New Micro Nikkor Lens....some advice, please

HavocHavoc Posts: 17Member
edited January 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I could use some help with getting the next lens. I'm looking to pick up a macro lens but after looking at B&H catalog and reading reviews, I'm a bit lost. The 3 I'm looking at are: AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED; AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Macro Autofocus Lens, AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Lens. I'm leaning towards the 105mm because I could also (I think I can?) use that in night club situations. My friend is a drummer in a local band and he wants me to take some shots of him, but I also want to take some close ups, nature stuff.....or am I nutz for trying to get all this in one lens?
Post edited by Msmoto on
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Comments

  • soapsoap Posts: 28Member
    You didn't say what body you're on, but depending on the size of the club and your location 105mm might be too long - though it might be just right. If you really want to use this lens for club stuff as well you really should test the focal length WRT club framing before making your final decision. You don't need to get usable photos during your test - you could run a 5.6 kit lens at ISO 25,600 if you must - the point is just to test the length before pulling the trigger.

    The 105s will give you much more working room for macro AND give you a fast telephoto. f/2.8 @ ~60mm is cheap and easy - the 50's cover you well there and are significantly faster.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited January 2013
    @HAvoc: No, you're not nuts. I use a 85/1.4 to get my "dark pics", but if I can, I stop down to f/2 or f/2.8. I took some shots as well with the 105/2.8. Same reasons as yours, but in first place I wanted the Macro. I just had to wait too long for the 85.

    The 105 has VR, which is useful, but pointless for moving subjects. And if you use the limiter, the autofocus is surprisingly quick with one of the newer cams (don't have olders than D7000).
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    I use the 105 on a D800 love it
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    The 85mm f/1.8G Nikkor is useful as well.
    LENS CAP MACRO
    The new AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G with 32mm of extension tubes for close focus. Exposure data: 1/320 f/6.3, ISO 16000

    Full size:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/6909256516/sizes/o/in/set-72157630044833773/
    Msmoto, mod
  • RatatoskrRatatoskr Posts: 32Member
    And I would say your nuts for wanting both in one.

    But it of course depends on how serious you are about either or.
    I'm a very dedicated macro photographer, about 60% nature macro, 30% bird photography and 10% large species and landscape. I have all sorts of extensions and close up filters but I prefer not to use any of the extras and only use the lens plain and simple, + R1C1 of course. I have a 70mm macro and a 150mm macro. 70mm is useful at times when the 150mm does not allow me to get into tighter spots but 95% of the time I use my 150mm. A true nature macro photographer should not go below 150mm. 200mm would be nice but it's a compromise for me on weight and size + I almost only do hand held photography weather it be macro of BiF with my 500mm.
    A 105mm macro is OK for the once in a while macro photographer but then I would just as well chose a smaller one and get a better focal length for club/indoor shooting.

    It seems you are set on Nikon for macro which is a shame but maybe you are a brand-bound person and in that case I nor anyone else can change your mind. You get better glass from third party brands, at least Sigma which has better IQ and better features, especially a much better bokeh. You can check with test sites and you can see that Sigma's macro's constantly earn best pro and expert lens awards, not Nikon.
    Sorry if you feel I'm pushing on something you just won't consider.
    Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. - Standing Bear
    It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value. - Arthur C. Clarke
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 197
    edited January 2013
    I could use some help with getting the next lens. ... AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED; ... AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Lens.
    I have these two and cannot fault either of them. However, one thing people often forget is that the 105 lets you get a bit further away from the subject which is a huge advantage if you've got lights etc.

    I personally can't see the necessity of a longer lens for macro work, but then I don't do it much either... :-)

    I also take photos of bands and I have used the 105 for this, but I'm more likely to use the 24-70 or 24-120 to give me a bit more scope.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,246Moderator
    If I had not grabbed the chance to buy an ex-rental 60mm f2.8D for $100, I would have bought the 105VR. The 105VR is better for live insects of the flying moving kind (as darkslide said), but it is a lot more expensive and an awkward focal length if used for much else on DX IMHO. For that reason, I chose 60mm and will have to struggle with subject to camera distance. For my kind of shots on butterflies, I don't need to be at 1:1 so it should be 'OK' - just.

    YMMV.
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,344Member
    I suggest you add the Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro AT-X PRO D to your list for consideration. Cost is about $490.

    Look at this photo I took with it.
    imageDSC_1525" />

    Look especially at the enlarged image. Focus was on the watch dial.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/76080384@N03/7902500688/sizes/k/in/photostream/
  • chrisjakeschrisjakes Posts: 43Member
    I really want to add a macro lens for nature stuff. I was looking at the Tokina. got great reviews and half the cost....... the only knock was the push clutch for switching manual/auto focus but you shouldnt be doing that in the middle of your shot anyways.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    The Nikon 105 2.8 Micro is one of best lens Nikon ever made...get it and don't look back.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited January 2013
    All three are fantastic and so is the Tokina donaldjose mentioned. Tamron's Macros are great also. Dedicated macros for almost all companies are all very very good. I don't think you could go wrong with any of them.

    Some of it depends on what body you are using - On DX I found the 105 vr to be a bit long for the macro work I like (no bugs - they give me the willies) and liked the 60mm a bit more.

    I have been using the 60mm D for studio work on my D800 for portraiture as it is tack sharp. It is not fast focusing and focuses better with the AF assist light or from the flashes. I find that lens difficult to focus with any real speed in low light. The 105vr for head shots is fantastic but it too is not the fastest focus lens. Macro lenses AF are made for accuracy with good lighting, not speed in dark scenarios. I did try the 60mm this holiday on the D800 in hopes with new AF with the F/8 focusing capability would speed it up, but it didn't. Nothing beats a 50mm for low light.

    Personally my suggestion is to buy a dedicated macro for macro work, and pick up a 50mm f1.8 or 85mm f1.8 for the low light stuff.
    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    The 105 vr for head shots is fantastic but it too is not the fastest focus lens.
    There is switch on 105 that limits the focus range. If it set to "full", it will be slow for portraiture
    for macro work I have not found anything faster

  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member

    There is switch on 105 that limits the focus range. If it set to "full", it will be slow for portraiture
    for macro work I have not found anything faster
    There is? You don't say? :-))

    For macro stuff it works great but I have a half a dozen lenses that focus faster than it does in low light. I was referring to the OP shooting in lower light like he was wanting to use something for.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    there's one advantage of 105vr over 60mm macro - You can use teleconverters on 105vr w/o any problems - all of them and they work extremely well, especially when You need to isolate Your main subject
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited January 2013
    Thanks for mentioning that, adamz. But I thought, AF is then not possible? I had just looked at this compatibility chart: http://www.nikonsupport.eu/europe/Manuals/DrdIaQvRZv/TC_converter_compatibility-EN_01.pdf

    Does somebody know a more up-to-date list? That one is from 2007 :( To be a bit more specific: A chart, that does contain also the 70-200/4 (but I guess, that should not be a problem?)
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I might be a bit biased since I have the 105. It is a fantastic lens. I originally ordered the 60 and while waiting for it to arrive I found a like new 105 for a great price and ordered that instead. For your second purpose of the club shooting I am not so sure it would be great for that. It is a nice portrait lens but as Tao said I am I not sure it would be great in low light. An f1.8 or 1.4 prime would probably be better. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them...they are all sharp.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @ JJ_SO

    The NikonUSA version: of the 105mm states the TCs can be used but no AF is possible.

    Question: the Sigma 150mm and 180mm f/2.8's with image stabilization....does anyone have a reference to reviews and ratings of these? The idea of 1:1 with the 150mm and image stabilization seems attractive as light is always a struggle dropping 2 f/stops at this magnification.

    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Does somebody know a more up-to-date list? That one is from 2007 :( To be a bit more specific: A chart, that does contain also the 70-200/4 (but I guess, that should not be a problem?)
    There is an updated excel spreadsheet you can down load

    https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/19026



  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    @msmoto - it work very well (AF) with TC-14, TC-17, TC-20vII (in good light on d300s, haven't tested this combo on d800 as I don't have this TC anymore) so I assume the new TC-20vIII will also work w/o any problems, and this are real life data
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited January 2013
    @ adamz...yes the updated chart shows on the D4 the 105mm f/2.8 works with some limitations.

    But, I am really interested in the Sigma as the new 150mm w/image stabilization sounds interesting...

    I do recall on the old forum a reference to some excellent images done with a lens reversing ring. And, I tried this as well with a Lumiquest box on an SB800, 50mm f/1.4D. Actually works well in image quality, but the dim viewing suggested I might want something all in one and ready to go.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    @msmoto - it work very well (AF) with TC-14, TC-17, TC-20vII (in good light on d300s, haven't tested this combo on d800 as I don't have this TC anymore) so I assume the new TC-20vIII will also work w/o any problems, and this are real life data
    just tried the 105 AFs 2.8G ED VR with a TC-20EIII on a d800
    IMHO it works fine


  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    @ adamz...yes the updated chart shows on the D4 the 105mm f/2.8 works with some limitations.

    But, I am really interested in the Sigma as the new 150mm w/image stabilization sounds interesting...

    I do recall on the old forum a reference to some excellent images done with a lens reversing ring. And, I tried this as well with a Lumiquest box on an SB800, 50mm f/1.4D. Actually works well in image quality, but the dim viewing suggested I might want something all in one and ready to go.
    I don't think OS/VR works at macro 1:1 distances. I am sure The 105 VR does not work at Macro distances so I cant see that the Sigma 150 OS would work.
    I have the old 150 macro and have been thinking of upgrading to the OS version .. since I use the 150 as a general tele lens a lot the OS would sure help a lot .. I cant really hand hold the 150 for long at the stability I need at 150mm.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Since everyone's throwing out their favourite macro, here's mine: the 200 f/4 which is $1350 grey market. It's by no means a perfect lens, but it's perfect for what I need. 1:1 macro, extra working distance, sharp enough at f/4 and exceptionally sharp (maybe the sharpest I have...I don't do scientific tests) at f/6.3. Versatile too: I do use it liberally as a handheld 200mm prime for shooting rugby. I'm sure the 200 f/2 at 4X the price would be better bokeh-wise but when I'm shooting rugby I'm more interested in the players (anguished!) faces than nailing bokeh. The AF at f/6.3 is good enough for rugby even as the action moves touchline to touchline, even on a D90. And I can handhold the 200/4 for 80 minutes of play; I doubt I could do that for 40 minutes with the f/2.

    Knocks against the 200 f/4 are that AF isn't blazing fast, but IMO that's irrelevant for macro work as macro is usually MF. The D-lens is 20 years old and will not AF on D3000/5000 series at all. We're told it's due for an update (famous last words, as I lovingly stroke my D400 and 80-400mm VRII). I hope it gets updated/popular (it's not a top seller currently) but I'm going to shoot my copy until it dies and on the day it dies a little part of me might die with it. Solid, useful lens that fills two of my needs simultaneously.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    @msmoto - it work very well (AF) with TC-14, TC-17, TC-20vII (in good light on d300s, haven't tested this combo on d800 as I don't have this TC anymore) so I assume the new TC-20vIII will also work w/o any problems, and this are real life data
    just tried the 105 AFs 2.8G ED VR with a TC-20EIII on a d800
    IMHO it works fine
    With AF? I'd like to know that for sure, before I go and get one. :)

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    I have only tested it with static objects
    fine at normal range
    but slow close up
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