Macro Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by flyshop, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2004
    I am looking into Macro photography and I am looking at two Nikon lenses for my Nikon D700. This will mainly be for personal use as photography is mainly a hobby for me. The lenses are the 60mm f/2.8 & 105mm f/2.8 both having auto focus but the 105mm offers VRII. For outdoor use I favor the 105mm but just posting this for other peoples views and do any of you use ext. tubes?:)
  2. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I almost never use autofocus for macro work. Typicaly you'd be working on a tripod. With an FX frame size and 105mm lens at 1:1 youe depth of field, even if you stop down is very small. You need a tripod just to hold the subject inside the DOF.

    I have a D200 and I use a 1960's vintage macro lens. It is the 55mm f/3.5. On the DX frame body the 55mm is about as wide as I'd like. If you have the budget go for the 105. It allows better subject the camera distance for better perspective and more lighting options. But really an old manual focus lens will work as well for studio macro setups. Those tend to be done on a tripod and with manual flash(s)

    But you might also want to use the macro lens for non-macro work and a 105 makes a nice portrait lens and VR lets you hand hold it if you are maybe outdoors.

    I have the Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-s and have used it a lot on full frame film bodies and think itis the perfect portrait lens. You might like the 105 macro for people shots. On the other hand if you shoot indoors the 60mm f/2.8 for general photos because indoors the longer lens will have you hitting walls with your back
  3. macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2008
    The people I know that do macro photog (as myself years ago) would never use auto-focus. What matters is the working distance, the ratio of macro 1:2 or 1:1 and how to handle stability of the camera. Some use tripod heads or a similar that has a micro focus rail. This has far more value than auto-focus which can be extremely problematic.

    I tend to prefer the 105 and 200mm lenses over 50/60mm. My first macro lens was the original Vivitar Series 1 90mm that came with its own extension tube that also housed some glass. - An amazing lens back then with results that put it in a class of its own.

    With your camera, look for the 105 and 200 and for now, skip the extension tubes until you can feel you have mastered the lens, stability, lighting (another topic unto itself) and depth of field.

    My comments above of course is just advice and obviously please take it or leave it and consider it just food for thought.
  4. macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2013
    Hi There,

    I would say the 105 micro VR would be a good start,
    I use one with my D700 and it works a treat,
    A lot say the AF 200 f4 micro is a better choice if shooting spooky subjects that might fly away, or bite! :). This is true but a lot better shooting discipline is required the longer lens you use

    I've found the VR an advantage when using the combo, (D700/105VR), hand held

    I do use extension tubes at times but you will soon find depth of field, (DOF), will be a problem, (always a problem with macro :)),
    If DOF starts to become an issue, focus stacking software is an option

    Not sure about your avatar? But I use the 105 to photograph all my flies, mainly saltwater

    Budget and the macro subjects you choose to shoot will influence purchase

    Lighting for is also something to think about,
  5. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    My altime favorite film lens was the Nikon 105 f/2.8. I had access to a bellows extension tube for it so I was able to shoot the eyes out of microbes if I wanted to. Great lens. My current favorite lens is the 100 mm Canon L series macro 2.8 on my 7D.

  6. macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    This is the macro lens I use. It's excellent.
  7. macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Beauce, Québec
  8. macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2011
  9. macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2010
    Short answer: no.

    DX lenses work fine on FX bodies but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Since the DX sensor is smaller the lens can project a smaller image circle. This is one of the factors why DX glass can be cheaper - there is less of it.

    So on an FX body that image circle will likely be smaller than the sensor and you will get black corners. On my D800 the Tokina 11-16 goes from a strong vignette at 16mm to a complete circle at 11.

    You can also shoot in DX mode on cameras like the D800. This only uses the part of the sensor that falls within the size of the DX sensor. So it would be like shooting a DX camera. With a high density sensor like the D800 you still get a high res DX formatted image.
  11. macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2011
    Thank you for the clarification!

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