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Nikon Micro Lens Selection

Lesson 45 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

Nikon Micro Lens Selection

Lesson 45 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

45. Nikon Micro Lens Selection

Next Lesson: Fisheye Lenses


Class Trailer



Nikon Lens Class Introduction


Nikon Lens Basics


Focal Length: Angle of View


Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses


Focal Length: Telephoto Lens


Focal Length Rule of Thumb


Field of View


Aperture Basics


Equivalent Aperture


Depth of Field


Maximum Sharpness




Hyper Focal Distance


Nikon Mount Systems


Nikon Cine Lenses


Nikon Lens Design


Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon Lenses


Nikon Lens Vibration Reduction


Image Quality


Aperture Control and General Info


Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses


Nikon Super Zoom Lenses


Nikon Wide Angle Lenses


Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses


3rd Party Zooms Overview


3rd Party Zooms: Sigma


3rd Party Zooms: Tamron


3rd Party Zooms: Tokina




Nikon Prime Lens: Normal


Nikon Prime Lens: Wide Angle


Nikon Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Nikon Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


3rd Party Primes: Sigma


3rd Party Primes: Zeiss


3rd Party Primes: Samyang


Lens Accessories: Filters


Lens Accessories: Lens Hood


Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount


Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lens Accessories: Teleconverters


Macro Photography


Nikon Micro Lens Selection


Fisheye Lenses


Tilt Shift Photography Overview


Tilt Shift Lenses


Building a Nikon System


Making a Choice: Nikon Portrait Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Sport Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Landscape Lenses


Nikon Lens Systems


Lens Maintenance


Buying and Selling Lenses


Final Q&A


What's in the Frame


Lesson Info

Nikon Micro Lens Selection

For the micro lens is there are two lenses that are specifically designed for the dx siri's they have that smaller image circle, and so the that is the forty in the eighty five, we're going to go through these in particular and a little bit here, and then they have two different sixties one's kind of older generation wants newer generation, the one o five and the two hundred so one of the other reasons why they have all these different lenses for focusing up close is the distance that you need to be from your subject, which you just saw me working with. Being up close is a disadvantage in some cases, especially as close as I wass, and so a sixty millimeter lens will give you about nineteen centimeters of working distance the one oh five gets you back a little bit further, which allows you to put in lights and reflectors and other items so that you can light your subject if you're photographing flowers or other little objects that need special lighting considerations, the two hundred mi...

llimeter lens gets you extra bit of distance to work with there, so it depends on what type of subjects you're doing and where you're working and what works out really well now what's the best one depends on what you shoot and how you shoot it. I'm in the past, I've owned and hunt one hundred five. And what this does is this is probably the most popular for your can of hobbyist macro photographer. This is a good general middle of the road. They tend to go up in prices, they go larger, and this is enough to get the job done. In most situations, the sixty or kind of a normal lens is for us focal length for a macro, I think works really good for all of the artists out there that maybe are either doing paintings or sculptures or three dimensional art or something that they're documenting. And sometimes they want to get close, and sometimes they want to document the object. The problem is that sometimes you want to photograph, like a vase or a book that's, you know, maybe this big in size. And so you put it down on the ground, and then with one hundred millimeter lands, you move up and up and up and up. And then you gotta have the camera mounted up here in order to get the shot. And so if you're looking to reproduce artwork, I think something maurine the standard focal length is better for your general close up photographer, round one or five, and if you really get into it two hundred. Or especially if you're photographing rattlesnakes that's really nice because you need that little extra distance in there, so having that working distance allows you to get nice light on your subject, you don't want to be blocking the light from the sun or the other light sources, and so usually that hundred millimeter hundred five range is really nice for that sort of work because you don't want to get too close and bump all those drops of water off of that grass because you'll never get him back on there. So the macro the micro lenses are going to be the sharpest way that you could get close up. The other ways that you could get close up are the extension tube's, which are good, and I said that they were really good because they don't have lynnie lynnie lens elements in them. The on ly a problem that they have in my mind is that those lenses air not designed for being close up and some of them are just not as sharp as the micro lens is when it comes to working close up, they're designed more for focus at infinity and at a certain point things kind of fall off when you get too close up. They're very bright and easy to see with and so if you know you want to do close up work it's great, but the other nice benefit because that they also work is really good portrait lens is one hundred millimeter lands in that general ballpark eighty five this will see for the crop frame sensor works really nice as a portrait lands and you can go in really she close up and shoots so there's a number of wedding photographers they'll do ring shots with the macro the micro and then they will do their portrait shots with the same lens so the technique for doing this is a little dip fourth and standard photography it is generally best if you can to set the magnification that you want or need first so you set the focusing of the lands, which is how you set the magnification and that's the first thing that you said and so you're going to turn the lands two, one, two, one, one, two, two, one, two, three whatever it is that you think you need after you do that, you're then going to move the camera to focus and the problem is is that focus gets very, very fussy when you're in close and so auto focusing with micro lands tends to be very problematic, especially if your handheld because when your hand held, the reason I had my hand on this table is because I I'm constantly moving even if I try to hold still we're all moving a little bit and so this helps simplify the whole process into the only thing that controls focusing is a little bit of forward and backward movement if you're trying to focus and move back and forward it's gonna be it's gonna be nuts, it's going to be really, really hard to do now. Ideally, you're on a tripod and maybe even you have one of these extension rails that allows the camera to move forward and backward that's the really fancy way to get into micro photography and so that's a good technique to use. So once again on the collection, we have a collection of dx lenses. We have a collection of fx lenses and let's just kind of go through all of these lenses real quickly self for the crop frame users on ly because these produce the smaller image circle for the three thousand three thousand and five thousand siri's the forty millimeter, this is your entry level micro lens sells for less than three hundred dollars, and for most of you who are likely to purchase this, this is most likely going to be the sharpest lands you've ever owned. It is a really sharp lands. It does require you to be fairly close to your subject, so one of the things that you want to think about is what's my work keep distance. How close do I need to be the subject? Sixteen centimeters is about that far all right, forget the numbers it's about six inches or so and so you're going to be fairly close to your subject and so if you're straight over the top of it, you're going to be blocking some of the lights. You have to be a little bit careful if you're that close, but if you're going to photograph something like a book or a piece of artwork, yeah, like I said, if you want to reproduce art that you are creating, I just want to take a picture of a photograph or a painting that I made that's hanging up on the wall, the forty millimeter lens would be fantastic for that. And so if you are documenting any sort of artifacts or artwork, a normal micro lens would be the best way to go highly recommend for that the problem with longer lenses that you end up being too far away for subjects that are a little bit larger. But if you know you want to shoot smaller stuff, this is this is going to give you more working distance between you and your subject. And so the eighty five kind of a new lens for a nikon they haven't had in the past because this especially designed for the dx now we have a minimum distance of twenty nine centimetres, so we've doubled just about the working distance between our cameras and our subject works as a reasonably good portrait lands. The problem is, is that three point five aperture is not really all that great. So it's pretty much a micro lens in my mind. So those are our lenses for the dx system. Now, of course, if you have a crop frame camera, you can use any of the micro lenses you want, but these were designed specifically for your camera, and I think they're giving you some pretty good prices on that as well. So for their full frame, or you can use him on their crop frame, you just get, uh, uh, a little bit smaller of a frame, so you're actually getting in greater actually know you're still getting one to one, but you'll be a little bit further off because of that crop cropping factor. So this is the older sixty, so if you have an older manual focus, one of the earlier auto focus is this might be the lens you want to get. They have upgraded this with the new aperture system in their lenses, so this one has a price reason why you might want to get it, but as faras everything else they do have a new version for this lands it does have their older screw mount focusing system in it. Good quality, land's. Incredibly sharp. I can guarantee you that on that one. So this is the new version of it. This is the g version designed for the newer cameras that has the aperture control in the camera. So we don't have the aperture ring on the lens itself, and night cons made really good close up lenses for a long time, and they know what they're doing here. And so this is going to be a good standard issue one for general macro photography. For those of you who really like to photograph very small objects, you're probably going to appreciate the extra working distance from the longer focal length one o five this one here. And so this one was kind of revolutionary at the time, because when this came out, this was the first micro or macro lens to add vibration control or any sort of motion control to it. So ideally, you should be on a tripod, shooting macro photography, and on this one, this does give you a little bit more leeway for being handheld. Be aware, though, if you want to go out, take pictures of the flowers, you gotta worry about the wind moving and so that's the other element that the can't do anything about it's, just your movements that it can compensate for. So that little bit longer focal length means that you get a little bit further away from your subjects so we're at thirty centimeters now it is, in my opinion, a little bit of a big and chunky lands for one hundred five two point eight lance so just going to take up a little bit more space in the bag but can be used very nicely as a portrait lands one hundred millimeter range two point eight aperture that's going to be very nice for a lot of portrait situations most people don't need to go here two hundred four is going to give you a lot more working distance and if this is something you really did on a regular basis, you have a lot of lighting and other items that might be in in your studio helping you set up your shot. This is going to be the lens you want because it gives you the longest working distance possible. You know, looking at this picture it's kind of funny because it has a hyper focal scale on it and it has f thirty two right next to where you're focusing so it shows you even if you set f thirty to your death, the field is just razor thin on this and some people like that some people don't and that's just the nature of having a two hundred millimeter lens that focuses up really close and at a two hundred for it's just kind of an awkward lens for general purpose but you can certainly use it for say, landscape photography or anything else you want but it is clearly designed and notice the tripod mounted on it that's where the center of gravity is going to be so very good lens you one could argue it's their best but it's not the most popular micro wins I think the one oh five would be the way to go for most people who really want to get into this fairly deep so nice little collection you do pay mohr as the focal lengths go up or we go into newer technology with the sixty millimeter lenses and so I think the sweet spot for a lot of people is the one oh five good choice now we do have some classic glass here too. So nikon still makes some of their older manual focus lenses that working here and since most people who do mackerel micro photography work in manual focus the fact that these air manual focus lens is really it's no big deal and so very nice little lenses they are not one to one another mistake look at that. I said it's one to one up here but it's actually wanted to at least I got it right down here so it is a one to two magnification ratio on that one been around since nineteen seventy nine that might be the oldest lens in the class the one oh five gives you a little bit more working distance a little bit bigger in size also good for portrait work. All right, so these are going to be a little bit less money than some of the others, but if you really like the manual focus field which I know there's, some people do, these are still available knew so let's run through the third party options for micro macro lenses. This is a brand new company I've never shot with this lands. It just seems really weird because we're going to start in wide angle and not that there's really wide angle macro lenses, but there is in this case they make a fifteen millimeter lands that does go one two, one magnification ratio and just a very unusual look, so if you want to focus on your cat and get right up in front of its knows you're going to get some unusual shots with this one and so that's something new that's just kind of hit the market there you can focus pretty close with the nikon twenty four, but this little venus uh, lens is going to be much, much, much cheaper than that, so getting more into the normal range of close up lens is ice has a beautiful little lands once again, for those of you who like manual focus and like that manual focus, feel on it. And so that's going to be a half life size on that. And that would be somewhat comparable, of course, to the nikon manual focus as well. But this ice will of course, be more money. Venus makes another lens, and this is the first one that I've seen that does two to one magnification. So this is twice the size. So wait a question about getting closer. This is the way to do it with just one lens, so it is possible. But this is the only lends out there that I know of that will do it. There's probably some other, very hard to find items, but this is fairly new on the market, and it will do that manual focus only. But it is designed only for the a p f c coverage. So it's the crop frame sensors tamron has been known for many, many years to make extremely good ninety millimeter macro lenses. They have often bested those of cannon and nikon in the quality of their life. And so this is an older style. Once what's it going to be a little bit less money, so this is just going to be a really nice lines? I'd probably compare it with sixty which is going to give you a little bit more working distance it's still going to be auto focus, which is nice and so you know, this would be something I would strongly look at for somebody who wants to save just a few bucks but wants to have a little bit more working space now they do have a new version of this which will see right here and this one they've added in the vibration control on it and this is another phenomenal ninety millimeter macro micro they call it macro lens they've added weather ceiling too this is well so you can compare this to the nikon and I think it's going to compare right there in quality, but it is a little bit less in price and so very big quality have very high recommendations they've been making great ninety millimeter macro lenses for decades it's just kind of one of their little specialties that they do a really good job if you wanted to get close up in a in a macro lens and you I wanted to save a bit of money. This is a good quality not as good as a couple of the others that we've talked about, but it is notably less in money, so if you wanted to save a little bit of money in there, you can certainly do that with this takina macro lens hundred have two point eight and as we're getting into the longer focal lengths we have his ice which is going to be hundred millimeter once again these are going to be one to two magnification on there beautiful lenses very good glass very good manual focus feel on it tamara does make a longer focal length to compete with ny khan's two hundred millimeter they have one hundred eighty millimeter this is going to give you a lot more working distance this one kind of unusual because it has a front ring up here on top oh for turning filters so if you have a filter on the front of your lands sometimes you'll have hoods and other devices you could just turn this and so some macro photographers who have a lot of attachments find that much easier to work with and so that's going to compare against the nikon two hundred and noticed that the gonna be noticeably less money than them then I think this is my final one sigma makes another one eighty this is a fairly new design compared to nyu cons design which is about twenty years old now one two one gives you a large working distance of forty seven does have the stabilizer built into this very long lands not that I would recommend hand holding it and it is actually running just about the same price but we're looking at newer technology and that stabilization system that they have built into the lands so that is your macro lens micro lands as faras nikon look sorry, I just constantly going back and forth between micro macro, they don't mean anything different. All right? Well, let's do a couple of questions, I'll start with one from some folks at home some people have talked about can you flip a lens around and make it a macro? So, yes, you can, and it was a lot easier in the days of film photography, when we had less electronics running between our cameras and our lenses, you could take a wide angle lens, and usually the best lenses were around twenty or twenty four millimeter lands, and so they're wide angle, and so if you turn him around, they become a telephoto lens and you could use a reversing rain in order to mount this twenty or twenty four reversed like it's pointing at your camera and you get a very nice close up ring, but you lose a lot of your control over aperture, and you can still do it on your cameras today, but you're going to lose full communication with lenses because it doesn't have the electronics to run around the back side of the lands so it's for somebody who really wants to manually hack their camera into getting close up, just a small question someday may win the lottery twice on be able to afford zeiss. But I noticed a note on a z dash. Pf mt is their special mounting concern. And so, yes, they do have a mountain for nikon. And I think I may have that mislabeled in there. I think it's z f dot, too. And so, if you are looking for his ice lands, make sure that you get it for a nikon mount and I believe that's, the z f version in the title of it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon® Lenses Part 1
Nikon® Lenses Part 2
Nikon® Lenses Part 3
Nikon® Lenses Part 4
Field of View
Nikon® Lenses Part 5
Nikon® Lenses Part 6
Nikon® Lenses Part 7
Nikon® Lenses Part 8
Nikon® Lens Data

Ratings and Reviews


Outstanding class! This is a must own. You will refer back to this class many times during your photog career. John has put a ton of work into this class and it shows. Being able to download the slides and other Nikon glass info is wonderful. Even if you're not a Nikon shooter you will still gleam tons of information from this class, John covers in great detail the strength and weaknesses of each lens and when you might consider using it. I was expecting a good class, but this turned into an epic class. I watched multiple videos several times. The only bad thing I can say is I "had" to order a few more lenses! Thank you John Greengo for making a truly amazing class.

Anna Fennell

Wow! What a course! Very in depth, lots of valuable information. John instructs with great knowledge and integrity. I have taken other online courses, NOT from Creative Live (my bad!) and was left feeling like a monkey who had learned tricks without understanding or knowledge. Now I feel I have the confidence to move forward on my photographic journey securely knowing how lenses function, what to look for and what price range I can expect. Bravo John! I'd love to see a 2020 update video as an addendum.

Fusako Hara

Finally I have some sense of what lens do, know what I have, what I would like to have, what lens to use, and how I can get images that I see. Best part of this session is it was made so clear, simple, logical, and practical. I am glad that I purchased this product. Now, I am going to look for more from John Greengo so I can take better understanding and take better images. Thank You.

Student Work