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macro lens recommendation

By Nilesh

Am planning to buy a Macro lens for my D700. Major use would be for flowers and insects (and occassionally general purpose portraiture)
Shotlisted two lens Sigma 150mm macro OS and Nikor 200mm micro.
Which one would be recommended ?

Replies

Reply from Phil Cousins on 08-20-11 11:17 AM
I dont know the Nikon 80-400 or how sharp it is relatively, I expect a lot worse than a prime, especially a macro prime but you will be working at small apertures round f16 most of the time so that helps level things out.. I believe it is is big and heavy but tubes are pretty cheap and useful so maybe give it a try and see if youre happy.

I would nt use a teleconvertor with that lens personally but would suggest JBCrane tries a 1.4 TC on his 105mm Nikon to give him an approx 150mm macro thats light weight. There are lots a tests round the net saying the Kenko 1.4 is as good as or better than the Nikon TCs and a lot cheaper. Its also well made with metal mounts.
Reply from John Crane on 08-20-11 9:42 AM
Another one here for the Micro Nikkor 105VR. It's one of my favorite lenses and not just for macro work. It's an excellent mid-range tele and portrait lens with excellent close-focus attributes to boot. I'm also a brand-loyalist when it comes to glass, believing that a lens is a longer-term investment than a body, and settle for nothing short of Nikon lenses. An added benefit of the 105VR is the most superbly rendered bokeh of any lens I've ever tested - which include some pretty exotic lenses. My only wish is the 105VR had the same working distance as the 200mm, but it would be heavier for general purpose use then.
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 08-19-11 10:47 AM
I don't know if it is in your budget or not, but look at the Zeiss 50 or 100 macros. Incredible glass!
Reply from Nilesh on 08-18-11 9:31 AM
@philcousins Thanks for your response.

I have the Nikor 80-400 f4.5-5.6 with me. Do you suggest that I then go for extension tubes with it and drop the idea of a specialised Macro lens?
Reply from Phil Cousins on 08-18-11 8:33 AM
I have and use the Sigma 150mm as my primary macro lens. It is slightly sharper than a friends Nikon 105, in fact after borrowing mine he bought a Sigma 150 as well and the longer working distance is essential in my opinion for shy bugs to avoid a lot of frustration.

It also works very well with a Kenko 1.4TC, no image degradation that I can see even pixel peeping, so making an effective compact 210mm f5.6 with longer working distance which helps enormously for bugs.

The 200mm Nikon micro is I believe a bit less sharp and bigger and heavier which is a factor if holding at awkward angles chasing bugs. Not sure about current prices (see below)

For portraiture the Sigma has excellent Bokeh but like all macro lenses is very slow on autofocus so not much good for moving subjects. Sigma has also gone mad with the price recently, the latest has VR which is mostly useless for macro, and it is now 4x what I paid for mine a couple of years back. If you can find a used one get one, they are scarce though as people dont usually sell them on.

Incidentally another lens to consider which probably has nt come to mind is the Nikon 300mm f4. This is a superb sharp lens with lovely Bokeh and and will give you a long working distance, although not a "macro" lens can produce stunning results when used with a TC or extension tubes. Also very useful for other wildlife and also portraits though you do need more room. If you look here at the late Ronnie Gauberts images most were taken with the 300mm plus tubes and his macro results were some of the best I ve seen.
http://www.pbase.com/ronnie_14187
Reply from Ray Sandusky on 08-15-11 11:25 AM
I own the 105mm 2.8 Micro 0 - it is an excellent lens!
I would stick with the Nikkor line, if it were me making the purchase
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