If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the Best Nikon Macro Lens is, then I’d recommend the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED as the best one.
If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’re looking for the best Nikon macro lenses. Macro lenses are lenses that are best/suited for macro photography. Otherwise known as close-up photography.
This method of photography is not just fun but is one of the most popular among amateurs and professionals. This is because it’s a perfect way to capture sharp and detailed objects that would have otherwise been invisible.
For the purpose of this article, our focus will be on the Nikon brand of the macro camera lens. As they have over the registered impressive lenses for all-around usage.
Attributes that Differentiate the Best Nikon Macro Lens
Your lens is one of the critical things that determine the quality of your photography. Thus when shopping for lenses, there are basic features that stand out amongst the best ones.
While there is no single Nikon lens that may have it all, you’ll need to balance the pros and cons of the various options and pick the best compromise.
1. Magnification Ratio
The magnification is said to be the most important property of a macro lens. This, in other words, is known as the reproduction ratio. This is a function that describes and determines the extent of the enlargement of the subject in the final shot or image.
The ideal size for a true macro lens is a 1:1 ratio, otherwise referred to as standard or life-size. This implies that the image that will be formed on the sensor when the camera is positioned at the closest focusing distance will match the exact size of the subject.
At this point, your chances of achieving a quality image are heightened. In some cases, the magnification ratio can go as high as 5:1. Depending on the focal length and this allows for the greater close-ups. Like that required for subjects such as the head of insects.
2. Focal Length
Macro camera lenses are otherwise known as a prime lens. This is because they have a fixed focal length. But, there are few of these lenses that are zoom lenses but are usually low quality and cannot achieve the desired magnification of a true prime macro lens.
Focal lengths can be anywhere from 35mm to 200mm, but most are 50, 100 180mm. Depending on what the manufacturer has in mind. Usually, the extent of the focal length determines the price and weight of the lens to a large extent.
Short values of focal length like 50 or 60mm are usually cheaper and lighter than longer values like 150 or 200mm. The more narrow your depth of view, the more you’re able to throw the background out of focus, thus isolating the subject.
3. Focusing Mechanism
For better image quality, most modern macro lenses adopt the use of an autofocus (AF) system. This makes getting a sharp image easier – usually when the lens is long and the depth of field is narrower. The Autofocus (AF) is a feature in a camera that ensures the sharpness of your chosen subject in a photo.
This involves adjusting your camera lens to get a focus on the subject. This happens with the use of either contrast sensors within the camera (passive AF) or emitting a signal to estimate or illuminate o distance to the subject (active AF).
The autofocus sensor(s) is the real engine behind achieving accurate focus and exist in various array laid out across your image’s field of view. An autofocus system, as opposes to manual focus makes it easier to handle a camera shot, and avoid using a tripod.
4. Maximum Aperture
This is another feature that is determined by the lens. A camera’s aperture generally determines the depth of field, that is, how much of the image is in focus.
When it comes to the maximum aperture, this is the largest aperture scale opening (the smallest number) your lens is capable of achieving. For a macro lens, it is preferable to go for narrower aperture as this ensures the subject is in focus.
Larger apertures like f2.8 or even f1.8 let in more light. Allowing you to shoot in conditions of low light and not get camera shake. The wider an aperture gets, the blurrier the image. While wider apertures can be used to blur out the background, but when it gets too wide, it becomes a problem for the entire image. For the best outcome, it is recommended to strike a balance between how high and low the aperture gets.
Top 5 Best Nikon Macro Lens Reviews
- 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 Focus Distance : 1.03 ft( 0314 m)
- Nano-Crystal coat and ED glass elements that enhance overall image quality by further reducing flare and chromatic aberrations
- Includes an internal focus, which provides fast and quiet auto-focusing without changing the length of the lens. Maximum Reproduction Ratio : 1.0x
- Weighs 279 ounces, and measures 33 x 45 inches; Made In China ;5-Year Warranty (1-Year International + 4-Year USA Extension)
This is a typical example of one stone killing two birds. The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens is a dual-use lens, that is, both a macro beast and portrait as well. I would say it is versatile enough for the whatsoever photographic situation it finds itself.
It features an internal focus, which handles its fast and quiet auto-focusing, without the length of the lens being changed in the process.
With its Nano-Crystal coat and ED glass elements, you can be sure of the enhancement of the image quality. As the flare and chromatic aberrations are kept at the barest minimum.
It employs the perfect focusing distance of a mere one foot, and thus its macro shots are excellent and sharp. With features such as f/2.8 aperture, it’s sure great for use in events as it handles low light well.
Designed for close-up and macro photography; this lens also features an enhanced VR technology – VRII. Allowing photographers to capture sharp images at shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible.
|Instant manual focus||No aperture ring|
|Silent and fast focus||It quite heavy|
|Solid build||VR rattles sometimes|
|Sharp image production|
|Minimized flare and ghosting|
- 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 0.53 feet
Are you a photo enthusiast, looking an affordable macro lens with good performance characteristics? Another well recommended Nikon lenses for macro photography is the Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G Close-up Lens.
This lens is compact and lightweight. And is ideal for general close-up shootings, landscapes, portraits, detailed collectibles, delicate flowers, and much more.
Like any true Micro-Nikkors, it gets down to 1:1 (lifesize). Thereby recording objects at the close focus the same as they exist in real life. This also implies that you can at any distance capture the finest details. It features one of Nikon’s recent focusing technology, the Close-Range Correction (CRC) system. This allows for high-quality image even at close focusing distances.
Even without features such as image stabilization or focus-limit switches, it still stands a chance at high image quality.
|It has a good focus ring||It's non-waterproof|
|It’s reasonably priced||It's heavy|
|It is conveniently movable||No working distance|
|It is strong and durable|
- 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
For stunning sharpness and high-quality images, the Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED Standard Macro Lens is worth considering. This is a great tool that helps you create spectacular images. From portraits to landscape, and much more with exquisite levels of detail.
It features a lens design that incorporates two aspherical elements and one extra-low dispersion element. This is aimed at reducing aberrations and distortions and thus producing images with enhanced sharpness and color accuracy.
Thanks to its wide f/2.8 maximum aperture and broad focusing range, the use of AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED transcends beyond close-up shooting. But also useful for portraiture and short telephoto applications. This is one lens whose manual focus is a breeze – just move the focus ring at any time.
With its exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM), you enjoy a seamless manual focus override, which allows for an ultra-fast, ultra-quiet autofocusing performance.
|It has a consistent output||No focus limiter function|
|It is durable||It’s quite heavy|
|It is easily interchangeable|
|It has a fast and accurate auto-focus, it is lightweight|
|It has a fantastic short focal length|
|Its construction is Rugged and Strong|
- 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 of chromatic aberrations
The Nikon AF FX Micro-NIKKOR 200mm f/4D IF-ED Fixed Zoom Lens is by all means one of the lenses that deliver superior life-size images of striking clarity without extra accessories. Owing to its long focal length, creating pleasing backgrounds with it is a lot easier when compared to other shorter focal length lenses.
This is a great focal length for full body portraits and they’re beyond stunning at f2. With a combination of its rich legacy of NIKKOR optics and advanced Nikon lens technologies, your D-SLR is empowered for peak performance in close-up applications.
The pictures taken are out of this world. It features an Internal Focusing (IF) system that allows the lens to focus without a change in size. Which is a big plus for close-up shooting.
This is a great tool for busy action photographers. They’re also ideal for shooting flowers, insects and other tiny wildlife at a distance that won’t disturb them.
|Impressive focus action||A little pricey|
|Solid build||Quite weighty|
|Good optical construction||Poor autofocus|
|Good working distance||Lack of vibration reduction|
|Minimized distortion and chromatic aberration|
- 85mm lens ideal for close-up, nature, portrait and general photography
- Close focusing to 0.9 feet
- Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization
- Extra-low Dispersion (ED) element; Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC)
- Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
The Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED is one of the best macro lenses manufactured by Nikon. They are compact and is ideal for extreme close-up and general photography as well.
This lens boasts of a Silent Wave Motor which allows for quiet auto-focus operation and SWM design that even when the focus mode switch is in the M/A position, it also allows for instant and full-time manual override.
This is one lens that promises stunning sharpness and beautiful background bokeh in close-up, nature, portrait and general photography applications.
It features Nikon’s VR II image stabilization, which comes to your aid in those situations when you cannot use a tripod. This 85 mm f/3.5 DX G lens is a versatile piece of equipment that offers image stabilization. Enabling handheld shooting at up to as much as four shutter speeds slower than is usually obtainable. The result of this is a sharper image.
|Quiet auto-focus operation||It gets noisy with AF|
|Impressive image stabilization||It's long and heavy|
|It is fast||Auto-focus is sometimes slow|
|Perfect working distance|
|Extremely sharp image capturing|
|Excellent contrast and color saturation|
When it comes down to choosing a reliable camera lens for close-up photography, the best Nikon macro lens is a reliable option worth considering. Nikon’s range of lenses called Micro NIKKOR lenses is designed to perform from infinity down to their closest focusing distances. This is one of the best you can find.
These Micro NIKKOR lenses come in different models with different specifications and this makes choosing the best Nikon macro lens a daunting task. This is why I took the time to carefully select some of the best ones to get you started. The above-reviewed product all excel in their unique ways, but, my vote for the number one goes to Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED.
The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens is what I call a multipurpose lens. It is not just a macro beast, but suitable for other forms of photography. It features not just the ideal magnification ratio but the perfect focusing mechanism you can expect if a macro lens. It captures images fast, and they are crisp, clean, accurate and free of distortion. This one lens that makes better use of VR with its enhanced VR technology – VRII. What else would one desire of the best Nikon macro lens?
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Last update on 2020-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API