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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Macro lense advice...Having now gone FF I'm seriously thinking about a macro lense I've also bought a camranger which I'm reasonably impressed ...
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Old 17-11-2013, 20:54   #1 (permalink)
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Macro lense advice

Having now gone FF I'm seriously thinking about a macro lense I've also bought a camranger which I'm reasonably impressed with to date even thou it can be difficult at times to get it to connect anyway I'm thinking about a sigma 150 2.8 or a nikon 105 2.8 vr I did have one of these once but I sold it along with another lense I wish I'd hung onto in hind site.
I don't want to use the 105 as a portrait lense as I've got a 85 1.4g althou I know the 105 is a very good portrait lense I'm leaning towards the sigma I've also got a 70 200 2.8 so I don't need the 150 for reach purposes either won't be till after Christmas anyway as we've gained two grandchildren over the last 18 months and another due two weeks after Xmas so its a expensive time plus all four of our children have left home yet they always all return for Xmas dinner !!!
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Old 17-11-2013, 21:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Macro lense advice

I have the Nikon 105 f/2.8 VR. It works well on the D300s and noticeably better on the D800, mainly because of the better dynamic range on the D800. However, it does have a small amount of CA that shows up in certain circumstances - usual wide open against the light, thin subject matter such as branches against white clouds, non-macro. It's on Nikon's cashback deal at -£60 until 31 Jan 2014. Although you are not looking to use it as a short telephoto it is pin sharp when used like this and can isolate very well at f/2.8. I like your results with the 85 f/1.4 and feel that 105 works less for portrait - I tend to use 85 (an old f/2 from when it was the bees knees - want to update it) for upper torso, and 135 for head an shoulders which I find excellent.

No experience of Sigma or Tamron except that the Tamron 90mm gets exceptional press, and the Tamron's latest incarnation with VR is supposed to be more than worth a look. It is more expensive than the Nikon. lcraft has one, maybe he can offer an opinion.
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Old 17-11-2013, 21:25   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Macro lense advice

I've recently bought my first macro lens. I was not looking to spend a lot so had to rule out the Sigma 150/180. Using it on a FF body I also wanted to get one in the 100mm range, so discarded the fantastically priced Tamron SP90 - £225 at One Stop Digital - and bought the Tokina 100 f2.8 for £289.

I think that if I could have justified it, I would have bought the Sigma or Tamron 150/180, but I don't do much macro and only wanted it for better close-up work rather than true macro.
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Old 17-11-2013, 22:45   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Macro lense advice

Andy, I bought my first Macro lens this week. I did spend quite a lot and bought the Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM. This lens has rotational as well as linear image stabilisation. I know you use Nikon so this will not be completely relevant to you. After you mentioned that you had the CamRanger, I did consider buying but it is rather expensive (particularly after having spent £750 on the lens). I did read that the CamRanger does have some problems with bandwidth but it seems that WiFi is the only way to interface a camera with a iPad Tablet. The most interesting software seemed to be Helicon recommended by another member of this forum but they have yet to produce an IPad version. So I have opted for an Android with the Helicon remote software.
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Old 18-11-2013, 00:26   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Macro lense advice

I can vouch for the new Tamron 90mm with vibration control. Makes beautiful macro images. And the VC has let me get away with some things that I'd never have gotten away with on my 60mm micro.. single hand holding while I hold a plant with the other hand to present a bug in a better position, and move in and out to focus manually. (I think markulus or chrisa informed me that I had reinvented the "left hand brace" method of shooting..

Even with steady hands, that is asking a lot of it.. It wasn't just a couple of my images turned out okay, it was nearly all of them from a set when I did my job on moving in to focus.

I liked it enough that I went and sold off my 60mm micro because once I got the 90 i didn't use the 60 once over the summer..

It's quiet, really quiet. It's an AF-S type lens, with a built in focus motor.. Older models with screw drives I'm told were rattly and noisy. (but good) and pretty slow...

It's relatively quick focusing, good working distance.. Price is good too.

It was my first foray outside of Nikon gear in a long time. I was up in arms between it, the 105 nikon and sigma, and was getting conflicting advice from all the web research I did.. I finally moved when I found the Tamron on sale.

I use the Tamron 90 to do portraits sometimes. It performs admirably when put up to that task..

I can't say I don't wish I had a 70-200 to use for portraiture, but actually I use a 70-210 F4 AF series lens for portraits and that makes some beautiful pictures and can be had for 150ish-200 depending on condition..

Anyhow - something I've learned from all this, is being frozen in place because you are worried about the best specs and which is better leads to no pictures being made.. In general, these lenses are all darned good.. I have friends with the Nikon 105 and the Sigma 105. They also love theirs. aside from knowing my photos I can't really tell what lens took the image by just looking at it.

I would buy the tamron again if it was to go get destroyed/lost/stolen.. without hesitation...
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Old 18-11-2013, 09:45   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Macro lense advice

Thats interesting, I am "rationalising" my kit (getting rid of a lot of the older stuff) and was thinking of the Tamron in place of my Canon 100 2.8 macro, as I find the VC useful these days for steadier shots.
Mmm will look into it, thanks for the report. Charles.
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Old 18-11-2013, 19:29   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Macro lense advice

I looked at the Sigma 105mm OS as I'd been using the non-OS 105 and 150 for a few years but didn't find anything that convinced me on the stabilisation - whereas Canon made a big thing of their macro stabilisation with the relatively recent IS (it's very difficult to stabilise at the macro end of things). Canon admitted to only 2 stops which appeared to be 2 stops better than anyone else's claims! Took me a while to convince myself that 2 stops was worth the extra expense - hell yes and rarely use a tripod for my macros since getting it!
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