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Old Aug 30, 2012, 8:25 PM   #1
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Default Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D vs. Tamron 90mm F2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF

Trying to decide between Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D vs. Tamron 90mm F2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF.

I will be shooting flowers and bugs mostly with a Nikon D70.

Comparison and pros and cons of both would be nice.

Thank You,

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Old Aug 31, 2012, 4:45 AM   #2
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Good morning,

In addition to the 2 lenses already mentioned, another to consider is the Sigma 105mm macro DG lens.

All three lenses are excellent choices for macro @ the roughly 105mm focal range. The pros:

Nikkor: built like a tank
Sigma: probably the sharpest of the 3 by a smidgen.
Tamron: superb portrait lens as well.

Cons: none really

You really can't go wrong with any of the 3 mentioned.
I own the Sigma and use it on a D7000. I chose it over the others, mostly, because I found a used one at a price I couldn't resist.

You can read test reports on each lens at SLRGear.com


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Old Aug 31, 2012, 5:57 AM   #3
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There are several macro lenses for the Nikon mount. A key feature that distinguishes them is that some are stabilized and some are not. Image stabilization doesn't work very well at 1:1 magnification, but at 1:3 or less, if you'll be shooting handheld, having it is better than not having it.

The Tamron 90/2.8 that you mentioned is not stabilized, while the Nikon 105/2.8 that you mentioned and the Sigma 105/2.8 that Zig mentioned, are stabilized.

There are no bad macro lenses. The primary reason for selecting one macro lens over another is the applicability of the focal length to your subject. If you want to shoot small parts in a light box, the ones you're looking at are all probably too long. But if you want to shoot hornet's nests, they're all probably too short.
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Old Aug 31, 2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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I have the Tamron 90, and would never buy it again. It has very poor working distance for macro work. Both of the other lenses will give you better clearance to the subject, although none of them are really "stand-off" lenses at 1:1. In addition, the Tamron has a LoCA problem, especially when used as a general-purpose lens. I have found the AF very unreliable when shooting subjects at about 20 feet or more, for reasons that I have been unable to determine. All in all, this is a pretty disappointing lens, even though it gets rave reviews. Yes, it is razor-sharp with creamy bokeh. But the failings of the lens are significant. FWIW

[ETA: I believe that the Sigma has a $200 rebate going on right now, which brings it down to a pretty attractive price.]
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