Best Macro Lenses for Nikon

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 15, 2018
In the world of highly competitive market and forceful advertising, it's easy to get lost, looking for a macro lens for Nikon DSLR cameras. Let us help you by showing the most outstanding models that may become a powerful tool in your hands and help create stunning, artistic photos. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Full Frame Support
FOCAL LENGTH
APERTURE RANGE
MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE
MAGNIFICATION RATIO
NUMBER OF DIAPHRAGM BLADES
WARRANTY
 
PROS
The outer lens stays in place during focusing thanks to inner focusing mechanism. Also lens has Vibration Reduction image stabilization.
CONS
Some might find the AF a bit slow.
OUR VERDICT
Micro-NIKKOR is an awesome addition to any camera kit for both pros and amateurs. The special glass coating and optical image stabilization will provide you with the best image quality.
detailed parameters
Full Frame Support
Full-Frame, APS-C
FOCAL LENGTH
105mm
APERTURE RANGE
Max: f/2.8 Min: f/32
MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE
1.0 ft
MAGNIFICATION RATIO
1:1
NUMBER OF DIAPHRAGM BLADES
9
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS

The fluorine coating prevents condensation of moisture. Еhe model's Floating System works in conjunction with the optical construction in order to compensate for fundamental aberration changes that are subject to varying distances. All of these elements ensure the seamless yet exceptional depictive capabilities of the lens across the entire shooting range.

CONS

Some might find the autofocus a bit noisy.

OUR VERDICT

Tamron SP 90mm is a macro lens for Nikon that picks up where its predecessor left off. The model upgrades those features that made the previous iterations successful in the first place, providing, in turn, the most outstanding optical performance.

detailed parameters
Full Frame Support

Yes

FOCAL LENGTH

90mm

APERTURE RANGE

Max: f/2.8, Min: f/32

MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE

1.0 ft

MAGNIFICATION RATIO

1:1

NUMBER OF DIAPHRAGM BLADES

9

WARRANTY

6 years

PROS
You can take this lens with you more often due to the light weight and compact size.
CONS
This lens is designed for APS-C sensor cameras only.
OUR VERDICT
Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Lens can be recommended to beginners and advanced photographers with a Nikon APS-C cameras. Due to compact size and light weight, it is also a good choice if you like to travel a lot.
detailed parameters
Full Frame Support
APS-C only
FOCAL LENGTH
40mm
APERTURE RANGE
Max: f/2.8 Min: f/22
MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE
0.53 ft
MAGNIFICATION RATIO
1:1
NUMBER OF DIAPHRAGM BLADES
7
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
Due to the straight 9 diaphragm blades, the bright flecks of sunlight will appear as the 18-point stars on your photos.
CONS
The lack of built-in focusing motor makes the AF unavailable on several entry-level Nikon APS-C camera bodies.
OUR VERDICT
This is a solid macro lens for Nikon Full-Frame cameras. It can provide you with the stunningly bright, crisp macro close-ups and waist-up portraits that feature magnificent rounded bokeh, thanks to its 9-blade aperture.
detailed parameters
Full Frame Support
Full-Frame, APS-C
FOCAL LENGTH
100mm
APERTURE RANGE
Max: f/2.8 Min: f/32
MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE
1.0 ft
MAGNIFICATION RATIO
1:1
NUMBER OF DIAPHRAGM BLADES
9
WARRANTY
3 years
PROS

The company's Super Integrated Coating improves light transmission, offering better color consistency and reduced flare. The Extra-low Dispersion element is the driving force behind the product's superior sharpness and color correction. The Silent Wave Motor is responsible for autofocus that is as fast and accurate as it is quiet.

CONS

The lens is a bit heavy so it adds to the overall weight of the camera. 

OUR VERDICT

Nikon AF-S DX is a versatile macro lens for Nikon that is especially suitable for close-up, portrait, and nature photography. But if you do not have these kinds of specific requirements, the model isn't half-bad in terms of general photography either, so you might want to give it a try.

detailed parameters
Full Frame Support

No

FOCAL LENGTH

85 mm

APERTURE RANGE

Max: f/3.5, Min: f/32

MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE

0.9 ft

MAGNIFICATION RATIO

1:1

NUMBER OF DIAPHRAGM BLADES

9

WARRANTY

2 years

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

Immovable Force

The Nikkor is the Nikon's brand, dedicated specifically to the lens product. The first model of this Micro-Nikkor lens was manufactured in 2006 as the further expansion to the company's lens series for professional photographers, and the golden ring on the barrel is the indicator of this. As expected, both body and the mount are made of durable metal that rise no question about quality. As for the optics, the lens features the low-dispersed glass with a nano-crystal coating that reduces lens flares, chromatic aberrations and improves light transmittance. If you are looking for a lens to take handheld photos, then this model will be perfect for you as it has a built-in optical image stabilization. Thus, you can freely take stunning photos of small objects like bugs or plants even without a tripod. The "IF" mark is the indicator of the internal focusing mechanism. With it, the outer rim of the lens doesn't turn around during hunting. That way, you can use partially coated filters to add unbelievable colors or some other effects to your photos.

What's more, the lens has 2 modes: standard manual and Nikon's special M/A mode. When it's switched on, you can override the AF at any moment by turning the focusing ring with your fingers. This mode offers a valuable support in getting crisp, sharp macro photos as sometimes the AF hunting can be slow, especially in dim lighting. Furthermore, the aperture's 9 blades produce the artistic bokeh effect on the background. Still, if you want to shoot portraits, you might need a tripod to get a deeper focus range. Luckily, we have the review of the best tripods right at hand.

Additionally, if you love to experiment with your camera and constantly try to expand the boundaries of your imagination, we can readily recommend you a camera ring light that can help you take stunningly sharp macro shots of nighttime insects or the flowers, that only bloom at night, by illuminating them with this device.

Review of Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S VR Fixed Macro Lens

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Nikon Lens Review - Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR
 

Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC

Top-Notch Optical Performance

Tamron SP 90mm is a macro lens for Nikon that picks up where its predecessor left off, improving the features that made the previous iterations successful in the first place in order to provide the most outstanding optical performance. But before talking about performance, we would be remiss to forget about some of the elements of the model's construction. Well, for the most part, it is the moisture-proof and dust-resistant properties of the latter that do a pretty job of denying water droplets and dust specks entrance to the lens. Though the fluorine coating that prevents condensation of moisture certainly doesn't hurt either.

As for the aforementioned optical performance, the "outstanding" part of it mostly stems from the optical construction that features 14 elements in 11 groups, including one LD (Low Dispersion) and two XLD (Extra Low Dispersion) glass elements. Without relying too much on the technical mumbo jumbo, these elements are quite helpful in terms of controlling lateral and on-axis chromatic aberrations, especially at a high level of performance. Plus, there's the model's Floating System that works in conjunction with this optical construction in order to compensate for fundamental aberration changes that are subject to varying distances. In conclusion, all of these elements ensure the seamless yet exceptional depictive capabilities of the lens across the entire shooting range.

To reiterate our earlier point, Tamron SP 90mm is a macro lens for Nikon that picks up where its predecessor left off. The model upgrades those features that made the previous iterations successful in the first place, providing, in turn, the most outstanding optical performance.

Review of Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

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

Your Daily Macro Fix

If you are looking for an affordable, yet capable macro lens to mount on your camera with APS-C sensor, this is the model to go. Despite having a comparatively short focal length, wide-angle distortion is less noticeable due to the crop-factor that cuts off the edges of image when compared to the full-frames. This lightweight, compact model turned out surprisingly fast and sharp for the price. The key feature of this Micro-NIKKOR lens is the short minimum focus distance - only 0.53 ft. By turning on the AF, you can get really close to a live subject without scaring it off due to the Silent Wave Motor that hunts quickly and quietly. With the 1:1 reproduction ratio, you can get nice clear macro photos. The blurring is sufficient in most cases, too. Considering the wide f/2.8 aperture and 40mm focal length, you can readily grab this lens in order to take bright portrait shots on a bright day as well. However, if your shots appear hazy in a sunny weather, we totally recommend getting a UV Haze filter that can give your images additional clarity and also the necessary protection from scratches and dust.

Overall, this is probably one of the most affordable macro lenses that can be recommended for the photographers with a Nikon APS-C camera body. Due to the built-in focusing motor, Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX is probably the best macro lens for Nikon D3200 or Nikon D5600 camera bodies that have no integral mechanism for this.

Review of Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Fixed Macro Lens

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Exploring NIKKOR Lenses: Bali with the AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
 

Tokina AT-X 100mm f/2.8 PRO D

Oldy but Goldy

Tokina is a longtime lens manufacturer for Nikon and Canon SLR cameras. For over 60 years, the company has been producing quality optics with a wide range of fast lenses for Nikon and Canon. Lately, Tokina team of specialists have turned mostly to designing glass for Micro Four Thirds system of mirrorless cameras. Anyhow, this macro lens for Nikon DSLRs boasts great build and image quality. The metal parts feel solid and reliable. The focusing rubber ring is wide and responsive to touch - you can readily adjust a shallow focus range on the required object in no time. The barrel also has a special diaphragm ring that allows you to manually control the amount of light that falls on the sensor to adjust the brightness and depth of the field. Besides, by changing the limiting switch position, you can restrict the range for a focus hunting either from 1.0 to 1.18 ft. or from 1.25 ft. to infinity, depending on the focus position when you turn the limit on. Sometimes, tiny chromatic aberrations may appear on your shots but they can be fixed in almost any image editor in a couple of clicks.

Speaking of the focus, Tokina special One-touch Clutch Mechanism allows you to switch between AF and manual modes by sliding the focusing ring forward or backward accordingly. Most of the company's lenses support full-time manual focus in AF-mode with Nikon camera bodies. And this Tokina AT-X 100mm f/2.8 PRO D macro is no exception as well.

Review of Tokina AT-X 100mm f/2.8 PRO D Fixed Macro Lens

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
The Angry Photographer: IMPORTANT NIKON lens you must buy! TOKINA 100mm 2.8 MACRO
 

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

All Kinds of Photography Purposes

There is a lot to like about Nikon AF-S DX. First off, there's the respectable 85 mm of focal length that makes this lens particularly suitable for close-up, portrait, and nature photography, though the model isn't half-bad when it comes to general photography either. Of course, there's also the somewhat obligatory but all the more necessary 0.9-feet close focusing that increases the camera's versatility, offering the ability to focus from infinity to life-size with the standard 1:1 reproduction (magnification) ratio.

These lenses were always known for their image stabilization technologies and the model in question is no exception to this rule. Vibration Reduction, a technology that was designed and implemented specifically for each VR NIKKOR lens, will allow you to enjoy the possibility of handheld shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower compared to your everyday lens. Naturally, the latter will also result in much sharper images. The company's Super Integrated Coating is another element of the model's design that is worth mentioning since it improves light transmission, so you will have the opportunity to work with better color consistency and reduced flare. Finally, there are the Extra-low Dispersion element and the Silent Wave Motor. The former is the driving force behind the product's superior sharpness and color correction while the latter is responsible for autofocus that is as fast and accurate as it is quiet.

Again, Nikon AF-S DX is a versatile macro lens for Nikon that is especially suitable for close-up, portrait, and nature photography. But if you do not have these kinds of specific requirements, the model isn't half-bad in terms of general photography either, so you might want to give it a try.

Review of Nikon AF-S DX 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Micro-NIKKOR

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Macro Lens for Nikon?

Macro shots of live objects can be considered as one of the hardest photography styles to master as in many situations, you might have mere seconds to prepare your kit, find the right angle, adjust the shallow depth of field and take a shot while the subject stays in place. But with the right macro lens, the whole process becomes a child's play as you can achieve stunning results fast and easily. The key feature of many macro lenses is the 1:1 reproduction ratio. In other words, the tiny bug will look like a huge monster taking a large part of the photo when you open it on your computer screen. The similar effect can be achieved with a powerful zoom lens where the faraway object becomes magnified. However, the macro type allows focusing on the objects that are just around one foot away from you.

Moreover, the macro lenses are great not just for close-up shots but also for things like waist-up portraits, as with the short focus range, you can blur the fore- and background around the person to emphasize him or her in all their beauty.

On a side note, if you are big on photography and have several DSLR cameras from different companies, you might be interested in the best macro lenses for Canon as well. Lastly, if you are going to shoot at the nighttime, such equipment as the tripods and ring flashes are a must.

Sources:

1. Thomas Clark HOW TO CHOOSE A MACRO LENS, Dummies.

2. Choosing a Macro LensShaw Academy. October 7, 2015.

3. MACRO CAMERA LENSES, Cambridge in Colour.

4. Simon Crisp A guide to buying your next camera lens, New Atlas. October 2, 2013.

5. Choosing a Lens: camera lenses explained, What Digital Camera. September 24, 2015.

6. Jason D. Little 6 Tips for Successful Macro PhotographyLight Stalking Photography. December 9, 2012.

7. Barrie Smith Macro Photography for BeginnersDigital Photography School. 

8. Matt Golowczynski Photography Lens Guide: Lens Types Explained, Wex Photographic. January 22, 2015.

9. Joshua Dunlop What do the Numbers and Letters on Lenses Mean? Expert Photography.

10. Lauchlan Toal THE MACRO LENS | WHY IT SHOULD BE YOUR SECOND LENS PURCHASE, SLR Lounge. January 20, 2016.

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