The Advantages of a Dedicated Macro Lens

Achieving lift-size magnification

By PF Staff in Tutorial Videos on Apr 4, 2016
The Advantages of a Dedicated Macro Lens

The 18-55mm kit lens is versatile, but it can't fill every role perfectly.  If you're a beginner interested in close-up (macro) photography, we recommend that you consider adding a dedicated 1:1 macro lens to your lens collection.  Watch the video below to learn about the benefits of a true macro lens:

Compared to a zoom, a fixed focal length (prime) macro lens is generally going to be the go-to choice for close-up photography.  While many modern zooms claim "macro" capabilities and are good for snapshots, none can deliver life-size (1:1) magnification.

Pentax currently offers three autofocus macro lenses: the DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro, D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro, and D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro.  Tamron also makes a 90mm F2.8 Macro.  Note that the longer the focal length, the farther away you can be while maintaining life-size magnification. 

These four lenses happen to be are among the more affordable modern ones out there, and range in price between $249 and $499. 

If you're on a tighter budget, extension tubes plus a sharp manual focus lens like the M 50mm F1.7 would deliver comparable optical quality at a fraction of the price.

Macro photography is a complex subject with plenty of advanced tools and techniques that are beyond the scope of this tutorial.  If you have any questions about macro or accessories, don't hesitate to post in our macro photography forum!

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