Matching photo equipment with style – 2

_DSC7502A few posts ago, I wrote about yearning for a lens that would let me get closer to small things. When walking around, I tend to look for small things to take pictures of – drops on flowers, bugs, colourful leaves, etc. While ‘landscapes’ are great, often less is more, and looking at the detail around you can open up your eyes to some wondrous things.

Well, on Sunday, I gave into the lust and purchased the new Nikon 60mm AF-S G micro Nikkor lens. It’s a fast lens, rated at f2.8, although that increases an f-stop or so when taking close ups.

And close it gets; it will focus down to 18.5cm or less (according to reports) and provides a 1:1 reproduction of what you’re seeing. I have the 105mm micro as well, but this lens is lighter and wider, giving a completely different look.

I tested it out with a few photos you can see in my Flickr stream.

So far, I’m really impressed. The pictures are all taken handheld on a breezy afternoon. It leaves me wondering what I can do with a tripod on a calm day. Sure, I’m going to have to learn how to deal with the depth of field for closeups, but it will be fun to play with. That’s why I like photography – there is always something new to learn.

It’s also quite good as a close to ‘normal’ lens. Just a little bit longer than the 50mm, which is considered normal on FX digital and film cameras, it gives just a touch of reach that the 50 doesn’t. Of course it also gets much closer than either the 50mm or 85mm, and lets you fill the frame with tiny subjects whenever you want.

Based on first impressions, this lens is a keeper. It’s a bright, sharp, versatile, prime lens and a lot cheaper than some of it’s Nikon cousins. I might have to walk, rather than zoom, but hey, I need the exercise anyway 😉

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