Which Nikon macro lens, 60mm or 105mm?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by greg, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. greg

    greg Guest

    Hi folks,

    I'm trying to decide which Nikon macro lens I should get for my D70. I have
    no SPECIFIC plans for the lens; I just want to have a good macro for nature,
    anything. Please ignore the cost of the lenses.

    The lenses are, of course:
    - Nikon 60mm f/2.8D
    - Nikon 105mm f/2.8D

    I would have assumed that the 105mm would be better, because then I wouldn't
    HAVE to get as close, but then I've heard that the 60mm is sharper.


    Thanks in advance!
    greg, Sep 5, 2004
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  2. greg

    [BnH] Guest

    I use the 60mm ones to snap jewelleries and sometimes human portraiture.
    I don't know bout the 105mm ones .... but with the 1.5x crop .. 90mm is far
    enough for my needs .

    [BnH], Sep 5, 2004
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  3. greg

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    The 60mm is slightly sharper, but the 105mm is very good as well. The 60mm
    will probably be too short if you are interested in shooting stuff that's
    alive; you'll need to be only a few inches away. The 105 will let you get
    a little farther back -- not much, but enough to make a difference if you
    might scare something away or if you need to add light.
    Jeremy Nixon, Sep 5, 2004
  4. greg

    Gadgets Guest

    I've been asking the same question, but I think saving $200 might see me go
    for the 60mm. From people I've contacted that used both, they all said
    optically they couldn't pick them apart. Main differences being size,
    weight and working distance as mentioned. The other thing to consider is
    that if you want to shoot at say 2:1 with tubes, you'll need a decent toilet
    roll for the 105!

    If portability and price aren't a problem, and you're not thinking of 2:1,
    then go for the 105... or maybe the 200!

    105 review here - he's used the 60, but doesn't have a review online:

    Cheers, Jason (remove ... to reply)
    Video & Gaming: http://gadgetaus.com
    Gadgets, Sep 5, 2004
  5. greg

    Al Guest

    I have a film camera a F100. I have the Nikon 105mm and a Sigma
    180mm macro.

    I love the Nikon it is one of my favorite lens I use it to phograph
    flowers. But I bough the Sigma to photograph butterflys. I felt the
    extra magnification would be less stressfull on my subject.

    I was photgraphic a bee on a sunflower the other day. I was trying
    to fill the frame with the bee. I got a little to close and got
    chased. I guess I stressed out the bee.

    The 105mm will be 157.5 or 168 depending on the crop factor. Similar
    to my Sigma. I still feel the extra magnification is best when you
    photograph small animals. I would never use the Nikon 105 to
    photograph insects. I would be definitatly stressing out my subject.

    The Nikon 60 would be good for photographing flowers. But I would go
    with a longer lens if you want to photograph insects.

    Al, Sep 5, 2004
  6. greg

    SkyPilot Guest


    Don't over look the Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 D AF. It is also macro.


    I picked mine up on eBay for $199

    Brian J. Rueger | Hampton Div. of Fire & Rescue | "Who dares wins"
    Lt./Paramedic | Fire Communications Officer | Hampton, VA.
    B.S. Comm/I/SEL Pilot | MSgt, USAF (Ret.) 49199 | NREMT-P
    Check out my home page: http://members.cox.net/brueger
    Some of my photography: http://www.usefilm.com/photographer/34185.html
    "Life's too short to drink LITE beer!"
    SkyPilot, Sep 5, 2004
  7. greg

    Tom Scales Guest

    It will go to 1:1 like the 60/2.8?

    By the way, I love my 60/2.8

    Tom Scales, Sep 5, 2004
  8. greg

    SkyPilot Guest

    Maximum Reproduction Ratio (Macro Setting): 1:2.74

    Brian J. Rueger | Hampton Div. of Fire & Rescue | "Who dares wins"
    Lt./Paramedic | Fire Communications Officer | Hampton, VA.
    B.S. Comm/I/SEL Pilot | MSgt, USAF (Ret.) 49199 | NREMT-P
    Check out my home page: http://members.cox.net/brueger
    Some of my photography: http://www.usefilm.com/photographer/34185.html
    "Life's too short to drink LITE beer!"
    SkyPilot, Sep 5, 2004
  9. greg

    Alan Browne Guest

    See my reply in rpe35mm: short version: consider the Tamron 90mm
    f/2.8 (used) and look into the new Di version of the same lens.
    Alan Browne, Sep 5, 2004
  10. For a 1.5x DSLR, I'd get the 60mm. Gives you 90mm effective, and
    lower price and smaller lighter lens. At least in the absence of any
    special projects where 150mm effective is specially desirable.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Sep 5, 2004
  11. greg

    Alan Browne Guest

    Excellent point. I looked at it the other way around.

    How is the bokeh of the 60mm? Would (at eff. 90mm) it make a
    good portrait lens...

    Alan Browne, Sep 5, 2004
  12. greg

    Tom Scales Guest

    The bokeh is good, but not nearly as smooth as my Olympus Zuiko 90 f/2

    Tom Scales, Sep 5, 2004
  13. greg

    bob Guest

    I had the 60mm AF for a while, and it was a great lens. You do need to get
    really close, which might not be so good for bugs and things that move. I
    eventually bought the long extention tube, to get really close, but I never
    used it much.

    The 60 is also a flat field lens, so it makes and excellent copy lens. I
    don't know about the 105 in that regard. The 60 is very light, so it makes
    a decent walking around lens, but it is large (for the focus extention).

    Given no specific plans, you might consider which other lenses you have or
    plan to acquire, and buy the one that is least alike.

    bob, Sep 5, 2004
  14. greg

    Jim Guest

    Yes, but my 105 macro is sharper in the macro range than my 28-105.

    The 60mm is very good for copying documents, but you will need to get much
    too close on occasion.
    The 200mm is very good for taking shots of dangerous subjects (rattlesnakes
    for example) because you can get a frame filling shot from quite a distance
    The 105mm is not so good for copying documents but allows some extra
    distance away.

    Only you know what kind of pictures you want to make so only you can decide
    which of these best meets your needs.
    Jim, Sep 6, 2004
  15. greg

    Apteryx Guest

    I went with the 60mm, and have been very happy with it. The right focal
    length for a macro lens is always a compromise if you are only going to
    have one, and traditionally 90mm or 105mm have been thought to be the
    best compromise for 35mm cameras. But the 1.5x crop factor with the D70
    puts the 60mm effectively into that range, while still having the
    advantages of better sharpness, lower cost, and probably greater
    usefulness as a general purpose and portrait lens.

    If you are going for the greatest possible magnification at the minimum
    focusing distance, the 105 will still have the advantage of giving that
    1:1 magnification at a greater focusing distance. But while that may
    make some pictures possible with it that would miss with the 60mm, it is
    not an absolute - it merely means that you can photograph instects at
    1:1 if they will allow you to approach to 31.4cm (the 105mm's min
    focussing distance) but not to 21.9cm (the 60mm's minimum).
    Apteryx, Sep 6, 2004
  16. greg

    vhl Guest

    Is this from the focal plane or the front of the lens. I recall that
    at 1:1 the 60mm is much less than that from the front of the lens.
    I only get about 40cm from the front of my 180mm 1:1.
    vhl, Sep 6, 2004
  17. greg

    Gadgets Guest

    From the optical centre of the lens I think - the rear nodal point. For
    some lens designs, this can actually be in front of the lens, but generally
    somewhere in the back third to middle is common.

    Cheers, Jason (remove ... to reply)
    Video & Gaming: http://gadgetaus.com
    Gadgets, Sep 6, 2004
  18. greg

    Apteryx Guest

    Good point, as Gadget says I think this minimum focus is from a
    theoretical point. Testing it now the point of focus is only about 7cm
    from the front of the lens (the front of the barrel, or a filter if
    attached, because of course even at minimum focus the front element is
    still a little recessed). But I don't know what the comparble figure is
    for the 105mm.
    Apteryx, Sep 6, 2004
  19. greg

    greg Guest

    Thanks everyone! For several reasons that people have raised in this thread
    (especially the distance-to-object factor and the fact that I already have a
    50mm 1.8 lens), I think I'll go for the 105.

    greg, Sep 8, 2004
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