Macro Lens - which one?

Tommy_Boy

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Hi Guys & Gals :)

Up until now I had a Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.5 lens [ 1:2 magnification ] - loved it veeery much :) But I had to sell it[ Pentax mount ], and now I'm out on the market for a new one. But this time I'm aiming for a 1:1 lens. This is what I find interesting:

- Tokina AT-X M100 PRO AF D 100 mm f/2.8
- Tamron 90mm F/2.8 SP Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD
- Nikkor 60mm F/2.8 Micro[ Either D or the AF-S one ]

And here's the big Q.... which one? Tamron is a great lens, very sharp and the bokeh is delicious, USD and VC, 5 year warranty.... Tokina, from what I hear isn't any worse when it comes to picture quality, although AF might be tricky and a tad slower[ although it's not so important - I tend to focus manually while shooting macro ]. What I really like is that Tokina is built like a tank. I'm a "out-in-the-field" kind of guy, so durability is very important for me.

And there's the Nikkor - focal lenght is shorter, so it might be harder to take some wild bug shots without scaring them off. But from what I hear, it's quite brilliant.

Any thoughts on this issue? I would be grateful for Your opinion.

Cheers,
Tommy_Boy
 
IMO, you want at least 100mm for macro work, especially if you're going to be trying to get macro shots of anything that moves, like insects.

I have no experience with any of the other lenses mentioned, but I *LOVE* my Tokina 100mm. I can't really tell you if the AF is all that "tricky" or not either, because 99 times out of 100, I use manual focus with it.
When I bought the Tokina, I had a D5100 and it wouldn't AF on that camera, so I HAD to learn to use it by manually focusing. Now that I've got a D7000, I've tried using the AF from time to time, but I just really prefer manually focusing my macro shots--probably just because that's how I learned to do it.

Here's one of my favorite shots with the Tokina--this was manual focus, hand held on the D5100:

passionflower_0038 by sm4him, on Flickr

You're welcome to look through my Macro set on flickr as well; pretty much everything in that set was taken with the Tokina. Might be a handful taken with extension tubes instead.
 
No clue what you're shooting--DX? FX?

You can save money--and lose little to nothing optically--by looking at MF lenses. Hardly a dud in the bunch among Nikon and off-brand 90-105mm macros.
 
Heres some shots with the Tamron 90mm F2.8 and Nikon D5100 all handheld

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sm4him: that pic is a blast! I went through Your flickr profile and, from what I see, Your Tokina rocks :) Love the color and the sharpness. Is it really that well built?

cgw: I use both FX and DX cameras:) MF lenses... Haven't thought of that :) Any suggestions?

rodbender: Do You have the newer Tamron? with the internal focusing?

thank You for Your posts :)

Cheers,
Tommy_Boy
 
rodbender: Do You have the newer Tamron? with the internal focusing?

thank You for Your posts :)

Cheers,
Tommy_Boy

Yes got it cheap too off craigs list $225 cash
 
sm4him: that pic is a blast! I went through Your flickr profile and, from what I see, Your Tokina rocks :) Love the color and the sharpness. Is it really that well built?

cgw: I use both FX and DX cameras:) MF lenses... Haven't thought of that :) Any suggestions?

rodbender: Do You have the newer Tamron? with the internal focusing?

thank You for Your posts :)

Cheers,
Tommy_Boy

Yes, it definitely DOES rock!! Aside from my new monster Sigma lens, it's my favorite lens. It seems VERY solidly built. Much heftier and sturdier than most of my other lenses. Got mine used, for just under $350.
 
For what you are wanting to use if for, either the 90mm Tamron or the 100mm Tokina would best suit your needs. The 60mm Nikkor will not work as well as it will require too short of a working distance for live critters. When I was shopping for a macro, I considered the same 90mm Tamron and 100mm Tokina but, I opted to bite the bullet and spend the extra money and get the Nikon 105mm f/2.8. I have been extremely satisfied with it.
 

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For what you are wanting to use if for, either the 90mm Tamron or the 100mm Tokina would best suit your needs. The 60mm Nikkor will not work as well as it will require too short of a working distance for live critters. When I was shopping for a macro, I considered the same 90mm Tamron and 100mm Tokina but, I opted to bite the bullet and spend the extra money and get the Nikon 105mm f/2.8. I have been extremely satisfied with it.

To be honest I'm aiming for the Nikkor 200mm f/4 Micro lens - this one is my dream. But right now I'm not even considering it. I love the 105 - I wouldn't even hesitate, but there's only one problem - price[ 105mm G ]. Not that I can't afford it, but it's pretty high[ at least here, in Poland ]. There's still the D version - is there any difference between the D and the G version[ considering picture quality ]?


Ohhh what to do, what to do :)

Cheers,
Tommy_Boy
 
I think the 105 D doesn't have VR, but does have a aperture ring and the 105 G does have VR but no aperture ring...maybe slight differences in the coatings or something, but both should be exceptional IQ and build lenses...

I've got an older non-OS version of the 150mm Sigma macro and have been very happy with it, excellent lens, and great focal length for macro stuff. like was said, I wouldn't really be looking at anything shorter than like ~90-100mm
 
I would suggest a used lens! Either a Nikon 105D ( love my G, but yes.. it is not cheap). Or either the Tokina 100 like Sharon uses, or the Tamron 90... either one of those will do very well for you.... all great lenses. I am very partial to the Tokina 100, as that is the one that got me hooked on Macro! I do love Macro!
 
I'm not feeling a lotta love for the Nikkor 105 D f/2.8. It is the gold standard. Good working distance for small critters, sharp as a tack and makes a great portrait lens to boot.
 

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