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dafiryde Aug 18, 2011 8:26 PM

105vr macro
Looking to get into macro photography
Is the Nikon 105 vr a good starter
Can it also be used as a portrait lens
Currently using a d300s


TCav Aug 19, 2011 6:21 AM

First, there are no bad macro lenses, so it's hard to go wrong.

Second, the Nikon 105/2.8 VR Macro lens is stabilized, so it's good for handheld shooting, not necessarily for 1:1 macro, but certainly for 1:2 or 1:3 macro.

Third, the important thing about picking a macro lens is getting a focal length that's appropriate for your subject. If you'll be shooting animate subjects (insects and small animals), you'll wnat a longer focal length with a narrower angle of view so you can be farther away (for the same magnification) and not frighten away the subject or block your own light. If you'll be shooting inanimate subjects in good light, you might want a macro lens with a shorter focal length, so you can more easily adjust the subject and the lights.

Fourth, 105mm is a little long for a portraiture. For 35mm film portraiture, the best focal lengths are from 85mm to 135mm. With an APS-C size image sensor, that's 57mm to 90mm.

Wizzard0003 Aug 19, 2011 1:40 PM

Don't know if you'd be intersted in this lens but I just recieved delivery of it yesterday...

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 85 mm f/3.5G ED VR

The difference in min focus difference between this and the 105VR is very little...

105VR = .314 meters (12.36 inches)
85G = .286 meters (11.26 inches)
Difference = .028 meters (1.10 inches) more for the 105VR

Note: Those distances are from the focal plain (the surface of the sensor) not
from the end of the lens... From the end of the lens it's about 5 (ish) inches
with the 85G... ;)

Equivelent focal length for the 85G on an APS-C sensor is 127.5mm...

Here's one of my first images with this lens of a mosquito taken last night out back by
the trash dumpster where I work...

This image is cropped, hand-held with on-camera flash using AF-C, spot metering and VR...

D7k / 85mm / f/16 / 1/320 / ISO 100

Click on the link below the image (and then click on the image in the browser) for
full size...

The AF is super fast but will search sometimes... I believe that's typical for many
macro lenses though...

Hope that helps somehow... :)

TCav Aug 19, 2011 1:55 PM

The Nikon 85/3.5 is also a very good, stabilized, macro lens, but I think f/3.5 is a little small for portraiture.

Wizzard0003 Aug 19, 2011 1:59 PM


Originally Posted by TCav (Post 1249564)
The Nikon 85/3.5 is also a very good, stabilized, macro lens, but I think f/3.5 is a little small for portraiture.

I'd tend to agree for the most part, but do-able... Fine for Macro though as you usually end
up stopping way down to get DOF anyway...

dafiryde Aug 19, 2011 10:23 PM

thanks for the assistance so far
came accross this Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro
got a good review from slr gear and photozone
is there such a thing as a good macro and portrait lens in one
is this a good candidate
really want to get into macro photography and will most likely be doing insects and flowers
to be honest i am not a portrait photographer type


Wizzard0003 Aug 20, 2011 2:51 AM

In my opinion just about any macro will do a decent job of portrait photography, it's just
that a "Portrait" lens will tend to have a larger minimum aperture which will help in getting
better subject isolation... In macro work many tend to go for smaller apertures to overcome
the severely reduced DOF caused by being so close to the subject so larger apertures aren't
needed so much... Not worrying about having a large minimum aperture on a macro helps
manufacturers to keep the cost down as well...

If you're not a serious partrait photographer (as I am not) than a macro should be able to
handle most of the portrait shooting you'll probably do...

JMHO of course, YMMV... ;)

dafiryde Aug 20, 2011 5:12 AM

please excuse me for my stupidity, but i just cant figure out why i included the word portrait in this topic.
so to start it off again
i am interested in getting into macro photography and interested in shooting insects and flowers, i dont own a tripod so will be doing handheld .
which lens would you recomend


TCav Aug 20, 2011 6:31 AM

The Sigma 70/2.8 is probably one of the best lenses ever made.

If you want to find out for certain if a lens is siutable for what you want to do, you could always rent it.

dafiryde Aug 20, 2011 7:07 PM

i live in the caribbean so renting or even trying out is not an option, i have to buy , try and hope that is what i was looking for.


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