Last time..hopefully. Help me decide!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Markw, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I will be getting a lens. It will definately be a F/2.8 lens (unless I get the 180 macro) in Nikon mount. I was thinking about either the Sigma 150mm 2.8, Sigma 180mm macro or Sigma 70-200 2.8 lens. I cant decide which one to get. I love that the 180mm takes great macro shots as well is a decent sized 2.8 prime. It would be fantastic for macros and sessile objects, but I think the focus would be a little slow for any kind of moving object tracking. The 70-200 has a great range to have with a 2.8 lens with great AF tracking and quick focus, but will be lacking in the macro department. I use both macro and good AF and tracking about the same amount, so I cant decide which one I should get. Its a hard decision, and I would like to hear some of your ideas about what to do..

    If you have any questions, I would be willing to answer any questions you have.
    Thanks!
    Mark
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,796
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My vote would go for the 70-200 lens in terms of versatility. The 180 f/3.5 EX APO Macro is a nice lens--I own one am intimately familiar with all its characteristics. MY feeling is that if you need versatility and AF tracking, you would be better off with the 70-200 Sigma, plus you'd have the focal length versatility only a zoom lens can give you.

    There are other ways to get close-up reproduction ratios using a 70-200 lens, like a single KENKO AF Extension tube, or the 2-element, high-quality Canon 500D achromatic close-up filter to name two specific examples.

    A dedicated macro lens is nice to have, no doubt, but the Nikon F mount can use a LOT of different approaches to get macro reproduction ratios with much lower cost lenses, like say a $109 Phoenix or Samyang 100mm f/3.5 AF Macro lens--that lens is actually QUITE decent as a macro lens. A 100mm macro is a pretty simple optical design, not needing much sophistication or mechanical complexity, hence the ability to make a pretty darned good lens that retails for $109. A 70-200/2.8 has 16,maybe 17 elements, cams, all sorts of internal baffling, etc. I think going with the more-versatile lens makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
  3. chammer

    chammer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i'd second what derrel wrote, but really only you can answer your question. the 70-200mm would provide you with more available shooting options, but it really depends on what and how you yourself shoot.

    however, again with what derrel said, getting the 70-200mm and the canon 500D close-up filter would provide you with both and with relatively good results on the macro end, and great results on the telephoto side.
     
  4. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cypress, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    How about the Nikon 105mm micro F2.8 AF-S VR? I have this lens on my D300 and I love this lens. Outstanding for macro photos and VRII really works well to steady the shots. It is also excellent as a portrait lens. What camera will you be using this lens on?
     
  5. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I will be using it on the D90. I was thinking about the 105mm Nikkor, but then I figured I wanted either a longer range for the macro shooting or a fast telephoto. I wanted the macro to be a little longer than 100mm (not to mention that lens is more expensive than any of the above listed). Nikons longer macros are just a little bit out of the price range at the moment. Im not too worried about the VR as I am being able to shoot with high shutter to freeze the motion. I have the Quantaray +10 macro filter and it produces okay results, but that is all they are..okay. I will have to look into the canon.

    Mark
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,095
    Likes Received:
    3,763
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The Canon 500D (that is what the macro filter is called - nope its not a camera ;) ) is avery good bit of glas what what I have heard - there is also the Raynox series of macro diopters to consider as well - they have become very popular with a lot of macro shooters esp for going on an existing macro lens to go greater than 1:1.

    As for which lens I would say you have to decide on if you want macro or telephoto. I have both currently - a 150mm macro and a 70-200mm lens and I find that I use both for very different applications. The macro gets used for macro - sure I can and have used it for telephoto work, but its AF is slower when compared to my 70-200mm. Similarly my 70-200mm pretty much never gets used for macro, but gets used all the time for telephoto work (though to be honest I have not really tried it with macro all that much).

    So I would say pick - macro or telephoto - and go for that now with a view to saving and getting the other half next.
     
  7. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It is such a hard decision. Ive always wanted to get into macro, but the speed of the 2.8 lens is just now becoming a necessity for me. (well, not a necessity..but I would love to have it over my 70-300 slow, old nikon.) I honestly do think that I would use the 70-200 2.8 more than the macro at the moment. Its just so hard to decide. All the time. Im still open to suggestions though.

    Thanks all.
    Mark
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,095
    Likes Received:
    3,763
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Can you get to a shop to try them both out? That might help settle your choice on the matter since at the end of the day its really you who has to make this choice.
     
  9. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I only have one around that I know of and they dont carry Sigma products. They can special order them in, but you have to pay for the lens first (you can get your money back if you dont like it when it gets here of course).

    Mark
     
  10. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cypress, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For a macro lens I don't think you need f2.8. I mean the DOF will be very shallow. I think too shallow to be useful. Often I shoot at f45 to get the whole subject in focus. I like to take pictures of flowers and bugs outdoors. I need VR because I can't use very slow shutter speeds. Bugs move and flowers get blown by the wind.

    105mm on a DX camera will become a 160mm. It will give you some working distance for marco shots. The lens is built like a tank. Definitely pro quality. oops, Am I sounding like a Nikon salesman?
     
  11. chammer

    chammer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    well, someone sure has to work to try and sell that nikon crap... :lmao:

    only kidding. :mrgreen:
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,095
    Likes Received:
    3,763
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hmm well whilst you don't generally need f2.8 for taking bug shots and most macro work is indeed done more in the f8-f13 (or smaller) range - f2.8 does have an important place in macro work. You see the wider the max aperture of the lens is the more light you have getting through to the viewfinder and that is something that you do need when focusing very close - especailly as many modern macro lenses achive close focusing through a method which effectivly lowers their max aperture at closer distances. So a nice wide f2.8 to start with is a good place.

    As for apertures I typically don't use more than f16 and tend to stick to f13 as a general aperture. This helps avoid the effects of diffraction which starts to take effect on apertures smaller than f16 - and the effect of diffraction will cause your shots to get softer overall.
    If you find that you can't get the whole insect in focus you have 2 options after that:
    1) Learn better control over the focal plane and getting the shot right - basically pick the best place to have focus and get it there (typically the eyes on something like an insect)
    2) Focus stacking - though this is limited to static subjects.

    Further VR counters handshake vibration but won't counter any blur in a shot generated by the subject moving - so stricktly speaking if you have a fast shutter speed already to freeze the wind/insect motion you will be fast enough that handshake could not be a problem - though that said if you have VR (or IS for a canon camera) then by all means do use it.

    As a final point remember that crop or fullframe just refers to the area of the glass that the sensor captures the image from - the basic physics of the lens will remain the same - so the minimum focusing distance on a fullframe camera is exactly the same as the minimum focusing distance on a crop sensor camera - so crop sensor cameras don't get any boost to working distance.
    There is also no actual change to the focal length of the lens either - the idea of the lens focal length increasing is more of an easy way to understand the effect that is caused by the camera cropping away the image edges but its not the actual effect taking place at all.
     

Share This Page