macrophoto choices

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by skip_wilson, May 14, 2015.

  1. Hi to all,
    I shoot with Nikon D7100 and have the Nikkor 16-85 and Nikkor 70-200/4 lenses. I wish to be able to photo flowers, etc. with more magnification than currently with my 70-200 lens. What are peoples' opinions regarding using Canon's well-regarded close up filter, Canon 500D, versus an extension tube eg Nikon's PK series versus spending more money for Nikon's micro lenses eg 60/2.8 or 105/2.8? I wouldn't be doing a lot of macrophotography probably to justify spending $5-900 on a macro lens so I'm wondering how well the extension tubes would be as an alternative and what size and brand used with my above camera and lenses? Reviews in Adorama say Nikon's PK tubes don't fit on G lenses. Is that the case? Or would Canon's 500D closeup filter on my 70-200 be a reasonable alternative. Thanks in advance. Skip Wilson
     
  2. You could always buy one of the manual focus Micro-Nikkor lenses through KEH.com and get extension tubes as well. The D7100 works just fine with the Manual focus AI and AIS lenses
    One like this and some extension tubes would be inexpensive probably under $100.00
    https://www.keh.com/220950/nikon-55mm-f-3-5-micro-ai-manual-focus-lens-52
    The extension tube that gets you to 1:1 ratio is also available
    https://www.keh.com/216664/nikon-manual-focus-pk13-auto-ext-ring-27-5mm-55-micro-ai-1-1
    Total of the two is about $110.00 72 for the lens 37 for the extension tube.
     
  3. The close up filters, in my view, are a really nice balance between quality, budget and usability. While with extension tubes you might get better results, they're a bit more of a hassle (especially with G lenses, indeed the PK tubes won't work as they cannot operate the aperture). With the filters, as long as you stick to known good ones (indeed the Canon ones), they're a convenient and not too costly way to get the job done.
    In terms of quality, the real macro lenses are serious step up, but indeed also the price. I'd consider the 3rd party lenses, though. They're at least as good, and cost a lot less - and all of them are fine performers.
    Another option worth considering is the one Lorne pointed out: your D7100 can meter with old Ai/AiS lenses (manual focus lenses); the Nikon 55mm macro (f/3.5 or f/2.8) can often be found for relatively little money, and it is an excellent performer.
     
  4. I use the Micro-Nikkor 3.5 55mm AI lens with a PK-13 extension tube on my D7000 and D200 with excellent results. An extension tube is superior to a closeup attachment lens because it doesn't add any optical elements to the setup.
    I also have the Nikon version of the Canon closeup attachment lens but if you try either that or the Canon version make sure the diameter is big enough to fit your lens. Both versions are high-end as far as closeup accessory lenses go, good enough that nature photograher John Shaw recommended them in one of this books and he's pretty picky.
     
  5. @Craig: I don't think an extension tube is better than a good close up lens, both options have their pros and cons. When looking at close up lenses make sure you choose a coated diopter, stay away from the cheap offerings (3 lenses, +1, +2, +x for USD 60 or so), these will disapoint.
    In the end most people will opt for a real macro lens, as stated by other posters these don't have to be expensive. All or most macro lenses offer good quality and because macro is the field of manual focus AF is irrelevant.
     
  6. I would suggest an AF Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 D which are reasonably priced used, very sharp and will work well on the D7100.
     
  7. Alternatively for flowers ( not for bugs) a Nikon 40mm AF-S f2.8G Micro Nikkor at around US-D 270 , could be a very nice addition to your set-up, giving you a reasonably fast "nornmal" lens and a macro up to 1:1 in one go.
    Advantages oposed to the 55mm F/3.5 AI-S lense combined with extenstion tube (PN-11) :
    - it has got AF when to be used as a normal lens ( for Macro work i never use AF..)
    - It will fit all recent Nikon DSLR's giving access to all camera functions
    - It is lightweight ( 55mm AI_S + PN-11 are much bulkier together)
    - It is faster than than any 55mm + PN-11 combo.
    I mention "not for bugs" because for 1:1 magnification it is very hard to get enough light in a lot of cases because the shooting Distance get's so short, but for flowers using s DX camera it is (i think) a very usefull little gem..
     
  8. If you're not shooting things that are moving much, the 55mm f3.5 is SO good for this that when I left Nikon for ยต43 I kept it and got an adaptor. It's really cheap and great and you probably don't need an extension tube.
     
  9. I also have a 55mm f3.5 and think it's great. The focal length is a little short on FX but on DX it's perfect.
    I bought mine 8 years ago and paid around $60 for lens and PK13 extension.
    I also have the 105mm f4 micro it's also great but more expensive. It has a longer working distance.
    Close up lenses only makes sense if you want some macro capability but you don't want to carry an additional lens.
    00dI2g-556765584.jpg
     
  10. PS. Don't know if it can be calculated but see if you can find out what kind of magnification ratio you will get with the 500D filter and the 70-200 f4. It is possible that the magnification will not be enough for you.
    Old Nikon macro lenses get 1:2 magnification without extension and 1:1 with the extension. All newer macro lenses goes to 1:1.
     
  11. I used to have a used Nikkor micro 55/2.8 AiS manual focus but it didn't meter for auto exposure, Wouter. I think that was with my old D90. Does it truly meter for auto for exposure on the D7100? The diaphragm leaves got stuck and it was sold eventually. I'm willing to try another 55/2.8 AiS micro lens again if it really does meter for exposure with the D7100. How do people feel about the Nikon 40/2.8 micro compared to the used 55/2.8 AiS? The latter lens is proving hard to find at Adorama and KEH used unless they are in poor condition. Thanks Skip
     
  12. It really will meter with a D7100 (indeed not with a D90).
     
  13. I do own and use multiple Makro lenses, among them are a 55mm F2.8, 55mm F3.5, AF-D 60mm F2.8, a Sigma 150mm F2.8 , Bellows PB4 + various enlarger lenses, and.. a 40mm F2.8 Nikkor.
    For camera's I use a D300 & a D300S
    For Flowers nowadays i mostly choose to use the 40mm f2.8, especially when going to garden flowershows , because it is lightweight, pocketable small, and produces very sharp images on the D300 / D300S, furthermore it is also usefull for non macro shooting.
    SO nothing against the 55m versions, i do like them both a lot, but on some points the 40mm beats them in my opinion ( on DX that is obviously).
    Also the 60mm AF-D is a star performer, but i find it to slow when i need AF for non macro purposes.
    The Sigma is extremely sharp but the focal lenght makes it more difficult to use for some subjects ( on DX...),.
    Showing how personal the choice for a special purpose lens can be...
    Sindce i like the reviews on Photozone , here is a link for the 40mm review
    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/674-afs40f28dx?start=2
     
  14. If I were to choose between the Nikkor 60/2.0 macro vs the Nikkor 40/2.0 macro which one might be a better choice? They both work with all metering modes automatically and give a mag ratio of 1:1 without extension tubes as I understand and while one may enjoy a 2+ inch increase in working space or focusing distance with the 60/2.8 there is an increase in cost. I think neither have VR. Correct me if I'm wrong. I know the 60/20 macro was a lens from the late 1980's and does the more recent 40/2.8 macro have any advantages weighing toward it in the decision of which lens to buy? Thanks Skip
     
  15. Nikon doesn't have a 60mm f/2.0 but they do have various 60mm f/2.8 AF, AF D, and AF-S G Micro versions. I would highly recommend the AF-S G version, it is truly an excellent lens, both as a macro as well as a general purpose normal / short tele. I have not used the 40mm but think that for most general purpose close-up work 60mm would be a good choice for DX, whereas 85mm to 105mm are good choices for FX. The AF-S 60mm Micro is one of my very favorite lenses.
     
  16. I'm sorry. On my above post I meant to say that the two lenses for comparison were the Nikkor 40/2.8 macro and the Nikkor 60/2.8 macro Skip
     
  17. The Tamron 60mm f2 makes a very good medium length macro and has a wide enough MAX aperture to throw out backgrounds for portrait work. It's sharp enough to use wide open too, unlike my copy of the 60mm 2.8D which is a bit soft wide open....but it is a bit beat-up.
     
  18. If I were to choose between the Nikkor 60/2.0 macro vs the Nikkor 40/2.0 macro which one might be a better choice?​
    Both are very usefull lenses, the 60mm is more versatile, but as you say it costs around twice the amount of the 40mm, and also weighs twice the weight of the 40mm.

    if you don't care about the money, then the 60mm is more versatile because it gives you more workiing distance which , if you need 1:1 is an important advantage because it is easier to get the required amount of light on your subject, which is more difficult when using the 40mm at 1:1..

    The 40mm weighs less, which can be an interesting factor too.

    If you are willing to spend the amount which covers the 60mm, then there are more choices obviously, like the well known tamron 90mm , which at this point in time (where i live) is at exactly the same price as the Nikon 60mm micro.
    In between, pricewise that is, you find the Tokina AT-X M 100mm f/2.8 AF Pro D Macro, which is said to be also an outstanding good lens whch has its own signature in the way it renders colour, and also produces a nice micro contrast.
    But as i understood it, and i may be wrong there, you do not want to spend a lot of money on a macro lense , and you want a solution for occasional use, and that would put miy choice on the 40mm Nikkor as for flowers most ppl do not use 1:1 magnification.....
     
  19. I don't understand why you would want an autofocus lens for a dedicated macro lens?
    It's much easier to focus manually - either on the ground glass or through live view where you can zoom in. And a manual focus lens is a lot easier to focus manually than any AF lens. At least in my experience I should add.
    The 55mm f3.5 micro AI btw is the same weight as the DX 40mm f2.8 micro AF-S.
     
  20. "What are peoples' opinions regarding using Canon's well-regarded close up filter, Canon 500D, versus an extension tube eg Nikon's PK series versus spending more money for Nikon's micro lenses eg 60/2.8 or 105/2.8?"​
    I have used various close-up options.

    Based on what you described, my first choice is a 60mm f/2.8 macro lens.

    My second choice is a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens.

    My third choice is an extension tube on a 60mm or a 105mm macro lens.

    https://flic.kr/p/dUqdFY
    00dI80-556781884.JPG
     
  21. I don't understand why you would want an autofocus lens for a dedicated macro lens?​
    So that when you want to advance in your macro shooting skills and abilities you can try automated Focus Stacking via software like Helicon or Digital Dashboard.
    I also like AF for chasing flying bugs....like dragonflies.
     
  22. So that when you want to advance in your macro shooting skills and abilities you can try automated Focus Stacking via software like Helicon or Digital Dashboard.
    I also like AF for chasing flying bugs....like dragonflies.​
    Thanks for taking time to reply Mike.
    I always thought that automated focus stacking was done by automating the focus rail. Like this: http://www.cognisys-inc.com/products/stackshot/stackshot.php
    Anyway I see your point on flying bugs. That would be pretty hard to do manually.
     
  23. I don't understand why you would want an autofocus lens for a dedicated macro lens?​
    Hi Pete,
    I like to use my AF Macro lenses also for different subjects, so to me they are not "dedicated Macro" ( the only lenses i use as dedicated macro are the enlarger lenses which i use on my bellows)
    My 60mm AF-D is also very usefull as a portraiture lens.
    At flowershows and the like, it is very usefull to have my 40mm AF when doing "Multi Flower Shots" , especially when you cannot spend a lot of time with the other visitors around you.
     
  24. automated focus stacking was done by automating the focus rail​
    There are two distinctly different methods of focus stacking
    One involves leaving the lens fixed, in terms of focus distance and moving the camera on a rack..
    and the other involves moving the focal plane by changing lens' focus distance and leaving the camera stationary.
    The main issue between the two is perspective changes. Imagine shooting a can of Coke from a slight above angle. If you move the camera with a fixed lens, the can remains a perfect cylinder, if you change lens focus and keep the camera still, it appears to taper.
    In the second method, the lens' focus is moved automatically at set steps by the AF motor such as every 2mm, say from 70mm > 100mm, producing 15 frames. In the former method, the rack moves everything 2mm per step from 70mm > 100mm producing 15 frames.
     
  25. Since a 55mm Ai-s micro
    Nikkor can be got for less
    than the +2 dioptre Canon
    close-up lens in any reasonably large size, to me it's a
    no-brainer choice. The micro-
    Nikkor will get you to 1:2
    magnification without any
    additional extension tube,
    which will be plenty to
    capture all but the smallest
    of flowers on a DX body.


    A 2 dioptre CU filter will
    get you within 500mm of the
    subject, and maybe down to
    around 300mm depending on the
    primary lens and its minimum
    focusing distance. It'll also
    lose you some image quality.
    That's not very impressive compared to the
    superb IQ and magnification
    you can get from an old
    micro-Nikkor.
     
  26. My last question here is what people feel about comparison of the Nikkor 40/2.8 macro and the Nikkor 60/2.8 macro? Does the 60/2.8 offer that much more above the 40/2.8 with its increased cost? The shooting distance is 2+ inches more for the 60 but is it that much better for macro shooting and for using for portraits, too? I'm figuring on buying one of these two lenses for mainly macro (mainly flowers, but some bugs) and need some help. Thanks Skip
     
  27. The problem with the 40, Skip, is how close it has to be to the subject when you focus at minimum. Too close to light it easily or well, in fact.
    This is why 60 or even 90 or 105 are more useful on DX, imho. For the same reason that, quite honestly, the 55mm and 60mm are very limited on FX.
    That said, for things like shooting flat art and such, the 40mm on DX or 55mm on DX/FX are wonderful.
    It entirely depends on what you're doing with it. I feel the 40mm is close to worthless actually. But ymmv, of course.
     
  28. The main benefit I have with 'short' macros ~40>60mm is for looking up into flower heads quite close to the ground or up into the gills of fungi. To some extent this is overcome with my D5300's tilting screen and Live-View for composition. You can't physically get a 105mm in the space, never mind reach the minimum focus. Sometimes too much reach can be a real problem.
    For chasing Dragonflies I often use a 300mm AFS with an extension tube. I've tried it with a 1.4x TC but the added focal length just pushes the requires hand-held shutter speed up.
    Adorama say Nikon's PK tubes don't fit on G lenses​
    Indeed it's true....well kinda. They do fit, physically, but they don't work...:)
    But Kenko's DG set do and work very well. They have all of the electronic contacts as pass-throughs, so the camera doesn't really know they're there.
     
  29. > My last question here is what people feel about comparison of the Nikkor 40/2.8 macro and the Nikkor 60/2.8 macro? Does the 60/2.8 offer that much more above the 40/2.8 with its increased cost? The shooting distance is 2+ inches more for the 60 but is it that much better for macro shooting and for using for portraits, too?
    The 40/2.8 is DX only, and the working distance is even shorter. Short macros include a wider area of the background in the frame, which gets relatively less blurred, so you get an impression of more depth than there is DoF. The extreme effect of this is the macro modes of compact cameras at wide-angle; but there are no really-wide-angle 1:1 macro lenses, you can only workaround using a conventional wide-angle lens on a thin extension tube (but the achievable magnification at a still workable working distance depends on the lens).
    With long macros, the included part of the background is small, relatively heavily blurred, and you may be able pick a clean part of it, and the working distance is more generous. But they are expensive, heavy, and the technique gets more challenging. You can workaround using a relatively weak diopter achromat on your 70-200 (Marumi +3, Canon 500D...). A thicker extension tube may work too instead of the achromat; or a 2x teleconverter.
    For budget macro/portrait I'd recommend Tamron 90/2.8 non-VC (cheaper than the more recent VC) or 60/2 (DX) - both happen to have the working distance at 1:1 around 10 cm.
     
  30. My last question in trying to narrow a purchase down is how people feel about the Nikkor micro 60/2.8 vs Nikkor micro 85/3.5 . Again, my main use would be for macro( shooting flowers and occasionally bugs), but also having it available as a relatively fast prime for occasional portrait shots of grandkids and family members. Should the loss of one stop of light with the 85/3.5 dissuade me from using it for macro work vs the 60/2.8? Is the extra working space distance with the 85/ 3.5 something that would sway one to get that lens over the 60/2.8? Does the VR on the 3.5 add that much working with macro? It normally wouldn't be turned on with a tripod in macro use but would be useful if handheld. Does the 85/3.5 have much going for it when used for portrait work? The focal length is a bit long for that and I hear the bokeh suffers compared to the 60/2.8. What are peoples' thoughts? I'm getting close in my decision between these two lenses. Thanks Skip
     
  31. a friend of mine got pregnant and i decided to take her job as a clinical photographer for one year...that was a bad decision as i feel my life is flying by and 12 hours a day are wasted, but i had to switch to mac and partly canon too.
    however, i take macro shots all day.
    all day long...operations..blood...bone..screws...saws...you name it.

    i use a 1dx and a 100 f2.8L macro with ring flash mr 14 ex
    i use autofocus.
    always
    prefocus
    autofocus on seletced point...reframe - shoot.
    ppl who say auto focus on macro lenses is useless, are useless.
    you will eventually end up doing mf only very very often..but to avoid af just because..is wrong.
     
  32. I think you will want more working distance outdoors
    than you will get with a 60 mm micro lens. I have an 85
    DX and it is the shortest lens I would use for nature
    macro. A 2 element achromat on a tele lens is a good
    alternative and make a great field macro when you don't
    want to carry another lens. Marumi sells them in all
    filter sizes. A 3 diopter lens will get you about 1X at
    200 mm and about 1.4X at 300 mm. (In practice a little
    less at close focus). It's not as good as a macro lens
    but still very good. Working distance is phenomenal, 1-2
    feet depending on focal length.
     

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