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View Full Version : Which Micro Lens?



ColColt
08-14-2008, 09:39 AM
I've ran across a pretty good deal for both the 60 and 105f2.8D Micro lenses. The 60 is $399 and the 105 for $569-both in EX+ condtion. Given a choice, which would you choose? Probably 80% of what I'd use it for would be portraits and short range wildlife not over about 30 feet. I have the 55-200 lens but thought something faster would be good and could use it for close up work as well. I've heard good things and read reviews about both of these and feel they're just as good as the latest AF-S lens in the same catagory.

LR Max
08-14-2008, 10:42 AM
I had a 60mm macro and it was alright for macro. I used a 105mm and it was THE AWESOME compared to the 60mm. Given the choice I'd get the 105mm.

For portraits I was always going for my 50mm first. Never used the 60mm for portraits, only macro stuff. I see you've got a 85mm. I was under the impression that the 85mm was the portrait king??

One thing I'd like to warn you about the 60mm (don't know if the 105 is like this too) but the closer your focus is, the smaller the apeture gets. It isn't constant f/2.8 throughout the entire focus range. Closer focus=smaller apeture. This kinda ticked me off and was one of the reasons why I didn't use it for anything other than macro.

Something to think about.

500mL
08-14-2008, 11:00 AM
I'm thinking of getting the Sigma over the Nikon 105mm Micro. Has anyone used both? I know the 105mm Micro has an awesome clarity, but Sigma 105mm anyone?

ColColt
08-14-2008, 12:14 PM
I had a 60mm macro and it was alright for macro. I used a 105mm and it was THE AWESOME compared to the 60mm. Given the choice I'd get the 105mm.

For portraits I was always going for my 50mm first. Never used the 60mm for portraits, only macro stuff. I see you've got a 85mm. I was under the impression that the 85mm was the portrait king??

One thing I'd like to warn you about the 60mm (don't know if the 105 is like this too) but the closer your focus is, the smaller the apeture gets. It isn't constant f/2.8 throughout the entire focus range. Closer focus=smaller apeture. This kinda ticked me off and was one of the reasons why I didn't use it for anything other than macro.

Something to think about.

Out of curiousity, are you the one that posted that shot of that dead and decaying dog in the hot sand on "Show Us Your Pooch" thread or was it someone else I'm thinking of?

ColColt
08-14-2008, 04:01 PM
Anyone else have either of these two lens that could give some guidance?

Rooz
08-14-2008, 04:08 PM
if you shoot stationary stuff then the 60mm is fine. if its anything moving then the focal length is too short.

some other considerations...
there is a new 60mm micro which is better optically so i would DEFINATELY be looking at that over the older 60mm.
the 105 has VR so if you are looking to handhold and not use flash, this is the one.
the 105 is a sensational short tele lens
the 105 is an excellent portrait lens
the 105 will offer a narrower FOV so on one hand its a little harder to achieve great focus but it will render backgrounds more OOF to isolate subjects very well.

i have not used the new 60mm but the old one had excellent contrast, the 105VR suffers from lack of contrast SOOC.

the 105 has some focussing and sharpness issues at MFD.

i would personally go for the 105 every time but thats due mostly to focal length and VR cos i think the new 60 micro is optically a better lens.

ColColt
08-14-2008, 04:25 PM
I have a couple of lens with VR and can't honestly tell they do any good. I've hand held the 55-200 at around 150mm and never did see the tremor diminish even after holding the shutter button down 15 seconds. The entire image still shook a bit.

Rockwell gives the 105 some very good accolades for sharpness and contrast and in some ways he persuades one to think the D version is better in some respects over the VR version. I'm sure both are excellent lens and I've always like the 105 f2.5 for film cameras. It is indeed an excellent portrait lens so, you get two for the price of one...portrait and micro capability. With having the 85 already, it's close to either the 60 or 100 but I wanted a macro (micro) lens in the portrait range and either would actually fit the bill with the edge going somewhat to the 105 due to being able to get further away when shooting bees on flowers, for instance. Too bad I can't find both the 105D and 105VR to test first.

achuang
08-14-2008, 06:12 PM
I've got the older 60mm macro and it's a very sharp lens, but the AF is poor. Doesn't really matter so much if you manually focus a lot of macro shots. It is a good lens for the price and is sharper than both my 50 or 85 primes. I would go with the 105 just for the longer focal length as it gives a bit more working distance.

Rooz
08-14-2008, 06:14 PM
I have a couple of lens with VR and can't honestly tell they do any good. I've hand held the 55-200 at around 150mm and never did see the tremor diminish even after holding the shutter button down 15 seconds. The entire image still shook a bit.

just trying to understand this. VR is good for at least 3 stops. even with unsteady hands. its very easy to tell. take a shot at 200mm @ say 1/15s with and without VR. if you cant see a difference then your lens is faulty.

ColColt
08-14-2008, 07:02 PM
I would go with the 105 just for the longer focal length as it gives a bit more working distance.

I sort of lean toward the 105 because of that and the fact that it's a superb portrait lens.


just trying to understand this. VR is good for at least 3 stops. even with unsteady hands. its very easy to tell. take a shot at 200mm @ say 1/15s with and without VR. if you cant see a difference then your lens is faulty.

I'll give that a shot tomorrow when day breaks. I sure hope nothing's wrong with the lens. It's pretty sharp and I hate sending anything back. They keep items for months.

achuang
08-15-2008, 12:38 AM
I have a couple of lens with VR and can't honestly tell they do any good. I've hand held the 55-200 at around 150mm and never did see the tremor diminish even after holding the shutter button down 15 seconds. The entire image still shook a bit.



Rooz, I think what he means is that he half pressed the shutter to activate the VR and then held it still for 15 seconds to see if the shaking minimised. Some of the canon IS lenses are like this, in that if you hold it still for a certain period of time you can get up to 4 stops of IS.
ColColt, VR is not going to get rid of shake completely, but it does help a lot in handholding slow shutter speeds.

ColColt
08-15-2008, 11:56 AM
You were right, Rooz. I shot some at 1/15 around f8 today and switched between off/on and could see a difference. I suppose I was waiting to see the motion through the viewfinder settle but never did. Nevertheless, it did make a difference with it switched back and forth.


ColColt, VR is not going to get rid of shake completely, but it does help a lot in handholding slow shutter speeds.

I found that out today. I hadn't realized it made that much difference since I still saw shake before taking the shot. I guess I had the misconception of VR with what it really does.