Budget Macro/Micro Lens ?

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by The One, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. The One

    The One TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have a D3400 and what to obtain a macro lens for cheap (under $500). Used or new. Doesn’t have to be AF compatible with this camera. Any suggestions are helpful


     
  2. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    3,184
    Likes Received:
    2,102
    Location:
    Brampton, Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    What kind of macro shooting will you be doing?
     
  3. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    296
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    IF you can manually focus, there are the older 55mm manual focus micro lenses.
    This is what I use on my D70 and D7200.
    They are available for under $100.
    I "think" you can use the pre-AI or AI lenses on your D3400. But you just can't meter with that lens. You have to shoot, then adjust the exposure, and repeat this shoot/adjust cycle until you get the correct exposure. It is not as difficult as it sounds. I have to do similar when shooting under screwy lighting conditions, like I recently did at a theater.

    BTW, there was a discussion about MF/AF micro lenses. The general consensus was that for micro/macro work, people were manually focusing the lens, so that they could pick exactly what to focus on. AF came into the picture when they were using the lens for general non-micro/macro work.
    But each person is different. Some people did use AF for macro work.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    41,376
    Likes Received:
    15,661
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'd say a used Tamron 90mm AF-SP macro, or newer...this lens has been made in AF since I think the mid-1980's, and there have been many iterations. The Tamron 90 focuses to 1:1, without any added extension tube needed.

    The 55mm macro lenses are very short, and you have to be about 1 to 2 inches from the front filter threads to get a 1:1 subject...this means your body and or camera often blocks daylight, and it's a PITA to capture many bugs or live objects, and you're almost right on the ground on small flowers....the 90mm to 105mm macro lenses are handier!

    When possible, use LiveView to focus.

    And YES...the Ai and Ai-S and even pre-Ai Micro~NIKKOR (SIC) lenses WILL mount and manually focus on the baby Nikon models. The older 105mm f/4 Micro~NIKKOR is a good lens, available fairly cheaply,used.

    Tokina 100mm F/1.8 ATX-PRO is another good macro lens.

    The lowest-cost rig would be a 200mm f/4 pre-AI Nikkor for $45 used, and a 20mm extension tube.

    One can also reverse-mount many lenses, and get very high-magnification shots. A 50mm manual focus, like say an older 50mm f/2 pre-Ai Nikkor and a lens reversing ring from Fotodiox would be a $50 soulution. Still--the lens is gonna be RIGHT on top of many small objects.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    296
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yes the 55 has a short working distance.
    Hence I was looking at the 105 AF.
    But now, I kinda like your idea of the 200 + 20mm extension tube, so I have more working distance. hmmmm
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    41,376
    Likes Received:
    15,661
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    One of the finest and least-expensive budget macro setups for Nikons is the 100-300mm f/5.6 Ai-S zoom lens, a manual focus model that has an orange-marked macro mode on the focusing and zoom ring. To that lens, you add the Nikon 6-T two-elelement, achromatic screw-in closeup lens; this 6-T close-up filter is reverse-mounted onto the lens's front filter threads, using a filter-reversing ring.

    The Nikon lens, and the 6-T both have 62mm diameter filter threads, so the filter-reversing ring is a 62mm-to-62mm model, about $8 on so from any number of on-line vendors.

    This offers simply _astounding_, flat-field image quality, and the achromatic close-up filter suppresses any chromatic aberration that might occur. This is not a cheapie plus-diopter filter, and this set-up is commented on by Bjorn Rorslett in his Lens Survey and Subjective Evaluations pages.Lens Evaluations

    He is one of the world's leading macro nature shooters,and has hundreds of Nikon and other brand lenses.

    Here are his comments on the 100-300 + reversed 6-T combo.


    "This longish zoom lens is targeted at the keen enthusiast, who prefers to snap away hand-held pictures. Thus, the lens doesn't come with a tripod collar. With a modest speed of f/5.6 the 100-300 obviously is most suitable for sunny vacation days. It performs quite well and delivers sharp images with a healthy contrast despite the lack of ED glass. The images are sharp from f/5.6 to f/16 and even f/22 holds up quite well. However, the critical user might detect an increased presence of chromatic aberration towards the tele end of the range. Nothing that cannot easily be fixed during post-processing, though.

    The real surprise of the 100-300, however, comes when you put a close-up lens onto its front threads. I employed my standard Nikon 6T (reverse-mounted) and was absolutely floored by the high quality close-ups produced by this combination. High image sharpness and contrast, perfectly flat field, and virtually no CA are features you associate with an expensive Micro-Nikkor, not a makeshift combination of a achromatic attachment and a consumer zoom lens. Food for some real thoughts."


    Recent field test show that the missing tripod collar in conjunction with the long build of the 100-300 can introduced some vibrations when the lens is used with a tripod-mounted camera. This is plainly visible for close-ups, so consider using a flash to cut exposure times to ensure better sharpness. I have adjusted the ratings of this lens according to these findings.
    ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    I read this review 15 years ago; 5 years ago, I got the 6-T and the reversing ring, and was 100% in agreement with his conclusions; the degree of quality of this set-up is exceptionally high. But then, keep in mind, Nikon designed multiple 52mm and 62mm filter-threaded zoom lenses expressly with a macro mode, and with the 5-T and 6-T close-up filters as a part of the overall,total system. The old 70-300 AF-D zoom lens can ALSO accept the 6-T lens, and also has an orange-delineated macro range. ac12 might own that same zoom lens...
     
  7. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    207
    Location:
    S.E. Michigan, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you could go another $150 you could have a brand new Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 AF Macro Lens for Nikon DSLR. That appears to be the new FO17 model, which gets pretty good reviews. I have one for my Canon 40D. I haven't put it thoroughly through its paces, but I so far love it.

    This I suspect is the previous model: Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 AF Macro Auto Focus Lens for Nikon AF With Built in Motor - with 6 Year USA Warranty. I don't know how well it reviewed, thought ISTR Ken Rockwell wasn't all that impressed.
     
  8. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    296
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Derrel,
    Mine is the 75-300 f/4.5-5.6 AF . It does have an orange macro marking on the focus ring.
    Funny, I never thought of using it for macro/close-up work. duh.
    And it has a tripod mount.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    41,376
    Likes Received:
    15,661
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    YEAH...I have the same lens, the 75-300mm f/4.5~5.6 AF, from I guess the late 1980's...I just bought it in January of 2018. A few minutes ago, I snapped a few pics with it, using the Nikon 6-T close-up lens (aka 'filter') on the front....the combo works very well, from 75mm all the way to 300mm. At 300mm and the closest focus setting with the 6-T, the area covered by the full frame camera is about 1 and 3/8 inches across! At 75mm and the longest focusing distance, the frame area covered is a bit more than the width of a Compact Disc in its case.
     
  10. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    296
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Derrel,
    How is your 75-300?
    Mine sticks on both ends, requiring extra force to get it moving. Like there is extra grease, causing it to stick.
    In the middle it is OK and much easier to get moving.
    The sticking on the ends has been driving me nutty when shooting sports.
     
  11. LWW

    LWW No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,238
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Dayton,Ohio
    Pick up a COSINA/PHOENIX/VIVITAR 100 3.5.

    Full 1:1 very sharp and very inexpensive.
     
  12. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,515
    Likes Received:
    319
    Location:
    Toronto


    The Nikon 3/4T and 5/6T diopters are long out of production. Canon still makes the equal quality 250D and 500D diopters in various filter sizes.
     

Share This Page