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Old April 22nd, 2012, 08:27 PM   #1
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Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Appologise as this isn't anything to do with video, but reckon someone here will have an answer.

I've got fed up to the back teeth with trying to get decent, close up technical shots with my AF - S Nikkor 18 - 200mm, does everything but make the coffee, DX lens.

With its 1: 3.5 - 5.6 maximum apeture, to get any depth of field you need either a searchlight or the camera bolted to a block of concrete for the time exposure.

There's got to be something out there built for just this job, any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,


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Old April 23rd, 2012, 11:24 AM   #2
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Macro Lens | Macro Photography Lenses| Close-up Lens| Nikon

Skip the 2 PC lenses, those are for architecture, not for macro & close up.

I personally own the AF-D version of the 105 f2.8. It's a great lens for both macro & portrait. I've also used the 55 f2.8. Also a great lens for macro.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

A lot depends on what you're shooting. I like the 60mm f/2.8D AF on the DX sensor Nikons. It will equate to a 90mm on your D80 so it can double as a nice portrait lens. The 105mm macro works really well too but with the 1.5x crop factor may be a bit too long of a lens for really close work.

I shot some portraits recently with the 60mm macro on my D7000 and they turned out very nice. I would have preferred a bit faster lens but overall teh bokeh is very nice on the 60mm. Here's a sample of a shot I took with the 60mm. This is my daughter's eye close up with my reflection in it.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 03:20 AM   #4
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Don't know if you want the Nikon brand specifically, but a great value Macro lens is the Tamron AF 90mm f2.8 Macro Di-II. Can be had for under $400 and comes highly recommended.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 03:53 AM   #5
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Thanks for the input, guys.

I'm after a lens to get (very) close up shots of equipment and stuff, down to the threads on screws, believe it or not.

In the "old" days I would simply whack an extension tube onto one of my Canon lenses for my brace of (80's) A1's, and be able to capture a bugs bum, got a bit passe' of late.

To be empirical on this, I need to be able to get a standard 1/4" X 20 tripod head screw "ful frame", all 14mm of it.

Technology can't have got to the point where what was everyday two decades ago is now impossible, can it?

Or is this just a Nikon issue?

I really don't want to bugger about with adapters and all the hassle and lack of features that entails, so, if there isn't a Nikon answer, guess it's time to upgrade to a Canon (again!).


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Old April 28th, 2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

I believe the 105mm Macro would be your best overall choice. It's comparable to Canon's 100mm Macro and will give you the best combo of speed and ability to fill as much of the frame as possible. However, at it's closest wide open you will have almost no DOF. If you need to get some insane shot, Nikon does make a 200mm Macro (they call it a Micro but it's the same) that will only go to f/4/0 so you'll need a lot more light. But, at a minimum focal length of 1.6' (0.487m) you are essentially working with a 300mm lens a little under a half meter away from your subject. That should be able to fill the entire frame with the bus butt. Of course the issue is you'll need a good amount of light. Canon's equivalent is 180mm Macro which does go to a f/3.5 so you get a little faster lens but really not much. In either case you will need to be locked down on a tripod and I would use a remote release. Any movement whatsoever will be noticeable for macro work that extreme.

Unfortunately those are your current choices. I guess true macro photography isn't done much anymore.

-Garrett
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Old April 28th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #7
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

You can get an extension tube for your Nikon. It's certainly cheaper than a macro lens, but it may or may not give you the effect you're looking for. You can also get a bellow mount if you need to get really close. a non Nikon branded bellows can be found on eBay pretty cheap. Nikon and I think Schnieder or Zeiss also make screw on diopter lenses for CU that work for some people's needs, again, YMMV.

If this is something that you're going to do a lot of, it think it's worth investing in a good lens.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 06:43 PM   #8
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Thanks guys, I'll check out your suggestions.


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Old May 1st, 2012, 12:54 PM   #9
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

You might check out an older lens, the 55mm f3.5 Micro-Nikkor. It focusses from 24.1cm and apparently was accurate enough to be used in some sort of photolithographic process for making early integrated circuit chips. Older lenses may have an overhanging aperture ring which will foul some newer Nikon F-Mounts, especially if they are adaptors fashoined after modern mounts which have a lesser depth of clearance shoulder of a slightly wider diameter. This typically causes the iris ring to bind on the mount and turn on the lens as the lens is twisted to lock home in the mount. It is usually impossible to adjust the iris with it in this state. The cure is to either dress off the overhang or skim the mount ring shoulder deeper and very slightly narrower diameter to restore clearance.

Century Optics 4+ and 7+ achromatic dioptres, favoured for homegrown 35mm groundglass adaptor relays came in 58mm filter thread mounts. Mounted via a stepdown ring to 52mm diameter filter thread on normal f1.8 50mm lenses, they work fine. Some Nikon 85mm lenses have a 58mm front which will mount them direct. These may be available in other thread diameter sizes. These are preferable to cheaper single-element screw-in "macro" lenses, sometimes incorrectly referred to as "macro-filters". These tend to bad chromatic aberration toweards the corners of the image.

If you still have a 35mm groundglass adaptor in your back shed, the dioptre used for relay is usally a perfectly good achomatic dioptre "macro" lens. They seem to work on the 35mm format lenses as many of these had a front element diameter considerably less than the front element of the zoom lenses for small chip cameras.

Otherwise there are the old Kilfitt ( Zoomar ) 40mm and 90mm Macro-Kilar specialty lenses for 35mm motion picture cameras. They came in ARRI standard mount which has the same flange to focal plane distance as a PL-Mount. It seems some have been adapted for Nikon mount. Here's a link to the search field on eBay.

macro kilar | eBay

Last edited by Bob Hart; May 1st, 2012 at 01:07 PM. Reason: error
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Old June 6th, 2012, 12:15 AM   #10
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Probably too late to be of help, but: Sigma 50mm macro is a very nice lens at a comfortable price. (Sample image attached)


Most macros go to 1:1 ratio, which is not enough for your needs. And their optics are often recessed in the mount, which means that the mount makes it difficult to physically get close enough to the subject.

Takes a little work, if you are handy, but I once made a t-mount to leica-enlarger-thread adapter by simply drilling and tapping the t-mount and mounting a standard enlarger-lens flange to the t-mount. Coupled with extension tubes or a bellows, a 50mm or shorter Leica-thread enlarging lens could be made to make enlargements much greater than 1:1, and the lens construction allowed it to work close the the subject.


I even mounted a 75mm lens on an 8x10 view camera and made extreme closeups with that, but that's another story.

Also -- your mention of long exposures. Remember you need a small f-stop to get any depth of field,and light falls off as the square of the distance, lens to sensor. So your 4:1 enlargement of a 1/4" object would lose, if I recall correctly, 4 stops of light. (somebody check me on this?) At any rate, it takes solid mounting and long exposure or a LOT of light to do what you want. Best wishes!
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Last edited by Battle Vaughan; June 6th, 2012 at 10:42 AM. Reason: add Sigma sample image
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Old June 8th, 2012, 01:28 AM   #11
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Thanks, Battle.....................

I think I'll give the engineering a swerve, got a bit long in the tooth for that sort of thing.

Yeah, the light thing is a worry.

I remember I was doing a close up sequence of a very intricate brass open clock mechanism (in action) some years ago which I had on an electric turntable, using my Canon XH A1.

In order to get the light required for such a close (less than a foot) shot I needed two 500 watt halogens, one (close) each side of the lens hood.

Had to limit the shoot time to 60 seconds a go as I realised the lens hood was starting to smoke due to the heat. It's still pretty well singed both sides as a result but hasn't disintegrated yet.

The footage was absolutely amazing and quite mesmerising.


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Old June 9th, 2012, 02:49 PM   #12
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

For great quality at low price, turn the lens around.

There are mounts you can use to reverse a lens. A 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 makes a great macro lens when reversed.

You'll need a lens with a manual aperture ring, of course.

There are many tutorials about this on the web -- just Google it.

Here's an example. Macro Photography with a Reverse Mounted Lens - Tutorials
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Old June 11th, 2012, 02:01 AM   #13
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Thanks, Tom...........

Man, did that one take me back aways, too scared to say how long.

Yep, the reversed lens thing has been around since the year dot, never actually did it as I had extension tubes for my full (35mm) Canon line up of lenses.

Problem is, I now have a Nikon, which I'm really determined I'm not going to lavish as much love on as my Canons, simply doesn't warrant it, quite frankly ("It's a camera, Jim, but not as we know it", and boy, do I concur).

With all the electronics built in nowadays, not sure if the "reverse lens" thing can even be made to work, and I don't intend to start buying lenses and adapters to find out, especially in this little outpost of Antarctica.

Thanks for the thought though, exceedingly good advice, and man, what a blast from the past!

Regards,


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Old June 11th, 2012, 04:40 AM   #14
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Regardless of which lens you choose, you are going to want to stop the lens down to f11 or smaller in order to get some depth of field. Forget the wide apertures, unless you need a very limited depth of field, especially if shooting at 1:1.

Your best bet would be to go for 100mm or longer, at least you can pump light into the scene without setting fire to your lens hood and eye lashes.

I have a Nikon lens adapter for my Sony EX and this allows me to use most of my Nikkor lenses (85mm and above + 55 micro nikkor) for superb close up work. You didn't mention how you want to use the shots, web or printed. This could make a difference as for web work you can always enlarge the center of a full frame shot.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 11:04 PM   #15
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Re: Reccomend Nikon Macro for D80 DSLR?

Hi, Vincent..............

Exclusively web use, and I do indeed already cut the bit I need out of much larger shots, just as well my D80 has a decent sized sensor, though not stellar compared to some of the most recent market entrants.

You may have caught one of my reviews here on DVinfo (check out the Articles section tab at the top of every page, there's a few of them (reviews) if you go digging) and the need for close ups, whilst not imperative, gives just that bit of extra detail to the story.

Then there's just the everyday answering posts on the Forum, a picture paints.....................


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