Today we’re looking at the best macro lens for Nikon cameras. We’ll be reviewing several different macro lenses that will make your photography stand out among the rest. Any good macro lens is going to give you superb realism in close-up photography. Not only that, but quality macro lenses work as phenomenal prime lenses as well.
Macro lenses can produce ultra-sharp images at any aperture setting, and most of them offer a moderate telephoto focal length. You can even use a macro lens as a portrait lens. But where a macro lens really stands out is with its 1:1 reproduction ratio. This means that you can fill the full image sensor of your DSLR Nikon camera with a subject no larger than a postage stamp.
As you probably already know, macro lenses are ideal for taking photographs of small subjects. This can be anything from an insect to a tiny flower. Macro lenses specialize in enlarging a tiny target to make it larger than life. This is critical when you are printing out images for flyers or creating unique online marketing themes.
Without wasting any more time, let’s dive right in!
First on the list for today is a powerful Nikon macro lens with a 105mm focal distance. This lens is expensive, but it is worth every penny. It comes with vibration reduction technology, a minimum focus distance of 1.03 feet, nano-crystal coat and ED glass elements, and a serious reduction in flare and chromatic aberrations. The overall image quality with this lens is superb. It includes an internal autofocus that you can use to quickly and accurately focus on your target without changing the length of the lens. It may be a little heavy, but that’s because it’s a serious lens with a lot of technology packed inside of it. For any DSLR camera, this is the best you can get.
The lens works fantastically even in low-light situations, the background blur is simply beautiful, and you can use the lens for shooting portraits, for everyday photography, and for those perfect Instagram shots of your food and your jewelry. This is really the pinnacle of Nikon lenses when it comes to macro photography. You have to fork out a bit of money for it, but it’s an excellent investment that will pay you back with spectacular photographs.
- Amazing Bokeh
- Works as Sharp Portrait Lens
- Fantastic in Any Light
- Excellent with Any DSLR
- Stunning Images
- Quite Expensive
- Slightly Heavy
This next lens is right in the middle in terms of focal length. It has a maximum focal length of 60mm that you can use for all kinds of great macro photography. The minimum focus distance is 8 inches, the lens is effective with APS-C cameras, and it produces a fantastic background blurring effect. This lens is definitely not limited to only macro photography. You can achieve great results with just about any subject. Because of its broad focusing range and maximum aperture, the lens is ideal for portraits and everyday street photography. It uses a Nikon exclusive Silent Wave Motor to enable extremely fast autofocusing with a seamless manual focus override for full versatility.
What we really like about this lens it is that it’s smack in the middle in terms of features. It’s sold at a reasonable price, it comes with a reasonable focal length, and it’s reasonably lightweight. The lens works fantastically for most of your macrophotography, even though it’s not as robust as some of the other items on the list. If you’re an amateur who doesn’t want to spend tons of money just to get a better focal length, this is a great lens for starting out. You can use it to do all your photography experiments.
- Flawless Autofocus
- Great for Nature Photography
- Versatile w/ Advanced Optic Technology
- Detailed Portraits & Seamless Manual Focus
- Minimum Focus Distance of 0.6 Feet
- Tight Lens Mount
- Older Model from Early 2000s
The Nikon 85mm Fixed Zoom Lens is an impressive piece of equipment. It’s equipped with Nikon VR II image stabilization for the maximum reduction in vibration. It also uses a technologically advanced Silent Wave Motor so that you get the best autofocusing available. The lens uses a rounded 9-blade diaphragm to offer a more natural appearance with all of your out-of-focus images. You can focus from up to 0.9 feet from your subject. The maximum aperture is 3.5. Plus, the item only weighs 0.78 pounds.
For a lens that only costs around $500, this is a sweet deal. Even if it is a few years old, it will take another decade for this thing to go out of style. It works amazingly with just about every Nikon camera on the market. And if you like to walk around with a lightweight lens on your camera and take photos of anything that comes along and piques your interest, this is one of the best you can use. You will absolutely never be disappointed with the purchase. Not only is the lens lightweight, but it feels comfortable and properly balanced on your camera so that you barely even notice it’s there.
- Perfect Image Quality & Autofocus
- No Distortion Ever
- Lightweight & Great Feel
- Good for Portrait & Micro
- Not as Good at Wide Apertures
- Mostly Plastic Materials
Finally, we’re going to talk about the cheapest lens on the list. Not cheap in quality, but cheap in the fact that you can pick this lens up for barely any money! With over 1000 positive ratings online, this is one of the best macro lenses you can use for your Nikon camera. It offers a focal length of 40 millimeters to give you insanely sharp images of any subject, big or small. It’s specially designed for use with Nikon digital SLR cameras, it’s completely waterproof with special rubber sealing, and it has high optical performance thanks to its aspherical lenses and its ED glass elements.
Basically, it’s just as fantastic of a lens as all the others that we’ve talked about, only it’s incredibly affordable. Keep in mind, it obviously has a much lower focal distance than others – but it is still a usable lens that will get you great snapshots of flies, bees, your cat, and anything else you want to get close to. It’s lightweight, it’s very small, and it can create an amazing bokeh effect that will take your photography to the next level.
- Smooth Autofocus
- Really Sharp Images
- Lens is Solid & Well-Built
- Great for Budget Photographers
- Specially Designed for Nikon SLR
- Short Focal Length
- Tricky for Insects
This fantastic macro lens from Olympus is a third-party lens that you can use with your Nikon camera. It’s weatherproof to withstand all the harshest weather conditions, and it has a 7.4-inch minimum working distance, a total focal length of 60 millimeters, and 13 separate lens elements to give you the finest results with all your photographs. Thanks to the focus limit switch, your autofocus is incredibly fast. And with the integrated working distance window, you get excellent subject distance confirmation. For a medium-priced macro lens from a third party, Olympus really did a swell job on this one.
You get a very nice balance here in being close enough to your subject to get amazing photos without getting so close that you cast an ugly shadow. The lens comes with a unique reflection optical coating, it uses a high-speed imager, and it has a very bright f2.8 aperture. If you’re looking for a great lens that can switch between cameras, this is one of the better options. It’s perfect for shooting reptiles, insects, flowers, and jewelry.
- Works for Most Cameras
- Weatherproof Macro Lens
- Bright Aperture
- Minimum Focus Distance 7.5”
- Great Price
- May Be Complicated for Amateurs
- Not Built by Nikon
Perhaps the biggest issue when choosing a macro lens is figuring out which one is right for you. Obviously, the price is going to play a huge role. There are indeed some very affordable macro lenses that work phenomenally. But there are a few other key things you need to think about before you make your purchase based on the cheapest model.
For example, a focal length of roughly 90 to 105mm is ideal for any type of macro photography. This is particularly true when using a full-frame Nikon camera. This kind of focal length allows you to get very close to your target without being so close that your lens brushes against the flower.
If you get a focal length that is too short, the problem is usually the front of your lens ends up being way too close to your target and can cast a shadow over it. If it’s a living target, you might even scare it away by getting too close and personal. That said, short focal lengths are still the only way to get a wide-angle perspective. And for this reason, it sometimes pays to get a few affordable macro lenses that you can quickly switch out depending on the scenario.