Best Tele Macro

13

Comments

  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    I had 150 sigma. I wasn't too familiar with macro but I ended up selling due to my inexperience and noob in dslr photography. I will say that it did struggle with focus but the photos were decent with the D300. I now have the 105mm While I like it Would probably still consider a 150-180-200 macro lens in the future.
  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    I don't believe VR is useful for macro (at least not for me with Nikon's 105) and the best for butterflies is the 200/4 macro or the 300/4 AF-s with tubes.

    I'd be among the first in line for a 400/5.6 macro - perfect for butterflies and hummingbirds.
    pictureted at flickr
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,150Member

    I don't believe VR is useful for macro (at least not for me with Nikon's 105) and the best for butterflies is the 200/4 macro or the 300/4 AF-s with tubes.

    I'd be among the first in line for a 400/5.6 macro - perfect for butterflies and hummingbirds.

    I've used the VR occasionally on mine, but I can't say it was particularly effective. Maybe when my shutter speeds were fairly low it was helpful because I needed to stop down for depth of field.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    NSXTypeR said:

    I don't believe VR is useful for macro (at least not for me with Nikon's 105) and the best for butterflies is the 200/4 macro or the 300/4 AF-s with tubes.

    I'd be among the first in line for a 400/5.6 macro - perfect for butterflies and hummingbirds.

    I've used the VR occasionally on mine, but I can't say it was particularly effective. Maybe when my shutter speeds were fairly low it was helpful because I needed to stop down for depth of field.
    I've occasionally used both AF and VR for flowers when a tripod could not be used with my 105/2.8, but it's so seldom, I don't care. If given a choice between the Nikon 105/2.8 with AF, VR, 1:1 and the ability to take TC's or the manual focus Zeiss 100/2, I'd go with the Zeiss. The 200 macro rises to that level for me and also has no VR or really useable AF.
    pictureted at flickr
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    VR may not be useful at 1:1, but butterflies are usually shot at 1:3-1:10 depending on size, composition and whether your objective is to show the maximum possible detail so IME it is useful. If the wind is blowing however, you've had it.
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    I decided to let science rule this decision so the only way to go was a small sensor to get the DoF that eludes me with a full-frame or crop sensor. I bought a P900 which should arrive today. I will post shots from it over the weeks remaining for butterflies this year.

    The P900 will also double as a holiday cam for when we go places that I don't expect to get wall hangers from. It is a month old and cost me £370, which is about a half to a third of what a dedicated macro lens would have cost me.
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    Well that was a disappointment. Camera arrived with a dead battery which will not charge. It is going back. Still think the answer is small sensor, but it will not be a P900.
    Always learning.
  • HankBHankB Posts: 222Member
    Interesting @spraynpray. I make a similar argument for traveling with just an 18-300 on my D7200.

    With regards to your "holiday cam" statement, if the P900 (and now P1000) have the image quality of Nikon 1 (???), we can see that there is no longer a need for interchangeable lens systems for small formats.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    There is quite a difference in sensor size HankB and from what I've seen online the P900 is only good at base ISO. I think the Nikon one would have been my preference if I could get one with the highest MP and a viewfinder. I don't want to go any larger (sensor) than that though because of DoF problems.
    Always learning.
  • HankBHankB Posts: 222Member
    Ah yes. My mistake. I see now that the Nikon 1 has about four times the sensor area of the P900.

    Interesting how when DOF is #1 priority in a shot, if the conditions are right a cell phone can produce a more usable picture than a real camera.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    Absolutely!
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    edited July 2018
    I have to say I wasn't impressed with the build quality of the P900 or the performance at anything above base ISO (to be expected with such a small sensor) so I am strongly considering a Nikon 1 V3. Does anyone have any ideas about the best macro solution for the Nikon 1 as there isn't a dedicated macro lens for it? I would like to maintain AF.

    Thanks.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    Sometimes the best macro lens you have is the one on your camera. I was shooting photos of grapes when a butterfly came around. D810 and Zeiss 100/2 was all I had, so...

    Orange tete
    pictureted at flickr
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,150Member
    I agree!

    My parents decided to go to the Botanical Gardens once and when we went I had already gotten my macro lens.

    Unfortunately, I didn't bring it with me that day, but I still was able to get this shot.

    DSC_2037
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    Below is a representative example of the kind of detail I require from my gear and technique. You just can't get this from a non-macro lens or even an average Macro lens. The picture below is from my 60mm G:

    Full resolution here - take a look:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/spraynpray/28948787738/sizes/o/

    850_1621
    Always learning.
  • rmprmp Posts: 560Member
    Great shots!! Made me pick up my camera and head for some weeds.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,150Member
    You know, now that the Z-mount is out, the 200mm macro may not even be refreshed for the F-mount. I can foresee them going straight to the Z-mount.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 859Member
    While not macro I've been shooting some butterflies with the D7200 with a light weight 70-200 f4. While shooting with the D500 and 200-500 I put a TC 1.4III on the D7200 +700-200 and put it in the hands of a SIL and let he shoot. Pure new comer to using a camera and he did quite well at an outdoor butterfly garden. With a hard freeze here last night no more butterflies locally until next year but if the planned expedition to Costa Rica does happen then I suspect unless if find a better option for travel and acceptable IQ the D500 will be used for butterflies as well as hummingbirds. Not sure but I'm toying with the idea of adding a 300mm f4E as a second lens to take along just incase longer reach is needed.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    I've been following your butterfly images with interest and you have good opportunities and technique I think, but your ultimate image quality is limited by using a lens that is built for using near infinity at minimum focus distance. You really need a pukka macro lens.
    Always learning.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,150Member

    I've been following your butterfly images with interest and you have good opportunities and technique I think, but your ultimate image quality is limited by using a lens that is built for using near infinity at minimum focus distance. You really need a pukka macro lens.

    What is a pukka macro lens?
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 859Member
    edited October 2019

    I've been following your butterfly images with interest and you have good opportunities and technique I think, but your ultimate image quality is limited by using a lens that is built for using near infinity at minimum focus distance. You really need a pukka macro lens.

    I agree about the shallow macro need. I make do with what I have for the time being. I didn't find the trove of butterflies until late in the season. My own small private butterfly garden that's over my head just didn't have the visitors that I would have liked. Like they say in Chicago "Wait till next Year"... I have enough wildflower seed to plant a quarter acre for a wide spectrum of pollinators and enough milkweed seed to give the monarchs a place to lay eggs... Perhaps extension tubes on the 300 f4 would change the look and feel? The 200-500mm has a shallower dof than the 70-200 but it's a little cumbersome to point and shoot with. I did get a few that way but put it back on a gimbal after a few dozen shots. The short compact 300 with extension tubes should be easy to maneuver. When shooting the Cloudless Sulphur species I will only use the D500 as they don't know how to pose like the monarchs do. This is one of my enlarge way oversize that people have liked as it is so radically different. Printed at 18x24 with some separation form the background.

    Cloudless Sulphur taken at the U of T Experiment Station near Cookeville, TN
    Post edited by FreezeAction on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    NSXTypeR said:

    I've been following your butterfly images with interest and you have good opportunities and technique I think, but your ultimate image quality is limited by using a lens that is built for using near infinity at minimum focus distance. You really need a pukka macro lens.

    What is a pukka macro lens?
    'Pukka' is a word that originated on the Indian sub-continent I believe, but it just means a lens that has been designed and built for use close to the subject.

    My sharpest lens ever was a Nikkor 60mm D but it sounded like a braying Donkey while focussing and was also slow to aquire focus so I swapped it for a 60mm G which was silent and fast but not quite as good on sharpness.

    Like you I don't spend a fortune on gear (my money is all going into this new house) but I do plan to buy another lens to round out my meagre collection, most likely the Sigma 180mm APO. It is sharp enough and gives a bigger camera to subject seperation which helps with some jumpy species.
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator

    I've been following your butterfly images with interest and you have good opportunities and technique I think, but your ultimate image quality is limited by using a lens that is built for using near infinity at minimum focus distance. You really need a pukka macro lens.

    I agree about the shallow macro need. I make do with what I have for the time being. I didn't find the trove of butterflies until late in the season. My own small private butterfly garden that's over my head just didn't have the visitors that I would have liked. Like they say in Chicago "Wait till next Year"... I have enough wildflower seed to plant a quarter acre for a wide spectrum of pollinators and enough milkweed seed to give the monarchs a place to lay eggs... Perhaps extension tubes on the 300 f4 would change the look and feel? The 200-500mm has a shallower dof than the 70-200 but it's a little cumbersome to point and shoot with. I did get a few that way but put it back on a gimbal after a few dozen shots. The short compact 300 with extension tubes should be easy to maneuver. When shooting the Cloudless Sulphur species I will only use the D500 as they don't know how to pose like the monarchs do. This is one of my enlarge way oversize that people have liked as it is so radically different. Printed at 18x24 with some separation form the background.

    Cloudless Sulphur taken at the U of T Experiment Station near Cookeville, TN
    You will find there are no magic bullets regarding DoF. You will get a larger DoF with a Monarch simply because it a bigger butterfly so you are further away from it. Try the same size subject-in-frame with a clothes moth and you will see what I am saying. The only differences focal length makes are bokeh and working distance. You can't blow it up to gain DoF either as DoF is down to circles of confusion.

    In my experience there is no substitute for a simple sharp lens, zero wind and a rock steady hand or rest to get consistent good results. For times when you can't approach closely enough to use a shorter lens, the telephoto will save you.
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,332Moderator
    edited October 2019
    Here is one which is about as good as I can get with the 60mmG, it is worth viewing large on flickr:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/spraynpray/19315882105/sizes/o/

    Heath Fritillary
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 859Member
    edited October 2019

    Here is one which is about as good as I can get with the 60mmG, it is worth viewing large on flickr:
    Heath Fritillary

    Nice clean image without blown highlights due to harsh lighting. Here on this mountain top we seldom get those ideal conditions of no wind and good lighting at the same time. I blow up the butterflies not for dof but for and introduction into their world. Down south a hundred miles there is a butterfly exhibit I may venture into with a monopod. I still would like to find out just how extension tubes on a tele would effect both a 70-200 and a 300 as far as the ability to separate subject and background.
    Post edited by FreezeAction on
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