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Macro Lenses

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post-9151-1172644651_thumb.jpgI began an informal poll of UW Photographers at Our World Underwater, Dive and Travel show, in Chicago 2 weeks ago. Here is the question:

If you were only going to buy 1 Macro lens and port etc. would it be the 60 mm or the 105mm?

I know in a way that it is a dumb question since neither divers or photographers can keep their mits off of the latest, newest or niftiest piece of gear and I haven't been able to walk out of a dive shop/camera shop without spending some money either, but consider it an exercise. I've asked both pros and amateurs and though i am not surprised by the poll results so much as how adamant the defence of their choice. Its about 50-50 right now.

 

Bill

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60mm - no hesitation!

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No question the 60mm is more versatile. Most of my keepers come from this lens. If I could only bring one lens, the 60mm is it. In fact while I send most of my ports in my checked bag, the 60mm is the only one that stays in the carry-on. If nothing else I will be able to shoot the 60.

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Hi Bill,

 

You basically need to have bought both lenses already to answer your question. I only have a 100mm so I'm disqualified. Yet it is hard for me to imagine leaving the 100mm at home in exchange for a 60mm. If you can get good closeups of blennies, gobies, cardinal fish etc with the very short working distance of a 60mm lens then I'd be willing to make the trade but for skittish critters even the 100mm is limiting. I guess it depends on what you like to shoot and how good you are at getting nose-to-nose with your subjects.

 

Bart

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HI,

I think that the 60mm micro would be the one to start with. The 105mm micro is

harder to use ( I found this any way). I suppose it also makes a differance to what

you want to shoot. If you are new to this type of photography, I think that most of

as on this forum would go for the 60mm.

Andy ;):D

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Hi Bill,

 

You basically need to have bought both lenses already to answer your question. I only have a 100mm so I'm disqualified. Yet it is hard for me to imagine leaving the 100mm at home in exchange for a 60mm. If you can get good closeups of blennies, gobies, cardinal fish etc with the very short working distance of a 60mm lens then I'd be willing to make the trade but for skittish critters even the 100mm is limiting. I guess it depends on what you like to shoot and how good you are at getting nose-to-nose with your subjects.

 

Bart

 

Bunch of sissies ;). I started shooting macro with a Nikonos V plus extension tubes - at 1:1, I wasn't just nose to nose with my blenny friends, I was often sticking a metal framer up their nose. With the 3 Ps - patience, perseverance, and a lot of profanity - I was still able to get some shots I was happy with. About the only thing I could never get a close-up of was garden eels - I'm just not that dedicated. Of course, I finally got so frustrated I upgraded to a dSLR.

 

I guess my takeaway is, I'm not gonna worry about it - I'll use the one that misses fewer of the shots I personally don't want to miss, but either one is fully capable of taking incredible pics. Until I get as good as some of you guys, any image problems are on the other side of the camera.

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Hi TJ,

 

You're right. It's as they say: it doesn't matter how long it is, it's what you do with it!

 

I just need more practise - with the lens that is ;)

 

Bart

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I prefer the 105mm for my photography. Although I also regularly use the 60mm and also a 150mm (less so). I tend to favour the 60mm for muck diving and if I had to take just one then I might take the 60mm - if I didn't know what I was going to photograph.

 

This is a quote from my review of the new Nikon 105mm VR, which summarises the differences:

Macro is a big part of underwater photography and perennially the favourite lenses for Nikon shooters are the 60mm and 105mm. The 60mm is the favoured option in low viz and with larger subjects. While the 105mm is better for shyer subjects and for high magnification reproduction. This is because the longer camera to subject distance (for the same reproduction size) facilitates lighting subjects with our strobes. Few land photographers own more than one macro lens, but underwater with the inherent restrictions on camera to subject distances many underwater photographers routinely choose both macro optics in their lens bags.

Full Review

 

Alex

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If the question is "just one MACRO lens..." then I would choose 105. Maybe 60mm is ok for fish etc...so is 17-70... but for macro > 105mm.

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hmm,

 

70-180mm with 6T dioptre ;):D

 

hahahaha, just to make things more confusing! My favourite is the 105mm, but if i was starting over again and could only buy 1 lens it would be the 60mm, it gives you more options and is easier to shoot.

 

if you're going to buy some other lenses for use underwater, then maybe go for the 105mm, or my ancient combination mentioned above (slow to focus)

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hmm,

 

70-180mm with 6T dioptre -_-:(

 

hahahaha, just to make things more confusing! My favourite is the 105mm, but if i was starting over again and could only buy 1 lens it would be the 60mm, it gives you more options and is easier to shoot.

 

if you're going to buy some other lenses for use underwater, then maybe go for the 105mm, or my ancient combination mentioned above (slow to focus)

 

I prefer the 105 for macro only The 60 is great if you may be shooting some larger stuff as well

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I have both 60 & 105 (VR and Old) and Can't make up my mind, I guess if I only did dive up north in the murk I would keep the 60mm and even pray for a macro 40mm. In the gin clear the (old) 105mm is a flat out winner, a 120mm micro would be nice -_-. put a gun to my head and I leave the 105's behind, the 60mm is somewhat more flexible, not to mention sharper than the 105's, its not a size issue since my port system only require to have an extension ring and not a complete dedicated port and since I can and do use MF & AF with all of them, it not a factor either. In the end I still travel with both the 60 & old 105.

 

Top side, that 60 become a paperweight, not because is bad or anything but the new 105 VR make all the difference when shooting bugs and held with balanced flashes.

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Easy, the 105VR. I've got the 60mm, 105mm (both) and 200mm.

 

The 60mm has its place, but I often only take the 105mm on trips. I find the 60mm superior on night dives.

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105 is 1st choice for me- 60 is a fish lens formost 2nd choice. I agree if I have no idea what down there the 60 would go. I shoot film- full frame no crop. Mark

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