I have decided to buy Nikon D3200 18-105mm VR Lens camera, finally! My question is would I be able to shoot insects and photos with great resolution? Distance is not a problem, I can go close to the subject.


2 Answers 2


You can make non-macro (micro in Nikon lingo) lenses focus at closer distances, and at higher magnification, using extension tubes.

Extension tubes add additional distance between the lens and sensor and have the following downsides:

  1. Loss of light; anywhere from 1-3 (or more) stops of light loss depending on the amount of extension

  2. Inability to focus at infinity; meaning when the lens focus ring is set to infinity, it won't really be at infinity, but this is usually not a factor when doing macro closeup work

  3. You must get the lens physically closer to the subject than you would if using a true macro lens

If you want to retain autofocus and exposure (i.e. aperture) control, then get tubes either from the manufacturer, or, I suggest Kenko brand which offer these features. You will most likely not have one, or both, of these abilities with cheap alternative tubes.


To shoot insects and close-up of flowers you need a macro lens. Nikon calls them Micro and makes several of them.

This camera requires a lens with a built-in focus motor to autofocus, so unless you plan on focusing manually, you need to look for an AF-S Micro lens Or the equivalent third-party model. For insects and to avoid having your shadow over the subject, it is recommended a medium to long focal-length, something like the Nikkor Micro AF-S 85mm F/3.5G DX.

  • \$\begingroup\$ only this camera requires built in focus motor??? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 23, 2013 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nikon entry level models, from D3000 to D5200 (plus some much older ones) have no focus motor built-in, so they require the lens to have one. Intermediate models up to D90 and high-end ones like the D7000/D7100 plus all single-digit and three-digit models have their own focus-motor. The D7000/D7100, plus the single (D4/D3?) and 3-digit models (D800/D600/etc) are all weather-sealed too so they wont get damaged even if it is snowing or raining as long as the lens is weather-sealed as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Feb 23, 2013 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just find it out that D3200 is capable of autofocusing. Why you did say that it does not support auto-focus. Also I can do amazing micro photography with the lens which comes with the camera using extension tubes. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 23, 2013 at 23:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ All modern camera support autofocus. The D3200 and similar cameras require a lens with a focus motor inside the lens to autofocus. Higher-end Nikons support the same lenses plus lenses which do not have an autofocus motor because there is also an autofocus motor in the camera and a mechanical connection (looks like a small screw-driver head) to drive the lens from the camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Feb 24, 2013 at 0:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ A question from a beginner. Is there some special reason for why Nikon calls macro lenses for micro lenses? I mean they are completely the same as a macro lens right? \$\endgroup\$
    – user38503
    May 17, 2015 at 23:09

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