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The Best Macro Lenses for Nikon D850 (Reviewed)

Finding the best macro lens for your Nikon D850 is not a walk in the park. I don’t doubt that D850 is a superb camera, but getting the right macro lens for it will bring the camera’s full potential.

Luckily, you just landed in the right place if you are looking to get the best out of your superb camera. This article will find the best macro lens for Nikon D850!

A Quick Look At My Favorite Macro Lenses For The Nikon D850

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best For Food Photography
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm
8.6
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Best For General Use
Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 2177 60mm f/2.8G
Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 2177 60mm f/2.8G
8.5
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Best Short Telephoto
Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8
Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8
9.1
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Best For The Money
Laowa 100mm f/2.8
Laowa 100mm f/2.8
8.8
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Best Overall
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G
8.6
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Key Takeaways

  • You will also require unique macro lenses for a great camera, such as Nikon D850.
  • There is little doubt that the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G is the best macro lens you can get for your immersive camera.
  • The Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm is the ideal choice if you enjoy taking pictures of food.
  • There are many different kinds of macro lenses, but they should all feature a large maximum aperture, a long focal length, and image stabilization for the most significant results.

Top 5 Best Macro Lenses for Nikon D850

5. Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm – Best For Food Photography

What I Like

  • Lightweight and Compact
  • Well priced
  • Really Sharp

What I Don’t Like

  • No built-in image stabiliziation

Starting right away with an affordable, lightweight, excellent image quality lens, the Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm.

If you want to take pictures of small things like insects and flowers basically, macro photography; this lens won’t fail you.

It sports a wide maximum aperture that makes shooting in low light achievable, while the 9-blade diaphragm rewards you with beautiful bokeh.

This lens is perfect for capturing subjects as close to 0.25 inches, which is the minimum distance, and it does it with sharp details and stunning clarity thanks to its 1:1 reproduction ratio and high magnification capability.

The 40mm focal length is versatile enough to most people’s needs, and it produces crisp images with excellent color reproduction. Moreover, it has minimal distortion or chromatic aberration

The auto-focus ensures that photographers take care of their subjects quickly and efficiently while also guaranteeing they don’t lose sight of other elements in the frame.

Thanks to impressive depth-of-field control it creates stunning close-up shots, that will accompany your D850 at its best.

Overall it is a great lens, no matter if you are a professional or just a beginner who is taking its first footsteps on macro photography, this lens will do the job it set out to do.

Why should you buy it?

If you are a photographer who deals mostly with food or product photography, this lens from Nikon will be one of the best choices you can make.

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Nikon AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm Sample Photos


4. Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 2177 60mm f/2.8G – Best For General Use

What I Like

  • Great Sharpness
  • Compact and Lightweight
  • Distortion is minimal.

What I Don’t Like

  • You can encounter some vignette
  • No image stabilization

If you feel limited with the above option, then the Nikon 60mm f/2.8D will cover you with many unique features that will leave you amazed.

It is really well built and it produces sharp, high-quality images with beautiful color reproduction.

What makes this lens great for macro shooting is that it has a fast aperture that allows you to take photos in low-light situations while still getting an excellent depth of field.

The lens is lightweight and easy to use; moreover, it also offers close focus distance giving you the chance to get up close and personal with your subject while maintaining sharpness on the photo’s details.

As far as maximum magnification goes, it has a ratio of 1:1, just what we are looking for.

Having one of the best macro capabilities in its class and being a versatile lens allows photographers of any skill level to capture incredible photos of small objects, in a detailed manner without sacrificing sharpness or image quality.

It doesn’t stop here, it has built-in vibration reduction technology that helps reduce blurriness caused by shaky hands.

As I mentioned above, this is as great as the first option but the latter one gives you a better focal range length that sits at 60mm.

Why should you buy it?

General use means that a lens is versatile enough to help you in any type of photography. Well, the Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 2177 60mm f/2.8G lens is versatile enough to work anywhere perfectly.

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Nikon AF-S FX Micro-NIKKOR 2177 60mm f/2.8G Sample Photos


3. Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 – Best Short Telephoto

What I Like

  • Great Value
  • Great Bokeh
  • Great depth of field
  • Great Sharpness

What I Don’t Like

  • Dim corners at wide aperture
  • Build wise, could have been better.

On the third spot, we have an excellent third-party alternative brand lens, the Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8.

Since its debut back in August 2016, this lens from Tamron became a fan favorite among Canon, Sony, and Nikon photographers.

And that’s all thanks to its 1:1 reproduction ratio, great build, and being an unstoppable tool for macro photography.

Tamron sure did a great job with the build quality of this lens. It doesn’t feel like a third-party lens at all, but more like a pro-grade one. It features a sturdy metal lens barrel and metal mount, the only plastic it has is the switches.

Due to the Ultrasonic Silent Drive(USD) autofocus motor, the Tamron is able to focus really swiftly and silently. It also comes with optical image stabilization, which is rated at 3.5 stop compensation and of course, without leaving the Vibration Compensation (VC) behind.

Its optical design is made out of 14 elements in 11 groups, no doubt that it is an optically impressive lens that can deliver sharp images with a high level of contrast.

When you take into consideration all this and see the price that this lens comes from, it sure becomes something that deserves a spot on your wish list.

Why should you buy it?

The Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 is a fixed third-party lens known as the greatest telephoto lens. If you are searching for one, you might want to take a deeper look at it.

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Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Sample Photos


2. Laowa 100mm f/2.8 – Best For The Money

What I Like

  • Decently built
  • Greatly Priced
  • Great chromatic aberration control
  • Great focal length
  • Rare 2x Magnification
  • Smooth and pleasing bokeh

What I Don’t Like

  • High vignetting on full frame
  • Prone to Flares

Second, on the list, we have an interesting pick from Laowa, the 100mm f/2.8.

What makes this lens is that it is one of the very few macro lenses that can focus from infinity to 2x magnification. This is really good, right? When you think of it, the traditional or say standard macro lenses can achieve only 1:1 (1x) magnification.

The lens sports a metal body with engraved markings, and a signature blue ring. It is indeed a heavy, big boy, but that’s a way of Laowa telling us that this is a pro-grade lens and it means business.

When it comes to Macro photography, the Laowa 100mm sure hits the sweet spot that is favored by many photographers.

What’s more, the Laowa 100mm is empty of chromatic aberration to all apertures. Optical performance is generally great, the resolution is high and sharp while the bokeh effect of 7 aperture blades is superb; and when you think of the price it comes with, it ticks all the boxes a macro photographer on budget needs.

Why should you buy it?

Lenses are quite pricey in general, but here goes Laowa with a lens that combines quality and quantity. It brings whatever you may need from a lens for Nikon D850.

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Laowa 100mm f/2.8 Sample Photos


1. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G – Best Overall

What I Like

  • Unbeatable sharpness.
  • Minimal distortion.
  • Built-In Image stabilization.

What I Don’t Like

  • A bit on the heavy side

They say a good lens can really make a difference, and that’s the case with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G.

This lens is billed as the perfect companion for the D850, and it promises great quality in all aspects; macro photography is taken for granted.

This is a superb choice for your D850 due to its fast aperture, sharpness, and autofocus performance.

It is really well built, fast, and will create beautiful macro photos thanks to its wide aperture and versatile 105mm focal length.

Once you get your hands on it, it will be an indispensable part of your camera.

Just like most AF-S NIKKOR lenses, the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G features Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM).

A type of technology that converts ‘traveling waves into rotational energy to focus the optics. This enables high-speed autofocusing that’s extremely accurate and super quiet at the same time.

The optical design comes with two ED lenses and one aspherical lens to provide sharp images at all distances without distortion or aberrations that are quite common in other macro lenses.

Indeed its capabilities separate this lens from the competition, but what I like most about it is that it has an excellent balance of quality and cost-effectiveness that is unbeatable at this point.

Why should you buy it?

Everything works fine, but a native Nikon lens, just like the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G, is the best overall purchase you can make regarding a Nikon D850 camera. It will never disappoint you!

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Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G Sample Photos


4 Things you Need to Know Before Buying a Macro Lens:

Macro photography is the type of photography that makes a small insect of 10mm appear 10mm on your sensor.

Simply put, it makes small objects like flowers, insects appear in detail and big.

Focal Length:

Most of the macro lenses are prime ones that have a fixed focal length.

And usually, they have a long focal length, so you can shoot close-ups while being far away.

 
They will force you to be closer to the subject, and you don’t want that since it might cast a shadow over your insect or flower that you are shooting.

Image stabilization:

While a tripod is really necessary when taking macro photos; If you don’t have one the image stabilizer will try to do its job.

Even the tiniest camera movement will ruin the quality and drift it out of focus. In-built image stabilization will try to minimize this as much as possible.

Maximum Aperture:

A good macro lens should have a maximum aperture of f/2.8.

This comes in hand when you’re trying to compose and focus in low light, or in case you want to use your macro lens as a short telephoto or portraiture lens.

Maximum Magnification:

A true macro lens has to focus close enough for the size of a 1:1 reproduction ratio.

Some zoom lenses with the macro option, give a greater magnification of around 0.5x.

But what we need is a lens for close-up photography, and a prime one gives a full 1.0x magnification; all this makes the prime lenses the ideal choice.

Types of Macro Lenses: 

Macro lenses come in different sizes and types:

Short Macro Lens 30 to 50mm: This type of lens work best with smaller sensor cameras. The shorter the focal length is the greater the depth of field to work with is.

Standard Macro Lens 60 to 105mm: This one is the most common focal length for all types of cameras since at the same time they are versatile and can also be used for other types of photography.

Telephoto Macro Lens 150 to 200mm: The tele-macro lens gives you better freedom on the working distance. Just be careful though, they are bigger and pricier than the smaller lenses

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Is the D850 good for macro?

Yes for sure it is, but that mostly depends on the choice of your lens. The D850 is a really capable camera and it is not your average everyday camera. It is more oriented towards the professionals.

Are zoom lenses good for macro photography?

You can use one for sure, but you should highly consider the style of the photography and If it can do what you want it to do. Still, I would opt for a prime one if you are focused on macro photography.

What is the best focal length for macro lenses?

Well, anything longer than 60mm should be enough and good for shooting macro photography.

Final Words:

Macro photography is a great type of photography.

Can’t lie we all love those close-up insect and flower pictures.

But it is not easy to do and picking the right lens makes things even harder.

You don’t want to buy the wrong lens, since lenses come expensive and they leave a hole in your pocket. Make sure you do your homework, before jumping in and buying the first lens that you see.

Further Reading:

If you own a Sony A6000 instead of a Nikon D850 and you are looking for its lenses, you can go here and find some nice Sony a6000 macro lenses.

There are also some great landscape lenses for Sony A7 III users. If you are into basketball, worry not since I got you covered with some nice basketball photography lenses.

So you own a Nikon camera and you planning a walk around with your friends? Here try those walk-around lenses.

Need some security at your home? find out more about SmartThings cameras.

This is it guys, hopefully, everything is clear.

Until next time.

Enjoy!

Michael Fortin