I am thinking of getting Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D. I'm not a stamp collector so what I am looking for is characteristics of 100mm macro lens for Full Frame camera.

Should I get 100mm macro for that even if I own Nikon D90 which is DX format camera? Or Should I get 60mm macro which would be the closest to 100mm after the crop factor considered?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Which characteristics are you after? DOF, Bokeh, or Framing? \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Apr 13, 2011 at 3:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ The crop factor on the D90 is roughly 1.5, so your 60mm f/2.8 will have the field of view and depth of field of a 90mm f/4.2. \$\endgroup\$
    – Evan Krall
    Apr 13, 2011 at 3:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Evan Krall: at macro range, doesn't the DOF-equivalence math break down? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 13, 2011 at 8:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jrista I would like to get all: DOF, Bokeh and Framing. But most importantly I am after framing. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 9:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You can not get all my friend. If you could, everyone would buy D90 instead of buying D700 :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2011 at 12:04

3 Answers 3


When I started doing macro work (back in the film days) I started with a 90mm Tamron (good lens BTW). What I found was that the working distance was too short. I could not get close enough to bugs and the field of view often included too much background. As soon as I could afford it I bought a Nikon 200mm f4 Micro lens. The field of view is great for framing and the working distance is long enough that I don't scare away bugs every time.

In your case a 60mm may have the field of view of a 90mm on a film camera but the working distance for minimum focus does not change so your working distance will be even worse than what I experienced. I do not think you will be happy.

I recommend that you consider a longer lens like the Nikon 200 or the Sigma 180 (I have experience with the Nikon but not the Sigma so I have nothing to say about how well the Sigma performs). You will get an working distance that will be as good as you can get and even narrower background framing than what I get on my D700. A lens like that can be a bit pricey, so, alternatively look at a Tamron 90mm or a Nikon 105mm instead. My experience with the Tamron is with the older MF version but what I have heard is the newer ones are even better.



I use a D90 with Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR G Micro with Nikon SB-R1 and I'm very happy with it. It is not a cheap lens and now it is more expensive than what I paid for it. The 200mm f4 is even better but I like VR for handheld insect chasing. With a lens shorter than this 105mm you have to get your frontlens really close to the subject and that is not good for moving animals (what Ian Lelsie said also). Now that I got the lenses I want, I'am saving for a better body.

Ken Rockwell: Ideal Uses: Perfect for use as a general-purpose medium tele on FX digital, DX digital and film cameras. It's also the best macro lens today short of the 200mm f/4 Micro.

This 105mm VR is a bargain. Yes, it's almost $800, but it's a solid hunk of professional precision made mostly of metal. (26.6 oz./752g)


  • \$\begingroup\$ question asked 6 years, 4 months ago (LOL) \$\endgroup\$
    – zarvox
    Aug 26, 2017 at 21:29

I agree with Ian's suggestion that you look at something longer to get more working distance between the lens and your subject. I tried a an old 55mm and 60mm Nikon macro lens with my APS sensor D70 and D300, and while they were OK for static subjects, the working distance was just too close for bugs.

I currently have the 105mm VR macro, and the working distance is quite a bit better - but I'd love one of the 200mm macros for even more.

The nikon zoom macro lens was handy for changing the framing without having to move the camera - but there was a lot of glass in there and it was prone to lens flare. (also, if memory serves, you had to add a close up lens to get to 1:1).

If you're after a butterfly lens that only goes down to 1:4 or thereabouts (so not a true macro) then the Nikon 80-400VR zoom works very nicely - you get a very large working distance and it makes a nice wildlife lens too.

Also worth looking at in the butterfly lens category are the later nikon 500mmf8 MF mirror lens (the later version focuses falrly close, the older one doesn't so doesn't work for this) and the adaptall-2 tamron 500mm f8 MF mirror lens - again, this has a good close focus.


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