Micro lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by duke_tran, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Hello everyone again!
    After searching awhile for Micro lenses for my Nikon D3100, with the list below, my choice is (2); What is your pick? Thank you.
    1/ Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens
    2/ Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP AF/MF 1:1 Macro Lens for Nikon
    Digital SLR Cameras
    3/ Nikon 85mm f/3.5G AF-S DX ED VR Micro Nikkor Lens for Nikon
    Digital SLR Cameras
  2. Very difficult to give an opinion if you don't mention what you will be photographing, and under what circumstances. Plates of food? Insects? Portraits? Jewelry for product shots?
  3. :) You're right! Sorry I forgot in assuming it relates to my previous post. I very much like to shoot close up insects, birds, flowers. Thanks
  4. Duke: I've only used the Tamron, but from reviews, that would be my pick in a heartbeat. The 105mm Nikkor may be as good, but is twice the price and no better. The 85mm has some slightly iffy reviews (and it's DX anyway, so useless on film cameras for flower shots), and I'd prefer more aperture for the odd portrait. Compared with the Tokina 100mm and Sigma 105mm it's less clear-cut, and the 150mm Sigmas seem good if you can afford them. But, as I said, I've only used (and own) the Tamron.

    If you really want it to double as a portrait lens and have VR, though, I guess it's up to you whether the Nikkor is worth the premium.
  5. Since you don't mention price, my choice would be the 105 VR. I own this lens and is great.
    My reasons are as follow:
    - It's Nikon
    - It gives you a bit of distance when you are shooting insects. Still it is not enough but if you are careful you don't scare them away.
    - It is a really good lens for portraits.
    - It's a VR lens. Not useful for macro but useful when you shoot portraits in low light or in my case when I shoot birds in flight within a short range.
    - It works great with DX and FX formats.
    - Nice short tele.
    You can't go wrong with it..... good luck!
  6. I forgot to mention that it is really sharp and I like the bokeh.
  7. My list would include the Tokina 100mm and Sigma 105mm as well, and I'd probably take either the Tokina or the Tamron (I have the Tokina, btw). I agree with Andrew that the Nikon 105VR is not significantly better to me to spend the extra money on, and the Nikon 85VR is not tested as good; but frankly with macro-lenses you cannot go wrong all that easy.
    For birds, though, these lenses won't do. Bird photography is more the terrain for supertele, rather than macro.
  8. SCL


    I've used the Adaptall version of the Tamron 90 and Nikon 105. The Nikon wins IMHO unless I want to use the Tamron on multiple manufacturers' cameras.
  9. Taken with a 105.
    At "a short range" was the key word. I have taken shots of birds with a Tokina 11-16 at 11 mm. As long as you know what you are doing any lens can be used.
  10. NICE SHOT, Rene!
    I'd also do the 105 if I had the choice between those three.
  11. I second René. I also own the 105, and it gives you a decent distance to your insects to let you work at ease.
  12. René, point taken, sure you can do birds with a 105mm.... But close-up of birds typically isn't the same as macro photography... I phrased my point awkward, but well, there are more bird pictures taken with 300mm and longer, than with ~100mm lenses.
    By the way, if money is no objection, then for the VR, the Nikon sure a good choice. I chose the Tokina because it was less than half of what the Nikon costs. If money was no objection at all, I'd go for the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Macro, though.
  13. You need to take in consideration Sigma 150/2.8 if bugs and insects are in your focus. Sigma offers a better range, a great optic and the last model offers optical stabilization too, receiving glowing reviews on photozone. I have the non stabilized version and I also have the 105/2.8 VR. Sigma is always my first option and what I like is that it works as an unbelievable good telephoto. In fact I use it mostly as a telephoto lens rather than for macro / close up.
    For me "It's Nikon" reason does not work anymore, at least for some lenses. :)
    P.S. Honestly, optically there is no bad macro lens in F mount... so you need to pick the lens according your working distance, budget, eventually FX compatibility, etc.
  14. I love my Tamron 90, but I would not recommend it for someone using a D3100 since it won't autofocus on your camera. No, autofocus isn't that important for macro, but it does limit the flexibility of the lens for other uses.
    Minimum working distance for the Tamron 90mm is 11.4". It's 12" for the Nikon 105 VR. That's not much of a difference. Neither is optimal for insect photographs. You could consider the Tamron 60mm macro, which WILL focus on your camera and has similar specifications and costs. Might be a more useful lens overall.
  15. Any of these 3 could be the 'best' one for you. The 105VR is bigger, heavier, more expensive (I have it). The Tamron lacks VR. I'd look into its AF speed if I were considering it for my purposes. The 85VR is small, light, cheaper, focuses quite fast I expect, may not be quite as good optically (although note that Photozone are positive). I know this has been a list of the obvious, but really you should focus on what you want to do with the lens and not what others think. Do you want VR? How important is AF speed for your purposes? How important is the focal length. How much money are these features worth to you? It's a personal decision.
  16. erik_christensen|3

    erik_christensen|3 Self-employed

    I have the Nikon 105mm which is very good and expensive, but for insects and bugs I would go for Sigma 180mm (if available) otherwise Sigma 150mm to get some distance, and they are "cheap", if you can say that about photo equipment.
  17. Dave - there are different versions of the Tamron. Some do autofocus on the D3100.
  18. optically, the tamron is the best of the three lenses you mention. the 105VR is more of a tweener designed for macro and portraits, but IMO the VR isn't worth the higher price.
  19. A longer working distance is better, 105mm was all I had but I wanted 180 or 200mm [here 52% crop on D200]
    and a lot more closeup than 1:1 would be needed for this ...... this is a 6% crop, not a good size for printing
    here it was ok at 105mm but generally i just wished for 180mm+ most of the time, you end up disturbing vegetation [making it move] if you get too close [like with 105mm if you are getting close to 1:1] [86% crop]. - all pictures with 105mm f/2.8 G macro Nikon + D200/300
  20. Thank you all for your opinion, they're very helpful to be not only to make decision this time but also "enlightening" me more. :)

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