Many photographers enjoy macro photography, and viewers appreciate the power and impact of a quality macro photo.

Although the term “macro photography” is frequently used for anything that is close up photography, true macro photography features at least 1:1 magnification. True macro photography is only possible with a lens that is made for this purpose and can offer 1:1 magnification. Other lenses can be used for many close up photos, but if you want true macro photos you will need a macro lens. A true macro lens will be able to focus at a distance close enough to your subject for it to reach 1:1 magnification.

On this page we’ll take a look at some of the best options for Nikon users wanting a macro lenses. All of the lenses on this list are capable of producing quality macro images.

You may also be interested in these other articles in the series:


The Best Macro Lenses for Nikon

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

Our top five macro lenses for Nikon DSLRs includes 2 lenses made by Nikon, and 3 third-party lenses. The first third-party lens that we’ll mention is the Sigma 105mm f/2.8. This is the lowest-priced lens on our list, but is a quality lens that is capable of excellent, sharp images. The is an excellent choice for the money. This lens can focus from infinity to 1:1 magnification (minimum focus distance of 12.3 inches)It features vibration reduction (image stabilization) and a 105mm focal length that is preferred by many photographers for use as a macro lens.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal length: 105mm
  • aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22
  • vibration reduction: yes
  • 62mm front filter diameter
  • weight: 1.6 lbs.

Reviews of the Best Macro Lenses for Nikon DSLRs

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

The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 is another quality third-party lens. The 90mm focal length is pretty similar to the 105mm of the Sigma lens, and the max aperture of f/2.8 is the same. This lens has a minimum aperture of f/32. You’ll also get vibration compensation with this lens. It is priced slightly higher then the Sigma 105mm, but much lower than our two top-rated lenses from Nikon.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal length: 90mm
  • aperture range: f/2.8 – f/32
  • vibration reduction: yes
  • 62mm front filter diameter
  • weight: 1.32 lbs.

Reviews of the Best Macro Lenses for Nikon DSLRs

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

This lens from Sigma steps up in price, but also offers a focal length of 180mm that gives you much more reach than the first two lenses on this list. Like the previous two lenses, this is a quality lens. The question is, would a 180mm lens be more suited to your shooting needs than something in the ballpark of 100mm? Focus is possible from infinity to 1:1 magnification (minimum focusing distance of 18.5 inches). At 3.6 pounds this lens is quite heavy compared to the previous two lenses, but that is due to the fact that it is a 180mm lens.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal length: 180mm
  • aperture range: f/2.8 – f/22
  • vibration reduction: yes
  • 86mm front filter diameter
  • weight: 3.6 lbs.

Reviews of the Best Macro Lenses for Nikon DSLRs

Nikon AF Micro-NIKKOR 200mm f/4D IF-ED Lens

The most expensive lens on our list also has the longest focal length at 200mm. This lens also has a max aperture of f/4 compared to the f/2.8 of the other lenses on this list. The focal length and max aperture are two factions that you’ll need to consider when making a buying decision. Like the others, this lens has the ability to focus from infinity to 1:1 magnification (minimum focusing distance of 1.6 feet). At 2.6 pounds, it is about one pound lighter than the Sigma 180mm.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal length: 200mm
  • aperture range: f/4 – f/32
  • vibration reduction: no
  • 62mm front filter diameter
  • weight: 2.6 lbs.

Reviews of the Best Macro Lenses for Nikon DSLRs

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

Our top-ranked macro lens for Nikon users is the NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G. It is priced higher than the 4th and 5th ranked lenses on our list, but much less than the #2 ranked lens. This lens offers excellent quality at a reasonable price. The 105mm focal length is ideal for many photographers’ needs in a macro lens. Like all of the other lenses mentioned previously, it can focus from infinity to 1:1 magnification (minimum focusing distance of 12 inches). Unlike our #2-ranked lens, this one does offer vibration reduction.

  • For full frame or APS-C sensors
  • focal length: 105mm
  • aperture range: f/2.8 – f/32
  • vibration reduction: yes
  • 62mm front filter diameter
  • weight: 1.58 lbs.

Reviews of the Best Macro Lenses for Nikon DSLRs

How to Choose the Right Macro Lens for You

Each lens showcased on this page is capable of capturing excellent macro photos, but you’ll want to evaluate the specifics to see which one is the best fit with your needs. When deciding on a macro lens you’ll need to think about how you will be using the lens to determine what focal length will be best for you. Any macro lens can achieve 1:1 magnification, but depending on the focal length that may require you too be too close to the subject. Somewhere around the 100mm range is preferred by many photographers as a good focal length for macro photography. However, something longer, like the 180mm or 200mm lenses on this list, will allow you to be further from the subject.

As with any other situation where you are purchasing photography gear, budget is likely to be a factor. The good news is you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get a quality macro lens. Several of the options on this list are affordable for many enthusiasts. Going up to the 180mm or 200mm lens is where you’ll see a real jump in price, but for most photographers that is not essential.