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banksy Jul 14, 2011 7:41 PM

Nikon or Tokina macro lens?
Howdy all,

I am agonising over the choice between two macro/micro lenses.

The NIkon 105mm with VR or
The Tokina 100mm without stabilisation

My dilemma is that I shoot quite a lot of macros without tripod because the subjects keep moving (therefore VR is important).

For those stationery subjects, using a tripod, the VR would be turned off anyway.

Does anybody have experience using either lens and is there a difference in the quality of the images produced?

I understand the Tokina glass is very good and is half the price of the Nikon.

Gotta make a decision......


Wizzard0003 Jul 14, 2011 9:52 PM

I can't speek from experience but if you open each of these reviews
in separate windows you can review them side by side...

Tokina AT-X M100 PRO AF D 100 mm f/2.8

Nikon Nikkor AF-S Micro 105 mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR

I'm going for this lens below sometime in the future... It is a DX lens
though so not good for a Full sensor...

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

Hopefully give it to myself for Christmas (if not sooner... :p )

Good luck and I hope something here helps... :)

BTW: VR doesn't do much good when shooting Macro... ;)

banksy Jul 15, 2011 12:07 AM

Thanks wizzard. I have read many reviews but not this one. Leaning towards Nikon more...

Wizzard0003 Jul 15, 2011 12:20 AM


Originally Posted by banksy (Post 1241326)
Thanks wizzard. I have read many reviews but not this one. Leaning towards Nikon more...

Personally, I do too...

I think the auto focus will be more reliable with the Nikon especiall when using it
for a portrait/short telephoto...

shoturtle Jul 15, 2011 12:25 AM

If you are looking to use it for true macro then the VR is not important as you will be shooting on a tripod for 1:1. But the nikon is a really nice lens. And I am personally like sticking with Original Equipment vs 3rd party when the performance is very close. But it is pricey.

Have you consider the sigma 105, that is another very good macro lens also.

banksy Jul 15, 2011 2:15 AM

Thanks for your response shoturtle. I have looked at reviews on the Sigma and also talked to people who use it. Seems it is a bit noisy which wouldn't suit photographing bugs and insects. Also the auto focus isn't as good as Nikon, apparently.
I do appreciate everyones comments and opinions and take suggestions onboard before jumping in.
I agree the Nikon is very expensive, especially here in Oz but you get what you pay for!

Wizzard0003 Jul 15, 2011 2:59 AM

If you head over to "Nikon Cafe" forum (google it) and check in the "Lens Lust"
section there is a sticky titled "Updated Lens Sample Photo archive"... There
you can link to threads covering different lenses with user samples and opinions...
It's a great resource for those trying to choose a new lens be it Nikon, Tamron,
Sigma, Tokina, etc...

You may have to register at Nikon Cafe to view the forum but it's a great place
for Nikon users to share knowledge and experience...

Hope that helps... :)

shoturtle Jul 15, 2011 3:10 AM

If you are shooting insects, you may want something longer the 105. You might really want to look at a 150-180mm macro. It will give you better working space then the 105mm. Just something to consider. I use a 100mm macro, and when shooting bugs, I find a longer lens with more working space would be better. And it help avoid shadowing your subject with the camera itself with more working space.

The tarmron 180mm would be a very good lens for insect

The sigma 150 would also be good the insects as well.

TCav Jul 15, 2011 7:10 AM

There are no bad macro lenses.

As shoturtle pointed out, you should pick a macro lens based on the the working distance you need for your subject, and thus, the focal length. And if you can keep the shutter speed faster than 1 / ( Focal Length X Crop Factor), then image stabilization shouldn't make much difference anyway. But if you can't, your choices are limited.

fldspringer Jul 16, 2011 8:47 AM

I just got the 105 VR
I'll give you the reason WHY I chose to go with the Nikkor. Maybe you will have similar situations, maybe not.

First, the real reason is I feel the 105 vr will be a better non-macro lens than the non-OE choices. It has a focal limiter that matches how I use the lens, by locking out the close focus to eliminate rack time in non-macro use. The autofocus is also supposed to be very good, quick, silent, and consistant for non-macro. VR is also a plus using the lens for everyday use.

Second is how the lens will shoot macro for me. VR isn't a biggie here in my opinion. Its supposed to loose efficiency as magnifications increase. One of the main benefits for me is it has internal focus, so the length of the lens remains fixed. I use a flash system that mounts to the filter thread, so that removes a load on the focus motor that would be there with the other lenses. A thing worth mentioning is the focus limiter doesn't limit to only macro focal lengths, but it doesn't limit me because I only use MF it those situations.

A side note, I find flash is a huge necessity for macro, and trumps VR in that application. Natural light macros at something approaching 1 to 1 can be fun to try, but requires huge amounts of light (harsh) to give any depth of field, and even then the failed frames will be many.

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