Need a Macro Lense for Nikon D40

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Taipan07728, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Taipan07728 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 20, 2007
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    #1
    I am looking for a macro lense to use with my Nikon D40. I am a beginner photographers and looking for a good lense under $500 that I can use for flower closeups. Autofocus would be nice but I am not opposed to manual. Does anyone have any suggestions on compatable lenses? Thanks!:)
     
  2. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #2
    For slightly less than double that amount you can get the 85mm F2.8 Macro Micro-Nikkor PC (tilt/****) lens on the used market. For flower shots it cannot be beat, seeing how the tilt function gives you almost infinitely more control over DOF, can get you much more or much less DOF than a standard lens. It's fully manual however (except for contacts that report Aperture in the viewfinder) but it's supposedly the sharpest lens in the Nikon line. For better focusing, however in low light, a full frame dSLR works best
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    If you're interested in doing macro photography of flowers, one of the shorter 50 mm, 60 mm, and 70 mm macro lenses would serve you best. They give you more depth of field than the 105 mm and longer macro lenses, which may be desirable for certain shots. After all, flowers tend to be larger than most insects.

    If you want to take macro photos of insects as well, then I think the Nikon 105 mm macro lens (without VR) is good. You won't get AF, but it's a sharp lens. If you want AF, get the 105 mm VR macro. :) I have one, and the VR has been useful.

    The Sigma 70 mm macro is also an interesting option for flowers and insects. :)

    The Tamron 90 mm is a very famous macro lens, and has been for a long time. :)


    **I don't know US pricing. I'm just making suggestions that may be within budget in the US, where lenses are cheaper.
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    KEH lists several samples of the 60mm Micro for under $400 including new- it won't AF on the D40, but for macro that's not such a big deal, same with a few older Tamron 90mms which will give a bit more working distance- all under $350 but not new. Either lens will produce fantastic results, so the major issue is working distance.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    I doubt the D40 would autofocus with any Nikon macro lens. Are there any AF-S macros yet? May as wel by an MF lens and save $$

    I use a 70's vintage 55mm Macro Nikor f/3.5 At one time this was the sharpest lens in the world. You can buy one for well under $100 on the used market. Manual focus lenses are a great bargain. If you are shotting from a tripod, like you would be for a static subject like flowers then manual focus actually works best. For AF you need to place the AF sensor, focus, disable AF, recompose then trip the shutter. Make sure the lens you buy is at least "Ai" or "AiS". What you will find is that the build quality of these old lenses is so much better then today's AF lenses and improtantly the MF lenses have MUCH better focus rings with just the right amount of drag and non of the "slop" of a modern AF lens

    You also can't meter with an MF lens but again for a static subject you can take a test shot and look at the histogram.

    The best place to shop is on one of the on-line Nikon forums, people sell used lenses all the time.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    The 105 mm VR macro is an AF-S lens. I have one, and it focuses quite fast (for a macro). It's great. It's also more than the OP's budget, unfortunately. However, for macro, he's not losing much. I use the AF on my macro, and then manually adjust the focus from there. It's very fast.

    Too bad the viewfinder on my D50 was too dark and too small. I remember the D40's viewfinder being much better. :) Even with good vision, manual focus wasn't a particularly easy task on my D50. I was going to replace it in like 6 months, but now that I messed it up, I guess now's the perfect time to replace it.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
    I have the d50 also. I has a green light inside the viewfinderon the lower left that lights up when the AF sensor detects good focus. This works with old manual focus lenses. I can't see well either (I'm a bit over 40) so I use this. I think all of my film AF bodies had this light too. I know my N90 has it.

    What I really miss and it would have cost Nikon almost nothing is a simple split prism focuser. I can focus with one of those even without my glasses on.
     
  8. Taipan07728 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 20, 2007
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    New Jersey
    #8
    Thanks for the Replies!

    This was my first post on MacRumors and I just wanted to thank everyone for their feedback and advice. Its nice to know that I have options for a macro lens other than the only one made for Nikon D40 which is a bit out of my price range. Thanks everyone.:)
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #9
    It does, but it's no better than autofocus, really. Nothing like trusting that little green dot in the viewfinder and finding out later that what you focused on was the wing of the insect, not the body. But again, the D40 and D40x have much larger viewfinders. I don't know how bright they are, but I'll assume they're also slightly brighter. :)
     
  10. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #10
    You can have a split-prism focus screen! Just order one from Katz Eye Optics http://wwww.katzeyeoptics.com for whichever camera model you have and you're good to go. They offer these for Nikon and Canon, I don't know about other camera brands. They will install it for you or you can install it yourself. The D200 is a bear to install it in, so for that camera I'd recommend having them do it. The D2H/s and D2X/s models are easier for doing it yourself. I have the Katz Eye in the D200 and in the D2Xs and it really does a great job, especially for close-focusing work such as macros.

    Another option for those who use Nikon cameras and who need a little help with their vision: the DK-17M magnifying eyepiece. It's very useful.

    Oh, to get back on-topic and to respond to the original question: the 60mm Micro-Nikkor is a dandy, reasonably-priced little lens and works well with the D40. As mentioned, most of the time it is necessary to use manual focus when shooting macro anyway, so that is really a moot point as to whether or not a lens is AF. The 60mm is an f/2.8mm AF lens but will not autofocus on the D40.
     
  11. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #11
    I bought a nice Nikon 55mm f/2.8 AF Micro used from Adorama for $210. It's a wonderful lens with my D50, and unlike the MF 55 Micro it focuses all the way to 1:1 without any accessories. Obviously it wouldn't autofocus with your D40, but macro work often goes best with manual focus anyway.

    The 55 Micro is a good general purpose lens too -- a nice short telephoto on a DX-format camera that has as good an aperture as pro zooms, and better than any amateur zooms, though like all macro lenses it's a bit slower than most other modern primes.
     

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