Best macro lens

Joined
Jan 28, 2006
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305
Location
Cinti.
I would appreciate opinions on the best macro lens. Thanks.

Herm

D2x, D200, and a lot of Nikon stuff.:biggrin:
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
498
Location
riyadh
Herm, macros by all manufacturers are generally excellent..unless you find
a dud product. having said that i prefer nikon 60/105 or tamron 90.

the nikon 200 is a benchmark. do not forget the mf lenses too. depends
what you want to use them for.

good luck with your search.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Messages
884
Location
NC
I would personally go with something that can give you working distance. Besides the zoom leses out there that offer "macro", I've only had experience with the 55mm land. Both m/f and AF versions of Nikons 55 2.8 Macro are excellent. The 60mm is their replacement. If I had my choice, I'd probably go with the 105VR (as i would use that as a portrait lens also).

Here is one from the 20 yr old 55 AF taken yesterday (this is my first macro shot in probably a year!)

this flower is about the size of a quarter:
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G

Gr8Tr1x

Guest
The answer will differ depending on what you want to shoot.
You need a longer macro to shoot most bugs and insects up close. if you want to table top photography, a wider macro is fine.

I have used a 60mm, 70mm, 105mm and a 150mm macro. I love both the 105mm VR and my 150mm Sigma. Still have both of them and they are great.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
I would appreciate opinions on the best macro lens. Thanks.
The forum favorites are the Nikon 60/2.8, Nikon 105/2.8, and Tamron 90/2.8. The longer focal length macro lenses are large, expensive, and require a greater degree of stability, so most who buy them are macro specialists.

I'm very high on the 60/2.8 "micro", which for some reason is Nikon's term for macro. It's a most versatile lens, good for everything from macros to portraits to firetrucks... and even capable of taking pictures of creepy crawlies.

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Joined
Feb 11, 2007
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Sanford, FL
Real Name
William Beem
How do you get the bugs to stay still and smile while you photograph them?
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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Location
San Jose, CA
I don't have a clue, Bill. I don't take pictures of bugs unless they happen to wander into the frame when I'm shooting something else. But the fact that I've been able to catch a few good bug-pics suggests that the 60 micro may not be as useless for it at it as people suggest.

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Joined
Feb 16, 2006
Messages
528
Location
Sublimity, Oregon
As said above, most of the macro lenses ared top notch and your shooting style and subject matter should determine which lens is best for you. For many of us, budget is a factor also.

I went middle of the road and chose the Sigma 150 for decent working distance and cost. It is a very sharp lens. It has HSM but focuses slightly slower due to the longer turning radius of the focus ring, which is a good thing for macro. There is a focus limiting switch and AF is always dead on for me.

Sometimes I wish I had a shorter macro for easier hand holding when shooting flowers and such.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
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7,818
Location
Gilroy, California
Of the dozen macro lenses I have, my favorite is the 85 f/2.8 PC.

It seems in some circles the 60 2.8 isn't supposed to be as nice as the 55s or the 90/105s, but I think it is an awesome lens. Easily the sharpest lens I've used.

Example from the 60:

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From the 85:

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Joined
Feb 19, 2007
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32
Location
SE Michigan
As other have stated, determine your working distance needs.

If you can live with the moderate working distance of the Nikon 105, you can find some great deals as everyone tries to upgrade to the 105VR. I love my 105.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2006
Messages
1,336
Location
UK
I love my tamron 90mm..had the sigma 105mm and sigma 150mm but prefer the tamron to both of those,although all good lenses the tamron just seems sharper.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Messages
3,629
Location
Springfield, VA & Cape Charles, VA
Based on all the factors for which one might buy a macro lens, and considering its use as a general purpose lens as well, if I were to buy a macro lens today it would be the AF Nikkor 200/4 or the Sigma EX 150/2.8 and none other.
 
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
171
Location
Corsicana, Texas
Man, these are some awesome shots here.

I've got the older 105 and the 105VR, and the 200 Micro. I've never tried the 60mm. The 200 gives you more working room - you don't have to get in so close that you spook the bugs away. But it is quite a bit heavier. They are all excellent lenses and the 105, after figuring in the digital magnification factor, is pretty close to the classic 135mm portrait lenses.

This is from the older 105 Micro
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G

Gr8Tr1x

Guest
Sigma 150mm Samples:
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Samples from the 105mm VR handheld

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Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
729
Location
Douglasville, GA
I'm looking to buy my first macro and right now I'm leaning towards the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG for a couple of reasons. The main two reasons go hand-in-hand... cost and not being sure how much I'll really use it. I think I can grab the Sigma 50mm for around $150 used if I'm patient. I also don't plan on doing much insect shooting, so working distance isn't as important. I also want something that can quickly go back-and-forth between macro and sharp portrait lens. My main fear with the 50mm f/2.8 is whether or not I'll be able to get the amount of DOF isolation I'll be expecting.

If I can grab a deal on a 70mm or 105mm EX DG I'll go that route but it looks like my budget will limit me to either the 50mm EX DG or the sharp but cheaply-built Phoenix/Vivitar/Cosina 100mm f/3.5 (which requires an included diopter to get to 1:1)
 
R

RForshey

Guest
Of the dozen macro lenses I have, my favorite is the 85 f/2.8 PC.
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Beez, that is one of the best flower shots I've seen, period. Beautiful, just beautiful..
 
N

Nuteshack

Guest
gosh these r some excellent photos ...here's one from last week at the children's hospital in Portland ...the wind was blowing so i cranked it up to 1600iso fora little speed....tammy 90 macro
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Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
469
Location
Tyrol, Austria
all Macros from all manufacturs are sharp enough, nevertheless I would say that there are some macros out there which are more sharp.

I love my 105VR (this lens has the most beautiful bokeh I've ever seen from a macro lens) and the 85mm f2,8 PC Nikkor. The tilt/shift function of the 85 PC works great (and is of course very usefull too) and the lens is especially at mid-range apertures razor sharp. And the workmanship and precision of the 85 PC is superb too.

@Beezle: beautifull flower shot (the one with the orange flowers and the black background)
 

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