What macro lens, 105 AIS?

Anyone have any ideas to help me make a decision please?

I'm looking for a relatively low-cost probably used macro lens for a D300s - I prefer MF but would consider AF if it were really a better lens for the price, like a Sigma/Tokina/Tamron perhaps?

Use would be mainly for flowers indoors and out, and interesting little things you find hanging around in the garden. Maybe the odd bug but more likely frog in my part of the world. I think it needs to be longer than 50/60, but I've never used macro with a DX body, so any advice would be helpful.

Absolutely top I'm considering would be around £500 but would prefer around £300 for this if its possible.

I like the sound of the 105mm 2.8 AIS Micro Nikkor. Anyone have any recent experience with this on a D300 or similar DX body? Or a better alternative?

Many Thanks. :smile:
 
I don't know the conversion rates, but if I couldn't afford the 105 VR, I'd go with the Tamron 90mm f2.8. I was considering the Nikon 85mm f3.5 macro, but it's noticeably less sharp than the Tamron (not bad, just not mindblowing like the Tamron or 105VR).

I'm not familiar with the older AIS version of the 105 so I really can't contribute to idea specifically.
 
I am using the AI-S Micro-Nikkor 105/2.8. I also have the dedicated PN-11 extension tube.

If I were to upgrade this lens the only options I would consider are Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 125/2.5 and Sigma 150/2.8, in that order.
 
I've owned a micro-Nikkor 105 f4 AI manual focus lens for almost thirty years, and have found it to be extraordinarily sharp for macro, as well as portrait work.
And they are very reasonably priced compared to the much newer autofocus macro/micro lenses by either Nikon or third-party manufacturers.
It may not be as sexy as the Latest and the Greatest, but it will go head to head with any of them for image quality, and I'd recommend it without reservation.
 
Peter -

You might look around for the Tamron 90mm f/2.8. It gives you a decent working distance, and works fine on either DX or FX.

You might check out this thread for a few examples. :smile:

As Peter(forsell) also said, the Sigma 150 is another standout performer, and might be available used on a decreasing pricing scale (because Sigma has released an image-stablized "upgrade").
 
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I use the 105mm f4 AIS Micro Nikkor. I like the Tamron 90mm f2.8.
Any of the Micro lenses made by Nikon will do. They are all very good.

William Rodriguez
Miami, Florida.
 
Thanks everyone for the interesting and helpful suggestions.

I think I'll start trawling around for deals and see what I can come up with. That Voigtlander 125 sounds appealing but hard to find, I expect.
 
Micro shots are all manual focus, no VR. Do not pay for either unless you want the 105 VR which is an outstanding lens and much better made than others. Use those two features for other uses for which the lens shines also.
 
Micro shots are all manual focus, no VR. Do not pay for either unless you want the 105 VR which is an outstanding lens and much better made than others. Use those two features for other uses for which the lens shines also.
Thanks Ronald - yes, that's why I say I'd prefer MF and VR doesn't interest me for this purpose.

All very useful things for other purposes but I'm hoping to find a nice simple lens that does one thing very well: macro photography. I don't even mind if its hopeless at longer distances. :smile:
 
Keep in mind that none of the MF Nikons (that I'm aware of) go to 1:1. They are all 1:2. You will need to budget for a PK-13 as well if you want the 1:1 ratio that all the modern lenses do out of the box. PK-13's run around $45-$50 on the big auction site. Just something to consider when you look at price and your intended usage.

Edit: PK-13 may be too short to get all the way to 1:1 on the 105, that is for the 55. You may need a PN-11 which will be more. Of course none of this matters if you don't need 1:1 reproduction.
 
Keep in mind that none of the MF Nikons (that I'm aware of) go to 1:1. They are all 1:2. You will need to budget for a PK-13 as well if you want the 1:1 ratio that all the modern lenses do out of the box. PK-13's run around $45-$50 on the big auction site. Just something to consider when you look at price and your intended usage.

Edit: PK-13 may be too short to get all the way to 1:1 on the 105, that is for the 55. You may need a PN-11 which will be more. Of course none of this matters if you don't need 1:1 reproduction.
Thanks Pete - I didn't appreciate that the MF Micros didn't go to 1:1. Its not critically important to me though, but always helpful to know in advance!
 

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