Macro/Portrait lens for DX

24

Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2013
    @JJ_SO: I do not own the 1.4G version of the 85mm, I have the 1.8G. It is one of my top 3 lenses and I never leave home without it. I have not used this lens or considered using it as a macro, I have the 105 2.8 for that.

    I'm sorry to hear that you had some focussing issues with your 1.4, I have not had a single issue with my 1.8. The lens has functioned as it should. No fine tuning needed on either the D7000 or D4...it is tack sharp. Back in the day when I was considering this lens, Msmoto gave the 1.8G very high marks in its level of performance. Given the level of respect I have for her remarks, I went that direction and have not regret it a single bet.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    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 |
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Understood. If I had known Nikon would bring it out before I purchased the 1.4 it would have been my choice, too. But selling a triple expensive lens for it doesn't make much of economical sense :-S

    Didn't come to the point yet of loosing a lot money but afterwards travelling a lot easier. I'm kind of comforting myself with the smoother bokeh and once the money is gone, I still should be happy with it. I'm sure it can be fixed but in the mail the service guy asked himself it might be a lemon...
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,314Member
    Back to the OP, if you really just want to "mess around" shooting small things for the least dough, I would recommend just getting a good set of extension tubes (I have the Kenko set) and/or a Raynox optic (like the DCR-150 or 250) to stick over any existing lens in your kit. Way less than a dedicated lens and let's you play around to see if macro is something you're going to like doing. If so, then maybe later you spring for a dedicated lens too.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited April 2013
    Well having had this same dilemma myself I went for the Nikon 105 F2.8. I looked at many of the lenses available at the time and I came to the conclusion of the longer working distance is better. I actually had the 85 F3.5 VR at my house in a box unopened and I returned it. In the time it took for the 85 to ship I found a refurbished 105 for a great price. I have never looked back.

    My thought on spending the extra money...do it. You won't be disappointed that you spent the extra money on the 105 over the others because it really is a great lens. Build quality is top notch and the picture quality is amazing. Sure you can get one of the other lenses, but I think you really will be pleased with the 105...I am.

    As for the performance...I think it gives you a pretty good bang for the buck with the features and using it for both macro and portraits. I prefer it as the lens to take pictures of my daughter with. And look at what all it comes with...nano coating, VR, it has all the best Nikon features.

    As for JJ_SO the lens is heavy, but it is a great lens...I never leave home without it. But just like any other Nikon pro lenses they are heavy because they have the best build quality. And Golf might suggest expensive equipment, but what sucks is buying something your didn't really want instead of what you wanted and then down the road losing money on selling it to buy what you really wanted down the road. Photography seems to be one of those in most cases you get what you pay for and especially for lenses. You want a fully compatible lens with all the features...$$$$. You want a plastic mount lens with less features....$.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    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)
  • turnthedarncranksturnthedarncranks Posts: 116Member
    Thanks. I knew there was a reason I'd eliminated that 85 originally (as opposed to the 85 mm 3.5, which I eliminated because I think I'd rather go with the 60 mm if I go with a DX-only). Brain freeze! I guess I will continue to waffle between the 105 and 60 options, as I like the other options they give me (as opposed to the tubes only).
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    As Golf already suggested, if you live in the US get them from a rental service and see for yourself.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    @JJ: Tell you what bud, I'll swap my 60 for your 105VR just so you don't have to struggle with the weight. ;)
    Always learning.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    It's too close to the also excellent 40/2.8 and I used it for lowlight shots as well, lad. VR, you know? It's good for body exercises, too :P and I really hate to disappoint you. Almost painful to me... 8-}
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @JJ: Tell you what bud, I'll swap my 60 for your 105VR just so you don't have to struggle with the weight. ;)
    @JJ_SO: If I may expand on spraynpray suggestion, should you have any big lenses that you feel are to heavy for your....I would be more than happy to take them off your shoulder and put them on mine. In fact, I welcome the exercise. I will be more than happy to PM you my mailing address. What say thee?
    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 |
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Far too risky :D probably they would get lost on transport (break through the bottom of the UPS car or something like that) or I had to deal with your lawyer once your back is ruined L-) nononono, this burden I have to carry myself, but thanks guys. Your caring's much appreciated over here.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited April 2013
    85mm f/1.8 G with rings
    D4, 1/320, f/6.3...ISO 16,000
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/6909256516/sizes/o/in/set-72157630044833773/

    This is the lens cap and when the link is followed...the lens cap is about 30" wide on my monitor....
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • goranwkgoranwk Posts: 1Member
    Buy a Raynox DCR-250 close-up lens. Put it on the 55-300. You will be amazed. Cost 70 $.
  • GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
    @ turnthedarncranks........After reading all of your posts so far, here's my best advice; Yes, macro photography IS a lot of "fun"; it's also quite challenging, as it presents problems that other types of photography doesn't.
    The most important aspect of ANY type of photography, is knowledge; without knowledge, you have very little chance of achieving very successful results. Anyone who is considering buying any new piece of equipment costing possibly a thousand dollars or more, should, (IMHO), have a very clear idea idea of the kinds of subjects you wish to photograph with the lens you want to buy. I believe you would be doing yourself a huge favor if you were to put your desire for a new macro lens off for a time, and do some serious study about macro in order to have a better idea of what type of work you want to do, and what kind of lens you're going to need to do it.

    You are getting advice here from a number of very experienced, highly knowledgeable photographers; they all have a lot of very expensive camera equipment; but ask yourself one question; are they all agreeing with each other, as to what "the best" lens for you to buy is ? Believe me when I tell you this......every single lens that has been discussed is a "good" lens; I say that because the people who design all lenses are VERY smart people; the camera makers are very smart also, but they have a very big problem; they not only must be able to design and build a very good product, but they must also build a product that a HUGE number of people will buy.

    It's quite natural for beginners in anything to look to experienced people for guidance; what I'm attempting to make you understand is, anytime you seek advice about anything, you may very well get a lot of good advice, but you are also going to get a lot of personal opinions. I think the replies so far on this thread points that out pretty well.

    The 105 mm,f2.8 Nikkor IS a superlative lens; no doubt what=so-ever about that; but it's a very "top of the line" lens; it may, or may not be the "best bet" for you; My "opinion" on that ? I have no opinion, because I don't know YOUR particular circumstances. The only thing anyone trying to give you advice really knows is......you are obviously young, you obviously lack much needed experience, and you're attempting to make a very expensive "buying decision" without experience, (which is never a good thing, (again, IMHO)

    Macro lenses, just like other types of lenses, come in many different focal lengths; because the people who use them, photograph MANY different kinds of things with them. A lens that is very suitable for one thing, may be very unsuitable for another thing; no one knows what you want to photograph unless you do. If you want to take 1:1 macros of stamps and coins with the camera on a copy stand, a 50 or 60 mm lens is fine; but if you want to do live insect work........it's not "fine" at all; another thing no one has even mentioned; where is all the light for your macros "coming from"? Better not depend on the sun; I could go on and on......because I was IN your shoes, "way back when"! "been there, tried to do that" as they say now-a-days! I'll tell you what got me straightened out, and on the right path.........several very good books about Macro Photography, by John Shaw, (among others).

    There are several people on this forum that do some very good macro work; as I don't like to call names, just take a look around....you'll see who I mean; everyone here, (including me) is trying to help you; I'm just trying to keep you from getting th "cart in front of the horse".
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    @turnthedarncranks: Gitzo has spent some considerable time to stop you maybe going off 'half-cocked' on gear acquisition for macro - all good advice so I hope you reply to him.

    You said in your op that you like to 'mess about and shoot small things' which indicates to me that you are not consumed by a passion to shoot any one specialised area of macro photography (such as butterflies or spiders etc.) so I would say to you what I say to everybody - there is a cheap and simple way to go about this: You have the 18-105VR - as do I, so buy a $25 (max) +4 or up to +10 diopter close up lens to screw on the end of it and go shoot (as did I (+4 for butterflies)). You will NOT get horrible photos from it, in fact they will really surprise you with how good they are. You will not miss any shots using that set up rather than the (say) 105mm VR macro and you will either think 'yeah, this is good enough for messing about shooting small things (which it certainly is) or 'I really like doing this but I want more magnification' or even ', been there, tried that, not interesting to me'. What you will not need to do to find out all that is spend hundreds or thousands of $ on gear.

    I have a thread going on practical lighting for macro which is worth a look and again you can see ways to get the results you need are not necessarily dependent on gold box acquisition. The gear I have suggested will give great results using natural light if there is enough of it so read the other thread too. The lighting set up I am developing is going to be complete (using a flash I already have so not counting the cost of that item) for less than $50!

    Come back to us with your views on what we have posted, meantime, here (or better) is what you can expect using that set-up in natural light:

    Andrew Hayes - Papilio Machaon (Swallowtail feeding on Phlox)
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    While I did use a D4, this could be done with any of the new bodies. The lens is, however, a very old 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 and I may have used an extension tube. But, no additional lighting.

    Bugs & Such
    Msmoto, mod
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    I love using natural light for macro photography. The key is to make sure you at an angle that does not get in the way of how the light is hitting your subject. Taking macro shots take a little more time in composition as well...hence, a little pre-time and patient are going to be needed. If all goes well, you will be very pleased with the end result.

    @Msmoto & spraynpray: Very nice shots. Thx for sharing.
    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 |
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    Shawnino. I have the D3X and Nikon 200 F4 and the lens does autofocus, not the fastest but they do work :-h
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited April 2013
    This was taken a while ago now .. so don't remember exactly the details .. it was taken with my Kit lens the old nikkor 18-70 at 70mm I think I used an extension tube. Lighting was with my SB800 with a the softening attachment. image
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    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.

  • turnthedarncranksturnthedarncranks Posts: 116Member
    Thanks all. Very good advice. I may go with the screw-on magnifier and/or extension tubes for now, although I am still tempted to go with a 60 mm due to its usefulness as a portrait lens on my D7000. (I've got two cute daughters who might make me look good if I fire away with that lens. ;)) Then again, the Nikkor 50mm is a pretty close cousin to the 60 for portrait purposes and a heck of a lot cheaper. Decisions, decisions . . .

    Gitzo -- I've been keeping an eye on your macro lighting thread and the other macro thread. The complexity in those discussions is one reason I am less sure than before about the need for a macro lens, although if I go with tubes or the 60mm I likely with start by trying Golf007sd's strategy of trying to stay out of the way of the natural light. (As an aside, whether I am "young" depends if you are counting calendar age or photographic experience age -- quite young as measured by the latter, not so much as measured by the former. :) )

    Thanks again. Really great info and thoughts. Whichever route I go, I hope to start sharing on PAD pretty soon.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    edited April 2013
    The 60 has a VERY close minimum focus distance whereas the 18-105 has a much greater mfd at the 105 end which is very convenient for live insect photography.

    BTW: My butterfly shot was using an old 12mp D5000 so it would be better with 16mp or more.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • turnthedarncranksturnthedarncranks Posts: 116Member
    Thanks, spraynpay (and thanks for your earlier comments). Am I right that the 50mm is a reasonable portrait option on a DX? Or is it too short?
  • turnthedarncranksturnthedarncranks Posts: 116Member
    P.S. Spraynpay -- Apologies for crediting the lighting thread to Gitzo instead of you! BTW, who makes your close up lenses? I see many an option out there, in many price ranges.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @turnthedarncranks: Back in 2010, when I first got into macro photography I got this cool little device (which I still own) and it just snapped in front of my 50 1.4G lens. The name of the product it called Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro Snap-On Lens currently is cost about $79.00 on Amazon. You might want to give it a shot and see what you think.
    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 |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    @turnthedarncranks: Mine is a Hoya and cost me about £15. I have yet to find any real problems in not spending loads more for a high end version.

    The 50 is 'OK' as a portrait on a DX body, but only really for half body sort of shots because if you get in close for head and shoulders, the perspective stretches the models features unattractively. 60 becomes 90 on DX so is better but if I were you I really would forget the 50 and the 60 and get the 85mm f1.8, put a close-up lens on your kit lens and benefit from the extra length. If you find you are really into the intricacies of macro, you will still have a fab portrait lens plus the 85 can follow you to FX if you go that way.

    Always learning.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Question of taste, I think. 85 is for FX a great portrait lens, 105 as well, but for DX that range goes from 57-70mm. I would not do portraits on DX with 85, to me that's too much of a distance. I like to stay closer.
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