Review: Sony A7R and Coastal Optics 60mm F4 APO Macro

The Coastal Optics 60mm F4 Apo Macro lens is a truly amazing optical engineering feat. It is apochromatic from ultraviolet, visible light, through to infrared. This means that the light from all three spectral range will be focused at the same point, so the image remains nice and sharply focused; bear in mind it is supposed to let through a significant amount of the UV, unlike other apochromatic lenses.

Sony A7R + Coastal Optics 60mm F4
Sony A7R + Coastal Optics 60mm F4

It is the only such lens I know of which is still in production with such an apochromatic capability – even the UV Nikkor 105mm F4.5 has no focus shift for UV and visible light (but not infrared). The Coastal Optics is also said to be very sharp from wide open. But it does have its weakness (the hotspot issue), although that can be overcome through various ways – I will talk about this later

The coatings on this lens is different to those optimised only for the ultraviolet range (which all look very similar). It is large, heavy/well-built, focusing is firm so you are unlikely to accidentally adjust the focus on it.

Coastal Optics 60mm F4 Lens coating
Coastal Optics 60mm F4 Lens coating different from other UV-capable lenses

Here are its specifications:

Focal length: 60mm

Aperture range: F4 to 45

Construction: 10 elements in 9 groups

Transmission waveband: 290-1500nm

Apochromatic waveband:  315-1100nm

Maximum magnification: 1 : 1.5

Weight: 535g

Length: 73.4mm

Lens mount: Nikon F-mount

Filter: 52mm thread 

Current price: US$5750

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