What's a good "starters" macro lens?

Started 6 months ago | Questions thread
Brian From WI Contributing Member • Posts: 939
Re: What's a good "starters" macro lens?

noaofanoa wrote:

Hi Brian,

to answer some the issues you raised:

1. I realize that I'll have to use a tripod for most macro uses, so VR is a nice to have but not a must.

Honestly, if your first lens doesn't have VR, you should be fine.  There is a decent learning curve for macro though, and every little bit helps.  VR comes in handy to steady the viewfinder when you are hand held.

A focus rail comes in handy when on a tripod.  It's a rail that attaches to the tripod on one side and the camera on the other side.  There is a little knob you can turn that moves the camera closer or further from subject to nail focus.  It's a game of mm's at 1:1 macro.  Also. tripod and focus rail requires a static, non-moving subject.

2. I don't own any flashes, but I'm signing up for a macro-photography class to learn the basics in this area. I do hope that due to the fact that I'm planning to shoot outside, I won't have to use flashes all the time.

I wish I would have had the foresight to sign up for a class when I first got my lens.  That is a great idea.

3. This brings us to the subjects: I think I'd mostly shoot flowers, insects, birds (?), basically outside in nature.

All that fun stuff.  I suggest at least the 90-100mm range.

4. Don't mind this being a dedicated macro as I already have a wide angle prime, and 2 zoom lenses

I think that's the way to look at a macro lens.  Any extra duty is a bonus.

Another question - If I'm using a cropped lens, do I want the 100mm range after the crop magnification or after it?

These recommendations are based on a crop sensor camera.  It's all about how close you will be to subject @ 1:1.  Here is a crappy picture of the closest focus possible with a 105mm lens(on crop sensor camera).  Now imagine the subject being an insect outside.  How close you will need to be and if your camera/body will be blocking the light.

 Brian From WI's gear list:Brian From WI's gear list
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +7 more
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