Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G Mi­cro £210, $280

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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.

Per­for­mance

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.

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