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Thread: Nikkor 60mm Micro VS Nikkor 50mm+extension tubes

  1. #1

    Default Nikkor 60mm Micro VS Nikkor 50mm+extension tubes

    Hi Guys,

    I currently own a Nikkor 50mmf1.8. I was wondering if I should get a Nikkor 60mmf2.8 Micro for macro work. But the closeness in focal length of these 2 lenses would probably leave one on the shelf to collect dust. I have heard of good results with the 50mmf1.8 attached to extension tubes. I'm not sure how much these extension tubes are (kenko, Nikon), nor if they affect AF, flash accuracy, metering etc. If I were to buy the 60mmf2.8, I would be in a fix if I should sell the 50mm because its such a good lens and it wouldnt fetch much.
    Does anyone have experience with the 50mm with ext tubes ? If the image quality is close to the 60mm micro, it will solve my problem.

    Regards, Marc.

  2. #2

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    Hi Marc,

    Using Extension tube with prime lens is not very convenient, IMO. Your magnification will be fixed (depending on the extension tube length).

    Im not a Nikon user, but I have tried using Canon 50mm 1.8 + 25mm ext tube. The min focusing distance is about 3 inches, giving me life size. It’s very sharp, extension tube definitely maintains the quality of the lens as it has no glass. AF will work fine, but you will loose the infinity focusing. TTL metering (exposure and flash) will also work just fine.

    To me, true macro lens is always a better choice for macro photography, convenience wise.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwang
    Hi Guys,
    But the closeness in focal length of these 2 lenses would probably leave one on the shelf to collect dust.
    You are quite probably right. I have a 60 too and the only time I ever take it out is when I specifically intend to shoot macros. But then again, I don't believe in the "macro lenses doubling up as another general use lens" idea. I'd leave my macros at home whether I had the 60, the 105 or the 200. In fact, I don't use my 50 either unless I specifically intend to shoot in low light.

    Specialist lenses are meant to be exactly that, so it's only natural that they get neglected for general use. Don't feel you need to buy one and use it all the time for everything, because that's not what they're designed for. If they fit into your scheme of things then brilliant; if they don't, it's no loss.

    I'm not sure how much these extension tubes are (kenko, Nikon), nor if they affect AF, flash accuracy, metering etc.

    The Nikons are a daft price for no glass. They lose AF, they shouldn't affect flash accuracy (it's still through the lens, although you might want to deactivate distance readings from the flash equation because distances at short distances are fudgy to begin with, and the extension tube will cause less light to hit the film plane). They shouldn't affect metering either.

    If I were to buy the 60mmf2.8, I would be in a fix if I should sell the 50mm because its such a good lens and it wouldnt fetch much.

    I'd definitely keep the 50. I couldn't use my 60 as a standard lens because it's just not made like one. Focusing is slow, noisy, substandard. At f2.8 it's hardly very fast. I love my 50 to bits even though its the most underused lens in my bag (okay, I lie, the 14 is even less used).

    Does anyone have experience with the 50mm with ext tubes ? If the image quality is close to the 60mm micro, it will solve my problem.

    I'm afraid I don't. However I would suspect that the quality would be reasonable, and it all boils down to the quality that you need. I'm a bit wary of bringing the A4/8R figure into the equation again, but if you only go to those sizes, then it really shouldn't be an issue. If you go bigger, it may still not be an issue, but you'll probably be happier with a dedicated micro lens. If you intend to do a LOT of macro work, regardless of reproduction size, then the sheer ease of use of a macro lens, as opposed to having to work with extension tubes, will pay for itself many times over.

    The 60mm I have, and I can attest to it being an amazing lens, and I love mine to bits. Wouldn't take the 105 in lieu, although I would add the 200/4 to it. Add, not in lieu. Actually, I wouldn't add the 105 to my 60 either. I'm just not a fan. But that's personal.

  4. #4

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    excellent replies. Thank you.

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