View Full Version : Manual or auto focus Macro lens

03-24-2012, 07:21 PM

I'm looking into buying a macro lens, but I'm not sure which is better: a manual focus or auto focus lens? I read on a site that manual focus is great for low light situations like rainforests, and for getting the focus spot on where you want focused.

What do you suggest?


04-01-2012, 12:39 PM
I own only one macro lens. It's a Nikkor 60mm 2.8 AF. A fabulous lens in the view of many. The only problem I have with it is that I have to get so close to the subject for true 1:1 scale. That's ok for flowers and such, but sucs for little critters. I suggest you find something you like that will give you the ability to put some distance between your subject and the glass and still get 1:1. A 105mm 2.8 will be my next lens. Like many macros, it doubles well as a portrait lens.

As for manual or auto...well most have that little switch that lets you go from one to the other.

04-01-2012, 12:58 PM
A 105mm 2.8 will be my next lens. Like many macros, it doubles well as a portrait lens.

I have a lens like this - fab.
I typically do the macro work with manual focus anyway so for me no autofocus would not be a big deal for macro.

04-24-2012, 05:11 AM
I have both the Nikkor 60mm f2.8 and Tamron 90mm f 2.8 - I will use auto focus in good light with some manual tweaking and manual in darker conditions.

Matt K.
04-24-2012, 08:59 PM
As was said before: most lenses will offer the option between manual focus or auto focus. Depending on what camera you shoot with, yo may be able to turn the auto focus off at the camera as well. Methinks you are asking because you may consider buying an older lens, which does not have the IQ of the newer lenses. Manual focus should be fine for macro photography; some shooters even have "focusing rails", a contraption that lets you set the focus on the lens, and then fine tune it with the rails. Rumor has it that the macro nuts are using those extensively. That said, it does become clear that one needs to have a good tripod to utilize this sort of thing. I have a Sigma 150, super sharp, and it can both auto focus or let me choose manual focus.