Nikon macro lens suggestion

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by conamor, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. conamor macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #1
    Good day everyone,

    I would like to take pictures of human eyes. I suppose I need a macro lens.

    Does anyone have suggestions and differences between prices.

    Thank you

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    Oh just as a note.
    My setup is: Nikon D3200, 18-55mm kit lens, 55-300mm, 35mm DX 1.8g
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #2
    With your crop lens. The Nikon 60 mm macro 2.8 is a great piece of kit. Should pick one up pretty cheap.
     
  3. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #3
    What do you mean crop lens?

    I will have a look at the nikon 60mm.

    I read on other forums, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM macro... What are the differences?

    I really begin in photography and I have a question. Why aren't my lens good to take eyes, flowers, insects?

    Thanks
     
  4. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

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    May 5, 2007
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    UK™
    #4
    First off I think when AFB said crop lens he actually meant Crop Body, as opposed to full frame,
    depending on your budget and the focal length you want there are several lenses to choose from, the Sigma 105mm is a very good choice, I had one several years ago for using with a D300 along with a Nikkor 200mm f4 Macro lens, I never had a complaint with the Sigma, it should be ideal for what you want, I used mine for photographing watches for collections, and the Sigma 105 performed brilliantly, sharp and focused pretty well, depending how serious you are about macro, look into a proper flash set up or a ring flash, you will really appreciate it in the long run.

    also consider the Tamron 90mm another excellent lens ;)
     
  5. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #5
    Oh no not too many choices please :)

    Ok, let's say I would like to spend less than 600.

    I see that my choices are Nikon 60mm, Sigma 105 (Does it have an auto-focus?).

    Nikon 105 would be the same as Sigma but twice the price, correct?

    I currently have a SB-400 for my flash.

    ----------

    What are ring flash for? Where to get them?
     
  6. janil macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    #6
    You are simply looking to do closeups with a human eye?

    Most macro lenses are high quality.. Sigma, Tamron, and Nikon lenses will all work great for what you need.

    Most of my macro work is manual focus-- you may find that autofocus is not as useful as you get close to 1:1 magnification.
    (search about this to learn more.. articles and tutorials do a much better job explaining it than I would).

    Focal length is important because longer focal lengths provide more working distance between the camera and the subject. For example, a smaller focal length lens (like a 60mm) is great for tabletop macro, and a longer focal length lens is better for insects that are easily spooked. I don't know where your photography fits within that range.
     
  7. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #7
    If you just want to take pictures of a human eye, then a shorter lens will work out cheaper. Lots of people buy macro lenses and decide its not for them, and sell it on. That's why I'd go to a local camera shop and see what they have. Look for lenses that have a low fixed f number like my 2.8 suggestion.

    A ring flash is an excellent idea. There are basically two types. A ring of LED's that fit round the end of your lens, or the type that uses your existing flash (check for comparability) and is a ring diffuser that fits round the end of your lens. Basically the affect is the same, pleasing round catch lights in the eye.

    Another cheaper option is to use your existing 18-55mm lens with some extension tubes. These cost about £20-60 and are a spacer that fits between your camera and lens that let's you get much closer, giving the same affect as a macro lens. If all you want to shoot is an eye, that should do you. Available on Amazon. You will probably have to manual focus though.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opteka-Focu...2573564&sr=1-6&keywords=kenko+extension+tubes

    And yes I meant crop body (size of your camera sensor).
     

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  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #9

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  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    Get the sigma 105mm. you will need the distance to your subject.
     
  10. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #11
    Or a used Nikkor micro 55, either 3.5 or the later 2.8. It will give you some length you need and you'll be manually focusing anyway when doing macro work. They are brilliant lenses.
     
  11. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

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    Jun 27, 2013
  12. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #13
    I would suggest you heed the advice to get the longer macro lens (such as the 105 etc.).

    1) You will want distance from subject to control light
    2) Any activity you do near the eye will most likely cause blinking or movement
    3) Courtesy, no one wants another person that close and in particular their breath (being serious)

    In the film days, often when macro work was done in out patient offices and the like (including some operation rooms) the 35mm camera was often equipped with longer macro lenses. In the case of Nikon, they usually used the 200mm medical macro. That should be an indication of what was then and used successfully.
     
  13. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #14
    I have a Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro which I have used a lot, mostly used for fairly static subjects - it's as cheap as they come but it is among my sharpest lenses. However, I too feel that a longer lens is preferable, and about 100mm seems like a good choice. I realise the Nikkor 105mm VR is rather expensive, but it is supposed to be really excellent and may hold its value better than some of the others (particularly if you buy used to begin with). Nikon make an 85mm DX VR which is much cheaper, not so well regarded, but really there is no such thing as a really bad prime macro lens.

    You could possibly try your 55-300 with an electronically coupled extension tube. I would imagine the viewfinder would end up quite dark and AF might not work either, but extension tubes are useful things to have anyhow.

    Depending on how much detail you want you could try a close up lens on the front of the 18-55 at 55mm. Generally you don't have to get quite so close as you would with the same lens and extension tubes, but the quality is a bit or a lot worse. I have one made by Opteka around somewhere - the quality doesn't get close to the dedicated Macro lens but it's pretty fun and cheap.

    I tend to shoot macro photographs hand held, but this is not normal, indeed, it is a challenge, but I like walking around and finding things. I also find it difficult to keep a moving (windblown) subject in focus when a camera is on a static tripod. If you are taking this seriously a macro focusing rail might be worth investigating - do you have a sturdy tripod already?

    I'm not sure I would use flash for eye photography. I think good results should be possible with a bright window and careful working. If you do want to use flash, you could do what I do (for cheapness) which is mount manually adjustable speedlites on stands and use cheap wireless triggers. I guess you could mount your sb400 off camera with an appropriate cord and keep the metering.
     
  14. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #15
    Hi everyone,

    I have purchased and received the Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Micro.

    I have tested it and it is really great!

    I have a question; Why would I use my 35mm now? That 60mm macro lens seems to do great shots for portrait...

    Note: I have ordered Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro... I will have a look at both and compare shots and working distance.

    I am really close to the person when taking an "eye" picture. (with the 60mm)

    Do you have any tips on which setting I should put my D3200 when doing macro? (Macro mode, P, A)?

    Thanks!


    oh and I do have a big tripod... But doesn't use it much
     
  15. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Location:
    Utah, USA
    #16
    The 35mm is a nice walking around lens, when you're in low light or just want a fast lens. The 60 will be a better portrait lens than the 35. I used the Tamron 90mm macro for a few years. Now I just use the kit 18-55 II that came with my D3300. Have fun!

    I'm curious, though, why you want to take pictures of the eye.
     
  16. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #17
    I recommend some videos on portrait photography. 35mm lenses are not a first choice for that ;)
     
  17. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #18
    Fellow 60 mm 2.8 owner here.
    I recommend for Macro you always use your tripod. I use mine in Manual mode and often manual focus when trying to achieve the focus I want. If your not comfortable with those, then try the macro mode. I used to have the D3200 but never used those settings.
    As others have said, get plenty of natural light in the eye to keep it interesting.
    Finally post your efforts here along with the settings you used here for tips.
    Best way to learn IMO. Getting feedback and trial and error.
     
  18. inscrewtable macrumors 68000

    inscrewtable

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #19
    I'd suggest that you give the 55mm Micro Nikkor f3.5 a go. You'd have to use it as a manual lens of course but it's one of the sharpest lenses ever made, and you can pick one up for practically nothing on ebay. It's incredibly light with a deep set front lens so it's great for normal photography where you don't need a lens hood. Here's one in good nick for $85
    And here's another one a bit more used for $25 bucks.

    The one after that was the 55mm f2.8 micro nikkor which has a half stop more but it's heavier with more glass.

    When you are working at close range you focus by moving the camera back and forth rather than focussing with the lens because that's how it works at high magnifications.

    These lenses are designed to perform best at 1:1 and they produce a completely flat field for duplicates or flat copies. However, surprisingly they are both razor sharp when used as a normal lens.
     
  19. inscrewtable macrumors 68000

    inscrewtable

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    #20
    Here's a couple of shots taken about 6 years ago of an ordinary fly taken with a nikon D70 with a 55mm 2.8 micro nikkor. They're not great but it gives you some idea though.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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