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Thread: macro lens

  1. #1

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    macro lens

    I am planning to buy a macro lens . I have Nikon D600 camera,28-300mm,18-70 mm lens

    Please suggest me which one to buy.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by meenkshy View Post
    I am planning to buy a macro lens . I have Nikon D600 camera,28-300mm,18-70 mm lens

    Please suggest me which one to buy.
    What do you plan to photograph?

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: macro lens

    IMO, for general closeup and macro photography a macro lens with a focal length of anywhere from 90 to 105mm is usually a safe bet.

    Shorter focal length macro lenses of say, 50mm to 60mm or so, often result in a very short lens to subject distance. This sometimes causes problems with lighting and might scare little creepy-crawlies you are photographing...

    Longer lenses of 150mm to 180mm give wonderful lens to subject distance but, are usually quite expensive and quite heavy to hand hold (I hand hold macros of insects quite often).

    The 90-105mm focal range is a compromise between the weight and price of the longer lenses and the short lens to subject distance of the 50-60mm variety.

    Nikon makes some wonderful macro lenses as does Tamron. (NOTE: I have never used a Nikon macro or micro lens but, they are universally praised by those who have used them). I am not familiar with the Sigma macro lenses since I generally stay away from that brand. I use an older 90mm Tamron f/2.8 AF SP lens which I bought on eBay several years ago at a very low price.
    http://www.nikonians.org/reviews?ali...p-af-90mm-lens
    My lens is the model previous to the present Di version but, produces very nice image quality. It is a fine lens for macro work but, I consider the auto-focus speed a bit slow to use this as a general purpose short telephoto lens. It does make, due to its very smooth bokeh, quite a decent portrait lens, especially on a crop camera. However, I tend to use my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens for portraiture...

    BTW: Most macro lenses of any type produce very-good to excellent image quallity. Supposedly this is even true of the 100mm f/3.5 Phoenix. But, I have no personal experience with this lens...
    http://www.nikonians.org/reviews?ali...f35-macro-lens

    One unique factor of macro photography is that when you are shooting at a 1:1 image ratio, the depth of field of your lens is the same whether you are using a 50mm or a 180mm (or anywhere in between) as long as you are shooting these lenses at the same f/stop...

    Extension tubes or close-up filters are another way to achieve close focus capability but, IMO, they fall far short of a true macro lens in versatility. I would recommend staying away from the "el-cheapo" extension tubes which have no electronic connection between the camera and the lens. These are usually found on eBay at ridiculously low prices. But, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is...

    Additionally, many zoom lenses have the term "macro" attached to their designator. These seldom have true macro capability and the "macro" designator is simply a sales ploy...

    Finally, you can sometimes find a manual focus macro lens (of any brand that can be adapted to your camera) at a decent price. No auto focus but, I use manual focus mostly for macro work...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd May 2013 at 02:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: macro lens

    I have a Sigma 150mm macro, which I cannot fault, but it is VERY heavy even on a D2Xs. My next buy will be the Nikkor 60mm micro, which gets excellent reviews but with the short front element to subject distance is probably better suited to DX cameras, and as my subject matter is most likely to be fairly inert it shouldn't create a problem for me.

  5. #5

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    Re: macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    What do you plan to photograph?
    Also, what is your budget?

    For small live and nervous insects, I wouldn't go smaller than 150 mm. I use a Sigma 180 mm and often plus a 1.4x converter. In most cases I consider myself lucky to get withing 12 ins of my subjects.

    I always use a tripod, and frequently flash or other lighting.

    But for inanimate subjects which won't run/fly away you can use a smaller, lighter and cheaper option because you can get closer.

  6. #6
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    Re: macro lens

    For small live and nervous insects, I wouldn't go smaller than 150 mm. I use a Sigma 180 mm and often plus a 1.4x converter. In most cases I consider myself lucky to get withing 12 ins of my subjects.
    I don't agree. I do a lot of macro of bugs and don't even own a lens longer than 100mm, although on a very few occasions I have mounted a 1.4x and 12mm extension behind my 100mm. I often use the 100mm with an extension tube, most often 36mm, to allow me to get closer. it just takes practice and patience. I'll paste a few that I took that way (without the extender) last weekend. All of the macros on my site, http://http://dkoretz.smugmug.com, were taken with either a 100mm or 60mm macro lens. I don't think any that I posted there used an extender.

    It's a tradeoff, as someone said. A longer focal length allows you to stay a bit farther away, but it is more weight and harder to manage.

    macro lens

    macro lens

    macro lens

  7. #7

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    Re: macro lens

    Richard said what I would say in #3 but I have yet to buy a macro lens becuase simply I do not need it and with a moderate close-up lens I have all I seem to need for all the small creatures and small things I photograph. I have a 430mm and 280mm zoom on my bridge camera an MFT respectively. The 430 gives me a 1.5 inch across subject filling the sensor with the bridge camera and the 280 gives me about the same but I have greater capability to crop with MFT.

    I wonder if the photos in #6 are full frame or crops?

    I have both extension tubes, the cheaper and properly priced ones IMO , and a bellows* but both are so cumbersome in use they simply never get used for real whereas the 2 dioptre CU lens lives in the camera bag and shortly will be joined by a 4 dioptre which will give me about a 3/4 inch subject filling the frame. CU lens despite not giving true macro do in fact easilly and quickly provide the answer in real life when used with a longer lens such as the OP's 450 AoV long zoom. The weight question is pointless becuase one uses the lens for everything ... well I do anyway with both bridge and MFT and the weight adds to steadiness for all my shooting. Another angle is balance in your rig ... the thought of using a long lens on a DSLR simply doesn't appeal to me. My MFT is not as good as the bridge camera as to use full zoom the lens trombones out ... steps forward and steps backwards

    An important fact to bear in mind is that for a given framing all focal length lenses give you the same depth of field.

    *Even my bellows was well priced as my $20 offer at a 'make an offer' table was accepted

    EDIT .. if you work out the maths it quickly becomes apparent that using a moderate CU lens on a short lens is pointless ... one is not using it to get closer but rather to overcome the inherant problems of focusing a long lens closer than manufactured, one uses the narrow angle of the longer lens to achieve tight framing ... which .. if you think about it ... is what we are really after.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 25th May 2013 at 04:40 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: macro lens

    Hi Mini, I too have a Tamron 90mm f/2.8.
    I find it a great lens either on my Sony A55 or A99.
    The photo in the link below was taken from about 18 inches away from the beastie and hand held. The image has been cropped considerably from the original but you can see the quality is still there
    I would certainly recommend this lens for macro as well as a nice portrait lens.
    All the best with your decision.
    Cheers, Greg
    Post your insects

  9. #9
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    Re: macro lens

    Jcuknz (sorry, I don't know your name),

    The photos in #6 were cropped modestly, mostly for framing and composition, not magnification. It's really not possible (for me anyway) to compose properly under those circumstances. Instead, once I get into position, I take several shots (if the bug is cooperative) and check later to see which are properly focused and which comes closest to a reasonable framing. I then crop to adjust. Once in a while, I do a major crop for magnification, but I would rather avoid it.

    for example, I'll post the unedited original of the second one below. I'll paste in a smaller size so that you can see the original framing.

    Getting close enough is one of the hardest parts of bug shots. People who are better at this than I am can actually get multiple shots well enough aligned that they can focus-stack. I almost never can. I do that with tripod work, but not shots like this, which are done with a monopod, often at odd angles.

    One trick: I have found that some bugs (for example, damselflies and dragonflies) are much less skittish if you approach from their level, not from above. This means a lot of time lying down and slowly scooting forward. I actually ground away part of the metal frame of a UV filter from sliding forward on a wooden dock.

    Dan

    macro lens

  10. #10
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    Re: macro lens

    I have a AF Micro Nikkor 105mm lens 2.8. A photographer friend recommended this lens to me. I bought it used and I think it is wonderful lens, not too heavy to hand hold, lots of detail and light...

  11. #11

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    Re: macro lens

    It all depends on intended use and budget. You can work the budget out for your own circumstances better than any of us. As far as intended use, here there is some ambiguity. Macro can mean, in common parlance, simply getting closer than one otherwise might with "normal" lenses. On the other hand, to lens manufacturers, macro means serving two masters: approaching a 1:1 ratio of subject to image (that is to say, a subject that occupies 10 square mm in real life will occupy 10 square mm of sensor space) as well as maintaining a flat field of focus so straight lines stay straight at all magnifications. Nikon takes the approach of naming such lenses "Micro-Nikkor". Such lenses take a lot of practice to master and demand to be used with very steady support. Think tripod here. BTW, "normal" lenses do well to approach 1:5.

    Other lenses that can get close (typically older D-type zooms with macro functions) may not approach 1:1 too closely and might display significant distortion if used on the copy stand. On the other hand, walking around, they are much easier to use than true fixed focal length "Micros". For instance, I have a 24-85 f2.8-4D that is one of two lenses that share living space on my D600 (the other is the 70-300 f4.5-5.6 G VR). The 24-85 has a macro function (1:2 max) that is more than useful for individual flowers. With it, I can get much closer to the subject than with the 70-300 and achieve a larger image on the sensor. Artistically, though, the two lenses are quite different and I might choose the 70-300 (1:4 max) in a situation where the slightly edgier bokeh of the 24-85 would intrude and circumstances allow (minimum focus distance of the 70-300 is 1.5m).

    I also have a 105 f2.8D Micro but this has not yet been used on the D600 so I have no opinion to share other than it's been brilliant on other cameras, especially on tripod. Of the micro-nikkors, though, it seems the AF-S 60 f2.8G is the most universally well-regarded.

  12. #12

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    Re: macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    What do you plan to photograph?
    I want to photograph very close up photos like petals of flowers or very small insects in tight frame

  13. #13

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    Re: macro lens

    I am new in photography. I have one doubt and I don't know my doubt make any sense. I have heard about attaching macro lenses to other lenses to get closer shots. Is there any option like that?

  14. #14
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by meenkshy View Post
    I am new in photography. I have one doubt and I don't know my doubt make any sense. I have heard about attaching macro lenses to other lenses to get closer shots. Is there any option like that?

    See attached link.
    http://www.earthboundlight.com/photo...reversing.html

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