Nikon 60mm Macro 2.8G vs 2.8D





By Smari S Smarason

 

Nikon 60mm Macro 2.8G vs 2.8D

Lens Specifications

Maximum aperture f/2.8 – Minimum aperture f/32. (The same in both lenses)

Filter/attachment size 62mm. (The same in both lenses)

D – Lens construction 8 elements in 7 groups.

G – Lens construction 12 elements in 9 groups.

D – Lens closest focusing distance 0.219 m/0.6 ft.

G – Lens closest focusing distance 0.185 m/0.6 ft.

D – Lens No. of diaphragm blades 7 straight.

G – Lens No. of diaphragm blades 9 Rounded.

D – Lens weight Approximately 440 g/15.5 oz.

G – Lens weight Approximately 425 g/15.0 oz.

D – Lens has Super Integrated Coating (SIC) for providing high-contrast image even with maximum aperture, and Close-Range Correction (CRC) system provides high performance at both near and far focusing distances.

G – Lens – SWM: Silent Wave Motor – faster and quiet auto-focus.

G – Lens – IF Internal Focusing, allows faster, smoother autofocusing and eliminates changes in the lens barrel length.

G – Lens – NA: Nano Crystal Coat, high-performance Nikon Super Integrated Coating delivers superior colour correction and reducing ghosting and flare.

On paper, the Nikon 60mm 2.8G lens look much better than the Nikon 60mm 2.8D lens, especially Nano Crystal Coating – 9 rounded blades – faster auto-focus so let’s get started comparing this two lenses, just how much difference is between them?

There is only two out the three things that I mentioned before that stand out on the new Nikon 60mm 2.8G lens which is better than on the previous version, it’s the Auto-focus and Nano Crystal Coating, other than that they give almost the same images quality, sometimes the older Nikon 60mm 2.8D version is better and sometimes the Nikon 60mm 2.8G version is better.

I’m going to show you the difference.

9 Rounded blades vs 7 Straight blades.

This was probably the most disappointed when I bought the new Nikon 60mm 2.8G lens (9 Rounded blades vs 7 Straight blades) I thought the Nikon 60mm 2.8G lens would outperform the older Nikon 60mm 2.8D lens when it came to bokeh test, but it did not, it’s exactly the same and sometimes the bokeh is better on the older Nikon 60mm 2.8D lens.

Nikon 60mm f/2.8D Micro 7 diaphragm blades (front of the lens)
Nikon 60mm f/2.8D Micro 7 diaphragm blades (front of the lens)
Nikon 60mm f/2.8G Micro 9 diaphragm blades (front of the lens)
Nikon 60mm f/2.8G Micro 9 Rounded diaphragm blades (front of the lens)

9 Rounded blades vs 7 Straight blades for long exposure photography.

Sharpness and Starburst.

In long exposure photography, both lenses give good sharpness and good details.

For starburst, I always like the starburst from older D lenses from Nikkor, in my opinion, I think it looks much better.

Nikon D810 - Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/8.0 - 30sec - ISO - 100
Nikon D810 – Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/8.0 – 30sec – ISO – 100
Nikon D810 - Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/8.0 - 30sec - ISO - 100
Crop from the photo above – Nikon D810 – Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/8.0 – 30sec – ISO – 100
Nikon D810 - Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/8.0 - 30sec - ISO - 100
Nikon D810 – Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/8.0 – 30sec – ISO – 100
Crop from the photo above - Nikon D810 - Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/8.0 - 30sec - ISO - 100
Crop from the photo above – Nikon D810 – Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/8.0 – 30sec – ISO – 100

9 Rounded blades vs 7 Straight blades Bokeh test.

Both lenses give good bokeh and good sharpness on the focusing area, but as I said before this was probably the most disappointed when I bought the new Nikon 60mm 2.8G lens (9 Rounded blades vs 7 Straight blades) I thought the Nikon 60mm 2.8G lens would outperform the older Nikon 60mm 2.8D lens when it came to bokeh test, but it did not, it’s exactly the same and sometimes the bokeh (and sharpness on the focusing area) is slightly better on the older Nikon 60mm 2.8D lens.

Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f2.8 on the left and Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 on the right
Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f3.2 on the left and Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 on the right

9 Rounded blades vs 7 Straight blades Bokeh test.

 Portrait bokeh and Sharpness test.

When it comes to portrait there is no doubt that the Nikon 60mm 2.8G lens is much better on all widest aperture rather than Nikon 60mm 2.8D lens especially on my Nikon D700, but on my Nikon D810, the lenses are almost neck to neck the Nikon 60mm 2.8G lens is slightly better.

The first four photos are taken with Nikon D700 camera and both lenses, these are original photos and crop samples.

Also, here you can see how good Nano Crystal Coating works, the Bokeh is almost the same.

Nikon D700 - Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 - 1/250s - ISO 200
Nikon D700 – Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 – 1/250s – ISO 200
Nikon D700 - Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/2.8 - 1/250s - ISO 200
Nikon D700 – Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/2.8 – 1/250s – ISO 200
Nikon D700 – Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 – 1/250s – ISO 200 CROP
Nikon D700 - Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/2.8 - 1/250s - ISO 200 CROP
Nikon D700 – Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/2.8 – 1/250s – ISO 200 CROP

The next four photos after are taken with Nikon D810 camera and both lenses, these are original photos and crop samples

Nikon D810 - Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 - 1/125s - ISO 64
Nikon D810 – Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 – 1/125s – ISO 64
Nikon D810 - Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/2.8 - 1/160s - ISO 64
Nikon D810 – Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/2.8 – 1/160s – ISO 64
Nikon D810 - Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 - 1/125s - ISO 64
Nikon D810 – Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 – 1/125s – ISO 64 CROP
Nikon D810 - Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/2.8 - 1/160s - ISO 64 CROP
Nikon D810 – Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/2.8 – 1/160s – ISO 64 CROP

Nano Crystal Coating vs Super Integrated Coating.

Nikon 60mm 2.8G – lens has Nano Crystal Coat (NA) high-performance Nikon Super Integrated Coating delivers superior colour correction and reducing ghosting and flare.

Nikon 60mm 2.8D – Lens has Super Integrated Coating (SIC) for providing high-contrast image even with maximum aperture.

The Nikon 60mm 2.8G version can somehow choose f/2.8 aperture closer to the subject then the older Nikon 60mm 2.8D lens.

The new Nano Crystal Coating works much better here when shooting with the sun in front of the lens.

Nikon D700 - Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 - 1/500 - ISO 200
Nikon D700 – Nikon 60mm 2.8G @ f/2.8 – 1/500 – ISO 200
Nikon D700 – Nikon 60mm 2.8D @ f/3.2 – 1/320 – ISO 200

Conclusion and recommendation

The reason for me to recommend the G version of the older D version is the Silent Wave Motor – faster and quiet auto-focus, that is the biggest difference between this lenses. If you can live without faster auto-focus take the older Nikon 60mm 2.8D version.

The next reason is – the 60mm 2.8G version it’s slightly sharper wide open than the older 60mm 2.8D lens especially for portrait photography.

For whom and what type of photography are these lenses for.

In my opinion – it’s for those who like to take close up portrait pictures of pets and kids where you need to get closer focus then with 50mm or 85mm lens for example.

Food photography – Still life photography – close up portrait photography.

everything close, but not so much as a macro, personally I like to use much longer lenses for macro photography – 100-200mm.