View single post by Robert
 Posted: Sat Aug 3rd, 2019 21:07

Joined: Mon Apr 2nd, 2012
Location: South Lakeland, UK
Posts: 4050
I think the simple early lenses are easier to use because the focal length is constant. The focal length of the 60D varies considerably to enable the lens to be autofocus.  I almost never use autofocus with a close up lens because I want to focus exactly where I choose not where the camera chooses.  It was handy when I copied about 3500 pages of text to convert to PDF because as I turned the pages it compensated for the gradual change in distance between the camera and the current page in the book which was about 2inches thick.  For photographing three dimensional subjects particularly flowers and insects I want full control.  The AF generally focusses on the central parts closest to the camera but that can waste half the available depth of focus of the air in front of the flower when I could have been focusing further back into the flower and yet still giving acceptably sharp detail in the front parts.

I understand the local length of the 60D reduces to something like 40mm to enable it to get to 1:1 by AF, that isn't what I want.  The AF 105D pulls the same trick. With the earlier design, 105 f/4 and 55 f/2.8, the elements all move together in one group as you focus, with the AF-D lenses they move in two or three groups rather like a zoom lens as you focus.

My copy of the 60D developed fungus and I was offered a 55, f/2.8 which I snapped up.  I sold the lens on eBay and the buyer kicked off because he didn't understand that to get the AE to work you have to lock the aperture ring.  The argument went on for some days before he finally realised his mistake.  I don't regret parting with the AF-D version, on the contrary I am very happy with the older one with which I have taken some of my best flower pictures, generally moving back and forth (rather than focusing) to get the DoF where I want it for optimal focus.

Generally the older, Nikkor micro 55 f/2.8 lenses are reasonably priced because most buyers want AF.  Try one and see for yourself.