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?
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.
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).
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
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.
It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value. - Arthur C. Clarke
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.
Look at this photo I took with it.
Look especially at the enlarged image. Focus was on the watch dial.
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.
for macro work I have not found anything faster
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.
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?)
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.
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.
IMHO it works fine
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.
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.
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.
fine at normal range
but slow close up