looking for macro lens, help

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jerzey111, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. jerzey111 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    #1
    hey guys, im in a market for some macro. My budget is 400ish. what do you recommend?? i own nikon d90.

    i actually found older nikon 105mm for 280. suppose to be mint. what do u guys think?? i heard that some older glass is very good. is this one of them?? any input appreciated

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/105af.htm
     
  2. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    #2
    You could browse slrgear.com and read the reviews there.

    Just saying macro doesn't really pin it down that well. How far do you want to be from the subject? How fast a lens do you need?

    One you can look at is the Sigma 70mm f/2.8. Fast and incredibly sharp.
     
  3. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #3
    I have a 50mm f/2.8 Sigma macro that I've been very happy with. One feature I was looking for was the ability to get down to a 1:1 ratio. This lens will do that, and more (also, because of the sensor size conversion factor, it does better than 1:1). It's also fully coupled.

    If you want to be further from the subject, you might want a bit longer focal length.
     
  4. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #4
    I am sorry, you care to explain this one a bit?
    That lens will do 1:1.. not more.. there are only a few lenses out there that will do MORE that a 1:1 ratio.

    Unless you couple it with an extension tube, 1:1 is what you get.. sensor size has nothing to do with it..
     
  5. a.jfred macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #5
    I've been suitably impressed with my Sigma f/2.8 105mm macro lens, which is a tad more than your $400 limit, but well worth every penny you spend. It seldom comes off my camera.
     
  6. jerzey111 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for all the info. So that older Nikon is not recommended?? I would like to get to 1:1. I'll be trying to get bugs, Water drops, etc. I found tamron 90mm that's $460 but they have a $50 rebate till the end of the year so &400 is right at my price range.
     
  7. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #7
    Ok, if I may pitch in.
    I have owned a nikon 105mm, a sigma 105mm, and a Tamron 90mm as well as a Canon 100mm macro.

    Best results are from the Nikon but it breathes so you recompose every time you focus. The sigma and Tamron have the problem that they extend like hell (almost double) but the quality is excellent when you get used to the lenses.
    The Canon 100mm rivals the Nikon and the nikon with the Canon take the cake in terms of raw IQ but the sigma and Tamron are not far behind.

    Please bear in mind one thing: with ANY Macro you will need a tripod and manual focus, it just won't autofocus to get 1:1 and the sigma/tamron extend so far, the shy insects away. If you first focus and then move close in without using autofocus, you will have great images.

    If you can afford the Tamron, go with the tamron It is a great lens.
    Also make sure you try it as a portrait lens.. its great for that too...
     
  8. jerzey111 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    #8
    thanks flosser, i would love to get the nikon vr but its almost twice the price, and thats a no go for me right now, anyways i figured it that af won't be usable that much and that was one of the reasons why i was interested in the older nikon lens but it seems that nobody really has any advice about them.

    thanks again for the input, i'll prob go w/ the tamron
     
  9. bld44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #9
    have you considered the Nikon 60mm macro? The 105mm is absolutely fantastic, but the 60mm is pretty solid as well (runs about $500).
     
  10. a.jfred macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #10
    [​IMG]
    Hand-held with the 105mm EX DG macro.

    I won't say I can get that every time, but seriously ... I'd have never gotten that shot with a tripod.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    Which older Nikon 105mm?? Is it the previous AF-D (or was it AF-G) model? If so, then that lens was probably sharper than the current Nikon 105 mm AF-S model (with VR). I have this lens, but at the time, many shops were still selling the older AF-D model. I only chose my lens because it had VR, although that feature wouldn't help you with your macro photography anyway.


    There is no such thing as a bad macro lens, not currently, anyway. You could choose any of them, and they'd be sharp.
     
  12. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #13
    I use a tamron 60mm f/2 1:1 macro on my canon crop sensor camera and I love it. Aside from being a great macro lens, it doubles as a fantastic fast prime @ f/2 for low light and a great portrait lens to boot. You can probably find a used nikon one for around $400. Below are some macro shots taken with it

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #14
    This is simply not true. I have been taking macros for 5 years and have never used a tripod. What you will need (if you don't have a studio setup) is control over lighting. This can be anything from the camera's built in flash to a dedicated macro ring flash (arachnophobes beware) to an external flash with a diffuser, or simply ambient light (provided there's enough of it). You may even use combinations of these options, like ambient light with fill flash from the camera.

    A tripod is only practical (in my experience) in a studio setup, or if you have ample time, space and a non-moving subject in the field. Even then you'd need not only the tripod, which is an added expense, but also a macro focusing rail, preferably one that moves both laterally and towards/away from the subject. My subjects are almost always in places/positions that don't allow the use of tripods (again, arachnophobes beware).

    If you control your own lighting, you can get shots at 1/200, F/10 and ISO 200, like my shot with the diffuser (shown above, at 2:1 magnification). The lighting is key in getting a great shot. If your lighting is bland, it will result in a bland image, no matter how well focused it is. If you have good lighting, then the resulting shot will stand out more. Examples:
    Shot with bland lighting.
    Shot with better lighting.

    Both shots are of the same subject, taken less than a minute apart under different lighting conditions. There is no way I could get a tripod setup to take a shot of something on my living room ceiling. :p

    Regardless of which lens you choose, plan on how you're going to light your subject. That said, one of the most important aspects you should take into consideration when choosing a macro lens is working distance (distance from the subject to the front element of the lens). Shorter lenses (50-60mm) usually have a 10cm working distance, while longer lenses have a greater working distance. My Canon 100mm macro has a working distance of 15 cm alone and ~11 cm when using 68mm of extension tubes. For moving subjects (insects, spiders and the like), I've found that the working distance is great. Any closer and I'd scare them away.
     

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