Macro Time

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kbaird, May 24, 2007.

  1. kbaird


    May 7, 2007
    Midwest, USA
    I have never had a macro lens with film or digital.

    Do any of the nikon zooms or primes work well for macro?
    Example. 35-70 2.8

    Do you think the tamron 90 macro is a good starter lens?

    Is the nikon just amazing?
    The reviews look that way.

    Does the VR really help?
    I read that macro shooting
    should be with a tripod.
    What do you think?
  2. Tamron 90 is a great starter lens. As is the 60mm. Note the minimum focus distance, that will dictate how close the lens can come to your subject. Don't confuse this with magnification as any true macro lens will do 1:1 (fill the entire frame).

    Most zoom lenses may do good closeup but not what I would really call macro. The only ones that I would consider for that work would be the 28-105 Nikon or the 17-70 Sigma, though the Nikon is definitely not great for macro if you're a pixel peeper.
  3. Nikon currently offers the 60mm Micro-Nikkor, the 105mm VR Micro-NikKor and the 200mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor. These are all true macro lenses. In addition some of the zooms, such as the 35-70mm f/2.8, include a macro function but aren't really dedicated macro lenses as such.

    There are also some older Nikon macro lenses which can be purchased for much less than the new current ones: the 55mm macro, the 70-180mm zoom macro and the 105mm f/2.8 (non-VR).

    I've heard good things about the Tamron 90mm macro but haven't used one myself.

    Another option is to purchase the Canon 500D diopter/lens, which can be used pretty successfully with the 18-200mm VR, or a set of Kenko extension tubes, which can be put between the camera body and any regular lens. Extension tubes can produce very interesting effects and they are a lot less expensive than a dedicated macro lens.

    Be careful, though: this macro stuff can be downright addicting! I started out with the 60mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor and then just HAD to have the 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor and then later the 200mm..... You get the idea!
  4. The Tamron 90 is great lens for professional use as well, as is just about any macro lens you can name. That's a very cool aspect of macro bad lenses...AF or MF...NONE! Just slightly different flavors of excellent:smile:.
  5. Cope


    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    I have the 60mm 2.8, and really like it. A friend bought his wife the Tamron 90mm 2.8, and treated himself to the Sigma 150mm 2.8. He didn't fool me with his "generosity", but he says the Sigma 150 is a great lens.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2007
  6. Of the purpose-designed macro lenses, the "worst" of them is outstanding - there aren't any bad (or even average) macro lenses from Nikon, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Zeiss or even Phoenix. Naturally the best of them are in the "legends" category.

    The Tamron 90 is an excellent starter macro lens.

    I have the 55/f2.8 AIS Micro-Nikkor, Tamron 90/f2.8 and 200/f4 Micro-Nikkor, as well as the 35-70/f2.8 AFD. (Connie did say that it was addictive, didn't she?) The 35-70/f2.8 is a fine lens in its normal range, but it's just not as good when in macro mode. However, it's not bad, and occasionally one needs a "wide angle" (relative to most macro) view - and the 35-70/f2.8 can serve the purpose.

    VR helps, but not really much in macro (meaning somewhere between 1:4 and 1:1). The problem is that VR addresses motion in the side-ways or up-down directions, but macro has such thin DOF that it is important not to move in the forward-backward direction. VR doesn't address that. As a result, using a tripod is a pretty good idea. I pretty much don't do macro work without a honkin' tripod.
  7. kbaird


    May 7, 2007
    Midwest, USA
    I have the 28-105 Nikon with my N80.
    I had never thought of using it for macro.
    I will try some shots with it and see.
  8. kbaird


    May 7, 2007
    Midwest, USA
    Thanks for the ideas.

    I will start working on some photos
    and see what reach I would like.
  9. AEDigman


    Jan 23, 2007
    West Virginia
    Hi Keith -

    I'm a little late to the game here, but I just bought and received the Nikon 60mm micro earlier this week. So far it is spot on and tack sharp. It is also a very well-built lens.

    Just thought I'd toss in my $0.02...

    Best of luck -

  10. DrewC


    Jan 30, 2007
    Denver, CO
    the 28-105 is pretty good for macro considering the fact that its a decent range zoom and will still do macro 1:2. (fully extended) not bad in my opinion, but you can get that much more macro ability with an extension tube