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Macro Lens Recommendation

blw

Richmond, US
28561 posts

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"RE: Macro Lens Recommendation"

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Sun 09-Dec-12 01:37 AM

What kind of macro work do you want to do? All three of the primary Micro-Nikkors are at least excellent. The best optic is probably the 200/f4, but it's (a) the oldest and most likely to be replaced soon, (b) the slowest AF (and very possibly the most likely to need it), as well as (c) a bit of a specialist item, (d) often a lot more comfortable on a tripod than hand-held and (e) by quite a margin the most expensive ($1700). The 60/f2.8 AFS is a fully modern lens at a relatively moderate price ($600) and its optical performance is superb - but it is a very short focal length and is not especially suitable for insects and other things with a "circle of fear." Surprisingly, the 60 does not produce a really flat field, making software lens corrections a necessity if your closeup work involves copy stand type work, such as documents. The 105/f2.8 AFS VR is the most versatile of the Micros; it is merely excellent, rather than superb, but it is nonetheless good enough that nobody will be asking you why you didn't use a better lens. Kind of expensive at $900+ but it is leading the prices upward in its segment: the Sigma 105 has doubled in price to $1000 in its most recent incarnation.

Any of these are more than suitable for any of the cameras up to and including a D800e; it just depends on what you want to do. As a general purpose macro lens I'd start with the 105.

Note that the third parties are at least as good optically as the Nikkors, especially in the mid-range 105-ish category. The Tamron 90/f2.8 is optically better (slightly) than the Nikkor at half the price, although it does not have VR/OS/VC.

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Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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A topic tagged as someone looking for information Macro Lens Recommendation [View all] , KennyE Silver Member , Sun 09-Dec-12 12:00 AM
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