Macro lens for D5100

Started Jan 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear Regular Member • Posts: 449
Re: Macro lens for D5100

TAM63 wrote:

My friend and I went for it - got her a D5100 with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses. Not my idea of the perfect lenses, but I couldn't get a body only, and these were in the price range. She can use them to get started, and upgrade one day.

The thing she will need to add though is a macro lens. She wants to take real closeups of flowers (yeah I know, but she loves it). She's fine with getting a used lens.

So what would you suggest, for a budget macro lens, so I can keep my eye out for one?

Is autofocus even anything to bother with in a macro lens? I'm thinking she would use it only for macro, as she has the other lenses to cover a pretty wide range. I know I have an old manual focus 55mm nikkor micro, and I love it. But she's never done macro photography - does autofocus even work for macro shots?

On an unrelated note, wow is that D5100 with the 18-55 a different feel from my D7000 with the 18-70. I feel even more in love with my D7000. But I think my friend will love the D5100 - she'll like the scene modes, and the flippy screen - I hope!

First of all, you really do need at least a 100-200mm lens to do good macro shots.  You just won't get the magnification with anything shorter.  The 18-55 kit lens is worthless for macro, and I have a Raynox DCR-250 macro lens (the most magnification) that I can put on it.

I really don't think you need to go to the expense of a detachable macro lens.  A good screw on macro lens will do just as good, IMO, and is much more convenient and light weight -- not to mention much less expensive.  Besides the Canon 500D, Raynox also makes good macro lenses for about the same $70-75 price range.  If you go Raynox, they make an spring-loaded plastic adaptor that you first screw the lens into -- which will then clamp onto a variety of lens ends, from 52-67mm.  If your friend ever changes cameras or lenses, the Raynox will likely fit them OK.  If you choose Raynox, I would, however, suggest you get the DCR-150 and not the 250 lens.  The 250 is an 8 diopter -- which provides huge magnification -- but the DOF is much too narrow.  It is almost impossible to get anything other than parts of flowers or insects focussed well.  I wish I had known that before buying the 250!

 Buzz Lightyear's gear list:Buzz Lightyear's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD +2 more
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