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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Nikon Macro lenses
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06/20/2014 01:11:42 PM · #1
I don't currently own a macro lens, but i've been thinking about picking up the Nikon 40mm /2.8 as a relatively inexpensive "can shoot 1:1 macro", and was wondering if people here have tried it and your thoughts vs saving up and getting a higher number prime macro lens (nikon or sigma).

right now here's the prices i'm looking at, and while i don't expect to shoot macro exclusively, or make a living on macro/product shots, i would like to have the option and a decent lens with which to do so.

NIKON AF-S VR MICRO 105MM F2.8G IF-ED $1099.99
NIKON AF-S DX MICRO-NIKKOR 40MM F2.8G $299.99
NIKON AF MICRO-NIKKOR 60MM F2.8D $569.99
SIGMA OS 105MM F2.8 EX MACRO NIKON MT $649.99
TAMRON 90MM F2.8 DI USD VC MACRO NIKON Sale: $799.99
TOKINA AT-X 100MM F2.8 MACRO NIKON $569.99

The Nikon 105 is far and away the most expensive that i would even consider and I only add it in the list as it seems to be the benchmark that most of the others are compared to, but would take about 7 months for me to save for, assuming nothing else happens that would chip away at my 'hobby' funds.

I know there is currently a sale on many of these, but i am not factoring that in due to "right now" not being a viable purchase timeframe, so i'd like some feedback to help with setting my sights on a viable price/performance mark to look forward to.

Or, if you have an alternative that i did not mention, please feel free to deviate from my list above if you feel the lens would be worth looking into.

Message edited by author 2014-06-20 13:14:25.
06/20/2014 01:16:59 PM · #2
I have the 85mm Nikon Macro and it is a lovely piece of equipment. Worth looking into.
06/20/2014 01:27:26 PM · #3
Old version of 90 Tamron, cheap and stunning :)
06/20/2014 01:54:03 PM · #4
The Tamron 90mm is a great piece, and the non-vc versions are awesome as well, if you want to go cheaper.
06/20/2014 02:04:59 PM · #5
Originally posted by wejna:

The Tamron 90mm is a great piece, and the non-vc versions are awesome as well, if you want to go cheaper.


That's the one I suggested, someone says it's even better than the more expensive one.
06/20/2014 02:11:16 PM · #6
I've got the Nikon 105. Excellent lens, but I have not much use for either its autofocus, nor its VR capabilities. Sharp as hell, but I wouldn't recommend it vs. the others, provided that they can offer similar quality images.
06/20/2014 09:46:11 PM · #7
If your looking for a good 1:1 ratio and your not afraid of total Manual....try this lens

Vivitar MF Macro 55mm 1:2:8 f/2.8

this is my very, very favorite Macro lens...it is tack sharp and best thing about it is I bought it used from a good dealer for $130...best investment ever...
06/20/2014 09:49:32 PM · #8
One other thing you can do pretty cheap and easy is to get a set of extention tubes. Waddy (' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' MelonMusketeer) helped me find my set...I love them...I've even use them on my 70-300mm

most recently with this shot...

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06/20/2014 09:57:44 PM · #9
I will never give up my favorite macro/portrait lens:
Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f2.8D

Some of mine using it:
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06/20/2014 10:26:28 PM · #10
A 40 won't have enough working distance to shoot living things. It's meant more for copy work. For a DX camera, the shortest you'll want is 60mm. The 60mm f/2.8 (either new or old version) is one of the best deals out there. The Tamron 90 ( either version) is a great bargain as well. And the Nikon 105mm f/2.8D (the older non-VR version) is very good if you can find one.

If I were buying one for myself, I'd find a used copy of one of the older versions of any of the ones I mentioned. I have the current version of the Nikon 105. It's very nice optically, but big and heavy. I had the older non-VR 105 a few years ago, and it was much lighter and more compact. I still regret selling that one.
06/20/2014 10:40:17 PM · #11
Ryan I have the Nikon 105mm macro if you want to borrow it for a couple of weeks you are welcome to it. I have some extention tubes too. Just let me know!
06/20/2014 11:28:56 PM · #12
VR is handy for macro if you want to hand hold in existing light. I use the older manual Ai Nikkor 55 2.8 and 105 2.8 which both seem to be excellent. I find that the 55 is better for stationary things like little flowers and the 105 for bugs and assorted critter shooting.

If you are shooting close up macro, auto focus may not focus on the spot you are wanting it to. It's pretty easy to just move the camera to focus when in close. Unless you are comfortable with manual focus, it's better to have the AF if you want to use the lens as a general purpose prime at distances out of the macro range. The focus indicator "arrows & dot" in the viewfinder help me a lot with manual focus.

Extension tubes or a reversing ring are other ways to get good macro with your existing lenses. Your D7000 will meter in aperture priority mode with anything that will make an image on the sensor.
One of the 55 2.8 Ai manual Nikkors sold on Goodwill Auctions for around $150 last night.

Good luck hunting glass, and have fun with whatever you find.
06/21/2014 10:29:24 PM · #13
Originally posted by Enlightened:

Ryan I have the Nikon 105mm macro if you want to borrow it for a couple of weeks you are welcome to it. I have some extention tubes too. Just let me know!

That's a very generous offer Tracey, but how about just letting me use it at a get together we can plan. See if anybody else would like to join in and make a day of it.
I'd be a nervous wreck at the thought of using your lens and having something happen to it on loan that i think i'd use it more sparingly as a result.
i'm always careful, but borrowing something and then having something go wrong and having to say "sorry, you trusted me with this and (accident) happened"...
06/22/2014 03:09:00 AM · #14
I have the old Tokina 10mm 2.8 macro and wouldn't swap it. great lenses,Tokina actually was staffed at one time by Canon designers and engineers
06/22/2014 05:17:14 AM · #15
Completely agree with Ann and TonyT. I also have the older 60mm Nikkor Micro AF-D superb lens but at the absolute mimimum I'd go for live subjects. In fact too close in many cases. An older Nikkor 105mm AF-D has a further minimum focussing distance. Can be hard to find a good copy at a fair price. All the older sigma 105mm were optically excellent but the front element extended as you focused. The latest model sigma 105mm doesn't. Neither do the older and latest versions of the 105mm Nikkor Micro's
06/22/2014 11:54:11 AM · #16
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I have the sigma 105, and I find it great. Now I haven't owned any other macro lenses, so I don't have much to compare it with. Nevertheless, when I want to do a macro shot it is a pleasure to use.


Message edited by author 2014-06-22 11:55:44.
06/22/2014 09:22:26 PM · #17
Mostly some old inexpensive manual focus lenses which I have used and/or could be found to be used with some Nikon cameras:

Kiron 105mm F2.8 MACRO 1:1 or Lester A. Dine 105mm f/2.8 Macro - (same lens available in Nikon mount or with adapter) Kiron version is discontinued, Lester A. Dine version may be available new/backstock.
Recommended over any of the following:

Nikon 55mm Micro-Nikkor f2.8 Ai-S First Version
Very high quality manual focus, superior optics, still to my knowledge manufactured and available new, also available used.
Recommended over any of the following:

Vivitar 55mm f2.8 AUTO MACRO 1:1 M42 mount S/N: 28xxxxxx (Komine made)
Discontinued, available used. 21_F.gif Ja-9 is not wrong about this lens. A nice, easy to use, sharp 1:1 macro. Closed to f4 sharpness is almost comparable to the 55mm Nikkor. This lens has a unique character.

Asahi Super-Multi-Coated 50mm f4.0 MACRO-TAKUMAR 1:1 M42 mount Version: (1971
Discontinued, available used. Physically very small, and I like the colour this lens renders. Very very sharp wide open.

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG
Any of the previously mentioned lenses are easier to use.
06/22/2014 10:56:03 PM · #18
If you do happen to get one of the older Nikon or Nikon fit lenses, the early "Non Ai" versions can damage the lens mount on your D7000 by bending the Ai coupling lever. On the "non Ai" lenses, the back of the aperture ring is smooth all around, and do not have the notches & tab to work the coupling lever.
With the later "Ai" lenses, the back of the black aperture ring is notched out around the edge of the lens mount at the back. If you take off your lens, you can see the little lever sticking out just above the chromed part of the lens mount on the camera. It moves in a curved slot along the edge of the mount.
The "Ai" lenses have holes in the "rabbit ears" and the earlier "non Ai" ones have solid "rabbit ears".
06/22/2014 11:11:26 PM · #19
A get together would be fun too! I wasn't worried about something happening to the lens... I was more worried that a TPL challenge would be macro and you'd beat us!! PM me when you would like to gtg and we can see who we gather up.

Originally posted by RyanW:

Originally posted by Enlightened:

Ryan I have the Nikon 105mm macro if you want to borrow it for a couple of weeks you are welcome to it. I have some extention tubes too. Just let me know!

That's a very generous offer Tracey, but how about just letting me use it at a get together we can plan. See if anybody else would like to join in and make a day of it.
I'd be a nervous wreck at the thought of using your lens and having something happen to it on loan that i think i'd use it more sparingly as a result.
i'm always careful, but borrowing something and then having something go wrong and having to say "sorry, you trusted me with this and (accident) happened"...
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