Good lenses are essential to good photography. Saving money on a lens after spending a chunk of money on a great camera detracts from the camera purchase. And when it comes to good glass, there's nothing like a prime lens. I have a few -- 300mm, 28mm, 50mm and my recent favorite, the 35mm. Now, I am intrigued by the 105mm, one of Nikon's "macro" lenses. I decided to rent it for the weekend. This is a great way to test out a lens before buying -- it might make you realize it's not the right lens for you. I once rented a 600mm lens to photograph my son's football game and found myself practically shooting from the parking lot. For not much money (like $20 and up), you can try a lens out and see if it is really what you want.
So I've been playing with the rental 105mm 2.8. Holy smokes, is this a great lens. It shoots macro beautifully. I used it on both the manual focus and automatic focus, depending on the subject. I played for a few hours. Do I focus on the stamen of the flower or the petals? Or the insect in the center sipping pollen? I played with the aperture quite a bit. Yet, the lens was still fantastic and sharp for photographing the dog shaking water off her fur.
Thread Waisted Wasp on Black Eyed Susan
ISO 320, f5.6, 1/2500
ISO 320 f4.5, 1/1000
Eye See You
ISO800, f4.0, 1/1250