We recently reviewed a bunch of macro lenses for the Canon EF and EF-S mounts. These include both proprietary Canon lenses as well as third party lenses. Today, we shall be looking at the best macro lenses for Nikon f-mount.
We should have said best micro because that is what Nikon refers to its close focusing lenses as. Micro is to Nikon what macro is to Canon. Nikon has several good lenses that allow you to get in pretty close and capture a 1:1 (life-size) perspective of a subject. Let’s begin with the top lenses manufactured by Nikon, and then we can move on to some third party solutions.
Best for close for close-ups and macro photography. The lens also includes an internal focus.
Compact and lightweight with a close-range correction system. For APS-C DX camera bodies.
Designed for full frame DSLRs, focuses down to 1:1 magnification ratio.
Ideal for closeup, macro, and portrait photography.
Optimal sharpens, ideal for pros doing studio macro work and outdoor flower photography.
Moisture proof and dust resistant telephoto prime lens.
Excellent for macro photography with fast aperture.
The aperture ranges from f/2.8 to f/32. The lens has neutrino coating.
Aperture range: f/2 to f/22, with ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating.
A perfect solution for the close range. But even as a standard lens or portrait lens, it works very well.
Good build quality, low price, bigger than life magnification.
Great choice for DX-format bodies (e.g. Nikon D7500), works great for close-up, nature, and portrait.
These are the 11 best macro lenses for Nikon cameras in 2020 (f-mount Nikkor & 3rd party lenses):
- Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105 mm 1:2.8G VR (Editor’s Pick)
- Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm 1:2.8G (Bestseller)
- Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm 1:2.8G ED
- Nikon AF Micro-NIKKOR 200mm F/4D IF-ED Lens
- Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD
- Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP AF Di Macro Lens
- Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens (Also Great)
- Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 (F mount)
- Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro (F mount)
- Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro Lens
- Meke MK-85mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
- Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G (for Crop Sensor Camera)
Best Macro Lenses for Nikon
1. Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105 mm 1:2.8G VR (Editor’s Pick)
The Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105 is the auto-focusing version of the older lens (the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 without autofocus build in 1983). If you need auto-focusing, this is the lens that you should opt for (also, the old model is no more available).
This new Nikkor macro lens feels solid in the hands. It is compatible with all of Nikon’s modern auto-focusing DSLRs as well as most of older 35mm film cameras. On smaller crop senses cameras the crop factor of 1.5x extends the effective focal length to a 35mm format equivalent of 157.5mm.
It is quite well made and weighs 720 grams. The metal frame of the lens feels solid in the hands. The internal construction of the lens includes a total of 14 elements arranged in 12 groups. There are 9 rounded aperture diaphragm blades that produce nice bokeh.
Auto-focusing on the lens is powered by Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM). Typical of modern auto-focusing mechanisms this is very quiet. The lens also comes with a manual focusing override option. That means you can grab hold of the focus ring and manually adjust focus even in AF mode. Still on the subject of focusing the lens focuses internally which means there is no barrel length change when the lens focuses.
This is a true macro lens, meaning this lens will produce 1:1 or life-size reproduction of anything that you can aim it at from a close distance. Also being a medium tele macro lens the 105mm allows you to close focus from a sufficient working distance. This ensures that you will not be scaring the living daylights out of your small subjects. Also, this means you will not obstruct the light with your own body and or the lens camera combination.
Vibration Reduction has been provided in the lens. VR is to Nikon what O.I.S. is to Canon. The VR on this lens is rated to 3-stops. That means you can use up to three stops slower shutter speed compared to other non-VR lenses in a given lighting situation.
To top it all this lens doubles up as a great portrait lens as well. The lens works as a great solution if you are out in the field shooting macro and all of a sudden you have a great portrait making opportunity. Don’t fret if you forget your portrait lens back home. The AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105 mm 1:2.8G VR will work just fine. Especially, if you are on a full-frame camera.
- Designed for close-up and macro photography; versatile enough for virtually any photographic situation
- Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 23°20'.Features new VR II vibration reduction technology, Focal Length : 105 mm, Minimum...
- Nano-Crystal coat and ED glass elements that enhance overall image quality by further reducing flare and chromatic...
- Includes an internal focus, which provides fast and quiet auto-focusing without changing the length of the lens. Maximum...
- Weighs 279 ounces, and measures 33 x 45 inches; Made In China ;5-Year Warranty (1-Year International + 4-Year USA Extension)
2. Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm 1:2.8G
The AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm 1:2.8G is a very inexpensive microlens from Nikon designed for the smaller image circle of Nikon’s APS-C sensor powered cameras. On a DX (Nikon’s APS-C system cameras) camera, the effective focal length of the camera is 60mm. Which is just a shade longer than what you would get with a 35mm prime lens. Thus, this lens will double up as a fixed prime lens that you can shoot everyday photos as well as lots of macro photography. That said, you will never regret the quality of your photos.
Don’t bother mounting this on a full-frame camera as the lens will not utilize the whole sensor real estate and the resulting loss of resolution will not be worth it. If you don’t turn on DX crop vignetting will destroy your compositions (on full-frame).
This is a very lightweight lens, weighing just 235 grams. Build quality is decent, nothing out of the ordinary. Lots of plastic. Which is expected. But it is good quality plastic and the lens feels quite solid and well built in the hands.
Related Post: Best Nikon Lenses (for Video Shooting)
The lens opens up to a maximum aperture of/2.8. On the other side, it can stop down to a minimum of f/22. You would be shooting stopped down anyways for getting that large depth of field. The lens is very sharp in the middle and will allow you to capture those breathtaking flower shots and small creepy crawlies in life-size proportions. As well as anything else that you may fancy shooting.
The lens constitutes a total of 9 elements arranged in 7 groups. Super Integrated coating has been provided in the lens. SIC has the ability to cut down on flares and ghosting when shooting wide open, especially when shooting in backlit situations. The lens diaphragm is made up of 7 blades. You get decent enough bokeh but not as good as some of the other lenses we have listed here.
The lens has some amount of weather sealing. Rubber gasket has been provided on the lens mount to ensure that the elements stay out. That said, the lens is not 100% weather sealed.
Auto-focusing on the lens is powered by Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology. Also integrated into the lens is the Close-Range Correction (CRC) system. This system allows the lens’ focusing elements to move independently of each other. The result of this is that the lens is able to achieve a much better auto-focusing performance, especially when working at close distances.
This is a true macro lens as it gives 1:1 perspective from a close focusing distance. The minimum focusing distance of the lens is 6.4″. The lens comes with a manual focusing override button which ensures that the focusing can be manually adjusted and fined tuned even in auto-focusing mode.
- Compact and lightweight DX-format close-up lens. Lens Construction (Elements/Groups) - 9 elements in 7 groups
- Maximum reproduction ratio is 1.0x. Focal length is 40 mm
- Sharp images from infinity to life-size (1x), autofocus to 64 inches
- Close-range correction system (CRC). Silent wave motor (SWM)
- Angle of view is 38 degree 50 feet. Features focus distance indicator 0.53 feet to infinity having minimum focus distance as...
3. Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm 1:2.8G ED
The AF-S micro Nikkor is the other popular micro lens offered by Nikon. This slightly longer than standard focal length ensures that you have a longer reach and closer focusing even from a comfortable working distance.
The lens is designed for the full-frame sensor of Nikon but that said the lens is compatible with all of Nikon’s DX-format cameras as well. This being a G lens comes with a built-in AF motor. That should autofocus it on cheaper DX systems as well. These are cameras like the D5100 and the D3100 which do not have a built-in auto-focusing motor.
The construction of the lens includes a total of 12 elements arranged in 9 groups. These include two aspherical elements as well as one extra-low dispersion element. These elements suppress all types of aberrations as well as distortions. The result is sharper colors and better contrast.
Still on the subject of construction and the internal elements of the lens. This lens comes with 9 rounded blades which ensure that the quality of the bokeh is very nice. If you want, you can produce a nice background (and foreground) blur that would obliterate anything that is in front and behind the focusing plane.
The lens also includes Nikon’s Nano crystal coating as well as Super Integrated Coating. These coatings ensure that the lens can handle flares and ghosting much better than other lenses.
Related Post: Best Nikon Tele Macro Lenses
The lens is capable of producing 1:1 or life-size reproduction of any subject to the sensor from a close focusing distance of 7.3″.
Like many of the other modern Nikkor lenses, auto-focusing on this is handled by Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor technology. This ensures quieter auto-focusing and better handling when compared to older AF technologies. The lens also includes full-time manual focusing override. Comes in handy very often as you focus on a very small subject at close distances and the camera cannot lock focus precisely where you want to.
Another feature on the lens that is handy is the internal focusing mechanism. Internal focusing ensures that the lens’ barrel length does not change when the lens focuses. This has some interesting applications as the lens is able to focus close without becoming something of a scary proposition for small living subjects.
The thing that is missing on the lens is image stabilization. You will have to shoot at a minimum shutter speed of 1/60 sec to ensure that your hand-held shots are devoid of blur.
- Lens Type: AF-S 60mm f/2.8G ED
- Designed for use with Nikon FX and DX digital SLR cameras including the D40, D60, D80, D90, and D300
- Focal length: 90mm effective for APS-C sensor cameras
- Ideal for closeup and macro photography; Minimum focus distance: 8 inches
- The item is made in Thailand
4. Nikon AF Micro-NIKKOR 200mm F/4D IF-ED Lens
The 200mm micro Nikkor f/4 IF-ED is a telephoto lens that is capable of focusing from a close distance of 48cm and producing 1:1 perspective of small subjects. The lens is optimized for the larger sensor size of full-frame cameras but that said it would also mount on smaller DX format DSLRs made by Nikon. Plus, the lens is also compatible with Nikon’s film cameras.
A word of caution though. This is a ‘D’ lens. Nikon’s D lenses, unlike G lenses, don’t have an auto-focusing motor on them. which means if you plan on using this lens on one of Nikon’s cheaper DX-format cameras, which don’t have a built-in AF motor, this lens will not auto-focus on them.
On a DX camera, the focal length becomes the equivalent of a 300mm lens mounted on a full-frame body. The incredible effective focal length means you could also use it as a tele-lens for birding and wildlife photography.
The aperture opens up to f/4 which means it is not as fast as some of the other lenses that we have discussed here. But that said, this is no pushover either. It is probably one of the sharpest macro lenses that you can buy for your Nikon and as such would also work as a general purpose telelens.
That said, this would not work as your typical portrait lens, even if you can stretch the definition of a standard portrait lens to include something as the 200mm. Why? Because at f/4 the bokeh isn’t as exciting as you could get with some of the other dedicated portrait lenses.
Related Post: Macro Photography Ideas
The lens’ construction includes 13 elements arranged in 8 groups. These include two extra-low dispersion elements which ensure that the lens is able to suppress chromatic aberrations better. Plus, Nikon has also provided close-range correction system which should allow the lens to perform auto-focusing better compared to other non-CRC enabled lenses.
Additionally, the lens features an internal focusing mechanism. This ensures a constant barrel length when the lens focuses. There is no full-time manual focusing override on this lens but there is a manual focusing ring. The MF ring is large and sits comfortably at the front of the barrel. It is easier to control focusing manually when needed.
The lens aperture diaphragm is made up of 9 diaphragm blades and that is what makes it possible to capture nice bokeh when shooting small subjects. That said you don’t have to always go for bokeh. You can stop the lens down and produce a large depth of field just as well.
This is a bulky well-made lens, make no mistake about it. The lens weighs 1.18 kilos making it mandatory to use a tripod when shooting. Especially, because the lens does not feature an image stabilization system.
- 200mm; F/4.0; Micro lens
- D-Series; Uses 62mm filter
- Lens not zoomable
- An optical glass developed by Nikon that is used with normal optical glass in telephoto lenses to obtain optimum correction...
Related Post: Best Macro Photography Cameras (9 Great Cams in 2018)
Third Party Lens Choices
5. Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD
The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD is a macro lens designed for the Nikon f-mount. It happens to be one of the best macro lenses for Nikon f-mount systems you can get from third party manufacturers.
It is optimized for the large 35mm (full-frame) sensor Nikon cameras (note the acronym Di). The lens also works with 35mm film cameras. Plus, it will also work DX-format cameras as well. Though, with DX-format cameras you will get the advantage of a longer effective focal length (because of the 1.5x crop factor).
DxOMark rates this lens with a score of 35 when tested with a Nikon D800E. It is a fairly high score and coming just after the Nikon AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED which we discussed above.
The internal construction of the lens consists of 14 elements arranged in 11 groups. These include one low dispersion element and two extra-low dispersion elements. These elements will take care of aberrations and distortions that plague fast aperture telelenses.
Auto-focusing on the lens is powered by a ring-type ultrasonic motor (Ultrasonic Silent Drive). This is quiet when focusing and is fairly accurate too. Tamron’s USD actuator technology provides faster and more precise focusing lock when using things like manual focusing override.
Additionally, to suppress flares and ghosting, especially when working in backlit situations, BBAR and eBAND coatings have also been implemented. The lens diaphragm is composed of 9 rounded blades which ensure that the lens is able to produce beautiful creamy bokeh.
But what makes this lens a fantastic piece of an optical tool is its ability to produce 1:1 perspective or 1x magnification when working from its closest focusing distance of 11.81″. Being a reasonably long lens the working distance is long enough to not scare off small living subjects like frogs, butterflies, and bees.
Additionally, this lens features Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation). VC on the lens is rated at 3.5 stops. It gives you the advantage to shoot at up to 3.5 stops slower shutter speed compared to what the camera’s built-in meter is telling you.
Good thing too that the lens has VC because at 90mm the lens is almost perfect as a portrait lens when mounted on a full-frame camera. You would need VC to shoot stable shots. The fact that the lens has a reasonably fast aperture and a 9 blade diaphragm means you will also get a comparable bokeh to what you would get with an 85mm f/1.8 lens.
For any lens to be called a true macro lens just being able to catch a 1:1 perspective isn’t enough. You got to be able to work in any environment. This Tamron lens comes with a series of rubber seals around the switches and rings, allowing it to remain unaffected in inclement weather, dust, and dirty environments.
- Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction
- Durable Fluorine Coating on the front element repels water and fingerprints
- Advanced coating technology reduces flare and ghosting ; Camera Mount Type Nikon F
- Circular aperture to achieve beautiful, rounded blur effects bokeh ; Format Compatibility Nikon FX/35mm Film, Nikon DX
- VC enhanced with shift compensation ; Focal Length 90mm ; Aperture Maximum: f/2.8, Minimum: f/32
6. Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP AF Di Macro Lens
Both these 90mm Tamron lenses (the VC and the non-VC) are excellent for macro photography. The Canon versions of both these Tamron lenses had been included in our previous discussion about the best macro lenses for Canon. So, no wonder that the Nikon version of both these lenses will be included on this list as well.
There are a few acronyms/abbreviations mentioned on the list. SP stands for Superior Performance, a mark that says this is one of Tamron’s better quality lenses. Di is an acronym that’s used on Tamron’s special lenses which have been engineered to work not only on traditional film SLR systems but also on digital SLR systems.
The 1:1 perspective capable on the lens at a minimum focusing distance of 11.4″ allows you to shoot life-size reproduction of any small subjects.
That said, the lens has been remodeled to incorporate an AF motor inside to ensure that it works with all cheaper / entry level Nikon DSLRs which don’t have a built-in AF motor on them.
This particular lens, however, is the non-stabilized version. If you can’t work without some form of image stabilization then this lens is not for you. Make sure you get the other (VC) lens and not this one.
F/2.8 is a fast aperture, may not so much when shooting in very dark conditions, but when shooting in reasonable lighting you would be able to shoot sharp photos with good color contrast.
The construction of the lens includes a total of 10 elements arranged in 9 groups. The lens diaphragm consists of a total of 9 diaphragm blades. That should give you an excellent background and foreground blur. This is suitable for completely melting away anything that may be distracting the composing or at least not adding anything to the composition.
Finally, a word on the build quality and weight of the lens. The overall weight of the lens is 405 grams. That makes it very lightweight and easy to use for considerable periods of time, especially when shooting handheld.
- This light super performance (SP) macro-lens offers a 1:1 magnification ratio and pin-sharp images
7. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens
DxOMark rates the Sigma slightly lower than the Tamron in terms of their DxOMark scoring system. But the Sigma is still a formidable lens to shoot macro photos with. The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens is also capable of shooting 1:1 or life size reproduction of any small subject from its closest focusing distance. Which happens to be 31 cm.
The internal construction of the lens includes a total of 16 elements which are arranged in 9 groups. This includes a Special low Dispersion (SLD) element as well as a high refractive index SLD. These two elements take care of a lot of aberrations and distortions.
The focusing mechanism works in a way so that the front element of the lens does not rotate. This is useful when using variable ND filters as well as using circular polarizes.
The f/2.8 aperture is not the quickest but is bright enough for some creamy background blur. The fact that there are 9 aperture blades means you will be able to get good results.
The lens comes with image stabilization. Sigma calls it Optical Stabilization. Auto-focusing on the lens is powered by Sigma’s HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) technology. Focus free technology has been incorporated into the lens as well. The lens will auto-focus without the manual focusing ring moving. It makes things easier as the lens has full-time manual focusing capabilities as well.
Additionally, the lens features Sigma’s proprietary OS (Optical Stabilizer) mechanism. This enables the lens to handle low light and or hand-held shooting much easily when longer shutter speeds become necessary.
There are two OS modes on the camera. The first one is designed for stabilizing all movements regardless of the direction in which the camera is moving. The second one is for assisting panning movements. This mode is basically for sports and for any action scenes where you need continuous AF when the subject is moving about. This mode is rarely used if ever in macro photography situations.
This is a well-built lens with lots of metal elements. Sigma’s lenses tend to be heavier than their counterparts and this particular lens lives up to that billing. It weighs 726 grams.
- Designed for use with full frame digital SLR cameras. May also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a corresponding...
- Focuses down to 1:1 magnification ratio at its closest working distance of 12.3 inches
- A hood adapter, lens hood, front & rear lens caps are included with the lens
- Lens not zoomable
8. Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 (F mount)
Last year Irix launched the 150mm f/2.8 Macro lens for the popular full-frame mounts. The lens is capable of producing 1:1 magnification and has a minimum focusing distance of 1.1”. The lens is a manual focusing design and comes with a focus locking mechanism.
One of the salient features of the lens is 0 distortion. Something that the company claims. In actuality there is a minuscule amount of difference. But that is not going to be a deal breaker and would not matter unless you are a nitpicker. The second major selling point is the weather sealed construction. The other features include an 11-blade rounded aperture diaphragm.
- A modern and versatile macro telephoto lens designed for full-frame high-resolution DSLR cameras.
- Its fast aperture of f/2.8 facilitates shorter exposure times, while its moderately long focal length of 150mm provides an...
9. Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro (F mount)
This is a brilliant piece of optical technology by one of the finest lens manufacturers in the business. No wonder it finds a place on this list of the best Nikon macro lenses. That said the Zeiss Milvus has one important drawback and that is the lens is unable to reproduce 1:1 magnification.
Something that a majority of the other lenses on this list do. Plus another disadvantage of this lens is it does not have auto-focusing motors. If autofocusing is a big thing for you then you will struggle with this lens. It might not be a good buy for you. But on the other hand if build quality, superb optical quality and negligible distortion is your need and you are not too finicky about auto-focusing, the Zeiss Milvus 100mm will give you’re a lot of joy.
10. Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro Lens
We love the Zeiss made manual focusing lenses. They are exceptionally high quality and if you are looking for high-quality images you would love using them. The only catch is and I say again, these are manual focusing lenses. So, if you are like me and wear prescription glasses, you will definitely find it a bit more challenging. But then you can always switch to shooting via the viewfinder.
Also, this being a traditional 50mm prime focal length unit this lens will also work as your everyday standard shooter. That is when you are not shooting macro photos with this.
The macro reproduction ratio is 1:2. So, this does not offer a true macro perspective unlike some of the other macro lenses we have listed here. But the lens has a fast wide aperture of f/2 which should serve you well when you are shooting small creepy crawlies or flowers in the countryside or products in your home/studio.
Additionally, the lens is compatible with the DX-format DSLRs gives a slightly longer effective focal length that is the equivalent of 75mm on a 35mm format.
A perfect solution for the close range. But even as a standard lens or portrait lens, it works very well. It is also ideal for HDR photography and video shooting.
11. MEKE MK-85mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
Meike is a little known brand that produces a number of compatible or third party lenses for a large number of lens mounts. One of those third-party lenses is the MK-85mm f/2.8 Macro. This lens is available for a number of mounts along with the Nikon F mount.
One very important USP of this lens is that it offers 1.5:1 reproduction ratio for your subjects. That means with the Meike MK-85mm you can capture images of objects and project them larger than life. This is a great way to capture vivid details of objects that normally elude us in our everyday life.
The lens comes with Multi-layer Nano coating. Regardless, the lens does show some chromatic aberrations. Especially when photographing subjects in a high contrast scenario.
The maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8 which is faster than kit lenses such as the 18-55mm which has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 only. That means the lens will be able to make decent images in lighting conditions where a kit lens will struggle.
Add to that the fact that the fast wide aperture will also be useful for capturing beautiful bokeh. With an 85mm focal length, the lens is perfect for portrait shots as well.
Manual focus, 1.5:11 magnification
Good build quality, low price, bigger than life magnification, and compatibility with full frame & APS-C bodies, make this a recommended macro lens for Nikon users.
12. Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR (for NIKON DX Cameras)
A perfectly good dual-purpose prime lens designed for Nikon’s DX-format DSLRs cameras. The AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR makes for a great purchasing decision if you are on a budget. That is even if you are not an avid macro photographer. The reason is the 85mm becomes a 127.5mm (on 35mm equivalent) focal length when you mount that lens on a DX camera. And that is a useful portrait focal length. That said the primary use of the lens is for macro photography and that is what you should be buying it for.
Though this lens will work on FX cameras as well, we strongly recommend you not to do so. If you do so you are will be losing out on a lot of resolution and it does not make sense to buy a full-frame camera and then only use a part of the sensor’s capabilities. You will be better off buying one of the full-frame macro lenses that we have recommended here.
We keep using the term macro despite the fact that the term is associated with Canon for frequently. We are not biased. We like calling it close-yup photography as macro photography. For Nikon users, the appropriate term is obviously micro.
This is a true macro lens. By that, we mean a lens that captures a 1:1 perspective (true life-size) of a subject when photographing it from its closest focusing distance. The minimum focusing distance for the lens is 11.26 inches.
Construction of the lens includes a total of 14 elements arranged in 10 groups. These include 1 ED element. The lens also features a Super Integrated Coating. The first element takes care of things like purple fringing which is common in wide aperture lenses. The second element suppresses ghosting and flares.
Auto-focusing is powered by Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology. This technology is also assisted by a full-time manual focusing override. Full-time manual focusing is imperative when you are shooting macro because you are likely never going to completely depend on auto-focusing when photographing flowers, or petals, and insects. Basically anything small. Auto-focusing can easily and often do get it wrong. It becomes imperative to correct focus manually. Though SWM is a smoother technology compared to older auto-focusing technologies, it is still not the best when it comes to video work.
And when it comes to still work the lens features Vibration Reduction II. That translates a compensation of up to three stops when you are hand-holding the lens.
At the end of the day the lens is a great buy if you are using a crop body like the D7500 or the D500 or even the older D5100. We strongly recommend you choose a full-frame lens if you are using a full-frame body.
For Crop Sensors
Fixed Zoom Lens with Auto Focus
Ideal for close-up, nature, portrait and general photography. This lens is recommended if you have a crop-sensor camera like the Nikon D7500.
The Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105 mm 1:2.8G VR is the best Nikkor micro lens overall. That goes regardless of whether you are pairing it with the entry level D5600 or with the professional D850.
Anything longer than 60mm is the right focal length for shooting macro photography. That gives you enough space to work while capturing a true macro perspective.
True macro perspective is the ability of a lens to produce a life sized reproduction of a subject on to the image sensor when working from its minimum focusing distance.
The Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD is the best third party micro lens for Nikkor DSLRs. It is almost as good as the original 105mm f/2.8 G Micro Nikkor we have listed here as our top choice.
The 200mm is way more expensive than the 105mm. But it gives further room to work, which can be extremely useful out on the field. But it does not auto-focus with some Nikon DSLRs and it does not have VR. Both Overall rating by DXOMark is also lower than the 105mm when tested on several cameras.
Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. He loves to test and review new photography gear. He has been writing about cameras and lenses for over 10 years now. You can consider him as your “master guide” here at PhotoWorkout.
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