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macro lens 40mm or 60mm or Extension Tubes ?


avacreates 3 362 1 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2012 6:45AM
Hello everyone,

I Read a number of reviews on the Nikon 40mm Micro lens - reviews have been good. The lens is $100 cheaper to buy on line but I'm worried about buying on line.

For those of you with Tamron lenses - what would you recommend at the same price as the Nikon 40mm Micro?

I honestly have not seen any images taken with the Nikon 40mm Micro that is any better than using my reverse ring - would love to see some good quality, sharp images taken with the Nikon 40mm Micro or Tamron Micro at same price or any other lens at the same price.

I am also thinking of purchasing a set of extension tubes and actually wondering if I should just go with that and not worry about the Micro lens - all thoughts are welcome

Hope everyone has a wonderful day

Thanks
AVA

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Andy_Cundell 3 1.1k 5 England
15 Nov 2012 6:57AM
For Extension Tubes, take a look at my review.

Andy
avacreates 3 362 1 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2012 7:03AM
thanks Andy, I'll have a look when I get back from taking my dog for a walk in the park before it starts raining - got go
15 Nov 2012 11:27AM
AVA the truth of the matter is no modern or even old macro lens give bad IQ.
I use an old 90mm Tamron 2:1 macro lens made in 1972, has no af, but meters on my D300.
Before that I had and stupidly sold my Sigma 150mm F2.8 lens.
The only way I could tell the difference from either lens would be the colours to be honest.
What would matter more to me is the subject that is going to be photographed, if flowers and still life then a 40mm is fine if it's butterflies and insects then 90mm+.
Then get a nice set of kenko extension tubes and reap the benefits from them attached to a true macro lens.
One thing you really need to be aware of is lack of light for macro work the more you stoop down the lens the less light as you know, also adding tubes gets the lens closer to the subject and again this blocks light so flash will be something to consider, to me the flash is more important than vr on a macro lens.
15 Nov 2012 11:35AM
"to me the flash is more important than vr on a macro lens."

to me the flash is more important than vr for macro work.
thewilliam 6 4.8k
15 Nov 2012 12:25PM
To make best use of your funds, you might like to get a macro lens that you can use for general-purpose photography.
thewilliam 6 4.8k
15 Nov 2012 1:36PM
Adding to the above: many macro workers prefer to use longer lenses, not least because it gives more working space for lighting and the subject is less likely to be in the photographer's shadow when using natural light. Many prefer to use a longer lens for portraits so the macro can do double duty.

I've had a nikon 55mm macro for several decades which is still in pristine condition because it doesn't get much use and a 100mm Zeiss macro for a couple of years which does 90% of my studio work.

If it gets a lot of use, then it was worth buying!
15 Nov 2012 2:05PM
the william can you upload some fine example images using the Zeiss macro lens, so the op can see some of your macro and non macro work. Im asking as I checked your folio and see no images at all which is a shame.
Overread 6 3.9k 18 England
15 Nov 2012 6:02PM
I'll second the point made earlier that you will find macro photography a lot easier with a 60mm macro lens over a 40mm macro lens. The working distances for very short focal length macro lenses, such as 40mm macro lenses, is just so small that in practical terms they are not very usable for true 1:1 macro work. They are great for close up work, but with the tiny working distances at 1:1 its a challenge for any macro photographer just to get into position let alone try to get some light in there (because at the range they work at you will be fully shadowing your subject).

The 60mm will give you more working distance and be far more usable and its about the shortest good working focal length advised for people. 90-105mm ranges are around where most people are advised to start, examples such as the Tamron 90mm macro are popular choices.


Also note that if you get extension tubes and use them what you will lose with the lens you use them on will be the infinity focusing capabilities of that lens. You'll be trapped only able to focus on very close subjects, which can be an annoyance at times when shooting and you suddenly want to take a photo of something further away. Dedicated macro lenses retain their infinity focusing and thus have that added extra versatility.
avacreates 3 362 1 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 1:58AM

Quote:For Extension Tubes, take a look at my review.

Andy

Hi Andy, I took a look at your review and found it immensely helpful - I have lots to learn so will continue to research using the information from your review - THANKS HEAPS, AVA (ps I have to say I found entertainment from reading some of the comments)
avacreates 3 362 1 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 2:19AM

Quote:I'll second the point made earlier that you will find macro photography a lot easier with a 60mm macro lens over a 40mm macro lens. The working distances for very short focal length macro lenses, such as 40mm macro lenses, is just so small that in practical terms they are not very usable for true 1:1 macro work. They are great for close up work, but with the tiny working distances at 1:1 its a challenge for any macro photographer just to get into position let alone try to get some light in there (because at the range they work at you will be fully shadowing your subject).

The 60mm will give you more working distance and be far more usable and its about the shortest good working focal length advised for people. 90-105mm ranges are around where most people are advised to start, examples such as the Tamron 90mm macro are popular choices.


Also note that if you get extension tubes and use them what you will lose with the lens you use them on will be the infinity focusing capabilities of that lens. You'll be trapped only able to focus on very close subjects, which can be an annoyance at times when shooting and you suddenly want to take a photo of something further away. Dedicated macro lenses retain their infinity focusing and thus have that added extra versatility.




I was recently told to not bother with the 40mm and buy the 60mm instead but to buy the older version 'D' which is apparently better than the new lens - I like to get lots of opinions and then make my decision. I was worried about the 40mm because from the information gathered it seemed to be not that better than using my reverse ring which I cannot use at all IN SHADOW. I do use my flash but I prefer natural lighting, therefore, I am limited to shooting on bright days in cloudless areas which gets frustrating.

I found your information extremely helpful so thanks heaps for taking the time.

AVA
avacreates 3 362 1 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 2:22AM

Quote:"to me the flash is more important than vr on a macro lens."

to me the flash is more important than vr for macro work.



I will start using my flash more to get an idea of how I feel about the photos taken. I'm guessing that short lenses don't actually need VR as long as I can stabilize myself

Thank you for this info

AVA
thewilliam 6 4.8k
16 Nov 2012 12:56PM
The current versions of the Nikon Micro lenses are "G versions" which don't have an aperture ring. This makes them unsuitable for use on bellows or most extension tubes because you don't have any control of the f stop. Optically, they're great in normal use, but lenses that have "internal focussing" don't usually perform well on tubes.

The old AFD and AIS versions do have aperture rings so can be used on tubes like the PK13.

Auto-focus isn't really much use when very close. Many workers prefer to select their own point of maximum sharpness or focus-stack
annettep38 e2
3 188 32 France
20 Nov 2012 4:58PM
No aperture ring? Really?
My 200 mm micro Nikkor was bought brand new last year and of course it has an aperture ring. you can use it nicely with extension tubes, I use sometimes the good old pk13 x2.
The 85 PC Micro Nikkor has also got an aperture ring, it is all manual anyhow. Same thing, works fine with tubes.
To come back to practical issues, if you look at my PF you will see that I shoot 90%macro, of which most is done with the 200mm lens. The very practical distance is ideal for insects and all sorts of other small objects.
Only for tricky DOF issues I value the tilt function of the 85mm, which by the way still has an acceptable working distance. Bokeh is fantastic! It also works fine with a 14b TC.

I would not recommend any lens shorter than 85.. that is really the limit. Anything below that is too close for any practical work, unless you aim to do 1:5 magnification with various extension tubes. I ended up selling my 55mm Micro Nikkor because I never used it. A cheap 90mm MF Tamron had been much better for the job.
posty57 6 6 2 United Kingdom
26 Dec 2012 5:41AM
If you want amazingly sharp images, without needing to break the bank, research the Sigma 70mm macro lens with the Nikon fitting. This lens outshines even the renowned Canon 100mm macro lens, and that is saying something. Here is a link to an American site that provides a wealth of info on lenses http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php

Happy hunting Smile
Barry

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