View Full Version : macro lens, help me spend a little $

Dread Pirate Roberts
08-09-2008, 07:09 PM
I've got a mate going to the USA in a couple weeks who has offered to drop by a shop and grab me a lens.

I've been eyeing off Prosperos 105mm Kiron macro lens for a while but get the feeling a good 2nd hand Nikon mounted Kiron will go for 200-300 USD. A brand spanking new micro Nikkor 105mm is around 750 USD.

It just doesn't seam much of a discount to go with pre loved equipment that doesn't auto focus. What are your opinions and are there other options I've missed.

08-09-2008, 07:21 PM
for the budget conscious i'd get a tamron 90/2.8 or a sigma 150/2.8.
i thinbk denis makes the kiron look easier than what it is.

Dread Pirate Roberts
08-09-2008, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the suggestion Rooz.
I thought long and hard about the Sigma, you've proven it can do a great job and the slight extra reach gives me more chance with bugs.
The Siggie is $600USD though which is getting close to the price of the Nikkor 105mm at $750USD.

I don't expect to get results as good as Prosperos, it's just I find I like to manually focus anyway and I thought I might get better optics and a cheaper price by going for an old manual focus lens. The Kiron does seam to get some good writeups.

08-09-2008, 11:59 PM
will the d300 meter the kiron ??

08-10-2008, 07:27 AM
The Kiron is an AI lens, so it should meter with the D300. However, as far as I know, it will only meter in aperture priority and full manual, because the camera is not able to set the aperture of the lens; you have to do this manually with the aperture ring of the lens.
Using an AI(-s) lens on a D300 is not as easy as using regular lenses, because before you can start shooting you need to set in the menus what the maximum and minimum apperture of the lens is and what focal length it has. If you don't set these parameters (especially the first two) the lens may not meter correctly.

I got my Kiron for 100 euro, which at the time was less than 150 euro. I bought the lens in a local camera store. They sell a lot of second hand equipment there. There's lots of old Nikon stuff, many antique film cameras, old Leica equipment. It's a really nice store.
Considering that the lens prices here in Holland are quite high, the lens sold very cheap. For as far as I can tell, it was in near perfect condition. The paint has come off here and there, but that's about it. Oh, and it rattles if you shake it a bit, but that's the apperture mechanism and it is supposed to be normal for this lens.

Not having metering can be a bit tough every now and then, especially when using flash. When using flash, there are basically four variables that you need to set: ISO, shutterspeed, apperture and flash output. Also, the lens is less bright at 1:1 than 1:2, so you need to compensate for that as well.
I think with a D300 setting only the aperture is enough, the camera will determine the rest.

While the Kiron is optically very good, has a very good build quality, I think the prices you stated are a bit high. Unless you can find this lens for less money, I would probably spend a bit more and get the Tamron 90 or another macro lens that does have autofocus and regular metering. Almost all the new macro lenses are also very good optically.

One more thing, the Kiron does not have internal focussing. This means it extends to 150% of its original length when focussing to 1:1. This means that the working distance when shooting bugs is quite small. With the Nikon 105 it is larger, because this lens does have internal focussing.

Hope this helps.

Dread Pirate Roberts
08-10-2008, 10:05 PM
Yes you've both helped heaps thanks.

Unless I can pick up a Kiron very cheaply I'll go for one of those other options (Siggie 150mm or Nikkor 105mm). I'll just have to hide from my wife a while when I buy another lens.:(