Lens review

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

26 April 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the lens was based on RAW files from the Nikon D3x. It’s worth mentioning here that in the case of that body the decency level can be placed at 30-31 lpmm and the best fixed-focal lenses can reach results as high as about 46 lpmm. The predecessor of the tested lens, the Nikkor AF Micro 60 mm f/2.8D, was tested on the Nikon D200 which can generate results by 1-2 lpmm higher. It is worth remembering if you want to compare the achievements of these two instruments directly.

The graph below presents result the Nikkor AF-S Micro 60 mm f/2.8G ED had at the frame centre, on the edge of the DX sensor and on the edge of full frame.

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

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The achievements in the frame centre are simply splendid. Even at the maximum relative aperture the MTFs get to the level of almost 40 lpmm which means you can obtain high-contrast, sharp images there. What’s interesting, the predecessor of the tested lens had practically the same result at the maximum relative aperture. Taking into account the differences between the sensors the new lens is by a hair’s breadth better.

On stopping down the aperture the resolution increases and the images become outstandingly sharp – the lens reaches its peak by f/5.6 going to the level of 45 lpmm. Within the margin of error such a result is practically the same as that of its predecessor.

When it comes to the DX sensor performance the tested lens’s results are also beyond reproach. The level of 35 lpmm, reached at the maximum relative aperture, is certainly worth our praise especially that, compared to the results of its predecessor, the lens improved a lot (the older version had problems with exceeding the 30 lpmm borderline). What’s important the transition to the full frame border causes further, but very slight, decrease of MTF values. By f/2.8 we get the resolution of 32-33 lpmm so still safely above the decency level.

To sum up in this category we didn’t find any weaknesses. Up from the maximum relative aperture the lens is able to generate sharp, crisp images throughout the frame, and we mean here full frame of course. A round of applause!

The photos below present JPEG files crops from the area near the frame centre.

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