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  1. #1
    Faugh a' ballagh Sean Dempsey's Avatar
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    Help me decide between a 50mm and 100mm prime macro!

    Sigmas, the 50mm and the 105mm macro's... I can't decide.

    I want a macro for:
    - Taking pictures of very small things, filling the frame basically.
    - portraits, I hear these take great ones
    - basic use of non-landscape shots.

    I have read the reviews on this site and others, and alot of people say the 50mm makes you get way too close to the subject, where the 105 let's you stay back a bit more and still fill the frame. They are both 1:1's, also.

    Can some people with more experience with macro's help me out? I've never had one, but my friend let me use his Nikor 60mm and I liked it, but I hear the 50mm is just too "short".

    Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Dempsey
    Sigmas, the 50mm and the 105mm macro's... I can't decide.

    I want a macro for:
    - Taking pictures of very small things, filling the frame basically.
    - portraits, I hear these take great ones
    - basic use of non-landscape shots.

    I have read the reviews on this site and others, and alot of people say the 50mm makes you get way too close to the subject, where the 105 let's you stay back a bit more and still fill the frame. They are both 1:1's, also.

    Can some people with more experience with macro's help me out? I've never had one, but my friend let me use his Nikor 60mm and I liked it, but I hear the 50mm is just too "short".

    Thanks for your input.
    Working distance really is important. Sometimes you find yourself so close that you and your camera start casting a shadow unto the subject, and with apertures that can range up to f/64, that can spell disaster.

    The longer the better IMO.
    -Seb

    My website

    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

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  3. #3
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    I'm With Seb

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Dempsey
    Sigmas, the 50mm and the 105mm macro's... I can't decide.

    I want a macro for:
    - Taking pictures of very small things, filling the frame basically.
    - portraits, I hear these take great ones
    - basic use of non-landscape shots.

    I have read the reviews on this site and others, and alot of people say the 50mm makes you get way too close to the subject, where the 105 let's you stay back a bit more and still fill the frame. They are both 1:1's, also.

    Can some people with more experience with macro's help me out? I've never had one, but my friend let me use his Nikor 60mm and I liked it, but I hear the 50mm is just too "short".

    Thanks for your input.

    For what you want to do, the 105mm sounds like the way to go.
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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  4. #4
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    I second the second - go with the 105, especially for portrait work.

  5. #5
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    The question can be a complicated one. Much of the answer will depend on specifically what type of macro shooting you intend to do, and to what extent you want your macro lens to double as a lens for general shooting, what magnifications you need to reach, and if you intend to use fill-flash.

    Most people seem to prefer the Nikkor 105 macro for general use and especially for insect photography. It's a great lens, costs about $580 and uses 58mm filters. If you're using it at 1:1 then it will give you a working distance of about 5.5 inches. This compares to a working distance of about 2.7 inches for the 60mm Nikkor, which sells for around $350.

    If you find yourself needing magnification ratios beyond 1:1, then you will either be altering the lens' magnification with teleconverters, or reducing its focusing distance with extension tubes or close-up diopters, or some combination of the three. If you do this, you will find that the focusing distances change, and the extra three inches of working distance you gain with the 105 will usually be reduced.

    I use the 60mm Nikkor with a 2x teleconverter and fill-flash for most of my insect shots with great success, and will use a 6x close-up diopter to reach 3 to 1. This set-up also allows me to stay within the maximum flash sync-speed limitations of my N-80s. If I were to use the same set-up on a 105 Nikkor, I would probably have camera shake problems when using really gentle fill-flash, but would be OK if using heavy amounts of flash. Conversely, if I were to use the 60mm and 2x TC set-up for natural light macro, there would be too much light loss for really good results. The 2.8 max aperture of both lenses only applied when they are not in macro mode.

    Actually, though, I like the 60mm focal length so much that I do a great deal of general photography with it. It also uses a 62mm filter size that matches by 28-105 lens.

    They are both excellent lenses. I don't want to complicate the issue, but these are some of the things I'd consider in my decision.

    --Jeff

  6. #6
    Faugh a' ballagh Sean Dempsey's Avatar
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    I'd like to use the nikon 60mm with the 3.5 inch focus, but I have a Canon Digital Rebel and I haven't found anything around that cost with those specs. I'd love to get the nikon that you mention... but I think I'll have to get the Sigma 105 instead =/

  7. #7
    Liz
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    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    The Sigma 105

    This lens has excellent reviews. Charles Hess, one of the moderators for Viewfinder has this lens (and he is a professional), and has given it a big thumbs up.

    Here is the link to the reviews for this lens on this site.

    http://www.photographyreview.com/35m...8_3111crx.aspx

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Dempsey
    I'd like to use the nikon 60mm with the 3.5 inch focus, but I have a Canon Digital Rebel and I haven't found anything around that cost with those specs. I'd love to get the nikon that you mention... but I think I'll have to get the Sigma 105 instead =/

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