Which lens to suit macro and portrait photography

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by pdiddy, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. pdiddy

    pdiddy TPF Noob!

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    Hi all!
    I'm new to this forum and pretty new at this photography lark.

    I own a Nikon D5000 and I have the kit lens 18-55 VR 3.5-5.6, a Sigma 70-300 5.6 and my lovely Sigma 10-20 4-5.6 wide angle.
    I currently enjoy taking landscape pictures but I am wanting to try something new.

    I was thinking about macro and/or portrait photograhy and I am a little confused what would be an ideal all round lens for this type of shooting.

    I understand that longer focal length lenses are better for portraiture, but I am hoping someone could advise me on a lens that would be suited for both aplications. I was looking at the sigma Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG and I think that would be my limit to my budget.

    Could anybody advise me if this would be a good option or is there better alternatives available? Unfortunately I dont live near any decent camer shops so I wouldnt be able to go a try them out for myself.

    Many thanks! :)
     
  2. joemc

    joemc TPF Noob!

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    I do not own it...But I have shot with the Nikkor 60 mm micro several times and it is a fantastic lens.

    Cheers, Joe
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro and I bought it exclusively for the macro purpose. It also has very good reviews. It works exceptionally well for macro since it is very sharp. While it didn't buy it for use as a 70mm portrait lense, it is still very sharp and can be used for such. For portraits though, I generally use my Pentax 77mm f/1.8 Limited or my Pentax 50mm f/1.4. Both do very well and can't be beat by a macro lens.
     
  4. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
    60mm would work well too. I use the Nikon 60mm f/2.8D Micro. Would be nice to have the 105mm though.

    I don't think the Sigma will autofocus on the D5000.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you can, try renting the Nikon 105mm.

    It'll make your other lenses jealous. ;)
     
  6. BAmereihn

    BAmereihn TPF Noob!

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    105mm, save some cash and get the sigma hsm
     
  7. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

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    Can't argue, the 105 is a great, maybe ideal, length for portraits.
    You already have one, just set yer zoomer to 105 and say "smile".
    The same lens is great for macro work as well. If you want closer, buy and extension tube set. Much cheaper than more lenses.
    The only advantage to buying more lenses is, if you can afford them, having more lenses makes you feel like a better photographer. You won't be better but you will sure impress folks when you open up your gadget bag. ;)
     
  8. pdiddy

    pdiddy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your comments!
    I think the nikkor 105 might just be a little too expensive for me at the moment, and your right, the 70m Sigma doesnt autofocus on my D5000.

    I will look at the extension tubes, but eventually I think I would like a much faster lens than my 70-300 Sigma. :)
     
  9. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    Nikkor 105mm - yeah, a near $1,000.00 lens sure oughta do it!
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Tamron has a new 90mm autofocus f/2.8 macro lens with a built-in AF motor in the lens, which would allow it to work on your D5000 with full autofocusing functions. The earlier decade + of Tamron 90mm AF-SP macro lenses did NOT have the in-built motor in Nikon lens mount.

    Macro lenses are often bought, tried, put away, then later sold or traded-in back to dealers, so I suggest strongly that you look for a pre-owned macro lens in your area if you want to save 25-30 percent off the cost of a new macro lens. I own a Tamron 90 AF-SP, and it is a fine lens. I bought it used for $260 five years ago,well below the then-current new price.

    The 70mm Sigma has a reputation as a good lens, and the focal length seems about right for a DX camera like a D5000. I personally prefer the longer 90mm length for macro shooting, but for people photography, 90mm on DX is frankly, too long in most situations, so the 70 would be better for portraits in my book. EDIT: I just saw the comment that the Sigma 70mm macro will not AF on the D5000--I was not aware of that. Still, one thing to keep in mind is that "most all" macro lenses have absolutely hair-trigger autofocus and manual focusing at portrait distances like 5 to 20 feet. Macro lenses typically have very slow,long focusing rotation in the 1:1 or 1:2 ranges, out to around 1 meter,and then beyond 1 meter, the focusing travel often roars from 1 meter to Infinity in a *very* short arc, which can lead to some focusing issues at portrait distances, such as focus hunting behavior, out of focus shots, and an inability to accurately and reliably keep up with moving subjects. Macro lenses are truly optimized to perform best at macro ranges, while regular field telephoto lenses like the 85mm 1.8 lenses, are designed for work from Infinity back toward the 5-6 foot mark.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  11. barfastic

    barfastic TPF Noob!

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    that was soooo not the case with my tamron 90mm Di. hat lens was 75% on my camera, and when i could only carry one lens, thats the one i carried. Tack sharp, and at a good price to boot! i used it originally on a sony a350, but since i sold that gear setup and i am now on a d300s, i am considering the same exact lens again. If not i might end up paying a little bit more, and getting its bigger brother :D
     
  12. jeff5897

    jeff5897 TPF Noob!

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