Small Super Sharp Multipurpose
TrueToad Rates this product 5 Stars - This is the Nikon 60mm macro lens review
Note: Nikon Discontinued this excellent Macro Lens in 2022. If you wish to acquire a 60mm Macro lens visit the Nikon Refurbished site or eBay
I agree a 200mm Macro will put distance between you and the subject but it also has its own drawbacks (you can read about it in my blog). I like a 60mm because there are sometimes I need both detail and more of the subject without lugging a 2-pound lens around. With today's megapixel cameras, even if you're not 2 inches from the subject you can crop (as most of us do) to get amazing details. Overall I am very pleased with the lens and look forward to using it more often.
If you are doing fieldwork and wish to capture the entire plant/flower then the Nikon 60mm Macro Lens is a good option because of its shorter focal length. The Nikon 60mm Macro is also an agreeable lens for carrying to the gardens, due to its compact size and lighter weight as mentioned, not too intrusive. For further working distance, a longer lens like a 90, 100, 105, or even 200mm offers you an advantage in for the natural sunlight between you and the lens.
This Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AF-S is very sharp at all apertures but with some falloff at f/2.8 which you never use anyway in Macro and is easily correctable in Lightroom or other post-processing software. I like taking this lens out throughout the year when I want to capture details without being weighed down, on my Nikon Z7 the lens and camera are ideal offering high resolution and in-body stabilization of the Nikon Z - what more can you ask for?
The Nikkor 60mm is designed for Full Frame cameras but can easily be used with the Nikon DX platform and adds a Field of View of a 90mm lens. The focus is all internal, allowing you to use external filters and attachments without them turning or moving during focusing. As far as autofocus goes, it works very well, better than my 150mm Sigma and older 105 Nikon.
Some macro photographers say the 60mm has some distortion, but that is easily fixed in post-processing in Lightroom using lens correction, for nature photography you can hardly tell anyway. Maybe for the postage stamps folks, Macro folks might see it, I don’t because almost all my subjects are from nature no one will notice distortion from organic photographs.
The lens is a very good companion lens to have even if you don't plan on doing Macro. The 60mm is a well-rounded lens and can be used for a number of general photography needs. It may not be the perfect solution but it gets the job done and I enjoy carrying this lightens for a walk and shoot session, the size, weight, and performance pay dividends.
PROS: Quick, Quiet, and very sharp, and also can do double duty as a standard lens.
CONS: None really, for 1:1 macro work it does require the lens to be very close to the subject which in most cases will cause your shadow to be cast onto the subject.
For anyone starting out in Macro work, this would not be my first choice. I would prefer a longer lens first, then after settling in, I would pick up a shorter macro lens, which is why I carry a small fill flash or handheld reflector.
As an all-around everyday general-purpose lens, I would consider this Nikkor 60mm for sure.
Will the lens fit my Nikon camera body? If you have a Nikon DSLR made in the last 10 years - the short answer is yes. The 60mm lens is an FX lens if your camera is a DX body the lens will give a view equal to a 90mm. If your body is a Full Frame (FX) you will get the 60mm field of view. I love using this lens on my D500 which is a DX body. So, don't be afraid to try the 60mm lens on either an FX or DX camera body.