Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 50mm

Started Nov 7, 2011 | Discussions
JMMiller
New MemberPosts: 22
Like?
Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 50mm
Nov 7, 2011

I'm looking to pick up a macro lens for portrait and wedding detail photography (and then super macro via raynox conversion lens, later). Will be shot on a D700 body. I'm torn between a Nikkor AF or AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro or a Zeiss lens, mainly because of the 1:2 mag on the Zeiss, compared to the 1:1 on the Nikkor. Also, if going Nikkor what would all your experienced opinions be between the older AF lens compared to the newer AF-S, on the D700? I'd personally like to shoot full frame, but it isn't a huge deal if I don't.
Just to be clear I'm talking about the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2

http://lenses.zeiss.com/photo/en_DE/products/slr/makroplanart250.usage.html

Any thoughts?

Nikon D700
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
M4cr0s
Contributing MemberPosts: 943
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to JMMiller, Nov 7, 2011

I don't think you really can go wrong, they are both among the very best lenses in their class. Yet, they are clearly quite different, the Zeiss is faster, shorter and arguably has better bokeh than most 50s. No AF too of course and more than twice as expensive as the 60G and probably three to four times the price of the 60D used.

The general consensus from reviews and user reports on old versus new Nikon 60mm micro seem to be that the new one is slightly improved with an even flatter, more consistent frame and better edges, although the 60D certainly was no slouch. Nano-coating also ads better flare control and some contrast.

My personal perspective is that the 60G is a close to perfect lens in terms of overall IQ and reasonably good AF. It's colors and contrast is very similar to other modern Nikons such as the 24-70 and it is slightly punchier than for instance the 85 1.4G The Zeiss seem to have the Zeiss "pop" and a slightly stronger, more contrasty look. Less clinical and more "feel" than the Nikon perhaps.

I really like the 60G, but for portraits on DX I prefer the Voigtländer 58 1.4, it has IMHO a more unique feel than any of the other lenses and I actually find the Zeisses a bit too intense in some circumstances and not always the best lenses for people shots. Due to it's optical imperfections at large apertures it gives slightly soft, dreamy images wide open and bitingly sharp shots with greatly improved bokeh at F/2-2.8. The Voigt is better at 2.8 than the 60G, but at F/4.0 they are head to head in pure sharpness. The Voigt is price-wise about the same as the 60G and sport an identical build quality to the Zeiss (built at the same factory in Japan).

Mac

PS! For the record: I haven't owned the Zeiss 50 2.0, just borrowed it for a day.

-- hide signature --

My (photo)blog: http://www.mindovermadness.org
My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/m4cr0s/
My Facebook page: http://bit.ly/ajk2An

“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this years fashions.”
— Lillian Hellman

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
joejack951
Senior MemberPosts: 2,314Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to JMMiller, Nov 7, 2011

JMMiller wrote:

Any thoughts?

Unless you'll be shooting from a tripod with mirror lockup, 1:1 capability isn't something that should be a factor in your decision. Depth of field is zilch at those distances and you need a ton of light to get fast enough shutter speeds to even begin to counter camera shake in a hand held shot.

 joejack951's gear list:joejack951's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
matt4
Regular MemberPosts: 155
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to M4cr0s, Nov 7, 2011

M4cr0s wrote:

I really like the 60G, but for portraits on DX I prefer the Voigtländer 58 1.4, it has IMHO a more unique feel than any of the other lenses and I actually find the Zeisses a bit too intense in some circumstances and not always the best lenses for people shots. Due to it's optical imperfections at large apertures it gives slightly soft, dreamy images wide open and bitingly sharp shots with greatly improved bokeh at F/2-2.8. The Voigt is better at 2.8 than the 60G, but at F/4.0 they are head to head in pure sharpness. The Voigt is price-wise about the same as the 60G and sport an identical build quality to the Zeiss (built at the same factory in Japan).

Interesting, do you find it worth having the two lenses with such similar focal lengths? I've thought of getting either the 58 or the 60 (if I got the Voitlander, I might then get a macro with a longer focal length). How do you find focusing the 58mm on DX?

-- hide signature --

Matt

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
M4cr0s
Contributing MemberPosts: 943
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to matt4, Nov 7, 2011

matt4 wrote:

Interesting, do you find it worth having the two lenses with such similar focal lengths? I've thought of getting either the 58 or the 60 (if I got the Voitlander, I might then get a macro with a longer focal length). How do you find focusing the 58mm on DX?

-- hide signature --

Matt

Well, I wouldn't attempt to focus it with a "lesser" body than a D7k/D300(s) that got both the arrows and the dot. Of course wide open is a challenge, but doable, stopped down a couple of stops a lot easier. The build quality and fantastic smooth feel of the focus ring with just enough resistance makes you want to use this lens. I got a KatzEye too, it helps a bit to get in the general area, but I use the "dot" for the final tuning.

Now the focal lengths are close, but the lenses are so different that they really don't directly compare. Around 60mm on DX is also very useful I find, more so than a 50 1.4 for instance. I should ad that one of the reasons I got the Voigt is that I shoot a little bit of film, and it works fine well on older Nikon bodies due to the aperture ring. The 60G does mostly macro, both handheld with a dedicated macro flash and in a studio-setting with focus rails and stacking. I rarely carry both in the bag at the same time. Also, overall I could get by with only the 60G, both is a luxury, but I would miss the Voigt. Such a special lens

Some private samples from both lenses.

The Voigt 58

Wide open

F/1.6

F/2.8 - bokeh gets a lot smoother at F/2-2.8, a phenomenon you can see with a lot of fast lenses in the 50-60mm range.

F/2.8

Also F/2.8 against bright light

The 60G

Wide open

Wide open at close to minimum distance, but like with all macro lenses aperture automatically stops down a bit so about F/3.8 I think.

Mac

-- hide signature --

My (photo)blog: http://www.mindovermadness.org
My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/m4cr0s/
My Facebook page: http://bit.ly/ajk2An

“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this years fashions.”
— Lillian Hellman

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
_sem_
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,198
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to joejack951, Nov 7, 2011

joejack951 wrote:

Unless you'll be shooting from a tripod with mirror lockup, 1:1 capability isn't something that should be a factor in your decision. Depth of field is zilch at those distances and you need a ton of light to get fast enough shutter speeds to even begin to counter camera shake in a hand held shot.

Handheld 1:1 is piece of cake if you're using diffused flash. DoF is shallow indeed.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1025&message=35870560

But if macro around 1:1 is not a top priority, you can have it occasionally with the Zeiss using an extension tube or an achromat diopter (a powerful one).

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
pocketfulladoubles
Senior MemberPosts: 1,986
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to M4cr0s, Nov 7, 2011

The 60G can do some good portraits too. Some friends of mine:
(All handheld, and cropped to about 1/3 of original image)

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
matt4
Regular MemberPosts: 155
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to M4cr0s, Nov 7, 2011

Great shots - thanks for posting! Both are special lenses. Right now I'm on a low-end body so I lean toward the 60G for autofocus. Actually I have the Voigtlander 20mm, but I often shoot landscapes with it at f/8 and infinity.
--
Matt

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
pocketfulladoubles
Senior MemberPosts: 1,986
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to matt4, Nov 8, 2011

The AF on the 60G is solid. Not quite a 17-55 or 24-70 obviously, but the best I've seen on a macro. Yes, the working distance is very very close, but with patience, it's very doable. I find that bugs aren't so jumpy if you move it very slowly at them. I start at about a foot, and take a picture at each inch closer, until the bugs decides to scramble. Sometimes, I can get as close as an inch or two - all with the AF motor doing a fine job.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
afoton
Contributing MemberPosts: 789Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to M4cr0s, Nov 8, 2011

M4cr0s wrote:

Well, I wouldn't attempt to focus it with a "lesser" body than a D7k/D300(s) that got both the arrows and the dot.

Unfortunately D300 doesn't have the arrows

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
slimandy
Forum ProPosts: 14,443Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to JMMiller, Nov 8, 2011

For macro and portrait I would want a longer lens and I'd recommend the Zeiss 100mm makro. 50mm/60mm is not as long as I'd like for portrait (unless we are taliking full body or groups) and doesn't give as much working distance as I'd like for macro.

If you are sure it is a 50/60 lens you want I'd highly recommend the Zeiss 50mm f2 makro as it is a fast aprture lens, is sharp wide open and has lovely bokeh. Bear in mind it is MF and has a long focus throw so in dimly lit interiors you may wish you had an AF lens (and not necesarily a macro lens at all).
--
http://www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Fujifilm X-E1 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
joejack951
Senior MemberPosts: 2,314Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to _sem_, Nov 8, 2011

sem wrote:

Handheld 1:1 is piece of cake if you're using diffused flash. DoF is shallow indeed.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1025&message=35870560

But if macro around 1:1 is not a top priority, you can have it occasionally with the Zeiss using an extension tube or an achromat diopter (a powerful one).

Nice shots! Either you have a far steadier hand than I or you took quite a few and posted the rare keeper where your focus was spot on.

 joejack951's gear list:joejack951's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
M4cr0s
Contributing MemberPosts: 943
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to joejack951, Nov 8, 2011

joejack951 wrote:

Nice shots! Either you have a far steadier hand than I or you took quite a few and posted the rare keeper where your focus was spot on.

I can't answer for the guy you're replying to, but the technique I often use when going handheld w/o additional lighting is..

1. Lay flat, belly first on the ground (recommendable to avoid puddles and muddy areas).

2. Support your elbows on the ground and put the camera to your face, creating a very stable setup, especially if you control your breathing.
3. Do a couple of bursts and refocus/check focus in between.

Chances are you'll get a very usable shot, at least if the shutter speeds are decent. In flower covered summer fields, gardens and such this quite a comfortable way to shoot too

Mac

-- hide signature --

My (photo)blog: http://www.mindovermadness.org
My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/m4cr0s/
My Facebook page: http://bit.ly/ajk2An

“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this years fashions.”
— Lillian Hellman

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Shaun_Nyc
Senior MemberPosts: 2,265Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to JMMiller, Nov 8, 2011

JMMiller wrote:

I'm looking to pick up a macro lens for portrait and wedding detail photography (and then super macro via raynox conversion lens, later). Will be shot on a D700 body. I'm torn between a Nikkor AF or AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro or a Zeiss lens, mainly because of the 1:2 mag on the Zeiss, compared to the 1:1 on the Nikkor. Also, if going Nikkor what would all your experienced opinions be between the older AF lens compared to the newer AF-S, on the D700? I'd personally like to shoot full frame, but it isn't a huge deal if I don't.
Just to be clear I'm talking about the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 50mm f/2

http://lenses.zeiss.com/photo/en_DE/products/slr/makroplanart250.usage.html

Any thoughts?

I use the 60D for wed details, don’t see the point in anything more expensive as I usually use my body to focus when in close.. Too sharp & revealing for portraits’ imo

-- hide signature --
 Shaun_Nyc's gear list:Shaun_Nyc's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Nikon D50 Nikon D3 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
joejack951
Senior MemberPosts: 2,314Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to M4cr0s, Nov 8, 2011

M4cr0s wrote:

I can't answer for the guy you're replying to, but the technique I often use when going handheld w/o additional lighting is..

1. Lay flat, belly first on the ground (recommendable to avoid puddles and muddy areas).

2. Support your elbows on the ground and put the camera to your face, creating a very stable setup, especially if you control your breathing.
3. Do a couple of bursts and refocus/check focus in between.

Chances are you'll get a very usable shot, at least if the shutter speeds are decent. In flower covered summer fields, gardens and such this quite a comfortable way to shoot too

Mac

I've used a similar technique to get "usable" shots, however, I wouldn't describe that as a "piece of cake" to accomplish (relative to taking a typical photograph). I've also learned that while a shot can be ok handheld, taking the same shot with a truly stable platform for the camera and using mirror lockup yields photos that make the handheld stuff look lackluster. I'll be the first to admit that I need more practice though.

 joejack951's gear list:joejack951's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
_sem_
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,198
Like?
Re: Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 Micro VS Nikkor AF-S 60mm 2.8 Micro... VS Zeiss Makro-Planar 5
In reply to joejack951, Nov 8, 2011

joejack951 wrote:

sem wrote:

Handheld 1:1 is piece of cake if you're using diffused flash. DoF is shallow indeed.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1025&message=35870560

But if macro around 1:1 is not a top priority, you can have it occasionally with the Zeiss using an extension tube or an achromat diopter (a powerful one).

Nice shots! Either you have a far steadier hand than I or you took quite a few and posted the rare keeper where your focus was spot on.

No shots of mine in that thread, some here
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5124716672/albums/tamron-60mm-f2

All handheld, most of them "quick snaps" with the pop-up flash and a $5 collapsible diffuser mounted on the lens, 1 min prep. Notice the flash pulse is not short enough to freeze the wings of the hummingbird hawk moth, but wing motion is the nature of that little thing anyway.

OK, many more than these got dumped but clicks are free. Folks that do portraits know about thin DoF... but may have to pay dearly for it, in macro it comes for free. There's certainly technique involved. I meant to say it is not necessarily hard work and tripod-carrying life

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads