Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G Review

March 1, 2013 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star

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Reviews of the Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G from around the web. »

They did it again: for the second time in 2011 Nikon announced a lens that hardly anyone expected and for the second time in a row this included the rumor sites, too. Just like the AF-S 50/1.8G earlier this year, the new Micro Nikkor AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8 G came out of nowhere.
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The Nikon 40mm ƒ/2.8 macro lens was announced in July 2011. As an APS-C compatible lens, it is designed for Nikon's line of consumer dSLR cameras such as the D3100, D5100 and D7000. The lens will provide an effective field of view of 60mm when mounted on these cameras, and will vignette when used on a full-frame camera.
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The Nikon 40mm f/2.8G DX, also known as “AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G” is a consumer-grade lens for photo enthusiasts that need an affordable macro lens with good performance characteristics. In the current line of macro lens offerings from Nikon, this lens comes at the lowest price point and shortest focal length. With the former being good news, the latter can be a problem in some situations, specifically when approaching subjects very closely (read more on this issue below). With the current great fast aperture prime lens line from Nikon such as Nikon 35mm f/1.8G and Nikon 50mm f/1.8G, one might wonder what the Nikon 40mm f/2.8G DX has to offer that the other primes cannot accomplish. How does it differ from other affordable primes? In this review, I will talk about the capabilities of the Nikon 40mm f/2.8G DX and provide a detailed report on its strengths and weaknesses, along with a summary of thoughts about the lens based on my two month experience with it.
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In July 2011 the Nikon company quite unexpectedly presented a new lens - the Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 40 mm f/2.8G. It is a macro instrument, with the 1:1 reproduction ratio, designed to cooperate with reflex cameras featuring DX sensor format. It gives the same angle of view as a 60 mm device on full frame (so 39 degrees). It is a bit too much for a typical standard lens but, after all, standard lenses are not only equivalents of classic 50 mm instruments but also lenses with a bit longer focal lengths. Those who ever took photos using analogue Zenit cameras might recall the immortal Helios 2/58 lenses. Even today on the market you can find standard lenses with the focal length longer than 50 mm - you can mention here, e.g. the Voigtlander Nokton 58 mm f/1.4 SL II.
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