+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Challenge Team
    cwgrizz's Avatar

    Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    OK, I have read some posts on the 90, 100, & 105mm lenses. All seem to have pros and cons. Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, Nikon$$$. Does anyone have some feedback or recommendations on any of these. How much difference is there? Thanks for any insights you can give before I make a purchase.


    › See More: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted
    Walt

    D750; D7100; D5300;
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G II VR; AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED; AF-S 85mm f1.8; Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (IF) DX II; 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR; AF-S VR 24-120mm f/4G ED; TC14E II





  2. #2
    Senior Member
    pforsell's Avatar

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    This is obvious, but have you decided on the focal length? You get different perspective at same magnification with different focal lengths, because of the different working distance. I think this has the biggest impact on the image.

    The second thing to consider is the working distance, and that depends somewhat on your subjects. The 200/4D offers about minimum working distance for butterflies or dragonflies, for example, because the critters are a bit skittish. (Actually, I prefer a 300/2.8 VR with a TC for these.)

    Nikon's lineup currently has the 60/2.8G, 105/2.8G and the 200/4D Micro-Nikkors. I don't own any of those because I like to use manual focusing, macro rails, stepping rails and/or bellows. Instead I have the AI 55/3.5, AI-S 105/2.8 and AI-S 200/4, along with a handful of enlarger lenses, extension rings and reversal tubes and stuff.

    I love the StackShot for stacking macros: https://www.cognisys-inc.com/product.../stackshot.php

    About image quality - well there is no meaningful difference. Every Micro-Nikkor ever manufactured has excellent image quality and won't disappoint. The biggest hurdles are camera support, lighting, and focusing accuracy, not lens sharpness.
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    9 Nikon single-digit pro bodies from D1H to D5.
    12 Nikon three-digit consumer bodies from D100 and up.
    56 Nikkor prime lenses from AIS 8/2.8 to AFS 400/2.8VR
    4 Nikkor zoom lenses: 14-24/2.8, 17-35/2.8, 28-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8VR
    My fastest lens is f/1.2 (x3) and slowest f/2.8


  3. #3
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    Walt, I have the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR. It's a great lens, and yes it's expensive. The longer the focal length of the lens, the further away you can be from your subject when shooting macro.

    Typically portrait lenses tend to be in the 85mm to 135mm range although many people use longer focal lengths. And if you are shooting with a DX body, a longer focal length may be too long to allow your entire subject to fill the frame. DX users quite often go with 50mm.

    Jake @BackdoorHippie has the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS. I'm not sure, but I *think* he had to send his back to Sigma for a firmware update to be compatible with his D750. The Sigma lens he has didn't work with a dock (at least I don't think it did). Not sure if Sigma came out with a newer version of the 105mm macro that works with a dock.

    Nikon seems to be preventing these other companies from allowing lenses to be compatible with newer Nikon bodies. Sigma lenses that use a dock are easy enough to get firmware updates. But the lenses that don't use a dock have to be sent back to their manufacturers. Not sure if the Tamron or Tokina you mentioned have experienced the compatibility issue.

    Just a few things to keep in mind.
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2019 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    Things I have learned.... Working distance is from the front of lens to subject. But its sometimes hard to find this important number. Often what you get is minimum focus distance. This is from subject to focal plane. You need to do some math or googling to figure out the actual working distance. They don't make it easy, lol. Then there are some external focus lenses out there like the old Tamron 90. They get longer as you zoom. That adds more thinking to get from minimum focus distance to working distance.

    I have the Tamron 60 for a long time. Great (DX) lens but it doesn't get a lot of attention. I then picked up the Sigma 105 on a good rebate. At the very closest distance, I was not wowed by it vs the 60. But as I move back just a bit, I start to realize the longer focal length. My point is that at minimum 1:1 macro range, your focal length doesn't follow the rules with macro lenses. Start adding a few inches and you get the expected benefit from the longer focal length. I'm usually not at minimum anyway, I like backing up for better depth of field.

    I love the 105, but I ended up not selling the 60. Sometimes the 105 is too long. Items on a table or a top view of a tall flower can be too close for the 105.
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    I must have a really good camera.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Texas's Avatar

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    I've had the Sigma 105 and Tamron 90 acquired through trades. Macro pictures were the same (great IQ) but the 'feel' of the Sigma was a lot nicer.

    Sold them off because they are too powerful for as close as I want to get to things and now use an older full frame Nikon 60 mostly as a prime/macro and it is my favorite for lots of things besides super close work.
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    D750, D90, D100, Nikon 1 J5
    (Once owned: EL, F2AS, D50, D200, D300s, and D7100)

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    nzswift's Avatar

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    Here is another suggestion:
    I have an AIS 105 2.8 Nikkon macro lens and it would be the one lens I'd take for month on an island somewhere. Perfect for portraits or macro, 1:1 with the correct PN tube. It is manual focus but in my experience you set magnification you want and focus by moving the camera until it is all sharp in the viewfinder. Can't see the point in AF for a macro lens
    Thanks/Like Texas, pforsell, cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    pforsell's Avatar

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by nzswift View Post
    Here is another suggestion:
    I have an AIS 105 2.8 Nikkon macro lens and it would be the one lens I'd take for month on an island somewhere. Perfect for portraits or macro, 1:1 with the correct PN tube. It is manual focus but in my experience you set magnification you want and focus by moving the camera until it is all sharp in the viewfinder. Can't see the point in AF for a macro lens
    Couldn't agree more.
    9 Nikon single-digit pro bodies from D1H to D5.
    12 Nikon three-digit consumer bodies from D100 and up.
    56 Nikkor prime lenses from AIS 8/2.8 to AFS 400/2.8VR
    4 Nikkor zoom lenses: 14-24/2.8, 17-35/2.8, 28-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8VR
    My fastest lens is f/1.2 (x3) and slowest f/2.8


  8. #8
    Senior Member
    spb_stan's Avatar

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    Macro lenses are seldom used when subject isolation is needed because few if any have pleasant out of focus rendering. They are very sharp in-focus but not so hot for creamy backgrounds. If you are going to use it for portraits I suggest renting one and use it on real sessions. If you are using strobes in a studio and shooting stopped down, Bokeh is not an issue since subject isolation is achieved with a controlled background, hair lights and kickers and shooting is usually done stopped down for sharpness and deep DOF.
    But if you are going to use it for outdoors or ambient light portraits were you will probably want a blurred background from narrow DOF, you might be disappointed. If you can afford a macro lens plus a low-cost portrait prime, such as the excellent 85 1.8G that will impress, as 90-95% of the 3 times more costly 85 1.4G. If you use it on your DX cameras, the lowere cost 50 1.8G is a bargain for full or crop frame cameras
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     

  9. #9
    Happy to be Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    For portraits I really enjoy using my 105 2.5 Ais and the 85 1,8 G. For Macro, Sigma 105 and 150 are very nice and less expensive than Nikkors. Manual focusing needs a bit of practice and there will be some misfocused shots, but in macro you'd get the same percentage of success unless you're shooting something absolutely still on a tripod. I use my macro lenses in manual focus 99.5% of the time. I set my crop by moving and roughly focusing and then leave the focus alone and just slightly move in and out, shooting in high speed bursts just to make certain I have a good shot. It's all a question of practice.
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    I'm beginning to see the LIGHT!
    Please visit my Gallery and my Flickr Gallery

  10. #10
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Macro, Portrait lens information wanted

    Macro, Portrait lens information wanted
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel View Post
    ...and then leave the focus alone and just slightly move in and out....
    Like Marcel said, when focusing with macro work, just moving slightly in and out makes a big difference with focus. The smallest movements can mean a huge difference whether or not something is in focus.

    Since we all enjoy spending someone else's money, here's a suggestion for down the road, Walt. If you decide to get into macro, eventually you might want to consider a focusing rail. Some allow slight tweaks forward/backward while others also allow side-to-side adjustments.

    This is one I have although I believe others here have a less expensive rail that they say is good. Mine looks to have gone up in price over the past 2 years. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...sing_rail.html

    Macro, Portrait lens information wanted-oben_mfr4_5_macro_focusing_rail_1447190435000_1130512.jpg
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2019 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci







Quick Reply Quick Reply

If you are already a member, please login above before posting.

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •