lusting for a macro lens

Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
107
Location
Oakley, CA
ever since I got the nikon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 with macro i've been lusting for a 1:1 macro lens. I've been searching online and i haven't found a sigma 150mm for a decent price. (at least for me) I see that they are coming out with a newer version. On their website its listed for 1600 dollars, but on other sites they have it listed at 1100 dollars. Which do you guys think is correct? Is there an alternative to this lens? I've read good and bad things about the nikon micros. It seems from reviews i've read online that people that buy the nikon micros end up going to get the sigma lens. I'd hate to have buyer's regret by getting the nikon lens. Is the difference in 105-150mm a big factor? I'm pretty new at this macro thing. I'd like to take pictures of insects and flowers. I don't know what I should get nikon 60mm, nikon 105mm, sigma 150mm (used from somewhere) or wait for the 150mm. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks -norcalnewbie-
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
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2,303
Location
Cambria, CA
The Sigma street price is typically around 65% or so of the MSRP, give or take a few points. So, $1100 is about right for starters. If the demand is heavy, there might be a slight bump up; if to the contrary, price might go the other way. I would expect demand to be positive given the quality and success of the current version (which I have and must say is superb).

I also have the Nikon 60 and 105, both of which are excellent but not on a par with the sigma 150, IMHO. it depends on what you shoot and whether you plan on using a tripod. For me, the 150 is tripod dedicated due to the size and weight. The 60 is a walk-about and the 105, for me, can go either way. If I plan to go out and be on the move and shooting macro (no tripod), I take the 105. If its tripod time, it's the 150.

From your comments it seems you need the length (bugs etc) which would suggest that the 150 is your best bet....if you plan on using a tripod, I wouldn't think the OS on the Sig 150 is of any import...thus you might want to seriously consider the current version which will cost you considerably less. On the other hand, the 105 (either the Nikon or the Sig) with extension tubes might be feasible. Don't ignore the Tamron 90 which many say is a very fine lens. Decisons, decisions, decisions!!!
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
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4,215
Location
Belgium - Antwerp
What body will you use these on? On a FF or a DX sensor?

I myself use a 150 on my D700, and I love it. Very happy with it! Could use more reach though...

There are a lot of fans of the Nikon 200F4, but that is a lot more expensive (and heavy) than the sigma.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
21
Location
Sweden
I have the Tamron 90/2,8. It's frequently there at the top in reviews, and started out great, but its lens mount often don't agree with my Nikon D90 these days after not much lens use. I have to fasten the lens *hard* (after it clicks, and then some) for my D90 to not report a lens communication failure (Error "F--"). And its autofocus seem to have stopped working. Fortunately, it happens to be a macro so AF isn't very important, but still annoying when I happen to use it as a "normal" lens, photographing people.

I'm not sure if it's just something with my lens, but I'm posting it here anyway. In hindsight, I think it's that third party lenses can sometimes be a bit more "shaky".

I've spoken to technicians, and they tell it's a common problem with the *body*, i.e. the D90 tend to get this fairly often. However, it's my only lens of 6 that I've tried that does it, so I'm skeptical and rather wonder about Tamron's interpretation of the Nikon lens mount...
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
86
Location
New York City
I had the 105VR and found it a tad too long for a crop body but it depends what you're shooting. I was indoors hence the problem.

I also found it had way too much CA wide open.

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Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
3,941
Location
Chicago
The 105 VR and 60 2.8 N both lose focal length was you focus close in. I read somewhere the 105 goes to 70 at 1:1. I can measure my working distance at 1:1 for both lenses and also the older 60 2.8. Send PM

I have no third party lenses except Leica ones adapted.

I am not impressed with the build of Tamron, Sigma, etc. I will not even look at them.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
5,183
Location
Chicago "burbs"
My 200 f/4 is one of the sharpest lenses I've ever used. I use an SB-900 for fill when shooting bugs hand held to give me more shutter speed. I've also seen stellar results from the Sigma 150 though.

That being said, the 200 f/4 is one of my nikkors that I will never part with.

It's awesome on both FX as well as DX.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,440
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
"It seems from reviews i've read online that people that buy the nikon micros end up going to get the sigma lens."
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I think you'll find this generalization to be untrue of the majority of micro-Nikkor owners. I have 3 Nikon Micros, a 34 year old 55mm f3.5, a 30 year old 105mm f4 and a 200 mm f4. I'm happy with all 3 and not tempted to buy the Sigma.

A longer lens can be an advantage for shy insects but can sometimes be a problem with flowers if you are shooting small ones near ground level, where the farther back you have to get the more other things (grass, etc.) get in the way.

That said, the Sigma 150 is a terrific lens and I wouldn't hesitate to buy the non-optically stabilized version. I haven't seen a review of the new version yet.

Larry
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
736
Location
Columbia, MD
I love my Nikon Micro 105 VR lens. I have taken fantastic flower shots with it. I'm looking forward to taking more in the future.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
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3,751
Location
Durham, NC
"It seems from reviews i've read online that people that buy the nikon micros end up going to get the sigma lens."
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I think you'll find this generalization to be untrue of the majority of micro-Nikkor owners.
This one for sure! I'll never own any aftermarket lens, period!
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Messages
3,522
Location
Thornhill, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto
I've owned a micro-Nikkor 105 f4 AI manual focus for about 25 years, and have also used a photobuds micro-Nikkor 200 f4 AIS manual focus lens a number of times.
Both are extremely sharp from corner to corner and produce beautiful images.
And compared to the cost of the newer Nikkor and third-party macro lenses, they are a steal.
Check out KEH (www.keh.com) if you're considering either of the Nikkors.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
3,945
Location
God's Creation
I would also like to mention the Tokina 100mm macro...
very nice lens, great colors...
I use this alongside my Nikkor 200 f4 af...
Both give great results!
Had the Nikon 105 f4 mf micro and the 60mm micro...
All very nice performing lenses...
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
216
Location
Placitas, NM
i've been lusting for a 1:1 macro lens

>>> "I've been lusting for a 1:1 macro lens" <<<<

Never "lust" for a lens. Lust, as for a woman (by a man), implies a total lack of objectivity and an insane application of money to what is really an unachievable objective, at least for the long term.

Back off a while, absorb all the great input from this thread, and then make a "lustless" decision based on what you really need and can use long term, not what your "lust organ" (your brain), is trying to talk you in to.

All that said, the Nikkor 200mm f4 Micro is the truly superb macro lens for skittish bugs, in spite of its slow AF and lack of VR . . .

. . . as we wait breathlessly for the inevitable AFS 200mm f4 VR Micro to appear.

Oh! Was that lust? Oh! No! That was truly objective need!
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
43
Location
Northampton, UK
Ive owned a 2nd hand Tamron 90mm f2.8 for a few weeks now and have managed to get me a feature in the local paper thanks to the macros Ive been taking ! Nikon D200.

Im really pleased with it, manual focus has plenty of turn, its pin sharp, and it cost me UK£140 (about US$220 at todays rate).
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
1,896
Location
Blackpool Lancashire UK
Hi I would get the sigma 150 it’s the best dam macro you can get, I have owned 20 + macros of all makes my 105 vr is a nice lens but it’s not as sharp as the sigma 180 I did a straight swap for, VR is useless at 1to1 if I was to get 2 macro’s today I would get the sigma 70mm & sigma 150.

Phil.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
302
Location
hawaii
I too am looking for a macro. What makes my choice difficult is I'm trying to create a light/two lens travel kit which includes my favorite 85 1.4 but the 60 and 105 are relatively close in focal length. I would be satisfied with 80 being my longer lens in this kit.
 
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