Best Nikon Macro Lenses in 2020

Here is our list of the best Nikon lenses for macro photography. Macro photography is one of the most popular forms of photography genre. However, it can also be an exercise in frustration if you don’t have the right equipment.

We’ll take a look at some of the best Nikon macro lenses for 2020, what it is that makes them so great, and cover everything you need to know before buying one.

Best Nikon Macro Lenses


1. Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8G ED IF VR Micro Lens

List of Features We Like:

  • 1:1 magnification reproduction for true macro shooting.
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) technology for a steady shot.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) autofocus is quick and quiet.

There are many features that make the Nikon AF-S 105mm one of the best Nikon macro lenses available.The AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IFED is Nikon’s flagship macro model. It was the first macro-lens that offered image-stabilization from any brand. It’s compatible with both full-frame FX and cropped-frame DX-format bodies, and as an AF-S model, it’ll also autofocus on any Nikon DSLR. Overall, this is one of our favorite lenses for macro photography.

2. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens

List of Features We Like:

  • 1:1 magnification, even as close as 12.2″ or 31 cm.
  • Hypersonic Motor (HSM) autofocus system.
  • Optical Stabilization (OS) technology for a steadier shot.

Looking for an affordable high quality macro lens? The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM easily takes the number one spot. It gives the user a very comfortable working distance for macro shots, allowing you to get optically very close without causing too much disturbance to the scene.

Its closest focusing distance is 12.3 inches, sharpness is top notch and you also receive a lens hood.

3. Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro

List of Features We Like:

  • 1:1 magnification and a minimum focusing distance of 1′
  • Excellent design and built quality.
  • Ultra Multi-Coating reduces lens flare and ghosting.

The Samyang 100mm F2.8 ED UMC Macro  comes in at an attractive price point when compared with many other autofocus macro lenses of similar focal lengths, and it’s plenty sharp, especially at the narrower apertures used to achieve a reasonable depth of field when working at high magnification. The manual focus system is very good and handles well, responding to even the most refined movements. Image quality is of a high standard throughout the aperture range, and the Ultra Multi-Coating on the lens helps to reduce unwanted optical effects such as lens flare and ghosting.

4.Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro EX DG OS HSM Lens

List of Features We Like:

  • 180mm focal length with 1:1 magnification.
  • Optical Stabilizer (OS) for handheld shooting.
  • HSM technology for autofocus that is fast and silent.

Sigma 150mm f/2.8 APO Macro EX DG OS Lens for Nikon Seems like a great lens at a very reasonable price. Some users have commented that the AF is slow and the OS is noisy, but it has a magnification of 1:1 making it ideal for macro photography. It’s maximum aperture of f/2.8 means it performs well in all lighting conditions, and the Optical Stabilizer reduces camera shake when holding the camera in your hand. The HSM is also very good, and with a simple manual override system, you can achieve a sharp focus with very little effort.

5. Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD Lens

List of Features We Like :

  • True-life 1:1 magnification with excellent sharpness.
  • Affordable and high-quality design.
  • Vibration Compensation (VC) image stabilizer.

The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di SP is designed to focus on all Nikon (FX and DX) cameras and is a perfect choice for both macro and portrait photography thanks to its great focal length. For the price it’s an amazing choice and will cost you less but get you closer to your subject than the 60mm below. All in all, this is a good choice in our list of best Nikon macro lenses.

6.Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR

List of Features We Like

  • Telephoto lens with 1:1 macro capability.
  • Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) element for fantastic sharpness and color correction.
  • Internal focusing system is fast and accurate, and doesn’t change the lens length.

The 85mm length of the Nikon AF-S DX is equivalent to 130mm on 35mm format, making this lens a good choice for both macro and portrait photography. There are a host of features that make it good at both styles, from the Vibration Reduction mechanism to the internal focusing system that maintains the working distance throughout the range of the lens.

7. Nikon 60mm f/2.8 G AF-S ED Micro

List of Features We Like

  • 1:1 image magnification with 7.3″ minimum focus distance.
  • Super Integrated Coating produces high quality colors and reduces lens flare.
  • Compact and lightweight design.

The Nikon 60mm f/2.8G ED Micro works on both FX and DX models unlike the 40mm below, so if you already own or plan on upgrading to FX in the future, keep this in mind.

With a slightly longer focal length it’s much more appropriate for photographing live subjects (bugs, insects) without scaring them away, and it’s also great for product photography. On DX cameras its field of view is actually equivalent to a 90mm lens!

8. Nikon 40mm f/2.8 G AF-S DX Micro

List of Features We Like

  • Extremely compact design with 1:1 magnification.
  • Close-Range Correction system for close-up shooting.
  • Focus ring switches between manual and autofocus.

The 40mm focal length is great for product, bug, portrait and even casual photography. True macro lenses have a 1:1 ratio (also known as 1x magnification), meaning they don’t really zoom in your subject, it’s the glass elements inside that actually make the subject appear as big as it is in real life. Nikon’s 40mm f/2.8 uses a Close-Range Correction system to make sure that when taking photos up close, you get an accurate and in-focus picture. Autofocusing is quiet, and it’s easy to manually override it using the focus ring.

Best Nikon Macro Lenses: A Buying Guide


So we’ve seen some of the best Nikon macro lenses available, check out below to find out what you need to look for when buying one.

Ratio:
True macro lenses have a 1:1 ratio, which means your subject appears as big as it is in real life. If the ratio is 1:2 or anything less than 1:1 but still has macro in its name, then that’s false advertising (quite common with cheap zoom lenses).

Quality:
Macro lenses are notorious for being razor sharp, so you’re safe knowing that whatever macro you choose you’ll be amazed at the high quality they offer.

Focal length:
Longer focal lengths are better for photographing portraits, insects etc., while shorter are more appropriate for photographing products. You can obviously shoot anything with both, but certain types are easier with one or the other.

Image Stabilization:
What also matters is whether the lens has Image Stabilization, because if you’re using something long without a tripod and don’t have a fast enough shutter speed, you’ll easily get blurred images. Solutions? Raise the ISO, buy a flash or get a tripod.

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