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 Post subject: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 15, 2017 8:52 pm 
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I have a Nikon D3200 and would like like to purchase a micro lens to take close pictures of bugs and such. Living in Juneau, AK I have no access to a camera store until cruise ship season. Does anyone have a recommendation for one that is less than $300 or so. I am also looking for a telephoto lens. Thanks for any advise.

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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 6:43 am 
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Are you not able to order lens online?


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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 7:42 am 
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I don't really have lens recommendations...but have you considered one of the "super-zoom" cameras? Nikon and Canon make some fantastic choices. The Nikon P610 (I have one) is a great camera with a 60x optical zoom (that's digitally doubled) for just over $400. The performance is nothing short of amazing. For some proof of the Canon's abilities, check out some of the photo threads by BeerGodRox.

For the cost of a couple of lower-end lenses you can get a camera with higher-end performance in an all-in-one package. Beats carrying a bunch of lenses around. And the cameras have the capability of taking extreme close-ups and HD video, too.

You can go to dpreview.com to find out pretty much anything you need to know about these cameras or lenses...great site.

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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 8:33 am 
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I can't speak about micro, but I have been shopping for a telephoto and use a Nikon camera body also.

At a store this week I spoke to a representative from Tamron. They make two 150-600 lenses. The first generation is selling for less than $900 at legit online stores like B&H. It is ok but seems to lose sharpness after 500 mm. Also plastic body and made in China.

The newest G2 lense is sharp out to 600mm,made in Japan, has a better mount, an additional axis for vibration reduction, better metal housing, better dust/water resistance, etc. It sells for $1399 everywhere.

I want to get the G2 one but it is a bit pricy.
In my opinion it is the best value. If money is no option, then consider a fixed, prime telephoto Nikon.

I hope this helps. I'd like to get more suggestions, too before I make a purchase.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 9:23 am 
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Bailey Guns wrote:
I don't really have lens recommendations...but have you considered one of the "super-zoom" cameras? Nikon and Canon make some fantastic choices. The Nikon P610 (I have one) is a great camera with a 60x optical zoom (that's digitally doubled) for just over $400. The performance is nothing short of amazing. For some proof of the Canon's abilities, check out some of the photo threads by BeerGodRox.

For the cost of a couple of lower-end lenses you can get a camera with higher-end performance in an all-in-one package. Beats carrying a bunch of lenses around. And the cameras have the capability of taking extreme close-ups and HD video, too.

You can go to dpreview.com to find out pretty much anything you need to know about these cameras or lenses...great site.



BeerGodROX here!
I totally agree with Bailey Guns on the modern "super-zoom" cameras.
Drag up the dpreview.com site and click on "super-zoom" cameras.
I have a Canon SX60 HS and it now has 20,400+ images behind it from late 2014.
You can shoot "macro" from lens contact!
So close that you have to watch for shadow over the image.

The optical zoom goes from (35mm equivalent) 21mm out to 1365mm.
Image stabilization is fantastic!
I try to not use the digital zoom because it just enlarges pixels and quality goes down as you get farther out.
It will capture stuff you might not otherwise get.

I have read the Nikon equivalent camera info and it also seems to have great performance.
You can have either camera for around $500 from Amazon - and you will never go back to changing lenses!
Your tripod will begin to collect dust but you will still need it for exposures over 1 second.
You will not be able to take exposures over 15 seconds with the Canon.
My camera is always with me and is ready to shoot in less than 1 second!

I am hoping to see a Canon SX-70 come to market but camera makers are having trouble competing with cell phone cameras.

Good Luck!
I have had prints made up to 30x40 inches which are GREAT!

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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 16, 2017 10:15 am 
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If you are shooting small objects close up I wouldn't recommend the super zoom cameras. These point and shoot cameras really don't have very good glass and the sensors are not on par with something like your 3200. I would suggest an AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 85mm f3.5G ED VR 85mm will allow you to be far enough from the subject to get good magnification. They have a 40mm micro lens but you would have to be closer and it's not a VR lens. it's a little pricey but glass is an investment that will outlast several camera bodies. I would also suggest a ring flash if you can afford one.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 17, 2017 9:13 am 
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Before you invest in a Macro lens you might consider extension tubes. They are spacers that fit between your camera and current lens with no glass. You can buy some on Amazon for as little as $15. The cheaper sets require you to use manual focus because they have no electronic contacts. I paid $25 for a set for my Canon that do have contacts. I had a few initial problems but they work pretty well. You can pm me for more details.

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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 17, 2017 7:07 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 18, 2017 1:34 pm 
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Some experienced advise already by Pinecam posters. Extension tubes, bellows and rail ...primarily for indoors or still subjects) or even diopters are good alternatives to new glass. I feel the best results are obtained by Focus Stacking software. No matter what lens you have there will still be depth of field issues with macro, so bracketing a few shots at slightly different focal points and layering them with software will improve/sharpen almost any macro photos as well as landscapes shot at large aperture. Photoshop can do it or there are specialty apps like Helicon etc.

I am not an expert but have 'focus stacked' a few pics, shot without dedicated macro lenses, using Photoshop in the past and surprised myself with the results. Takes some time to register the images etc. but really enhances final result.

Not my pic but an example of focus stacking.
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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 18, 2017 3:26 pm 
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Hello. Since you are using a Nikon Camera, you can use older (even vintage) Nikon lenses. I'd say go for a used Nikon made macro and you'll be really pleased. A friend continues to to impressed with Nikon lenses from decades back on his hot, new digital body! Adorama, B&H photo and KEH are all sellers I've had good experiences with in the marketplace. They rate their lenses realistically. I shoot Pentax and I really like both the 50mm and 100mm dedicated macro lenses I've bought over the years. They've both got their place and I'm keeping them both!


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 Post subject: Re: Camera lens rec
Post Posted: Feb 18, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Something else you might try is reverse lens macro photography. You can purchase a reverse lens adapter for $10-$15 and they can work really well.

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