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Thread: Macro lens advise sought for my D700

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    Macro lens advise sought for my D700

    I hope I am not repeating anything here but was after some advise.

    I have Nikon D700 with an older 28-70mm 2.8 and 85mm G 1.8 that I primarily use for glamour photography.

    Now I am looking to get longer telephoto lens mainly for portraiture but also preferably want to have macro capability.

    I identified some candidates - Nikon 105 and 200mm Micro, Tamron 180mm, Sigma 150mm and just stumbled across Nikon 70-180mm Micro zoom that is discontinued but seemingly combines that 70-180mm range that I would find useful and macro.

    Just curious if anyone had any experience with that particular lens - is it a hybrid of 70-200/80-200 tele zoom and Macro on top? If so, I would rather get that particular one than getting 70-200 plus a dedicated prime macro.

    Hope I made sense!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Nikon 105VR will serve well as a dual purpose portrait macro lens.

    I don't think that the 70-180 Micro will serve well as a portrait lens, but is OK as a all rounder macro lens.

    Sigma 150/2.8 would be my pick here as both a long range macro(for longer working distances when required), and has nice portrait optical qualities to boot(bokeh).
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    I have a Sigma 150mm macro with OS, and I find that it is the sharpest lens I've ever used, and has a really nice, creamy bokeh too.

    If you are using it as a true macro, as Arthur says, it gives you a bit more room to get further away from skittish bugs, and the extra distance also allows you more options with lighting.
    The shorter focal length macros, espcially on a full-frame camera like yours, will mean you may have to get specialist flashes like a ring flash, to be able to light up bugs, as the you'll be so close to the action, that your built-in flash, or even a camera mounted external flash will be partially blocked.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Thank you very much gurus. I will look into the Sigma 150mm and will have to choose between Sigma and Nikon 105mm by the look of things.

    Just wondering if OS function is that useful? I understand the previous model was lighter and I would prefer a lighter model provided I can find it still...
    Last edited by olympicwiz; 20-05-2012 at 8:01pm.

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    Another vote for the Sigma 150mm f2.8. Brilliant lens
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I find that even tho OS(or VR) is not vital, it's handy to have.
    If you find it's not helping you in any way in any situation, you simply turn the switch off.

    That's what I do with my 105VR .. on when it's going to help, off if it's not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I find that even tho OS(or VR) is not vital, it's handy to have.
    If you find it's not helping you in any way in any situation, you simply turn the switch off.

    That's what I do with my 105VR .. on when it's going to help, off if it's not.
    When do you think it would not help?
    Cheers,
    Ian

    All the 7's: D700, D7000, D70

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    low shutter speed(1/40 to 1/60s or so) shooting portraits, is a fairly typical situation where image stabilisation doesn't help.

    Typically in any situation where subject movement is more of an issue than is the camera/lens shake due to low shutter speed.

    Of course this is not always the case, and sometimes you can still get a nice clear sharp portrait shot at low shutter speeds, but you need to shoot in fast continuous mode and hope for the best ... spray and pray.


    I've also read chatter .. internet chatter that is ... that optical stabilisation doesn't help much once past a certain shutter speed too.
    Some say over 1/500s or so.
    I personally have never experienced this with either of my only two VR lenses, so my personal opinion of this theory is that it's bunk!

    Other are entitled to their opinions of course, and so with a very small amount of caution, there may be a possibility that at higher shutter speeds, the operator may find OS not to be helpful, or even a hindrance of some kind based on someone's 'scientific' testing .. even tho I've never seen this issue.

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    Wouldn't help on a tripod either.

    As Artur mentions the conventional wisdom is to turn it off at speeds over 1/500th of a second.

    A great article on the topic here: http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm

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    The Nikon 70-180mm f4 is a little harder to find (used) but it doesn't go 1:1 ratio. The good thing about macro lenses is that they are all sharp. Like what other have mentioned already, the longer FL will give you more distance from other critters.

    If I was going to choose which will work best and if money is not a big factor, I would choose: 1. Zeiss 100mm f2, 2. Sigma 150mm 3. Nikon 105mm f2.8 VR.

    Zeiss provides superb image quality but it works as manual focus only. This is not a problem is you use tripod most of the time.

    Good luck with your selection.
    Best regards,

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    Just wanted to thank people for the wealth of advice. I ended up buying Nikon 105mm vr macro and very happy with it. Was a hard toss between 105 and Sigma 150 though, in the end I thought 105 focal length was more to my needs.

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    Now that's a decent gap between posts, but good on you for finding your post and reporting back. Now lets see some pics from that bad boy

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    Heya!

    Sorry to bump a post that has already been concluded... Figured this was pretty relevant instead of starting a new thread!

    Anyway, I am tossing up between these 2 lenses for my new d600! My only concern with them, is that I want to shoot my fish in my aquarium (which is 18" deep). I am worried these lenses might be to big? I had the 60mm recommended, but I would prefer to just buy one lens, and I am not sure which of these two to go for!

    Cheers, Ash!

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    I have the Nikon 105 VR macro. It's OK for a general purpose portrait lens. For closeups, it allows you to stand far away enough from macro subjects so not to cast a shadow (which can easily occur with shorter focal lengths like 60mm). Being a prime lens, my copy is not as sharp as I would expect. I believe the Nikon 200mm macro is a much sharper lens.
    Last edited by Transformer; 24-05-2013 at 10:43pm.

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    I use the Micro-Nikkor 200 f4, I really would say it is the best for me at least. It is quite a difficult lens to use with no VR and slow focusing, but the sharpness is amazing if you get it right! It is such a great lens to use for macro and general telephoto.

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    I ended up going with the nikon 105mm as well. Amazing lens, love it! I mostly use it for aquarium macro work and it works a treat!

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