If I was to buy a new lens - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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If I was to buy a new lens

I only get to purchase One (for a long time)

Eric was guiding me before but it was a bit ago so i forgot so I need to ask again, I figured I could give examples of the photography I take and see what you suggest.


My Complaint.
shutter has to stay open and causes blur due to moving targets


My Goal
photos without flash and allows for quicker shots.



Here are a bunch of diff threads from photos I have taken, they have diff subjects sso I figure that the wider the gammit I give you the better you guys can help me decide!


sullymans tank
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1760242

suliAmans tank
http://www.worldwidereefers.com/foru...ead.php?t=1150





I will show more pics down the line if needed to help you decide. im trying to figure out cost so I can plan/budget for it.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 04:42 PM
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Do you want a Prime or a Zoom?

If you want the widest range of light, you can get a zoom that is 2.8 all the way through the range.

If you need better light than that, get a Prime, and although you get far less framing options, you can get far more more light available.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 05:48 PM
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Price range?

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Price range?
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I will show more pics down the line if needed to help you decide. im trying to figure out cost so I can plan/budget for it.
no clue, that what I am trying to figure out.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 06:19 PM
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Wink hit it.
Primes down to 1.8 are pretty affordable.
Zooms at even 2.8 are very pricey.

I think I have <100$ in a 1.8 50mm (but it's very slow and the build quality is cheeeap)
however the 70/200 2.8 was close to 2k... (but the build q is much better and it has IS)

can you do prime? if so you could go all the way down to 1.2f for the price of a 2.8 zoom (granted the zoom will be longer)..

I know you know all this so I don't know why I am piping in.. Go get a Canon Mk2 so I can play with it
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 06:26 PM
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The running furball pic looks like your camera locked focus on the fence. Dog could had been focused without motion blur at the 1/200 shutter you used.


What focal length range do you want?
Price range?
Want VR or dont care either way?

At least you dont 'need' AF-S lensed with the D80.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 10:20 PM
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Wink summed it up well.

I'd follow up with looking through your photos EXIF information and seeing where you tend to shoot. e.g. do you find yourself shooting around the 50-60mm range, or maybe wider, in the 18-24 range?

As notgreg mentioned, you could easily spend $2k on a good fast lens.

IMHO, *every* photographer should have a 50mm prime in their bag. The f/1.8 can be picked up for under $100. They are easily sold for what you paid for it if you choose to go more exotic. So for now, go get yourself a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 (they recently released an AF-S version that should focus faster then the classic one) and really learn to USE the lens. Using that inexpensive lens will help you decide if you want a longer or wider lens, or if you really *need* a zoom.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 10:24 PM
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Here, I did your shopping for you.

http://www.keh.com/Search-Products/1...de/0/0/SE.aspx

Or if you'd like, you can borrow my 50mm. I've been daydreaming about upgrading it to the new Sigma 50mm F/1.4. Expensive, but I have the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and it's what I shot 90% of my bike night photos with. So I could easily see myself spending $500 on a new 50mm, as I'm sure I'll like it.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Yea I am shooting low usually, and once in awhile zooming in.

I looked into the len's you recommended and noticed that the 1.8d has a minimum focus of 18in vs the new 35mm 1.8g is 12in.
When im taking photos I usually have to lean back till i can get the shot in focus.
http://cgi.ebay.com/AF-S-DX-Nikkor-3...item3efb4f5589



the first two links of photos, do you have any input on the photos btw?
sadly not too many photographers look at those photos so I dont get any "proper" feedback.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 03:24 PM
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I've played with the new 35mm 1.8 a few times and and it's a really nice lens for the price and if you are looking for that range then it's a no brianer. Though, I think the part about you having to lean back to get focus isn't really the min focus distance but rather the focal length being too long. What lens are you shooting with now that this is a problem?

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
Here, I did your shopping for you.

http://www.keh.com/Search-Products/1...de/0/0/SE.aspx

Or if you'd like, you can borrow my 50mm. I've been daydreaming about upgrading it to the new Sigma 50mm F/1.4. Expensive, but I have the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and it's what I shot 90% of my bike night photos with. So I could easily see myself spending $500 on a new 50mm, as I'm sure I'll like it.
I've got the 50mm sigma for canon mount and it's a great lens, far smoother bokeh than the canon 50 1.4, quick to focus and unlike so many stories about it mine focuses spot on. Really a nice nice lens.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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I've played with the new 35mm 1.8 a few times and and it's a really nice lens for the price and if you are looking for that range then it's a no brianer. Though, I think the part about you having to lean back to get focus isn't really the min focus distance but rather the focal length being too long. What lens are you shooting with now that this is a problem?
18-55 kit lens

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiReBReTHa View Post
Yea I am shooting low usually, and once in awhile zooming in.

I looked into the len's you recommended and noticed that the 1.8d has a minimum focus of 18in vs the new 35mm 1.8g is 12in.
When im taking photos I usually have to lean back till i can get the shot in focus.
http://cgi.ebay.com/AF-S-DX-Nikkor-3...item3efb4f5589
OK, here's the thing though. The Minimum focus distance doesn't matter! Say you have a 50mm lens with a focus distance of 12" and other 50mm lens with a focus distance of 18" (all things being equal)...you will still get the same final image, because both lenses are 50mm.

Now, if you're thinking "I wanna get closer for my macro shots", well, it's the same deal, except macro/micro is typically 1:1 magnification. Which means the image is life-size on the sensor, and the size of the lens is what actually lets you get FURTHER away for the same shot so you don't spook your subject. e.g while you're thinking you need to get closer with a macro, it's the same shot at it's minimum focus distance, but a longer lens will allow you to get that shot from further away.

I hope all that makes sense...I've not had my coffee yet.

There are some variables to all this of course, but what I stated above is accurate for 98% of the lenses out there.

The time where minimum focus distance might mean something to you, is when you're trying to do an artsy landscape shot...where you have a rock 12" in front of you in focus, but still have the mountain 10 miles away from you in focus. That really only makes a difference if the rock is really important to your shot, in which case, a telephoto with a min-focus of 1 meter isn't going to help you.


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the first two links of photos, do you have any input on the photos btw?
sadly not too many photographers look at those photos so I dont get any "proper" feedback.
The first shot is a great shot emotionally. Both shots are pushing the limits of what the sensor can do contrast wise. Let me put it this way; lets say our human eyes can see 100 units of contrasts...well, our SLR sensors of the last couple of generations are only able to capture a range of about 25 units, possibly even less. So while your eyes can easily take in the deep colors of Loki and still be able catch all the details in the snow, your camera is struggling and messes up both. As a photographer, it's your job to choose which is most important to you and shoot for it. Or, adjust the lighting somehow so both light and dark objects are more evenly illuminated and closer in contrast. This is why snow shots and shots illuminated with strong direct light are difficult.

You already know the focus on the second shot is off. I know Loki is crazy fast, so I'm not surprised. The focus on the first shot is a little forward of your subjects. Either you moved, or you focused a little off. I can teach you some tricks on focus if you'd like, again, it's all about decisions the photographer makes to nail that shot the way he/she wants it to look, and not let the camera make (all) the decisions for you.

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I've played with the new 35mm 1.8 a few times and and it's a really nice lens for the price and if you are looking for that range then it's a no brianer. Though, I think the part about you having to lean back to get focus isn't really the min focus distance but rather the focal length being too long. What lens are you shooting with now that this is a problem?
Since he has a zoom, I don't think it's focal length...I think he's stuck in the noobie mental rut that he wants to get closer to the subject. Probably mostly comes up when he's shooting fish. I need to show him MICRO photography and see if that's what he's looking for. LOL

I totally forgot that Nikon came out with the 35 f/1.8. The Sigma 30 f/1.4 is a Nikon killer though. While I'm a borderline Nikon snob, the results are irrefutable; the Sigma rocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMC View Post
I've got the 50mm sigma for canon mount and it's a great lens, far smoother bokeh than the canon 50 1.4, quick to focus and unlike so many stories about it mine focuses spot on. Really a nice nice lens.
I want that lens so bad. Sigma has a bad rap for focus issues because they reverse engineer the logic chip on their lenses to work with Nikon or Canon bodies, rather then pay Nikon and Canon licencing fees for the actual lens logic software. Because of this, they sometimes run into issues that are cleared up with a firmware/chip update to the lens. That, and they had a few bad batches of lenses many years ago. Photographers have a long memory when it comes to missing shots due to poor Q/C or logic chip issues. But everything Sigma does in the end brings a great product to the table with a lower price point then Nikon. It's the true-blue Nikon snobs that keep the Nikkor prices so high....though I have to say you almost never hear of Nikon coming out with a clunker. Even their kit lenses are steps above the common budget lens.

My Sigma 30mm has had an occasional focus flake here and there that requires me to power down the camera and power it back up again for it to sync back up and focus normal. It's rare, so I've never stressed about it...and honestly, I beat the snot out of my Sigma 30mm. This lens has rattled around my tank bag for 8000 miles, several bike nights, movie nights, fancy dinners, and many, many parties. It's proved it's worth to me.

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Last edited by Lonely Raven; 12-23-2009 at 11:42 AM.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 11:48 AM
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Rick, show me more of your photos. I need to look at the EXIF to get an idea of what you're shooting mostly. But then, that's somewhat difficult to do if you only have an 18-55. Looking at your shots, I'm banking on your shooting probably in the 30-55 range, and sometimes wanting more.

IMHO, as it is now, I'd prescribe something in the 18-70mm range, or maybe the 55-120mm range (though the 55-120 I don't believe focuses very fast). And I'd still prescribe a proper macro/micro lens for your aquarium photography. And of course, *everyone* should have a 50mm in their bag (or the 35 f/1.8 if it's cheap enough).

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
OK, here's the thing though. The Minimum focus distance doesn't matter! Say you have a 50mm lens with a focus distance of 12" and other 50mm lens with a focus distance of 18" (all things being equal)...you will still get the same final image, because both lenses are 50mm.

Now, if you're thinking "I wanna get closer for my macro shots", well, it's the same deal, except macro/micro is typically 1:1 magnification. Which means the image is life-size on the sensor, and the size of the lens is what actually lets you get FURTHER away for the same shot so you don't spook your subject. e.g while you're thinking you need to get closer with a macro, it's the same shot at it's minimum focus distance, but a longer lens will allow you to get that shot from further away.

I hope all that makes sense...I've not had my coffee yet.

There are some variables to all this of course, but what I stated above is accurate for 98% of the lenses out there.

The time where minimum focus distance might mean something to you, is when you're trying to do an artsy landscape shot...where you have a rock 12" in front of you in focus, but still have the mountain 10 miles away from you in focus. That really only makes a difference if the rock is really important to your shot, in which case, a telephoto with a min-focus of 1 meter isn't going to help you.




The first shot is a great shot emotionally. Both shots are pushing the limits of what the sensor can do contrast wise. Let me put it this way; lets say our human eyes can see 100 units of contrasts...well, our SLR sensors of the last couple of generations are only able to capture a range of about 25 units, possibly even less. So while your eyes can easily take in the deep colors of Loki and still be able catch all the details in the snow, your camera is struggling and messes up both. As a photographer, it's your job to choose which is most important to you and shoot for it. Or, adjust the lighting somehow so both light and dark objects are more evenly illuminated and closer in contrast. This is why snow shots and shots illuminated with strong direct light are difficult.

You already know the focus on the second shot is off. I know Loki is crazy fast, so I'm not surprised. The focus on the first shot is a little forward of your subjects. Either you moved, or you focused a little off. I can teach you some tricks on focus if you'd like, again, it's all about decisions the photographer makes to nail that shot the way he/she wants it to look, and not let the camera make (all) the decisions for you.



Since he has a zoom, I don't think it's focal length...I think he's stuck in the noobie mental rut that he wants to get closer to the subject. Probably mostly comes up when he's shooting fish. I need to show him MICRO photography and see if that's what he's looking for. LOL

Woops, I think you are looking at the wrong photos, I will repost them on this site so you can see,

The second two are just P&S quality photos I snagged quickly to show the other site of the gammit of photos I take (normal people photos)
I am posting up the photos now and will link them once they are up.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:10 PM
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OK, so you're asking about aquarium photography? That's different.

60mm Nikon, and two SB-800 flashes.

Supplement that with a wide angle of your choice and good tripod for full tank shots.

You know all this already.



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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so you're asking about aquarium photography? That's different.

60mm Nikon, and two SB-800 flashes.

Supplement that with a wide angle of your choice and good tripod for full tank shots.

You know all this already.



Tricky part is that I cant use flashes with aquarium shots. throws off the color balance completely. Good for some cool shots of tank like the ones you got of my 24gallon but doesnt show the true colors of corals.

I was not sure if there was a lens to purchase that could satisfy both demands I had but with the beginning half of post you made shows me I can afford to get a good lens for taking people shots/interior home shots with that 1.8g.

Now I gotta figure out another lens for tank photography.


so gotta look at 60mm and then a wide angle converter, I am curious to try out the converter.

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:20 PM
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OH, macro is what you want so maybe the MFD is a problem, though I think the nikon 18-55 has a somewhat short MFD.

Lonely Raven most likely knows more about macro than I do as it's not really my thing but I can agree that you'll need some flashes and a true macro lens for best results with macro stuff. I personally use a Tamron 90mm macro that although may not be the best lens available I generally use it so rarely that I'm not looking to invest more for a better one. I also shoot a full frame camera so I like the 90mm range over the shorter 50mm macros available but there are some really good deals on the cheaper Sigma 50mm macro lenses that you may be able to get into.

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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This is a guy that allot of reefers know in the hobby for his photography.
http://www.gparr.com/photos/thumbnails.php?album=13

I feel mine is pretty good when I compare Full tank shots (FTS)
His

http://www.gparr.com/photos/displayi...album=13&pos=6

Mine

(my color representations are correct. you can tell by the pink birdsnest.

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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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OH, macro is what you want so maybe the MFD is a problem, though I think the nikon 18-55 has a somewhat short MFD.

Lonely Raven most likely knows more about macro than I do as it's not really my thing but I can agree that you'll need some flashes and a true macro lens for best results with macro stuff. I personally use a Tamron 90mm macro that although may not be the best lens available I generally use it so rarely that I'm not looking to invest more for a better one. I also shoot a full frame camera so I like the 90mm range over the shorter 50mm macros available but there are some really good deals on the cheaper Sigma 50mm macro lenses that you may be able to get into.

Yea, I am going to check the nikon 60mm out that he recommended.

Its photos like this that I want to capture a bit better.




What do you guys think of the aquarium photos?
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 01:25 PM
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I think I don't do fish but that you'll really love to get a dedicated macro lens for stuff like that.

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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 12:12 AM
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Rick, the lens only captures what light is there. If the SB-800 flash gives the wrong light, then help me understand what is the correct light. What's wrong with the flash shots, and what's right about the Gary's shots? I feel his shots are using regular light, something the SB-800 should be able to pull off. If the settings of the camera are off, the overall color of the capture can be off. So it can be adjusted. Also, you can put gels and filters over the SB-800 flash to tint the light if necessary...not something I normally do, but it's always an option.

Again, help me understand what's wrong with the light, and what you feel is right, and we can help hone in on settings in the camera, or adjustments to light to help you get there without buying all sorts of hardware.

Are my shots off, or wrong in color? If so, what do you feel I need to do to get them where you feel they look right?











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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
Rick, the lens only captures what light is there. If the SB-800 flash gives the wrong light, then help me understand what is the correct light. What's wrong with the flash shots, and what's right about the Gary's shots? I feel his shots are using regular light, something the SB-800 should be able to pull off. If the settings of the camera are off, the overall color of the capture can be off. So it can be adjusted. Also, you can put gels and filters over the SB-800 flash to tint the light if necessary...not something I normally do, but it's always an option.

Again, help me understand what's wrong with the light, and what you feel is right, and we can help hone in on settings in the camera, or adjustments to light to help you get there without buying all sorts of hardware.

Are my shots off, or wrong in color? If so, what do you feel I need to do to get them where you feel they look right?

Ah, MY fault completely for not describing it right (I know you know half of this, the rest is so other photogs can learn about Reef photography). Most corals when you see them in the house look like brown turds. LOL
this is around normal home lighting/flourescents at 4300K (daylight)

Then when you toss em in a fish tank and you set up the lighting it brings out the colors that make corals pop.

This is an actinic only photo so its around the "14k-20k" range of blue.
(factually its actually actinics running at 420NM and 460NM)

so the photography in esscence is to show the corals popping, without drowning them in blue or yellow.


This is a bad example but I hope it helps,
With Halides

Actinics


so the balance is trying to find the pop, while keeping it "real" / "accurate" colors.


This is a photo to show a 10k white halide, but the photo is modified to make it look more attractive to get more sales.

you look at the sand and the sand should be White, but since its not you know the photo has been altered to make the frag more appealing.


I am curious to play with the flash more but i think that it shines for when doing FTS or fish shots but for coral I think it goes too white. I see a flash filling in the crevices here and making it lose persepctive of its unique skin.



I want to do my Big tank with the flash because that shot above with the clowns you did, it has DEPTH! I cant do that with my current photos and its driving me crazy. your flash makes the photo seem 3d.



I am so excited now to have a path that helped me learn about the different lenses and narrow things down. its really rough so I have to tip my hats to you guys for helping. I think I am going to go for the 1.8 first so I can take better shots of Ronin while he is still young.

Last edited by FiReBReTHa; 12-24-2009 at 12:46 AM.
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 12:43 AM
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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 01:14 AM
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OK, so you're trying to capture everything under actinic lighting. That's a whole different animal. I'm not sure there are gels for flash units that you could get in the 420-460NM range....but the fact that you know what you need puts you on a good path for searching. If you can find gels in that range, you can simply wrap them to a couple flash units with a rubber band and you're set! Otherwise, your best option is to get some really, really high power actinic lights, just for the photography. Your problem isn't a lens problem, exactly, it's a lighting problem. No macro in the world is going to better capture your shots without more light to work with.

If you open up your aperture get more light, you lose depth of field. If you close down your aperture to gain depth of field, you don't have enough light and you'll blur your shots. So your only solution is shit-tons of actinic light. Or maybe a mix actinic supplemented with some flash or metal-halide...it's worth a shot (no pun intended)

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