(Nancy Kaufman) #1

he DX format 40mm Micro
is wonderfully compact
and lightweight, ideal for
popping into a spare corner
of your camera bag in case you need it.
That might happen more often than
you think, as it’s very versatile. The
focal length and aperture rating make
it a good standard prime for general
shooting, with the option of quick
shutter speeds under dull lighting
and a fairly tight depth of field.
Macro shooting is more tricky,
however, as the inner barrel extends
at shorter focus distances, giving a
working distance between the front of
the lens and the subject of just 3.5cm
in full macro mode. This can make it
difficult to photograph bugs without
scaring them away in the process, and
can also cast a shadow over the
subject, blocking ambient light.

The little lens punches above its weight
when it comes to image quality, which
is excellent in all respects. However,
autofocus speed is rather pedestrian
and manual focusing lacks a certain
smoothness and precision for those
more extreme close-ups.

aunched in 2011, this
optically stabilized FX
format macro lens
predates Sigma’s ‘Global
Vision’ Art, Sports and Contemporary
line-up by a year. Unlike the larger
150mm OS macro that was launched
a few months earlier, it’s still going
strong and serves up a tempting feast
of features at a very competitive price.
It has a fast ring-type ultrasonic AF
and a fully internal focusing
arrangement, complete with a range-
limiter switch that can lock out near or
far focusing. It’s also good for shooting
sports and wildlife, with a four-stop
stabilizer that has switchable static
and panning modes. A hood is supplied
with the lens, plus a hood converter for
optimized performance when using
the lens on a DX body.

Corner-sharpness is merely mediocre
at the wide aperture settings, but
that’s no real problem in macro
photography, where you’ll generally
use narrow apertures to gain even a
little depth of field. Handling is
excellent and the lens delivers
superb all-round image quality.

Nikon AF-S

DX 40mm f/2.8G Micro


Nikon’s baby Micro is short but sharp

Sigma Macro 105mm

f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM


A feature-rich lens at a real bargain price

Sharpness is really impressive
across the whole image frame,
apart from mediocre
corner-sharpness at f/2.8.

Sharpness is excellent in the
central region of the frame,
but slightly less impressive
towards the edges.

Levels of colour fringing are
completely negligible,
especially at medium to
narrow apertures.

Levels of colour fringing are
very minimal and remain
consistent throughout the
aperture range.

The 40mm Micro is,
essentially, a distortion-free
prime lens with a practically
perfect lab score.

There’s only the merest
hint of barrel distortion,
which we found to be
impossible to spot.

N-Photo verdict N-Photo verdict

It’s a good buy at the
price and delivers great
image quality but it’s
better for general
shooting than macro.

It works brilliantly, both
as a telephoto prime
and a macro optic for
extreme close-ups. It’s
also unbeatable value.

Features Features
Build &

Build &
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