Macro lens for Nikon D70

ghostsword

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Thanks.. I will check the lenses out. On ebay there is always some being sold.

I got my D70 with a Nikon 35-80 F4-5.6D, cheap lens, but for a newbie such as me it is perfect.

So the fight is between the Tamron 90mm and the Nikon 105mm.

Now silly question. The larger the mm the more it zooms into, right?

So a camera that is between 35mm and 130mm would zoom much further than a 105mm?
 

ghostsword

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theDiver said:
If you go for the Nikon 105mm go for the new VR version.

Here is an article describing the new 105mm VR and the Tamron 90mm
http://www.bythom.com/105AFSlens.htm

Fantastic article, thanks for that.

" if you can give up the VR and AF-S and need to save money, the Tamron is the lens to get."

I need to save money, but VR and AF-S are indeed cool, and this is lens that would be kept for a while. I will just save some more and get something good.

The pic of the bee is indeed the sort of pictures I would like to take. There is a user on the forum that has taken the most amazing pictures of mosses, and was that that inspired me to look at macro photography.

Cheers,
Luis
 

ceg4048

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Luis, I thought you said your budget was around £200?

There is not much difference optically between a new £900 105 VR and the much lower price used 105 units.

Again, if your main objective is macro photography then a feature such as auto focus is much less important. You turn off AF when shooting macro because the focusing distances are so very short. AF has no idea where you want the focus point. VR is nice but if you have the camera mounted on a tripod, which you typically do for serious macro work then VR has to be turned off. Hand held macro shots are a different story as the VR will help to reduce blurring due to camera shake.

So most people have other lenses that cover the focal range of a dedicated macro lens and only occasionally use the maco lens for general shooting. If most of your shooting will be general shooting then it's probably better to get a general lens that has some macro ability.

If you're deciding whether to get the Tamron vs the Nikon, I'm pretty sure that you won't be able to tell the difference in your photos which lens the subject was taken with. The issue is one of economics and ergonomics. The feel of the lens and how it handles are often much more important than the differences in optical quality. Does the focus drift once set? How smooth is it to turn the focus ring? Is there a Depth-of-Feel preview so you can check what areas of the frame have acceptable focus? What is the minimum focus distance? Does the lens barrel extend during focusing? Are the lens distortions in the images easy to correct?

These are the more important questions than what marketing features the manufacture has come up with to separate you from your money and which often don't help you to take better pictures.

ghostsword said:
Now silly question. The larger the mm the more it zooms into, right?

So a camera that is between 35mm and 130mm would zoom much further than a 105mm?
A zoom lens is a lens with multiple focal distances. Neither of these lenses can zoom as they each have a fixed focal length. The mm values (called the Focal Length) describe the angle of view, or the "perspective" of the lens. The 35-80 lens is a zoom lens because it has multiple focal distances. A low number means that the lens sees a wider field of view. The larger the number the narrower the field of view. In effect, the focal length of the lens gives an indication of the magnification that will be produced. So a 300mm lens has a much higher magnification than a 35mm lens. It can resolve objects 10X further away. If you set you zoom lens to the 50mm mark it will see an angle of view (or a perspective of the world) similar to what humans see with our naked eye. This is why a 50mm lens is often referred to as a "normal" lens. Higher numbers are called "telephoto".

So your "cheap lens" has the ability to zoom from a wide angle perspective to telephoto with minimal distortion. A feat unheard of 50 years ago.

Cheers,
 

theDiver

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ceg4048 said:
Again, if your main objective is macro photography then a feature such as auto focus is much less important.
Sorry you are wrong.

You turn off AF when shooting macro because the focusing distances are so very short.
No you don't.

AF has no idea where you want the focus point.

All except the cheapest dSLR's have a quite good understanding of where the focus point is, you can even move the focus point.

VR is nice but if you have the camera mounted on a tripod, which you typically do for serious macro work then VR has to be turned off.
Sorry but you are wrong again.

A lot of serious macro work is done with the camera in your hand, maybe not for tank shot's but it sounds like he is going to take pictures of bee's and other insects as well. Often you have no time moving the tripod, aligning everything. There you walk around with you camera and shoot, when you have the chance.

Of course he can just buy the old lense, but then he lacks all the good features of the new VR version, and most people get a camera+lense to handle one situation, and suddenly they want to shoot in other situations as well. And trust me it sucks to have bought a cheap lense, because you thought you would only need it for 1 time of job, and then have to get the better one afterward.
 

ceg4048

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Well how did people take macro shots before VR and AF were invented? The photographer takes the picture, not the camera. AF often gets in the way. The focus markers get in the way. Why would you need VR on a tripod mount? VR lenses instruct to turn the feature off when tripod mounted.

I use old lenses and I don't have any difficulties in that regard. I don't miss any of the "great features". I agree that hand held macro shots a a little easier using VR, but not enough to blow your budget. Use the money saved to get a small monopod (or even use a rock or your camera bag) and do some planning before you go out shooting.

Learn how to become a better photographer and how to get the best from the gear you have and maybe things won't suck all the time. That way you get to keep your hard earned money and still get great shots.

Cheers,
 

theDiver

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ceg4048 said:
Well how did people take macro shots before VR and AF were invented?
Let me guess, you also still use the old time film, that need to be send in for printing and all that. ;)

Just because you CAN take pictures without AF and/or VR doesn't mean you have to.
It is called development.

The photographer takes the picture, not the camera.
Thats true, but why not use the features that makes things easier.

AF often gets in the way.
Wrong again.

The focus markers get in the way.
And wrong again.

Why would you need VR on a tripod mount? VR lenses instruct to turn the feature off when tripod mounted.
Where do i say you must use VR on a tripod, i said often when doing macro you don't have a tripod.
Okay if you only shot macro shots of dead non moving things, then sure, use your macro and your manual focus.
But for everybody else, who take pictures of alive and moving things, we love VR and AF.

I use old lenses and I don't have any difficulties in that regard.
I use new lenses, and don't have any difficulties either. I can actually turn of AF if i want to, can you turn on AF?
Correct i have more possibilities than you have.

I don't miss any of the "great features".
Which might be due to the fact, you already have spend money on old lenses.

The person starting this thread, is looking for a lense, not replacing a lense. Therefore he should not buy old stuff, but rather get new technology which has a lot more possibilities.

I agree that hand held macro shots a a little easier using VR, but not enough to blow your budget.
A little easier, have you ever tried the 105mm VR? It is a lot more than 'a little easier'.

Use the money saved to get a small monopod (or even use a rock or your camera bag) and do some planning before you go out shooting.

Learn how to become a better photographer and how to get the best from the gear you have and maybe things won't suck all the time.
And again with better gear, you can get even better shots.

Or do you really think an old Nikon D40 can take as good pictures as maybe the newer Nikon D3000?
Nev technology gives better focus, better speed, better resolution, lot better reduces ISO noise. The lenses have better glass, better autofocus, faster focus, less flare, and the possibility to go manual if you care to. The older lenses without AF don't have the possibility to turn on the AF.

Sure if money is the problem, go buy some cheaper stuff, but there is a good chance you will regret is later (but won't admit it in public).

I for one thing love my Prof. Nikon 28-70 mm f/2.8 and my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 they cost a fortune, but are worth every penny.

p.s. I have turned of notification on this thread, because we are into details now, that does not really help the person asking the questions. It is up to him, if he wants good new equipment with a lot of possibilities, or some older equipment, with a lot less possibilities.
 

ghostsword

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ceg4048 said:
Luis, I thought you said your budget was around £200?

I have seen some VR lenses on ebay for less than £300. I can save a little bit more.

ceg4048 said:
There is not much difference optically between a new £900 105 VR and the much lower price used 105 units.

This is good to know. :)

ceg4048 said:
Again, if your main objective is macro photography then a feature such as auto focus is much less important. You turn off AF when shooting macro because the focusing distances are so very short. AF has no idea where you want the focus point. VR is nice but if you have the camera mounted on a tripod, which you typically do for serious macro work then VR has to be turned off. Hand held macro shots are a different story as the VR will help to reduce blurring due to camera shake.

The macro will be taken with a tripod, probably VR is overkill for what I want.

ceg4048 said:
If you're deciding whether to get the Tamron vs the Nikon, I'm pretty sure that you won't be able to tell the difference in your photos which lens the subject was taken with. The issue is one of economics and ergonomics. The feel of the lens and how it handles are often much more important than the differences in optical quality. Does the focus drift once set? How smooth is it to turn the focus ring? Is there a Depth-of-Feel preview so you can check what areas of the frame have acceptable focus? What is the minimum focus distance? Does the lens barrel extend during focusing? Are the lens distortions in the images easy to correct?

So the difference between the two lenses is just build quality? The camera will be used on a variety of conditions, on field trips and mountain walks, need to be strong. Most important is that it should last me even if I buy another camera.

ghostsword said:
Now silly question. The larger the mm the more it zooms into, right?

So a camera that is between 35mm and 130mm would zoom much further than a 105mm?
ceg4048 said:
A zoom lens is a lens with multiple focal distances. Neither of these lenses can zoom as they each have a fixed focal length.
Ok, makes sense. The cheap lens for out and about, the 105mm for fixed focal lenght, and when in macro it is up to me to focus manualy on what I want to see.
 

ghostsword

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theDiver said:
... good new equipment with a lot of possibilities, or some older equipment, with a lot less possibilities.

:) I work on computers, and found out that new does not necessarily means better.. :)

If the optics are very much the same, with the VR costing close to £900, the savings are massive, especially for a newbie like me that even had to read the manual to find out how to switch off the flash on the D70. :D

So far the 105 Nikon seems the best suited for my needs. I may go to a photography shop in London and see if I can try it, there are a couple of second hand shops in Totenham Court Road.

A Gorila Pod and some meat will be used to take a pic of my first fly! :)
 

George Farmer

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ceg4048 said:
Live view it really what's overrated....

When you learn to see your world through a viewfinder you'll find that you'll take better photos.

Cheers,
I agree with the second comment mate; folk shouldn't rely on Live VIew for most situations.

However, I actually use Live View a lot for full-tank shots and find it very useful indeed.

Hopefully for the benefit of others I will explain myself in more detail...

I'll have my camera on a tripod perfectly square to the tank, and select as small an aperture as I can get away with, without compromising shutter speed or ISO. Typically with my camera and full aquarium lighting this is around f/8 to f/11 for most circumstances.

Then I'll manually focus on a spot right at the front of the tank. To get the focus absolutely spot on I use Live View with 10x magnification. Auto-focus is not so accurate in these situations, in my experience, and to manually focus without the 10x Live View it would involve more trial and error.

Because I have a decent depth of field almost everything behind to spot I've focused on is nicely in focus.

I will also preview the exposure using Live View. Then I can manually adjust the white balance in Live View to ensure I know almost exactly how it'll appear on my computer. Obviously any minor adjustments can be made in software but the majority of the time it's spot on. Actually my 50D's screen is superb in terms of accuracy and it's saved me countless hours in needlessly keeping unwanted frames.

Also for handheld macros, especially of moving fish in big tanks where a tripod is almost redundant, I find auto-focus very useful.

I honestly don't think I would get as many useable shots without these aids. But I don't think that makes me any worse a photographer. Using the technology to your advantage, but understanding the basics and not relying it; that's my philosophy. :thumbup:
 

ghostsword

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Would a camera that goes from 18-105mm such as the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, be as good for macro as a camera that has fixed focal lenght of 105mm?

The price difference is quite big, but would the results be somewhat similar?
 

Stu Worrall

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ghostsword said:
Would a camera that goes from 18-105mm such as the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, be as good for macro as a camera that has fixed focal lenght of 105mm?

The price difference is quite big, but would the results be somewhat similar?
nope. they wont focus as close as the macro will
 

tyrophagus

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theDiver said:
ceg4048 said:
VR is nice but if you have the camera mounted on a tripod, which you typically do for serious macro work then VR has to be turned off.
Sorry but you are wrong again.

Sorry Diver but you are wrong and ceg4048 is correct regarding VR and tripods. VR is designed for handheld photography, not for tripods. Your images will have reduced sharpness if you leave VR on. Always turn VR off when your camera is mounted on a tripod or it will affect image quality.
 

Stu Worrall

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tyrophagus said:
Sorry Diver but you are wrong and ceg4048 is correct regarding VR and tripods. VR is designed for handheld photography, not for tripods. Your images will have reduced sharpness if you leave VR on. Always turn VR off when your camera is mounted on a tripod or it will affect image quality.

not if you are panning as you would select mode 2 on a canon IS lens mounted on a tripod or monopod (vertical damping only) Not sure if nikons do this tho
 

ceg4048

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Only on their newer £2000 and up lenses. Not on the macro lens in question.

Quote from Thom Hogans review of the latest version of the £600 105mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S VR
The exact words in the Nikon manual say "As the reproduction ratio increases from 1/30x [sic], the effects of vibration reduction gradually decrease." In other literature, Nikon has flat out said to turn off VR for macro use. What's the real answer? The manual is correct, basically. The closer you focus, the less VR has an impact on the final image. At 1:1 (the closest focus distance), it may not impart any benefit (it didn't seem to in the testing conditions I could create). So do you turn VR off when working in macro? If you're pressed up towards the limits of focus, I'd say yes--you're wasting battery life and potentially making it more difficult to hit a focus point. But if you're focused out beyond two or three feet (~.7m+), it probably makes sense to leave it on, as you'll get some benefit (though not the four stops Nikon claims for the system unless you're focusing far further out into the scene).

Cheers,
 

Mark Evans

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theDiver said:
ceg4048 said:
Again, if your main objective is macro photography then a feature such as auto focus is much less important.
Sorry you are wrong.

he's not mate. focusing at close distances is a pain with AF. all my macro stuff is done on a tripod. even the stuff with my 70-300. I've missed more shots when relying on AF than with out.

if it were the case, why doesn't the 65 MP-E have a focusing ring?...it's all manual.

AF tends to hunt more at full stretch. even if you change the focusing spot, then it becomes even more problematic. on my 135mmf2 L it preforms worse on any other focusing spot other than that one in the middle.

George swung me around the MF way of focusing.
 

Dave Spencer

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I did some macro work for my company, photographing blade damage on a gas turbine. Even with a tripod and still target, MF was the best method.

Damage-1.jpg


We all clearly have different methods that work for us, and are prepared to change the way we operate to meet the specific situation, whether it be MFor AF. An absolute definite for me is to switch VR off when using a tripod in all circumstances, when using a macro lens for macro work.

Dave.
 

George Farmer

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Like Dave mentions, different techniques for different circumstances.

I think for real close-up stuff that still or slow moving then MF is more useful.

For a moving 'targets' i.e. fish, I think AF is your best bet. I tend to select an AF point, then line it up with the fish's eye, then fire away. It's how I got this shot for instance. Try capturing a fast moving fish like this green chromis by focusing manually so close up and you're a better man than me!

4275251794_30cf76ddda_o.jpg
 
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