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55mm F2.8 AIS Micro - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by rotxlk82, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    Just got my hands on the 55/2.8 Micro AIS that I have been chasing for some time, I have taken it for a very quick test with my D50 (no metering) and my initial impressions are very good indeed.

    This lens is blessed with the classic Nikkor AIS built quality. It has a very sturdy metal exterior and the control surfaces handle beautifully; the focusing in particular is wonderfully smooth and allows small adjustments to be made easily. Image quality is similarly excellent, I have not had time for a proper test but the few flower macros that I shot near the close focus limit seem impressive. The overall IQ seems on a par with my modern day Sigma 105mm Macro.

    I know people have been looking for samples from the 55mm Micro series here recently so I thought you all might benefit from my initial experience, I shall keep this thread posted as I spend more time with the lens.

    Here is my only sample so far which is worthy of posting so far, it was taken fairly close to the 1:2 reproduction limit at F/5.6.

  2. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Lovely image, Robert! I am glad you are happy with your new purchase. I really like how the light comes through the pedals.
  3. lr0868


    May 25, 2008
    henderson, nv
    gorgeous colors, looks like a great lens
  4. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    Thanks Francis, I can see that I'm going to like this lens. I just want a nice dry day so I can give it a proper test, I grabbed this shot in one of the moments in between the passing rainstorms.

    I will do my best to shoot some more tomorrow.

    Glad you like it, I shall post more once I've shot some more!
  5. Pianisimo

    Pianisimo Guest

    Awesome. Keep posting! I've been looking for a semi-cheap macro lens I can use for not-so-serious macro work, and hopefully this is all I'll ever need! I'm also looking at the older 105mm f/4 micro which there don't seem to be too many samples of...and the older 55 f/3.5 ai.
  6. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    thanks Robert
    lovely image

    what do you mean by its 1:2 limit at 5.6 ?

    I have been looking at the other 2 lenses you mention as well
  7. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    It's certainly a good lens to have.

    It depends how you are with the lack of metering on the D50, the small viewfinder isn't ideal for MF either.

    The apeture was F/5.6
    The focus distance was set such that the reproduction ratio was at almost 1:2 which is the close focus limit
  8. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    oh ok

    its been a long day.............LOL
  9. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Get back to work, Frank! :biggrin:
  10. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    Aww, have a rest... you've obviously been thinking too much!

    You're not his boss!
  11. beautiful, robert
    can't wait to see more
  12. Robert,

    This was one of my absolute favorite lenses. One thing to look out for on the 55 f/2.8 AIS is the barrel lubrication leaking onto the diaphragm rendering it unusable. Mine has been cleaned and repaired twice by an authorized Nikon repair shop. When I went to use it earlier this year, the lubricant was on the blades again!

    I've given up and probably will not try to fix it again. It's a shame because as your excellent photo shows, it is an outstanding performer when it works properly.

    Of course, now that you have tried the 55 2.8 AIS, you may want to look for a 105 f/4 micro AI or f/2.8 AIS for a little more reach

    D300 105 f/4 AI micro nikkor:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Warm regards,
  13. According to Bjorn, it helps to store it standing up on the mount.

    I had mine cleaned by Nikon once already and always keep it standing up. Hopefully it won't need cleaning again. It's a sharp lens. Enjoy it Robert. Nice capture BTW.
  14. V_kids


    Jul 4, 2006
    How about Zeiss 50/2 Macro Plannar T* ?
    really sharp too :) 

    Nikon D50 + ZF 50/2
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Crop 100%
    View attachment 241538

  15. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    Thanks, I have heard about this issue before.

    I have checked my copy of the lens and the blades seem clean and I am able to change the apetures easily.

    Yes, this lens is indeed good. I don't really want it as a full time macro lens but a fairly 'normal' range lens tha can take a closeup if required. I believe this lens will really suit my shooting style.

    I allready have my Sigma 105mm AF for proper macro stuff so I doubt I'll be needing anymore macro lenses in the near future, anyway I can't afford one!
  16. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    Andree I have to admit that I was interested in the Zeiss lens, however when I realised the price difference compared to the Nikkor I decided that I didn't need the extra stop that badly.

    Maybe I'll get it someday, I don't know...

    Thanks for these images anyway, they are indeed very sharp
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