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Nikon Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 AI Review

Micro-nikkor 55mm f/3.5 Life Pixel Infrared Conversion

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio


May 2007

The Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 AI, is considered one of Nikons sharpest lenses. The AI version of the Micro-Nikkor is like you might expect a upgrade of the Pre-AI version. It shares the same optical formula of five elements in 4 groups. The only diffirence between the Pre-AI and AI version is the AI spec. You have to go back to the 55 f/3.5 Micro-P.C to se a diffirence between the lenses, at least as far as the look of the lenses goes. As most of Nikon's manual focus Micro-Nikkor's it only goes to1:2 macro, and needs a PK-13 or a bellows to reach 1:1 macro.


Lens Construction: 5 elements in 4 groups

Picture Angle: 43° (35mm)

Minimum focus distance: 0.241m

Filter Size: 52mm

Lens Hood: Screw-in HN-3

Included accessories: ?

Size and weight: dia.66 L55 245g

Diaphragm: 6 bladed

Price from: $ Discontinued

Price paid: $24 USD

Manufacturers web site:


  • Sharp. Incredible resolution with this lens.
  • Infinity focus, this is the macro lens with the best infinity focus I have tested so far.
  • Price, on the second hand market this lens sells quite cheap
  • DOF/IR markings


  • 1:2 macro, you need pk-13 or a bellows to get 1:1 macro with this lens.
  • At maximum magnification there is not much room left in front of the lens.


This lens is crisp and sharp, with good contrast. The Micro-Nikkor 55mm is excellent for small product shots. In my opinion, if you want a macro lens, go for a manual focus lens, and you might as well go for the best of the best, the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5. This lens is sharper then the Micro-Nikkor f/2.8. The AF 60mm Micro-Nikkor is a good alternative, which brings the magnification up to 1:1.

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Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D. From $459.95 USD

Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Price from: $529.95 USD

Sigma AF 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro. From $299.00 USD

Zeiss MF Macro 50mm f/2 ZF Makro-Planar T*. From $1,033.00 USD

Sigma AF 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro. From $499.00 USD

Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro. From $459.95 USD (rebate available)

*Prices are subject to change. Listed price is from July 26, 2009

Sample Pictures

Images have been imported to photoshop CS3 through Capture NX 2 thus leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening, etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my copyright page for information about usage of these images.

Micro Nikkor 55mm @ f/3.5
D2H, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 @ f/3.5 1/30sec.
Micro Nikkor @ f/5
D2H, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 @ f/5 1/250sec.
Micro Nikkor @ f/10
D2H, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 @ f/10 1/250sec.
Micro Nikkor @ f30
D2H, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 @ f/30 1/250sec.
D200 Micro Nikkor @ f/11
D200, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 @ f/11 1/15sec.
D200 Micro Nikkor @ f/5.6
D200, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 @ f/5.6 1/15sec.
Bellows d200 Micro Nikkor @ f/3.5
D200, Bellows,Micro 55mm @ f/3.5 1/160sec.
D200 Bellows, Micro Nikkor 55mm @ f/8
D200 + Bellows, Micro 55mm @ f/8 1/60sec.
D200 + bellows, Micro Nikkor 55mm @ f/16
D200 + Bellows, Micro 55mm @ f/16 1/60sec.
Infinity @ f/3.5
D200, Micro-Nikkor 55mm @ Infinity @ f/3.5
D200, Micro-Nikkor @ 1/80sec f/5.6
© 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.