large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

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

Verdict

rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £250

Nikon’s AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is a brand new lens, not a simple upgrade of an existing optic. Nikon has been able to start with a blank page and deliver specific benefits, foremost the lens’s genuine 1:1 macro capability and handling is excellent.

The lens feels very light on account of its largely plastic construction but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The mounting plate is metal and surrounded by a rubber flange that provides a certain level of protection against dust and moisture. The focusing ring, meanwhile, is well placed towards the front of the lens and has a good, albeit slightly heavy, feel.

Despite the absence of any such indication in the model name, the lens benefits from an internal focusing mechanism that leaves the focusing ring undisturbed in AF mode and also permits on-demand manual intervention. Nevertheless, many photographers prefer to use pure manual focusing when working close-up and will therefore to set the mode switch to MF.

For general-purpose use the lens is fitted with a distance-limiter switch, which prevents the lens from hunting below 0.2m. This is important because one weakness is the lens’s slow focusing speed ‚ a surprise given the Silent Wave Motor (SWM) drive.

Technical testing revealed a hint of chromatic aberration across the aperture range on high-contrast technical targets visible on account of the macro’s very high sharpness. The 40mm’s MTF curve remains at or above 0.3 cycles-per-pixel right across the aperture range except when the lens is fully stopped-down to f/22, where there is such a sharp loss of sharpness that critical users will simply shun this setting.

Real-world testing produced excellent results. When small-scale objects were photographed multiple times in AF mode some images were found to be slightly sharper than others ‚ which is why macro specialists often opt for manual focusing.

Sample images

Verdict

Overall this is a very impressive and inexpensive lens that should bring true macro photography within the grasp of most DX-format camera users. There are a few minor weaknesses, the most obvious of which is relatively sluggish focusing in AF mode, but there is nothing serious to dislike about this lens.

Trusted Score

rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.