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Old Apr 8, 2005, 11:49 PM   #1
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Okay, I'm having a problem here chosing a macro lens for my Nikon D-70. Which one do you all think I should get?

I want to take really close up pictures and I don't have to be very far away to do so. I heard about the Sigma 70-300 macro-super and there is the 50mm, 105mm. I'm not really sure how the mm makes the difference or what some of the other numbers really mean. I know I should probably get a 1.1 ratio, which is why I decided against the 70-300. So, help, please. I need a lens on a budget.
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Old Apr 9, 2005, 6:46 AM   #2
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Both the 50mm and the 105mm are F2.8 so there is no difference in the maximum aperture. This is what determines the low light capability of the lens and how fast a shutter speed you can use at any ISO under the particular lighting. That said for macro you are really going to want to stop the lens down to at least F8 and probably F11 or F16 to give you depth of field.

Both lenses are capable of 1:1 so no difference there. With the 50mm you will be 19cm from your subject at 1:1 with the 105mm you'll be 31cm away. So how close you can get to your subject may determine your purchase.

If possible I'd probably go for the 105mm as putting more distance between you and your subject is generally better for avoiding disturburbing your subject but if you're shooting flowers or coins maybe this doesn't matter.

The other thing to consider is will you use the lens for other than macro. With the 50mm you'll have a reasonable portrait lens, with the 105mm a short telephoto.
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Old Apr 9, 2005, 9:53 AM   #3
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I'm also about to get a *real* macro lens and I'll probably go get the Sigma 105mm as it also gives me a good short tele prime lens even for low light.

ATM, I have the sigma 70-300 /f4.0-5.6 APO Macro Super II and it also provides decent macro photos.

Have a look at this photo which I took with the Nikon D70 and this lens just a few days ago. (3008x2000, 2,2MB, converted from NEF)

http://www.digitalpleasure.net/bee_full.jpg

EXIF DATA:
1/500 sec
F10
ISO 800
focal length: 270mm
No Flash used.
No noise reduction, just some curves I optimized.

I think it's a quite good result for the value of the lens.

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Old Apr 9, 2005, 11:29 AM   #4
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Thanks guys! This helps out so much!
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Old Apr 23, 2005, 10:15 AM   #5
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I just got the Nikon 105mm F2.8D micro lens, which I love it so much, the image is really razor sharp. Nice lens to have.

The Sigma 105mm is cheaper, but I refer Nikon... So it depends on your budget.

Here is one of my shot taken with Nikon 105mm


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Old May 1, 2005, 4:31 PM   #6
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Except for the Nikon 70-180, zoom macros really are not macro lenses.

Before buying macro lens also consider buy AF extension tubes that will work with any nikon mt lens. I have the Kenko version which supports AFS and VR. Set of 3 about $110 used on ebay.

Results not quite as good as dedicated macro lens, but a cheaper alternative that will provide satisfactory results. Will also allow you to use different focal lengths and still focus very close.
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Old May 26, 2005, 5:14 AM   #7
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The Sigma 105 macro really is a great lens. Build quality isn't up the the Nikon 105 but the Sigma gives very sharp results and no flare problems. The Tamron 90 Macro is even sharper, but you need to look close to see any difference. My favourite is the Nikon 60mm Miro-Nikkor. Stunningly sharp, it's the only lens I've used with my D1x & D70 (going to try it this weekend with my D2x) wher the images need no sharpening in Photoshop afterwards.

If you don't really need or want to spend the extra cash on a Nikon lens, for sharpness per dollar, I don't think you will be dissapointed with the Sigma 105 macro.
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 8:39 AM   #8
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I agree with Nden: I own a micro Nikkor 105, and I'm very happy with it. A great lens, suitable for macro, landscape and (with precautions, because is really a razor sharp lens) for portrait.
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Old Jun 29, 2005, 11:25 PM   #9
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Don't forget the Canon D500 as a cheap alternative for a macro lens, I have one
screwed onto my 70-200 VR. And unlike extension tubes, you suffer no loss of light!

Cheers
Marc
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Old Jul 16, 2005, 8:20 AM   #10
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The Nikkor 105 micro is the lens to have, pricey but, worth the costthere is only one AF Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f/2.8
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