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best 28 - 210 ish macro zoom for nikon?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by swaami, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Sounds like a good choice to me. The crop factor with the DSLR helps with the "macro" bit. The smaller the sensor the less magnification you need to fill the frame with something so I'd expect the Sigma 17-70 to be better in every way compared to what you are used to.

    Looking at the images on your site (which I enjoyed seeing) there are some that show barrel distortion - presumably from using the wide end of a zoom? With digital you should be able to correct that pretty easily and make your work look even better :cool:
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    On balance, no - because I think it's better to promote better understanding rather than let it stand - in photography as in politics. If we can help the OP get the right equipment, the right image size AND understand why, why not? If itls not important to him/her, s/he can ignore it, but I thought it would be patronising to assume that the question wasn't intended to be answered. :)
  3. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux


    Nope, t'other way round. A reproduction ratio of 1:3.8 means that the image on the sensor is 1/3.8 of life size. Since the sensor on the D60 is about 16x24mm, that means that an object about 90mm wide will fill the frame.

    Strictly speaking, the term "macro" applies to larger than life size reproduction ratios of 1:1 to 10:1, but like many others, the term has been abused by the marketeers to mean something like "very close focussing". Nikon are a bit more honest, and call their close focussing lenses that don't quite get to 1:1 "micro".

    Hyper Sonic Motor - Sigma's term for an ultrasonic motor built in to the lens, giving fast and quiet focussing, similar to Nikon's AF-S. AF lenses without HSM or AF-S are usully focussed by a motor in the camera body, driving the lens with a fitting a bit like a small screwdriver, hence sometimes called "screw drive". However, the D60, like other low end Nikons, doesn't have this in-body motor.

    Well, the Sigma 18-125 OS HSM might also merit a close look. It gives you a bit more zoom range (27-187mm in 35mm film terms) and optical stabilisation (useful to reduce camera shake in hand held shots) at the expense of some reproduction ratio and aperture at the wide end. However, it will give you a slightly greater working distance, which might make things easier for some macro shots. I see that there's going to be a review of it, along with the Nikon 18-105VR, in next week's AP. All in all, I think it's a close thing between the 17-70 & 18-125, and the best choice depends on exactly what you'll be shooting.

    There's a comprehensive list of lenses, current and some superceded, together with detailed reviews of many of them at SLR Gear. I would've linked to it yesterday, but the site seemed to be having problems then - seems OK now. If the lens that seems to best suit you isn't available in Nikon AF-S fit, you might want to consider a different body - the D80 has a built in focus motor, so will AF with older AF-D type lenses, and I've seen a few reasonably priced 2nd hand examples advertised; or you might want to consider a different manufacturer.

    However, as others have said in this thread, a do everything lens is going to be a compromise, and is unlikely to be particularly good at all the functions you require. A dedicated macro lens, with true 1:1 reproduction, is going to give you far better results. Also, even with VR/OS, a tripod is likely to be very useful for macro shots - depth of field is very limited, and stopping down to f/16 or smaller is usually neccessary, leading to noisy high ISO to get fast enough shutter speeds to avoid shake if hand held.

    (edit - just seen your other post about your old lens being 28-80)
  4. swaami

    swaami Member

    Thanks Daft biker - how do you go about avoiding that barrelling? Is it inherently less conspicuous with dslr or is there a function in the camera, or in photoshop?

    Thanks also to Fen and Alex and all who have helped me to make an informed decision about this important new tool in my biz. I guess I'll use it for pleasure as well! I've learned a lot besides so will almost certainly see you on other threads? on this great site.

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