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I know i have posted looking for a macro lens for my nikon d70 quite a bit but i really don't want to spend a couple hundred bucks so i continually ebay for one. My question isn't for a specific old lens but rather suggestions as to what i should look for. I already have a portrait lens and a telephoto. So what focal length, aperture,etc. should i look for to get a good tank lens. Also suggestions as far as old lenses are also appreciated.

thanks,
mike
 

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use one of your existing lenses and buy a close up filter, you can get them for around 30 bucks, and they do a pretty good job. Id try that first. you can get them in 3 x - 10 x at any camera shop. other mag strengths are available I'm sure, but those are the ones i see all the time.
 

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Your not going to lose as much image quality as you will light gathering ability. As soon as you add a close up lens to the front of your rig, you'll be using a slower shutter speed, and you'll be reduced a little bit on the aperture setting your camera will allow under the same lighting conditions. Which means less light for your exposure and your shutter will have to stay open longer to gather light for a good exposure (You want a tripod if you don't already have one). If you stack a whole set of cheap close up lenses, then you'll probably notice some vignetting around the edges of your image. And the more glass you stack, the more light you lose. You can always add more light to your subject though. I've seen some very impressive macro shots done with a regular reading magnifying glass added to the mix with adequate lighting.

If your going to spend any money on a lens, you might want to focus on the smallest f-stop, fixed length lens. The smaller the f-stop, the more light it gathers (and unfortunately the greater the price). Your portrait lens is probably a good example of low f-stop compared to your tele.

A couple of hundred is really low end for camera glass, and when a good lens shows up on ebay, it usually gets it's going rate. There is really no way to side-step lens prices unless you find someone in really desperate hard times and they need to sell their stuff yesterday.

Tamron 90mm macro... Worth it's weight.
 
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