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Sigma 70 2.8 vs Nikon 60 2.8 Macros - Anybody tested side by side?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Harry Lavo, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. I'm contemplating buying a dedicated macro lens (mostly for flowers, and just for fun) and have pretty much narrowed it down to these two .... but wonder if anybody has had both and been able to put them to the test side by side. The Sigma tested wonderfully in Popular Photography, but in general I find Nikon lenses to be substantially more contrasty than the Sigmas.

  2. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    I'd rather consider a macro lens in the 90-105mm range, the extra working distance is well worth it. The AF 105/2.8 (not VR) is the same vintage as the 60mm macro and about as good. A lot of people here also like the Tamron 90/2.8 macro.
  3. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    the tammy flat rocks
  4. vote for tammy :) 
  5. Okay, thanks for the advice. The Tamron 90 might do nicely. But in 35mm, the 105 was considered the lens of choice. In digital, the 60=90 and the 70=105, whereas the 90=135. You still think this is a better length? Or just a sharper, more contrasty image? In other words, whats the *reason* for prefering the Tammy?
  6. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    For general shooting, you may find a 60 or 70mm (90 or 105 equivalent) better, it's a good focal length for portraits etc. But at close range you are still stuck with a very short working distance. That may be fine for indoor shooting where you have more control over the placement of the subject, camera and lighting, but for outdoor shots of flowers etc, you often don't have that luxury. The extra working distance of 90-105mm macro lenses will make shooting much easier.

    It's very sharp, and it has a smooth, pleasing rendition. The Nikkor is more expensive and heavier, although it is better built. It's just as sharp but the rendition is less smooth.
  7. Okay, thanks for explaining your thinking. I can see your point...I guess one foot or so is pretty close for flower photography.
  8. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Harry, I have the 70mm Sigma. I wanted the Sigma to do double duty as a portrait length lens in a light weight travel kit, so my logic was similar to yours.

    I've been through a number of macros and the Sigma 70mm is unbelievably sharp. I'm very happy with it. That being said, I haven't compared it to the Nikkor 60mm or the Tamron 90mm. They may be as sharp, but I can't see them being sharper.

    I would also agree with Roland though, that if you're going to use the lens for strictly macro purposes that a longer focal length is better.

  9. Having owned a few macro lenses sigmas 50,150,180. Tamron 90, Nikkor 60,105/vr.

    The 60mm/2,8 Micro being one of the sharpest hands down. What kind of macros are you planning on doing mostly ? For insects i probebly go for the tamron. But the 60mm/2,8 is excellent aswell, easier to handhold (at least for me) As been mentioned the build quality is world apart between the two. Even though i prefer the manual focus of the 90mm/tamron its just so smooth.

    60mm is a little short for most people when it comes to insects, still doable imo.

    Nikkor 60mm
    more here

    Tamron 90mm
  10. Not pushing one brand or the other, but go long, at least 105MM or more, then you will not scrare of the bugs like the 60mm does.
  11. Hi I have probably had 50 or 60 micro lenses in my time, I still own three 60 nikkor 105 sig & 180 sig the 180 is the sharpest Micro lens I've ever owned that includes the 200 f4 nikkor there's no such thing as a bad Micro lens in the current crop of Micro lenses from all manufacturers.

    You should really choose the one that most suits your needs, just a little pointless information about Micro lenses also, don't be fooled by the sharpness of the lens, most modern MTF charts are based on the contrast of a lens a poor lens can have high contrast giving it a good MTF chart, what you really should be looking for is the resolving power its maximum resolving power is the amount of lppmm(line pairs per mm) this is what you want with your Micro lens the maximum resolving power, contrast can be added later, the only thing contrast does is gives edge definition which is okay but does not make up for resolving power.

    A lot of the latest designs give you high resolving power with good contrast but not excessive, as excessive contrast only block colour up and is very difficult to correct whereas a lower contrast lens with high resolving power would be preferable as you can add a small amount of contrast in post processing or even by the colour mode you choose in your camera which effectively creates a different contrast curve.

  12. Paul - thanks for illustrating the two....and your gallery "after the rain" shots have just the right somber beauty...nice job.

    I think maybe I'll get the 60...like the sharpness and contrast and can use another portrait lens (other than my 85 1.8, bought mostly for sports). I also currently have a Sigma 70-300 APO which at 300mm and f/13.0 is sharp, but not particularly contrasty...so the two might make a nice pair...one short, and one way, way long (the idea of shooting "macro" at 10+ feet still makes me smile).
  13. That seems very wise advice, Phillip, thanks. I noticed phenomenon on a recent series of tests I ran on the macro of a Sigma APO 70-300. Wasn't expecting much until I looked closely at the f13.0 exposure, which was incredibly sharp but not very contrasty. You are right..the contrast can fool you. But I note you still own the 60 Nikkor plus the Sigs, so the Nikkor must not be too contrasty for you?
  14. That seems to be the majority of opinion. Thanks, Tom.
  15. moffo


    Oct 20, 2005
    Central TX
    I've got the 60mm, two of the 55mm f/3.5's and the Sigma 150. For bugs I use the 150 for working distance; for flowers, one of the shorter lenses unless I'm really trying to compress the background. If you want a splash of out-of-focus color in your flower shots the shorter lens is actually more useful.
  16. Cope


    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, Texas

    Three month ago when I went with Nikon, everyone was touting the Nikkor 60mm f2.8. I went with it, and I have been very happy, but it is tough to get a shot of a skittish insect. I suspect that if I get another micro it will either be the 105VR or Sigma 150. The link is to some flowers I shot back in June with the 60. One thing I have read several times is that there are no bad macros, and no overlap of coverage, so you could have a 60/70, 90/100/105 and 150 and still have 3 nice ranges.

    I wish I had set the 28-105 to 60mm for a better commparison.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  17. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    they're all good (some justa tad better than others perhaps)..imho, it's just a matter of choosing the proper focal length for your style of shooting..for me i wanted to go longer but don't like tripods and figured 90mm or so was about as far as i could go, without vr that is ..i didn't wana spend the money for the nikon vr so next stop for me was the tamron 90 Di. and i absolutely dig the tammy .....;-))
  18. Thanks Cope. I will be mostly shooting flowers.....so I suspect both the 60 and 70 would be okay, but as others here have pointed out, so would a 105 I suppose. So it comes down to price, performance, and preference, I guess.
  19. I've looked at some of your work with the Tammy 90. Very impressive...I'm beginning to consider that fellow. Thanks.
  20. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Dear Harry

    I have owned Tamron 90 mm, then a short time Nikon 60 mm, and now 105 VR, and I will NEVER sell it. Maybe I have a good copy - it is marvellous. Just I got it, I started in wedding business, so I have used it a lot here. Fantastic pics, the only thing is, that I have to move a lot back to get the portraits, and mayby people think that is funny, but that is the price with 105mm.

    Here in Denmark lenses are very expensive - a lot !! - and it costs more, than the others, but the price worth.

    If you are sure you only want flowers in macro, you do not need more than 60 or 70 mm, but you get a lot of fun with the VR in other circumstances, than macro with the 105 VR

    As mentioned by a fellow here the MTF curves you should look at the lines.

    Please look at the lines at Photozone - the 105 VR and see others at the same time.

    The 105 VR beats them all, and it do in practise.
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