Don't worry about digital-specific, I wouldn't expect to see DX lenses at anything longer than 35-50mm (at the wide end of a zoom, of course). I've got the 105mm VR Micro-Nikkor and it's probably the most fun lens I own. The extra reach over the 60mm macros may mean that you don't need to get as close to the creepy-crawlies - I'll let you decide if that's a positive or negative.
Edited to note that this F2.8 lens gives you some neat options for DOF play.
Jeff Bower I wish my D200 body was a significant portion of my NAS-related expenses...
>G'day everyone...my first thread. > >I do apologise if this has been covered. The more I dug, the >more confused I got. > >I have a D200 and the 18-200 Nikkor lens. I'm frustrated at >its Macro capabilities and have decided to get a Nikkor >Marco lens. > >Or Sigma at worst. > >There doesn't seem to be a digital specific macro? > >Can anyone suggest the lens I should be looking at? > >I want to shoot insects mostly. > >Thanks in advance for any advice.
I won't take the Sigma comment personally although I have the 150mm I have it because I needed the working distance for bugs, reptiles, etc. and quite simply, the Nikkor 200mm was out of my price range. I have been extremely impressed with the build quality and sharpness of this lens. Plus as a general telephoto lnes, it is f/2.8, one full stop wider than the Nikkor. Used with a TC, it is still wonderfull. Go to the macro forum, and search for user Valentino's work with this lens/combination. I think you will be stunned. So there's my pitch for your "at worst" scenario!
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I use the AF-S 300/4 with a Canon 500D. Forget what you have read about close-up lens attachments. The bad news is about the cheap single element attachments. The Canon is very sharp. You can try it on your 18-200 although you will get some barrel distortion and the filter size may be different. The AF-S 300/4 filter size is 77mm. Also, you made need the Canon 250D for that lens.
I like this combo because I use this lens without the filter for close-ups. I add the Canon filter only for true macro work. And, it is one of the sharpest lens you can buy.
Still photography, when good, stirs the imagination like no other media. The photographer must be philosopher, artist, and technologist to master the craft.
I use the Tamron 90mm DI Macro and I couldn't be happier. It works very well and is super sharp. It is digital specific but what Tamron means but that is that is has extra coatings on the glass to help prevent reflections (DI). It is about half the price of the Nikon (which is an awesome lens) and produces just as good images IMO. Oh and VR won't really help you at 1:1 reproduction.
Oh and VR won't really >help you at 1:1 reproduction.
Is that really true or speculation? I'm about to pull the trigger on a 105mm VR micro. If what you say is true, then there is no reason for me to get it. I'd just get the older model 105 micro without VR.
A macro lens focus from infinity to 1-1 with out having to put on or take off a filter. (after you do this a couple of times you will know what a pain it is) Also there is a lot of difference between a good close-up lens and the cheap brand-x ones. They almost have to matched to a specific lens for them to work well. (You have good advice about the Canon ones (Two element ones are sharper most of the time over single element ones.)
#2 Macro lens are way sharper than anything you have ever tried.
#2 Most of the macro lens are faster in f-stops that your 18-200. Most are f2.8 while the longer ones are f4. More light to the focus sensors = better, faster focus. (also more sharp f-stops as lens are generally sharper one or two stops from max and min apatures.
#4 All of the macro (micro as Nikon calls them) lens are built to profesional standards (the one exception is the cheap 100 mm f3.5 - mattel-toy lens marketed under the Phoenix, Vivitar or Cosina brand for unde $150) and it is very sharp.
#5 Most are flat field lens optimized for photographing flat art - The 60 and 105 Micro Nikkors were designed to copy documents onto microfilm as one of there main uses.
As mentioned - longer is better for bugs and snakes.
In all the reading I have done, I have found that all of the prime lens from Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Nikon are all very sharp and various people pick one or the other in each focal length as sharper than the other brand -
While I prefer Tamron lens as a second brand - I would not refuse any of the macro lens from the big 4.
Sigma macros have gotten very good comments in the 3rd party lens threads.
I have a friend with all three Nikkor Micros and he says the 200 is the sharpest. (I think he may have sold the 60 and the 105)