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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> I need a macro lens but am overwhelmed by info....
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07/11/2011 06:03:26 AM · #1
Hi

I am going to buy a Macro Lens for my Nikon D5000.
I have been looking into various options and am now feeling a bit confused.com
Do I go for the Nikon brand or go for something cheaper?
Do I buy a 60mm lens just because I can afford it now and get something better down the line?
I know I am not the first person (and neither the last) to have to ask these questions so please, any help would be appreciated!
07/11/2011 07:19:11 AM · #2
You want a lens that gives you a 1:1 ratio between the sensor and the area being photographed to maximize your magnification. The Nikon macro lenses (which they call micro) all do that. Some non-Nikon lenses labeled as macro have lesser degrees of magnification, so you would want to avoid those if you plan to be serious about macro photography.

Based on personal experience, the Nikon 105 mm VR macro lens is excellent
http://www.dpchallenge.com/lens.php?LENS_ID=1342
and the Nikon 60 mm one is supposed to be excellent as well (although I do not have any personal experience with it).
07/11/2011 08:14:28 AM · #3
Have you done much macro work? How certain are you that you will like it?

If you're certain that macro is for you, then get a macro lens...I have no experience with the current lineup of Nikon macro lenses, but I'm sure they're excellent. The Sigma 105 and Tamron 90 are also very good.

If macro is just something you want to try, you might consider extension rings instead.
07/11/2011 08:26:25 AM · #4
How could one not like macro? :)

Macro photography can be summarized like this

But, read through the entire side challenge so you can see what type of photos can be taken with a macro lens.

A macro lens gives you the ability to achieve a 1:1 transposition of the object onto the sensor. Which means, A 50mm object will take up 50mm on your sensor. The detail you get from these prime macro lenses is incredible.

So, the choice between a shorter and a longer lens is one that everyone asks. The short answer, you won't be disappointed with either. The longer lens allows you to be farther away from the subject while still maintaining 1:1. This is good if you want to avoid getting to close to your subject. Many insects fly away if you get too close. In my experience, if you approach them slowly you can get very close. In fact, I put a dragonfly on my finger yesterday.

Since the longer focal length will suffer the same vibration issues as any other long lens, you need to have a very steady hand. That's what VR is for.

I bought the 60 mm canon because I was getting into this to start and didn't want to spend a lot. There were only a very few instances where I needed 100mm (when I was trying to get a close up of a snapping turtle for example).

Also, just because a lens can shoot 1:1, doesn't mean you should. :) The lens I have is extremely crisp (I don't know about Nikons) and can be used for portraits or all around shooting. Though, if I had the 100mm, I wouldn't be able to use it as openly as I do now.

Hope this helps. Keep soliciting other opinions, everyone is different, but you can't really go wrong.

I was a newbie to macro photography when I joined that side challenge. If you look at my pics, you'll get an idea of what a beginner can accomplish.

Paul

Originally posted by Spork99:

Have you done much macro work? How certain are you that you will like it?


Message edited by author 2011-07-11 08:27:58.
07/11/2011 08:31:38 AM · #5
I own the 105 VR and absolutely LOVE it! It's my best piece of glass so far, until I get the 70-200 or 24-70 sometime in the near future. I also love insects, bugs, eyes, and anything else that doesn't mind me getting up in its face. I enjoy the 105 because I also use it for some of my 'birding' since it is fast, crisp, although there are better options for birding, this is my best option atm. I also use it for some of my portraits, as it has a lovely bokah!
I would recommend the 105 if you have about $1k to drop on it, although I would deff rent it first, you can get it for a week for about $50. It'd be worth it almost to make sure that you do enjoy getting down on the ground, or inches from a spider...
07/11/2011 08:40:42 AM · #6
Don't forget the Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro. I have been really pleased with mine. Good performance and really well constructed. However, it does require an in-body focusing motor for autofocus. I'm not sure how the D5000 is equipped. This may be the case for all of the 3rd party macros (I'm not sure though).

For macro shots I always manually focus, but the lens can be used as a standard prime also. In that case I use it in autofocus mode.
07/11/2011 08:43:52 AM · #7
I have a set of kenko extension tubes. They work decently, though autofocus is worthless with them on. Focusing is a matter of changing focal length and rocking back and forth slightly. Got a lot of almost sharp shots for this week's bugs challenge. I'll get better. I would have also used my G11, which can focus at about an inch away, if I hadn't loaned it to my stepdaughter. I do think a real macro lens is in my future, but for now the extension tubes work nicely.
07/11/2011 09:27:13 AM · #8
I don't enjoy it enough to own a macro lens. If you'll use the lens for other things, by all means go for it. I used to own a 105mm macro lens, but I sold it because I almost never used it. I found it too long for much else on an APS-C camera.

For the limited amount of macro that I do, extension tubes are more than adequate.

Originally posted by PGerst:

How could one not like macro? :)

...

Paul

Originally posted by Spork99:

Have you done much macro work? How certain are you that you will like it?
07/11/2011 09:27:27 AM · #9
Why not PM 21_F.gif IreneM? She is Nikon. She is macro. She is very nice.
07/11/2011 09:33:46 AM · #10
I am no macro shooter but i do have a 60mm F2.8 Nikon macro lens, its a really good lens for portraits as well as macro photography, i do though find it a bit short for macro work so i would suggest something longer like a 105mm or a 150mm.
07/11/2011 09:45:42 AM · #11
I was about to make a thread on this topic but I found this one instead. My question is the 100mm vs 60mm one. 100mm always feels so uncomfortably far away. I always have to step back when I'm using my zoom. I like getting in close, the perspective and harassing the insects but everyone tells me the 100mm is better and I'll regret the 60mm. How comparable is the zoom 100 and the macro 100? Sorry for the hijack.

07/11/2011 09:52:29 AM · #12
I use 2 lens primarily for macro and I love both lens. The first one is Vivitar MF Macro 55mm 1:2:8 f/2.8 for Nikon totally manual but it gives me some the the very best work. The other one that I really like is my Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D because I can go to a f/1.4 and it's a really fast lens...with this one if I need to get closer I just use my extension tubes (w/AF) and get amazing results.

I have one other I have is Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 D but haven't found the right niche to use it in...so I haven't been really wild about this one....

Now the one that I drool over is Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f2.8D. This is what 21_F.gif IreneM uses and I will own this puppy someday....

So that's my 2 cents.
07/11/2011 11:31:06 AM · #13
I adore macro but don't own a macro lens. In stead I use my lenses reversed - for indoor work - and I'm very pleased with the results.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_840627.jpg

The only lens with macro "option" I have is the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DL Macro, which I use for outdoor work.
07/11/2011 11:47:18 AM · #14
I use the tamron 90 mm with my d5000 and I love it!
07/11/2011 12:52:02 PM · #15
Thanks everyone,
I have tried a bit of macro just from the lenses I have now and do enjoy getting up close and personal with nature. I took some shots of water droplets hanging off the buds in my garden and they are fascinating. I really do want to get into macro and from the info so far I think I will get the 60mm for now and see how I get on with it.
It seems that everyone has different lenses but no one is dissappointed with what they have so whatever I choose I cant really go wrong.
Now to convince the husband to let me buy it!
07/11/2011 12:55:19 PM · #16
Originally posted by Nadine_Vb:

I adore macro but don't own a macro lens. In stead I use my lenses reversed - for indoor work - and I'm very pleased with the results.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_840627.jpg

The only lens with macro "option" I have is the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DL Macro, which I use for outdoor work.


More on what Nadine said, I did originally start my macro stuff with a reversed ring. I used a 50mm 1.8 ($100ish) prime attached with the BR2A ($20ish) reversing ring. You can control the aperture with the manual ring, which was nice. It was sharp and got VERY close, I just didn't like it as much as my 105 now so I sold the set-up.
Link to some of my Shots using Reverse Lens
07/11/2011 01:24:54 PM · #17
I've owned this Sigma 105 macro and lvoed it. As you can see you get great results with it. I ended up selling it to get the new version of the Nikon 60mm Macro VR . I love the Nikon 60 for build quality and the VR but I think the Sigma actually produced smoother shots, but no VR.

The older version of the Nikon 60mm has been a standout for some time Take a look.

I don't think you would be unhappy with either.

Message edited by author 2011-07-11 13:28:28.
07/11/2011 07:30:11 PM · #18
Ok, so I have looked on Ebay and found some possibilities, only thing now is...

Without getting too techie about it, what is the difference between D and ED?
07/11/2011 11:02:25 PM · #19
nikon glass terms
07/12/2011 12:15:37 AM · #20
I`m pretty sure the "D" lenses wont focus on your camera

Originally posted by supanova:

Ok, so I have looked on Ebay and found some possibilities, only thing now is...

Without getting too techie about it, what is the difference between D and ED?
07/12/2011 01:11:53 AM · #21
I have both the 60mm Nikor (older version) and the 105mm Nikor Micro lenses, and both are very nice. The 60mm is small and light, and also makes an excellent people lens, but requires you to get really close to the subject to get to a 1:1 magnification. This sometimes causes small critters to become nervous and depart. The 105mm is large and heavy, but gives a longer working distance, for small creature photography. If you select the 60mm, the newer version would be the one you want for use with the D5000, since it has the internal focus motor. I bought my daughters the Tamron 90mm (one Nikon mount, one Pentax)and they both love them.
07/12/2011 05:37:21 AM · #22
Originally posted by thompp1:

I have both the 60mm Nikor (older version) and the 105mm Nikor Micro lenses, and both are very nice. The 60mm is small and light, and also makes an excellent people lens, but requires you to get really close to the subject to get to a 1:1 magnification. This sometimes causes small critters to become nervous and depart. The 105mm is large and heavy, but gives a longer working distance, for small creature photography. If you select the 60mm, the newer version would be the one you want for use with the D5000, since it has the internal focus motor. I bought my daughters the Tamron 90mm (one Nikon mount, one Pentax)and they both love them.

ohhhh..
Now you have just confused me again...
I thought I knew what I wanted but I have heard of the Tamron a few times now, so I am now back to square 1!

I guess at the end of the daay whatever lens I choose will be better than what I have so it will be a good starting point.

I think I will ponder about it for a few days and then probably just make an impulse buy for whatever I can get at that time.

...

Watch this space!

P.S: Mr.21.gif thompp1 out of curiosity...Why do you not enter any challenges?
Only curious as you have been a member for a few years and have yet to enter a challenge. Sorry, I do have a tendancy to stalk anyone and everyone who replies to a thread of mine!
07/12/2011 06:45:44 AM · #23
LOVE my 105 2.8 VR!!!!!!
07/12/2011 06:53:55 AM · #24
When people suggest that it might be wise to get a longer lens, it's done because you'll gain working distance. For some subjects, this isn't a big deal. For some, like various active insects, it's a necessity. The longer the focal length, the more working distance you'll have. But this is a trade-off, since it may also decrease the flexibility of the lens in other situations. The 60 2.8, for instance, is very nice for portraits because of its focal length, but requires that you get very close to subjects to reach 1:1. The opposite is true of my 150 2.8- I have much more working distance, but that also translates into having to be pretty far away from people, should I want to use it in that fashion (I'd use my 85 1.8 for this instead).
07/13/2011 02:17:18 PM · #25
Caz - Nikon just announced a new macro lens for DX camera. It is a 40mm and designed for the DX sensor as a less expensive althernative. You might want to check it out.

B&H Page for new Nikon 40mm Macro
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