Nikon 200 f4 Micro vs Nikon 70-180 Micro

Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
7,261
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
I think that I want the 200, but noticed the 70-180 again...:rolleyes: Only one is in the budget. I will be chasing small insects with an R1 set-up with the one that I buy. I have a 100mm lens to cover flowers, so this will really just be the small critter chaser. I don't care about warranties or cost and used is fine, its really just one vs the other from a user standpoint.

Would those of you who have actually shot both give me some insight please?
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
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Location
Sandpoint, Idaho
I've used both, I like fixed focal length for macros, one less thing for me to deal with if the zoom ring is missing. Currently have the 105 and 200, it's a nice combo. I use the 200 for insects...longer the better when shooting them.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
25,761
Location
SW Virginia
I have had both. The 200 is an extremely fine optic, but it was overkill for my uses. My main interest in macro lenses is in wildflowers, and the versatility of the 70-180 is a real plus. Seldom is the great working distance of the 200 needed, and positioning a prime lens in thick brush where some of our wildflowers are found can be a challenge.

The optics of the 200 are legendary, while the 70-180 is simply regarded as excellent. In my use, I really couldn't tell any difference. Both are capable of creating exceptional images. One drawback of the 70-180 is that at close focus it is not really 180mm because of focus breathing.

Seeing that you have a strong interest in bugs, the 200 might be a better choice because of the greater working distance. When I want working distance, I reach for my 300 f/4 AFS which has a very short minimum focus difference.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
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4,458
Location
San Jose, California
I only have experience with the 200/4, but from everything I've read, it beats the zoom in every way (working distance, max reproductiion ratio, sharpness for non macro use etc) except that it does not zoom, of course. I use the 200 on my monopod (using the lens foot). This takes care of the zooming - very easy to move a bit closer or farther from the subject or move around the macro scene or follow an insect, and it's plenty stable.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
7,261
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
I've used both, I like fixed focal length for macros, one less thing for me to deal with if the zoom ring is missing. Currently have the 105 and 200, it's a nice combo. I use the 200 for insects...longer the better when shooting them.

Thanks Rick - That is basically the combo that I'm looking at.

I have had both. The 200 is an extremely fine optic, but it was overkill for my uses. My main interest in macro lenses is in wildflowers, and the versatility of the 70-180 is a real plus. Seldom is the great working distance of the 200 needed, and positioning a prime lens in thick brush where some of our wildflowers are found can be a challenge.

The optics of the 200 are legendary, while the 70-180 is simply regarded as excellent. In my use, I really couldn't tell any difference. Both are capable of creating exceptional images. One drawback of the 70-180 is that at close focus it is not really 180mm because of focus breathing.

Seeing that you have a strong interest in bugs, the 200 might be a better choice because of the greater working distance. When I want working distance, I reach for my 300 f/4 AFS which has a very short minimum focus difference.

Thanks Jim - that confirms my thought process and you are one of the few people that O am aware of who have had both recently.

I only have experience with the 200/4, but from everything I've read, it beats the zoom in every way (working distance, max reproductiion ratio, sharpness for non macro use etc) except that it does not zoom, of course. I use the 200 on my monopod (using the lens foot). This takes care of the zooming - very easy to move a bit closer or farther from the subject or move around the macro scene or follow an insect, and it's plenty stable.

Thanks Thorsten - I am moving toward the combo that you shoot (Zeiss 2/100 & 200 Micro) which looks like it will serve me well. I never thought about using a monopod, and I have one that will work well so that is very helpful. I tend to shoot almost everything handheld as that is far quicker.
 

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