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More spring flowers (lens comparison)

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by Harry S., Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Made some more pics of my garden flowers this weekend and took the opportunity to use the Canon 500D for what it really was made for and also to see how it compares to the 60/2.8 Mikronikkor.

    Conclusion: If I don't have to deal with subjects that might be scared away by the close focussing distance of the 60mm I will not even think of using the 500D combo unless I intentionally want to achieve some shallow DOF diffusion effects. The crispness of the 60mm is unsurpassed (at least among the more common lenses)

    First pic was shot with the 60/2.8 the other two with the 70-200VR+500D.
    NIKON D1X    ---    60mm    f/5.6    1/320s   

    NIKON D1X    ---    170mm    f/6.3    1/640s   

    NIKON D1X    ---    130mm    f/2.8    1/1500s   

    Have a nice day
  2. Harry, exquisite images :shock:

    It's true that the 60/micro has unsurpassed quality! I think that the 500D with the 70-200 or the 80-400 that I'm also using it with, serves a different purpose! The bokeh also is a lot better with the big guns.
    :idea: Use the Nikon 6T on top of the 500D with the 70-200!!!
  3. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    While the 60 is very sharp for close-ups, its bokeh tends to be a little on the harsh side. That together with its too short focal length, and the fact that its performance declines on distant subjects, make the 60 a no-no lens for me. I have one and only use it for indoors studio shots where its perspective distortion can be tolerated and space is a premium so I have to keep shooting distances short.

    While the 70-200 + close-up lens may not yield equal sharpness, the end result is more pleasing thanks to the improved bokeh and more out-of-focus background.
  4. It's quite obvious in my posted shot. One supposedly has to avoid situations where the background is "too near". I have shots with very pleasing bokeh, but in these the background is so distant that stopping down does not affect the bokeh.

    This the real headache, but the other MicroNikkors are too bulky for me. I think I will lend someone's Tamron 90mm to see how it performs.

    I also use it mainly for macro shots in the lab, mostly beetle macros where the subject is oriented perpendicular to the Z-axis, so there is hardly any perspective distortion.

    Thanks for your input.
  5. Great shots Harry!! :)  :)  :)  :) 
  6. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  7. Hallo Harry.

    How are you today. The 60mm Micro Mikkor is a fine lens but I used, after swopping to Nikon from Leica, the 105mm. I now have the 90mm Tamron Di and I really like that.
    With the Leica I used a 60mm and their X2 extender. Now that gave bokem than was absolutely superb.
    BW. Bob F.
  8. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    The assumption that the focal length influences DOF in close-up photography is false. Only image magnification is of importance. So if "subject ratios" are equal, then also DOF will be the same. However, the longer lens will render the background differently, but this has nothing to do with DOF per se.
  9. Good Point

    Good point nfoto. I missed that otherwise I would have said exactly the same thing, especially as it is a common misconception.

    Bob F.
  10. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  11. Thanks for all the positive comments! I like that this thread started a discussion – isn't that what a forum should be about?

    I am not good at optical maths so I am eagerly watching out for additonal input. What I have learned since I started to use the 60 Micro is that I should possibly avoid busy background, the maths will matter less then.
    Here is a pic with quite nice bokeh, but there was ample space behind the subject, also the aperture was quite wide (f7.1):


    Had the dreaded red X in the preview so I posted the link as well
  12. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  13. To MontyDog

    Paul. There is a massive difference in the reproduction ratio of a 60mm and a 170mm at the same subject to camera distance.
    This is not going to be easy to explain, but here goes.

    To get a 1:1 (lifesize) reproduction witha 60mm lens, then the subject has to be 60mm away. With a 170mm lens it has to be 170mm away. This is why photographers like macro lens of a longer focal length than 60mm. At this short distance the insect gets scared and flies off. At 90-105-180-200mm the insect is farther away and is less scared.

    I now have a Tamron 90mm Di , so with film this would give me a R/R of 1:1 at 90mm, with digital it does this,( due to the crop factor,) at 135mm.

    So hopefully you can see that if the subject is 170mm away with a 170mm lens, then the reproduction ratio will be 1:1 (life-size), but the same subject at the same distance with a 60mm lens is almost 1:3 (1/3rd) lifesize. ie 170mm divided by 60mm =2.83. Therefore, no amount of stopping down will make the depth of field the same. There will be much more in the photo taken by the 60mm than the 170mm.

    Hope this helps.

    Bob F.
  14. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  15. It's a qualitative judgement, but I think it takes both a sharp subject and a creamy background to achieve the
    desireable "3D" effect. It's fairly easy to modify the background, but a Herculean task to give a slightly
    soft subject the impression of sharpness. That's why I prefer the 60mm for floral close-ups.

    I didn't need to give the 60mm's bokeh any assistance in this case.

  16. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    No intention of "hijacking" from my side. However, the issue is complex, misunderstandings are common, and the wrong use of concepts add to the overall confusion.

    I interpret "subject ratio" to imply magnification, and by extension, similar ratio = similar magnification. If something else is intended, my bad command of the English language is to blame.

    Firstly, magnification is a scale and not an absolute factor. Thus, the format of the recorded image has *no* bearing on magnification, and for example, if the lens is focused to 1:1 (life-size) with one format, it will be at life-size for all other formats as well. The infamous "crop" factor does expressedly *not* influence magnification at all.

    Secondly, magnification depends on focal length *and* the distance between the subject and the front nodal plane (or equivalently, on the focal length plus extension to reach the rear nodal plane). The position of the front nodal plane can be almost everywhere depending on the lens design, so it is not correct to assume that this is the distance from the lens to the subject, also known as the working distance. This also means it is not possible to calculate magnification from data on focal length and distance from lens to subject, because the latter distance is not the appropriate one to use in the calculation.

    Thirdly, when image magnification is equal, DOF depends only on magnification and f-number, not recorded format or focal length. This is true to a first approximation unless the focal length is very very short, in the order of a few mm, and with the focal lengths used for DLSRs and larger formats, the relationship will always hold. People get confused because they "focus" on the background blur (which will be different between short and long lenses) instead of the sharpness zone within the subject itself, only the latter is relevant to DOF. Remember only that if something is not in focus, it doesn't matter with respect to sharpness whether it is a little out of focus or massively out of focus, it is still not rendered sharply.
  17. Well, Bjorn, I had to read that twice but in the end I understand things a bit better now.
    BTW - I am probably the wrong person to judge your English, but in my opinion it is impeccable.
    Thanks for this lesson.
    have a nice evening
  18. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
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