Upload & Sell: Off
Dustin, Jose has a comparison between 55/2.8 vs 3.5 in the works. For me the cheap 55/3.5 works just great - one of the "best bang for the buck"-lenses I own.
Dustin, as Georg told you, I made a quick comparison of these lenses and included just as a reference the 50/1.8 AI.
At close range: 1:2 magnification:
Comparison of Nikkors 50/1.8+20mm tube vs Micro55/2.8 vs Micro55/3.5 at1:2 close up range por labecoaves, no Flickr
Comparison of Micro-Nikkors 55mm f/2.8 ais and 55mm f/3.5 ai, with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 ai + 20mm tube just for reference.
All lenses set around 1:2 magnification.
All shots taken with a D600 + tripod + built in flash + remote shutter + live view focusing in the centre.
I suggest a visualization at the original (largest) size in the fickr link to evaluate results.
Caution: N = 1 for each lens; copy variation can be a fator here.
Wide open (50/1.8 was at f/2.8) - closer look (cropped central band):
50/f1.8-vs-55/f2.8-vs-55/f3.5-wide open - central band cropped por labecoaves, no Flickr
Although results at the centre are similar, the Micros are clearly sharper at the borders, and at closer inspection the f/2.8 Micro is sligtly sharper at borders than the f/3.5 Micro.
50/f1.8-vs-55/f2.8-vs-55/f3.5- at f/8 - central band cropped por labecoaves, no Flickr
Now all lenses are very similar, but at close inspection the Micros are still slightly better at the borders.
If you need 1:2 or more magnification with great sharpness from border to border, no big surprise the Micros are better, BUT if you don't need macros often and/or don't need critical sharp borders, the humble 50/1.8 + tubes is na option too.
Next I will post a preliminar bokeh comparison.