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Lens Reviews

General information about Nikkor macro lenses


Keywords: micro, macro, nikkor, lenses, nikon, 55mm, 105mm, 60mm, d300s, 40mm, 85mm, pc_e

written by Tim Cady Photographer and Berger Bros employee.

Nikon's macro lenses have always had a special appeal to me and to many other photographers. These specialized lenses, of superior optics, combined with close focusing capabilities to actual size ratios, or even larger ratios with extension devices such as a bellows or extension tubes, can go far and beyond the call of duty.  The early Micro-Nikkor 55mm f2.8 was a historically important lens that proved itself in the 1970’s and 1980’s many times over with its versatility due to its high performance characteristics.


AF Micro NIKKOR 60 mm 1:2,8D

Speaking of history, the 55mm f2.8 Micro-Nikkors, the 105mm f2.8 Micro-Nikkors and the medical Micro-Nikkors are still very sought after lenses with very high resolving power and real world performance.

I mention real world performance because all of these Micro-Nikkor lenses are not only suited for close-up work but can “multi-task” as wonderful portrait lenses with extreme detail and with reasonably fast maximum apertures. I still shoot amazing portraits with the Nikon AF 60mm f2.8D on a Nikon D300S.

Nikon’s  recent AF Micro-Nikkors still has proven to be some of their most remarkable products.  The Nikon 60mm f2.8G AFS ED and the105mm f2.8G AFS ED (now with Nikon’s VR technology) are vastly improved lenses which manage to impress any scrutinizing eye for mind blowing close-ups to stunning portraits with a very natural background blur.

The  range of newly released Micro-Nikkors includes the 40mm f2.8G DX, the 85mm f/3.5G DX VR and the amazing Nikon PC-E Micro Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D Manual Focus Lens.

It seems like Nikon has put an enormous amount of research and engineering into all of their Micro-Nikkor lenses. In conclusion, if you want a very versatile lens that will go far and beyond the call of duty, any of the new Micro-Nikkors can do more than stand up to the "multi-task" at hand.

BB-nikonians-160x50-Camera This article is brought to you by the "Ask Berger Bros Camera Forum!". Berger Bros kindly has supported Nikonians by providing this article written by Tim Cady, Photographer and Berger Bros employee.


(3 Votes )

Originally written on October 14, 2011

Last updated on October 3, 2016

User User


User on December 24, 2017

I've found the 200mm Micro Nikkor to be superb for insect and other small subject capture. Sadly, this wonderful lens was not included in the present article.

User on April 23, 2016

I love my 60mm f2.8 micro AFD lens. I find it hard to believe that the new AFS version could be much better, but I'm open to other opinions. Ming Thein says the AFS version is better and provides some compelling photos, but so far nothing has moved me into the buying mode for one. I am committed to the 60mm focal length for a variety of reasons, not the least that I shoot DX.

Martin Hvam (mhvam) on May 20, 2013

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014

I love my 60 mm 2,8 D Micro Nikkor. On my D 7000 and D 200 it´s great for portraits. On my D 800 it´s great for close ups and allround work. Along with my Sigma Apo 150 mm 2,8 OS this pair are probably among my most used and enjoyed lenses.

User on March 10, 2013

What is your review of the Nikkor 40mm Macro lense?

Ariel Encarnacion (archer4219) on January 11, 2013

Just got a 105 2.8 non-d. Excited to test it out.

Dale Armstrong (Dgastrong) on October 17, 2012

I have been shooting my new 105mm for great high detail macros. Great piece of engineering! I notice when I process the raw files in Lightroom 4.2 I do not have to do much. Most of my issues are me not the hardware. Cheers.

John kinney (jkdallas) on October 14, 2012

I have been shooting mostly autofocus for several years now, but I just dug out my old Micro-Nikkor 55mm 1:2.8. It will be interesting to test it out on my D800. Any experience using this lens on a modern DLSR?

User on October 9, 2012

18 lines about the micro-nikkors are called a review?????

Gerard P (slalom002) on September 28, 2012

I have had the 60mm AF for many years. A very sharp lens. Great for food and product shots in studio where I could set up multiple light sources. Outdoors 1:1 is more of a challenge because of the shorter focal length. I have added the 105mm VR to my wishlist.

User on August 16, 2012

I own the MicroNikkkor 55/3.5 and the 105/2.5 Nikkor. They remain used in my D300. Because of unsteady hands and failing eyesight, I'll get the 60/2.8 Macro lens for the D90.

ERNESTO MEJIAORTEGA (Analuisjd) on July 1, 2012

What Macro lens do you recommend for my Nikon D3100

Chuck Van Rens (Chuckvr) on November 28, 2011

Can you put an extension tube on the popular 18-200 DX VR?

User on November 16, 2011

what are your thounghts on the 105?

Tom Myrick (tmyrick) on November 14, 2011

I love my used manual focus 105 F4. Only goes to 1:2 but I have extension tubes that can take it to 1:1 if required. Not bad for 200.00 CAD.

User on October 19, 2011

I consider the 200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro Nikkor the gold standard for close up photography. A phenomenal lens.

User on October 18, 2011

The only suggestion would be I wish it had VR.

robert Beeson (rbeeson) on October 15, 2011

Hi, What do you think of your 200mm marro? Thanks, Bob

User on October 14, 2011

I just bought the 2oo macro and havent used it a lot but it may replace my 105 and 55.