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Advice needed for buying a Macro Lens for Nikon!

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Hi, I have saved up my earnings for the past year to treat myself to a Nikon macro lens. Now I know there has been posts on this in the past but there has also been new macros introduced on the market since... I have been advised to buy the best and not a budget one but I am finding it difficult to spend the type of money a top macro lens asks as Its only a hobby for me and not a job.. I have read fantastic reviews on the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 but have seen nothing on Dreamstime about anyone owning the newer VC F004 version. Most reviews I have read say the older lens has produces pin sharp images but obviously lacks the VR. The newer one build looks superior and has the advantage of the VR. It would be lovely to hear any reviews on these macros or other ones people would rather recommend. Many thanks
Edited: 01/01/2014, 15:09:05 PM
Until you don't live in a rain forest, all macro lenses are expensive for stock business :) I have some cheap extension tubes (12mm, 20mm, 36mm made by Kenko) and I can do about 2:1 or even 3:1 macro with a prime like 35 or 50 mm. But I have not many subjects arround, not insects or else, stock subjects I mean, good for sale.

I know, macro lenses are a dream for every photographer, macro photography can be extremely interesting, but first of all I advice you to try the cheap solution and see how many times you will use this in a couple of months - except the first testing days :) My extension tubes are very rarely used, despite I have many insects in my terrarium.

But for sure you will ignore my advice :)) So, let's go further. Before buying those macro extensions tubes, I've played with the f2.8 40 mm Nikkor, a good lens for portraits or regular use and also for macro. I think this is the cheapest solution. I was very satisfied with the image quality, but, as I said, not so many exotic subjects around me and after a while I return it to my friend... and maybe he put the lens back in the closet and never used again :)

Tested also the Nikkor f2.8 105 mm (3-4 years ago I think). Impressive, but extremely expensive, an FX lens... :(
Posted: 01/01/2014, 15:58:40 PM
Hi Alvera, I am certainly not going to rush into this and really appriciate your advice. Yes everyone seems to rave on about the the Nikkor 105mm. The tamron 90mm I can get for around 240 pounds on eBay but the VR version is 400 which is getting on the expensive side. I think I remember the Nikkor 105 was 650 plus...I like the fact these macros are good for potraits too.. I am also going to look into the extension tubes you have as I have never use them.. Cheers my Friend.
Edited: 01/01/2014, 16:28:02 PM
VR is good, but for macro you will need also a good tripod and in this case VR is useless.
Oh! Your message will make me to do some macro these days! You are fully responsible! Just please remember where my extension tubes are ??! :))
Posted: 01/01/2014, 16:54:23 PM
Murdock, I have the Tamron 60mm/2.0 which works great as a macro or portrait lens. The main drawback is a slow focus and I get some vignetting on my full frame. I do believe they make them for Nikon too.
Tamron 60mm F2; Tamron AF 28-300mm F3.5; Canon Speedlite 430EX II; ...
Posted: 01/01/2014, 19:49:09 PM
Hi Murdock! We would like to suggest you try the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens. We’ve it and it has produced some nice images like the one shown below.

   Beautiful Gazania      Corn   

It worked perfectly on the old D70 and D90. Bokeh is absolutely excellent when manually exposed. As our kind indicated above, tripod is necessary for most of the macro shots so you’re likely to get very good results. We even used this lens for capturing our entire range of Wine bottle/glass images!
DG OS HSM, Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM, Canon EF 24-105mm f / 4...
Edited: 01/01/2014, 20:36:20 PM
With a small inheritance I treated myself to a Nikon 105 (because of the VR) to go with my Nikon camera. I already have a sigma for my Sony and to be honest there's not much difference. The VR is great but the specs recommend using a tripod, hence no VR! It is however very good for video.
Hope this helps!
Nikon D7100
Posted: 01/02/2014, 04:03:49 AM
Alvera your extension tubes are in the draw next to your old Brownie....,>) I will take full responsibility for the images you take and also the earnings from them if you desire .>))
Erin I have heard that about the Tamrons the old 90mm has a slow focus too. Pindiyath Your lens is certainly a contender too as I have heard lots of great reviews while reseaching. I love your images you have taken with it... Alvera I already have a very solid old tripod that my Dad gave me so I am sorted there... Thanks everyone for your imput. Certainly a lot of food for thought!!! :)
Edited: 01/02/2014, 15:21:25 PM
I have the Nikkor 105 and I love it. It's super sharp and a rarely use a tripod, so the VR is a great asset. I also use it for portraits.
Nikon D700
Posted: 01/02/2014, 14:44:39 PM
Pindiyath100, I love your images taken with Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens of course with tripod! Are truly very beautiful!
Alvera, macro lenses are expensive indeed but ultimately what is cheaper in the world? Really until you amortize the money spent for performing macro lens to do stock, take a long time....but you know, passion is great.
Good luck Murdock2013 with macro lens! Don't give up! Any macro lens worth the money only if you can make commercial pictures! A good example here is our friend, Pindiyath100!
Edited: 01/02/2014, 15:45:18 PM
You will need 2395.42 sub sales to buy a 105 mm :-) In this time maybe the flies will evolve and will grow up like birds and a zoom lens will do the job better :-)
Posted: 01/02/2014, 15:45:38 PM
You will need two sales SR-EL, you never know :).....or you need to win at the lottery :)
Edited: 01/02/2014, 16:12:36 PM
I think the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Nikon Camera Lens is winning at the moment as Amazon UK are doing a fantastic deal on it at the moment 379 Quid. thats pounds to the less common folk! ,>) including next day delivery.... I was hankering after the Tamron 90mm at first but looking at a few tutorials etc... I think the Sigma is in front. Thanks Marinescu. I have worked hard in my spare time (which is very little) to produce 340 images since signing up last year so I think I will now treat myself! ,>)))))))
Posted: 01/03/2014, 17:02:03 PM
Sometimes making up the mind is difficult than buying the actual thingy...lol. Well...congratulations on your decision. Go for it and 'make your day'. We're awaiting payment from DT for our choices. :))
DG OS HSM, Canon EF 24-70mm f / 2.8L II USM, Canon EF 24-105mm f / 4...
Posted: 01/03/2014, 20:45:34 PM
Murdock, what macro subjects are closer to your heart? What do you want to shoot?
Posted: 01/04/2014, 02:08:38 AM
That is a very good question Alvera.. Maybe playing at first with some textures etc... I also like the idea that I can do portraits of my two girls.. Maybe I wont use it that much but its nice to know I wont struggle to get close up images sharp like I have been with my standard lens.. I have submitted several images in the past and not been happy with them because I thought they were not sharp enough to be accepted, to my surprise many of the were but obviously they were not to same standards as a lot of the other sellers images so I know they will struggle to sell. Maybe I will take pictures of your bug friends Alvera and also do some videos.
Posted: 01/04/2014, 03:56:44 AM
Good luck, Murdock! Go for it! Go! Congrats for your decision! Good luck!
Posted: 01/04/2014, 04:40:15 AM
Yes, it's very good for portraits. And about insects, my island is empty now, but in the spring will be full of creatures :) You are welcome :)
Posted: 01/04/2014, 04:56:33 AM
You would love the insects we have here in Portugal Alvera. Ants as big as Hamsters! ,>) The saying is that the Algarve is built on a ant hill! >)))
Posted: 01/04/2014, 06:14:10 AM
I have a Sigma 105 and it works great. I'm thinking about buying another Sigma.

   Pollinating Bee   
Edited: 01/04/2014, 07:04:12 AM
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