Macro lens debate. Help!


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Dec 7, 2013
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hello, I bought my self a Nikon 105mm g lens about a month ago. It cost me half the price of a brand new one. I have been using it and have been noticing I am struggling getting the entire subject into the shot. The subjects usually being snakes frogs and lizards.

Right now I have an offer up for a trade for the Nikon 60mm plus cash. Am I making a good decision trading my 105 for the 60.

I am also going to be purchasing a Nikon 20mm. This is all for my trip to Costa Rica for the third time. I did not like the fact that I had to stand so far back with my 105 which really messed my letting up. Help please.
Might be time to consider something like a 17-70 macro zoom.
You've discovered depth of field! This is the amount of the image that's in sharp focus and is a function of (among other things) the focal length of the lens and the subject-to-sensor distance. The longer the focal length of the lens and/or the shorter the subject-to-sensor distance, the shallower (or less) the depth of field. In macro work, it can be as little as 1-2mm!
Read more here...

A 20mm is a fairly wide lens, and while it will get a lot of the scene in, and render a huge depth of field, it will also tend to distort verticals and the edges of the image. Consider a 35mm for a more 'every day' focal length.
Usually people that want macro type shots of snakes want at least the 105mm just to not be so close. If your doing macro photography at like 1:1 magnification then it does not matter if the lens is the 60mm or the 105mm, both will be putting the subject at its actual size onto the camera sensor. If the snake head is larger than you camera sensor it is not going to fit no mater which of the two lenes you use.

Now if you just want a close-up shot that has a full snake or normal size frog then one of the "macro" zoom lenses is often a better option. I often forgo my 60mm macro lens for the 70-300mm zoom lens as the zoom will get to a 1:4 reproduction ratio and I find that works good for butterflies and such where I want to be 5 or 6 feet away.
I would like entire body shots. I'm not scared of these animals and I've also devised ways to get close and out of harms way. The 20 is strictly for waterfalls and background landscaping etc.

Problem I am having with my 105 is being to far away and he lighting not being good any longer. Especially with a diffuser. I figure with a 60mm I can be closer and still have my light and the entire subject in shot. I also have a 70-200.
This is more or less my style


  • image.jpeg
    965.4 KB · Views: 105
  • image.jpeg
    765.5 KB · Views: 72

Most reactions