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  1. #1
    KennyMark's Avatar
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    60mm Micro-Nikkor exposure problem?

    Recently I ran a test session with every normal lens that I could lay my hands on from my own and other's collections. My goal was to see which lenses performed better than others, particularly with regard to sharpness and resolving power. Something unexpected that turned up was an overexposure of every shot made with the 60mm Micro-Nikkor AF D lens. I thought that this was interesting but since I don't own it, I wasn't too concerned about it. My 55 Micro-Nikkor 2.8 AIS will continue to serve me for a long time. Then today I was talking with a friend who told me that he noticed that his 60mm Micro Nikkor AF D gave him similar readings yesterday, that he had not noticed before.

    So has anyone else seen such a difference between this lens and others?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The 60mm Micro-Nikkor AF D is the center bottom image in both groups. The image of the sign is a detail of the full image of the house.
    If you call it a "prime lens" because it's a fixed-focal length (i.e. not a zoom lens), then as Inigo Montoya said so eloquently, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

  2. #2

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    I just took some shots with this lens...on my Canon 30D and the exposure was just about spot on ... but I'll take some shots and compare exposures with other 50mm nikkors I have around here (I have a few...) and get back to you...

  3. #3

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    Hiya Kenny....

    I took some shots...all on a Canon 30D (sorry they're digital) @ ISO 1000, 1/160 @ 2.8...no adjustments made out of camera.

    The exposures are the same as are the results....in terms of exposure...
    It does seem that the 50mm lenses are sharper @ the edge when set @ 2.8, and being 1.4 lenses, they are stopped down 2 F-stops from wide open where the Micro was set for the shots...

    The 50mm/1.4 Nikkors are nearly identical...the earlier base coated "S" seems to have brighter gray (near 18% gray behind the books), and the multicoated AIS has a (bit) brighter white, and the 50mm Nikkors seem to have a bit more contrast than the Oly50 whose contrast seems more like the Micro-Nikkor....

    All shots @ ISO 1000 @ 1/160 @ 2.8...
    It should be noted that typically on dSLRs, the more you stop down the aperture the sensor's response is a bit "off" such that the "correct" exposure as viewed on the view-finder's metering scale must be readjusted...and each lens is different, so that's why I shot these as close to wide open as possible....

    Hope this helps (and doesn't violate the APUG's analog rules)

    It may be easier to see the differences by going here
    http://imageshack.us/f/15/6n4p.jpg/
    and putting the cursor on the image near the top and clicking on the arrow to go to the next full-size image

    Nikkor 60/2.8 Micro


    Olympus 50/1.4


    Nikkor 50s1.4


    Nikkor 50ais1.4

  4. #4
    KennyMark's Avatar
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    Thanks for doing the comparison. The one difference between our tests is that I was shooting f8 in aperture priority (as I was outdoors, I didn't want manual settings to be thrown by changing light). So I guess that perhaps my question is if anyone else's lens meters different than others. Yours look to be very similar if not identical.
    Thanks again!
    If you call it a "prime lens" because it's a fixed-focal length (i.e. not a zoom lens), then as Inigo Montoya said so eloquently, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

  5. #5

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    ...again...on digital sensors, exposures vary as you stop down the lens, particularly to F8 or so...and you have to readjust the aperture and or shutter speed REGARDLESS of the meter reading.
    I don't know what cameras you and your friend are using but that has been my experience with all my MF lenses on all my Canons.

  6. #6

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    Took a few shots @ F8 comparing the 60/2.8 to the 50/1.4AIS and....
    the Micro was about 1/4 F-stop darker needing less than 1/3 shutter speed (< difference between 1/320 to 1/250) increase in shutter speed to get a matching exposure.

  7. #7
    KennyMark's Avatar
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    So the opposite direction of the one that I tested. Perhaps just a wider variance in manufacturing tolerances than most Nikkors.

    In my tests, the 55 Micro-Nikkor AIS was the run-away winner in my perceived sharpness/resolution. I don't have a 28 2.8 AIS but I'd love to compare those two lenses. Ken Rockwell is a big fan of that 28.
    If you call it a "prime lens" because it's a fixed-focal length (i.e. not a zoom lens), then as Inigo Montoya said so eloquently, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

  8. #8

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    Yes, the 55/2.8 is a real winner...I had one once but I don't use macro much so let it go...then found this 60/2.8 cheap...with broken (glued?) AF/MF switch so it's not worth much to anyone wanting AF...but on the Canon there's no AF so it's worth all I paid for it...
    As an aside...
    I had an 85/1.8 "H" Nikkor and an 85/1.8 "K" Nikkor and the "K" had 1/8 F-stop brighter/contrast than the "H" @ 1.8...perhaps due to the "K"'s updated coating...and @ 1.8 THAT was important.
    And I thought it interesting that the single coat 50/1.4 "S" here had a brighter midrange gray than the multicoated 50AIS... the difference isn't much, but noticeable...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by KennyMark View Post
    Recently I ran a test session with every normal lens that I could lay my hands on from my own and other's collections. My goal was to see which lenses performed better than others, particularly with regard to sharpness and resolving power. Something unexpected that turned up was an overexposure of every shot made with the 60mm Micro-Nikkor AF D lens. I thought that this was interesting but since I don't own it, I wasn't too concerned about it. My 55 Micro-Nikkor 2.8 AIS will continue to serve me for a long time. Then today I was talking with a friend who told me that he noticed that his 60mm Micro Nikkor AF D gave him similar readings yesterday, that he had not noticed before.

    So has anyone else seen such a difference between this lens and others?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	normal lens test building full.jpg 
Views:	42 
Size:	233.2 KB 
ID:	71163 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	normal lens tests building sign.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	896.0 KB 
ID:	71162

    The 60mm Micro-Nikkor AF D is the center bottom image in both groups. The image of the sign is a detail of the full image of the house.
    Possibly the lens diaphram didn't stop down fully.

  10. #10

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    I do not think that it is the lens. Do you have AF- fine tuning possibilities on your camera ?. For right comparison you shou have the camera in manual mode. The same ISO , shuttertime, and aperture for all lenses that have to been compared. lf camera on tripod then turn off the VR.

    Trygve ;-)

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