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Best macro lens

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Herm Wallace, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Herm Wallace

    Herm Wallace

    Jan 28, 2006
    I would appreciate opinions on the best macro lens. Thanks.


    D2x, D200, and a lot of Nikon stuff.:biggrin:
  2. I'm in love with my 105VR but others will say the 60mm or Tamron 90P, or the 200mm are the best.
  3. tasnim_fahim


    Oct 2, 2006
    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.
  4. Zachs


    Feb 25, 2006
    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:
  5. Gr8Tr1x

    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.
  6. 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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  7. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    How do you get the bugs to stay still and smile while you photograph them?
  8. 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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  9. JimCo


    Feb 16, 2006
    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.
  10. 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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  11. Greg V

    Greg V

    Feb 19, 2007
    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.
  12. snakeman


    Feb 26, 2006
    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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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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  15. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    Sigma 150mm Samples:



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    Samples from the 105mm VR handheld

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  16. 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)
  17. RForshey

    RForshey Guest

    Beez, that is one of the best flower shots I've seen, period. Beautiful, just beautiful..
  18. Nuteshack

    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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  19. JoeG


    Nov 2, 2006
    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)
  20. Very kind of you to say. Thanks!

    And, that is the absolutely best use of tilt I have ever accomplished.
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