nikon macro lens

Nikon Macro Lens

In Nikon Lenses by Stefano Caioni Leave a Comment

Finding the best macro lens for Nikon can be a daunting task due to the sheer number of options available. There are also several parameters to keep in mind when looking for the ideal macro lens.

Nikon Macro Lens
Image Credit: Nikon

This article will walk you through the basics of macro lenses and guide you to the best Nikon macro lens for your needs.

Related: Best Nikon Lenses

Best Nikon Macro Lens: Our Winners

Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Sigma 258306 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens for Nikon DSLR Camera
Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 2177 60mm f/2.8G ED Standard Macro Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro for Nikon
Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED Macro
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
Sigma 258306 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens for Nikon DSLR Camera
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro for Nikon
Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 2177 60mm f/2.8G ED Standard Macro Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED Macro

Things to Look for When Buying the Best Nikon Macro Lens

Focal Length

In general, macro lenses are prime lenses with fixed focal lengths. They tend to have longer focal lengths because they allow you to take close-up shots while standing further away. If you want top-notch macro shots, it is recommended that you use a lens that is at least 100mm, and ideally 200mm. The problem with shorter lenses is that you have to get too close to the subject. This will block the light source, and might also end up unintentionally disturbing the subject. Moreover, the perspective might be skewed as a consequence of proximity. Having said that, if you want a wide perspective, you will need a shorter focal length.

Image Stabilization

When taking a macro shot, it is very easy for your subject to move in and out of focus, even with minuscule movements of the camera. This is because of the extremely low depth-of-field. So, image stabilization can make a huge impact on your ability to take sharp photos. 

Maximum Magnification

A true macro lens will always have a 1:1 reproduction ratio (another term for magnification in photography-speak). It means that there will be a life-size reproduction of the subject on the lens. Regardless of whether the subject is a minute insect or a delicate flower, the lens will fill the image sensor completely with the subject. 

Auto/ Manual Focus

Autofocus is found on several macro lenses. They are extremely useful in delivering a crisp and stunning shot. It can make life much easier for photographers. However, not having autofocus shouldn’t generally be a deal-breaker since most macro photography is done using a tripod. 

Best Nikon Macro Lens: Summary Table

Best Nikon Macro Lenses

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Weather seals: No
  • Auto Focus: Ultrasonic (ring type)
  • Minimum focus distance: 31cm
  • Maximum magnification: 1x
  • Filter size: 62mm
  • Specifically designed to work with full-frame digital SLR cameras
  • Dimensions: 78 x 126mm
  • Weight: 725g

Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G Micro

Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G Micro

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Close-range correction system and Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
  • Focal length: 40mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 16cm
  • Filter size: 52mm
  • Dimensions: 69 x 65mm
  • Weight: 235g

Nikon 60mm f/2.8 G

Nikon 60mm f/2.8 G

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8G ED
  • Auto Focus: SWM (Silent Wave Motor)
  • Focal Length: 60mm (effectively 90mm for APS-C sensor cameras)
  • Filter size: 62mm
  • Dimensions: 89 x 73mm
  • Weight: 425g

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8 (max), f/32(min)
  • Image stabilization: Yes (Hybrid)
  • Weather seals: Yes
  • Circular aperture allows for rounded blur effects in bokeh shots
  • Shift compensation and reduced flare and ghosting with advanced coating technology
  • Auto Focus: Ultrasonic (ring type)
  • Maximum focal length: 90mm
  • Maximum magnification: 1x
  • Filter size: 62mm
  • Dimensions: 79 x 117mm
  • Weight: 610g

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8G VR IF-ED Micro

Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8G VR IF-ED Micro

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Weather seals: Yes
  • Maximum focal length: 105mm
  • Nano-crystal coat and ED glass to enhance image quality
  • Filter size: 62mm
  • Dimensions: 83 x 116mm
  • Weight: 720g

Nikon AF-S DX 85mm f/3.5G VR Micro

Nikon AF-S DX 85mm f/3.5G VR Micro

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Weather seals: Yes
  • Auto Focus: Ultrasonic (ring type)
  • Minimum focus distance: 29cm
  • Maximum focal length: 85mm
  • Filter size: 52mm
  • Dimensions: 73 x 99mm
  • Weight: 355g

Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro

Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Weather seals: No
  • Minimum focus distance: 31cm
  • Maximum focal length: 100mm
  • Filter size: 67mm
  • Dimensions: 73 x 121mm
  • Weight: 705g

Nikon 200mm f/4 AF-D

Nikon 200mm f/4 AF-D

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/4
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Weather seals: No
  • Auto Focus: Yes
  • Minimum focus distance: 20cm
  • Filter size: 62mm
  • Dimensions: 193 x 76 mm
  • Weight: 180g

55mm f/2.8 Micro-NIKKOR AI-s

55mm f/2.8 Micro-NIKKOR AI-s

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Weather seals: No
  • Auto Focus: No
  • Minimum focus distance: 23cm
  • Filter size: 52mm
  • Dimensions: 63.5 x 70mm
  • Weight: 290g

Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro

Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro

Key Features:

  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Weather seals: Yes
  • Auto Focus: No (Manual Focus with Internal Focus)
  • Minimum focus distance: 34.5mm
  • Filter size: 77m
  • Dimensions: 237 x 203 x 135 mm
  • Weight: 840g

Conclusion

A great macro lens can be an excellent addition to your arsenal of photography equipment. Picking the right product can be a tricky affair, and hopefully, this article has shed some light on the points to ponder on before making a decision.

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