Seeking new macro lens and wide angle lens

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by 10973543, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Hi all,

    I am quite new to photography, and currently have a Nikon D200 with an AF Nikkor 28-70mm 3.5-4.5 d lens, but I am looking into getting a couple of new lens', for close up animal shots and a wide angle lens for nature photography. I would prefer around a mid range budget but will take any suggestions.

    Thank you!
  2. A disclaimer - I'm not digital for the most part.

    That out of the way, What kind of critters are we talking about? Bugs or lions? When you're speaking macro, you are gong to be very close to your subject, usually a matter of centimeters. Go to Africa and use a macro for lions and chances are you won't make it back.

    Most of us think of wildlife lenses starting around 300mm. But that all depends on how close you expect to get and how big your subject is.

    For nature/landscape, a 28mm which you already have, is a good wide angle. But just about any lens can be used for landscape. Again, it depends on the subject

    If you do want something wider, a 20mm? But before you do that, get some more practice with the 28mm end of your lens.

    Myself? I love using a 20mm for landscapes, but it is very easy totally screw the photograph up unless you are very aware of foreground v background. Go wider and the challenge increases.

    Bottom line - use what you have now and master it and at the same time there are lots of books on the subject. National Geographic has a good web site for what you seem to be interested in. Don't go crazy and start buying equipment before you really know how to use what you have and then know what you need.
  3. AJG


    28 isn't very wide on an APS-C sensor like the D 200. 20 mm isn't even as wide as a 28 on 35 mm film or a full frame sensor. Your questions about what kind of wildlife are important ones--a great lens for bugs isn't what you want for birds, etc.
  4. As chuck says, if you are thinking about animals bigger than bugs, a macro lens isn't what you want. With your camera and a macro lens at minimum focusing distance, a bug that is 24 mm long (a bit under 1 inch) would completely fill your sensor--and you would have to be within several inches of it to take the picture.
  5. I agree with @chuck909 and @AJG that you need to be clear in your own mind about the kind of photos that you'd like to be able to take but can't because of the limitations of your current lens's focal lengths. Ideally, you should have a fairly clear (at least "ball park") idea of the focal length ranges of the lenses you want to add.

    From personal experience I know that this is far from easy! This "wide-angle buying guide" illustrates just how many focal length ranges fall into the "wide angle category". The same will be true for tele-lenses or macro-lenses.

    When I bought my first lenses, I really had no clue. I just went into my local store, asked for advice and bought what the salesperson recommended. Thankfully, I have no regrets! Gradually, I've learned a bit more about focal lengths,on-line lens quality reviews, etc.

    Only you can decide what kind of photos you'd like to be able to take with any new lenses. If you're not yet quite sure of what focal lengths would enable you to take these photos, I suggest looking at on-line photos in the nature/wildlife categories and -from the Exif data - noting the focal lengths of the lenses with which they were taken. This might give you a clearer idea of "this one's too wide", "this one's not wide enough"or "yes, this kind of photo is what I'd like to able to take".

    To be honest, this is not easy on Photonet. It's easier on 500px and Flickr.

  6. I agree with the above advice. Ask yourself how close you want to go for macro when shooting animals. But when you specifically mention macro, I suppuse you think of insects or smaller animals.
    I can certainly recommend the Tamron SP 90mm 2.8 macro AF, which is quite reasonably priced both used and new. I have used one intensively for three to four years for insects and general tabletop photography of small items, even portraits too. Very, very SHARP and good value. Should exist for Nikon AF mount. Mine is Minolta mount used on Sony A7ii a great combo. Nikon D200 is APSC format so the tamron 90 mm will really be something like 120mm, but this is also greal for insects and animals. The D200 is a great camera by the way, I used one for macro and portraiture before I went Sony. Great skin tones.
  7. The D200 is older, but is still a good camera.

    It works well with older AI (manual focus) and also the early AF lenses driven by a motor in the camera.

    These lenses tend to be very affordable compared to the new price, or the price of the newer models
    of similar focal length(s).

    My newest (bought used) lens is the Nikon AF 24-120, the older one, not the newer one.
    I bought it for a D700, but it should also be good on the D200.

    The favorite Nikon macro (Nikon calls it Micro) lens is the AI 55/2.8.
    The follow-on 60mm lens should also be good. These tend not to fall in price as fast
    as some other lenses, though.

    The crop factor makes it a little harder to find good AI wide angle lenses for your camera.
    The AI 24/2.8 should be reasonably priced, and also work well.

    My old favorite from film days is the AI 35/2.0, which would not be considered wide
    angle on a D200, but still might be useful. There is an AF version, too.
  8. SCL


    If you're into manual focusing, a good "macro"/portrait lens is a used Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5. It is part of the Adaptall system, so you would need a Nikon adapter as well - both readily available on Ebay. I've used mine for years beginning with a Nikon D100 up thru my present Nikon, and all of my other 35mm SLR/DSLR/mirrorless bodies as well. If you want autofocus capabilities and to spend more money, the Nikon macros, like the 105mm f/2.8 D is a great lens...big but delivers terrific macro shots.
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  9. You might want to rent or borrow some "wide angle" lenses before buying. Particularly for any focal length less than 18mm they become quite specialized, and it's easy to ruin a nice landscape with too wide a lens. You should think of a wide lens as allowing you to get very close to your primary subject, rather than as simply a way to "get everything in". The second approach is a good way to lose a recognizable subject. An affordable first try is the Tokina 11-16/2.8.

    For macro work, 90-105 mm should be the low end. I have and use both the Micro-Nikkor 55Ai/2.8 and AFS 105/2.8. The 55 has been relegated to special purpose tasks (such as digitizing slides with the ES-1 and PK-13 combination on my D810). The lens-to-subject distance is simply too short, frequently casting shadows on the subject. I prefer the 105/2.8 for macro, and for general use as a very sharp short-to-medium (on DX) telephoto. All three of these lenses will exceed the resolution of your D200. The Tokina starts to show its flaws at 16 Mp and above.

    Other than bugs, wildlife photography starts at 200mm and goes up from there. I just bought a used Nikkor 200-500/5.6 because my Tamron 150-600 was for crap on anything over 16 Mp. Now, if the sun will only come out...
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019

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