Best lens on a D90 for Macro shots of watches ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by noah_fuller, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Hello
    I just got a D90 and bought an old AF 105mm 2.8F (not D) Macro (micro)
    I have two questions ...
    First with the D90 or any Auto Nikon what would be the best lenth lens to use ?
    45mm 55mm 60mm or my 105mm for watches
    I find the 105mm places me quite far from the subject ..
    Second question with the 105mm how close can I get?
    I find that when I get close the center of the shot can be sharp but the edges of the frame are always fuzzy is this normal for a 105mm macro lens ?
    Will this problem happen with any size Macro lens?
    I'm new here, and thanks
    PS so far I'm loving my new D90 it has restarted my interest in photo's
  2. PC-E Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D:
  3. What Ellis said...
  4. If I recall correctly, then the 105/2.8D and non-D are identical except for the inclusion of the chip in the former. They focus to about 12 in and go all the way to 1:1 magnification - but you should know that since you have the lens.
    Does it matter how far away you are for shooting watches - I would assume that a bit of working distance helps with the lighting.
    I find that when I get close the center of the shot can be sharp but the edges of the frame are always fuzzy is this normal for a 105mm macro lens​
    What aperture are you using? You are likely not gaining any DOF advantage by going to a smaller focal length since it requires you to move closer for the same magnification.
  5. "I find the 105mm places me quite far from the subject .." You can shoot within inches or feet with that lens depending on how you want to compose the shot.
    "how close can I get?" Almost as close as you want - you should be able to shoot so close that you will not be able to see the entire face of the watches you want to shoot in your viewfinder.
    "the edges of the frame are always fuzzy" Depth-of-Field is quite narrow when shooting macro. You will need to stop the lens down to bring everything you want into focus. Experiment with different apertures until you have the look you want. A tripod and good lighting is critical to getting high quality macro shots.
  6. After looking at your sample photo, I don't believe a macro lens is going to give you the look you are trying to achieve due to its shallow DOF. Try using a longer lens and moving back a bit from the subject. Attached is a photo taken with my D90 and 18-55 VR Nikkor. Using just incandescent lighting, the camera was mounted on a tripod, VR off, lens was at 55mm, 1.3 sec @ f16, lens to subject=16 inches. You can probably achieve better with a little experimentation. Macro is great if you just want a detailed close-up of the watch face (#2).
  7. Wow thank you all so much....
    One last question , I'm new sorry, if I get right in close with Auto - I will get the fuzzies around the frame ... I guess to get a full clean shot I will need to work with the F-stops ...
    Tripod and lighting aswell to help
  8. Thanks Stuart I'll try those settings,
    I did loads of work with the old Minalta X-700 12yrs ago I'll need to start pulling on all those old memories now I'm back to SLR's
    55mm, 1.3 sec @ f16, lens to subject=16 inches
  9. Noah, Your settings are going to be different than mine depending on the lens you use and the lighting. In addition, I had the ISO set at 200. If you boost the ISO setting you may be able to take the shot you need handheld with a VR lens if the lighting is right. Like I said earlier, EXPERIMENT! With digital, if you don't like the results. press the little button with the trash can symbol. ;-)
  10. Haha, will do, digital is great shoot a thousand shots keep one .....
    if you have any questions about watches drop me a line, macro will be for the watch I build ..
  11. Lex,
    Thank you, but it's Noah who is in the business of selling watches. I just didn't want him to run out and purchase a new lens needlessly when he may already have something in his kit that will suffice. I will bookmark your reference for future use.
  12. When using a macro lens, your 'fuzzies' can be modified by adjusting the aperture.
  13. Oh, yikes, sorry, Stu, Noah!
    (Nice one, Lex... even the moderator can't pay attention to detail. It's the end of as we have known it.)
    Anyway, yeh, a camera and macro lens or other sharp lens with good closeup diopter or extension tube will do the job. The rest is all about the lighting.
  14. Another vote for the 85/2.8 PC; this is easily the best lens for the task unless really high magnification of the machinery is required (I assume not).
    But you can get pretty far with the 105 macro, just align the watch to be properly parallel with the camera and choose the right aperture.
  15. Hi,
    If you are shooting small items like watches, you NEED a fairly long working distance away from the watch, if you are too close, you will shade the light hitting the watch. The shorter focal length lenses MAY be too short for your needs and end up with you being too close to the subject. I would have thought either 60mm or 105mm would be best for small objects.
    Check out this old thread, it may help you...
    cheers Steve.M.
  16. Hi again,
    These taken in the daylight studio I mention in the above old thread:
  17. and.....(all taken with APS DSLR with 60mm lens at f16 in table top daylight 'studio')
  18. is completely uneccessary to have expensive lenses or expensive lighting set ups....a relatively inexpensive macro lens, 60mm ish with daylight will work fine...the Nikkor 85mm PC-E might be a great lens, but is huge over-kill for what you are trying to achieve..
    cheers Steve.M.
  19. Hello again
    I just bought an older micro 55mm AF 2.8F for the watch pictures, It lets me get closed to the subject and I think it works great.
    The 105mm was just a bit to long and put me too far back from my subject.
    I'll keep the 105mm for taking pictures of watches through store-front windows ... ahahah
    thanks for all your help ... modding/DSC_0252.jpg

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