Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR - VS- Sigma MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Silverbird0000, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Silverbird0000 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2006
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    Fort Myers, FL
    #1
    So I am going to be in the market for a macro lens for my Nikon D40. I was just interested to see what everyone thought about these two lenses since I can't decide which one I want. They are the Nikon Telephoto AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR, and the Sigma MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX. I know that the Sigma won't autofocus with the D40, but is that really a factor in macro photography? I have never used a prime lens with macro, I have used zoom lenses and attachments when I was using a Sony DSC-H5. The only thing that kinda makes me want the Nikon lens is I can use it for portraits and have AF. But the Nikon is also like almost $800 bucks while the Sigma is $400. How is image quality between the two? Is one better than the other? I know the Nikon lens has a great following, but should I consider the Sigma? What about the Sigma Telephoto 150mm f/2.8 EX APO Macro EX DG HSM Autofocus Lens. That will AF with the D40, and it's $600, but will that focal length require me to be far away and cause blurry images due to camera shake? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    If you are willing to consider a lens that will not auto-focus why not buy a Nikon manual focus lens. You can buy a very good one for under $100.

    The VS AF-S lens is great if you intend to hand hold the camera but you will never get good results that way. You need a tripod. Once you put the camera on a tripod it becomes easy to manually focus. In macro photography the small amount of movement due to unsteady hands is enough to bring the camera in and out of best focus. A few millimeters of camera to subject movement can change the focus. there is so little depth of field at high magnification. If you can't afford a tripod at least get a bean bag or one filed with lead shot. Using the IR remote or self timer completely eliminates camera shake

    I use the very old lenses describbed in this web site with my D50.
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/late70nikkor/micro/index.htm
    The build quality of these older lenses has to be seen first hand. So much better then what is made today. But there is no AF and no metering but in a controlled environment and on a tripod this does not matter. These lenses are available cheap today. I still also have my Nikon F2 from the same era.

    With the D50's DX size sensor my 55mm f/3.5 lens with the PK13 tube attached can fill the entire frame with a US 25 cent coin (A Quarter) As for image quality. None of the newer lenses are better. The "bottle neck" is the CCD sensor. Optical coatings have improved and the new lenses are less suseptable to flair. Not a problem for macro work. One of the best features of the Nikon system is that you can still use these older lenses
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    You can get a Sigma 150 mm, but it really depends on what you want to photograph. If you want to shoot flowers, you would be better off getting a shorter focal length. You can do insects using any macro lens, but 100 mm seems to be a good length.
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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  5. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

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    Apr 12, 2007
    #5
    I've got the Sigma 105 and I would really recommend it as a good lense. The quality is really good and the fact that you have 1:1 size is even better - I have got some really good images from this lens and it opens up a lot of creative possibilities.

    It does have some problems with autofucos in low light (as does the Nikon 105mm from what my friend has told me)- however - if you can't autofocus then maybe this isn't a consideration.

    I would try and get a lens to autofocus if you can - I think you will miss this functionality - but if you're okay with this the Sigma is a great lens for the money.
     
  6. Silverbird0000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2006
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    Fort Myers, FL
    #6
    Thanks to all for your replies. I have a tripod, I just don't like carrying it around with me when going out shooting during the day. If I'm doing night shots then I bring it. I used to do macro with my H5 and never used a tripod and got great pics. Maybe I would be better off with the Nikon 105mm due to its VR and AF-S. I don't want to regret my purchase of the Sigma.
     
  7. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    May 1, 2006
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    Fury 161
    #7
    I've had both lenses, and my advise is, if you want autofocus (and have the $), get the Nikon. If you don't need autofocus, get an old, second hand manual lens for cheap.
    I've nothing against the Sigma, except that I don't like it.

    Nikon cons: price
    Sigma cons: slow, clumsy (the AF/M ring is a poor design), (in your case, only manual focus), non VR, poor construction. When focusing close, it doubles its length (in the Nikon, everything is internal). Noisy.
    ______

    Nikon pros: see Sigma cons, it's the opposite. Sharper.
    Sigma pros: cheaper, quite sharp.

    Keep in mind that sharpness depends on your sample. If you're gonna use it for other things than macro, by all means, get the Nikon, you'll get autofocus, VR, and a much better overall feeling.
    I repeat, I've had both, but the truth is, everything I disliked about the Sigma, is a thousand times better on the Nikon. Don't spend more than you can, though.

    Hope it helps...
     
  8. Silverbird0000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 19, 2006
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    Fort Myers, FL
    #8
    This helps alot, thanks! After reading your post, and multiple reviews on the Sigma and Nikon, I think I will go with the Nikon. I will just have to save longer and ask for gift certificates/money for christmas.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #9
    If you're not worried about AF, you may wish to consider the Tamron 90mm Di lens, it's one of the best macro lenses out there. If you're in school, their .edu discount puts it under $400, otherwise it's just under $500.
     
  10. Silverbird0000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I didn't know the camera/lens manufacturers did education discounts... Is it only Tamron that does this?
     
  11. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #11
    Well you need to decide if you need the macro function over the VR, and I'll disagree that you'll never get good images with VR. In fact if you don't use too slow a shutter speed, the VR will get you many more sharp images for all the times you don't lug around a tripod. And for many of us, that is a sizeable proportion of the time. VR is worth it's weight in gold ;).

    For mitigating shallow DOF in macro mode, move your camera lens farther away, crop excess from the frame (assuming you have 6MP or higher MP sensor) AND use F8-F16 aperture. Handheld macro is a joy, tripods can be a PITA when you are traveling light.

    Edit: and if you really need a top-end macro lens, manual focus "new school" and very pricey. Try the $1.3k Nikon 90mm Tilt/Shift lens intro'd 1999 (in computer years it's ancient), that has macro capability, very sharp lens and all the DOF you can dial-in :)
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    AFAIK, it's most of them- some of them depend on the degree program and some don't.
     

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