You do not need a macro
Macro lenses serve a very specific purpose
Basically you need a macro to take pictures of things that are 1 to 5 cm in size so that it fills the entire picture. There are very few cases where you will need this. Fortunately macro lenses are usually excellent prime lenses that have many uses.
There are not many cases where you need a macro lens. Basically only very small objects need a macro. This one is a small microchip and the entire scene you see is about 3cm by 2cm. Only a macro lens will allow you this (without cropping).
This following one is a tricky one. A regular prime lens of 100mm to 150mm focal length would normally not allow you to come this close (which is less then 50cm here) to the flower to fill the entire frame. So in this sense this is a macro shot. But many zooms would actually have a range where you could get this sort of reproduction ratio which is less than 1:2.
Macro lens but out of Macro range
The following shot is a very good example of a macro lens being used as a regular long lens.
If the previous one was a bit too close for you to call, try the following one. A rose is much larger than most camera sensors, and this one fills maybe a quarter of the screen which tells you that a macro was definitely not needed here.
This one checks all the macro boxes, insect (check), nice bokeh (check), but I'm simply too far in this case for the Nikon 105 to play out its macro chops. In a true macro shot, the butterfly would have filled the entire frame.
All the shots here, look close to the previous shots, but they are taken without the use of (true) macro lenses
Crop from a larger picture
Practically all cameras have way too many pixels for you to use. One perfect use of these extra pixels is cropping which lets you come close to the subject, effectively making your shots look like macro shots. Take this one for example:
The following is from a lens that is definitely a macro, the Nikon 85 on an APS-C camera, making about a lens with 135mm focal length. The original can be seen under File:nikon85_poppy.jpg. Compare this to some of the shots from the real macro lenses.
Zooms bringing you closer
Especially newer universal zooms like the Nikon 28-300 here will allow you to come quite close to your subject. Coupled with the (rather strange setup) using an APS-C camera which effectively gives it a 1:1.5 cropping, you get things you would normally expect from a serious macro lens.
Just so that you do not say I'm cheating here is one with a Nikon 18-200 as well. This time an APS-C lens on a APS-C camera. While you may argue that this is not a macro shot at all (it isn't), notice how well it compares to File:Sigma150_berry.jpg which was from a macro lens but not in the macro range.
Macro lenses are great lenses, no doubt about that. However, do not be fooled by some of the shots you see on the internet and think you need a macro lens. Most of those shots can also be made by other lenses that do not have (or only have limited) macro capability.
This is a handheld shot using the Nikon 200 on a Nikon D850. While the lens is a macro lens, this shot is actually using it as a regular long lens. The result looks OK, but this is a tricky shot, since you are (relatively) close to the flower, you need a smaller aperture so that you have enough depth of field. This in turn requires a longer exposure which is partially compensated with a higher ISO of 1250.
The manual focus Nikon 70-210 f/4 AI-S version. This is not a macro, but technically this lens has a nice macro function at the 70mm end. While the reproduction ratio you have on this macro mode is actually less than some standard prime lenses when used with a APS-C camera like the Nikon D500 this actually works for quite a number of shots.
These pages are for Amateur Photographers and not really for seasoned photographers and professionals. I have no affiliation or commercial interest with any brand/make. I write from my own experience. I ended up using mainly Nikon, so I am more familiar with this brand than others. See price for notes on pricing as well as photography related links.