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Old Nov 9, 2012, 11:44 AM   #1
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Default Which lens should I choose ??

I have a Nikon D5100 with the kit lens (18-55mm) and the Nikon 55-300mm. I wish to purchase one more lens for it. I have narrowed the choices down to two lenses. The Nikkor AF-S DX 35MM F/1.8G and the Nikkor AF-S DX "MICRO" 40MM F/2.8G. I can't afford both at this time, Which one of the two would you choose ? Thanks.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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What do you want to do now that you can't with the lenses you've got?
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 2:18 PM   #3
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macro
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 3:12 PM   #4
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Well, that narrows it down.

What do you want to shoot? The reason I ask is that, generally speaking, you select a macro lens based on your subject. You would use a short focal length macro lens for inanimate objects in a well lit environment, but you would use a long focal length macro lens for subjects you don't want to disturb, or for when you don't want to block your own light. The AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G you mentioned would be good for watch parts, jewelry and the like, but not for butterflies or frogs, and definitely not for snakes and hornets. Is that the kind of macro you've got in mind?
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 4:19 PM   #5
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Yes, somewhat, but it would be nice to get a few macro shots of those snakes and hornets you mentioned but I can't afford the Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105MM F/2.8 IF-ED lens.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 5:13 PM   #6
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Actually, for the snakes and hornets, you'd need something like the AF Micro-NIKKOR 200mm f/4D IF-ED. For bugs, etc., something like the AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR or the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED would be ok. The AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G is for stuff you need to look through the viewfinder while reaching around the camera to position and adjust.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 7:05 PM   #7
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If you indeed want to get involved in macro photography a couple of lenses that would give you some flexibility to shoot a broader range of subjects are :

Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro & Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens. In each case, I'm recommending the older version (non stabilized) of the lens. Reason being, in most macro situations a tripod should be used effectively eliminating the need for a lens with image stabilization. Both of these lenses can be found on the used market for about the same cost as a new 40mm macro.

You can read reviews of both of these stellar lenses on SLRgear.com

FWIW, I own the Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro. Bought it used at KEH.com ad love the results.

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Old Nov 9, 2012, 8:16 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, great advice. I may consider the used market to make it more affordable for me and to save some money, however I hope that the non Nikon brands that were suggested are of equal quality as compared to the Nikon brand lenses. I have no experience with them. I have always been very satisfied with Nikon glass.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 6:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surplusshooter View Post
Thanks everyone, great advice. I may consider the used market to make it more affordable for me and to save some money, however I hope that the non Nikon brands that were suggested are of equal quality as compared to the Nikon brand lenses. I have no experience with them. I have always been very satisfied with Nikon glass.
I understand your concern. That's the reason for suggesting reading product reviews conducted by SLRGear.com. There an independent testing lab that provides unbiased reviews on all types of lenses. Reading their review will give you a good idea of wether a particular lens is right for you.

Here is a link to the Sigma 105mm macro review:

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showprodu...uct/221/cat/30

As for buying used, lenses - unlike camera bodies- last for many years. I tend to buy used lenses from reputable online dealers such as KEH.com, B&HPhoto.co and Adorama.com. All three rate the products they sell and stand behind them should something go wrong.

Good luck with whatever you decide is right for you.

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Old Nov 10, 2012, 7:13 AM   #10
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There are no bad macro lenses. While the third party macro lenses generally have slightly more field curvature (soft corners) than the OEM lenses, they are still very good. And while I conceed that 1:1 macro definitely needs a tripod, lesser magnification ratios, such as you might use on a hike or casual exploration, benefit from image stabilization and save you from being encumbered with the extra gear on your expedition.

It depends on what you'll be shooting, which you still haven't mentioned.
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