Macro lens suggestions

Braineack

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Why are you considering an optically inferior DX lens?

Smaller image circle does not equal optically inferior - just because the lens is for crop sensor not fullframe doesn't automatically make the lens inferior. Asides most modern true macro lenses are some of the sharpest out there with very high grade optics.

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TreeofLifeStairs

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If you're testing out macro you might want to start with some extension tubes. They don't work quite as well as the real thing but pretty close and they're a fraction of the cost of a new lens. Then if you decide you're really into it get the 105mm, if not then you're only out $20.
 
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hamlet

hamlet

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If you're testing out macro you might want to start with some extension tubes. They don't work quite as well as the real thing but pretty close and they're a fraction of the cost of a new lens. Then if you decide you're really into it get the 105mm, if not then you're only out $20.

Interesting suggestion. From what i've observed of other photographers and what i understand macro photography to be, it is very appealing and i see some great applications for fooling my audience with playing of perspectives of ordinary household things. Everyone seems very keen on the Nikon 105mm and the reviews about it are broadly favorable, but Overread also mentioned the new Sigma version of the 105, maybe we could get some insight into these two lenses from people with a bit more experience like Overread.
 

IronMaskDuval

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Interesting suggestion. From what i've observed of other photographers and what i understand macro photography to be, it is very appealing and i see some great applications for fooling my audience with playing of perspectives of ordinary household things. Everyone seems very keen on the Nikon 105mm and the reviews about it are broadly favorable, but Overread also mentioned the new Sigma version of the 105, maybe we could get some insight into these two lenses from people with a bit more experience like Overread.

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goodguy

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For just pure macro photography its hard to beat the Nikon 105mm 2.8
I was in the market for macro lens not a while back and the 2 lenses I was considering were the Nikon 105 and Nikon 60 and I went with the Nikon 60mm 2.8G
Its a fantastic macro lens but I liked it because of its versatility, its a great general use lens.
First its ridiculously sharp!!!
I use it for portrait from time to time and love the results, I especially like it when I go to parks because its close to the 50mm sweet spot of general use so I don't need to change it and when I see a crawling bug I don't need to switch lens to capture it.
I use it on my D7100
 

jaomul

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OP-only you can decide what focal length is better suited to you. You have owned a few different cameras now and lenses so have an idea of what lens focal length suits.

Even on a crop I liked the 100/105mm macros I had. They aallowed me to photograph insects at a "not scare them" distance and doubled as a short/medium telephoto that were great for outside portraits. If you decide to go in and around this length the sigma as already mentioned and the slightly shorter Tamron 90mm vc are worth researching and trying out
 
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hamlet

hamlet

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For just pure macro photography its hard to beat the Nikon 105mm 2.8
I was in the market for macro lens not a while back and the 2 lenses I was considering were the Nikon 105 and Nikon 60 and I went with the Nikon 60mm 2.8G
Its a fantastic macro lens but I liked it because of its versatility, its a great general use lens.
First its ridiculously sharp!!!
I use it for portrait from time to time and love the results, I especially like it when I go to parks because its close to the 50mm sweet spot of general use so I don't need to change it and when I see a crawling bug I don't need to switch lens to capture it.
I use it on my D7100
Great read. But what exactly is the difference in a portrait picture taken with a macro lens and a midrange lens with the same focal length?
 
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hamlet

hamlet

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OP-only you can decide what focal length is better suited to you. You have owned a few different cameras now and lenses so have an idea of what lens focal length suits.

Even on a crop I liked the 100/105mm macros I had. They aallowed me to photograph insects at a "not scare them" distance and doubled as a short/medium telephoto that were great for outside portraits. If you decide to go in and around this length the sigma as already mentioned and the slightly shorter Tamron 90mm vc are worth researching and trying out

well i do want a macro lens with some space between me and my subject, right now i'm just looking at 60mm and up, the lenses all have mostly great reviews and i'm basicly down to how much i want to spend. I'd probably not regret any of the mentioned lenses suggested by the members here.
 

Overread

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Great read. But what exactly is the difference in a portrait picture taken with a macro lens and a midrange lens with the same focal length?

The primary differences:

1) Macro lenses have a very fine control over their focus position in close distances. However once you're past around half a foot away the focus control gets more crude. A small turn on the focusing wheel results in a big shift in the position of the focus. It makes them a lot harder to manually focus and AF has to be spot on. It can make "normal" shooting a little bit more tricky than with a regular lens - not impossible, just a touch more tricky in some situations.

2) Like any lenses the specific sharpness, shape of the aperture blades, background blur rendering, colours, contrast etc... will all have various differences. In general macro lenses work well, and you have to really be getting to nit-picking at these to see the differences
 
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hamlet

hamlet

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Well seeing as the greater focal length i've got and the farther i can stand from my subject, and the fact that the differences are so negligible i am strongly leaning towards the Sigma 105 mm F2,8 OS. It costs about the same as the 60,70,90 versions of the same and other brands. I'm coming at this from never having used a macro lens, but would this be agreeable? Are there any objections or important things i might have overlooked? Would the Sigma 105mm be a wise choice?
 

Overread

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I've 2 Sigma macro lenses and they are both fantastic (70mm and 150mm - both macro). The 105mm OS is a newer lens than those pair and would be a very good choice - go for it
 
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hamlet

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Cheers!
 

goodguy

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Well seeing as the greater focal length i've got and the farther i can stand from my subject, and the fact that the differences are so negligible i am strongly leaning towards the Sigma 105 mm F2,8 OS. It costs about the same as the 60,70,90 versions of the same and other brands. I'm coming at this from never having used a macro lens, but would this be agreeable? Are there any objections or important things i might have overlooked? Would the Sigma 105mm be a wise choice?
As I said if you plan on using your macro lens for just macro the Nikon 105mm is hard to beat and the only advantage of the Nikon 60mm is its more usefulness as a general use lens and its much cheaper.
105mm will give you an added distance from subject which is helpful if you shoot timid subjects that get scared easily.

As a general use lens the only draw back compared to a regular prime lens is that in very rare occasions it might hunt for a second till you get a focus lock, as I said it happeneds once in a blue moon but still happeneds more then a regular prime lens, still once you get a lock its tack sharp.
 

sm4him

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I have the Tokina 100mm macro, and I love it.

I also have extension tubes, but personally I think they are MUCH trickier to get good results with. Any macro lens will take some getting used to, and I agree that you don't want anything below 60mm for macro. I've never used the Nikkor 105mm, but I've heard very good things about it. I can, however, heartily endorse the Tokina as being capable of producing outstanding macro.

P.S. Next time you're giving away gear, please PM me for my address. :lol:
 

IronMaskDuval

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Alternatively, if you want to just give a hand in macro, you can buy an old lester dine 105mm. When I bought mine, I paid around $170 for it, and it's sharp. Despite its longer range, I opted to go with my nikkor 60mm, even on live subjects. Although the 105 is longer, in real life application, it truly didn't make a difference to me as far as distance from subject. You may have seen these before, but these are a few that I shot with the 60.

Bumble Bee Tuna by Iron Mask Duval, on Flickr

Balding Dandy by Iron Mask Duval, on Flickr

Macro Virgin by Iron Mask Duval, on Flickr

and the 105. nothing special, subject or composition wise

Lettuce Be Cereal by Iron Mask Duval, on Flickr

My 105 would get so physically long to get in focus, that I didn't care to use it anymore.
 

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