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Old Nov 15, 2005, 9:35 PM   #1
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Hi - I have the D70s kit lens (18-70mm) and I am looking to buya lens that would allow me to do some macro photography - food and product.

I'm looking for some recommendations as to which lens I should buy. I don't know if I should sell my current lens and get one that has a macro feature while retaining the general wide/zoom- an all purpose lens - or should Ikeep my lens and getamacro specific.

I would rather have one lens but I'm open to suggestions.

Thank you,
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 4:48 AM   #2
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It very much depends on what features you are looking for.

How close do you want to get. I true macro lens like the Nikor Micro 60mm or The Nikkor Micro 105mm will allow you to shoot at 1:1 so the subject is the same size as your sensor. Sigma also make a 50mm and a 105mm slightly cheaper than the Nikor lenses. Most zoom lenses that claim a macro feature tend to allow shooting at 1:2 or 1:3 so your smallest subject is either 2 or 3 times bigger than the sensor.

The second issue is working distance. A 1:1 shot on a 50mm lens will be the same as a 1:1 shot on a 105mm lens but in order to get it you need to get twice as close. Not a problem with static objects,a longer lens can be better for small creatures but you need a faster shutter speed to avoid camera shake and lighting may be more difficult. A zoom lens doesn't necessarily solve this problem as they often only allow macro at the longer end of the zoom. The Sigma70-300mm APO DG Macrolens gets very good reviews. It has 1:2 macro but only at the 300mm end of the zoom.

Hopefully this has given you some help. If you haven't guessed it my preference is zoom for general photography and a macro lens for close up photography.

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Old Nov 16, 2005, 6:27 AM   #3
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I used to use the add-on lens (+3,+2, etc..) on the front of the lens. Decent results and I could just keep them in the bag and they were cheap. I also tried the macro zoom, I have a Tanron 28-105. It worked well as my diving camera lens but I was not very happy with the results on land.

A month or so ago I got a second generation Sigma 50mm macro and am very happy with the results. The 50 is a good choice because of the 1.5 DX factor. It puts it right in the middle of the 50 and 105 focal lengths. I have used it during one trip the the local aquarium and it performed well. The focus is slow, the lens moves a few inches from one extreme to another, so you have to be patient or better yet, focus yourself. I think it will do what you want it to, bugs, frogs, and lizards in my back yard don't seem to mind the shooting distance with the 50mm macro.

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Old Nov 16, 2005, 11:02 AM   #4
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I recommend the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro along with a set of extension tubes and you're all set. If you want to get even closer...go ahead, throw some close up filters on there too! For under $400 you could take some sweet super macro shots.

Best of luck!
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 6:13 PM   #5
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I would recommend either the 60mm micro, or the 105mm micro. The 60 can be had for around $300-400. I just purchased the 105 from KEH for $449 used. I do more insect and creature macros and prefer the extra working distance. For you purposes, the 60mm will probably suit you well. These lenses can be used for general photography although the AF is quite loud and they don't quite have the focus throw of a general purpose lens.

Sigma makes slightly less expensive versions of each of these lenses.
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