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View Full Version : Recommendations: Macro Lens for Nikon


SoloGarth
12/16/2015, 08:17 PM
Hi everyone,
So I have been taking some macro shots using my current setup and some extension tubes. I find that the limitations I am facing are largely that the focal length (50 mm lens on crop body) is not practical for working in the tank as it is hard to focus on anything right near the glass or waters surface.

I did try the 105 mm Sigma macro but it had some firmware issue that prevented the auto-focus from working with my camera. Anyway, suggestions on what is best for taking photos in a tank is what I am interested in.

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/581/23718062621_fd6b4b4003_c.jpg

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5697/23773763146_8cbeb80fd8_c.jpg

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/642/23431892299_9965d95018_c.jpg

Misled
12/17/2015, 08:06 AM
I'll put them in order of my favorites, and all listed I have owned or still do.

Nikon 105mm 2.8 AFS
Tamron 90mm 2.8
Nikon 105mm 2.8 AF
Sigma 105mm 2.8
Nikon 50mm 2.8 AF

The Sigma you were using most likely didn't work on AF because your camera doesn't have a screw drive. You should be focusing in manual when shooting very close macros. It will keep the camera from "hunting."

Nice shots BTW!!!

SoloGarth
12/17/2015, 08:57 AM
I'll put them in order of my favorites, and all listed I have owned or still do.

Nikon 105mm 2.8 AFS
Tamron 90mm 2.8
Nikon 105mm 2.8 AF
Sigma 105mm 2.8
Nikon 50mm 2.8 AF

The Sigma you were using most likely didn't work on AF because your camera doesn't have a screw drive. You should be focusing in manual when shooting very close macros. It will keep the camera from "hunting."

Nice shots BTW!!!


Great thanks! I see that the Tokina 100mm isn't on your list. Everyone seems to like that lens. I would have bought one by now if I could find one for sale. . .

I would think the 50 mm lens would require you to be too close for 1 to 1 magnification when taking pics in the tank? Along this line of thought I was actually looking at even longer focal length macros ~150mm.

I do use manual focus for taking shots where possible but still wanted the option for auto. When taking pics under water from the top of the tank manual focus is just too difficult particularly because I can't use a tripod.

The sigma website actually stated that the lens needed a firmware update to function with my camera (D5300). Also when connected my camera would only function in manual focus mode. Not sure about how the screw drive works though.

SoloGarth
12/22/2015, 02:03 PM
Well I ended up finding a used Tokina 100mm for sale and bought that. Amazing difference and improvement. I took and edited the same section of the slimer frag from the picture above. The images look somewhat similar but due to cropping of the first image the new picture is about 2X the resolution.

I can tell that I am going to need a focusing rail though as I already noticed focusing by moving the camera is more effective at 1:1 than using the focus ring.

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/726/23805359102_41f17c37b8_b.jpg

"Red Dragon" Acro
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5655/23287008513_7f2a5a0239_b.jpg

"Frogskin" Acro
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5673/23887609576_a83bcb3039_b.jpgr

SoloGarth
12/22/2015, 09:38 PM
Not sure what happened to the second pic

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/12/22/39cf2f5dd25a05d20e524a2cc5310472.jpg

SoloGarth
12/24/2015, 09:13 AM
Pocillopora Damicornis

I know this is a common, none too exciting, coral but it is still one of my favorites.

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/12/24/1c2e25b8492369cd4f957f6323473f22.jpg

snorvich
12/24/2015, 08:14 PM
I'll put them in order of my favorites, and all listed I have owned or still do.

Nikon 105mm 2.8 AFS
Tamron 90mm 2.8
Nikon 105mm 2.8 AF
Sigma 105mm 2.8
Nikon 50mm 2.8 AF

The Sigma you were using most likely didn't work on AF because your camera doesn't have a screw drive. You should be focusing in manual when shooting very close macros. It will keep the camera from "hunting."

Nice shots BTW!!!

I have and have used the Nikon 105mm 2.8 AFS but only on manual focus. Best to control the area you want sharpest. I also have Nikon 50mm 2.8 AF but use it far less frequently.

SoloGarth
12/29/2015, 02:12 PM
I have been using this focusing rail:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009SJ7UWU?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00

Works great and is constructed primarily from metal.

Red Planet
https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1681/24025449036_bc89ac086d_b.jpg


https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1685/23683688859_8d0b3aef66_b.jpg

Superman Monti
https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1502/24051523545_34e75abe35_b.jpg

Spongodes
https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1448/23755844050_0df8d09d6b_b.jpg

What I am noticing is that the problem is depth of focal plane vs light. Because of the thick glass and nature of tank lighting I find it hard, even using two flashes to take shots above F11. One way around this might be to shut off all pumps and use longer exposures. I may try that but I am also going to work on focus stacking. Something new to learn.

SoloGarth
12/29/2015, 02:16 PM
I'll put them in order of my favorites, and all listed I have owned or still do.

Nikon 105mm 2.8 AFS
Tamron 90mm 2.8
Nikon 105mm 2.8 AF
Sigma 105mm 2.8
Nikon 50mm 2.8 AF

The Sigma you were using most likely didn't work on AF because your camera doesn't have a screw drive. You should be focusing in manual when shooting very close macros. It will keep the camera from "hunting."

Nice shots BTW!!!

Yes you are correct. No screw drive = no autofocus on non AP-S lenses for my camera body. It always amazes me how much you need to know about equipment for something like this. So anyway I can't autofocus with the Tokina but I wouldn't anyway and for non-macro shots I just use my nikon 50mm 1.8 which is AF-S.