Samsung NX 60 mm M60SB Macro on NX20 Review

Samsung NX 60 mm M60SB Macro on NX20 Review

How does this macro lens’ resolution hold up against the 20 MP NX20?

Most of the text is reused from the NX11 review.

The build quality is typical for the NX series lenses, which is a mix of metal and plastics. Since this lens uses Samsung’s SSA (Super Sonic Actuator) motor, the lens is mechanically coupled (not focus by wire). The hood is nice and large and reverses on the lens. The only controls on the lens are the iFn button and Focus Limit Switch (only limits to distances more than about 18″, not macro)

The lens has 12 elements in 9 groups, with a 7 slightly curved bladed diaphragm. The minimum focus distance is 0.184 m (7.25 inches), and the weight is hefty but not heavy at 375 g (13.2 oz) without the hood or caps. It uses fairly standard 52 mm filters. The lens feels sort of light as the elements aren’t that large, and the lens is bulky due to the internal focus mechanism.

Uncorrected RAW

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Comments on the Results

The lens has very good to excellent center performance at all apertures. F/2.8 probably best for portraits, etc, use f/4 to f/16 for macro, performance at least from f/4 to f/8 is very flat. The corners could be a bit better, they are slightly on the weak side for what I would expect from a macro, but then again they are getting close to the point where they are limited by the high resolution of the sensor.

The lens has virtually no distortion.

Lateral CA is good, and hardly noticeable. Longitudinal CA is good, but slightly visible, nearly gone by f/5.6.

Purple fringing is slightly visible wide open. Average for this class of lens. Improves on stepping down the aperture. Lightroom 4.1 allows for correction of longitudinal CA and it does a good job, as long as you don’t overdo it and there aren’t strong colors behind the fringes that will desaturate.

Coma is minor and astigmatism is negligible. The bokeh circles do have some mechanical vignetting at certain focus distances. I didn’t investigate if it is from the hood or maybe internal element position, but it shows at f/5.6 on the close focus bokeh.

I didn’t check flare resistance, but will update when I do.

Measured focal length is 63mm at 1:53 magnification.

Pros and Cons

Bottom Line

This is a nice focal length macro lens, internal focus, SSA focus motor, and reasonably good quality. Price ($600 US) is maybe a bit high for the lens, considering the Tamron 60 mm f/2 macro for SLR cameras is less expensive and larger aperture, but to be fair the Samsung is SSA and has OIS, so it is a good deal considering those features.

Optical performance is good all around, but the resolution in the corners is on the weak side for a macro, where it isn’t able to reach the Nyquist frequency of about 3500 in the chart, but it is still around 3000 line widths per page height which is plenty good.

I recommend this lens for the NX system. I tried reverse mounting the NX 16 and 30 mm lenses, but they cause too much mechanical vignetting. If you need further magnification you might have to find a different solution like a quality multi-element optical magnifier that goes in front. Buy the lens on Adorama to support the site. If they don’t have it in stock and you are in the US, you can usually order them anyway and it will show up in 3 weeks or so.