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  Recommended Nikkor / Nikon lenses for insect, flower and general close-up photography
 
 


Macro lenses are designed for photographing small subjects at close range, such as flowers or insects. All lenses can take close-up photos, but Macro lenses are optimised for it, and are able to focus closer and deliver better quality results.

 
Typical macro lenses have equivalent focal lengths of around 100mm and can also double-up for portrait shots, although they are designed to perform best at close range. Models with VR are also useful for reducing camera-shake on handheld shots.

Note when I mention FX bodies I'm referring to full-frame models like the D600 and D800. When I mention DX bodies, I'm referring to cropped-frame models like the D3200, D5200 and D7000. If you’d like to learn more about lens specifications, from focal lengths to f-numbers, please see my lens guide. If you find the information here useful, please support me by shopping at the stores below and if you have any questions about lenses, feel free to ask in the forum!


 
Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 40mm f/2.8G review

Specifications

Focal length:
40mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX: 60mm
FX compatible: No
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: SWM
Closest focus: 16.3cm
Filter thread: 22mm
Hood: HB-61
Optics: 9 el. / 7 groups
Diaphragm blades: 7
Weight: 280g
Size: 69x65mm

     
The Nikkor DX Micro 40mm is the latest, shortest and most affordable macro lens in the range and is designed for use on DX-format bodies only. It features a bright f2.8 aperture, quick and quiet SWM focusing which works on any Nikon body, and offers macro reproductions down to life-size 1:1. The only caveats are lack of Vibration Reduction and the fact your subject will need to be about 3cm from the tip of the lens for 1:1, but it's hard to argue at the price and the quality is also surprisingly good. A great choice for those starting out with close-up photography.


 
Nikkor AF-S Micro 60mm f/2.8G ED

Specifications

Focal length:
60mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX: 90mm
FX compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: SWM
Closest focus: 18.5cm
Filter thread: 62mm
Hood: HB-42
Optics: 12 el. / 9 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 425g
Size: 73x89mm

     
The Nikkor Micro 60mm f2.8 is a high quality close-up lens which will work on both DX and FX bodies. The maximum reproduction is 1:1, allowing you to capture subjects at actual size for excellent close-ups, while the f2.8 aperture enables blurred backgrounds. Mounted on a DX body it also makes a good portrait option. Sadly there’s no VR, but it does come-in much cheaper than the 105mm model below. If you want VR at this price and are not using an FX body, consider the DX 85mm.


 
Nikkor AF-S DX Micro 85mm f/3.5G ED VR review

Specifications

Focal length:
85mm
Aperture: f3.5
Lens mount: DX
Equiv on DX: 128mm
FX compatible: No
Anti-shake: Yes
AF motor: SWM
Closest focus: 28cm
Filter thread: 52mm
Hood: HB-37
Optics: 14 el. / 10 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 355g
Size: 73x99mm

     
The Nikkor DX Micro 85mm f3.5 VR is a Macro lens designed for DX-format bodies, on which the equivalent focal length becomes 128mm (also good for portraits). The maximum reproduction is 1:1, allowing you to capture subjects at actual size for excellent close-ups, while VR ensures camera-shake is kept to a minimum. It’s smaller and much lighter than the 105mm model below, although for a similar price, many will trade VR for the f2.8 aperture and FX compatibility of the 60mm above.


 
Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED review

Specifications

Focal length:
105mm
Aperture: f2.8
Lens mount: F-mount
Equiv on DX: 158mm
FX compatible: Yes
Anti-shake: Yes
AF motor: SWM
Closest focus: 31cm
Filter thread: 62mm
Hood: HB-38
Optics: 10 el. / 9 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 790g
Size: 83x116mm

Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Nikkor AF-S VR Micro 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
     
The Nikkor Micro 105mm f2.8 VR is a high quality close-up lens which will work on both DX and FX bodies. The maximum reproduction is 1:1, allowing you to capture subjects at actual size from a reasonable distance, while the f2.8 aperture enables blurred backgrounds. VR helps reduce camera-shake for handheld work and the 105mm focal length also allows it to double-up as a decent portrait lens. The perfect choice for macro aficionados.



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