Half decent macro lens?

Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
37
I'm Christmas shopping for the photographer on my life. She uses a slightly battered D600. Looking to pick up a bargain macro lens for her to fool around with. Manual focus. I'm guessing she'll use it more on leaves, tree bark, rusted stuff, etc. than insects. Don't want a zoom - smaller is better.

Any ideas? $50 or $60 is the sweet spot. Maybe go to $100. Thanks.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
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5,599
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Thanks. I like that so far this seems like an easy question. That's unusual.
It's a beautiful little lens, built like a tank. I'm still using the one I bought new in 1977. Be absolutely sure that it's the AI version you get. There are lots of non-AI out there but they won't meter on a D600. In fact, they can physically damage the camera.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
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It's a beautiful little lens, built like a tank. I'm still using the one I bought new in 1977. Be absolutely sure that it's the AI version you get. There are lots of non-AI out there but they won't meter on a D600. In fact, they can physically damage the camera.

Really good to know. Thanks. I've shot Nikon on and off, but never delved into the older glass. Always been a mystery to me. I see a non-AI version that was converted to AI. Probably not worth the risk?
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,599
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Really good to know. Thanks. I've shot Nikon on and off, but never delved into the older glass. Always been a mystery to me. I see a non-AI version that was converted to AI. Probably not worth the risk?
In the early AI years, there was a factory conversion kit available. If it has one of those it will be OK.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,599
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
If she will want occasional auto-focus, consider the 60mm f/2.8 AF D micro. It is also inexpensive used, and one of Nikon’s sharpesst lenses. Good for general use photography. When I first got mine, I rarely took it off the camera.
Not a bad lens but it will likely cost a lot more than the allowed budget.
 
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Redwood City, CA
Be careful of the 55/2.8 AIS, they're a terrific lens, but prone to oil making the aperture blades stick. If you're handy, you could buy one needing repair and do it yourself. My copy has been on the shelf for a few years and I'll try to fix it sometime. Plenty of internet advice on the topic.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
37
If she will want occasional auto-focus, consider the 60mm f/2.8 AF D micro. It is also inexpensive used, and one of Nikon’s sharpest lenses. Good for general use photography. When I first got mine, I rarely took it off the camera.

Good thought. Only a few more $ than the 55/3.5. Thanks.

correction - close in price to 55 for a pretty beat up lens. I don't care much about looks though, as long as glass is good. The photographer in question, my kid, likes the grungy, vintage appeal. Or something. :)
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
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I'm Christmas shopping for the photographer on my life. She uses a slightly battered D600. Looking to pick up a bargain macro lens for her to fool around with. Manual focus. I'm guessing she'll use it more on leaves, tree bark, rusted stuff, etc. than insects. Don't want a zoom - smaller is better.

Any ideas? $50 or $60 is the sweet spot. Maybe go to $100. Thanks.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
37
I ended up totally changing what I was after here. Bought a nice Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5mm AF-D for about double my intended budget. Quality lens and good range for walking around town. A nice improvement, as she was previously using a 50/1.8 for that. Macro capabilities a nice bonus. Also bought a too cheap set of extension tubes, which was a mistake.
 
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