Best Macro Lens For Nikon

Are you in love with photographing the colorful tiny creatures like butterflies, bugs, flowers, and more? Then, you should invest in a good macro lens. Macro photography is one of the interesting photography types that let you capture close-up shots of tiny objects normally unseen by the human eye. The specialty of a macro lens is that it has a 1:1 magnification, meaning the subject you're focusing on is of the same size on the camera's sensor. There are also macro lenses with a macro magnification of 2x and 3x. I have included such types of macro lenses also in this list.

So, in this article, as we are targeting only Nikon, I've got you some of the most popular macro lenses for Nikon cameras. I've included affordable lenses from Nikon, Sigma, and Tokina; they are a good fit with any of your Nikon DSLR cameras and show an appreciable macro performance. 

best macro lens for Nikon

I have also included a buying guide and answered a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding macro lenses. So, stay tuned with me to know the top performers on this list.

Perhaps, check the best canon lens if you have a canon camera.

In a hurry?! here are my top picks

REVIEWS OF THE 10 BEST MACRO LENSES FOR NIKON

1. NIKON AF-S VR MICRO-NIKKOR 105MM F/2.8G IF-ED - BEST NIKON CLOSE UP LENS

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions: 4.6 by 3.3 inches
  • It has a minimum focus distance of 12”
  • 14 elements in 12 groups
  • Internal focusing mechanism
  • 3-stop Vibration Reduction
  • The filter size of the lens is 62mm.

FEATURES:

The Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G is my first choice for the most recommended Nikon macro lenses. If you ask any professional photographer how this lens performs, I’m sure they will give you only positive comments.

It has a 1:1 magnification, so it gives realistic images to your camera’s full-frame sensor. Apart from just its splendid macro capability, there are numerous features to speak about this lens which will be discussed below.

DESIGN:

In terms of its look and handling, you’ll be surprised that this amazing lens weighs only 0.7kgs which is fairly compact for a lens with this focal length—making It a perfect blend with your Nikon cameras for travel purposes.

Even the look of the lens is stylish; it has few controls like Auto/Manual switch, focus limiters switch, and a switch the IS feature on/off.

As the lens barrel is made of hardcore metal, it is durable; even the manual focus rings are smooth and sturdy.

PERFORMANCE:

I used this lens on my Nikon d750 24MP camera, and I should say this lens is a miracle worker for wildlife and nature photographers; because the close-up pictures are tack-sharp, and you’ll love them.

You will get the macro shots with perfect bokeh effects because the lens has a wide aperture of f/2.8 and 9 diaphragm blades.

A silent AF is an essential feature for macro photography because small insects tend to get scared when noise interferes. Thankfully, this lens’s SWM (Silent wave Motor ) gives you a fast, sharp, and noiseless AF.

Overall, this Nikon  F mount macro lens is worth the money you invest; you will have no regrets after purchasing this lens. Give it a try.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Solid build
  • Great choice for Nikon prime macro lens
  • True life macro magnification 1:1
  • It can be used in low-lights
  • Silent AF.
  • Beautiful bokeh.

2. SIGMA 105MM F2.8 EX DG OS HSM - BEST TELEPHOTO MACRO LENS

 SIGMA 258306 - best macro lens for Nikon

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Sensor format: Full-Frame
  • Aperture range: f/2.8-22
  • Compatible lens mounts: Nikon F
  • Full frame focal length equivalent: 157.5mm
  • It has a minimum focusing distance of 1”
  • Vibration Reduction
  • 16 elements in 11 groups
  • 62mm filter thread

FEATURES:

If you wish to get a dupe version of the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm to save some money, this is the lens for you.

The Sigma 105mm lens has almost all the features of the previous lens like f/2.8, 9 bladed diaphragm, 1:1 macro magnification, and VR. But you get all these only at 700$, isn’t that surprising. Well, let us get to know more about this amazing performer.


DESIGN:

Firstly this is an FX lens meaning it is designed for Nikon’s FX cameras but will perfectly work with your DX cameras as well.

The internal optics consists of 2 SLD elements and a Super-Multi layer coating. This helps the lens give images free of chromatic aberrations, lens flare, and fringing.

It is slightly heavier when compared to the previous lens (1.4 kilograms). But it is durable as it is entirely made of metal.


PERFORMANCE:

Unlike the Nikon 100mm lens mentioned above, this lens has a smaller minimum focus distance; yes, you can get to the subject as much as 1-inches.

The HSM autofocus motor combined with the VR feature tracks the movement of the subject very accurately. So, if you want to take videos of a caterpillar moving on a leaf or a flower wading its petals without any blur, this is the best.

That too, with the VR feature turned on; you’re not going to miss out on taking the best macro shots because you get the facility to shoot them with slower shutter speeds. What more do you expect from this macro lens; it’s amazing. Give it a try!

What I liked about this lens:

  • Compatible with extenders
  • Images and videos are free of chromatic aberrations, vignette
  • Good bokeh quality

3. LAOWA 100MM F/2.8 2:1 ULTRA MACRO APO LENS

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • 12 elements in 10 groups
  • It comes with a UV filter
  • Closest focusing distance of 25cm
  • The front filter thread measures 67mm
  • Optical stabilizer: No
  • Completely made of metal
  • Sensor format: Full-Frame
  • Compatible lens mounting: Nikon F

FEATURES:

Suppose you’re looking for a manual focus lens only then this Laowa 100mm f/2.8 Ultra Macro APO Lens. With 2x magnification, this Laowa macro lens is one of the tough competitors on my list. You get the chance to view the pictures and take the pictures of the tiniest features at twice their original size. Isn’t that great to listen to!

Adding to it, its telephoto focal length gives you the provision to take the best shots even without getting close to the subject.


DESIGN:

As you have to rely on the manual focus here, it is a must that the focus ring is sturdy but also turns smoothly. And guess what, this lens has that.

It has no CPU chip in its design, which means you have no options to change the aperture settings via the Nikon camera’s settings.

The lens’s internal optical structure consists of special low dispersion glasses; that is why you get ultra-clear pictures without any unnecessary flaring and aberrations. Also, the front lens element is given a fluorine coating to repel dust, water, and moisture.

PERFORMANCE:

I love this lens for its focusing capability; this affordable lens can focus from infinity to about 2x the size of the object you’re focusing on without having any extenders or teleconverters in your hand.

When comparing the bokeh quality of this lens, I noticed that it is not as great as the lenses mentioned above; it is to a mediocre level. The reason why I say this is because the number of aperture blades in this lens is only 7, whereas the previous lenses had 9 of them.

Lastly, you can use the lens even at dusky times because the lens has a wide aperture of f/2.8 that will give you brighter shots even in low-lights.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Great for portrait photography as well
  • Good handling
  • 2:1 magnification
  • It weighs only 638g (lightweight)

4. TOKINA ATX-I 100MM MACRO F2.8

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • It has a minimum focus distance of 30cm
  • Aperture range: f/2.8-32
  • The front filter thread measures 55mm
  • Compatible with Nikon F cameras
  • Image stabilization: No
  • 9 rounded diaphragm blades
  • Sensor format: Full-Frame
  • 9 elements in 8 groups

FEATURES:

This is one of the most lightweight macro lenses on this list. Apart from that, it has got many useful features like 1x magnification, 100mm focal length, f/2.8 aperture, and 30cm working distance to make your macro photography interesting.

NOTE:
This lens is not compatible with Nikon Z mirrorless cameras

DESIGN:

The lens’s build quality is appreciable; The unique feature in this lens’s design is the One-Touch Focus Clutch Mechanism for toggling between Auto and Manual focus.

The provision of the focus range limiter is very beneficial for macro photography. It helps you to achieve faster focusing when taking close-ups.

One main thing to note is that this lens’s AF works only with cameras that have an in-built AF motor like D3000-series, D5000-series, D40, D40X, and D60 Nikon cameras. You will have to focus them manually.


PERFORMANCE:

Though this is a FF lens, it is still compatible with any DX model camera, where it will give you an effective focal length of 150mm.

Most macro lenses tend to lose sharpness when zoomed in fully, whereas this lens handles that properly. As the lens has a Flat-field optical design, you get that perfect edge-to-edge sharpness in your photographs.
 

What I liked about this lens:

  • Field curvature is less, so it remains sharp throughout
  • Very affordable
  • AF is fast and less-noisy
  • Compact
  • Has a useful working distance

5. SIGMA 18-300MM F/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM C - BEST ZOOM MACRO LENS FOR NIKON CAMERAS

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Sensor format: APS-C
  • Aperture range:f/3.5-22 / f/6.3
  • It has a minimum focus distance of 38cm
  • 17 elements in 13 groups
  • 7 rounded diaphragm blades.
  • Focuses internally
  • The front filter thread measures 72mm

FEATURES:

What about a zoom-type macro lens for your Nikon cameras? Sound's interesting, right? If you, too, are excited to look for one like that, let me tell you the Sigma 18-300mm Macro lens is the solid choice.

It will perfectly fit your budget and, importantly, your Nikon camera.

DESIGN:

Lightweight(565g) and compact. It is built to withstand tougher weather situations because it is made of good-quality Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material.

The rest of the design features remain as common as most Sigma lenses; there are specialized glasses (1 SLD and 4 FLD) inside to tackle the effects of chromatic aberrations and fringing.

PERFORMANCE:

This is an all-in-one zoom lens; you can use it for all types of photography apart from taking macro shots.

The magnification format of this lens is 1:3, which means the subject you're focusing on measures 30cm, then this camera will deliver you pictures of the same subject at 10cm.

The Hyper Sonic Motor is all set to give you an accurate and noiseless AF, so what are you waiting for? Take it with you while you travel and capture pictures of bugs or any tiny object with greater precision. 

What I liked about this lens:

  • Image quality is good
  • Lightweight
  • It comes with a lens hood
  • Compatible with Sigma's USB dock
  • The provision of the Zoom lock switch protects the lens from accidental fall-off.

6. NIKON AF-S DX 40MM F/2.8G - BEST MACRO LENS FOR NIKON DX

best macro lens for Nikon

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • The focus type of lens is Ultrasonic.
  • The dimensions of the lens are 2.56 x 2.72 x 2.72 inches.
  • The weight of the lens is 235g.
  • The minimum aperture is f/22.
  • 7 rounded diaphragm blades.
  • The angle of view is 38 degrees 50 minutes.
  • The maximum magnification ratio is 1:1.
  • The filter size of the lens is 52mm.

Nikon AF-S DX is another best Nikon macro lens that promises a unique way of capturing objects. This macro lens offers 1:1 maximum magnification with a 6.4-inch minimum focusing distance. Hence, it benefits you with both close-up photography as well as the longer distance capturing.

Further, the optical design of the lens comes with a close-range correction system to maintain consistent picture quality throughout the focal range. The Nikon AF-S DX macro lens features a Super integrated coating which is used to suppress ghosting and flare. This feature produces greater contrast and color fidelity even in harsh lighting.

The build quality of the lens is quite decent as the outer barrel is made of a high quality plastic mount. The focus ring of the lens is rubberized and is slightly damped for easy handling.

The hidden beauty of this lens is, it captures images at any distance that is practically not detected by the human eye. Whether you are capturing portraits or any other mode, the AF-S DX lens is rounded with a 7 blade diaphragm that renders beautiful images with wider aperture settings. Overall, this lens is light in weight. So, if you are a traveler, it will be easy to carry out. There are several other Nikon camera lenses that I consider great, but the Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G is the lens I’d recommend to you over any of them.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Flexible to port.
  • It delivers a natural background blur.
  • It comes with a Close range correction system.
  • Chromatin aberrations will be low in level.
  • Light in weight and compact.

7. NIKON AF-S FX 60MM F/2.8G - BEST NIKON FX MACRO LENS

NIKON AF-S - best macro lens for Nikon

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • The focus type of lens is Ultrasonic.
  • The dimensions of the lens are 3.50 x 2.87 x 2.87 inches.
  • The weight of the lens is 0.94lbs.
  • The minimum aperture is f/32.
  • The maximum focal length is 60 mm.
  • The maximum aperture is 2.8.

The Nikon AF-S FX is the top macro lens for Nikon that serves you with a standard field view angle. This macro lens offers a close focus with the 1:1 macro magnification ratio. This solid lens captures the image evenly from edge to edge and free from aberration. However, with the robust vignette, the lens dims the corners and edges at wider apertures.

The design of the Nikon AF-S FX lens looks similar to the modern Nikon lens. The barrel of the lens is made out of black polycarbonate and a metal mount. The lens has only one control switch that can be used to switch from one focusing mode to another. The manual focus ring of the lens comes with a rubber texture that provides you with a comfortable grip.

This Nikon full-frame macro lens is more flexible to capture images with a 36 MP full-frame coverage angle. Also, the resolution of the lens will be improved with its focal length.

So, overall a great macro lens for Nikon FX cameras.

Note: There is no image distortion but sometimes it provides uneven illuminations. On the whole, this macro lens generally provides sharpness without any exceptions. Hence, it is the best choice for photographers who love macro lenses to capture.

What I liked about this lens:

  • It is a versatile standard lens that provides advanced technology.
  • It delivers sharp image quality.
  • Light in weight and compact.
  • Fairly priced

8. TAMRON AF 90MM F/2.8 - CHEAP MACRO LENS FOR NIKON

TAMRON AF  - best macro lens for Nikon

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • The focus type of lens is Micrometer.
  • The maximum focal length is 90mm.
  • The maximum aperture is f/2.8.
  • The minimum aperture is f/32.
  • The macro magnification ratio is 1:1.
  • The minimum focal length of the lens is 0.30m.
  • It comes with a fluorine coating, internal focusing, and weather sealing features.
  • The dimensions of the lens are 3.82 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches.
  • The weight of the lens is 600g.
  • The filter size of the lens is 55mm.

The Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 is the next pick on our list. This macro 1:1 lens is a Digitally Integrated lens that refers to an optimized lens to reduce chromatic distortion.

The multilayer coating of the Tamron AF lens is improved and it takes care of the noticeable reflections from the image sensor. As this macro lens belongs to Tamron’s Super Performance (SP) lineup, it is referred to as a professional-grade lens like the Sigma EX lens. In this lens, the field view of the APS-C DSLRs’ will be equated to 145mm for the full format cameras.

The lens is constructed with 12 elements in 9 groups without adding any special elements. Thus, the build quality of the lens is very good with excellent smoothness with a damped focus ring. However, the front element of the lens will not rotate, instead, you can use the polarizer.

The barrel of the lens is made of black polycarbonate and mounted metal plate. So, it is light in weight and easy to carry out. Further, the lens is designed with the focus clutch mechanism through which you can move the focus ring to front and back. Also, this mechanism will help you to switch from manual mode to autofocus mode.

Overall, it is one of the best Tamron lenses for Nikon cameras!! Give it a try if you like it's features.

What I liked about this lens:

  • Affordable.
  • It provides Sharp image quality.
  • Compatible with Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Sony.
  • Light in weight.
  • Autofocusing is fast.

9. NIKON AF MICRO-NIKKOR 60MM F/2.8D - COMPACT MICRO LENS

nikon

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • The focus type of lens is ultrasonic.
  • The dimensions of the lens are 2.95 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches.
  • The maximum aperture is f/2.8.
  • The maximum focal length is 60mm.
  • Minimum aperture f/32.
  • The minimum focal length is 0.22m.
  • The filter size of the lens is 62mm.
  • The weight of the lens is 0.97 lbs or 440g.
  • Lens type - Short Telephoto macro lens.
  • The angle of view is 39 degrees.

This lens is ideal for shooting close-up photographs as it is a short telephoto macro lens. The macro magnification ratio of this lens is 1:1 and the minimum focusing length of the lens is 8.7mm.

To enhance the performance of this macro lens, the lens is designed with a multilayer lens coating. This super integrated lens coating will help you to reduce the false and ghosting. It benefits you with minimized reflection in a wider range, superior color maintenance, and reproduction. Also, this multilayer coating results in meeting the standard high-quality images.

The lens has a Close range correction system which usually provides a superior picture quality when you are capturing close-up images. With this system, the lens configuration allows the floating element design to move the lens for autofocusing.

What I liked about this lens:

  • It renders sharp image quality.
  • It offers Supreme Bokeh.
  • Affordable.
  • Autofocusing mode.
  • Good build quality.

10. OSHIRO 60MM F/2.8 - ULTRA-MACRO LENS FOR NIKON

OSHIRO

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • The focus type of the lens is manual focus.
  • Dimensions of the lens are 3.70 x 2.80 x 2.80 inches.
  • The weight of the lens is 1.10 lbs.
  • Maximum aperture f/2.80.
  • The maximum focal length is 60mm.
  • Minimum aperture is f/22.
  • The minimum focal length is 60mm.
  • The filter size of the lens is 62mm.
  • Lens Type - Macro.

Oshiro 60mm is also one of the best pick on our list. It features an adjustable magnification range between 0.1x and 2x. You can even change the macro magnification ratio without adding any converter or extension tube to the lens. This makes the lens ideal and rapidly suits all different kinds of images.

Furthermore, this wide magnification range is extremely useful for capturing macro objects like flowers and insects of different sizes. This manual design of the lens will allow the user to shoot pictures at amazing sharpness. Also, it well suits for normal shooting at the maximum focal length of 60mm. This provides all the capabilities for normal portrait shooting and ultra macro shooting as well.

The optical construction of this lens includes an ultra-low dispersion lens, dustproof seal structure on the metal barrel, and moisture. The low dispersion lens glass provides superior sharpness and color balance for the image by reducing the chromatic distortion.

Aside from these, the lens is built with the 9elements in 7 groups to provide enhanced color and picture quality. The optical system of the lens consists of two moving lenses to minimize barrel aberration. 

What I liked about this lens:

  • Sharp image quality.
  • High performance.
  • Good build structure.
  • Ideal to use.
  • Autofocusing is in control.

BUYING GUIDE

1. True Life magnification (1:1)

Basically, the purpose of a macro lens is to bigger shots/expanded shots of small subjects like taking close-up pictures of flowers, bugs, intricate details of a human eye, etc.

But there are different magnification ratios like 1:1, 1:2, 2:1, etc. If you want the subject in real life to appear the same size on your camera’s sensor, you have to look for a lens with a macro magnification ratio of 1:1.

Suppose you want the bug/insect/any object you’re focusing on to appear only half its size in your camera’s sensor, then go for a 1:2 magnification lens and so on.

2. Closest focusing distance of the lens

This factor will determine the minimum possible distance the lens is capable of focusing in. This is a very important design feature you need to look upon because it depends on the subjects you want to focus on.

So many of you will have doubts on whether a lens with shorter minimum focus distance/ens with a larger minimum focus distance will suit close-up photography.

So, in the case of insect/bug photography or even flower photography, you will need a lens with a longer minimum focusing distance because you can’t really go near them and take pictures.

However, if you want to take close-up shots of non-living objects, then a lens with a smaller minimum focus length will suit you.

3. Autofocus

Though many of you will prefer manual focus for macro photography, AF can still aid in taking good-quality macro shots. However, the lens must focus fast and mainly with no noise because you don’t want to scare butterflies and bugs and lose your shots at any cost.

FAQ

1. What is the best focal length for macro lenses?

Generally, lenses with a focal length between 90mm to 120mm work best for macro shots. However, there are macro lenses between 40mm to 60mm also. They are also good and also comparatively less expensive and lightweight.

2. Are third-party macro lenses recommended for Nikon cameras?

Of course, yes. Top-quality macro lenses from Sigma, Rokinon, Tokina, and Tamron are always on-demand in the lens market. And they absolutely fit your Nikon cameras, so you can trust third-party manufactured macro lenses for your Nikon FX and DX cameras.

CONCLUSION

With so many options picking the right macro lens for photography can be a challenging thing. To help you to choose the best lens, I have listed the top macro lenses for Nikon. The above-mentioned products are some of the best macro lenses for Nikon. Based on your requirement, choose the right lens for your camera and capture your moments! Good luck.

Stefan
 

Hey, this is Stefan. I love filmmaking gadgets because I have been working as a cinematographer for more than ten years. So I have good experience working with almost all filmmaking gadgets. I can help people who are looking forward to buying these gadgets with my review articles. From my articles, you can find amazing products in the market.

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