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Old 08-15-2008, 03:33 PM
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Default Macro lens

I'm trying to decide on the best lens to get for closeup (macro) work.

After doing a lot of research I'm leaning toward a 200mm Nikkor. I think this would allow good detail while still not having to get too close to the subject.

Any thoughts?

This is one I have my eye on:

200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro Telephoto Nikkor Lens

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Last edited by joraft; 08-15-2008 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

Micro-Nikkors are supposed to be some of the best. What's the working distance for this guy?

Regards,

Dan.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

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Originally Posted by DanClark View Post

What's the working distance for this guy?

Dan, it has a minimum focusing distance of 20".
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

John,

IMO, that's a good working distance. I have a Sigma 70-300 APO. It's decently sharp, but the macro function has a working distance of something like 60" - WAY too long, IMO.

I'm not in the market now, but if I were, I think I'd go with this guy:

Regards,

Dan.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

Hi John,

My suggestion is to look for a macro lens where the barrel does not turn as the unit is focused. That will allow you to use things like ring lights more easily. 200mm on a full frame sensor or film is a good working distance and quite appropriate for taking detailed shots of wood working projects. It is a bit long for a less than full frame sensor like the APS-C or four thirds size sensors which have a lens factor of 1.6 and 2.0 respectively.

For the greatest flexibility I like a quality bellows unit and a lens designed for bellows work. It takes longer to set up and is fully manual but you can work from something around 1:5 to 5:1. The unit I use is an R series Leica and while slow to use is sharper and more saturated than any dedicated macro lens I have ever used on any camera.

On the Leica I use for most studio work (four thirds size sensor) I either use that set up or the four thirds mount Olympus macro that is superb. On the Canon 40D I purchased for the Southern Oregon Guild I use the Canon 100mm EF macro. I like that far better than the EF-S Canon macro lens designed for the APS-C sized sensor cameras like the 40D.

Be sure the macro lens you choose focuses without extension rings to at least 1:1. These days most every camera maker is offering one that only goes to 1:2 so while called "macro" really are not.

Hope this helps.

Jerry

Quote:
Originally Posted by joraft View Post
I'm trying to decide on the best lens to get for closeup (macro) work.

After doing a lot of research I'm leaning toward a 200mm Nikkor. I think this would allow good detail while still not having to get too close to the subject.

Any thoughts?

This is one I have my eye on:

200mm f/4D ED-IF AF Micro Telephoto Nikkor Lens

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Old 08-15-2008, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryWork View Post

Hope this helps.
It was very helpful, thanks, Jerry.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanClark View Post

I'm not in the market now, but if I were, I think I'd go with this guy:


Dan, if you had a full frame camera, would that lens still be your choice?

And do you favor the Type G (no aperture ring) lens to the Type D?
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

John,

I set the aperture on the camera at all times. To me it's faster and easier.

FYI, I shoot Aperture Preferred mode (A) under almost all conditions to control DOF.

Regards,

Dan.
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

John,

The 105 is a superb lens. The 200 is (by reputation) as well.

I have recently had to take a number of shots using my D200 of sewing machine feet for my wife to sell on EBay. I found that using a zoom in the mid-telephoto range (with a lighting kit) was a preferred method since I required depth of field, which is hard to get with a macro.

What are going to shoot with this lens? The macro is perfect for what it does best, but not necessarily the best at photographing smaller objects with significant depth to them.

Just a thought


Dave
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Macro lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by justaccord View Post

What are going to shoot with this lens? The macro is perfect for what it does best, but not necessarily the best at photographing smaller objects with significant depth to them.

Dave, I'm planning to use this lens primarily for closeups of tools, equipment, and woodworking projects. The lighting will be from a studio lighting kit.

I'd like a lens that will take advantage of the full frame sensor, and one that allows camera placement to be far enough back that it reduces the chances of shadows.
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