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Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro-Nikkor

pic_001
Review Date: Oct 21, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, contrast, clarity, resistance to flare and ghosting, AF speed, bokeh
Cons:
almost none

The image quality from this lens is exceptional. Among the best lenses i've used. Right up there with the Olympus 14-35 and 35-100 f/2 zooms, the Sony Zeiss 85/1.4 and 135/1.8, and Nikon 24-70, and better than the other macros i've used (Tamron 90/2.8, Sony 50/2.8, Sigma 50/2.8, Olympus 35/3.5 and 50/2).

The sharpness, contrast, clarity, resistance to flare and ghosting, and bokeh are excellent across the board. You can use this lens at any aperture and any focus distance and you'll get great results.

One of the more compelling features of the lens is its flare and ghosting performance. Compared to the other macros i've used (Tamron 90/2.8, Sony 50/2.8, Sigma 50/2.8, Olympus 50/2), it is less susceptible to flare and ghosting when i use them in a bright light tent and the front element is awash in light bouncing off the white surfaces of the tent.

This last point is something that most lens tests and reviewers don't discuss in their reviews, but i think it's important since many people use macros in strong / bright lighting. Some people say that "Nano coating" is marketing fluff, but whether it's due to that or just good old fashioned lens design, it handles bright lighting conditions better than the average macro.


 
Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Distagon T*

25mm
Review Date: Aug 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, flare resistance, smooth and precise MF action, short MFD, pleasing bokeh, colour, contrast, works well on full-frame
Cons:
Longer and heavier than 24/2.8's from Canikon

This thing is built like a tank with a nicely damped, silky smooth and precise manual focus action -- a far cry from the focus ring feel on auto-focus lenses.

Has a very short MFD with near macro capability for those close-up shots. Maintains image quality even at close focus distances.

The bokeh is surprisingly excellent for a WA lens even at close focus distances.

Has that typical Zeiss colour, contrast, and resistance to flare.

Works well on full-frame. The usual corner softness and field curvature wide-open, but improves rapidly upon stopping down.

Only complaint is that it's a bit long and heavy compared to the Canikon 24/2.8's... but it does deliver better IQ and is built like a tank.

Overall, it's a fantastic lens, and it's definitely better than the old 24/2.8's from Canikon.