Macro/Micro for Nikon

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Sheldon, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    Currently I have an older 55mm AI Micro lens, and I'd like to upgrade to a
    lens with AF and one that will couple to my D70's meter.

    The only lens I've had a chance to play with is the 105, but I'm kinda
    leaning towards the 60mm 2.8 now. I'm thinking that the new lens will allow
    me to focus better, with the wider aperture, and since it racks out to 1:1
    with no extension tubes it will also be easier to use than getting extension
    tubes for my 80~200 2.8 lens and working in that limited range. The 105 is
    a nice lens, but it would just be another big, heavy lens, and with macro
    that can be a pain.

    Any thoughts? I've taken some great photos with the old 55, but having to
    do everything manually is a bit of a pain.


    Sheldon, Jun 30, 2006
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  2. Sheldon

    Toby Guest

    The 60 is nice, no question. One advantage with the 105 is that you don't
    have to get as close to your subject, but only you know if that is an
    advantage. OTOH you do get more depth of field with the 60. Either will give
    you better macro quality than your 80-200 with tubes.

    Toby, Jun 30, 2006
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  3. Sheldon

    babalooixnay Guest

    On this note is anyone using the 60 a lot. I have an AF 105 f 2.8
    which I absolutely love, maybe even as much, despite the digital crop
    factor, as my old AI 105 with film bodies, but I miss my film AI 85mm
    and have been thinking of using the AF60 as a replacement on digital
    bodies. Any comments?
    babalooixnay, Jun 30, 2006
  4. Sheldon

    Rebecca Ore Guest

    I'm finding the f/1.8 50 mm lens a wonderful short telephoto for
    portraits. It's equivalent to 75mm on film, so if you'd miss the 10
    mm, the AF 60mm probably would do more tricks, but the f/1.8 is
    considerably cheaper and faster unless you need the macro function for
    the $200 difference.

    My 105 f/2.8 VR macro does tricks that I don't have in other lenses,
    both as a 1:1 macro and has a VR telephoto lens.
    Rebecca Ore, Jun 30, 2006
  5. Sheldon

    tomm42 Guest

    Just bought a 55 f2.8 AF and it is one of the sharpest lenses I have
    ever used. That said I also copy paintings for artists and that was the
    specific reason for this lens, the flat field and no distortion make it
    a great lens for that type of work. If I wanted a lens for more macro
    (micro actually Nikon is right) I'd get the 105 VR (or not VR) this is
    also a great lens. I've used the nonVR model and it isn't a heavy lens.
    When you are down to magnifications of 1:2 or 1:1 remember depth of
    field is dependent on magnification not focal length, so in micro/macro
    ranges there is no difference in DOF.
    I have been surprised by some of the photos taken with a 70-200 lens
    and the Canon multi-element closeup lens ?500C?. That is an
    alternative, with a long focal length lens like that you need a long
    extension tube, often 2x teleextenders work better than extension

    tomm42, Jun 30, 2006
  6. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    You make a good point. Often, when shooting bugs, I can really use the
    extra DOF, so the 60 might be a better choice than the 105. Cheaper, too,
    and on the D70 works out to a 90mm.
    Sheldon, Jul 1, 2006
  7. Sheldon

    Don Wiss Guest

    I had a chance to take my new 105 VR macro lens out for a foraging walk. I
    took pictures of plants along the way. I found that the 105, which with the
    crop factor becomes a 157.5 mm lens, forced me to be too far away to be
    useful. Plus the depth of field was too short. I have no doubt that a 60,
    even without the VR, would be more useful for me.

    As soon as I can find the manual this one will go on eBay.

    Don <> (e-mail link at page bottoms).
    Don Wiss, Jul 1, 2006
  8. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    Prices for both lenses on eBay tend to be just shy of new.
    Sheldon, Jul 1, 2006
  9. Sheldon

    Paul Furman Guest

    Can someone confirm this DOF issue? At high magnifications I believe it
    does not matter, the only difference is angle of view including more or
    less context. For moderate closeups, DOF is probably a real issue but
    not at 1:1 (I think). I believe DOF does not vary at equal
    magnification, regardless of distance in fact. What changes is the
    magnification of background elements relative to the subject so perhaps
    there is a residual effect on DOF there but not enough to effect the
    immediate slice of sharpness available in very closeup macro work.
    Paul Furman, Jul 2, 2006
  10. Sheldon

    Rebecca Ore Guest

    What I've been reading is that the 60mm lens is one of Nikon's
    sharpest ever, but that the 105s come close. My manual for the VR 105
    says that depth of field at 0.314 meters is 0.31 - 0.32 pretty much at
    any f/stop. At 0.5 meters, (1:3), the chart shows a shallower depth
    of field under f/11 (as in none, though the inch chart on p 87 shows
    2/16ths in. at 1.5 feet). This may be because of the internal
    focusing, or the chart is confused. Looks like stopping down to f/16
    would be more useful here than at 1:1.

    The 60mm doesn't have IF so will have an effective lower stop when
    extended. I couldn't find a manual for it on the Nikon site, but it's
    being offered for sale with a rebate.
    Rebecca Ore, Jul 3, 2006
  11. Sheldon

    Toby Guest

    Yes, you are correct.

    So actually the 60mm doesn't give you more DOF than the 105 given the same
    subject framing. And this holds true at all distances, not just macro

    Toby, Jul 3, 2006
  12. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    So, are you saying that the DOF would be exactly the same with the 60mm as
    the 105? Assuming the framing is equal on both cameras. I did a little
    research, and it looks like at 1:1 the only difference between the two
    lenses is the 60 minimum focusing distance is 8 3/4", while the 105 is 1
    foot. That's not much. If that bee has a mind to sting you I think it will
    get you with either lens. The 60 2.8 would probably make a nice portrait
    lens, too.

    I also think the 60mm would fit into a lens selection of 18~70 kit lens and
    an 80~200 2.8 better than the 105mm. Often, you need to get closer to keep
    things in the foreground out of the way.
    Sheldon, Jul 4, 2006
  13. Sheldon

    Toby Guest

    Yes Paul is correct and I was wrong. With equal framing you get the same
    depth of field at the same aperture. If both lenses go to 1:1 then the only
    real choice is in the angle of view. You will get a wider view of the
    background with the 60, although with macro mostly it will be out of focus
    anyway. Objects shot with the 105 will appear slightly foreshortened
    (compressed) as compared to the 60. You will get more camera shake with the
    105, though at macro distances you will get a lot with either lens. You
    should probably choose based on which lens is best for you in a non macro
    mode. The 60 becomes a 90mm equivalent (35mm), quite a nice portrait length.
    The 105 becomes a 157.5, which is a nice short telephoto length, but
    slightly long for portraits.

    Toby, Jul 4, 2006
  14. The added focusing distance of the 105 makes it easier for creative lighting
    techniques, at least for me it does. Plus, the added distance gives you a
    better chance of not getting too close and spooking your subject.
    My personal choice is to use my macro lens exclusively for macro since I
    have other lenses for other requirements. I have both the 105mm AF-D and
    105mm VR and for my taste and style of shooting I prefer the old 105mm AF-D.
    Both are optical great and pretty much equal.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jul 4, 2006
  15. It's a tough call that revolves around personal taste. Though, some people
    don't like the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D because they feel the bokeh isn't as creamy
    or nice, I say it's a better choice over the 60mm macro for portraits. I
    like the 50mm f/1.4. I agree that the 105mm is a bit on the long side for
    portraits, but can be usable. A lot of people still use the 85mm and find
    it not a problem with the 1.5x crop factor.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jul 4, 2006
  16. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    I still have my 85 1.8 (AI), which is a wonderful lens for portraits and can
    really blur the background. Just doesn't couple to the meter or autofocus,
    and I've shot some portraits with the 105 AF Macro. They looked good, too.
    It's just with an 80~200 2.8 already in my bag, the 105 would seem like
    overlap. I can always pull out the zoom for portraits.

    I did some searches on the Net looking for reviews, and some people use the
    60 2.8 Macro as their main lens. Pretty much gets 5 stars all around,
    depending on the Web site.

    Anyway, I ordered the lens today from B&H. With the rebate it costs the
    same at the import, and not much more than a used one on eBay. This should
    complete my lens collection for quite awhile. I'll have the 18~70 kit, the
    80~200 2.8, a 500mm mirror, and the 60mm 2.8 Macro. My old lenses, which
    worked fine on my D70 but had no AF and did not couple to the meter, are a
    28mm, an 85mm 1.8, a 55mm Macro, an 80~200 and the 500mm mirror. Since they
    all have the same mount, I can use all the lenses on my old Nikon F, except
    the kit zoom lens.

    Geez. If I really get into this again I'm gonna need another digital camera
    body. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
    Sheldon, Jul 5, 2006
  17. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    I agree with you, but already made my choice so it's too late now. Besides,
    I'm often more concerned with the subject spooking ME. I have taken some
    great shots using my old 55mm Macro and the SB800 with the diffuser on it.
    In this case the shorter lens helps as there's less in the way of the flash.
    I like to shoot spiders. I'm also hoping even though I will usually stop
    down to get more DOF, the 2.8 will give me a brighter field of view and
    better focusing before the camera stops down.
    Sheldon, Jul 5, 2006
  18. Sheldon

    Don Wiss Guest

    I paid $325 for the one I bought on eBay a couple days ago. Or $336.45 with
    the shipping and insurance. Almost never used. Did you also order the
    $21.95 lens hood? I was thinking of stopping by B&H after work and picking
    one up.

    Don <> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
    Don Wiss, Jul 5, 2006
  19. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    I paid $325 for the one I bought on eBay a couple days ago. Or $336.45
    Yeah. I went ahead and got the lens hood and a filter. I never use lens
    caps. I realize that I may not be able to use the lens hood in some
    situations, but it does help protect the lens.

    BTW, you might be the one who beat me out on that lens. The last one I was
    watching went for $255, so I "assumed" the next one would go for about the
    same. When I kept getting beat out at over $300 I decided to just get a new
    one with a full warranty.
    Sheldon, Jul 5, 2006
  20. LOL! I know what you mean, it never stops!

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jul 5, 2006
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