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Review Samsung 60mm Macro NX

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The Samsung 60 mm macro NX is a sturdily built, professional lens. This macro lens is primarily intended for close-up shots, but optically it is just as suited for landscapes or portraits, for example. There is built-in image stabilization. Even in comparison with macro lenses of the established brands, this is a very good macro lens. For sport and action photography, we think this lens is less suitable. We explain why...

Samsung60mmMacro

Samsung 60 mm Macro NX f/2.8 OIS

Samsung 60mm macro, Review Samsung 60mm macro, Samsung lens review

Probably the most-photographed macro object in the world: the rose. Always beautiful: 1/60 second, f/4.5

Build and auto focus

We review the Samsung 60 mm macro on an NX30 body. The lens is big and heavy, extending forward 83 mm from the mount. Of the Samsung lens set that the importer let us use, this is far and away the largest (see the shot below: the lens in back is the 60 macro). It has a distance ring and an iFn ring. We're now familiar with that uniquely Samsung system: with this ring, you can adjust various camera settings via the lens, with the left hand. The thought is that you have the left hand free because you will almost always be working with auto focus. That is not the case with macro work. Notable: There is no AF/MF switch. You will have to do that via the body.

The Samsung 60 mm macro lens has built-in image stabilization. According to the manufacturer, that is good for 4 extra stops.

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The lens is equipped with SSA technology. This stands for "supersonic actuator." This is a cylinder-shaped focus motor like the Canon has had for years (USM). Nonetheless, focusing happens at the speed of sound, at least. The AF is very accurate and never misses the focal point, but it does "overshoot" regularly. In our standard focus test, the AF reaction time came to nearly one second. For this reason, we wouldn't choose this lens for action photography.

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Specifications
 

 

Vignetting and distortion

Vignetting and skewing are outstandingly limited at this fixed focal length. The Imatest measurement of the distortion in the jpg file that was stored in the Samsung NX30 test camera amounted to just 0.03%. Very good.

Move your mouse over the illustration for the Imatest results.

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Shot at 1/100 second at f/16.

 Sharpness

The resolution (sharpness) is exemplary at 60 mm, not only in the macro area, but also at greater object distances. In the corners, the sharpness is already good at full aperture, but it clearly increases with stopping down. The center sharpness is very high and reaches the highest sharpness at f/5.6. When you overlook the rather slow AF, this is a real all-around lens.

Move your mouse over the illustration for the Imatest results.

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Flare, Bokeh, Chromatic Aberration

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Photo above: A critical situation for flare, against a sun just above the horizon. The 60 Macro handles that outstandingly, even without a sun cap. f/8, 1/640 second, ISO 200. We did not observe chromatic aberration (colored edges at sharp contrast transitions in the corners). The lens is very suitable for landscape shots, as far as image quality is concerned.

For product shots in the studio, the bokeh (the quality of the blur) is important. Here, too, the lens scores very well: the blur is soft and has no "frayed edges."

 

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Macro

In the last macro setting, the field of view is 23 mm on the longer side. That corresponds nicely with a 1:1 enlargement scale. We always check that because not all macro lenses achieve that in practice; this Samsung does. At that distance, the focal depth is very limited, less than one millimeter. If you want to take a picture of a rose like that above, with all the petals sharp, it won't work at the smallest aperture. Something like that is only possible by "stacking," combining multiple shots at different focal lengths using software.

The focal length of the reviewed lens – 90 mm 35-mm equivalent – is long enough so that you don't have to work in your own shadow (a shortcoming of 60 mm Full-Frame or 40 mm APS-C macro lenses). When photographing, for example, insects from very close by, a somewhat larger distance from the subject is especially nice.

The Samsung 60 mm Macro NX renders the image razor-sharp, even in the corners in the macro area.

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Conclusion Samsung 60 mm Macro NX review with NX30

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Look in our list of reviewed lenses in order to compare the performance of this lens with other lenses.
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Test camera: Samsung NX30

ECWYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens when you save the files in the camera as jpg, with all available in-camera lens corrections applied. This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".


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90
8.0
7.1
8.7
8.8
9.8
8

Pros

  • Optically and mechanically outstanding quality
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • No distortion, flare or chromatic aberration
  • iFn technology

Cons

  • AF is slow
  • Big and heavy

We can certainly recommend the 60 mm macro from Samsung. It is a robust, high-quality lens that is great to work with. The only disadvantage for us is the slow speed for the auto focus. For macro photography, that is usually not a problem, but for other forms, it can be a hindrance. The AF, on the other hand, is very accurate and ensures uncompromising image quality: sharp macro-shots without distortion, vignetting or chromatic aberration. Most probably, the high sharpness of this Samsung macro lens will come even better into its own on a Samsung NX1.

Jop Steenhof de Jong
Author: Jop Steenhof de Jong
Photography has been a hobby of mine for many years. For me, it's about the joy of creating. I like to find and share knowledge in depth topics again. After years of having fun with contributions made to the Dutch magazine "Camera Magazine", I test now with at least as much pleasure for CameraStuffReview.

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