The Nikon 40mm ƒ/2.8 AF-S Micro is nicely finished in Nikon's standard black wrinkle texture. The body mount is metal, and the 52mm filter threads are plastic. As well, the lens features a rubber gasket on the metal lens mount to keep dust and moisture out. There are two switches on the lens, one to enable or disable autofocus (M/A or M settings), and the second as a focus limiter. The limiter will allow for the full range of focusing, or to focus from Infinity to 0.2m (just under eight inches). The lens features a distance scale labelled in feet and metres, as well as a reproduction scale, all in place under a plastic window. There is no depth of field scale, neither is there an infrared index.
Optically the lens is fairly simple, using just nine elements in seven groups, however the focusing system employs CRC (close-range correction) which no doubt aids in macro photography. Finally, the lens employs SIC (Super Integrated Coating) to reduce ghosting and flare.
The focus ring, a rubber ring 1/2'' wide with deep rubber ribs, is mounted near the front of the lens. The ring is a quite stiff, but will not change positions once it is set. Given the precise focusing occasionally required in macro photography this will be quite welcome. When focusing this lens at infinity the front lens element retracts deeply into the barrel; when focusing at close distances the front lens element extends a full inch beyond the end of the lens housing. There's quite a lot of fidelity in manual focusing, as well: the ring will turn a full 180 degrees from infinity to closest focus, but it ends at soft stops, with just an increase in resistance to let you know you've reached the end of the focusing range.
The included HB-61 lens hood is a round model that attaches via a bayonet mount, and can be reversed and stored on the lens. When attached, the hood adds just over an inch to the length of the lens.