NPhoto - - Test Team -

In terms of per­for­mance, there are marked sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween this and the Tam­ron 60mm. Both drop off sig­nif­i­cantly in sharp­ness at their widest avail­able aper­tures, and ex­hibit colour fring­ing to­wards the cor­ners of the frame. How­ever, while bar­rel dis­tor­tion can be no­tice­able in the Tam­ron 60mm, the 90mm has barely per­cep­ti­ble pin­cush­ion dis­tor­tion. For full-frame shoot­ers who favour a short fo­cal length, this lens gives the same reach as when us­ing the Nikon 40mm on a DX body. It’s only a lit­tle longer than a ‘stan­dard’ 50mm prime lens and a good choice for gen­eral pho­tog­ra­phy.

Up­mar­ket at­trac­tions miss­ing from the 40mm lens in­clude ED (Ex­tra-low Dis­per­sion) glass and Nano Crys­tal coat­ing, which re­duce colour fring­ing and op­ti­mise res­o­lu­tion, con­trast, and limit ghost­ing and flare. Good build qual­ity sees the in­clu­sion of a weather seal on the mount­ing plate.

Con­sid­er­ing it’s the most ex­pen­sive lens in the group, it feels a lit­tle ba­sic. There’s no fo­cus lim­iter switch nor an op­ti­cal sta­biliser, both of which are pre­sent and well im­ple­mented on both the Sigma 105mm OS and Tam­ron 90mm VC lenses. On the plus side, at least this Nikon’s ring-type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem is just as rapid and quiet as in the other two lenses.


Sharp­ness is ex­cel­lent at f/8 but merely av­er­age at f/16, which is un­for­tu­nate as the lat­ter is a pop­u­lar choice for macro shoot­ing. In all other re­spects, per­for­mance is pretty good but, for our money, the Nikon doesn’t quite do enough to make it par­tic­u­larly good value.

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