Micro-Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 D - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Distortion

The Micro-Nikkor produces distortion-free results. At only 0.03% the level is only detectable under lab conditions.

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.

Vignetting

Thanks to the sweet spot behavior on the D200 vignetting is very well controlled and it is no problem to use this lens at the max. aperture setting (f/2.8).

MTF (resolution)

Typical for most macro lenses the performance of the Micro-Nikkor is excellent straight from the max. aperture setting. The center resolution is slightly better at large to medium aperture settings but there's really little to complain about border performance anyway. The peak performance is reached at f/8 with a perfectly even characteristic across the frame. Beyond medium aperture settings diffraction is the limiting factor so better avoid very small apertures. Please note that this is a physical limitation and not a design issue. Nonetheless the lens performed comparatively well at f/32 (still not good though).

There are some rumors floating around the web stating that the lens performs much better in macro mode than at standard distances. This was not recreatable during the tests. The setup requires a camera to test chart distance of roughly 60x focal length - for this specific lens this translates to 3.6m. On the focus scale of the lens this is only a fractional amount away from the infinity setting and the results are just great here.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Surprisingly the lens produced a rather pronounced degree of chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) specifically at large aperture settings. A peak of 1.5px on the average at the image borders is very high for a fix-focal lens. Stopping down reduces the problem reaching very decent values from f/5.6 onwards.




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