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I've had the opportunity come my way to so some product photography, but some of it is going to require a macro lens to get the shots needed. As this may (hopefully) lead on to some further work, I've decided to invest in a dedicated macro lens.
I have a budget of about £450 to work with (perhaps £525 but I'd like to keep costs down if I can without compromising quality), and I'm wondering if anyone can give me a solid recommendation of the lenses that I should be looking at? I'm looking to purchase something around the 100mm mark with a fixed aperture (though from initial browsings, most dedicated macros don't seem to have a floating aperture), and the lens will be working with a Nikon D7000.
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Pity you do not use Canon as I have a 100mm 2.8 macro for sale which would have saved you a few hundred pounds.
What sort of products? Do you really need something as long as 100mm?
Agreed with Carabosse, 100mm is quite long. If it has to be that length i recommend the tamron 90mm f2.8. For something a bit smaller then the Sigma 50mm f2.8 is brilliant!
I'd go with the Sigma 70mm f2.8 EX macro or Nikons 60mm f2.8 macro (IF its fullframe compatible). The Sigma 70mm is a fantastic lens for its cost, small light and easy to use plus its working distance is much more easily manageable than a 100mm in an indoor environment where you might not need 1:1 magnifications every shot.
I support the fullframe compatibility incase you already use/plan to expand toward it.
50mm macro lenses tend to be a little lesser in build quality from what I've read, Sigma 50mm is good, its just nothing special. Plus you're getting a bit short in your working distance, this can make lighting a little more challenging (60-50mm are not too bad, but a Nikon 40mm or Tokina 35mm macro would be very challenging with lighting at 1:1).
I'd plump with the ever faithful Tamron 90mm SP Di Macro, which you can pick up for £347.95 at WEX, buy this and you can claim the free Boom Arm with the offer Tamron are starting today! More details HERE if your interested, should prove really useful in a studio enviroment......
tamron 90sp di from ebay UK SUPPLIER based in Brighton
Quote: something around the 100mm mark
Nikon 105mm VR micro, Anything else is a serious compromise......!!!
Never had any joy with the Tamron 90mm. In the end I sold it I have recently bought the Nikon 105 which is a cracking lens but may be a bit more than your budget.
Quote: Never had any joy with the Tamron 90mm.
?????????? Not that it's my prerogative to question what does and doesn't give joy to others, but aside from its lesser build quality and awful AF, the Tamron is a top lens—always has been right from the days when it was a manual focus 1:2 (half life size) affair. It's the choice of some pros (I think Mark Hamblin uses one for instance - a wildlife photographer of some repute). I've had three, and been published more times than you can poke a stick at with them. Just don't expect it to double as a door-stop.
Thanks to all for the input.
It would seem that the Nikon 105 does seem to be king of the hill, but it does seem to be sitting outside of my budget and I can't find it second hand anywhere.
Are there any users of the Tokina 100mm f/2.8 out there? That seems to have great reviews, but I'd like to hear from anyone here who has happened to have used it.
Heard some reports about the Tokina not auto focussing with lower end budget Nikon's, what truth there is in this I don't know as I'm a Canon user, but it might well be worth investigating.....
Quote: Heard some reports about the Tokina not auto focussing with lower end budget Nikon's, what truth there is in this I don't know as I'm a Canon user, but it might well be worth investigating.....
It's a D7000 I'm using so that won't be a problem (God-as-Photographer Ken Rockwell tested it using his D7000 and noted no such problems, at least).
Righty ho, well that's good news for you, I knew there were issues, but didn't know all the details, but you seem to have done your homework on it....
Check whether your D7000 will take AIS manual-focus lenses. If so, check out the 55mm and 105mm Micro Nikkor lenses. They are as good as lenses get and dirt cheap secondhand.
I find that AF isn't a help for macro work so there's little point paying for it. I used the Nikon 105 VR as my main studio lens for about 5 years. The VR was never switched on and I wouldn't run out of fingers counting the occasions I used the AF. Pretty good lens but over the OP's budget, even secondhand!
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