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Old Jun 30, 2003, 6:43 AM   #1
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Default Telephoto for a D100

I've recently purchased a D100 and I'm now considering purchasing a telephoto for it.

I'm thinking about something in the 300 to 400 millimetre range, but my main requirement is that I'd like a telephoto that has a close focus !

My reasoning is this.

I've got a Nikon CP4500 that I use for Digiscoping along with my Leica scope. However it has a close focusing distance of about 20 feet. This is fine for birds but not generally for insects.

I can approach some insects fairly close (bees and beetles) but the more flighty ones - flies, damselfly and dragonfly tend to fly away when you get within about 18 inches of them.

So ideally I need a telephoto that will focus down to about 18 inches, that will have enough focal length to allow me to get a frame filling shot at that range.

Bear in mind that we are talking about insects between half and one inch long.

Any suggestions ?
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Old Jun 30, 2003, 3:30 PM   #2
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Tough your question.

You know that D100 has 1.5x (not full frame). For telephoto lenses, it may don't have close enough depend size? like zoom 70-300 or 135-400 or 175-500 whatever, Never use teleconvert for example: if you want 135-400 f/5.6-6 with 1.4x or 2.0x You will lost few f/stop and slowest focus.

If you want fixed lenses (no zoom) such as 300mm or 400mm with f/2.8 or f/4 there is very expensive! and yes you can use teleconvert with it because f/2.8 x 1.4 or 2.0 will be f/4 or f/5.6 no problem but more expensive.

IF you want close or macro or micro distance there is nikon 180mm micro f/2.8 so you can use teleconvert but more expensive.

That is why, it's tough and $$$$.

I used Sigma 135-400, it's great for wildlife and birds. I am not interest in insects. ha

claw
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Old Jun 30, 2003, 11:26 PM   #3
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I would suggest that you look into extention tubes. It is my understanding that this is exactly what they are designed to do (shorted minimum focusing distance.) Also, they don't hurt the quality of the picture *at all*. I've heard that Kenko makes some good ones, at much cheaper than the OEM brands.

I should also warn you away from the 100-400 VR. It is the slowest focusing AF lens that Nikon makes, at least based on this review:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/80400vr.htm

The price is nice, though. Personally, I have use the Canon version of this lens (which focuses much faster) to take pictures of Dragon Flys and bees hand held (because of the IS/VR.) The freedome of being tripod-less is very nice when doing this.

Eric
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Old Jul 1, 2003, 9:17 AM   #4
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Default Telephoto macro

Two choices for close focus.

1) 200mm F4 Micro. I have this lens. It is excellent, but I'm actually selling it because it doesn't get much use. At 200mm on a D100, you get the equivalent of 300mm. It is 1:1 macro at 19.4". It provides plenty of working distance.

2) 70-180mm. Quite versatile. I don't own one, but people I know that have this lens love it. It is also a macro, doing 1:1.3 at 14.6". Another very sharp lens.

Both macro ratios are for film, sans digital crop. So you actually getting a higher mag ratio with the D100.

Other solutions will require tubes or diopters in order to reduce your minimum focus distance.
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Old Jul 3, 2003, 3:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Telephoto for a D100

Quote:
Originally Posted by checklg
I can approach some insects fairly close (bees and beetles) but the more flighty ones - flies, damselfly and dragonfly tend to fly away when you get within about 18 inches of them. Bear in mind that we are talking about insects between half and one inch long.
In my experience, even with extension tubes a 300-400mm lens may not do the job. Your only and perhaps an expansive option is the Nikon AF 200mm F4 Micro Nikkor. It will become a 300mm on your D100 and can close focusing to about 19.4" This is THE lens for my micro work. I rarely use the 60mm and don't have a 105mm. If you prefer to have a cheaper one, try Sigma 180mm F3.5 or Tamron 180mm F3.5 There is yet another option if you feel it is acceptable: Nikon AF 70-180 micro zoom. You will perhaps need a reverse mounted #6T close-up lens to get 1:1.

CK
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Old Jul 11, 2003, 1:51 AM   #6
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Hi Graham.

You can't have both in one lens and get the best at the same time.

If you can afford it - you should go for one of the Nikkor Micro lenses with an extensiontube, which is among the sharpest and finest lenses from Nikon. This combination will get you CLOSE.

If 300mm is enough I would go for the Nikon 70-200mm VR, which will allow you to shoot freehanded lot of times!

Choosing lenses will be a matter of "give and take" and it will be difficult and IMO not wise to try to get it all in the same lens. The bigger thought with SLR will be missed then!

Regards
Klaus
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Old Jul 11, 2003, 6:46 AM   #7
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Thanks to all of you for your help so far.

I think I'm narrowing down to -

AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED

Sigma 180mm Ex Macro f/3.5

AF Nikor 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D-ED

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Macro Super.

I've been able to have a look at the last two in a local shop and quite liked what I saw. The Sigma was impresive in its close focusing abilities and price, but I've got this slight aversion to mixing suppliers.

I love the idea of the Micro-Nikor but it I'd like to see it in action. Can anyone suggest a UK stockist ? Also, what kind of extension tube(s) could I use with the Micro-Nikor ?

However, the Sigma 180mm claims a 9" close focus....
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Old Jul 11, 2003, 5:02 PM   #8
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I'm not sure you would need extention tubes if you got a lens with macro/micro built in. I'm sure it would work, but when you used the micro setting, it might do nothing other than reduce an already really short minimum focusing distance. (Would it focus behind the camera? :lol: )

My dad as the 70-300 and likes it a lot. I've heard mixed things from other people... could be sample variation.

Doesn't Nikon have a micro capable lens around the 100mm distance? Something rings a bell there, 'cause I remember people liking it.

I've heard good things about Kenko tubes. Just make sure you keep all functionality (AF, all metering, VR if you have it.) I don't believe the Nikon tubes can do that (don't know from personal experience, though.)

Eric
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Old Jul 12, 2003, 4:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by checklg

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Macro Super.

I've been able to have a look at the last two in a local shop and quite liked what I saw. The Sigma was impresive in its close focusing abilities and price, but I've got this slight aversion to mixing suppliers.
You may be disappointed. This Sigma is not as good as you expect, especially at 300mm focal length. Its usable range is about 70-200mm. Above 200mm, the image is soft. For close-up, the lens must be at 300mm to get maximum magnification, which is NOT 1:1. I had one and sold it quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by checklg

I love the idea of the Micro-Nikor but it I'd like to see it in action. Also, what kind of extension tube(s) could I use with the Micro-Nikor ?
With a micro lens that is capable of 1:1, you perhaps do not and should not use extension tube. I have never used one with my AF 200mm F4 Micro Nikkor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by checklg

However, the Sigma 180mm claims a 9" close focus
In macro photography, closest focusing distance is not an issue. The magnification is! If the Sigma must have 9" to achieve 1:1, it is not as flexible as Nikon's 200mm @ 19.4". The 200mm Nikkor provides you with an extra 10" working distance so that you can have more flexibility in lighting and will not disturb the subjects. If you like 9" closest focus distance, then you should not consider the Nikkor 200mm, and should try other shorter focal length micro lenses (e.g., Nikkor 105mm F2.8 or 60mm F2.8). There are other non-Nikon micro lenses that can achieve the same closest focus distance (e.g., Tamron 90mm SP F2.8 and Sigma 105mm F2.5).

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
My dad as the 70-300 and likes it a lot. I've heard mixed things from other people... could be sample variation.
I don't own a Nikon 70-300; however, it is not good enough for micro. In fact, except for Nikon's 70-180, none of the Nikon zoom lenses can be qualified as good micro lenses.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
Doesn't Nikon have a micro capable lens around the 100mm distance?
Yes, 105mm F2.8, a very good one. However, the best Nikon micro lens is the 200mm F4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
I've heard good things about Kenko tubes. Just make sure you keep all functionality (AF, all metering, VR if you have it.) I don't believe the Nikon tubes can do that (don't know from personal experience, though.)
Don't think Kenko or anyone's tubes can preserve VR. As mentioned above, zoom lenses are not good enough for close-up except for Nikon's 70-180.

CK
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 7:10 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your comments. Much food for thought for my next major purchase.

In the mean time I've been trying out a Hoya +4 close-up filter with my AF Zoom Nikor 28-105. This gives me a focus range of about 12" down to approximately 1.5". Here are a couple of hand-held results.

http://www.pbase.com/image/19059583

and

http://www.pbase.com/image/19058105
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