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by Cynthia Crawford on Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:03 pm
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I see quite a few Nikon lenses on sale, for, seemingly, a short time(Ends Monday?). . Have been looking for a macro lens on the longer side-I don't like to get too close to bugs and butterflies. Any suggestions?  (Doesn't have to be on sale but it would be nice if it was.) I'd like to stay on the lighter side, probably with VR/autofocus. Was looking at the 105 f/2.8, but not sure if it's long enough. Some sort of zoom might do the trick....I'm really not familiar with macro, having been a bird-a-holic for so long.
Doesn't have to be a Nikon lens either.... Curious about the IRIX 150 f/2.8, though it is manual focus and no IS. Not sure how steady my hand is-don't use a tripod much. 
One thing of note which I find disturbing- B&H is selling the Nikon 105 f/2.8, but they do not state outright that it is "foreign" (not US/Canada warranty). It only came to light in the questions about this lens. Nikon and Amazon are selling the same lens on their site with US warranty for $2-4 more. I've always preferred B&H until now.

For comparison, before I sold all my Canon gear, I had a 300 f/4 lens that i loved for macro. Lovely bokeh, IS, etc. The Nikon 300 is a great lens, but doesn't hold a candle to that old Canon for bokeh. Back then, I rarely shot any close-ups, so I sold the lens (and cameras).
Thanks , as always , for you considered opinions.
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by SantaFeJoe on Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:42 pm
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I use the Nikon 200 f4 micro and it is truly my favorite lens. I started out with a 60 f2.8 and it worked great at close distances from the subjects. It was fun and the subjects, including bees and tiny butterflies, were cooperative. I really wanted more working room for some subjects, though. I moved to the 200 and found it to be super sharp and could also be used as a prime 200. The only drawback for your requirements is that is has no VR. The AF works very well for macro, but many people like to focus manually anyway. You might want to rent one, if you can find it, just to see how it works for you. I highly recommend it.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:29 am
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SantaFeJoe wrote:
I use the Nikon 200 f4 micro and it is truly my favorite lens. I started out with a 60 f2.8 and it worked great at close distances from the subjects. It was fun and the subjects, including bees and tiny butterflies, were cooperative. I really wanted more working room for some subjects, though. I moved to the 200 and found it to be super sharp and could also be used as a prime 200. The only drawback for your requirements is that is has no VR. The AF works very well for macro, but many people like to focus manually anyway. You might want to rent one, if you can find it, just to see how it works for you. I highly recommend it.

Joe

Thanks, Joe. Kind of expensive, but looks good. How about 70-200 f/4? Pretty good reviews, light weight, VR.
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
web site: http://www.creaturekinships.net
"If I Keep a Green Bough in My Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come"  Chinese Proverb
 

by Swissblad on Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:02 am
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Cynthia Crawford wrote:
SantaFeJoe wrote:
I use the Nikon 200 f4 micro and it is truly my favorite lens. I started out with a 60 f2.8 and it worked great at close distances from the subjects. It was fun and the subjects, including bees and tiny butterflies, were cooperative. I really wanted more working room for some subjects, though. I moved to the 200 and found it to be super sharp and could also be used as a prime 200. The only drawback for your requirements is that is has no VR. The AF works very well for macro, but many people like to focus manually anyway. You might want to rent one, if you can find it, just to see how it works for you. I highly recommend it.

Joe

Thanks, Joe. Kind of expensive, but looks good. How about 70-200 f/4? Pretty good reviews, light weight, VR.


Hi Cynthia,

The 200mm Micro is a dedicated macro lens - and is one of our favourite lenses for this purpose - albeit it the AF is kinda slow due to the old drive by wire system - not ideal for chasing skittish butterflies etc - for static subjects manual focus and live view is best.
The Nikkor 70-200mm f4 is a terrific lens, extremely sharp, idea for landscapes  - but limited for macro - where it would require an additional close-up lens like the Nikkor T5/6.

Although you can't go wrong with either - I would try both out before pulling the trigger.

HTH, SB

PS a great lens to consider is the Sigma 150mm macro - fast AF and good VR - it is my go to macro lens.
 

by rajandesai on Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:18 am
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Have you considered Sigma 150? Or even 180? I have Sigma 150 for canon and love it.
 

by signgrap on Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:22 am
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Swissblad wrote:
PS a great lens to consider is the Sigma 150mm macro - fast AF and good VR - it is my go to macro lens.

I have the first generation of the Sigma 150 f2.8 (Canon EF mount) which I now use on my Sony a7RIII with a Metabones adapter. Despite being an older lens the image quality holds up on a 42 megapixel sensor. When I bought the lens I disliked the weight of a 180 macro which weighed considerable more than the 150. 
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by Mike in O on Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:54 am
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Don't forget extension tubes which will make any lens close focusing. My go to macro is the sigma 150 though I find its vr not as good as in camera ibis with my 99II (can't use both at the same time).
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:57 pm
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Mike in O wrote:
Don't forget extension tubes which will make any lens close focusing.  My go to macro is the sigma 150 though I find its vr not as good as in camera ibis with my 99II (can't use both at the same time).

Thanks Mike0 yes, I did just think of extension tubes. Never used them, so not sure just how they work...I guesss they aren't too expensive to give a try.
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
web site: http://www.creaturekinships.net
"If I Keep a Green Bough in My Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come"  Chinese Proverb
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:59 pm
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Swissblad wrote:
Cynthia Crawford wrote:
SantaFeJoe wrote:
I use the Nikon 200 f4 micro and it is truly my favorite lens. I started out with a 60 f2.8 and it worked great at close distances from the subjects. It was fun and the subjects, including bees and tiny butterflies, were cooperative. I really wanted more working room for some subjects, though. I moved to the 200 and found it to be super sharp and could also be used as a prime 200. The only drawback for your requirements is that is has no VR. The AF works very well for macro, but many people like to focus manually anyway. You might want to rent one, if you can find it, just to see how it works for you. I highly recommend it.

Joe

Thanks, Joe. Kind of expensive, but looks good. How about 70-200 f/4? Pretty good reviews, light weight, VR.


Hi Cynthia,

The 200mm Micro is a dedicated macro lens - and is one of our favourite lenses for this purpose - albeit it the AF is kinda slow due to the old drive by wire system - not ideal for chasing skittish butterflies etc - for static subjects manual focus and live view is best.
The Nikkor 70-200mm f4 is a terrific lens, extremely sharp, idea for landscapes  - but limited for macro - where it would require an additional close-up lens like the Nikkor T5/6.

Although you can't go wrong with either - I would try both out before pulling the trigger.

HTH, SB

PS a great lens to consider is the Sigma 150mm macro - fast AF and good VR - it is my go to macro lens.

Ummm...what is a Nikkor T5/6?
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
web site: http://www.creaturekinships.net
"If I Keep a Green Bough in My Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come"  Chinese Proverb
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:03 pm
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Sigma 150 or 180 would be my recommendation. The Nikon 200, while very good is a very old lens that is going to be dropped from the lenses that they are willing to repair long before you are done with owning it :)
 

by Swissblad on Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:19 pm
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Ummm...what is a Nikkor T5/6?


Dedicated close-up lens attachments previously made by Nikon. - see 
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:15 am
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Swissblad wrote:
Ummm...what is a Nikkor T5/6?


Dedicated close-up lens attachments previously made by Nikon. - see 

Thank you- interesting. I am reading some of the articles on that page too.
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
web site: http://www.creaturekinships.net
"If I Keep a Green Bough in My Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come"  Chinese Proverb
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:23 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Sigma 150 or 180 would be my recommendation.  The Nikon 200, while very good is a very old lens that is going to be dropped from the lenses that they are willing to repair long before you are done with owning it :)

Hmmm- Sigma 150 seems to be discontinued. Maybe used?  180 looks to be on the heavy side (3.6 lbs).  Any other thoughts? Next best? Extension tube for my 300 f/4?
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
web site: http://www.creaturekinships.net
"If I Keep a Green Bough in My Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come"  Chinese Proverb
 

by Swissblad on Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:23 am
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The Sigma 150mm is listed on sale at Adorama

I don't know why B&H list it as discontinued - as it is clearly listed on the Sigma website.
 

by signgrap on Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:37 am
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Here's a link to the 150 on the Sigma site:
https://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/macro-lenses/150mm-f2-8-ex-dg-os-hsm-apo-macro
Dick Ludwig
 

by Anthony Medici on Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:54 am
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signgrap wrote:


It also looks like the only mount it is available for is the Sigma mount.
Tony
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:03 am
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Swissblad wrote:
The Sigma 150mm is listed on sale at Adorama

I don't know why B&H list it as discontinued - as it is clearly listed on the Sigma website.


Hmmm backordered at Adorama....
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
web site: http://www.creaturekinships.net
"If I Keep a Green Bough in My Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come"  Chinese Proverb
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:10 pm
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You could always look for a used one, they are available but it does explain why I bought mine used a few years ago and sold it for a bit more than what I paid for it about 6 months ago. Do realize that older used ones may need to go into Sigma for a FW update to work properly on the latest Nikon cameras. Sigma does this for free and it only takes about a week.
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:38 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
You could always look for a used one, they are available but it does explain why I bought mine used a few years ago and sold it for a bit more than what I paid for it about 6 months ago.  Do realize that older used ones may need to go into Sigma for a FW update to work properly on the latest Nikon cameras.  Sigma does this for free and it only takes about a week.

Amazon had 1 available, so I bought it. Can always return. Not 100% sure it's not grey market-but it's sold by Circuit City, which appears to be a certified Sigma dealer. I wrote and asked them. Can also cancel order before it's sent out, if necessary.  Are all these lenses made around 2014? I read a lot of complaints about the OS failing......but otherwise, people seem to love the lens.

Why did you sell yours, EJ? ;).
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
web site: http://www.creaturekinships.net
"If I Keep a Green Bough in My Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come"  Chinese Proverb
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:55 pm
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I don't know when they were made.  Didn't think Circuit City was even in business - they closed all their stores years ago.  It probably isn't the OS failing, it probably just means that the lens needs the FW update which I talked about above.  If it doesn't AF on your camera when you get it, it also means that it needs the FW.  Like I said it's an easy fix and it is a truly great lens.

I only shoot wildlife with Nikon these days due to their 500PF, everything else is done either with Sony (travel) or Fuji Medium format (landscapes)
 

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