Macro Lens for Nikon DSLR

djstarfox

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 20, 2010
Messages
456
Not sure if this thread would be better here or in for sale forum....

I'm looking to get into insect and small critter photography, and I need a fairly fast macro lens. I would prefer prime. My camera is Nikon D90 (DX format). Any recommendations? (I would try to buy a used lens to save cash.)

Also, feel free to post a macro shot that you've taken recently (if you have one).
 

madFive

metal[H]ead
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
9,196
The best one, if you can find and/or afford it, would be the Nikkor 200mm F4. Look up some of PS-Rage's work here on [H] to see what you could do with that lens - it is quite spectacular. I would love to pick up one of these, but it's not going to happen any time soon.

Next would be the 105mm f2.8, and 60mm F2.8. These each have their own applications - the 60mm wouldn't be too great for shooting bugs etc that might move around while you're trying to shoot. Both of these are great lenses, but still a little expensive.

Then you have the off brand ones, generally sacrifice on either build or image quality, but they're more affordable. The one I use on my D90 is the Tamron 90mm F3. The image quality on this one is superb (possibly beats the Nikkor 105) but the build quality is a bit on the light side. The lens lengthens and retracts as you focus, so you have to be careful not to suck dust or sand into the lens internals (mine has started to make slight rattling noises in the past year). And the auto-focus tends to hunt a lot, but for macro you'll be mostly using the manual focus, so it's not really too big a problem.

Edit - here's a few of my shots from the Tamron 90mm:

Orchids.jpg


2009-8-24_02_WaterDrop.jpg


ThinkGeek-2.jpg
 
Last edited:

djstarfox

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 20, 2010
Messages
456
I saw the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX and that looks pretty good except for the lack of contrast. Any reason why 150mm would be better?

I also looked at the Tamron 90mm but I don't think I'd be happy with it.
 

erick_c

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
Messages
105
Personally, I found the Nikon 105mm VR to be a great lens. But depending on your shooting style the Sigma 150mm or, if your budget will allow it, the Nikon 200mm f/4 might be better options. If you can still find them, the Nikon 180mm f/2.8D and the non-OS Sigma 150mm are also great options.

Used Tamron 90mm lenses seem to be a rarity. Everyone I know who owns one loves it and find it hard to part with given that it's a better value than the Nikon 105mm.
 
Top