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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sat 26-Nov-11 04:00 AM
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"Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"


Raleigh, US
          

Hello all.
I have a Nikon D3000 and am very happy with it.

I do a lot of photography of watches (wrist watches)

I was wondering what lens I could purchase for my D3000 that specifically could be used for close up pictures of watches. I need to be able to zoom into do close up shots of watch dials, hands, etc.

I am not interested in being able to zoom in to anything far away. These watches are right infront of me on a table on stand or light box.

So my question is what lens would you recommend to use for this type of photography and specifically can be used with my Nikon D3000.

Thank you all in advance for the suggestions and feedback.

James

  

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Reply message RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000
blw Moderator
26th Nov 2011
1
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TVDinner
26th Nov 2011
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blw Moderator
26th Nov 2011
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26th Nov 2011
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27th Nov 2011
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28th Nov 2011
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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 26-Nov-11 05:26 AM
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#1. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

Given that you're using a D3000, I'll assume your budget is relatively constrained. My suggestions are, in no particular order:

- Tamron 60/f2 DX Macro ($475)
- Nikkor 85/f3.5 DX VR Macro ($490)
- Sigma 50/f2.8 Macro ($370)
- Tamron 90/f2.8 Macro ($460)

Of these, my personal favorite is the 90mm; I used one for many years and it never let me down. This is from the Tamron 90/f2.8:




Note that of this group, the Sigma will not AF on your camera, even though it is an AF lens. It relies on an AF motor in the camera, which the D3000 does not have. It may be the best performing lens of the group, though, despite its price tag. Given that your situation is entirely static, this may not be much of a problem. All of the others above do AF on the D3000.

On the other hand, if your budget is really limited, you might consider the 55/f3.5 AI Micro-Nikkor, which can be had for as little as $85 on the used market, even in excellent condition. It is an ancient lens, discontinued by Nikon 32 years ago. It lacks virtually all modern conveniences: it does not AF at all, and on your camera it doesn't even meter. You have to shoot in full manual mode and guess the exposure. But it nonetheless provides superb optics and again, given that your shooting situation is entirely static, you can afford the luxury of manually focusing, guessing the exposure, looking at the LCD and adjusting to suit. This would have been laughable in the film era, but on digital this is entirely workable. I have the very similar 55/f2.8 AIS (the model that replaced it in 1979), and it does an excellent job:



Note that the Rolex was shot on an obsolete D100 with manual focus and no metering, just as you would with the D3000.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sat 26-Nov-11 11:11 AM
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#2. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 1


Raleigh, US
          

First off - THANK YOU for replying and for all of the info. Really awesome post.
I am going to research all of those suggested lens options this weekend.

On a related note - do extender tube sets like this work - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Y5T464/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_title

I FULLY understand that they are not in the same level as the lens options you suggested, but just curious. I plan to buy a real lens but have had more then 1 person suggest something like these also.

Thank you again blw.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 26-Nov-11 11:41 AM
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#4. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 2


Richmond, US
          

As a class, extension tubes do work. In fact, it's entirely possible that I had an extension tube on the 55/f2.8 when I shot the Rolex above. (When shooting in full manual like that with a non-cpu lens, there is no EXIF information about the lens, so I really can't tell, although I don't think I used one.)

On the other hand, there are extension tubes and then there are extension tubes. If you want tubes that will allow you to use your current lenses in AF and metering modes - and, in particular, aperture control! - you need ones with electrical pass-through. The only ones I know of like that are Kenko, although I suppose there may be others by now. If you don't have electrical pass-through, your existing lenses will almost certainly stop down to f/22 and stay there. And it will be, shall we say, somewhat difficult to focus manually with the lens stopped down to f/22. Unfortunately, the Kenko tubes cost about 15x as much. I suspect you'd get more than 15x the utility out of them, though.

If you were going to get something like one of the ancient manual focus lenses, which have their own aperture control (the aperture ring!) and don't meter anyway, then yes, these would work.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sat 26-Nov-11 11:50 AM
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#5. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 4


Raleigh, US
          

Do you mean this one - http://www.amazon.com/Kenko-Extension-Tubes-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000JG88JU/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1322311612&sr=1-2 ?

And will that one work with my Nikon D3000?

There seems to be a lot of positive feedback on this brand/model on the net so interested

Thank you again.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 26-Nov-11 12:03 PM
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#7. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 5


Richmond, US
          

Yes, those. They work fully. Remember that when you put one (or some) of these behind your other lenses, they make it possible for your lens to focus more closely than it normally does. They also make it impossible to focus to infinity. I assume you'd be using this with an 18-55 VR kit lens, which is a fine lens to work from.

You still wouldn't approach the quality of the 55/f3.5's output, though.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sat 26-Nov-11 11:23 AM
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#3. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 1
Sat 26-Nov-11 11:24 AM by TVDinner

Raleigh, US
          

blw

I am new to a lot of this and had another question.

Will a lens like this - http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-70-300mm-Nikon-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0012X43P2/ref=sr_1_14?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1322309735&sr=1-14
or
http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-70-300mm-4-0-5-6-Macro-Digital/dp/B0012UUP02/ref=sr_1_16?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1322310130&sr=1-16

accomplish what I am hoping with close up images of the watches?

The reason I ask is that it seems that these would also obviously be useful for zooming into far away objects as well and would be positive to have for both shooting situations.

Just curious. Thank you again!
James

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 26-Nov-11 12:01 PM
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#6. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond, US
          

They would work, but you'd have a more difficult time getting the job done with high quality. And these two particular lenses are not exactly among the world's great lenses, either. Both Sigma and Tamron have significantly better lenses. Unfortunately the Tamron 70-300 VC SP is about $450 and doesn't include macro mode. However, the Sigma 70-300 APO Macro is about $250 and does include macro. The APO is a significantly better lens, which in general you would expect given about a 50% price premium, despite the fact that this is the very bottom of the DSLR lens market. I know two pros who have the APO model for those times when the heavy pro gear doesn't suit. I suspect that they would be using the Tamron VC for that now, but they've both had these Sigmas for many years.

But frankly, if you're going to spend $250, I would opt for doing it a different way. I'd get the ancient 55/3.5 Micro-Nikkor for the watches, and then buy a used 55-200 AFS VR Nikkor for more distant subjects. The latter can easily be had on the used market for about $150, and you will get better outright images from both categories. The macro lens is simply going to be better than any compromise solution. The 55/f3.5 is often the sharpest lens in the bag, period. And the 55-200 is both inexpensive and surprisingly high quality, compounded by the fact that it has VR (vibration reduction) to help get better end results in lower light conditions. To get something similar to that for the telephoto zoom you have to go up to the Tamron 70-300 VC or the Sigma 70-300 OS ($375), although admittedly both of those are 100mm longer than the Nikkor. And at that price range, you could also consider the Nikkor 55-300 VR ($400), but of course now we're talking almost $500 for the two solutions.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sun 27-Nov-11 12:18 AM
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#8. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 6


Raleigh, US
          

blw;
Your posts have provided me with about a day's worth of research and reading. THANK YOU. I think this thread will be beneficial to others also who might be looking for similar solutions, so thank you again.

OK, here is where I have ended up today after a bunch of research.

Will this lens - http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-70-300mm-4-5-6-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B000A0UHXU - give me the macro close up feature I am hoping for when taking close up pictures of wrist watches (I have a tripod, lightbox, additional photography lights, etc) from close distances AND also give me an increased long distance shooting ability over the 18-55mm lens that came with my D3000

I fully understand and know there are more expensive/better options, but right now this is in the price range I am hoping to spend ($150-175).

I look forward to your response (or anyone else who might be reading!

James

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 27-Nov-11 04:26 AM
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#9. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 8


Richmond, US
          

I think you'll end up spending more this way. Most folks are not satisfied with that lens and end up replacing it fairly quickly. Strictly speaking, yes it does cover both bases, but I think it's a difficult lens to use well, and it is not the best optically in the first place. For example, it has no tripod collar, so you will be relying on the camera's tripod socket - but with a relatively long lens cantilevered out front. This in turn puts a premium on your tripod's head, and I'm guessing that it isn't one of the premium offerings either. It will work, but you will need to be markedly more careful and skillful to get what you want. In and of itself that isn't a bad thing, as success will mean that you've developed very rigorous skills and technique. But unfortunately most don't succeed...

I'll repeat my advice: since you're clearly on the minimalist budget, skip the longer range stuff for now. Go with the $100 option with the macro lens, and learn how to do that well. Save up another $100-$250 to do the longer distance stuff well. Years of experience on both my own and other's finances strongly suggests that you'll either end up spending more in the end or leaving the hobby unsatisfied if you spend too little and are too aggressive.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sun 27-Nov-11 07:03 AM
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#10. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 9
Sun 27-Nov-11 07:03 AM by TVDinner

Raleigh, US
          

>I think you'll end up spending more this way. Most folks are not satisfied with that lens and end up replacing it fairly quickly. Strictly speaking, yes it does cover both bases, but I think it's a difficult lens to use well, and it is not the best optically in the first place. For example, it has no tripod collar, so you will be relying on the camera's tripod socket - but with a relatively long lens cantilevered out front. This in turn puts a premium on your tripod's head, and I'm guessing that it isn't one of the premium offerings either. It will work, but you will need to be markedly more careful and skillful to get what you want. In and of itself that isn't a bad thing, as success will mean that you've developed very rigorous skills and technique. But unfortunately most don't succeed... <<

FAIR ENOUGH AND I AGREE

>I'll repeat my advice: since you're clearly on the minimalist budget, skip the longer range stuff for now. Go with the $100 option with the macro lens, and learn how to do that well. <<

Do you have any suggestions that will work with my camera? Would you recommend a 55mm or higher macro lens? Can you provide a link to one you suggest (any link to any site so I can read and learn about the lens type/level you recommend)

You are awesome my friend. Awesome!


  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sun 27-Nov-11 08:58 AM
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#12. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 10


Raleigh, US
          

>>I'll repeat my advice: since you're clearly on the minimalist nudget, skip the longer range stuff for now. Go with the $100 option with the macro lens, and learn how to do that well. <<
>
>Do you have any suggestions that will work with my camera? Would you recommend a 55mm or higher macro lens? Can you provide a link to one you suggest (any link to any site so I can read and learn about the lens type/level you recommend). You are awesome my friend. Awesome!
>

How about this one - http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-40mm-2-8G-Micro-NIKKOR/dp/B005C50H2Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322384387&sr=8-1 \
or http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/810414-USA/Nikon_2200_40_mm_f_2_8G_AF_S.html&EB=7827/BI/4775/KBID/5289/
(2 different links for the SAME lens)

It is a little above my budget. is there a similar option at a slightly lower cost. If not I understand, but was wondering.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 27-Nov-11 03:03 PM
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#13. "*RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 10


Richmond, US
          

Here is one of the 55's, in pristine shape. There's another one here that is a little harder to use, but would save you 35% and be perfectly functional.

The one you linked to is a new offering from Nikon. I have no experience with it, although I'm sure it will do the job just fine. It's twice as much money as the older lenses, though, and also at least $100 over your budget.

If your budget really is $275, here is a 55-200VR that would, when combined with the 55 above, get you both the macro function as well as bringing in some of the distant things.

On the other hand, you haven't really described what you would be doing at a distance, and as a result I really don't know if this (or any other, for that matter) would do the job or not.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sun 27-Nov-11 03:14 PM
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#14. "*RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 13


Raleigh, US
          

Thank you again - going to check out and research the links you just provided. Thank you.

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sun 27-Nov-11 07:13 AM
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#11. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 9


Raleigh, US
          

<<<<Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member. My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!>>>

Brian - I just looked at your gallery. Really nice pictures in all sections. I know unrelated but wanted to post that I enjoyed looking at your pictures.

James

  

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bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Sun 27-Nov-11 07:20 PM
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#15. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 0


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

James,

My variation on what Brian has already said.

Consider combining the 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor, an inexpensive excellent lens, with the Kenko tubes.
I have gotten great results with this combination.

Here's a few links:
Spathicarpa sagittifolia
Greenhouse revisited
50mm f/1.8D and Extension Tubes on Parade
Example: 50mm f/1.8D with 68mm extension


Bill

Visit me at My site

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Sun 27-Nov-11 07:36 PM
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#16. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 15


Raleigh, US
          

>James,
>
>My variation on what Brian has already said.
>
>Consider combining the 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor, an inexpensive
>excellent lens, with the Kenko tubes.
>I have gotten great results with this combination.
>
>Here's a few links:
>Spathicarpa
>sagittifolia>
>
Greenhouse
>revisited>
>
50mm
>f/1.8D and Extension Tubes on Parade>
>
Example:
>50mm f/1.8D with 68mm extension>
>
>
>Bill
>


WOW those are some incredible pictures. I will take a look at the components you suggest also. You guys are really helpful and very very talented.

My head is spinning a little but I am learning with each new step of research and enjoying the process.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 28-Nov-11 12:21 PM
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#17. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 16
Mon 28-Nov-11 12:21 PM by blw

Richmond, US
          

The issues with this, for this situation, are that (a) the 50/f1.8 AFD doesn't AF on the D3000, and the 50/f1.8 AFS G - which does - is $220. Combine that with (b) the fact that the G lens requires electrical pass-through on extension tubes, and the fact that the Kenko extension tubes cost almost $180 and this solution approaches $400.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Mon 28-Nov-11 02:13 PM
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#18. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 17


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

Brian,

Good point, although AF for close-up work is not so important (at least not to me!).

Regards,
Bill

Visit me at My site

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 28-Nov-11 03:58 PM
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#19. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 18


Richmond, US
          

I totally agree on AF for closeup work. Despite owning AF macro lenses, I almost never use AF. But in this particular case, my understanding is that the OP is (a) on an extremely tight budget, (b) has a specific, special primary application (photographing watches) that absolutely has no requirement for AF, and (c) is furthermore trying to fit into the budget a secondary application ("distance") that is virtually certain to require or at least benefit greatly from AF.

To the OP: it's worth pointing out that your < $175 budget is about as extreme as they come. Most used equipment runs significantly more than your budget. As noted in my first reply above, most solutions to each of those problems typically results in a $450+ solution.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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TVDinner Registered since 25th Nov 2011Mon 28-Nov-11 04:13 PM
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#20. "RE: Macro Lens for Nikon D3000"
In response to Reply # 19


Raleigh, US
          

>I totally agree on AF for closeup work. Despite owning AF
>macro lenses, I almost never use AF. But in this particular
>case, my understanding is that the OP is (a) on an extremely
>tight budget, (b) has a specific, special primary application
>(photographing watches) that absolutely has no requirement for
>AF, and (c) is furthermore trying to fit into the budget a
>secondary application ("distance") that is virtually
>certain to require or at least benefit greatly from AF.
>
>To the OP: it's worth pointing out that your < $175 budget
>is about as extreme as they come. Most used equipment
>runs significantly more than your budget. As noted in my
>first reply above, most solutions to each of those problems
>typically results in a $450+ solution.

I agree - I ended up purchasing the newer Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR Lens after reading everything you amazing people suggested and doing additional research - this one -
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005C50H2Y/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_asp_W0goC.1AQ3J6E

I plan to report back to everyone as soon as I get it and provide examples of the pictures taken and look for additional feedback and suggestions. You guys are awesome.

- - -
Watch Freeks - http://www.watchfreeks.com - a lot of people taking pictures of watches!

  

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