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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    DSLR for insect photography

    I own a Nikon D50 right now, but I would like to start printing some photos. 6.1MP just isn't cutting it. I'm thinking about maybe the D40X or D200, but there are probably a lot of other cameras that would work well too. I just don't know which would be the best for macro photography.

    Looking for: DSLR
    Experience: I know the basics, but would like to start experimenting more with controls. Right now I'm letting the camera do most of the work, but as I become more experienced, I'll probably want more control over my photos.
    Lens: I want a macro 1:1 lens for it, probably around 100mm. Beyond that, I'm not really sure.
    Brand: Leaning towards Nikon, because I'm used to it, but I would definitely be willing to switch if it was worth it.

    Budget: $500-$750, but I would like to buy it used, so the "new" price would probably be higher than that.

    Useage: Almost exclusively insect photography, during daylight
    Prints: I'd like to make medium-large prints...I think I want a camera ~10MP.
    Editing: I don't really like editing my photos, but I will if I have to. I'd rather use images straight from the camera.

    Thank you in advance for any help! I searched the forums for a similar situation, but couldn't find anyone with the exact same wants.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    There is nothing wrong with the D50 for macro photography and printing. Before you rush out and waste money on a new camera body buy a proper macro lens or at the very least a set of extension tubes for your current lenses.

    The best value for money macro lens that you could look at would probably be the Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens that is very well regarded and has been around in various forms for something like 20 years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Exeter, UK
    Posts
    883
    Tamron 90/2.8 seconded. Sharp as a knife. I use the Pentax mount version on my K20D for insects, as well as larger subjects sometimes. Working distance at 1:1 about 3" from the built in hood. Only downsides are that it's a little slow & noisy for AF, but you probably main want to focus manually for macro (though I believe the Nikon mount version now has a built in AF motor, which may be faster or quieter).

    Detailed review here.

    I have heard a lot of good things said about the Nikon 105/2.8 VR, but it's nearly twice the price.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Livin in a redneck paradise
    Posts
    1,874
    Agreed, if you can't take good macro shots with the D50 you can't take them with another camera either. Keep your old camera, get a nice macro lens like a Sigma 150mm, lock it on manual focus and have at it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    3,226
    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    The best value for money macro lens that you could look at would probably be the Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens that is very well regarded and has been around in various forms for something like 20 years.
    They have the $50 rebate going, which makes it $410.
    Pentax K20D/K5/15/21/40/70/10-17/12-24, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5/150-500, Tamron 90 Macro/70-200 2.8, Canon SX20 IS/Elph 500HS
    (formerly Pentax 50 1.4/50-200/55-300/K100D, Sigma 18-50 2.8/70-300 APO, Tamron 28-75, Viv 800, Tele-Tokina 800, Canon S3 IS, Samsung L210)
    http://s133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3
    Ok, thanks for the advice! The reason I wanted something new is because I really really like some of the shots I take, but if I printed them, they'd only be around 4"x4" at 300dpi...I have to crop them a lot because I don't have a macro lens and with only 3000pixelsx2000pixels maximum, my photos end up way too small to print. I'm definitely looking into those lenses though, I think those will be perfect.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    3,877
    I use the Tammie and rarely crop, I feel I've failed if I have to.

    For macro you want really sharp, and you get that by having a decent dedicated macro lens and not cropping. Having less pixels on your sensor isn't really hurting your sharpness, it's your lens.
    D800, D300, D90, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200VR f2.8, 300 F4, 105 micro, 16-85VR, 50mm 1.8, Tammy 90 macro, 70-300VR, SB900, 2xSB600, MB-D10, 055XPROB 322RC2. New computers to run photoshop faster. C&C always appreciated. PhotoGallery
    Pressing the shutter is the start of the process - Joe McNally ... Buying the body is the start of the process - Dread Pirate

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    for bugs i'd go for the sigma 150mm. it has a much longer working range so you will crop less.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3
    Ok awesome, I'm going to go lens shopping today with those suggestions in mind. I'll stick with my D50 (I do love it, and was a little sad at the thought of switching). Thanks!

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