Hi everyone. I am looking at getting a new lens for my d5100. I have the two kit lenses, the 18-55 and 55-200mm. I would like a macro lens to take pictures up close. I do not have the money to spend on the more expensive lens but was looking at the AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G. I don't need the best lens but I would like to get a good one that I won't feel the need to replace in a few years when I may be able to spend more. I would rather save my pennies now and wait a little longer. Any thoughts?
I don't shoot any macro myself; but according to a few of my coworkers who shoot a lot of macros, the longer focal lengths tend to be better for the beginners because the working distance from the lens to the subject is bigger and thus easier to deal with. For that reason, the 105mm might be a better option; but it is at a much bigger price tag.
---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
What Macro Subjects are you interested in shooting? For Flowers and static subjects, the 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro should be fine. For shooting insects or live subjects, a longer focal length like the 85mm f/3.5G ED AF-S DX VR Micro ($526.95 US) will provide more working distance. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I'm no macro expert, but in my limited experience, the longer focal lengths are preferable. This is certainly true when dealing with subjects that might move or fly away if you get too close.
Since it is a macro lens, I would not worry too much about auto focus capabilities -- you should be on a tripod and manually focusing. That being said, a great budget lens would be a used Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro. It won't auto-focus with your camera, but again... From what I read about it a few years ago when I was looking at macro lenses, it holds its own with the Nikkor 105mm macro, and some people say it is sharper. There may be a newer version that has a built-in motor that would auto focus with your camera, making it useable for non-macro applications.
By the way, when I used my tamron, I wished I had more focal length, but I think it would have cost me quite a bit more money given what was out there. Most people think that the old nikkor 200mm AF macro lens is a great one, and the (may be getting this wrong) sigma 150mm macro is also a lens that gets great reviews. If the sigma is HSM (I think it is?), it would auto focus, so it would be a good general telephoto lens as well.
By the way, all of these lenses are great portrait lenses.
My suggestion- rent it first. I rented a NIkon 105 macro and used it on all my cameras. I found I did not like it all that much. I then rented a 60mm and liked it better.
What I ended up buying was a Tamron 90mm becuase they had a rebate at the time and since I knew I was not shooting macro very much (ring shots, playing at home) I could not justify that extra expense for a lens specifically for macro.
Macro - true macro is a different type of shooting and has a learning curve.
For portraits I use my 70-200mm if I am looking for some good bokeh.
Unless you need the extra speed, your 18-55 kit lens should do just fine. It, too, focuses down to 6 inches. However, it is a zoom lens, so a prime might do better. On the second page of my flora and fauna galary there is a picture of a tan moth (or is it a butterfly) sucking on a pink flower (14211) that I shot with the 18-55. Keep in mind that the original size of this pic is the maximum size that a D5100 will shoot. When viewed full size, the individual lenses of the moth's eye become visible. (Well almost, but still, it's a very sharp pic from the 18-55 lens.)
You are correct sir. The day I took the flower shot I used for majority of the shots the 18-55mm But I did use the 35mm on some. I had to get up real close and personal to get the tight shoot. My apologies for misleading it wasn't intentional. I just didn't read the information provided on my Gallery
BTW way I just order the 10-24MM Nikor lens. was a big chunk o' change but I saved a 100 bucks by buying from J&R. I've got a specific idea in mind for using it.