Nikon Users: What Macro Lens do you use?

adversus

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Yeah, one of those "help me buy my crap" threads.

I'm going to treat myself to a macro lens for my birthday in March. I've been researching the various macro options, but wanted to get some input from folks here with practical experience. I have a D7000 body. I've been debating between:

Tokina 100mm 2.8 AT-X: $489
Nikon AF-S 60mm 2.8: $559
Tamron 90mm 2.8: $449 (with $50 mail in rebate)

The Nikon 105mm is more than I want to spend, my budget is about $600 or less. I'm leaning towards the Nikon 60mm, simply because it has internal focusing so the barrel length doesn't change.

Has anybody else used any of these three lenses on a Nikon crop body? Care to share your thoughts/example shots?
 

TheFantasticG

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I use a Tamron 90mm SP Di and a Sigma 150mm 2.8 EX HSM non-OS. I also use a set of Kenko tubes, Canon 500d close up filter, SB-600, and Nikon R1 with those two lenses.
 

cgipson1

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I currently use the Tokina 100 2.8. It is a great lens for the money! I am considering selling it though ;) especially if Nikon brings out a new version of the 200 Micro!

If you are planning on shooting insects and flowers... don't do the 60mm. The closest focusing distance on that lens makes it very difficult to get enough light on the subject, and it will spook most subjects also.
 
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adversus

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Charlie, are the macro shots on your Flickr stream shot with that lens?
 

LightSpeed

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Charlie, are the macro shots on your Flickr stream shot with that lens?

Tamron makes a hell of a macro lens for the money.
If you're considering the Nikon for 559.00, consider the Tamron 180mm for a little more.
 

cgipson1

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Charlie, are the macro shots on your Flickr stream shot with that lens?

Yes.. the shots on Flickr are with the Tokina! Want it? make me a reasonable offer! :)
 

Derrel

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60mm is awfully short. It's a pain, needing to get the lens so,so close to things. A 60mm is great for "close-ups", but for ultra close-ups and macro, it's simply rather short in focal length for everyday folks...a longer lens like a 90,100,105,150, or 180mm macro gives more working distance, and makes it easier to get pictures of slightly skittish creatures like butterflies and various insects--without the need to get the front of the lens 1 inch from them. I have an older Tamron 90 AF-SP; that model has been updated now by Tamron to BIM status within the last two years. My personal feeling is to always try and buy a macro lens used.

I really think you' d be happier with a 90mm or 100mm macro, rather than the Nikkor 60mm.
 
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adversus

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Since I'd like to use this lens as a medium telephoto as well I'd like some form of stabilization. But how important is that for macro photography (assuming that I already have a nice tripod for serious macro work)?

I'd also like to keep my lens purchases to lenses that will work on both full-frame and crop sensors, as I anticipate my lenses lasting longer than my body.
 

TheFantasticG

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Nikon has stated that the closer you get to 1:1, the more likely it is that VR will cause image degradation and loss of IQ. Due to the very very small adjustments in DOF the closer you get to 1:1.
 

Flyer

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I use a Sigma 50 (non-macro) stacked with extension tubes. I usually have a 36 and 20mm tube on. That should give me a better than a 1:1 ratio. You will need to light it up well with this setup though. The Sigma 50 1.4 makes a fine lens for other uses on a crop sensor as well. The lens is about 500 and the tubes were less than 50.

Macro - a set on Flickr
 

cgipson1

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Since I'd like to use this lens as a medium telephoto as well I'd like some form of stabilization. But how important is that for macro photography (assuming that I already have a nice tripod for serious macro work)?

I'd also like to keep my lens purchases to lenses that will work on both full-frame and crop sensors, as I anticipate my lenses lasting longer than my body.

It is debatable whether you would need VR / OS on a lens of this length. 95% of my macro shots are shot handheld. The only reason I use a tripod is if I need to use my focusing rail for something I want really precise, shallow DOF on. Just buy FX lenses.. they go both ways! :)
 

Jeremy Z

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I had a Tokina 90mm f/2.5 ATX for my manual focus film Nikon. It was the sharpest lens I've ever shot. I bet their 100mms are just as good. (ATX are their top-of-the-line lenses)

Does your camera body have a multiplication factor? If so, remember that 100 mm will end up looking more like 150 mm; not a good portrait focal length any more, if you thought you'd use it for that. In that case, the 60mm might be more appropriate.
 

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I forgot to mention that I too wish my lens was longer, but I make do with what I have. If I were going to buy a macro lens it'd be over 100 for sure.
 
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adversus

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I thought the Tokina AT-X 100mm f2.8 Macro was designed for crop sensors? May have confused myself. Will that lens work on a full-frame body as well without cropping/vignetting?
 

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