Good macro lense

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bill egan, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. I just purchased a D80, sold my D70. I have a couple of slow kit lenses (18-
    55/55-200) but want to buy a 70-200 2.8 in the next couple of months. I also
    want to know what would be a good macro lense since I really enjoy that type
    of nature photography. I would also not like to spend a fortune since most of
    my money is going into the 70-200. I am strictly an amateur, any advice would
    be appreciated.
    Thanks, Bill
  2. Tough to say not knowing what you intend to shoot in terms of subject size, working distance (biting or stinging vermin?), reproduction ratio, etc. Tell us; medium to large flowers such as a bougainvillea or habiscus, small flowers to large bugs such as a dragon-fly, tiny bugs or blooms? An excellent starting point is the Micro Nikkor 60mm f2.8 AF-D (US$320 used). It takes the cake going to 1:1, will meter with your D80, doesn't cost a king's ransom and the resolution will leave you slack-jawed...all the while being perfectly capable at medium to long distances. The icing: a fine portrait lens. It will gladly accept a 5T or 6T close-up lens for even greater magnification on its 62mm threads.
  3. The legendary Tamron 90mm SP Di f2.8 macro lens is amazing... the optical quality is as good as (or better than) the Micro-Nikkors in most situations and it is much cheaper (especially used). If you don't mind buying a lens made of plastic and without a Nikkor label, you won't find a better lens.
  4. Bill,

    There are certain situations where a 3rd party lens makes sense and this is one of them IMHO. If you go to the following link and look around - - you will find some good tests and comparisons. As mentioned, the Tamron 90mm is legendary and really shines in these tests. At this site - - you can look at more tests. I have been thinking about a macro lens as well and it appears that either the Tamron 90, the Sigma 150, the sigma 50, the Tamron 180 or the Tokina 100 - any of these would be a good choice. Your biggest concern should be what kind of working distance do you need. If you go to and keep an eye out eventually they will get in one of the lenes listed above but they don't sit at that site for long. Good luck.
  5. Bill, what sort of macro do you shoot? Have you read any of John Shaw's works?
  6. Bill - I have been debating this myself. There are three options in Nikkor land. The 60, 105 and 200. Depends on what working distance you need and if you want VR operation. Since you are blowing your NAS money on a 70-200, the 200 and probably the 105 are out of your price range, leaving the 60 and Tamron options left.

    My NAS is currently frothing over the 105/105VR/200/ to blow the paycheck?
  7. Thanks for all the great advice. I like to shoot small bugs/flowers. Live in Arizona so when there are flowers they are really cool.
  8. Also check out the new Sigma 70mm macro. It is tested and praised in the latest Popular Photography.
  9. Hi Bill,

    The Micro Nikkor mentioned above is it! But I've been a macro-experimenter for many years, and love the fact that there are so MANY tricks to try. In additional to those already mentioned:

    * If your digital camera can shoot tethered to a computer (or to a TV), it lets you control macro focus quite finely...especially if you have attached a macro adapter to the front of the lens.

    * One of the best macro adapters that I've ever used was the front element from a damaged Vivitar zoom lens. Good glass, with great distortion and color-aberration control.

    * You can also shoot very close macros by attaching a C-mount cine lens to an SLR. See the following current thread for general details:


  10. I do small bugs and flowers, and got the Tamron this summer. It is a fantastic lens, and I am a very critical user. (I have tried a few other third party lenses for my walk-around lens and have been very disappointed, but the Tamron really stands out as an exceptional lens.)

    You won't regret it, and the other nice thing is you do not have to mortgage the house to buy one...

  11. Bill--

    I've had the Micro Nikkor 60mm and 105mm for years, and LOVE both. Nikon is famous
    for its microscopes, and its Micro (Macro to everyone else) lenses are legendary. I've never
    used the Tamron others rave about and certainly don't mean to criticize it, but were I you
    I'd at least take a look at the 60mm Nikkor. I've seen them used at reasonable prices, and
    the images are outstanding.

    Good shooting.


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