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Photography Question 
Pat Harry
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member since: 11/26/2006
 

Nikon 200mm micro lens & 70-200 lens


I have both of these lenses on my wish list:
- Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens
- Nikon Telephoto AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4.0D ED-IF Autofocus Lens
Do I need both? I really enjoy macro and close-up photography, so the second lens above is first on my wish list. If I get it, do I really need the other? Or will the macro lens meet some or much of the need that the 70-200 would cover?
I have a Nikon 18 - 135 kit lens, but I don't really like it. So I don't want to consider it as an alternative.
I also have this lens on my wish list:
- Nikon Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor
But my thought on that one is to wait until I get a full-frame camera. I have the Nikon D80 now, but plan to move to the D700. I thought I would hold off on the wide-angle lens until I had a full-frame camera. Is my reasoning logical? If so, I'll get the 200mm macro lens first, then the D700, then the wide angle.
Thoughts?

2/25/2011 1:49:29 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
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member since: 11/11/2003
  There wasn't any logic in why you got a camera in the first place. You loved it, so you did it. Just think about what kind of pictures you usually take or want to take. How often you need to go from 200mm down to 70mm? Or do you find yourself doing things that require you to stay in the 200mm range one day, and some other day you stay in the 70mm range with a different subject?

2/25/2011 4:13:13 PM

 
Pat Harry
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  Hi, Gregory. Very good points. I guess I was wondering if the 200mm macro and the 200mm range on the 70 - 200 function the same. Or is there something unique about the macro that makes it different at 200? I assume not. I have a 60mm macro and it makes wonderful pictures, macro or not.

2/25/2011 7:18:15 PM

 
John H. Siskin
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  Hi Pat,
What a long macro lens does is allow you to work at a greater distance form a small subject. It also tends to flatten the image, simply because you are farther from the subject. A telephoto lens flattens subjects like faces for the same reason. The 70-200 is the basic portrait range for a full-frame camera, and most of the portrait range for a smaller chip. The fast aperture allows you to isolate your subject, which can be very helpful. If you feel you have to be too close to a macro subject, you might consider getting a tele-extender instead of the 200 micro.
I really like wide-angle lenses, and an 18-35mm lens is on my full-frame camera most of the time. You could certainly get the 17-55 and use it with your current camera, but it will be more fun when you get the full-frame camera.
Thanks,

2/25/2011 9:49:59 PM

 
Peter K. Burian
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  Lots of good advice here, Pat. Here's my take on it: Most people prefer a shorter macro lens like the 105mm, although John explains the benefits of the 200mm for serious nature photography.
The 70-200mm is a fabulous lens but really does not focus close at all. So you would never use it for that purpose.
The VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED is very good and a bargain at around $600 but it also does not focus very close. (Unless you routinely make prints larger than 13x19 inches, I think this lens would be ideal. Not very wide maximum apertures but very good in all other respects.)
So, I think you will want a macro lens and one of the telephoto zooms for more distant subjects.
If you buy the D700, you will definitely want a short zoom too. Fine with your current camera till then. The 17-55 is a very fine lens.

2/26/2011 11:23:20 AM

 
Pat Harry
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  John & Peter - thank you both for your responses. I think I've talked myself out of the 200mm macro.

Peter, I have the 60mm macro. Is there much difference between those two lenses? Maybe I should just sell the 60 and replace it with a 105.

Peter, I looked at the 70 - 300. How does it compare in image quality to the 70 - 200? I was leaning towards the latter because sometimes (rarely), I'm a 2nd shooter for a wedding photographer, so I liked the low light ability. But that's not really critical for me, since I do this so infrequently. If the 70 - 300 has image quality like the 70 - 200, I would certainly be interested in looking into that one, since it is much less expensive. But I'm not willing to sacrifice image quality if I can keep from it.

And I can't wait to get the 17 - 55 wide angle! And the D700 to go with it.

2/26/2011 1:29:21 PM

 
Peter K. Burian
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  Hi Pat, In my mind the 60mm macro is too short for nature photography. OK for stamps, coins etc. but for nature, you must get too close to the subject with a 60mm Macro.

On a scale of 1 to 100, I would rate the 70-200mm as a 95.

I would rate the 70-300mm VR ED as an 80. Very good but not fabulous.

I own both of those lenses myself and if the price and weight of the 70-200mm are not a problem, that is the one to get.

In that case, I suggest also getting the Nikon 1.4x TCE II . When used it is a 98-280mm f/4 lens. Fabulous quality is maintained.

For very, very credible lens reviews, see www.slrgear.com

Peter
www.peterkburian.com

2/26/2011 1:36:15 PM

 
Pat Harry
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  Peter, I was reading the reviews on the site you referenced, and I found that this lens had a slightly better review:

Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor (Tested)

Are you familiar with this one and the 17-55?

2/26/2011 4:35:36 PM

 
John H. Siskin
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  Hi Pat & Peter,
Just wanted to kick this back in: for portraits a long lens, say 150 to 200mm is fabulous at f2.8. The short depth of field does a wonderful job of isolating the subject. Ive been shooting portraits, in a doctors office all day, and my 80-200 did great work.
Thanks, John Siskin

2/26/2011 7:54:20 PM

 
Peter K. Burian
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  Hi Pat, There are just too many lenses for me to be familar with all of them.

When you are in the market for a certain type, it is well worth reading the reviews for all in that category as you are doing.

John: Sure, portraits at 200mm, at f/2.8, are great ... a lot of outdoor fashion photography is done like that (or at f/2 with a very expensive 200mm lens.)

Problem is, you need to be very far back from the subject for a portrait at 200mm ... and in many indoor locations, people cannot move that far back.

Especially with a small sensor camera; with a D700 or EOS 5D Mk II you don't need to move as far back ... but still quite far compared to shooting a portrait at around 100mm

Peter www.peterkburian.com

2/27/2011 6:54:19 PM

 
Michael L. Young

member since: 2/11/2005
  Hi Pat,
I started with DX -F mounts (Nikon -Fuji) then switched to all FX-F mounts(Nikon),
I run a D3 and a D700, the D700 does most of the crime scene and forensic shots. My wife uses a D90 with 18-200 Nikkor best do all lens for DX F-mount.

The Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 is a Great do all portrait lense For DX or FX I have mine since first Fuji S2-S5 then current fXs. It is great for Studio and outdoor portrait work. That lens with my 24-70 Nikkor 2.8 is my wedding-event-Portrait lens set. I have in the last two months purchased the Nikkor24-120 f 4 which is now on the D700 most of the time skin tones are great and it is not the 24-70 but it is real close. My Sigma 150mm Macro Micro is also a good portrait lens although sometimes too sharp for the subject's best look. For any wider angle wotk I found my 18-35 does just fine and DXoOptics pro or LR3 can fix any of the lens's sins.

Micro / macro work is Micro work, if that is your goal then nothing but a Micro/Macro lens will make you happy. The longer FL you can afford the better. As it will let you stay further away from the critters for their comfort and your lighting options. I have the 60 Nikkor D very tight working distance and a Sigma 150mm much more critter friendly, Nikkor Bellows with 135 Nikkor E. For things that do not move like non live organisms or physical evidence, finger prints, bulb filaments ect you can get by with the shorter focal lengths, required for all is tripods, focusing rails multiple strobes etc.

If you are going to get the D700 then get the 24-120 F4 VrII as your day to day do all lens. The Nikkor 200 Micro for your micro work and then find a good used 70-200 f2.8 VR from KEH or some reputable seller.

any questions contact me at mlybudo@sbcglobal.net
Semper Fi
Michael

3/1/2011 8:22:21 AM

 
Bunny Snow
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  You have so much good advise here, I would be totally confused.

I have the 70-200 f2.8 lens, which I used to shoot Nikon. It's a beautiful lens and can be used for landscapes as well as portraits.

I also used the 105 mm f2.8 Micro/macro lens on my Nikon. It was my personal favorite and I still miss that lens, although I now shoot and love the Canon technology. The 105mm f2.8 micro is very sharp, possibly too sharp as a portrait lens used in full mode, but does exquisite work with tiny wildflowers with my full frame cameras.

I research lenses, but buy one at a time, until the limits of the lens, stops me from capturing certain images. Only then, do I consider another lens.

Since getting into digital and changing technology from Nikon film to Canon D-SLR, my basic focal lengths remain the same, only my lens manufacturers are
new. In the mean time, I've expanded my photographic knowledge, and with it the things I like to photograph. For me, I upgraded but kept the old, going from a 70-200mm zoom to a 300mm f4L lens for capturing backyard birds close to the house. Both lenses are constantly used for birds and coons in my backyard and were purchased because of their sharpness, price and weight.

For portraits, I have used the 24-105 f4L, 100mm f2.8L macro (at full mode), the 70-200 mm f4L lenses.

I have a Canon 50D, and nearly always use a good, sturdy tripod.

3/1/2011 11:11:46 AM

 
Pat Harry
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  I am really enjoying this thread. Thank you all for sharing!

I have ordered the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 lens, and it will be here this week. I may eventually need a longer lens, but for now, this lens will fill so many needs for me, so I felt like it made the most sense now.

Next on my list is probably the wide angle lens, but I need to decide on my next camera body (full sensor or not) before I made a lens decision.

I know I want a longer macro lens. I'm not sure if I need to go with the 200mm, which is what I was wanting originally. But my 60mm isn't adequate for me anymore.

Of course, by the time I can afford all those things, I'll have a new list of I-absolutely-must-have-this!

3/1/2011 11:43:48 AM

 
Peter K. Burian
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2-Week Short Course: Boot Camp for New Digital SLR Owners
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Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
  Well Pat, you have ordered my Number 1 favorite lens so you are on a roll!

Cheers! Peter
www.peterkburian.com

3/1/2011 12:01:48 PM

 

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