We all love our Nikon lenses, However if you want to look at alternatives when specialising in Macro Work, what would you consider.
Here is my list.
Voigtlander APO Lanthar 125mm F2.5 SL
Carl Zeiss Planar T 100mm F2
Schneider PC TS 90mm F4.5
Sigma APO EX DG OS HSM 180mm
Nikon Nikkor-P 105mm F4 Bellows Lens
What would you use?
Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
I like the reflection of the eyelash in the eyeball....An SB-800 into a softbox was used for lighting, but this was a stranger in a park, single exposure.
For "studio" work, extension tubes and bellows work well.
I use the 60mm f2.8D on my D7100 for macro with fair success but I would also like to own the 200mm micro for my D750 and available light work. I am jealous of canon's 5:1 macro lens, wish Nikon did one. My business partner is trying a reversed 50 prime a la Thomas Shahan. If it works well, I'll have a go at that method.
Carl Zeiss 100 macro also gets glowing results although only 1-2 magnification
Schneider 90 TS/PC I recommend this lens from personal use due to the lack of fall out on the edges of the image
Sigma 180 AP0 Lens If you look at the construction of 19 Elements in 14 groups, thats a lot of Glass plus it has other goodies which suit the macro photographer also.
Nikon 105 bellows lens is for bellows users only, where the standard 1-1 is normal, macro with bellows and bellows extensions , really starts to get interesting and nearly close to micro photography, but thats a totally different ball game.
Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135
To me "serious" will involve lighting, as that is often the biggest challenge if you are stopping down to improve DOF.
My experience is that as I approach 1:1, and greater magnification, the problems technically increase exponentially, lighting, physical distance, DOF, and that focus stacking may be the way to go at higher mags. I do so little of this, I really know nothing about it, however.
Most of my macro isn't super close up magnification, but to show something and detail of it.
And yes all with available light. I don't have patience for fast moving skittish things. If I ever find the money I would like to invest in more lightning stuff.