< ! --Digital window verification 001 -->

Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G DX lens review by Cary Jordan

This Nikon AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G DX lens review was written by Cary Jordan (WebFlickr | Facebook | Twitter): 

full resolution

Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G DX Macro lens review By Cary Jordan (The Jordan Collective Photography)

The new Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G DX lens has proven to be full of surprises. It was originally announced by Nikon seemingly out-of-the-blue and continues to surprise with its excellent performance. Despite being an affordable entry level macro lens, there is little info out there other than spec sheets and speculation. Having been one of the first to get a copy of the lens, I’ve spent a good deal of time shooting with it.

Since scientific and controlled testing will be carried out by the usual organizations, I will only attempt to show real-world shooting and offer my opinion on my copy of the lens. You can also reference Nikon’s MTF chart for this lens to compliment this review.

All testing was performed on two (2) Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX (APS-C) DSLR cameras.

Size and Ergonomics

The first thing I noticed with this lens is its relatively small and light package, especially in comparison to its larger macro siblings. In comparison to other similar AF-S prime lenses in Nikon’s lineup(50mm f/1.8G and 35mm f/1.8G DX), the new 40mm DX Macro is slightly larger and heavier. The 50mm f/1.8G weighs roughly 180g, 35mm f/1.8G DX about 200g and the new 40mm Macro weighs-in at 280g. This is still in the very light category, especially if you consider the weight of the other popular Macro siblings(85mm f/3.5 DX 355g, 60mm f/2.8 425g, 105mm f/2.8 VR 790g). This lens could easily stand in a light travel situation, due to the fact that it can be packed away relatively easily.

Ergonomics on this lens are in-line with the usual Nikon design. The focus ring is large and has a tight feel. The focus ring is also very accurate, due to its gearing ratio. It’s a pleasure to manual focus while doing macro work. As with all AF-S lenses, you can grab the focus ring at any time, without disengaging the M/A-M switch. The lens also features a focus limiter switch that limits the focus from infinity - .02m. This comes in handy when using the lens for general landscape photography.

full resolution

full resolution

Build Quality

The new AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G DX macro’s build quality is in-line with Nikon’s newer affordable prime offerings. Its polycarbonate body feels solid and has Nikon’s durable finish.

The lens has a metal F-Mount flange and an “ass-gasket” for improved weather sealing of the mount flange. The “ass-gasket” is a feature that seems to be slowly making its way down the product line, as this is usually a “pro” feature(until recently). The 35mm f/1.8G DX and 50mm f/1.8G Full-Frame lens both feature the rear flange gasket as well.

The front element is made up of two barrels, that both extend as you move from infinity-1:1 magnification. The actual lens element is part of the inner-most barrel, which extends within the outer-most barrel (which also extends as you focus towards 1:1magnification. The total sum of barrel protrusion @ minimum focus distance (1:1 magnification) is about 3/4th inch. The front element does NOT rotate during focusing, so use of a 52mm circular polarizer is indeed possible.

The lens comes with a plastic hood (HB-61), which seems slightly flimsy, when compared to other prime lenses in this focal length.

The lens has a decent focus scale, which does come in handy. This feature is a must for macro photography, so it was nice to see this included on this model.

full resolution

full resolution

Performance

a. Sharpness:

Nikon is known worldwide for its superb macro lenses and this lens does not depart from this tradition, despite being an entry level macro. The first thing you’ll notice with this lens is its sharpness. Even when shot wide-open (@  f/2.8), the lens is extremely sharp, which is right in-line with Nikon’s MTF charts.

full resolution

full resolution

The first shot is the lens at infinity and shot wide-open. The latter shot is a 100% crop of the same shot, showing the lens’ extreme sharpness, even at f/2.8.

When stopped down, the center gets slightly sharper with the sweet-spot being f/4 - f/8. The corners are sharp, even at f/2.8. Even at f/16 (which is diffraction limited on the D7000’s 16mp sensor), this lens shows just how sharp it is, as the lens remains sharp at small apertures, which is critical for macro work.

full resolution

full resolution

Comparing the AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G VR macro lens with the new 40mm DX macro at 1:1 was surprising. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. Both lenses were super sharp and had about the same contrast.

b. Vignetting:

Corner Fall-off is not bad. It’s at its worst when focused at infinity and slowly disappears as magnification increases. At 1:1, vignetting is non-existent.  This means that you should be able to use filters with relative ease, especially at close focus distances.

c. Working Distance

The lens is able to achieve 1:1 magnification, but at a very close working distance. Nikon states the lens has a working distance of about 6 inches (from sensor plane). I found this to be true. This makes 1:1 macro work challenging, as there is not a lot of room to work, or to allow light between the lens and the subject. With the lens hood attached, it’s even more difficult. In the field, I had to remove the lens hood while doing 1:1 macro work, as the hood actually blocks subject lighting. If you were using a dedicated macro flash this would be less of a problem. However, the small working distance makes macro photography of small animals and insects very difficult. The other macro lenses in Nikon’s line-up are better suited for such work (i.e. 105mm f/2.8 VR, 200mm f/4 Macro). That’s not to say that it’s impossible with the new 40mm DX macro.

full resolution

full resolution

The first example (very small fly) is at 1:1 magnification, while the second is at 3:1.

One category this lens excels in is product photography and other subjects that can easily be controlled or be placed in controlled environments (i.e. studio work). I found the 40mm DX macro to be perfect for product photography with good lighting. I used my SB-900 flashguns, off-camera and the lens was very enjoyable to shoot with. The results were better than expected.

full resolution

full resolution

full resolution

d. Contrast/Ghosting/Chromatic Aberration/Flaring

The Nikon AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G DX macro is not only sharp, but has great contrast, even when shot wide-open. Its contrast was actually startling, especially when compared to the 105mm VR.

I didn’t detect any Chromatic Aberration (color fringing) in any of the shots, even wide-open.

Ghosting and Flaring were not problems, even with the lens hood off. These were also very controlled. Even when shot directly into the sun, flaring was relatively non-existent.

e. Auto Focus

The 40mm DX macro’s Silent Wave Motor is very precise, but also somewhat slow. This can be viewed as a blessing or a curse, depending on how you employ the lens. For macro work, the slower AF means less “hunting” and more accuracy, yet for general photography, the lens’ AF speed could be viewed as somewhat of a nuisance. Like stated earlier, there is a focus limiter switch that will help speed things along for general photography work. I found the AF speed to be totally acceptable for most things, as long as you learn when to use the focus limiter. As I also stated earlier, manual focus is a pleasure with this lens.

f. Bokeh

Bokeh is very subjective. What one photographer finds acceptable, another can totally dislike. So, the subject of bokeh is from my point of view as your opinion may differ.

The 40mm DX macro lens features a 7-blade diaphragm. The blades are rounded, but because there are only 7 of them, bokeh highlights aren’t perfectly round when stopped-down. The lens’ bokeh is very similar to the 35mm f1.8G DX lens. I find it to be very acceptable, yet somewhat jittery. Not nearly as jittery as the AF Nikkor 50mm f1.8D prime, though. Overall, the bokeh is pleasant, although a 9-blade design would have yielded much creamier bokeh (at a much greater price).

full resolution

full resolution

full resolution

Summary 

The Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G DX macro lens has tremendous “bang-for-the-buck”. It is an entry level DX macro, but can be used by any photographer, regardless of experience level, with amazing results. Even if you own the larger, more expensive macro lenses, the little 40mm DX macro is still worth considering for travel or when you don’t feel like lugging around all your pro kit. It’s even great for product photography. I feel this lens was a very smart move by Nikon. It will sell very well with the D3100 and D5100 users and rightfully so. It’s a perfect compliment to the kit lenses as well as some of the more specialized lenses in Nikon’s line-up. Don’t let the focal range deter you, either. The lens is very useful at 40mm (60mm equivalent in FX terms).

Nikon, yet again, has proven its commitment to top-notch ingenuity resulting in industry leading bodies and glass, regardless of system. Maybe the 40mm DX macro wasn’t such a surprise after all?

AF-D Nikkor 80-400mm lens, shot with AF-S Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G DX macro lens @ 1:1 magnification:

full resolution

Technical Specs:

  • Minimum Aperture • f/2.8 - f/22
  • Angle of View on DX • 38°50’
  • Number of Elements (Groups) • 9 elements, 7 groups
  • Minimum focus distance • 16 cm (6.4")
  • Reproduction ratio • 1:1
  • Aperture Diaphragm Blades • 7
  • Filter Thread • 52mm
  • Size • 6.4 cm wide x 6.9 cm long (2.5" x 2.7")
  • Weight • 280g (9.9 oz)
  • MRSP • $279.95 USD

Here the entire flickr set:

This entry was posted in Nikon Lenses, [NR] Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Roimund

    the last macro made me feel a bit funny :/

    • Remedy

      I’ll have to agree with You on that. 100% mindfuck :S

    • http://www.jessicaellenphotography.com Jessica

      What do you mean “the last macro”??

  • http://www.cardcontrol.ca Darryl Payne

    Thanks for your article. It’s informative, but painful to read – In the English language, “its” implies ownership, “it’s” is a short form for “it is”. Counter-intuitive, sure, but that’s how it is!

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      Honest mistake. Point taken. Auto-correct got me again. :)

      • chance Brown

        Cary, I found it useful you should not have answered that tool. Professional writers make mistakes. If there is a grammar mistake in any of my posts I don’t care this is not work.

    • Dave

      I thought all the grammar trolls that just can’t let a tiny mistake go by lurked on other sites. Was it really that “painful” to read? You lead a miserable life.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/shigzeo/ shigzeo

        Indeed. I live with a copy editor, and even he enjoyed the article. Well done. It’s the bloody internet, for God’s sake. If this was some highbrow, expensive publisher, grammar trolls have bridge rights, but even then, throwing stones for the placement of apostrophes is silly. Everyone makes mistakes.

        The only mistake I see is that crazy ass shot at the end. Wow, what a mad perspective. Mad, yes. Not bad. The shot pointed out the perspective the lens offers. Don’t shoot wide open at cylinders. It is dizzying.

        I think my wife will be up for the 40 2,8G Macro. This review signed the deal as far as I’m concerned. Cheers.

      • Michael Houghton

        “You lead a miserable life.”

        Darryl pointed out some corrections to unfortunate mistakes in an otherwise excellent article (I had no idea about this lens). Corrections which were taken in good faith by the author.

        You on the other hand typed out and submitted a comment solely to insult him.

        And yes. In my experience incorrect apostrophes (and other grammar mistakes) can be like hearing a great band you’ve loved all your life play your favourite song, only for the substitute drummer to make crucial mistakes. Really uncomfortable, and enough of them spoil the experience considerably.

        shigzeo: The “bloody internet” has more written material in it than all books ever published. I vote we try not to ignore important rules that make things easier to comprehend.

        • Ren Kockwell

          Oh, give it a rest. I have a degree in English, but I certainly don’t wish to hear those of questionable backgrounds critique the English of others on a camera rumors site for Christ’s sake. Move on to the Atlantic’s blog.

          • Steve

            A panda eats, shoots and leaves.

            OR

            A panda eats shoots and leaves.

            Punctuation is important.

            • jsa

              Whereas a wombat eats, roots, shoots and leaves.

            • fergz

              hahaha

          • DIX

            How’s the useless degree treating you?

            • http://StandDevelopment.com Axel

              Some of us are lucky enough to have good writers putting good words around our photographs. ;-)

            • Michael Houghton

              You got me on that one. My CS degree is totally worthless. Good job I learned to use proper punctuation when I was ten; it’s all downhill from there.

            • Michael Houghton

              Oh dear, thread nesting comprehension fail. See what I mean?

              Grammar: it’s all I have.

        • Reilly Diefenbach

          I’m with the grammar police. Getting it right never hurt’s.

        • chance brown

          Oh my God the grammar police has back up. Look there was no need for his comment but to hurt. This is not a book on the best sellers list (even writers make mistakes ) it is a review of a camera lens. If it is painful to read go to another source. Some people like to make people feel small because they are small. I am sorry where is the voting site not here you tool. The author that reviewed this lens it to smart not to know what you two proof readers pointed out. If you want a perfect review of a lens quit being cheap and buy a subscrbtion to one of the camera mags.

    • nitpicker

      What got me was the use of ‘compliment’ instead of ‘complement’ and the unnecessary hyphen in ‘in-line’.

    • Chance

      You are painful, Darryl bet you have a lot of friends. It was a great article and I found it useful. Unlike Darryl we all can’t be perfect.

  • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

    Nice lens and affordable. Just little rant to author: if you post full-size images, they better be without jpeg compression. It is hard to judge by those samples.

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      You can view the actual full resolution shot in Flickr. Click on actions, view all image sizes. The shots were all taken in RAW format, converted to TIFF then output as jpeg for web publication.

      • Jabs

        I use uncompressed .png’s instead of .jpeg’s and most browsers can indeed render .png’s – at least Firefox 6.2 can.

        I also use Faststone Image Viewer 4.6 in addition to Nikon’s NX series software.

        http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm

        Great results and better color purity than .jpegs too, but slightly bigger files.

        • bert

          JPEG at highest quality is so good, you can’t tell the difference with TIFF in print. JPEG can even display strange bayer-sensor defects on weird colour contrasts like purple/red in the dark end of an image. JPEG often beats the sensor! Only area where JPEG suffers is on red against black. Those area’s seem to have half resolution 2×2 pixel detail.

          • Jabs

            @bert
            That is your finding, but as a long time computer user, so-so animator, 3D artist or one tying to be that (LOL), then .jpeg represents the worst to me even when I set it to the minimum compression level or various forms of compression techniques now popular.

            As far as digital cameras go, I see a tremendous difference between RAW and any other format like .jpeg and thus when I send things to people, I use mainly resized .png, as it is a modern codec or standard that leaves .jpeg in the dust. Even .jpeg200 or is that .jpeg2000 is better than plain old .jpeg and YES, .tiff is vastly superior, as in you might have a lousy printer or you print on lousy photography stock or your monitor is unable to show you such results.

            I use on 64bit Linux (Ubuntu Studio and others) things that are way beyond anything on either OS-X or Windows, so perhaps the wrong person to tell this, as I also use both those other OS’s too.

            The OLD 24bit standard on the ancient Amiga platform is vastly superior to almost anything now, as it had three channels of output versus most of jpeg being three combined 8bit channels to make pseudo 24bit = KNOW this stuff myself, as in using computers professionally since the 80’s.

            JPEG is crap to me but now convenient crap.

            Example – get a program like Fotowall and then save the output in various formats with high res. or low res. images and see the differences easily yourself.

            Perfectionists here bub!

            TRY openEXR on Linux for a clue – to do what no other format can currently do as in at the real High End and now see the ‘basement level’ of .jpeg, as in an ancient standard way before even digital. Thus, Photoshop’s OUTPUT is not good enough for me personally as I also use it.

            Bottom line – .jpeg crushes the PEAKS as in – lowers the dynamic range and looks good to some on the Internet, on LCD’s, but not on a better than LCD – CRT monitor that people laugh at because they mistakenly think that LCD or LED flat screen monitors are superior in color gamut response (having a wider range from white to black or even color reproduction or purity) due to it being newer technology.

            Have you ever seen or measured the BLACK levels of any LED or LCD flat screen monitor yourself? They basically are gray and not true black, as that is what made Sony Trinitron’s, Ikegami and Mitsubishi DiamondPro monitors famous and they still are today BUT the costs went outrageously high, so cheaper flat screens were pushed as new tech to perhaps gullible consumers and hence why I tell people here of my Engineering background, as in KNOW the details myself from years of studying and actually USING plus doing stuff.

            Have a great day!

          • Jabs

            @bert

            One more comment:

            You posted – “JPEG can even display strange bayer-sensor defects on weird colour contrasts like purple/red in the dark end of an image.”

            My answer:
            That actually is a defect of .jpeg and its’ inability to properly render all the channels of the R.G.B. spectrum correctly – some call it color fringing, mis-registration of colors and others call it crosstalk between channels in the output or just bad old tech unable to faithfully reproduce a signal due to clipping, signal impurity, mixing of channels or such – THUS not an asset but a liability, as in too ancient a standard that they are now trying to modernize while they need to get rid of it, in my personal opinion.

            Look at some of the close ups of the Nikon D7000 body ‘signs or labels’ above that identify it as a D7000 for some of the defects of .jpeg and thus I kept quiet about that in respect of the talented photographer.

            I know the details but often don’t care, as the information presented here was much more important to me than me bellyaching over such small trivial crap.

      • Chance Brown

        Cary quit feeding these experts ego’s by answering their rants. Specially when they are to chicken shit to use their names. If you are going to be a critic or an expert use your name cowards.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      yes, you cannot upload RAW files to flickr

    • singlecoilpickup

      TIFF and RAW can’t be displayed in a web browser…

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

        Yes, what I have done in the past is upload all the RAW images on a file sharing site and you can download them from their. The problem is that most of the file sharing sites will cut off my account because I exceed the allowed free bandwidth in just few minutes. I can try to upload them on my ftp site next time.

      • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

        You all missed the point. Look at the original sized image at Flickr, there are lots of jpeg artifacts.

  • FM2Fan

    great – it shows: a small, simple lens – it doesn’t take 3 pounds of glass always …

  • Jabs

    To both Administrator and ‘Senor’ Labelguy (lol).

    Well done and quite clear in showing why we need photographers to Test gear and not ‘webheads’ with an agenda and no experience or real knowledge in shooting anything.

    Finally a great Review that I can relate to and ALSO great photographs too – a real rarity today.

    For my work, I use ONLY uncompressed .png as I hate jpeg’s, but .tiff’s are great but prefer .targa – though huge files.

    Please continue this tradition of Reviews and this really adds to the Web site.

    Congratulations on something new and quite different.

    The previous tutorials are also excellent even when not many comments were made, as real photographic knowledge is hard to come by now on the Internet, as most sites have digressed to unrealistic complaints, insipid dreams by idiots or the equivalent of ‘my thing is bigger than yours’, as in juvenile and pointless nonsense or claims.

    Thanks – made my day too.

    • A Thought

      +100

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      @Jabs

      Thanks man! I wanted to do a lens review from a photographers point-of-view. Less emphasis on specs and more “real-world” shooting. I’m not a great writer, so please forgive the few typos/errors. Thanks for the kind words. :)

      I will get better as I go. Many thanks to Admin, as well!

      • Jabs

        You are first a photographer and not a writer and the small mistakes are trivial compared to the rest of your splendid presentation and indeed from a photographer’s point of view – as in know what the heck a macro lens really is for.

        Hey, this is not National Geographic or The Wall Street Journal but a Rumors web site and a pretty good one too.

        We communicate with more than a few grammatically correct words or catch phrases and thus now mere trivial matters, as everyone makes mistakes and thus not important as you were not writing your Doctorate Thesis but merely about a lens from your own point of view. LOL!

        Thanks then!

      • Ren Kockwell

        Nice job on this review. I like these as well. It’s one of the things Jabs and I actually agree on!

        • Jabs

          @Ren

          LOL – maybe you are mellowing or I am going insane – God Forbid.

          Yeah, birds of a feather flock together – so what now?

    • tabs

      well, now you believe that the working distance is 6″ from image plane, not form front of the lens, huh?

      • Jabs

        LOL@ you

        Yeah, you still dragging around that dead horse?

        No life, eh?

        Who cares?

        • tabs

          after calling all who shown you the fact as “idiots”, now you say its a dead horse. great maneuver. you don’t event apologize after proved wrong.

          • Jabs

            So it really is 6 inches from the IMAGE plane eh?

            Where is and how do YOU measure the image plane ‘Perfessor’ = get lost!!!

            Does the front of the lens expand or contract on a 40mm F2.8 Micro-Nikkor when it goes to 1:1 ratio unlike either the new or old 200mm F4.0 IF Micro-Nikkor which DO NOT, as they are Internal Focus lenses as in NOT expanding at all because the elements move WITHIN the lens and the lens does not get longer or shorter plus the OLDER 200mm NEVER went to 1:1 like ALL the older Micro-Nikkors too, as they were NOT 1:1 macro lenses?

            You see, I overlook mistakes as in ADULT here, while you and the other losers whine all day and then seek vengeance = GROW up will ya.

            Did you even read this article yourself and then comprehend what was said or even see the mistakes and then understand why they are mistakes plus overlook them to now encourage a brilliant photographer instead of complaining like a little whiny child or a diva gone mad?

            I already KNOW what the image plane describes and thus DO YOU???

            Do you measure the body sideways (left to right) or front to back = you are an idiot indeed!

            • tabs

              image plane is the sensor in digital camera.
              this lens minimum focusing distance is 6″ from object to image plane.
              anyone with correct mind would not meassure sideways,

              OBJECT to SENSOR is not sideways, what makes you think I meassure sidewise?

              I read the article, the article states that the minimum focusing distance is 6″ to image plane.
              and I shoot macro long before this lens exists.

              what amusing is you kept calling everyone idiots even you proven to be wrong. not seeking any vengeance but keeping fact as fact.

      • Jabs

        Earth to you – it is UP TO 6 inches OF working distance from the sensor plane or what was once the distance from the film plane where the film ran against the rails in the film days and not side to side as in measuring the stupid camera’s width = get real.

        Sensor plane = where the sensor IS.

        Now tell us where this measurement ends or what is being measured as in between WHAT point and what point and see your obvious stupidity.

        Last comment too!

        Bye again as not some vindictive idiot but human being here.

  • Jabs

    @CaryTheLabelGuy

    I think that you should consider expanding into Stock Photography, as like I said previously, you have a real talent in photography and more importantly, an artistic ‘eye’ which with great equipment translates into a real advantage for you.

    Talent is not something that grows on tress and hence ‘run with it’.

    Serious too.

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      @Jabs

      It’s something I’m looking at. Finding the right agency is my issue. Thanks again for the great comments! It really means a lot!

      • Jabs

        @CaryTheLabelGuy

        I too am exploring the Stock Photography Market but since there are so many generic images and varied shots all over, then one has to be really careful. I don’t know which is to recommend or even use myself, so perhaps when you find one, let us know here. I have mainly Chromes from Fujichrome 50D, 64T, 100D and 400D to even 1600D plus Ektachrome 50 and 100, and Kodachrome 25Pro, 64Pro and 200 plus some weird Ektar 25 print film. I also have lots of B+W slides plus all types of B+W prints, but I mainly shot chromes. I even shot some amazing shots in underground caves plus some nice Fireworks shots at the Gateway Arch, but not ready to show them yet, as in too busy.

        Now, I need to get a Nikon scanner as now I have some Canons and HP’s, but I need that expensive Nikon plus the time to scan all that mess – lol.

        Meticulous shooter here, so have to take my time and do it right.

        Need a few more terabyte drives then!

        You shoot well, so keep moving and don’t let negative people deter you and yours.

        • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

          @Jabs

          As soon as i find a good stock photography agency, i will let everyone know. There is a slew of them…not sure which would be suited for me.

          Thanks again for the very kind words!!

          • Jabs

            @CaryTheLabelGuy

            Yeah, I shoot a wide variety of things and thus weird shooter of things that interest me at times. Looking forward to your search results and thus keep us up to date on that.

            Keep shooting and also encourage your other half – LOL.

  • Z

    Thank you for a very nice review. This lens will be perfect for me.

  • Bullsnot

    Nice review, but I think you’ll be taken more seriously if you’re not quoting Ken Rockwell. Even he has stopped using “ass-gasket” to describe the rear seal.

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      I was unaware Ken Rockwell had that terminology copyrighted. He was not the one that invented that slang. :)

      • Bullsnot

        Just trying to offer some constructive criticism. I thought your review was otherwise very good. The “ass-gasket” comment doesn’t belong in a piece of work that’s generally very nicely written, regardless of who came up with the term. Take it or leave it.

        • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

          I, for one, enjoyed the “ass-gasket” comment.

        • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

          No worries, mate! I will exclude the use of these kinds of terms in my next reviews. I was trying to be lighthearted when i used that term.

          Less comedy, more action. :)

    • chance brown

      I think you would be taken more seriously if you write under you real name coward.

  • Mighty Charlou

    Thanks for the review. Anyone tried it on FX yet ?

    one small “typo” in the Working Distance section: 200mm macro is a f/4 lens, not a 2.8

    • iamlucky13

      Well, since it’s a DX lens, it’s obviously going to vignette.

      Kenrockwell has a couple FX samples. Interesting, from about 1:3 reproduction ratio and bigger it appears generally usable.

      http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/40mm-f28.htm#fx

      That’s potentially interesting. Most people think only of working distance when choosing a macro, but there is some opportunity to play with perspective, too. You can get there with extension tubes, but risk the focal point ending up behind the front element (unusable).

      “Related Post” #5 at the end of the review was an interesting example of this. It was a review of a very rare 19mm macro. Unfortunately, he didn’t take it out of the studio to really experiment with the novelty of wide-angle macro.

      Also, this lens looks sharp enough it’s one of the few F-mount lenses that I suspect may adapt usefully to the upcoming mirrorless camera. On mirrorless you have a 105mm FX-equivalent.

      • Mighty Charlou

        +1
        I was thinking about some wider angle close-up. I have been playing with my P&S for a while and 24mm(equivalent) macro was very fun. The working distance of longer macro is one thing but it always have a kind of ‘telephoto distance’ feeling.

      • Mighty Charlou

        also found this article… he is using it on a D3s for the very last picture.
        http://www.ryanbrenizer.com/blog/2011/09/quick-review-nikon-40mm-f2-8-micro-dx/

  • nitpicker

    It’s a little unconventional, i know, but having successfully used the 35mm 1.8 DX wide open on a FX D3s for a little lingerie shooting, I wonder how this lens performs on FX? I found the 35mm to be a total bargain for me… maybe this one could be too?

    • EnPassant

      Whatever you think about the above mentioned Ken he’s got the facts about lenses covered and has the answer for you: http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/40mm-f28.htm#fx
      It seems that close-up and stopped down the lens is very usable on fx as well, with just a bit vignetting in the corners.

  • Bianco

    Excellent review :-)

    One question: How far is it from front element to subject at 1:1?

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      At 1:1 magnification, you’ll have just over an inch between the subject and the front element.

  • Ole

    Nice review with an appropriate length. And the images are just stunning, certainly as seen on an iPad.

    I hope to see more from this Cable Guy in the future…

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      +1 There will be more from me in the future…. :) Thanks for the support!

  • jerl

    2 comments: as mentioned earlier, the longer macro is 200/4, not 200/2.8

    Also, the picture of the bird and the crop are reversed: the first is the crop of the second. Also, unless the bird is thousands of feet tall, the picture is not really taken at infinity.

    Other than that, good review. Nice work.

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      Yeah, there were a few mistakes and “typos” in there.

      With regards to the lens being at infinity…. it was right at the infinity mark. There is no hard infinity stop, to it’s not exactly accurate.

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

        fixed already

  • lolly

    “I didn’t detect any Chromatic Aberration (color fringing) in any of the shots, even wide-open”

    There is bokeh fringing though in the 80-400mm lens shot. I guess it’s not significant for some people. I thought I’d mention it after reading the review of the Nikkor af-s dx 40mm 2.8 micro on photozone.de ;)

    Anyway, it’s a very good review. Thanks.

  • coco

    279 in the state, cost 299 in canada
    wtf nikon!!!

    • The invisible man

      The extra cash is for the French manual.
      :)

      • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

        Lol!

      • Jabs

        OR for someone running across the border and back twice – LOL.

        No, the US dollar has dropped versus the Canadian dollar in a reversal plus Canada perhaps does not have the expansive ‘grey market’ like we do or they price things there closer to retail.

        Almost all gear there seems to be more expensive than in the US, but quoting one in US dollars and then Canadian dollars does not tell you which one is cheaper or more expensive by dollar NUMBERS only, as you have to know the real exchange rate and then calculate from that.

        • Dandydon

          Since Cary the Label Guy wrote this, I should mention that Larry the Cable Guy says he had a girlfriend from Canada that weighed in at 400 lbs. but that would be about 350 in US lbs, whatever the weight exchange rate is?

          • Jabs

            LOL – that is mean but hilarious.

    • iamlucky13

      Does Canada have different tariffs with Japan than the US? Or perhaps you guys have a local tax factored into the price the US doesn’t? Maybe marketing and distribution costs tend to be lower in the US?

      The MSRP’s are set by Nikon USA and Nikon Canada respectively, I assume. It would be interesting if we could know why they settled on different prices.

      Based on exchange rates between the US and Canada, it should be ever so slightly fewer Canadian dollars. On the other hand, they’re imported from Japan. The Canadian to Yen exchange rate is very comparable to the US to Yen exchange rate, but a year ago, the US had a slight advantage. Since import pricing decisions are likely to be relatively long term, that might be part of it.

  • Canon User

    Excellent review & nice photos :-)

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      Thank you for reading, glad you enjoyed it!

  • George

    Kudos to that D7000 that shoot those images.

  • Vaughan

    As mentioned the 40mm/2,8 had just been reviewed on Photozone.de. It is slightly sharper than the 85/3,5. However the working distance infront of the lens at 1:1 is only about 3.5cm with the 40/2,8. For comparison with the 60(FX)2,8 it is only about 5cm, 14cm with the 85/3,5 and 15cm with the 105(FX) 2,8. Also note that unlike the other 3 Nikon micros the 40/2,8 is not an internal focus, so unlike the other 3 the lens barrel extends during focussing but the actual focal length does not reduce. With the internal focus lenses the focal length is shorter at 1:1 (focus breathing), the 105 is actually only 78mm at 1:1.

  • http://egozarolho.blogspot.com Crocodilo

    Fantastic review, from a very practical point of view.

    The working distance is a real-life limitation. That and the fact that I already have the 35G and the 50G (making the 40G useless for general photography), will however make me hang on to my big and heavy AF Micro 105mm f2.8 (so old it’s not even a D).

    Oh, but the size of this little DX beauty…

  • broxibear

    Just out of interest, when was the last time Nikon made a new lens that wasn’t at least good ?
    None of the major manufacturers would release a new lens that they new was bad.

    • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

      Um-m… Maybe 50 mm f/1.4 G?

    • Sem

      Umm… Maybe the 85mm/3.5 macro? Not only was the max aperture below expectations, there is also the nervous lemon-shaped bokeh and considerable loCA at its wider apertures… so is OK strictly for macro (and has a relatively long working distance @1:1), but does not double for portraits and such as some other macros.
      Also the 40mm has quite some loCA wide open.
      I appreciate the AF limit switch lacking on the 60mm and 85mm.

    • MJr

      ???

      The 40/2.8 and 50/1.8 afs are both superb. That is ”at least good” …

  • Dandydon

    Cary,
    Thanks for a great review. Now, if we could only remove that “ass gasket” and place it on the mouths of some of these old bitties on this forum, we wouldn’t even have to change the name! People, Geeeeeeze. Please. Who died and appointed you the critque of all things written? Of all the whining and moaning and complaining. Bottle up some of that bitter energy and write a review yourself on some Canon equipment.
    Thanks again, Mr. Label guy.

    • Reilly Diefenbach

      Biddies, not bitties. As in hens!

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      LMAO! You’re welcome!

    • Jabs

      Actually ‘bitties’ and ‘biddies’ have different but similar slang meanings now.

      Bitties – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bitties

      Biddies – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=biddies

      Plus, perhaps it depends on what country you live in or in what PART of America you reside in, as in the country or the city on a farm – lol

      Slangs change from generation to generation and even from country to country, so I left it alone to not offend people.

  • big eater

    Bravo. More articles like this please.

  • big eater

    I bet it would be super-wicked for shooting food.

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      Yes, this lens makes a KILLER food photography lens on DX. Pretty much a great product photography lens. For DX, this lens has actually become one of my faves. I adore this little thing!

      • Jabs

        @CaryTheLabelGuy

        Exactly – food shooting without the need for an expensive PC-E Nikkor as in flat plane or field reproduction within limits, without all the adjustments and cheap too.

        DX at its’ best then.

  • MJr

    Holy shut the front door how much sharpening does this guy use ? It looks absolutely disgusting … What on earth would make someone say ‘yes, with this amount of sharpening the images look better’. I just can not imagine. Does he not see the giant Halos and completely ruined detail. if you can even call it that anymore, all i see is artifacts~

  • Greg Lamb

    I have a feeling that with the barrel extention and the very close -6″ working distance that I will be sticking with my 35mm G. As a matter of fact I just shot a beautiful bug with it yesterday and you get all the funny little mouth thingys and the leg hairs, I mean it is really all I need!

  • Curt

    Nice review! But it would have been nicer if you could have compared it with the the most similar Nikon lens (at least in terms of application), the 60mm G ED Macro. This lens lacks VR, as does the 60mm.

    I have the 60mm, and it has similar issues with lighting up close, particularly if you leave the hood one. but the images I get are so sharp, my 60mm macro is now my favorite. Then again, if I could afford the 105VR, I might not be saying this.

    Anyway, any comparisons with the 60? Thanks!

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      @Curt

      When i compared the 40mm DX macro with the 105mm f/2.8 VR macro, i also did a comparison with the 60mm f/2.8 macro. The differences between the 40mm and 60mm macros were practically non-existent. The 60mm does give you a slight bit more working distance, but not much.

      In my opinion, for DX, the 40mm macro is a better buy, unless you need more working distance. In that case, the 105mm VR would be the better buy. I would skip the 85mm DX macro….it was disappointing in comparison(at least the copy i had).

  • fukko

    grammah tollz suk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Reilly Diefenbach

      People who can’t express themselves clearly and use multiple exclamation points suck harder.

  • http://www.bernardovaghi.com.br Bernardo Vaghi

    Very detailed review, thanks for sharing dude!

    This lens suprise me, very, very sharp and lightweight, maybe it will replace my old war AF-D 60mm micro (also stunning).

    Cheers!

  • OleM Helgesen

    Great review. Would love to see some portraits too, though, should be terrific! I’ve seen some samples somewhere else, looks really nice. Maybe too sharp for that??
    But an interesting allrounder, I prefer 35 or 50 at f2.8, this gives me great macro too.

  • http://oneinchgiant.bandcamp.com/ axel

    Do you guys think it’s worth buying this if i allready have a 35 1,8?

    They are almost the same in range, but im thinking of buying this just for the closer focus distance. Or am i better off with another one?

    Cheers and thanks.

    • http://Www.eltonsaulsberry.com Elton

      I’d consider the Nikon 85 or the Tamron 90, or extension tubes. I don’t think you’d gain enough over what you have to make it worth it.

    • Jabs

      @axel.

      They are basically two different types of lenses that can do some of what each does but not what all of what each other does.

      A Micro-Nikkor is a very specialized lens, so buy it or rent it when it finally becomes available THEN use it yourself to see the apparent and clear differences between them, as in lenses for a totally different purpose in photography and lost on too many people too now.

      I used a 55mm F2.8 along with both a 50mm F1.8, a 50mm F1.4 and a 35mm F2.0 and then was asked the same question constantly – my reply, LOOK at my images as I knew the function and advantage of EACH lens. The 55mm Micro-Nikkor was basically a flat field lens best for perhaps store fronts, bridges and such or closeups and when I took portraits with it, it often was too sharp and revealed all the skin flaws of people, especially older wrinkled faces, hence I used a Tiffen soft filter with it and got the best of both worlds – flat field reproduction and now great perspective and ‘aligned’ results.

      The 50mm F1.4 was faster as in gave me the ability to shoot later in the day at faster shutter speeds, but wide open the 50mm F1.8 had better results and the 35mm F2.0 was a different focal length entirely and thus a different perspective. I don’t use DX, as that confuses the issues and thus all the ranting all over the Internet from basically clueless people or those raised on DX and not FX.

      Hope this helps and does not confuse you even more – LOL!

  • http://www.bushtography.wordpress.com Bushtography

    Great review. I know nothing about the technical side of macro photography so after reading all the initial comment on this lens when it was first announced I was under the impression it was going to be useless but you’ve demonstrated otherwise.

    Enjoyable read ;)

    • Jabs

      @Bushtography

      Exactly – A Micro-Nikkor or a Nikon true Macro lens is used to understand its’ purpose and not talked about.

      Macro has now become an overused name or catch phrase but most of the lenses now called ‘macro’ are pseudo-macro and not a real Macro lens, hence the current confusion.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/drscsi Dr SCSI

        +1 A true macro lens provides magnification of 1:1 or greater (i.e. Subject as captured by the sensor is life size or larger.) Nikon originally created the marketing name Micro-Nikkor to indicate a lens capable of capturing tiny objects, because they didn’t feel their lenses of the day warranted the macro badge as they couldn’t achieve 1:1
        Additonal historical info: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/RF-Nikkor/Micro_RF/index.htm

        • PHB

          There are in fact Macro-Nikor lenses. But they were (are?) made for microscopes and have greater than 1:1 magnification.

          For true macro photography you really want to have the finest pixel pitch you can – which tends to mean a crop sensor. And you certainly don’t want a mirror in the way. So the EVIL system will be much preferred.

          I would hope to see a 10x lens for the EVIL. Beyond that the quantum limit hits and you can’t do light photography anyway. (Yes I know you can get a 100X microscope but that has your eye on the other end which you might have noticed is smaller than even a CX sensor. The field of view is much smaller.

          • Jabs

            Actually I don’t find that to be true as the pixel pitch of the sensor has nothing to do with its’ Macro capability or not – as in old wives tale or bogus Internet based information.

            The lens when mounted on anything from a microscope sized sensor to the largest of sensors is immaterial in that way, as Macro capability is in the lens and not the sensor.

            Nikon made special lenses for microscopic use as in extremely high magnification and I believe that Nikon explained why they did that, as the sizes of the Microscopes determined what sensors that could or could not be used. They also explained why they chose a particular size sensor when they changed to supporting Electron microscopes and their higher magnification plus resolution requirements within the same exact eco-system or in other words, things had to fit within an already predetermined size and standard – all beyond their control.

            It is like using a sensor for an IMAGE size that it is not suited for and thus not at its’ best in that scenario.

            DX and FX are thus mere standardized sensor sizes and also independent of their pitch sizes as in one larger and the other smaller in square area, hence the pitch differences comes from THAT.

            More square area usually equals a larger pitch for a given megapixel COUNT and thus less square area usually equals a smaller pitch for a given megapixel count. Smaller pitch = more denser packed as the megapixel count goes UP or if they are even equal in their megapixel count!

            You can’t put a size 10 foot in a size 2 boot = what it means.

          • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin
            • Jabs

              @Administrator

              That article was what was exactly on my mind since I read it when it was forst posted here, as well as NikonUSA’s explanation of what a Micro-Nikkor is plus they have a Section there on Nikon’s other products like the Spotting scopes and the Microscope stuff.

              Thanks!

              Right on time too.

        • Jabs

          True – they changed after the great 55mm F2.8 Micro-Nikkor AIS that went 1/2 life size without extension tubes or adapters to a new 1:1 ratio 60mm F2.8 lens that offered 1:1 ratio and then I believe went through their whole line and updated them all to be true 1:1 lenses (not 100% sure about the newest 200mm F4.0 Micro-Nikkor, as it is a different lens from the previous generations) a few years back when they first made AF lenses other than the F3AF versions, their first AF lenses that I know of.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/drscsi Dr SCSI

            @Jabs,
            Nikon has made several lenses with the micro badge, both primarily at 1:2 and 1:1 ratios and then a 1:1.9 and a 1:1.32. For the most part they have updated all of their micros to provide 1:1 ratios, but it had nothing to do with AF. For example, the most recent AF exception would be their perspective control series 45mm PC-E and 85mm PC-E, which are still 1:2 micros. The newest 200mm f/4 micro is 1:1 and it is a damned fine lens, but slow to autofocus. In my opinion, Nikon should update this lens and add VR. The best Micro-Nikkor was the AF 70-180mm f/4.5-5.6 D zoom; the only true zoom macro which was almost a true micro with a 1:1.32 ratio! I would love to see Nikon refresh this lens, but I doubt it will ever happen since they didn’t sell many of the first version to begin with.

            • Jabs

              @Dr SCSI

              Yeah all true indeed and perhaps these economic times have put a halt to much plus the earthquake, tsunami and now more earthquakes have perhaps also delayed much.

              That zoom Micro-Nikkor sure was a weird one and those Micro-Nikkor PC-E also came out of nowhere to me.

              Yes, now they are all mainly 1:1 and people still complain – lol.

              Consumers!

              Have a good one!

              WHY do you call yourself Dr SCSI, if I may be so nosy as to ask?

            • http://www.flickr.com/photos/drscsi Dr SCSI

              Within the US, huricane Katrina has had long term detrimental effects on the US economy and restoration to normality has been slow coming. I can only hope that the Japanese are able to recover more quickly from their Tsunami. As I lust after the forthcoming D4, I must always remind myself to be patient and thankful, as the release of a new camera is not nearly as important as humanity.

              The zoom micro and the PC-E lenses are very well suited for product photography, especially the PC-E lenses with their tilt-shift movements. You are right the zoom micro was an oddball, and if I could find another one in good condition, I would buy it!

              My nickname Dr SCSI, one of many, was given to me from a good friend of mine as a joke. He was making reference to my knowledge of the SCSI computer bus. When going on forums and social networking sites, I always found that my regular nick name “Too-Slow” (from first person shooter video games) was in use already, but Dr SCSI wasn’t.
              So there you have, “The rest of the story…”, as Paul Harvey would say.

            • Jabs

              @Dr SCSI,
              LOL @ your name and explanations. I still got a few IBM and Cheetah 10K rpm drives with Windows 2003 Server on them plus they are amazingly still fast and thus relate to your name, so that’s why I asked again. I have some SCSI drives on some Mac desktops too, so love those noisy drives – lol.

              Nikon does indeed make weird or odd lenses and then you go – WHOA, where did that come from. I have not shot with any of the PC-E lenses and then when I found out that they were also Macro or Micro-Nikkors, that made it more interesting, but the price deters one from jumping in and buying one out of curiosity only.

              I did not even know about the Zoom Micro-Nikkor until it was mentioned here at this Web site a while back and then I looked at NikonUSA and learned about the specs plus went – WHAT an odd lens and why did they make that?

              Reminds me of the odd looks that I got from my F3AF and the two lenses (80 F2.8 and 200 F3.5) plus when the F4 came out, I was one of the first to buy one, a slightly used one that the previous owner had returned to the Camera Shop, because it was slower than an F3. I bought it and loved it especially when Nikon gave us that new MB-23 grip and the vertical shooting button, so now it felt like my F3’s with the MK-1 vertical grip plus was faster.

              In each era of photography, you see lots of oddballs from Nikon and this 40 F2.8 is one of them, hence happy to read a real Review of one and so quick after it was announced too plus great and real photographs from it.

              Maybe now we should call you Dr SAS, as Dr SATA sounds weird unless you prefer that too – lol.

            • Jabs

              @Dr SCSI.
              One more comment:

              I live in America and the Katrina and Andrew mess plus the recent devastations from earthquakes, flooding and tornadoes like the ones in Joplin,MO and in Alabama were really devastating, as I have worked in both towns doing my specialty.

              Imagine the shock of people when for example, NY Subways, LIRR and even PATH trains and many Tunnels between NJ and NY were closed – panic indeed, plus they lost electricity all over the place and State.

              Same as in Louisiana and Texas too previously with people migrating to new States permanently – as in uprooted from their homes and even birthplaces.

              Sad but true indeed.

  • Jabs

    A Little Off Topic, but I did not know where to put this here, but since we got sort of technical here then perhaps it fits here.

    I found this web site while looking at dpreview and was really curious to now learn WHO makes the sensor for each camera and here they present the information in a clear and easily read manner.

    Perhaps a great resource for everyone here too, as in NOW, we know who makes the sensors for the various digital cameras on their list. On with the pointless arguments then – lol.

    Hope this is helpful.

    http://www.sensorgen.info/

    • http://www.flickr.com/KaceyJordan CaryTheLabelGuy

      @Jabs

      Great info. Thanks for sharing. I’ve always referred to DxOMark Scores and believe that to be the best sensor data you can get. In my opinion, it’s very accurate and also very telling. It also shows that the D7000 is the Dynamic Range KING and the D3s being the king of SnR and Saturation. The D3s has the best DR over ISO-800 and above. Just amazing! That fact that the D3s sensor is made by Nikon, says a lot.

      This get’s me excited to see the new Nikon bodies, particularly the D4.

      • Jabs

        @CaryTheLabelGuy

        I was reading at dpreview and there was this topic about some sensor info and I followed the link and found this information. It was so clear and informative though not complete yet, so it is like an additional amount of information and not a replacement for the measurements at DXO Labs, as that information at DXO Labs indeed shows up in real pictures but what made this new information valuable to me, was who made the various sensors as we are constantly debating and asking that information here.

        D700 sensor made by Nikon – WOW, so maybe also older D3 sensor was also made by Nikon, as in did not know that.

        Yeah, D7000 is indeed an amazing camera and when compared to Sony cameras with what seems like an identical sensor, the images coming from it and the dynamic range is often like night and day between them. If the D7000 was FX, I would buy it in a heartbeat, but too stuck in ‘FX land’ as in shooting from the film days to now go relearn and readjust to DX.

        A – P&S is easy to adjust to, but not a DSLR to me, as I looked at a D3100 and the perspective of the lens size was way off for me and hence FX bodies and indeed looking forward to the D4 line and derivatives.

      • Jabs

        ALSO – if you look at the individual camera measurements, you will see the BITS in all the Sony’s tested as 12 bit (even the A900 and Nex 5) while the Nikon’s are mostly 14bits = one of the reasons WHY Nikon beats Sony easily and not the silly claims here as to who is now following the other in image quality.

        Seems like Nikon indeed has a higher bit structure sub-system, like I originally claimed here as the reason why the D3X (especially), D3s, D700 and now D7000 looks way better than anything from Sony (I don’t know about A77 or Nex5n from measurements, but so far they look worse to me from looking critically at the posted image file’s output) and thus now people can see a measured performance graph from another great web site – thus additional information to perhaps counter whining, our claims or ‘fanboyism’ perhaps.

  • Jabs

    Perhaps it is time for Nikon to return to the older and famous TTL Macro Ring Light of the past with its’ ‘shadowless’ lights, that might negate the close up issue from a short working distance due to focal length issues?

    They sure were expensive though and now that TTL has been updated then what do you use now instead of that. I know that they have a current Macro light set, but I prefer the older unit, but that may not have the ability to do the ‘modeling light’ of the subject like the new setup seems to do, as it was a Ring Light mounted around the lens, basically!

    Any thoughts?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/drscsi Dr SCSI

      @Jabs,
      Nikon’s current macro kit R1C1 is an outstanding little kit, albeit expensive. I have the kit and added two additional SB-R200 to it, for a total of four; you can even go up to 8 flashes on the ring if you like! The ability to control lighting ratios at the macro level using Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) is a big plus over the older ring light. Plus the newer ring light is much larger and with eight flashes it can double for portraiture as well; you will get nice little donut shaped catch lights in the eyes, similar to a beauty dish. The kit comes with a clamp for holding one of the lights off ring and you can even use the gels that are provided for interesting colors on a white cardboard sheet behind your subject. Example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drscsi/5577695155/in/set-72157625644396445
      But I warn anyone reading this, the SB-R200 flashes are poor IR receivers for the CLS signals. The IR signals work great within 5 feet, (1.5 meters) but after that they deminish greatly. The problem is the location of the IR sensor being on the bottom of the flash, as it is the best location for the SU-800 to hit when the flashes are mounted on the ring. The cool part about the new system is the ability to move the flashes around the ring to best illuminate your subject, plus you have no wires and you can use the SU-800 as a master controller for other Nikon speed lights. In fact you can use the macro lights with all the other CLS compatible speed lights simultaneously.

      • Jabs

        @Dr SCSI

        Thanks for the information and then great photo example too. You hear about things but seldom do I see any images or much talk on Photo forums that I visit, about anything as exotic as this. At least you got what I was talking about, thus you must have been a Nikon film shooter from the past like me -lol.

        I also was reminded of that weird Medical Nikkor lens and Ring Light lens combo (believe it was a 120mm F-something lens – maybe F4) in a post here and was also wondering what Doctors and Dentists now use instead of that.

        I am also curious as to what underwater photographers now use instead of the fabulous Nikon gear with those great underwater flashes and Nikonos cameras. I read here once in a comment about one photographer still having and using a Nikonos RS AF underwater camera, but nothing more as in photographic examples. Yeah, I know of underwater housings but looking for information on something exactly like or closely similar to a Nikonos (RS or the other older models) in digital now like the new AW100 CoolPix or such but with a larger sensor, as about to buy an AW100 for myself.

        Perhaps you will contribute some lens or equipment Reviews like Cary Jordan did and then educate us more here – any thoughts on that from you or Administrator?

        To me, education in the finer and complex nuances of photography or videography reduces the whining and complaints that often sink the best Photographic Web sites to nothing but a shouting match or one of – mine is better, longer and bigger than yours – and then we all lose from that too.

        Thanks for your replies, as I like to learn constantly as it replaces complacency, smugness or an attitude of – ‘I know it all and thus nothing more to learn except complain about what is not available at the price point that one expects also, because ‘YOU’ are perhaps a lazy or clueless bum who now blames Equipment Manufacturer’s for not giving you EXACTLY what you dream about or wish to now have’ – yeah right – lol – INSTEAD of truly learning your craft and being a better photographer or such.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/drscsi Dr SCSI

          @Jabs,
          It is funny you should say that I should write an article. Most recently, in an attempts to better understand the relationship of angle/field of view vs. the focal length and subject distance, I decided to write an article to force myself to learn it from an academic perspective. Basically, I was looking for an easy way to establish what I call the Field of View Linear to Subject Distance aspect ratios for any focal length for any sensor. One of my favorite educational websites is http://www.cambridgeincolour.com, as it is free and well conceived. I also wanted to give back to that website by providing them a rough draft of my article for review and feedback, with hopes they could possibly use the content to some extent for others to learn. Unfortunately the article involves much trignonometry and Sean (from Cambridge) said it was beyond much of his audience. Currently, I still need to add diagrams and photo examples to make the topic easier to grasp from a visual standpoint. Who knows, maybe one day I will provide Peter, aka Admin, a guest article worthy of Nikon Rumors. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time right now to pursue it; maybe this winter I will finish it.

          • Jabs

            @Dr SCSI

            LOL – it was as if I was ‘reading your mind’ (impossible too) and then you gave me all this information and a great web site link too – THANKS!

            Often, in a world with people who have short attention spans and not good at either Mathematics or the Sciences, then lots of things are above the head of many.

            We sort of got spoiled and lazy, plus now Studies have shown that people are now using the Internet as their ‘brain’ instead of personally thinking as in using it – informed idiot, then. If the information is incorrect, then because such and such web site quoted or ‘said that’, then it has to be absolutely right – lol

            Perhaps you can find a way to ‘dumb it down’ without losing the factual content or going much over the heads of people. I make up diagrams in Microsoft Visio 2003 and 2007 plus perhaps you can try that or even the free Google SketchUp 8.

            Keep up the good work then and maybe you and Administrator can get together on things, as he seems to have a great ‘head on his shoulders’, as in able to think clearly and rationally.

            Thanks again!

          • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

            Dr SCSI, I am aways open for guest posts ideas.

  • leebee

    Great lens review and I usually like to read the comments but I just wish JABS would STFU.
    Condescending know-it-alls just get tedious.

  • http://ml.cs.colorado.edu/~ben/gallery Ben

    I’m confused. Nikon has huge holes in their lens lineup, and they’re wasting time introducing redundant products. Why? Do they actually have a strategy here? Am I so wrong when I claim that there’s a bigger market for a cheap light DX 11mm f/2.8?

  • Back to top