Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm 1:2.8 G Lens (f/2.8)
This lens is 11 years old. It is of the DX variety which means it will work on DX and FX cameras. This is Nikon's most inexpensive macro lens at $280 USD. It is also the one with the shortest focal length. It has no fancy, expensive ED glass elements in its construction (see below) yet is quite the capable macro lens.
Features Close-Range Correction (CRC) for high quality images when at close focus and it sorely needs Nikon's Vibration Reduction (VR) like the 85mm version for doing somewhat close-up photography.
Shoot at apertures greater than f/8 as this is when diffraction sets in.
Not as sharp near infinity as it is close-up. Close-up, the sharpness is something to behold. With far subjects, this lens is about as sharp as a zoom lens like the Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 DX G VR or maybe even a little less so.
There is very little pincushion distortion (0.1%) that's hardly worth mentioning. It's very hard to get flaring to occur. There is some faint color fringing, and there is slight vignetting when the lens is wide open.
This lens is compared in the comparisons section on this site
Auto-focus performance is not blazing fast like the Nikkor AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR, but it is adequate.
The bottom line is that this is one of the best performing DX lenses ever tested here.
The lens is very solid even though it's plastic with a metal base. It does include a rubber seal around the mount. The feel of the manual focus is pretty good, but the throw is short. Critical focus is still possible because it only goes to 1:1. It's not like trying to focus a bellows.
The front element does not rotate making it a polarizer friendly lens.
The bokeh is semi-busy. Good bokeh is important for a macro lens.
Contrary to reports on the Internet, this is a decent infrared lens. It does exhibit the slightest of hotspot when stopped down. This doesn't mean its useless as an infrared lens.
Pros and Cons
- good construction
- automatic manual-focus override
- incredible close-up performer
- compact design
- does not flare easily
- ø52mm filter ring
- maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1
- non-rotating front element
- excellent infrared performer
- performance near infinity is not stellar
- at 1:1, subject almost touches lens
- no aperture ring
- Focal length: 40mm
- Maximum aperture: 1:2.8
- Minimum aperture: 1:32
- ø52mm filter ring
- Maximum reproduction ratio: 1:1 (1×)
- Lens construction: 9 lens elements in 7 groups
- No. of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)
- Diameter × length (extension from lens mount): Approximately 68.5x64.5mm/2.7x2.5 in.
- Picture angle: 38°50’
- Weight: Approximately 235g/8.3oz
- Distance scale: 0.163m/0.53ft. to infinity
- Accessories: 52 mm Snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-52, Rear Lens Cap LF-4, Bayonet Hood HB-61, Flexible Lens Pouch CL-0915
- Price: $280 USD