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Thread: Which 60mm micro?

  1. #1
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    17 May 2013
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    Which 60mm micro?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm thinking about adding a macro (micro) lens to my kit and wanted to get the general opinion of the group.

    At the moment I'm considering the Nikkor 60mm f/2.3G ED. That said I'm also looking at the same in the D series. So, my question is, dollar for dollar which would you recommend? Consider the following:

    I'm using a D7000. I do not plan on moving to an FX series camera in the near future and I'm thinking 60mm is a decent size on a cropped sensor.
    I'd use this for macro work (of course), food and other type of creative or abstract photography.
    I don't plan on macro work being a theme or type of photography I intently pursue. That said though I do want to be able to showcase good quality work in this area.

    At this stage I see a couple of hundred dollars separating the two (mid $400's for the D and mid to high $600's for the G); and when I get over $500 I want to make sure I get every penny worth. Also, I'm not a purist at heart and if another lens should be considered, or even a longer focal length...let me know.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Hi! I'm Bill.

    Constructive critique on photos and suggestions and tips for editing is most welcome.
    Nikon D5100, D7000, Nikon 35mm, Nikon 50mm, Sigma 10-20mm, Sigma 17-50mm, Nikon 18-135mm, Nikon 18-200mm, Nikon 55-300mm, Tamron 70-300mm
    SB-700 Speedlight, Manfrotto MKC3-H01

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    18 May 2007
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    Not sure if you've seen this article but it pretty much addresses your question exactly:

    Also have a look at the Tamron 60mm f2.
    1 stop faster but DX only but then again, you're not intending to migrate to FX although buying DX or FX lenses may still be a consideration.
    Nikon FX

  3. #3
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    04 Jun 2006
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    Yeah, I reckon the Tammy 60mm may be a good option as well .. the faster aperture sounds enticing.

    same comparison with the Tammy 60 included.

    I think going by the couple of reviews I've seen, either one of them will give you good IQ, and if you had the chance to try all three, you may be hard pressed to see any real advantage of one over the other in terms of (say) image sharpness.

    What may become a factor is the rendering of OOF areas tho.
    It appears the Tammy has the better bokeh rendering, followed by the AF-S version of the 60mm, and the AF-D version a distant third. OOF rendering has never been a strong point for this lens.

    Also a consideration is the AF-S type focusing motor.
    AF-D is a real PITA in some situations to overcome, if the need arises. The other issue that could arise from the AF-D lens, is that the manual-auto focus mechanism is the old sometimes problematic M-A ring design.
    While in itself it's not hard to use once you're used to it, the design has been well known to break easily on some lenses(105-135 DC's are notorious for that, as well as some others(80-200/2.8).
    This doesn't mean that it WILL break .. just that it's more likely to break.
    Then again AF-S motors have also known to fail .. just to put some perspective on the matter.

    I don't know how much the Tammy 60 sells for, but if it's close too, or less than the others but a fair margin, it may be the overall better option to look into.

    Other lenses of worth are:

    Tammy 90mm(non VC version) very good lens, great quality for the low price.
    Sigma 105 OS. Near the top of the price range(~$600ish) but from everything I read and hear about this lens, it's a ripper.

    Note that the longer focal length will allow you a fair bit more working distance. Important for macro in terms of light and/or subject proximity and skittishness.
    Also not tho that the Tammy 90 is a non IF design, and as such extends quite a lot as you focus closer. Not a problem in a real sense, other than the working distance may not be a long as say the Sigma 105mm. But then again there are other issues that this difference entails too!

    For a quick breakdown on what all this could mean:

    if you wanted to spend the least amount of money, which then allows you to get a flash or some other accessory, the Tammy 90 will give you great images(plus the extra flexibility that any accessory offers
    If you want to go chasing bees around the garden and light may be just a touch low, and the bees relatively static for a few seconds, the stabilization of the Sigma could be an advantage too.

    sings and roundabouts huh?
    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

    {Yongnuo}; -> YN35/2N : YN50/1.8N

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