Sun 09-Dec-12 04:07 PM | edited Sun 09-Dec-12 04:24 PM by blw
In practice, the "loss" of aperture at shorter distances is far less consequential - regardless of which macro lens it is - than one might think. In my experience, it is pretty infrequent that one gets to use maximum aperture in macro work, simply because there is so little DOF. One is nearly always stopping down to gain DOF, and that's even when focus stacking.
Incidentally, the other Micro-Nikkors do this too. The 60/f2.8 AFS is f/4.8 at maximum reproduction ratio (ie minimum focus distance), and the 200/f4 AFD is f/5.6 at 1:1.
In checking the 60, I was reminded of something that I knew but had forgotten to mention: the working distance of the 60 is materially less than the depth of the lens hood. In other words, if you're using the hood, you physically cannot get close enough to reach 1:1! Obviously one has to remove the hood to do that. And it's worth noting that the 60 has the worst resistance to flare of any Nikkor that I've ever seen, and the only lens that's worse is the Sigma 12-24/f4-5.6 which is quite a different beast. I know this because I tripped fell on the lens, destroying the hood, so I had to use it without a hood for a couple of weeks until the replacement hood arrived. In practice this isn't too much of a concern as it is pretty rare to have flare-type problems if you're in toward 1:1 with this lens, but I suppose it could happen.
The 200's hood is a metal screw-on version that is very effective but ridiculously expensive. Unlike the 60 and 105, the hood is not included in the price of the 200 Micro.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!