• Welcome to Photography Forum. Our photography community!

    Photography-forum is dedicated to those who have passion, desire and love of photography and want to improve their photographic technique. It doesn't matter what you photograph, landscapes, weddings, portraits or your photographic experience, it's about learning and loving what we do. Photography!

    If you want learn and expand your photography skills then there is one place to do it Photography Forum !!!

    You are viewing photography-forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view most forums and enjoy other features. By joining our free community you will be able to post photographs for critique, join in the monthly photography competitions, respond to polls, upload content and enjoy many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please join Photography Forum.

    If you have any problems please contact us.

    The Photography-Forum Team
  • PLEASE SEE RULES BEFORE POSTING LINKS
    Click here to see Forum Rules

Lens Choice Macro/Walkabout

DaddyG

Here a lot
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
378
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
As title says I am interested in getting a macro lens but would like to be able to use it as a Walkabout too.
If it is doable what lens would you recommend?
It will be used on Nikon d5100 and d5500.
Thanks in advance.
 

Mike Singh

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
9,523
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Sigma 105mm is a great macro lens but not wide enough for a walk about lens.
 

DaddyG

Here a lot
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
378
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks Mike looked at that one. I meant to say I was looking at the Sigma 17-70 Marco 2.8.
But not sure !!
 

Mike Singh

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
9,523
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks Mike looked at that one. I meant to say I was looking at the Sigma 17-70 Marco 2.8.
But not sure !!
Is it a true macro lens?
 

DaddyG

Here a lot
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
378
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Actually reading a bit more doesn't sound like it.
 

Scratch

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
1,809
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
I have the Sigma 17-70 2.8 which I use on a Canon 70D with a cropped sensor. It’s a good walkabout lens but not a true macro
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
34,028
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
I've the 17-70 as well, mine is the original version so distances may have changed a tad. On it the "macro" is 1:2.3 with a closest focus of around 10cm; it's a nice all rounder for walkabout but just not true macro. Come to think of it I can't think of any zoom lens that does offer 1:1 ratio though, so you're probably going to be stuck with walkabout and some mag or macro not both.
 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
2,785
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
It is a difficult question as different people want different things from a macro lens. The two main things I would ask are, what are you shooting and how will you be lighting your subjects?

I mainly shoot insects, live in the field. I don’t do any of this sill freezing them malarkey, preferring to work with them in their environment. This adds a challenge, but one that for me at least is very enjoyable. First thing I learnt was to ignore all those who to,d me I need a long focal length for subject distance etc. For me at least, that was a hindrance. I took that advice on board and got a 180mm macro lens. It was awful TBH. While the lens was tack sharp, handholding it to get the insects I wanted was a right royal pain. As such I ended up with a very low success rate due to lens shake, and as the day wore on the weight of the setup made it harder. I did try using it with a tripod and monopod but that just made it more cumbersome scaring off more insects that I could shoot.

I so,d that lens and got a 100mm with IS. It was great on my full frame body but too long on my crop cameras which is what I tended to carry most. It was also of a length that sometimes needed flash, sometimes daylight alone was good. It was more suited to natural light shots as the working distance makes the flash need to work harder.

This lead me to a 60mm which on my crop bodies was a great focal length as a walk around lens. It does more often than not require the use of a flash, but works great and fits nicely in my camera bag. In use it is very light leading to me getting less shake despite the lack of IS. It has become my favourite macro lens.

At first I did find it a struggle to get close to my subjects, but I soon learnt how to deal with that. Many hours of failing at first but gradually I discovered more ways to approach live insects, how to handle them and photograph them. These are skills most kids seem to have but I know I lost them as an adult. Took a while to get them back.

I also have 35mm and 14mm macro lenses as well as a 1-5* magnification 65mm. They are also superb but especially the last one, take a lot of practice.

So if you are shooting similar to me, then hopefully the above will help, especially lighting as it can make a big difference to the best fit lens wise.

As a Canon shooter I have limited experience of lenses for the Nikon. I have tried the 105 and the 60mm and thought they were both excellent.
 

MikeB

Traveler
Moderator
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
13,579
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Consider the Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G lens. It has the same angle of view as a 60mm lens on a full frame, provides a 1:1 reproduction ratio, and is inexpensive.
 

Mike Singh

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
9,523
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Macro
The 17-70mm's 'Macro' tag reflects its pretty impressive 0.36x maximum magnification. But in practice things aren't so straightforward; this comes at an extremely close working distance, with just over 4cm (less than 2") between the front of the lens and the subject. This means that for close-up work you'll often find yourself getting right on top of your subject, with the large diameter front element frequently casting a visible shadow within the image area. At such close focus distances the lens feels rather 'wide' too (as the the lens's angle of view increases as you focus closer), which results in slightly 'busier' backgrounds than you'd get from a 60mm macro prime, for example.

This example gives an idea of the results you can get out of the 17-70mm, in controlled indoor shooting using a tripod. As usual there's a trade-off between stopping down for sufficient depth of field, and avoiding excessive diffraction softening; in general we found that shooting at around F11 to F16 gave best results. But you can also see just how close to the subject the lens ends up when shooting at minimum focus.

Canon EOS 100D(Rebel SL1), 0.8sec F16 ISO 200Shooting set-up
There's another catch for macro work, too. Like almost all image stabilization systems, Sigma's OS becomes progressively less effective the closer you focus. This means you still need to keep shutter speeds up quite high to get properly-sharp images, and therefore will often need to use high ISOs (at least if you're not using a tripod). With the high ISO capabilities of modern DSLRs you can still get pretty decent results this way.

 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
2,785
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
.

This means you still need to keep shutter speeds up quite high to get properly-sharp images, and therefore will often need to use high ISOs (at least if you're not using a tripod). With the high ISO capabilities of modern DSLRs you can still get pretty decent results this way.
Or use flash.
 

DaddyG

Here a lot
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
378
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks for all the replies maybe I'd better going for a walk around lens maybe a prime? and also a proper macro lens.
With that in mind what would the suggestions be?!
 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
2,785
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks for all the replies maybe I'd better going for a walk around lens maybe a prime? and also a proper macro lens.
With that in mind what would the suggestions be?!
What will you be photographing and how would you like to light it?
 

DaddyG

Here a lot
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
378
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
What will you be photographing and how would you like to light it?
For the Macro I am interested in plants and bugs outside so probably natural light,

For walkabout I fancy another prime to add to the 50mm 1.8 we already have.

Think it's just an excuse to add to my lens collection!!!!
 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
2,785
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
For the Macro I am interested in plants and bugs outside so probably natural light,

For walkabout I fancy another prime to add to the 50mm 1.8 we already have.

Think it's just an excuse to add to my lens collection!!!!
As you want to use natural light then probably the 105mm would be the best option.
 

MikeB

Traveler
Moderator
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
13,579
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks for all the replies maybe I'd better going for a walk around lens maybe a prime? and also a proper macro lens.
With that in mind what would the suggestions be?!
The Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G is a PRIME lens. It has the same angle of view as a 60mm lens on a full frame, provides a 1:1 reproduction ratio, and is inexpensive. The focal length is great for capturing a natural perspective (similar to how our eyes view the world). If you want the scene larger, you get closer just like any prime lens.
 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
2,785
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
I had an earlier version of that lens. While it was sharp with great blur etc it didn’t work too well for insects for a couple of reasons. First was if you wanted to make manual adjustment it didn’t allow full time MF in AF mode. So you couldn’t AF close to your needs then quickly tweak. You could if you then pulled he lens into MF mode, but the resulting movement and click often scared the subject. That leads me on to the second problem and that is the front element moves during focus which again is an odd movement that tended to scare off subjects. This was an older version of the lens that I owned so it may have changed since then, not seen one in a long time.
 

Isac

Always on
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,777
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Advanced
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
If you want an alrounder, have a look at the Tamron 18-400 it's brilliant! I can shoot close at 100mm. I've had it on my camera Canon 7Dii) for nearly 2 years (if not longer) and not changed lenses. 1 lens does it all! Great bokeh at 400mm. HERE are a few shots when I first got it. Also check out some reviews.
 

imagesBV

Here a lot
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
334
Photography Experience
Advanced
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
No
Macro and walkabout has to be a compromise....for macro you need longer than you might normally select as a walkabout....as MikeB suggests Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G ......looks to me like its made for you.

alternatively carry a small pocket size pro-compact like the sony RX100...worth checking out the macro ratio but in theory smaller sensors are better for macro, providing better DoF.
 

DaddyG

Here a lot
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
378
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks for all the further replies, I have come to the conclusion that wanting the walkaround/macro lens was to much of a compromise. Think I have a reasonable selection of lens so . . .

So now I'd like opinions on the Sigma 105mm macro, thanks in advance
 

MikeB

Traveler
Moderator
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
13,579
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks for all the further replies, I have come to the conclusion that wanting the walkaround/macro lens was to much of a compromise. Think I have a reasonable selection of lens so . . .

So now I'd like opinions on the Sigma 105mm macro, thanks in advance
Excellent macro lens, a bit long (narrow FOV) for a walk-around lens especially on a crop camera body.
 

DaddyG

Here a lot
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
378
Photography Experience
Beginner
Photo Editing Experience
Beginner
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks MikeB have done quite a bit of reading on the lens and I really fancy trying the macro so just need to get one ordered!!
 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
2,785
Photography Experience
Intermediate
Photo Editing Experience
Intermediate
Edit my images ?
Yes (recommended)
Thanks MikeB have done quite a bit of reading on the lens and I really fancy trying the macro so just need to get one ordered!!
Best of luck. In all honesty, most dedicated macro lenses are excellent. I don’t think you will be disappointed with your choice.
 
Top