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Well, everybody knows this is a legendary lens, for decades at the top of its class in the 50-60mm focal length, and oft-reputed to perform equally well at both macro (1:2) and infinity focus distances. Does it live up to the hype? Absolutely!
I have owned one of these in one form or another since about 1969 and would not be without it. My wife also uses one as her all-around lens.Focusing is easy, even in low light. Speed is adequate for general use. Small size makes it easy to carry. Image quality is great.
Some old designs do not seem to lose their lustre. At the usual intermediate f/stops, this Nikon 55mm f/2.8 manual focus micro lens consistently produces extremely sharp images on my 24 MP APS-C Nikon camera. That includes all distances. The lens has a flat field and low distortion.
The sharpest lens in the Nikon line. Good for closups. Also great on the bellows. Compact. Very decent flare control with a lens shade added.
I wish the F2.8 was an F2. Then it would be fantastic as a normal lens. As it is, it is too slow for indoors available light.
F2.8 is slow to me on this focal length but ok on a zoom or a telephoto.
I personally don't care much for the 50mm focal length on FX. I use a 28/2.8 AIS as a normal. However, the 55/2.8 Micro-Nikkor is easily the sharpest lens I have. For 1:1 work I found the TC-201 may give a bit better results than the PK-13 tube, neither as good as its native 1:2 though.
I got this lens along with my F3 as a gift from my mother in 1978. I have used it as my "normal" lens for all these years, and it has performed flawlessly. Because it is a macro lens, it is very sharp.
This is a fantastic lens for a 35mm film camera like my FM3A, or for a newer FX full frame Nikon. It represents 1/2 life-size which means photographs taken with this very sharp clear lens are also incredible.
I just bought a second 55 mm Micro Nikkor after having used my first for over 30 years. This lens is small but very sturdy with very smooth focusing. Most important, it is the sharpest edge-to-edge lens I've ever used. Resolution, saturation, lack of aberration and sharpness are all tops.
Good lens for macro work; converting slides and negatives into digital images.
One of the great bargain legendary lenses that is still practical for the 21st century!