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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:22 am 
Hi all,

First off want to say thank you to Gordon and all the others that write the reviews and give their input on this website. I used to be a more avid photog in the 35mm days of the 70's and 80's but went to compact P&S's in the 90's and early 2000's. Having found my passion for photography again I went and purchased my first DSLR. Based on input, from this forum, I went with a Nikon 5100 with the standard kit lens (still in the box) and also picked up a 16-85mm and 70-300mm :D .

As I have been playing around I find I now need a macro lens for insects and flowers. I have narrowed down to 3 choices but have a few questions.

Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED: Would this be a better choice if I wanted to also do portraits over the Sigma 150mm.

Sigma macro 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM: New lens anyone have any feedback on it? If IQ and other specs are as impressive as the 150mm, would this be the pick over the Nikkor 105mm.

Sigma macro 150mm f2.8 APO DG HSM: Seems to be the preferred pick over the Nikon for the extra 45mm and costs about the same. Can it also be used for portraits?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:01 am 
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Hey, Chinook, welcome to the Cameralabs forums! Enjoy your stay!

Regarding the Nikon, I think (personally) that it's the best lens of the three that you listed. It's built like a tank, and it's an extremely sharp lens. The Sigma 105 macro is also a nice lens, however I'd personally stay away from it as its autofocusing speed is extremely sub par to the Nikon's. Both of these lenses could double as portrait lenses as well, however they'd give an equivalent focal length of around 160mm on a DX body like your D5100, which would make it better for a light telephoto lenses as it's a bit too long for portraits. However, it could work if you need it to. If I were you, I'd pick up something like an 85mm Nikkor, they're extremely sharp lenses (some say they're the sharpest Nikkors ever make), or a lens around the 70mm mark. I don't know much about the Sigma 150mm, but I can tell you that it's just much too long for portraits, giving an equivalent focal length of 225mm which would make it a good choice as a telephoto lens. You may want to consider Nikon's 200mm AF if you want a micro that would double as a telephoto, but remember that it wouldn't autofocus on your D5100 as it lacks a built in AF motor.

You may want to take a look at Tamron's 90mm macro, which is a very sharp, budget friendly lens that could work for portraits.

By the way, you'll have to remember that none of these lenses are really f/2.8 lenses when focusing to macro objects, as focus breathing forces the aperture to close slightly. It's just something to keep in mind.

-Evan

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:03 am 
The Tamron 90mm F/2.8 has great sharpness & lovely bokeh. If your budget can handle the Nikon 105mm,go for it. It's a great lens in all aspects.
If you're comfortable with the focal range of the Sigma 150mm (you should test it 1st),you will end up with a super sharp lens. My advice is to test these 2 lenses in comparisson,see which you like best.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:07 am 
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You could also add a TC later, if you found you needed the extra reach.

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Quote:
You could also add a TC


Yes, but if you really need the extra reach, you should just invest in a longer lens. Teleconverters often degrade the optical quality and slow down the autofocus, I'm not really a big fan of them. If you do end up needing one in the future, stay away from any other brand besides the brand that makes the lens (ex. If you buy a Sigma lens, buy a Sigma teleconverter, if you buy a Nikon lens, buy a Nikon teleconverter, if you buy a Tamron lens, buy a Tamron teleconverter, etc.).
Teleconverters generally come in 3 different magnifications, 1.4x magnification, 1.7x and 2.0x. I'd stick to the 1.4x if you have to use a teleconverter, as it doesn't degrade the lens' quality too much, keeps the AF speed reasonably fast and costs the least.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:57 pm 
I thought about the Tamron 90mm but was concerned that the not having VR/OS would cause problems. I have the money but don't mind spending less for an off brand similar performace either.

Would you select the Tamron 90mm over the Nikkor mircro 85mm?


Thanks for the feedback.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:57 pm 
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In my opinion not having optical stabilization, which has been proven to be completely useless on a macro lens, makes the Tamron the better lens. Well, at magnifications beyond 1:2.5 that is. If Nikon sold variations of their lenses without VR I would opt for them. But that is just me being old school, I guess.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:46 pm 
I ended up going with the Tokina 100mm for $399. I was able to take some sample pics on a store D5100 with the Tokina, Tamron, Sigma and Nikon. After comparing the pics, I decided I wasn't giving up much at all when factoring in the price difference of the Tokina. The Tamron shots looked fine but I didn't like the feel of the lens itself - that and it was $50 more. I have a small reservation of not getting the Sigma 150mm because of the great reviews and longer reach. However, the savings allowed me to pick up a SB600 and a good start on saving for a fisheye/superwide lens.

Thanks for the suggestions and feedback that was given!


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