Final picks for lenses - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by chyidean, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. chyidean

    chyidean TPF Noob!

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    I've kind of assessed my tendencies with my current point and shoot and I almost never shoot in the tele range, so I'll probably just get the 16-85mm. I will get the 50mm f/1.8 for sure. I enjoy shooting macro too... can the 16-85mm double as a macro lens, or should I get a separate one? Which one do you recommend that has good optical quality but not as hard on the wallet?

    I'm also considering forgoing the 11-16mm wide angle Tokina, because the 16mm on the Nikon should cover it (I shouldn't have that big of a problem with the other 5mm, and I don't think it's worth the $600.)

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    when you say you enjoy macro what sort? Insects or more static subjects like flowers or abstract shots?
    If insects are your interest than you don't want a macro lens shorter than 90mm so that you have a working distance which is less likley to spook insects as you get close. If, however, your not interested in bugs then you can go shorter without problems.
    for a Nikon camera shooter your macro lens options are :

    Nikon 60mm macro - good short focal length macro lens
    Nikon 105mm macro VR - mainstay of macro lenses for nikon - a good solid macro lens and the only macro in production which has built in VR (vibration reduction) which whilst offering little effect at macro ranges it is a good addition for when your working on normal subjects and ranges. Also offers comptability with nikon teleconverters as well
    Sigma 70mm macro - good solid sigma macro lens (some say one of their sharpest lenses)
    Sigma 105mm macro - again a good choice
    Tamron 90mm macro - shortest recomended macro lens for insects.
    Sigma 150mm macro - this and the following 180mm macro from sigma are their top line makes - good solid macro lenses which offer better build quality than the other sigma options, as well as better auto focusing motors and compatability with sigma teleconverters.
    sigma 180mm macro lens - generally regarded as a bit heavy for handheld work, a more tripod suited lens but a good solid choice in other regards

    Overall the options listed above are all good choices and capable of delivering great results and all will give sharp shots. In the end budget, extra features and subject matter will help determin which lens is the right one for you
     
  3. chyidean

    chyidean TPF Noob!

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    Wow, Overread, thanks for the comprehensive list of lenses!

    I won't be shooting insects or other objects in motion... which ones of the above are fine for that kind of shot?
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well I would say that the nikon 60mm or the sigma 70mm would be the cheapest options for such shooting. I know very little about the nikon 60mm save that its a shorter, but good, focal length macro lens.
    It might be worth pushing for the 105mm VR to have VR support when using the lens for non-macro subjects, but its not essentail.
    A key part though, is that macro work at full magnification (For any of the lenses listed) requires either:
    a) A tripod mount - thus keeping camera stable - this combined with a static subject allows one to take a longer exposure which is needed since macro work is done a very small apertures so little light can get into the lens (small apertures are used to get greater depth of field since at macro levels depth of field is very small)

    b) Flash support -for handheld shots where one does not have the option of using a slower shutter speed - also used for non-static subjects. Something like a nikon speedlite flash would be my recomendation - though there are dedicated macro ring flashes on the market, a more generalist flash might be a better early investment since it will come in handy in many different situations
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The Nikon 60mm micro is an absolutely excellent lens. If you have the luxury of getting a little closer to your subjects than it will do an amazing job. It's also an excellent portrait lens for APS-C sensored cameras.
     
  6. chyidean

    chyidean TPF Noob!

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    Good point. I might force myself to eat the cost of the 105 micro (or macro) b/c I can use it as a general purpose tele, as the lens I picked out as a max range of 85mm.
     
  7. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have had the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR for only only about 2 weeks now and I am very impressed with it. This is my vigin entry into macro. The bokeh is ultra creamy smooth.

    I agree with Overread that while shooting macro, the depth of field is razor thin from f/9 and wider. A speedlight like the SB-600 would be a good choice for external light for the cost of admission. Plus, of course, you can use it in normal operation as well.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For straight macro work, there is also a wide selection of specialized ring-lights ranging from very inexpensive to kind of pricey....
     
  9. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ^^ Thanks. The sphincter was killing me at the thought of the R1 setup. :lmao:

    But, the SB-600 is still a good all around choice IMO.
     
  10. mltran

    mltran TPF Noob!

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    Is there a difference in quality between the Nikon and Sigma lenses? The Nikon lenses are almost double the price, so I am just wondering if you are paying for the name or are they really that much better?
     

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