images

    I was able to take the best pictures of my daughter I have ever taken while using this lens. I was sitting about a foot and a half from her. The pictures are so sharp, shooting RAW on my D200 required NO post production sharpening at all. No changes to contrast, color, or tint. The colors were so right on true, her face was so clear, I can see the pours on her skin, as they appear in real life.
    I've also used it for what it was built, and took some close up pictures of flowers, they were also sharp and required no post production editing, even the Bokeh was exceptional in these shots.
    I wish they would redesign the focusing, I'd like to see all the elements stay in the barrel.
    About the only dissapointment I've had, and maybe this is the fault of the R1C1 and Nikon, not the lens, is that I had to purchase an extra adapter ring to use the R1C1 flash kit. I didn't mind spending the money, but as this is my only micro to date, but the UR-5 is so very hard to get. I waited for months, finally getting the only one Calumet Camera had in their entire stock. They have several on order, but like other lenses, Nikon hasn't released enough for demand.

    reviewed November 23rd, 2006 (purchased for $429)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (18 reviews)
    image qulaity, build quality
    AF not to quick

    Rescued my copy from a uncaring home on Ebay. After a good clean and a new lens cap it delivered excellent quality. Use it mostly for flowers at f8 through f11.

    Always gave excellent image qulaity.

    This is now an old design and its not up with the best for focus speed and the Manual / Auto selector is a bit clunky.

    Also found that the extending barrel would occasionaly trap my fingers if not careful. The gearing and the D200's motor mean that this can hurt !

    Eventually sold mine to fund a 105VR which gives a handheld macro capability for chasing dragonflies etc etc.

    If you are patient enough and have a tripod then give it a go.

    Colourperfect

    reviewed November 21st, 2006 (purchased for $300)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    sharp all the way around, 1:1 macro
    none; does exactly what it's designed to do

    I don't know if the original reviewer on this site had a bad copy of the lens or what, but I didn't experience any of the problems he describes. I've used this lens ery successfully for any number of macro photos, as well as portraits, and it's worked quite well in those functions. I've seen no flaring, nor have I seen left-sided blurriness.

    This lens is considered one of the sharpest, if not the sharpest, lens that Nikon makes, at least by the cogniscenti at dpreview.com's nikon slr lens forum. I bought the lens based on their recommendations, and I've had only good results since.

    A few caveats: I would not use this lens for bugs, as to get true 1:1 reproductions, you have to be quite close, and they'll probably scatter before you can get there. Spiders are an exception, as they tend to sit still when at the center of their webs. Handholding can be difficult when fully focused in, because any shake in your hands will immediately transfer to the image itself, so you will need good technique.

    reviewed September 8th, 2006 (purchased for $350)