Micro-NIKKOR 55mm f/2.8
Sharpest Nikkor I’ve had
I have had three 300 2.8’s, three or four 300 f4’s, a 105 2.8 micro, this 55 Micro, 24 2.8 and a few other Nikkors. This 55 2.8 has simply remarkable clarity. images taken with this lens are bright and significantly clearer than all my other images. Maybe this is why they have not archived this lens. The model you see there is the very model I had back in the 1980’s.
April 14, 2012
Best lens ever!
I carried this lens + FE2 across four continents and used it for everything from close-up nature shots to astronomy to concert venues. Also shot artwork for insurance purposes, where the macro really shone. Mostly Kodachrome and Tri-X pan. A lightweight, very versatile lens, and the smoothest focus action. Sometimes I did wish for it to be just a little wider angle, but ease of having one lens that did nearly everything was unmatched.
December 2, 2011
Sharpness and micro capability are great.
Good for taking pictures of flowers and all general subjects. PK-13 works well with this lens.Light weight and built to last a lifetime.
November 24, 2011
Excellent lens to keep in your gear bag
I've had this lens as my go-to lens for doing quick and dirty copy work (like copying a mug shot handout from the police department, copying info from a sports program, etc.) in my years as a photojournalist. In addition to doing copy work, it's also good as a normal lens and for those occasional extreme close-ups when I'm trying to be artistic. It's also a very light lens, so it's not such a burden to carry in my camera bag.
June 23, 2011
Sharpest Nikkor ever?
This was the first Nikkor lens I ever bought... what a great choice it turned out to be. I have used it for about 30 years now. I shot Kodak Technical Pan film with it and made huge enlargements with great results. If you don't know, Tech Pan was the finest grain film Kodak ever produced. Today I still use it on my D3 and D3X bodies, and I'm certain of the best image quality possible. I love this lens.
April 16, 2011
A great lens
I got this lens only recently, but it has impressed me. I got it to use on my film body, but I have also used it on DX format digital.
I think this lens will replace my 50mm f/1.4 AI-S lens for general use. Although the fast speed and ability to minimize depth of field is nice, the 50mm f/1.4 is a little weak at the larger apertures (of course). This 55mm f/2.8 seems sharper and I like the ability to focus close. Both lenses have their uses, but in halfway decent light there is no reason not to just use the slower lens.
I have the latest 60mm f/2.8 AF-S micro which I use on my D40. This older design seems comparable in most aspects, perhaps a little softer wide open at infinity, but just as sharp stopped down a little or close up in my experiences thus far, which is to say, extremely sharp.
The newer lens does have autofocus (not very useful if you are shooting in macro ranges, though) and the Nano crystal coating; I am guessing this lens would have more flare/ghosts than the modern version if sunlight was hitting the lens directly, but the front element of this lens is so deeply recessed that it is pretty unlikely. The barrel of this lens seems sufficient as a hood.
The new lens also focuses all the way down to 1:1 on film or the sensor, whereas this lens only focuses down to 1:2 without an extension tube. I rarely need to get closer than 1:2 for my shooting, but it is something to be aware of. I do have a PK-13 extension tube, but haven't used it yet.
The minimum focus distance is 9.86" or 0.25 meters, so like all macro lenses with relatively short focal length, the working distance is fairly short. It's about 4 inches at the maximum 1:2 magnification. It is possible you will block your own light or scare your subject if you are shooting insects etc. with this lens. In those cases you should probably look at a longer macro lens. I don't find it to be a problem for my uses.
One thing to note is that this lens extends a lot as you focus down to 1:2 magnification, unlike the modern lens which does everything internally. It extends to almost four inches from the flange at the maximum magnification, and longer if you are using extension tubes, of course.
Also like the modern lens, this lens does lose light as you focus closer. Sometimes my split image rangefinder blacks out a little, but it is still usable. If you meter externally you will need to find the exposure compensation factors at the various distances.
July 31, 2010
A great little lens...
I've had at least one of these in my bag since 1991. Works great as both a macro lens and a normal lens. It does have the ability to create sunstars if stopped down to f/22 while shooting with the sun in the frame.
My favorite combination with this lens is a Nikon F or a Nikkormat. Small enough to carry around, yet has the capability of locking the mirror up for low-light situations.
July 30, 2010
Para quem gosta de macro...
Estou contente com a precisão e qualidade das fotos principalmente quando se trabalha com macro!
April 24, 2012
We just had the product for a month. We treated our camera like a baby and we still got a broken lense. We sent it to Nikkon and they won't pay for the repair. Very dissapointed I wish I could take everything back.
August 11, 2011