I use a D7000, and currently have three lenses -- the 18-105 and 55-300 kit lenses, and the Nikkor 35 mm 1.8. For my birthday, I get to add to my collection. I would love to get a macro because I like to mess around shooting small things, but am not sure which route to go. The Tamron AF 60mm 2.0 is appealing as both a macro and a portrait lens, but I am not sure that a 60 mm makes sense considering what I've already got in my bag. The Nikkor 85 mm 3.5 costs about the same and is quite tempting considering its longer focal length. But the Tamron seems to get somewhat better reviews. The longshot in this competition is the Nikkor 105 mm 2.8, which probably busts the budget but seems like it might be the best of the bunch, as well as good future-proofing should I ever go FX. But it really will be a stretch financially. So I am completely unsure which way to go, and I also wonder if there's another lens out there I should consider. Any and all thoughts appreciated.
If you want to go the cheapest route, get an extension ring set and use it with your longer lenses.
The relatively cheap way
You can get older manual focus 105mm AI-S Nikkor macros real cheap, and they deliver.
You need to save the lens data in your cameras Non CPU lens menu if you get one of these.
The most expensive way
Get a decent, dedicated macro lens.
I would stay away from the 85mm DX for low resale value unless you find one used.
I would stay away from macros shorter than 100mm, because I find those very difficult to use for
live insect photos (you get in the way of your own lighting or scare the bugs away by getting too close)
I would consider getting one of these:
Nikkor 105mm VR
Sigma 150mm OS (costs about the same as the 105mm above)
Forget the Sigma 105mm, it won´t work with a D7000, but the 150mm will.
These two are really good but very expensive
Sigma 180mm OS (heavy as hell)
Zeiss Makro-Planar 100mm f/2 (Very expensive, but the world´s best macro lens. Period.)
Hope this helps.
If you can afford it, get the Nikon 105 2.8 vr it’s one of Nikons sharpest lenses
I use one on a D800 but often crop
It will give you a greater distance between the camera and the subject, which is vital for good lighting
And more comfortable when shooting bugs and creepy crawlies
I have changed the thread title to better represent what I think you are asking....
I would suggest the 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro Nikkor.....Look at
As these talk about lighting and macro, intermixed.
Also, search the forum as there is a lot of good experience on the old forum which will show up in a search.
Here is a photo taken with the 60mm Nikon Micro (remember it will equal 90mm on a DX body). Check out the sharpness of the feathers, at least of those in the zone of focus at f22.
You have to look at this larger size to see the detail captured by the lens.
Here is a photo taken with the Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro: Look at the detail in the dial.
Once again you have to look at this larger size to see the detail captured by the lens.
@shawnino -- probably bugs more than anything. And likely handheld more often than not, as my best chances to shoot are when we are out and about as a family -- which also means I need to shoot quickly and rarely have time to set up a tripod.
It's one of those lenses where we keep getting promised an update (and likely massive price increase: see the 80-400) and it never quite seems to happen. It's heavy, D-class (will not AF with D3x00, D5x00--not the end of the world for Macro, but I find AF useful when using it as a slow, "regular" 200), isn't especially accommodating to ring lights, and I guess it gets its share of complaints. Too long for portraits, f/4 only. But it's also ridiculously sharp (exposes my crap technique) with very good contrast and gives the user a lot of working distance. I used it as a "sail around" lens in Antarctica when I didn't need longer, and didn't need to swap it off when I wanted penguin closeups as they approached me on land.
It seems that the Nikkor is beloved by all. Any dissenters out there? Anyone other than donaldjose have experience with the Tokina?
Thanks again. I can't believe how much information folks provide around these parts!
this might be an issue if you hand holding without flash
I always trust the sweet tasted in my mouth for a lens, or any good equipment, that I have been looking for. I NEVER settle for something knowing deep in my gut that I wanted X but got Y because of price. I don't play games or fool myself. If my comments help support those with similar thought process then I feel I have help. In the end, the ball is in his or her court....I just like to tee it up a bit. If you get my meaning,
With respect to the 105 2.8, I do not find the weight of it, be it on my D7000 or D4, that uncomfortable or unmanageable, specially with the Black Rapid strap. Not sure what strap you use, but if you don't have the Black Rapid, by all mean get it ASAP. You will find it quite rewarding.
I"m not happy with straps and I already own some heavy primes. Compared to the 40/2.8 which also allows 1:1, there's a tiny weight and space difference. If I'm determined for "only macro today", I'll happily pack the big tube. If I'm more in the mood for slender, my bag looks different.
No doubt, a great lens and thanks for shopping ideas and advices. I was only enlarging the choice.
■The effects of vibration reduction
• When the subject is from infinity (∞) to approx. 3m (9.8 ft.) away (at 1/30x
reproduction ratio), pictures can be taken at shutter speeds approx. 4 stops* slower
than is possible without using a VR2lens. As the reproduction ratio increases from
1/30x, the effects of vibration reduction gradually decrease. (*Under Nikon
measurement conditions. The effects of vibration reduction vary depending on
individual and shooting conditions.)
So, when near 1:1, VR does very little. I am turning it off when using the flash....and testing to see if possibly the image will be sharper. And, this might suggest the older non-VR lenses purchased used at a lot less than the new one can produce results of equal quality....but, this is only for those who are smarter than I am..LOL
I have the sigma 150 F2.8 macro and its great! but its big and heavy.. and like JJ_SO with his 105 my 150 stays at home often because of the weight and size bec of that I have been considering getting the Tamron 60.
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.
The 85/1.8 is no macro.
If you live in the USA you many want to consider renting these lenses for a week or so and see which is best for you...then buy the one you find most acceptable to your usage of it.
@golf007sd don't you own the 85/1.4G as well? How - if yes - would you feel the difference between them? Mine's troubling me because of unreliable focussing. It was twice in service and they told me, they will do it once again or change it against a new one. Otherwise, I was also thinking of getting a 85/1.8G