I think I need a Lensbaby or micro

Oct 17, 2007
Orland Park, Illinois
I have both the Nikon 105mm f2.8 AF-S VR lens and the Nikon 200 f4 Micro lens. Both are fantastic. I tend to use the 200 more because I like how it controls the backgrounds with its narrower field of view.

For macro, I shoot almost exclusively with manual focus. As you get closer, focusing precisely becomes far more challenging. I can only accomplish that through manual focus.

I often use my macro lenses along with the Kenko extension tubes. This allows me to get very close...here is a butterfly wing with the 200 Micro/Kenko combination:

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This is a very small green leaf that I found just outside my doorstep:
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And this is the 200 Micro for a flower shot:
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Nov 24, 2019
I recently bought the 105mm f/2.8 VR micro that I use with the FTZ adapter on my Z6. I debated over the 60 or 105 or possibly a Sigma 105. I went with the Nikon 105, and I'm very pleased with it. I don't think you will regret the Nikon 105.
Mar 11, 2012
Melbourne - Australia
I have both the 60mm and 105mm Nikkor lenses, along with several other longer ones plus a couple of Lensbaby's.

The 105mm was my most used macro, particularly for fungi. When I started photographing Ghost Fungi (Glow in the dark ones) I found the 105mm a bit long (due in part to not always having a lot of room to position the camera in the bush, plus the generally larger size of the fungi), so I purchased the 60mm and it does the job nicely.

Don't panic and think there is something wrong with your lens when you can't get to f/2.8 as you get closer to the subject. Nikon bodies report the effective aperture. While all macro lenses exhibit the same, the bodies don't report it, although the metering compensates for it. Basically a 100mm lens at 1:1 the effective aperture will be 2 stops, so your f/2.8 becomes f/5.6. This is caused by the elements in the lens moving further away from the sensor as you focus closer.

My advice when starting out in macro is practice on closeup photography. As you get closer to 1:1 your DOF can be less than 1mm, which can make things a little tricky for subjects which move, even flowers in the breeze.

When i started photographing native orchids, which for the most part are tiny, some of the flowers will easily sit on my pinky fingernail with room to spare, with the majority smaller than a dime. Trying to get results I was happy with became frustrating, so I purchased longer and longer macro lenses, plus used a teleconverter, which for the most part I got good results, but the system became rather large and heavy to cart around in the bush trying to photograph these delicate flowers. So I invested in another system which suited me better, gave me results I was happy with, and I now use most of the time for the native orchids. On a photowalk for native orchids, i can easily take a couple of thousand images. The reason I have mentioned this is, if you get hooked on macro and depending on the subjects you like to photograph, you may need to look at other combinations to keep things simple, reduce the compromises, and still make it fun to do.

I use auto focus 99+% of the time, even for the ghost fungi (I use a torch so the camera can AF, then I switch the lens to MF before taking the shot) As the subjects get smaller, and depending on the body you're using, some will have issues focusing on smaller subjects. The system i use for the native orchids focuses fine on the smaller subjects, whereas my Nikon Z bodies struggle.

This is a Mosquito Orchid, the flowers are tiny, and will easily sit on my pinky fingernail with room to spare. The AF works just fine for these flowers

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A Hare orchid, these are smaller than a dime, and AF works fine on these also.

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One of the enjoyments for me and closeup/macro photography is there are so many subjects to photograph around the home, and in the case of fungi and native orchids at local reserves. I don't need to travel far and take alot of equipment to get reasonable results.
Feb 6, 2006
TX originally from Louisiana
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  • #24
WOW WOW WOW! Gorgeous photos! I'm now anxiously awaiting the big brown truck! I have placed my order for the 105mm and as soon as I get it, I'll find something to practice on and then ya'll can help me get it right. THANKS YA'LL
Congratulations on ordering the 105mm macro!

I forgot earlier to actually provide the link to my 52 Weeks Project here on NC.....so here it is now:


Or, a way of looking through the entire collection so far without wading through this thread would be to go to my Zenfolio gallery:


You're not going to find as really stunning and outstanding macro images as have been shared here in this thread, but you'll get an idea, anyway, of different things which can be done with a macro lens, at least at my particular level of ability and interest, especially if you go back further through that thread, which encompasses each month from January 2020 on.... I do other things in addition to macro and closeups, of course, but definitely those seem to predominate in my shooting and images.

Also, for lighting, I would nominate Mike Buckley as the go-to guy since he has been doing some incredible macro and tabletop work over the past several years and refined his use of lighting of his subjects to the point where he nails things each and every time.
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