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Photography Question 
Jessica M. Wakefield

Lens comparision

I am wondering if anyone can give me insight into which of these lenses would be a better buy. I am looking for a lens to do up-close shots-flowers, bugs, things like that, but dont have the money to spend a fortune on a new lens. I have a Nikon N65. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Quantaray 50mm f/2.8 AF Macro for Nikon

Sigma 28-135mm F3.8-5.6 IF Macro Lens for Nikon AF


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4/7/2006 2:11:43 PM

Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004

I know nothing about Nikon but just from general lens knowledge I'm going to venture to say that the 28-135 is probably not a true macro an dmight leave you dissapointed for flowers, bugs, etc. Now I'm sure it would be a great all around lens if you don't have one already but if you're looking for specific macro work, I'd say the 50mm is probably the better choice. Now from what I've seen on other brangs and whatnot, usually a 50mm is not a 1:1 macro, but generally a 1:2 macro, meaning you can get 1/2 lifesize on the film. Usually they have a counter part called a "life size converter" for them making the able to shoot macro at 1:1. It's basically an extension tube designed specifically for the 50mm to make it a 1:1 macro. Being a 50mm though you'd have to get pretty close for a 1:1, so you might have difficulty with bugs. But If I were you I'd opt for the 50mm or maybe fish the used markes for something around a 100mm macro, which will give you a true 1:1 macro with infinity focusing and also give you more room to play for bugs and whatnot. personally I don't want to be 2 inches from a wasp with a big lens in it's face! know what I mean? hope this helps a little.


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4/7/2006 2:24:33 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Justin's solution is certainly one way to do this without buying any macro lenses. But you might also consider a set of close-up lenses that are essentially filters that thread into the lens barrel like a filter. Nice thing about them is you don't lose exposure latitude as you might with a close-up tube, but OTOH you might not get the same magnification either.

Take it light

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4/7/2006 3:34:21 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  I believe the Quantaray is Ritz's in-store brand, and the lens in question is a re-labeled Sigma 50/2.8 EX macro... a very good macro lens indeed, that will get you to a true 1:1 ratio (the item will be exactly the same size on your sensor as it is in real life).

However... a 50mm lens can be a little limiting for macro photography, because you'll need to be very close to your subject to get the macro shots you probably want.

I would ask what other lenses you have, and how much you're willing to spend. If you have a Nikon 105mm or an 80-200 zoom, then I'd suggest you buy a Nikon AF extension tube (the 27mm tube goes for $100). That will let you get macro shots while also allowing you to keep your distance from skittish (or stinging) bugs. Plus, you can use the extension tube on ANY Nikon lens.

Another choice would be to buy a used, manual-focus Nikkor 105mm Micro lens (off of eBay). This is a fantastic macro lens and would work great on your camera... and it should go for about the same price as the new Quantaray/Sigma 50mm macro lens.

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4/8/2006 3:07:04 PM

Jessica M. Wakefield   Thank you all for your help. I appreciate it!

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4/11/2006 11:06:29 AM

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