Lenses For Macro Photography

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Pete, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Pete

    Pete Guest


    I recently bought a D70s with a 18-70 lens. I want to get into macro
    photography but my lens does not work well in that case. I have read
    that some people use 105mm and 60mm lenses. Can anyone recommend a
    good macro lens?


    Pete, Dec 2, 2005
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  2. I use and like the 105mm since it gives me a greater working distance from
    the lens to the subject. This allows for using more creative lighting

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 2, 2005
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  3. Pete

    Cynicor Guest

    I've had decent results with the Sigma 105mm macro. I don't like the
    autofocus very much (and it makes a grindy noise), but that's less
    important with macro shots.

    Two samples:

    Or you can use a 50mm lens with an extension ring:
    Cynicor, Dec 2, 2005
  4. Charles Schuler, Dec 2, 2005
  5. Pete

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    You might also consider the Nikon 28-105mm zoom, which has a
    very nice macro mode. Be warned, however, that with the built-in flash,
    you will get a serious shadow in the bottom of the image at the closest
    settings. For that, I use the SB-800, with the diffuser cap, and tilted
    so only a bit of the light reaches the object being photographed.

    This lens both extends the zoom range when used with the kit
    lens to a more comfortable mild telephoto range -- 157.5mm effective

    DoN. Nichols, Dec 2, 2005
  6. Excellent recommendation. I have this lens and it is definitely a great
    reasonably priced (about $250 after rebate) general-purpose lens for walking
    around. Plus the macro mode works nicely. I haven't used this lens in a
    while since I went on a lens buying spree and I'm still busy playing with
    them for the time being. I agree with your observations about the shadowing
    with the D70's built-in flash, but, like you said, this really isn't a
    problem when using the SB800. He definitely won't be disappointed with this
    lens, especially if he's on a tight budget.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 2, 2005
  7. Pete

    Larry Miller Guest

    I too have a D70 and settled on the 105mm 2.5 Micro Nikkor. I also have an
    old 55mm Micro Nikkor but because it is an older lens it would not meter.
    Anyway, I love the 105. As far as lighting is concerned the built in flash
    as well as any camera body mounted flash will produce shadows. I'm seriously
    looking at the soon to be released Nikon RC1 speedlight. It mounts on the
    front of the lens, has two speedlights and uses the camera flash or an SB800
    as the master in the command mode. Worth a look.
    Larry Miller, Dec 3, 2005
  8. Pete

    Deedee Tee Guest

    Assuming you need real macro (1:1 repro rate), there are no zooms
    available that I am aware of, so you will need a prime. I have a
    Nikkor "Micro" 60 mm and a Sigma Apo Macro 180 mm. I use the shorter
    lense when the short distance from the subject is not a problem and I
    must change often the repro rate (because of the shorter travel of the
    camera up and down a repro stand), the longer one when I must stay as
    far as possible (e.g., wary animals, danger of water splashing) or
    when perpective distorsion must be as small as possible. There are
    also other circumstances that may dictate the choice of either focal
    length (e.g., the need to include or exclude much of the background).
    The 60 mm is also a better choice for repro work much below 1:1, while
    the 180 mm doubles as a medium tele for wildlife and nature.

    If you must have only one macro lens, probably your best choice would
    be between 105 and 150 mm. Consider also the fact that macro lenses
    with internal focusing shorten the focal length of the lense at close
    range. E.g., the Sigma 180 mm is actually a 98 mm at 1:1, while the
    Nikkor 60 mm (which does not have internal focusing but a fixed
    corrector lens group) is approx. a 55 mm at 1:1, so these two are not
    extremely different from each other at close range.
    Deedee Tee, Dec 3, 2005
  9. Pete

    Dino Guest

    Are you from NY city mrs. Rita?

    Dino, Dec 3, 2005
  10. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Thank you all for the advise. Rita, hose are great pictures!!


    Pete, Dec 5, 2005
  11. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Thank you all for the advise. Rita, those are great pictures!!


    Pete, Dec 5, 2005
  12. Pete

    Cynicor Guest

    Oh, so now they're RITA'S pictures. OK. I see how it's gonna be around here.
    Cynicor, Dec 5, 2005
  13. Thanks for the compliment Pete, but these pictures are from another poster.
    I agree with you that they are great pictures. As I said, I use the 105mm
    f/2.8 AF-D Micro Nikkor and I think it's a fantastic lens. This is one lens
    you can't go wrong with. The 60mm is just as nice, but you have to get
    closer to your subject.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 5, 2005
  14. Pete

    cjcampbell Guest

    I have the 60mm and I think it is a very good lens, nice and sharp, but
    I would not buy it again. It requires you to get way too close to the

    I would tend to look at the Sigma 180mm macro for several reasons:

    1) 72mm filter size -- most ring flashes fit better on this size. You
    can also use a step-up ring to use 77mm filters easily, and many Nikon
    lenses use 77mm filters. The new Nikon R1C1 flash set-up is shown in
    the brochures mounted on the new 18-200mm VR lens, which also takes
    72mm filters.

    2) You can stay further from the subject, so that insects and the like
    are not disturbed by your lens.

    3) The lens appears to be a good value for the money -- not a cheap
    lens at all.

    The 18-200mm VR lens can focus as close as 20 inches, giving it a 1:4.5
    macro ratio. Not bad at all for many purposes, plus it is said to be
    very sharp. I have used the 80-400mm VR to take "macro" like pictures
    with some success, even though closest focus is only 5 feet, so the new
    lens could be very useful.
    cjcampbell, Dec 6, 2005
  15. Pete

    Cynicor Guest

    You're invited to return to the site and leave comments praising my
    brilliant work. :D

    The autumn leaf one (http://trupin.smugmug.com/gallery/954495) was
    lucky. I was at a hockey tournament in Bethlehem, PA with my son, and
    there was 8" of rain that day. All these nice leaves came off the maple
    tree next to my car, and one of them landed on the windshield. I
    happened to have my travel tripod and macro lens with me, so I set up
    and shot straight down, not even realizing I'd get that nice blue effect
    behind it. People were looking at me and rolling their eyes because I
    was taking a photo of a leaf on my car!
    Cynicor, Dec 6, 2005
  16. That is one neat shot since all the colors make you think about what
    environment it is in. I never would have guessed it was on a windshield.
    When I first saw it I thought it was on the painted surface of a car. I
    know the feeling you are talking about when you are trying to get that great
    shot and people look at you in bewilderment.

    Last week I was by the water with my 70-200mm VR and took a few leaf shots.
    The one I really wanted to come out good was of a leaf floating on the water
    and the leaf's shadow penetrating deep under the water. A great shot at a
    great angle, but it didn't come out as I wanted since I didn't have my
    polarizer. Plus, there was a lot of small debris floating around it.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 7, 2005
  17. Pete

    larrylook Guest

    Thank you all for the advise. Rita, those are great pictures!!

    Pete, as you may have heard there's rumors of an afs vr 105 macro coming
    from nikon, lots of pics of it on dpreview. Don't know the price, but afs
    and vr on a macro might have some advantages. Won't hold the butterfleis
    still though.
    larrylook, Dec 12, 2005
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