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

Distortion

Typical for macro lenses the Samsung NX 60mm f/2.8 delivers basically distortion-free images.

Vignetting

The lens produces some light fall-off (~0.9EV) at max. aperture which can be visible in certain situations. Stopping down to f/4 resolves most of the issue and it's negligible beyond.

MTF (resolution)

Macro lenses tend to be stellar performers but at least to our surprise, this is not entirely true for the Samsung NX 60mm f/2.8. It is impressively sharp in the center straight from the max. aperture setting but the outer image region is a different story. At f/2.8 it is comparatively soft. Stopping down to f/4 pushes the border quality to a very good level and the corners are at least good here. The image quality is very good across the image frame from f/5.6 to f/11. The lens remains usable at f/16 but avoid f/22 - diffraction effects are simply too obvious at such settings (not a lens issue but a physical limitation).

The centering quality of the tested sample was Okay although not great.

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)

The Samsung lens produces a slight amount of lateral CAs (color shadows at the image boders). They may be visible at 100% magnification on screen but at less than 1px on the average in the border region the CAs are usually no issue on prints.

Bokeh

A key aspect of a macro lens is the quality of the so-called "bokeh" - the out-of-focus blur. At close focus distances you will usually work with a fairly shallow depth-of-field, same goes for portrait photography, so it will often be a major aspect of your images.

The Samsung NX 60mm f/2.8 Macro SSA ED OIS produces an exceptionally smooth background blur (see the image crop to the left below). The foregound blur (right) is somewhat more nervous but not quite as important.

The rendition of out-of-focus highlights is also excellent. They are perfectly circular at f/2.8 - at least in the center zone. The circular shape deteriorates somewhat towards the corners but this is a common effect. The circular shape remains intact at f/4. The aperture blade shapes get a little bit more obvious at f/5.6.

The lens produces a slight amount of bokeh fringing (non-coinciding focal planes of the various colors in the focus transition zones) at f/2.8. The issue is almost gone at f/4 and negligible beyond.




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