Samsung NX 60mm f/2.8 Macro ED OIS SSA ( M60SB ) - Review / Lens Test
Lens Reviews - Samsung NX

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2011

Introduction

Samsung NX may still have a bit of a low profile system in the mirrorless system market but Samsung is working steadily to change this and the Samsung NX 60mm f/2.8 Macro ED SSA OIS is a further step in this quest. Neither Sony, Nikon nor Pentax are offering something similar as of the time of this review. The closest competitor beyond NX is probably the Leica/Panasonic Lumix G 45mm f/2.8 OIS (Micro-Four-Thirds system) but its price tag is substantially higher. The Samsung lens is equivalent to a "92mm" lens on a classic full format camera so it's a medium tele macro lens. Thanks to the relatively large aperture it is also suitable for portrait photography.

It is a fairly large lens as you can already conclude from the image below. Size- and weight-wise it is actually more comparable to (full format) DSLR lenses with similar specs. At least upon first thought this may feel a little odd because we associate mirrorless cameras with correspondingly small lenses. However, the design advantage (smaller lenses) diminishes from about 50mm onward anyway.

The NX 60mm f/2.8 is a member of Samsung's "Optima" series thus a mainstream consumer lens. While this may not sound overly ambitious, the build quality is certainly a step above the NX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens which is also an Optima lens. The lens body is made of high quality plastics based on a metal mount. Thanks to an IF ("internal focusing") design, the physical length remains constant across the focus range. The front element does not rotate, of course. The broad, rubberized focus ring operates smoothly and without wobbling. iFn is also available and supported by a dedicated button and control ring on the lens.

It is the first Samsung lens to feature SSA ("Super-Sonic Actuator") - an ultrasonic AF drive similar to Canon's USM or Nikon's Silent Wave Drive. AF operations are basically noiseless. The AF speed is just fine although it still takes a while to focus from min. focus to infinity but this is, of course, rather typical for macro lenses. Samsung's OIS ("Optical Image Stabilizer") works efficiently at conventional focus distances but don't expect wonders at macro focus settings due to the more pronounced angular shake here. Interestingly manual focusing doesn't seem to be "by wire" (like on other NX lenses) but directly coupled. Full-time manual focusing in AF mode is supported.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length92 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction12 elements in 9 groups (1x aspherical & 1x ED element)
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.184 m (max. magnification 1:1)
Dimensions73 x 84 mm
Weight450 g
Filter size52 mm
Hoodbarrel-shaped, bayonet mount, optional
Other featuresiFn




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