Need advice on choosing a wide lens, normal lens or macro lens.

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bla, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. bla

    bla TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,

    I've recently become interested in macro photography, though I still love the nature and street photography I have been enthralled with until now. I bought a Nikon dSLR about a year ago. I have the kit zoom lens that came with it, but it's a bit slow at f3.5 to f5.6. So with the summer under way and a little more time on my hands, I've been browsing for a new lens.

    I realize that a good lens investment is rather costly. But being a student and having acquired said camera not too long ago, I am restrained to a tight budget. And though I would love to buy both a true 1:1 macro lens and a fast wide angle lens, I just don't have finances for it.

    So I've taken a look at some of my choices on B&H Photo Video. If anyone could take a look and give me some suggestions, or just general advice about lens choice, I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Sigma wide angle macro (but only 1:2.9) lens
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/217762-USA/Sigma_440306_W_A_28mm_f_1_8_EX.html

    Sigma 50mm (75mm digital) macro lens
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/341927-USA/Sigma_346306_50mm_f_2_8_EX_DG.html

    Nikon 50mm f1.8 (cheap!!!:D)
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/247091-USA/Nikon_2137_Normal_AF_Nikkor_50mm.html

    PS. I like portraits as well, hence the Nikon 50mm? Good choice? Help?
     
  2. Comprendor

    Comprendor TPF Noob!

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    My idea is that you still should buy two lenses. One for macro photography and the other for portrait, thus leaving one of your modes for the moment. You will propably become addicted to one of the two either way. Look especially at the field of depth for the macro because it will give you an idea of what will remain clearly visible (in focus) when taking pictures at such a close range. 50 mm looks to much for a macro lens to me already, It is fine for portraits though you might think of a zoom-lens when taking portraits from different distances (ie on the street), so you can influence the composition.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    None of those lenses are macro lenses. It is a term often misused (on purpose) by the lens manufacturers. They may be "macro" enough for what you need, however. Without knowing what you're after, it is pretty hard to say. The least expensive Nikkor that would fit the description of true macro is the 60mm f2.8 Micro Nikkor.
     
  4. DRodgers

    DRodgers TPF Noob!

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    If youre on a budget and like portraits buy the nikkor 50mm 1.8 itll serve you well and it good for landscapes..
    As for the macro It can be fun but if youre not sure how much that lens will be on the camera i would wait just my opinion
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get the Nikon 50mm f1.8 and a set of extension tubes. The extension tubes can be had for around $20 shipped from ebay. You will have to set the exposure and focus manually but this isn't a problem with being able to chimp. (or just meter with the D200 if you have that) You can get tubes that will let you auto focus but they are more expensive. You will be able to use the tubes on any lens that will fit your camera. You may be able to use any F mount lens made if I'm not mistaken because there is nothing to be bruised by the difference in non AI to AI and up lenses.

    The 50 mm will work well for portraits and if you make sure to get the US version instead of grey market, I believe that you will get 5 years of warranty with it. Not bad for an extra $10.

    mike
     
  6. TomHuck-wa

    TomHuck-wa TPF Noob!

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    I second the Kenko extension tubes. I use them regularly, they make any lens a macro lens, and the price is right.
     
  7. bla

    bla TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys,

    I was under the impression that the Sigma 50mm was a true 1:1 macro lens. Is there some other criteria I should be looking at? I'm just getting started, so I don't imagine myself needing a genuine-true-100% macro lens. I would like something that gives me the possibility of taking close-up pictures small insects or flowers.

    What are these extension tubes? They seem pretty intriguing. Sadly, I haven't heard of them. Wikipedia gives a brief description, but could you elaborate?

    I like the 50mm Nikkor, the only problem is that with a 1.5X magnification on my Nikon, it'll end up being a 75mm.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The tubes serve the same function as pulling back a magnifying glass. There is nothing between the lens and sensor/film except extra space so there is no added distortion. All in all a good solution to what could be an expensive problem.

    The 50mm becoming a 75mm is the whole idea. For a good portrait lens you need some compression of your subject else their noise is going to look half again as long as it already does and they will not thank you for it. ;)

    mike
     

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