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Macro lens for nikon

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by gavin caventer, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Hello guys,

    I Have been thinking about doing some macro photography but need some advice about macro lens, i have a Nikon D3500, i'm looking to by a lens that is around f/1.8 and has 1:1 ratio and advice or recommendations would be greatly appropriated thanks
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    If you are unsure then you can explore close-up photography using supplementary lenses. These screw on the lens like filters, come in different strengths and can be stacked. Otherwise the main decision in buying a macro lens is the working distance you want. You can get higher magnification with a shorter focal length and extension tube but the lens will be very close to the subject. For anything alive and moving this can be a problem. Typically macro lenses come in short, medium and short telephoto (e.g. 50, 100, 180) focal lengths for full frame. Many people choose something around 100 mm for flexibility. More recently macro lenses for crop sensor cameras and having intermediate focal lengths are available. Sigma and Tamron offer alternatives to the OEMs.
  3. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    You are looking at f2.8 lens not 1.8, I don’t know of any that wide. The Nikon’s 60mm f2.8 will give you a 90mm focal length and Sigmas 105 f2.8 a longer 152mm. These are the best value for money lens to get started. I would like the 200mm Nikon micro but at over £1000, it would be a luxury. So get by with a 60mm on FF.
  4. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Also consider a
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 AT-X PRO Macro Lens.

    SlowAF but works for me and very sharp.
  5. i would consider a 1.8 if it was not to expensive thanks for your reply
  6. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I think that you were being advised that there's no such thing as an f1.8 macro lens (i.e. one that achieves 1:1 ) the widest is f2.8.

    I use an f4 200mm micro Nikkor and it's wonderful but NOT cheap. It's the only lens I own for my Nikon camera and insects are (more or less) the only things I photograph.

    I've heard good things said about the Tamron 90mm macro but I've never used one so my opinion is second hand.

  7. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Think there might be a f/2 macro lens for some aps-c cameras from a 3rd party???

    I wouldn't worry about it too much...f/2.8 gives wafer thin focus at macro distance anyway.
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Getting sufficient depth of field is a problem with macro and they are usually used well stopped down. You'd have to supply lighting if you can't see the subject at F2.8 or F4 - the only usefulness of F1.8 being to make the viewfinder brighter on an SLR - not so much a problem with a mirrorless or (presumably) using live view.
  9. John King

    John King Well-Known Member

    I use a Tamron 90mm F2.8 and cannot fault it. Stopped down for close up work to about F11-16 or opened up to F2.8- 4 for distance work I cannot really see any difference in quality or coverage. (used on a full frame Digital or my F6/F100) It has stabilisation as well so can be hand held for longer. A 12x 16 or A3 print is an absolute doddle!
  10. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    Tamron do a 60mm f/2.0 macro lens, I got one on clearance a few years back and although it seems very good for a "beginner", I do not use it very much (but I can recommend it)
    daft_biker likes this.
  11. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    I have three true macro lenses - Sony 50mm f:2.8 D, Sigma 70mm f:2.8 EX DG and Sigma 105mm f:2.8 EX DG. The Sigma 105mm is the lens that was at one stage the weapon of choice for AP camera reviews, not only because it was a first class performer, but also it was available in a wide range of mounts, enabling comparative reviews.

    However, the sigma 70mm is an even better performer. It is easily the sharpest lens I have used (including many Zeiss), it also has the flattest focus field I have used.

    Check out the 3-D sharpness graphs in this review, and you will see what I mean:-

    daft_biker likes this.
  12. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    The Nikon Macro lens is the current f2.8 105 macro. For special purposes the 200m mm f4.0 is better but it is getting very long in the tooth. Various incarnations of the Tamron 90mm are well regarded. The latest is probably as good as the present 105 Nikkor.
    I have experience of a 105mm Sigma; it had an assymetrical diaphragm. Nuff said about that.
    Beware lenses of less than 90mm. At 1:1, working distance becomes abysmal.
    There is a new version of the 100mm Tokina. I have no experience of it but it is reviewing well.
    I have no intention whatsoever for changing my 105 Nikkor.
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    If it still does the job, why change it?
  14. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Before you spend any money on a macro lens (although I have a 20 year old Tamron 90 mm macro I would recommend), see page 24 of the latest issue of AP dated 23rd of November. The 'Face of deception' image was taken with the 18-55 kit lens and an adaptor to reverse mount the lens on the camera body. This must be the cheapest way to experiment, as the mounts only cost a few pounds. I assume the lens aperture was 'wide open' since there was no way to adjust it, and everything else would have to be manual. So very cheap, but requiring more time and patience from you.


    Also do some research on 'close up' lenses and 'extension tubes'. The former fits the front of an existing lens but may degrade the image quality (but allows autofocus and exposure measuring as normal), and the latter usually does not have the linkages for these so allows only manual focus and exposure settings (but adds no extra glass that may degrade the image).

    Have fun.
  15. Charlotte Moon

    Charlotte Moon Well-Known Member

    I have just purchased the Tamron 90mm Di 2.8 macro lens, I love it. The lens isn't a fixed at f/2.8 at 1:1 ratio, in fact it sits at f/5.6. Does well as a portrait lens too.

    I'm new to macro, so it is definitely a challenge, and it wont only be the lens that you need to do this type of photography, put it this way my amazon basket is getting full with additional equipment that I need that I haven't needed to use before with landscape photography. Macro rails, speedlites, 3rd hand tools, and plenty more littler gizmos. You may not need to have these things, but will be dependent on what you do want to capture with it and how. I'm currently doing focus stacking, so the macro rail is going to be a very good friend to me when it arrives.

    I'm gradually getting used to my lens, and to me a new way of photography, and I'm having a lot of fun experimenting and viewing a completely different world. Among many failed attempts in the beginning I think I am finally getting there. I am on day 8 of my macro learning.

    I picked up my lens from mpb and have it sat on my Nikon D5600 mine is in very good condition and was 175 quid. I would keep an eye on there and see what crops up.

    Good luck and have fun
  16. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Have fun with it:).

    The f/5.6 thing is the effective aperture for exposure purposes. The physical aperture is still f/2.8.

    I believe there might be a custom function in the camera so you can choose which it displays.
  17. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Another thing worth thinking about is what you are planing to use the lens for. A 60mm f2.8 will be perfect for portraits on your camera as well as being 1:1 magnification for macro but the down side is working distance. A 100mm will give longer distance and therefore be easier if you like bugs. Personally I went for a 60mm for versatility.
    If you are on budget then the 90mm from Tamron is a great option, not perfect but I still have not heard anyone that actually used one complain.

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