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Old Jun 16, 2012, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default Best lens for Nikon N70

Hello,
I am an amateur photographer and recently got a Nikon N70. I am very much into macro photography and I mainly do plants but also bugs whenever I get the chance to. I am trying to research on what kind of lens I should buy for my N70, so if anyone could help out with suggestions that would be great. I would prefer not to spend much over $200. Thank you!
-Alissa
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 2:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by alissac88 View Post
I am an amateur photographer and recently got a Nikon N70. I am very much into macro photography and I mainly do plants but also bugs whenever I get the chance to. I am trying to research on what kind of lens I should buy for my N70, so if anyone could help out with suggestions that would be great.
There are a number of excellent lenses that will work well for what you say you want to do.

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I would prefer not to spend much over $200.
That'll be tough.

KEH has a used Sigma 90mm f/2.8 1:2 macro lens that's almost like new, for $199. I've had one of these and been very pleased with it.

Everything else is 50% or more, over your budget.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 3:14 PM   #3
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For less money, you could use an extension tube (or two) with a lens you've already got, but they aren't as convenient as a true macro lens, and they magnify the flaws in the lens you use them with, so it should be pretty good (as in, the kit 18-55 doesn't qualify.)
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 7:48 PM   #4
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Thank you for your suggestions. I kind of figured it would be hard to find a lens in my budget. What mms should I be searching for in lens that would best suit macro photography? I found a 18mm-55mm zoom lens for under 200, but I've read that a larger aperture is ideal for photographing animals like dragonflies and butterflies.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 8:16 PM   #5
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Yes, you should look for a large aperture, primarily to assist in getting the focus right. With smaller apertures, it's a lot tougher. Also, most lenses don't focus very closely, which would make them inappropriate for what you want to do. For instance, the NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (the current kit lens) has a magnification ratio of about 1:3, which means that, at it's closest focusing distance, a 3 inch wide subject will fill the image sensor. That's not too bad, but it's not as good as macro (Nikon calls them "Micro") lenses, which have magnification ratios of 1:2, 1:1, or even greater. Plus, the 18-55 isn't very sharp, espesially in the corners. Macro lenses are almost notorious for being sharp across the image plane.

The focal length you should choose depends on what your subject is. If the subect is inanimate and well lit, you can get away with a short focal length (50mm) macro lens, but you might want to keep your distance to keep from blocking your own light and keep from frightening your subject, so something in the 100mm range might be a good idea. And if you want to get macro shots of rattlesnakes or alligators, you might want something even longer.

New 1:1 macro lenses will run about $400 and up, which is well outside your budget. That's why I went looking at the used market to see what's available for you. That used Signa 90mm f/2.8 1:2 macro is nice, but it's been discontinued. It originally came with a matched 1:1 closeup lens, but most of them have gotten lost over the years, so the price for that lens on the used market is pretty low. Most macro lenses available today are 1:1, meaning that a 1 inch wide subject fills the sensor, but 1:2 is still respectable, and for flowers and larger bugs, it should work very well.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 10:56 PM   #6
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Are you wanting Auto Focus or Manual Focus, Prime or Zoom...? There are some very nice used Manual
Focus Macro lenses both Prime and Zoom at KEH for very good prices...

Edit:
Also, KEH has a 6 month fix or replace warranty on all their used gear and they have a 14 day No-Hassle
return policy so you can try it for two weeks and if you don't like the lens you can return it...
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 12:11 AM   #7
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Allisa:

Just to clarify, do you have a Nikon N70 (a.k.a., F70), as stated in your first post to this thread?

If so, that's a 35mm film SLR, and I suspect the members replying think you've got a D70 (which is a Digital SLR instead).

With the N70 (35mm film Autofocus SLR), you will want to avoid Nikon DX series lenses, Tokina DX series lenses, Sigma DC series lenses, and Tamron Di-II series lenses.

That's because those lenses are designed for Digital SLR models with APS-C size sensors. As a result, you'd see vignetting (darkening of corners) trying to use them on a Nikon N70 film camera, because they're designed for sensors that are smaller than 35mm film.

So, you'd want to avoid lenses like the 18-55mm lenses mentioned, since those are DX series lenses designed to work on Digital SLR models with APS-C size sensors, not larger 35mm film.

Note that the N70 does not support VR (Vibration Reduction) either. But, it's my understanding they can still be used on one (the VR function just wouldn't work).

If you meant a D70 (Digital SLR model) versus N70 (35mm Film SLR model), then DX series lenses would work fine.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 1:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
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...that's a 35mm film SLR, and I suspect the members replying think you've got a D70 (which is a Digital SLR instead).
I assumed this was a Film SLR which is one of the reasons I suggested an older
Manual Focus lens... I realize it also has Auto Focus but with her budget of $200
she could probably afford two or even three really decent older Manual Focus
lenses and be able to cover more kinds of shooting...

This is something she will have to decide for herself though...
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 8:47 AM   #9
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If you can spend a little more, the Nikon micro-nikkor 60mm f/2.8 Non-"D" can be found for well under $300. There's a $235 "bargain-quality" at KEH at the moment, for example. These things are built like tanks, so I'd not worry about going used. (The "D" version is a slight upgrade, and more common, but an upgrade in price, too.)

This is my one macro lens in my small stable, and I really enjoy it. The working distance is short, particularly on a full-frame camera, but if you've got a tight budget you can make it work. Flowers don't care about working distance. A bug that spooks at 3 inches will often spook at 6 or 12 just as quickly. Staying out of your own light can be a nuisance, of course. I use mine on DX.

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Old Jun 17, 2012, 9:12 AM   #10
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The only macro lens that's a DX lens is Nikon's 85mm f/3.5 VR.

My mistake on mentioning the DX 18-55, though it was in the context of a lens she shouldn't get (though not because of its DXness. ... DXity?)
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