Author Topic: Which lens do you use for macro shots  (Read 2709 times)

Yorci

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Which lens do you use for macro shots
« on: 12:04:46, 28/03/20 »
I use a Nikon D5300, I bought it because it has auto GPS, which is great for mapping the general photos I take on my walks to then plot them. I can then easily find where I took it and then revisit.

Given the current situation, and not being able to get out and about, I'm thinking of spending a bit of time in the garden. If we get some descent clear nights I might even have a go at a bit of astrophotography.

I currently use a Tamron 18mm - 270mm f3.5 - 6.3, it is fairly good for general close ups. I have never really been interested in macro, but that might change.

I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination. But I am thinking of buying a macro lens to give me something to do in my garden, given Spring is here.

If any of you do macro photography, can anyone recommend/suggest a decent macro lens for Nikon with a DX fitting?
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beefy

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #1 on: 12:40:31, 28/03/20 »
Buy some cheap macro Extension tubes they will fit all your lenses  and they do a good job O0
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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #2 on: 12:57:46, 28/03/20 »
Buy some cheap macro Extension tubes they will fit all your lenses  and they do a good job O0
Thatís the best way to start with macro photography. If you then find out it is really your thing, you can start to buy specific macro kit, but that can get expensive.

Lee R

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #3 on: 12:58:54, 28/03/20 »
I'm not sure what is available for Nikon, but Canon have a very good, well priced 100mm macro that I used to own many years ago - Nikon could well have something very similar.


The other, cheaper option is extension tubes. The main downside to these is if you want to use your lens as a 'normal' lens you have to take it all apart, remove the tubes, lens back on & vice versa.... That is a PITA!


Another option is to buy an old (film era) manual macro lens or prime lens with tubes - This solves the above issue ^^ I'm not sure what will adapt to Nikon. I used to adapt M42 & Contax/Yashica bayonet to Canon DSLR. I now use Sony mirrorless which allows for even more adaptions! Cheap, no contact adapters cost about the same as a pint of beer.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #4 on: 17:49:17, 28/03/20 »
The Sigma 105 f/2.8 Macro lens is available in a Nikon version. I believe this has pretty good reviews.

Yorci

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #5 on: 18:53:00, 29/03/20 »
Thanks for all your suggestions. Tubes seem to be the initial options, as I can't get out and about, if I take to it, might invest in a lens
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jb101

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #6 on: 13:26:05, 06/05/20 »
For Nikon get the 50mm f1.8 cheap (version AF 50mmF1.8))lens as its really sharp & a set of extension tubes(kenko automatic ones),combined both will cost considerably less than a dedicated macro lens.
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clyoung

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #7 on: 22:56:53, 07/05/20 »
I use this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raynox-DCR-150-Adapter-Filter-Thread/dp/B0007KS7D0/ref=sr_1_13?crid=O5AF1M6MBD7F&dchild=1&keywords=raynox+dcr-150+macro+lens&qid=1588888376&sprefix=raynox+dcr-%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-13
I'm not patient enough to get into macro photography, so couldn't justify the cost of a proper macro lens, but I've had some success photographing insects in my garden with this on the 18-135mm lens on my Sony A6000 in the last few weeks.

andybr

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #8 on: 10:47:13, 09/05/20 »
Not really a recommendation but a few things to think about when considering your next step:-
i) What is your intended subject? For static subjects like flowers extension tubes will be fine but for insects a short lens on tubes can be frustrating because the front element will need to be very close to the subject (which will often just fly off). this is why most macro lenses are around the 100mm focal length range.
ii) For very small subjects (micro rather than macro) tubes can be good used with a short manual lens reversed on the front of an extension tube using a home made adaptor made from a couple of filter holder mounting rings glued together. A very cheap but effective way of getting extreme close ups. An old 50mm lens from a 35mm camera is ideal for this.
iii) Photographing large insects like butterflies and dragonflies is very much like photographing small birds and the same gear can be used to get perfectly acceptable results.
iv) In my experience almost all macro shots are taken using an almost entirely manual setup. The technique is usually to get everything set up and then slowly move the camera back and forth to bring the subject into focus. A fully manual lens is actually an advantage for this. Auto focus and exposure can be counter productive. Using auto ISO with a limited range can accomodate any minor changes in conditions.
The above is based on many years of dabbling in macro photography though it has always been a bit of a fringe interest. I use a 35 year old Tamron 90mm macro lens (which I have owned from new) which has been fitted to a number of bodies, currently a Lumix G80 MFT example which gives the added benefit of doubling the magnification given by the lens. Hopefully the attached picture will give an idea of what I can get with it but as this is the first time I have tried to add a photo on this forum it might not work first time.

andybr

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #9 on: 10:49:55, 09/05/20 »
As expected that did not go quite to plan. Hopefully a second attempt will work.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #10 on: 14:05:39, 09/05/20 »
That worked the second time and it is an excellent photo. For small birds you need to get very close, have a long lens (usually expensive) and preferably both. Using a hide (a tent would work) can get you close to the birds. It helps if someone else walks out with you and the departs as you enter the hide, as it is said that birds donít count very well.

Yorci

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #11 on: 17:47:13, 17/05/20 »
I'm not patient enough to get into macro photography,
I know what you mean, I was struggling with the patience thing. Spent quite a bit of time chasing a ladybird around, nothing to show for it, but some were ok-ish I guess. That said it was fun getting quite close to them. I quite enjoyed that, it pass the time. I've got some extension tubes, so when I start to get more visitors I will give them a go. Not much blooming in my garden and not many visitors, apart from the regular visit from a pigeon. Though I did see a couple of robins the other morning, first I've seen in the 26 years I've lived here. But by the time I got the camera out, they were gone.
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GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #12 on: 17:53:59, 17/05/20 »

iv) In my experience almost all macro shots are taken using an almost entirely manual setup. The technique is usually to get everything set up and then slowly move the camera back and forth to bring the subject into focus. A fully manual lens is actually an advantage for this. Auto focus and exposure can be counter productive. Using auto ISO with a limited range can accomodate any minor changes in conditions.


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richardh1905

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #13 on: 18:28:15, 17/05/20 »
Lovely shot that, Andy.
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taxino8

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Re: Which lens do you use for macro shots
« Reply #14 on: 20:18:29, 17/05/20 »


My passion is metal detecting and after many years of trying to photograph my finds using various methods I finally succumbed and bought a second hand AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 IF-ED. A fantastic lens and gives great results although I have to confess Iím still learning.
« Last Edit: 20:31:29, 17/05/20 by taxino8 »