Discover the Best Macro Lens for Nikon and unlock the world of stunning close-up photography with a lens that elevates ordinary subjects to new heights. Whether it’s capturing intricate details of jewelry, the vibrant colors of flowers, or the fascinating world of insects, a high-performing lens is essential to achieve exceptional results.
We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best macro lenses for Nikon, including both native and third-party options. With excellent optics and powerful magnification capabilities, these lenses ensure your close-up shots come out looking pristine. Find the perfect lens to breathe new life into your photography and offer viewers a window into an unappreciated world.
What you’ll learn in this article
1. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
Take your macro photography to the next level with the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED – Nikon’s best macro lens to date. This lens is a true work of art, featuring exceptional build quality and a construction of 14 elements arranged in 12 groups, delivering outstanding image quality with stunning sharpness and detail.
The 105mm f/2.8’s 9 rounded aperture diaphragm blades produce beautiful bokeh, while the Silent Wave Motor (SWM) ensures silent and precise autofocus. Additionally, the lens also includes a manual-focusing override option for added flexibility.
This lens is a true macro lens, with a 1:1 or life-size reproduction capability of anything you place in front of it. Its 105mm focal length allows for sufficient working distance, ensuring that you won’t scare your small subjects, nor will you block the light with your own body. The Vibration Reduction technology enables you to use a slower shutter speed, up to three stops slower, compared to non-VR lenses in a given shooting situation, making it perfect for handheld shooting. However, when working at high magnifications, it’s still recommended to use a tripod.
The AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED is a must-have for any photographer looking to capture breathtaking close-up shots with exceptional detail and clarity. Invest in this lens and elevate your macro photography to new heights.
2. Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G
The AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G is an excellent and affordable macro lens that has been specifically designed for Nikon’s APS-C cameras. With an effective focal length of 60mm, it’s just a little bit longer than a 35mm prime lens. This makes it a versatile lens that can be used for everyday photography in addition to macro photography.
The lens is incredibly sharp and allows you to capture stunning photos of flowers, insects, and other small subjects. It also features Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, which focuses quickly and accurately, even at close distances. This means that you can capture amazing close-up shots of insects and other small creatures without scaring them off.
Although the lens is not completely weather-sealed, it does feature a rubber gasket on the lens mount that helps to keep out the elements. This makes it a great option for outdoor macro photography, as long as you take care to protect it from extreme weather conditions.
One important thing to note is that the Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G is a true macro lens, meaning that it offers 1x magnification when focused up close. This makes it an excellent choice for photographers who want to capture incredibly detailed close-up shots of small subjects. Overall, this is an outstanding lens that offers excellent value for money, making it a great choice for both amateur and professional photographers.
3. Nikon AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED
The Nikon AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED is a fantastic macro lens, and a favorite among Nikon users. Its slight telephoto focal length of 60mm allows you to capture images from a comfortable working distance, while still maintaining the ability to focus close for stunning macro shots.
Designed for full-frame Nikon cameras, the lens is also compatible with all of Nikon’s DX-format cameras, providing versatility for a variety of photography styles. The construction of the lens includes 12 elements arranged in 9 groups, including two aspherical elements and one extra-low dispersion element. These elements work together to suppress aberrations and deliver sharp, vivid colors with excellent contrast. Additionally, the lens has nine rounded blades that produce beautiful bokeh, adding an artistic touch to your images.
Autofocusing is powered by Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor technology, which guarantees quick, precise, and silent autofocusing, even when working with small subjects at ultra-close distances. The lens also features a full-time manual-focusing override, giving you full control over your focus, especially when working with very small and intricate subjects.
An internal focusing mechanism ensures that the lens’s barrel length does not change when focusing, making it an ideal lens for working with small critters and insects without scaring them away. The only downside is that the lens lacks image stabilization, so you’ll need to shoot at relatively fast shutter speeds to avoid camera shake.
Overall, the Nikon AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED is a solid macro lens, perfect for photographers who want to capture stunning macro shots, as well as versatile enough for everyday photography. With its sharpness, excellent bokeh, and advanced focusing technology, this lens is a must-have for any Nikon user looking to improve their macro photography game.
4. Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8
The Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 is a unique macro lens that offers a standard focal length closest to the human eye. The result is minimal distortion, making it an excellent choice for macro, street, portrait, and event photography. This lens is also compact, making it easy to take with you on all your photography adventures.
As one of the smallest macro lenses available, the Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 is designed to deliver excellent sharpness, even in challenging shooting conditions. It’s also coated to protect against dust and splashes, so you can capture breathtaking shots in any environment. Plus, the lens barrel has several nifty features, including focus limiting and toggle switches, for greater creative control.
Autofocusing is handled by a stepping motor (STM) that ensures accurate and quiet operation. The lens also features a 1:1 maximum reproduction ratio, which allows you to capture life-size images of small subjects, and an internal focusing mechanism that ensures the lens’s barrel length does not change when focusing.
For photographers on a budget, the Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8 offers excellent value for money. Despite its affordability, this lens delivers impressive image quality, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to capture stunning macro and everyday photos.
5. Tokina atx-i 100mm f/2.8 FF MACRO
The Tokina atx-i 100mm f/2.8 FF MACRO is a fantastic third-party macro lens that’s designed specifically for Nikon F-mount cameras. With its superior image quality, this lens is perfect for capturing breathtaking macro shots. However, note that autofocusing is not available on some of Nikon’s entry-level DSLRs, so make sure to check compatibility before purchasing. Additionally, focusing on Nikon mirrorless cameras will require the FTZ adapter. The Tokina 100mm macro lens is compact and easy to carry, fitting comfortably in your gear bag. The lens barrel extends when you focus up close, which increases its size, but its small size makes it easy to handle. Manual focusing on this lens is smooth and precise, allowing you to fine-tune your focus and capture sharp images.
The Tokina 100mm macro is also budget-friendly, making it a great choice for those who want a high-quality macro lens without breaking the bank. With this lens, you can capture stunning images of flowers, insects, and other small subjects with ease. If you’re comfortable with manual focus and looking for a reliable macro lens for your Nikon camera, the Tokina atx-i 100mm f/2.8 FF MACRO is definitely worth considering.
6. SIGMA 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary
The SIGMA 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary is a versatile zoom lens that offers a range of capabilities suitable for beginners and budget-conscious photographers. This multipurpose macro zoom lens is perfect for capturing a wide variety of shots, from sweeping landscapes to wildlife close-ups, as well as portraits, events, and travel scenes.
While the lens is not designed for professionals or advanced macro photographers, it offers excellent macro capabilities for beginners looking to explore macro photography. With a closest focal length of 1:3, you can capture detailed images of flowers and insects, but it won’t provide true macro shots. Despite its massive zoom range, the lens is compact and features image stabilization to compensate for the slow f/3.5-6.3 maximum aperture.
The SIGMA 18-300mm also comes with a zoom lock feature to keep the lens barrel from extending while you’re on the move. The build quality is sturdy, and the lens offers good image quality for the price point. It’s important to note that this lens is only compatible with Nikon’s APS-C cameras.
If you’re new to photography and want to try out macro, wide-angle, and telephoto approaches without breaking the bank, the SIGMA 18-300mm is an excellent option to consider. It offers versatility and convenience, making it a great value for its price point.
7. SIGMA 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM MACRO
If you’re looking for a lens that can capture true macro shots, the SIGMA 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM MACRO is a fantastic option. Not only is it a great third-party macro lens for Nikon, but it’s also a superb short telephoto lens for portraits and other types of photography.
The f/2.8 maximum aperture of this lens is fast enough to deliver beautiful bokeh, and the autofocus is fast and accurate thanks to SIGMA’s HSM technology. Additionally, the lens comes with SIGMA’s image-stabilization technology, so you can shoot hand-held in low light or when using longer shutter speeds.
This lens is built with numerous metal elements, making it a sturdy option for frequent use. However, it does have some heft to it, weighing in at 25.6 oz (726 g). So, it may not be the best option for those who prefer to shoot on the go.
Overall, the SIGMA 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM MACRO is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-quality macro lens that can also double as a short telephoto lens for portraits and other types of photography. It’s certainly worth considering for those looking to capture stunning close-up shots with their Nikon camera.
8. Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1
The Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 is an exceptional macro lens that is sure to impress. With a minimum focusing distance of just 1.1 inches (2.7 cm) and the ability to produce 1:1 magnifications, this lens is perfect for capturing stunningly detailed macro shots of your favorite subjects. The lens boasts a robust design, including a focus-locking mechanism, which ensures precise focusing at high magnifications.
This manual-focus lens features a focusing ring that allows for a high degree of accuracy, making it ideal for macro photographers. The image quality is superb, with virtually no chromatic aberration or flare, so your macro shots will be sharp, detailed, and vibrant. With its long focal length, you can capture stunning images of insects and other small subjects without worrying about them flying away.
Another great feature of the Irix 150mm is its weather sealing, which allows you to shoot in less-than-ideal weather conditions without concern. This makes it a perfect choice for photographers who enjoy heading out in the rain or other inclement weather.
Overall, the Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 is a fantastic macro lens that offers excellent image quality, precise focusing, and rugged construction. And, with its reasonable price point, it’s a great value for anyone looking to get into macro photography or upgrade their existing gear.
9. Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO
Certainly! The Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO is an exceptional macro lens for Nikon users, especially those shooting with mirrorless cameras. With a magnification ratio of 2:1, this lens allows you to capture incredibly tiny subjects with great clarity and detail. In fact, the sharpness and overall image quality of this lens are excellent even when shooting wide open, and it can still render fine details even when stopped down.
It’s important to note that the Z-mount version of this lens has no electronics, so you’ll need to use the aperture ring to set the aperture and rely on manual focus. However, the focus ring is built for precise adjustments, which is essential when working with such high magnifications. Focusing at 2x magnifications is always a challenge, but if you have a macro focusing rail, it can make your job much easier.
Overall, if you’re interested in getting started with super macro photography, the Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO is an excellent choice. It offers unparalleled magnification and image quality at a reasonable price point, making it a great option for both hobbyists and professionals alike.
10. Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR
The Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR is a fantastic choice for Nikon users with APS-C models who are looking for a high-quality macro lens. This lens is compact and boasts built-in image stabilization, making it an ideal option for indoor macro photography. With a focal length of 85mm, this lens is perfect for capturing beautiful macro shots with stunning detail.
Despite not being designed to work on full-frame cameras, the Nikon 85mm f/3.5G has excellent optical performance and produces sharp, detailed shots with beautiful background blur. Although there may be some distortion in certain cases, the overall image quality is impressive and well worth the affordable price tag.
The lens’s maximum aperture of f/3.5 allows for a shallow depth of field effect, giving your photos a beautiful artistic quality. This is a versatile lens that performs well in a variety of shooting scenarios, making it a great addition to any Nikon photographer’s kit. Overall, the Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR is a highly recommended option for those looking for an affordable and reliable macro lens.\
What is the best overall Nikon macro lens?
The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED is the best macro lens for Nikon shooters due to its excellent image quality, sturdy build, comfortable handling, and reasonable price point. It’s versatile and can be used for a variety of photography types, making it an excellent investment for any Nikon user.