Small, affordable and with a minimum focus of 16.3cm, Nikon’s 40mm f/2.8 micro lens may be suitable for more than just macro images. Richard Sibley finds out what it can do
Although the AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G has obvious limitations when it comes to macro photography, the pros it offers to entry-level and enthusiast photographers outweigh the cons. The lens is sharp, resolving a great deal of detail, while the multicoated optics produce a good level of contrast and colour.
There are distortions, but these are minimal and easily removed in editing software, or in-camera if you are shooting JPEGs.
The obvious disadvantage is the close working distance to the subject, but the lens does offer more than just macro abilities. I found the 60mm equivalent focal length a good replacement for a standard lens, particularly for documentary shooting and mid-length portraits.
In this regard, the AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G is a really great option for entry-level photographers looking to buy a fixed-focal-length optic to complement their kit zoom.
Similarly, enthusiasts who only dabble with macro imagery can do so without breaking the bank. However, if you specialise in macro, it’s worth paying more for the convenience of a longer focal length.