Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G Micro £210, $280
It’s a mere slip of a thing
Relatively tiny and a real lightweight, this lens measures a mere 69x65mm and, at 235 grams, is only about a third of the weight of some lenses on test. This is due to it being a DX-format lens, having a short 40mm focal length, and lacking an internal focusing mechanism.
The down side is that its inner barrel and front element physically extend at shorter focus distances, putting the front of the lens 3.5cm from the subject at the minimum setting for full 1.0x magnification. This means that the lens often casts a shadow over the subject, and it really benefits from dedicated macro lighting (see page 86).
On the plus side, the lens features ring-type ultrasonic autofocus, a focus distance scale beneath a viewing window and a rubber weather-seal ring on its mounting plate.
Image quality is very good, but other aspects of performance are disappointing. Autofocus is pretty slow, and manual focusing is hampered by a lack of smoothness and precision in the focus ring.