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 Post subject: Macro lens for Nikon
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:59 pm 
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After lots of tests with the so called "micro" capabilities of the Nikkor 18-200 naked or cum close-up lens, I decided to get a decent macro/micro lens: the AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2,8G ED VR.
This is a monster of a lens, even bigger than the 18-200, but: Wow - what a difference in picture quality! And it goes down to 1:1 (whereas the 18-200 only gives 4:1)
And don't let other reviews fool you, which lament about the deteriorating benefits of VR: The image stab is very much needed (and works perfectly), because most of the time, you're not working at 1:1! And VR even works at 1:1, although perhaps not as good as at lower magnifications. You can really hear the stab-motor working hard to steady your image.
If you compare the shots with a close-up with the 18-200 at 50cm, you'll immediately see the difference in quality, even with 13x18 (cm) prints.
No distortion, no vignetting (hey, this lens is build for full frame sensors!), very low color fringeing (viewed at 100% RAW w/o correction).
The only minus is focussing: It sometimes ends up way out of focus. But, who cares - just hit the trigger button a second time...

Would you like to report your experience with this or other macro-lenses out there?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:44 am 
Apologies for the newbie question but as you can see from my sig - I'm new to this game. I've been trying to work out what exactly makes a macro lens, a macro lens.

I'm not sure I quite understand how a 105mm macro lense can magnify a subject greater than, say, a normal 135mm lens...?

I've currently got the Nikkor 18mm-135mm lens and I'm looking around for my next potential lens purchase and I wouldn't mind trying a bit of macro photography. The problem is I don't know what it is that I'm looking for in terms of specifications. Can anyone enlighten me?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:34 pm 
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The easy answer is: You can get closer to the subject of your photographic desires. Focussing closer means getting the subject larger on your sensor.
So you can have 50/60/90/105 even 200mm macro lenses and they have only one thing in common. They focus closer than their standard counterparts.
Whether you need a macro lens or not is easily tested. Just zoom out your lens to 135mm and focus manually to the closest distance. Than look through the viewfinder and approach the object of your desire (e.g. a page from a newspaper or magazine) until it is in sharp focus. If the object is large enough for your taste - fine, you don't need a macro lens. If it's to small still you need something stronger than your current lens.
More information can be found here http://www.ephotozine.com/techniques/in ... ?subject=3

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:58 pm 
Ahh ok, that makes sense - thanks.

I've tested this with my 135mm and it doesn't quite get as close as I might like so I guess I'll have to add a macro to my growing list of purchases. Maybe I'll let the credit card recover a little first though... :)

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:35 pm 
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Speaking of credit cards...
there is one other option though: The Canon 500mm close-up lens. It costs around 130$ and can be screwed to the front of your lens (perhaps need an adapter for different diameters). This is the best quality close-up lens that you can get (effectively a two-lens achromatic construction). Don't try other close-up lenses - their quality is awful.
BUT: If you want to go below a field of view of 30x50mm and have the best picture quality ten you better get a special macro lens. The Nikkor 105mm has also the added benefit of VR anti-shake, which (the shake that is) really becomes a problem with macro shots unless you always carry a tripod with you...
The added bonus of a "real" macro-lens is also the pic quality under normal circumstances: fixed length macros traditionally belong to the lenses with the best quality even at "normal" distances.
So, perhaps, yes: speaking of credit cards...

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