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D5200 Macro lens help

Discussion in 'Nikon Chat' started by jignesh111, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. jignesh111

    jignesh111 New Member

    Hi guys just brought my Nikon 5200 this week and I been shooting pics all week. I like shooting flowers and bug and therefore decided to buy a macro lens. My budget is £150- £200 max prefer to stay on the lesser side. I wanted to know your opinion on a good value lens for me to start with. Do i need to have VR? Will I need a tripod to (going to get one eventually).

    Thanks Jignesh

  2. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    The 40mm Nikkor fits your price range but I reckon it's the only one that does. If you want something longer then you'll probably need to buy used...

    As far as VR goes well the current VR macros are simply out of budget. A tripod is useful unless you are exceptionally steady handholding.

    Beware of many of the lenses that have Macro in the title, especially zooms. Most of these offer nothing like true macro (at least half life size or better) and are really just close focus lenses. One notable exception is the Tamron 70-300 AP Macro which actually can achive half life size when close focused at 300mm, this lens also has a reputation for having surprisingly good optics for the price
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  3. jignesh111

    jignesh111 New Member

    Tamron Seems like a good option to me
  4. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I would suggest the minimum investment of a close up attachment lens while you save for a 105 f2.8 Nikkor. VR is not essential but is useful for none-macro use. Slightly less expensive than the Nikkor is the Tamron 90. I have never used one but several people on this forum have done so and are enthusiastic of its qualities.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  5. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    There is a new version of the Tamron 90mm out now so the earlier version might be available within the OP's price range, or somewhere close to it.
  6. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    I wish... a Tamron 90mm macro for £200... think you'll be very, very lucky to get a new one for that price even on run-out/clearance terms.
  7. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Wow! I thought that with the new version coming out the olders ones may have dropped in price a bit but they are still selling for the same price I paid a couple of years ago. I gues that rules that one out unless a 2nd hand one can be found.
  8. jignesh111

    jignesh111 New Member

    Anyone able to point me to some manual ones used? Looked on ebay but i fear i need to do some more research.
  9. TimHeath

    TimHeath Well-Known Member

  10. LesleySM

    LesleySM Well-Known Member

    I cannot recommend the Tamron 90 enough! It's also great for portrait and gig work
  11. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    A 100mm f2.8 macro lens can be a very useful short telephoto especially if it has VR and AF, however if you only want it for macro then the VR and AF functions are largely redundant because their effectiveness is limited especially as you go to genuinely macro magnifications. A manual focus none VR macro lens should allow you to make good images without much effort.
    There are a number of low cost methods using two lenses in combination with a coupling ring, or a single lens with a reversing ring, or a single lens with extension tubes. It is easy to get carried away with such 'lashups'. Some of us with a bit of history have all sorts of stuff that can be utilised such as old enlarging lenses and various obscure lenses. There is even a manufacturer of rings that can provide ways of connecting odd lenses to cameras and bellows but only if you can specify precisely what you want. I am not suggesting that you go down that route unless you have a basic understanding of the optical principles involved, value money more than time, and are perhaps a geek that enjoys these approaches.
  12. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Yes, and a focussing rail if you are serious. Also for outdoor use you need to improvise, or buy, a device that steadies your subject to your camera. A stiff piece of wire with a clothes peg at one end and some way of attachment to the tripod at the other is cheap and effective for flowers.
    I have just looked at your gallery and you seem to be doing rather well with the flowers. For the caterpillars you may like to consider improvised reflectors (cheap) or macro flash rigs and ring flashes (expensive).
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  13. lfc1892

    lfc1892 Well-Known Member

    The Tam 90 is superb. Great optically for both portrait and macro stuff. All my macro work in my Flickr site on the link below is with the lens in question.
    Personally, although it doesn't have stabilisation, I think it would come in handy as there are times when shooting really close that even the slightest movement creates real problems.
  14. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    When buying used manual lenses for D5200 look for the 'AI' type which have a ridge at the rear of the aperture ring. These should fit your camera without issue. The earlier non-AI types can sometimes bind on the switch that activates the metering and in extreme cases the lens won't fit. I have a couple of non-AI lenses that simply won't mount to my D50 due to this. Note also that the camera cannot meter with manual lenses - exposure is by calculation, estimation or external meter.

    Suitable lenses include the 55mm f3.5 Micro-Nikkor, it's later cousin the f2.8, the 105mm versions at f2.8 and the older f4 or even the 200mm f4 though the latter is going to be beyond your budget. Macro lenses were also made or sold by various independent makers including Sigma, Tokina, Tamron, Vivitar etc. Mostly these were of the 90/100m type though some shorter and longer versions are available. It's worth noting that some of these only do half life size (1:2) rather than full 1:1. One well worth looking out for is the legendary Tamron 90mm Adaptall 2 which is basically the same as the current AF version but try to get it with a Nikon AI mount - used Adaptall mounts are available but not always easy to come by...

    As to which type to get remember the longer the lens the greater the working distance - that is the distance from the lens front to subject - tends to be. 50/55/60mm types are good for copying, flowers and other fairly fixed subjects. 100mm lenses are more suited to things that are skittish and likely to move and where getting light on the subject is tricky. Longer lenses in the 150mm+ range tend to be used where subjects are very skittish or are otherwise be difficult to get close to- eg dragonflies over ponds etc.

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