Macro Lens recommendations please?

Discussion in 'Nikon DSLR Forum' started by kyteflyer, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    A friend of mine in the real world has just bought a Nikon D7100 twin lens kit. He's mad keen to do macro and was asking me about a macro lens. I have NO idea about whats even half decent for Nikon, being a pentax shooter. Recommedations anyone?
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The Micro Nikkor 60mm used to be "the thing to have" didn't it?
    I've certainly seen some spectacular insect work done with it.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Thanks, Paul, I really have no idea.
  4. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin SC Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I had the Micro-Nikkor 105mm 2.8 VR (or whatever the name is :) )
    Great lens, slightly pricy and mighty heavy for my taste (1.74 lb / 790 g). The upside of its weight (combined with vibration reduction) was that I could get some nice macro shots even without tripod. The downside was that I really didn't want to carry it with me on our walks a lot for "just in case". :)

    I remember reading a macro lens review with the conclusion, that pretty much any macro lens in the 90mm to 105mm range is pretty good - regardless of manufacturer.
    I think the words were "there is no bad lens in that focal range" or some such :)
    There's a Tamron 90mm
    Sigma 105mm
    Tokina 100mm
    Nikon 105 mm VR

    My guess is your friend could simply decide on budget, or on features (like stabilization), or on weight, etc...
  5. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Thats lovely. I told him of Paul's recommendation and I will also tell him of the Tamron 90mm which I had completely forgotten about (which is a little mad, since its one I have wanted, myself, forever)...
  6. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Sigma 105mm f2.8 OS is half the price of the Nikkon 105mm f2.8 VC Micro and just as good. It has a little more contrast but IQ is as good. They used to be the same price but Sigma saw fit to reduce their lens by about £300!

    I'd get the Sigma.
  7. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:

    Close up - Macro - micro - extreme macro

    Without a dedicated "macro" lens
    Close ups - 300mm lens are good ……… 75% of my Dragonfly images are taken with a 300mm lens
    Reverse a 50mm lens will give you good macro results
    Extension tubes are good to get close and are cheap
    Raynox - very good bang for your buck …. close up attachment

    Dedicated macro, (micro), lens
    Dedicated macro lens at 1:1 - so its 105mm minimum
    The Nikon 105mm is good but expensive
    The Sigma 105mm is supposed to be as good ……….. there are differences between the older and newer versions
    The Sigma 150mm and 180mm are supposed to be very good
    Sigma seem to have reported reliability and build problems - sometimes

    To get good "macro" or "micros" you need a good flash set up - ring flash as a minimum

    I get my best close up's with a 300mm
    I have a Nikon 105mm f2.8 VR micro …… which is not bad but I am still learning how to use it - when you first use "macro" lens you may be disappointed ……… it takes time, especially if hand held
    I have a 55mm f3.5 micro Nikon MF lens which is also good

    Manual Focus
    The older Nikon MF 55mm f3.5 micro is good if you want a bargain price - maybe £60
    There are other good MF "macro" lens that you can get used

    Buy used - decide if you want AF ….. most micros are taken using Manual focus …… but I find AF to be useful
    fine "tune" the lens to the body

    The earlier Sigma non VR, (OS), 105mm lens does not get great reviews

    I would not buy a "macro" lens below 105mm ….. the 105mm is also good for portraits and general stuff

    Do a lot of research before you buy and identify what you want to do - close ups - macros - extreme stuff

    You will always be fighting DOF "problems" …….. until you become "expert"

    Check out the Raynox adapters they get good reviews

    I tend to use the following definition, but people argue about it all the time
    1:1 to 10:1 is macro
    10:1 to above is micro (not the Nikon terminology)
    1:10 to 1:1 is considered closeup.

    1:1 in a lens refers to the scene width. Eg 1mm will be 1mm as seen on sensor. So if your sensor is 22mm then scene width will be 22mm at closest focus point.

    The D7100 give you a x1.5 crop which is very useful, i.e. a 105mm = 125mm

    May help a little

    his recommendations are "out of date" - IMHO, of course, the new Sigma 105mm OS is good
  8. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Thanks for the lenghty reply, Bill. I'll point John at it. I already have the macro and closeup lenses I want (except for the Tamron 90)... My DA35 and a Tammy 70-300 with 1:2 macro (call it closeup) between 180 and 300 will do me. He will enjoy reading about your suggestions, I suspect.
  9. eno789

    eno789 SC Regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    NoCal, USA
    Real Name:
    The Nikon D7100 can auto focus lenses without built-in motor (usually marked as AF-D or just AF), it can also auto-meter with manual focus AI or AI-S lenses. For macro AF is not as important as MF.

    There're a lot of choices. For example, there's Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AF-D 1:1 often sells for < $350; the Tokina 90mm f/2.5 AI macro is legendary with a nick name of "Bokina".

    I've heard Nikon AF-D 105mm f/2.8 is very good, comparable to the AF-S VR, but less expensive.

    Around 105mm reaching 1:1, there's also the cult classic of Kiron 105mm/2.8, also seen as Lester Dine, Vivitar Series 1 105mm/2.5, or Vivitar 100mm/2.8. These with 52mm filter thread and built-in hood, are all the same lens. Search the web for image samples, I like mine a lot.
  10. Xaph

    Xaph New to SC

    Sep 2, 2014
    Thankyou all for a very informed analysis.

    Having read the assistance of Kyteflyer in mustering opinion and expertise, I hit the jackpot with assistance here!
    Thanks all for your wisdom's,
    I'm going to try some of the suggestions.
    K knows I've been using a Cannon G series for some years, with some superb macro's of frog's as a big as my fingernail and lizards engaged in coitus (could be interruptus with me on the end of the lens) The fungus has set to this G camera.
    I've shifted into trying for a bit better image detail without the toad stools.
    Having purchased the Nikon V1for my daughter (s) in their teens, I thought having a decent DSLR would be an incentive to team up in family on some expeditions.
    The D 7100 was middle of the road, with decent lens kit DX VR 55-300 and DX VR18-55 @ a bargain base price of $900 AUD.
    Adding in,as sought here suitable macro lens's, thanks for all your suggestions, they're much appreciated.
    Thankyou K


  11. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:

    I don't do "macros" but I'm trying ……. it really is a frustrating business

    so I stick to "close ups"

    but if you look at my Dragonfly shots on

    90% of them were taken with a V1 +FT-1 + Nikon 300mm lens - I use a prime - but a zoom will hopefully produce good results

    Plus I have used my D7100 and a 300mm and the results were good

    start with the kit that you have got and move forward from there ……… my first Dragonfly shots a few months ago were poor

    Good luck