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40mm vs 60mm macro


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#1 Scotttyd

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:03 PM

I am looking to add a macro lens to my new d7000 - I am new to the DSLR - I was talking to my friend who is a professional topside photographer and she asked if I considered a 40mm macro when I told her most people seem to use a 60mm macro. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of the 40mm? Obviously cost is less on the 40mm. If I am diving in clear tropical water - I would think (although very possibly incorrectly) that the 40mm would allow you to not have to get as close to the subject.

#2 diverdave1

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:26 PM

I am looking to add a macro lens to my new d7000 - I am new to the DSLR - I was talking to my friend who is a professional topside photographer and she asked if I considered a 40mm macro when I told her most people seem to use a 60mm macro. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of the 40mm? Obviously cost is less on the 40mm. If I am diving in clear tropical water - I would think (although very possibly incorrectly) that the 40mm would allow you to not have to get as close to the subject.

That is actually incorrect. The clarity of the water does not affect the macro capabilities of the lens. Both are 1:1 lenses I believe, which means the size of the field will equal the size of the subject at minimum focus. To get the same magnification you would need to be closer to the subject using the 40mm. Some subjects may allow you to get closer, but some won't. You also have the very real issue of trying to get light (strobe) on the subject. At minimum focus (closest distance/ highest magnification) your subject will be very close to the front of the port. It may be difficult to light the subject without casting shadows of the port on your subject. If cost is your issue, look at some of the offerings from Sigma, Tamron or Tokina for macro lenses. If you are planning on using your D7000 for video, make sure you purchase a lens with an ultrasonic motor (s, hsm, etc...)

#3 johnjvv

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:10 AM

To be honest I have not heard of anyone using a 40mm....I tried using my 35mm underwater once and wont do it again, reason being it is not wide or macro. I quickly read up about the 40mm lens as I did not know about it and http://kenrockwell.c...on/40mm-f28.htm says that it is superb for everything except macro, stating the reason that you need to be 3.5 cm away for 1:1...which means due to the shorter length of the 40mm lens, the distance between the front of the lens and the port will be greater than with the 60mm and therefore you will basically have to be touch your subject to get this ratio as macro ports are made for 60mm lenses.

In general people want more magnification for macro rather than less. The only time I think the lens would be good is if you are taking a picture of a slightly larger object from up close, like a puffer fish and then able to fit the whole object in the frame as opposed to just its face but only by a small margin...

I started with a 60mm and have no regrets although I am starting to want more magnification so either a 105 or diopters and I think if you start off with a 40mm you will probably want to buy a new lens sooner!!

#4 Autopsea

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:41 AM

What would you use for, let say, 20 to 40 cm long scared fish in poor visibility waters?

You need to get close because of the visibility, but not too close because the fish would just be afraid.

Isn't the 40mm a good choice in this case?

#5 Alastair

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:34 AM

the 40mm would mean you have to get too close....

the 60mm is a better choice.
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#6 sdingeldein

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:13 AM

I've dived both trying to find that lens that would let me do fish portraits and macro. It's OK for fish portraits but you have to get way too close for macro. If I had my choice I'd take the 60 mm lens. You have to be a little farther away for fish portraits (depending on the size of the fish) but it is MUCH more usable for macro work.
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#7 loftus

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:35 AM

Just to put things in perspective Scotty, the 40mm Macro on your D7000 is equivalent to a 60mm on full frame. So your topside friend is actually correct that a 40mm is essentially the same traditional macro focal length on a D7000 as a 60mm on a D700 or traditional 35mm camera. Nikon released the 40mm macro to provide this equivalent lens for DX cameras. Having said all that the other posters are correct, underwater, with a 40mm one normally has to get too close. Underwater you may even want to consider the 105mm depending on how much you want to concentrate on macro vs macro and say fish portraits. Starting out though, the 60mm is probably the best choice.

Edited by loftus, 31 January 2012 - 04:52 AM.

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#8 Deep6

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:56 AM

To be honest I have not heard of anyone using a 40mm....I tried using my 35mm underwater once and wont do it again, reason being it is not wide or macro. I quickly read up about the 40mm lens as I did not know about it and http://kenrockwell.c...on/40mm-f28.htm says that it is superb for everything except macro, stating the reason that you need to be 3.5 cm away for 1:1...which means due to the shorter length of the 40mm lens, the distance between the front of the lens and the port will be greater than with the 60mm and therefore you will basically have to be touch your subject to get this ratio as macro ports are made for 60mm lenses.

Nikon says the 40 mm is 1:1 at 6.4". I don't know where KR gets 1.3" from the front of the lens. Lens is -2.7" + -1.5" camera thickness (would be less from sensor) = -4.2" + 6.4" = 2.2" . Still very close. This might be of some interest on the Nikon 1 system (x2.7 = 108 mm).

Does anyone use the Nikkor 85 mm f/3.5 macro? For DX this would be like the 105mm FX.

Bob

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#9 manatee19

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:12 AM

Nikon says the 40 mm is 1:1 at 6.4". I don't know where KR gets 1.3" from the front of the lens. Lens is -2.7" + -1.5" camera thickness (would be less from sensor) = -4.2" + 6.4" = 2.2" . Still very close. This might be of some interest on the Nikon 1 system (x2.7 = 108 mm).

Does anyone use the Nikkor 85 mm f/3.5 macro? For DX this would be like the 105mm FX.

Bob



We use the 60, the 105 and the 85. 85 on DX is great, focuses fast. It hunts a bit so a focus light helps. IQ is excellent. The 40 is probably a great fish portrait lens (60 is a bit long for large species like groupers etc...). In fact, we use our 35mm f/2D for that purpose with excellent results. Lens focuses down to 10-inch. Not a real macro lens but definitely good for fish portrait. Drawback: is is not AFS...

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#10 Deep6

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:44 AM

We use the 60, the 105 and the 85. 85 on DX is great, focuses fast. It hunts a bit so a focus light helps. IQ is excellent. The 40 is probably a great fish portrait lens (60 is a bit long for large species like groupers etc...). In fact, we use our 35mm f/2D for that purpose with excellent results. Lens focuses down to 10-inch. Not a real macro lens but definitely good for fish portrait. Drawback: is is not AFS...

Michel

Michel,

Thanks for the input on the 85mm.
Bob

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#11 manatee19

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:01 AM

Michel,

Thanks for the input on the 85mm.
Bob


In terms of ease of use I would list as follows: 60, 85, 105. Since we work as a couple, she uses the 60 and I use the 85 or 105. Drawback of the 85: DX only... but on FX we have the 105 and the 60 so it is OK.

Michel
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#12 johnspierce

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

In addition, if you are going to buy the 60mm, get the "old" version since it can be used with the excellent Kenko 1.4mm Teleconverter to give you two nice options at a pretty low price. I use my 60mm with the 1.4 TC all the time for the tiny stuff. The 105mm is very nice to have too.

I would not be interested in the 40mm personally, the 60mm is just about the ideal fish lens. 60mm with the TC is great for tiny stuff and the 105mm is awesome when you need some "working distance". 105mm with the 1.4 TC is "touchy to use", but gets images of insanely tiny stuff.

take care,
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#13 johnjvv

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:23 PM

Nikon says the 40 mm is 1:1 at 6.4". I don't know where KR gets 1.3" from the front of the lens. Lens is -2.7" + -1.5" camera thickness (would be less from sensor) = -4.2" + 6.4" = 2.2" . Still very close. This might be of some interest on the Nikon 1 system (x2.7 = 108 mm).

Does anyone use the Nikkor 85 mm f/3.5 macro? For DX this would be like the 105mm FX.

Bob


Hey Bob,

Had another look at KR and quoting below:

"Close Focus

0.53 feet (6.4 inches, 0.163 meters or 163 millimeters) from the image plane (the back of the camera).

Working Distance

While the close-focus distance is 6.4 inches from the image plane, the lens obviously pokes ahead of the camera.

Worse, the front extends as you focus more closely, leaving only 1.3 inches (3.5cm) between the lens and your subject at 1:1!

This is why this 40mm lens is a horrible idea for serious macro work it gets in its own way!"

Sounds like a very nice lens for portraits...

#14 Deep6

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:50 PM

Hey Bob,

Had another look at KR and quoting below:

"Close Focus

0.53 feet (6.4 inches, 0.163 meters or 163 millimeters) from the image plane (the back of the camera).

Working Distance

While the close-focus distance is 6.4 inches from the image plane, the lens obviously pokes ahead of the camera.

Worse, the front extends as you focus more closely, leaving only 1.3 inches (3.5cm) between the lens and your subject at 1:1!

This is why this 40mm lens is a horrible idea for serious macro work it gets in its own way!"

Sounds like a very nice lens for portraits...

Thanks John,
That makes it clear.
Bob

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#15 TomR1

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:22 PM

I am a confirmed macro shooter and in clear water I use the 105 because it gives me 5"-6" working distance (from the front of the port to the subject). When I want more magnification I use either a +5 or +10 wet diopter from Sub See (reefnet).

I only use the 60mm in murky water. I can't imagine using a 40mm for macro.

Tom