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10-22-2010, 07:08 PM   #16
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here's a photo from the M 100mm macro F4

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10-22-2010, 07:26 PM - 1 Like   #17
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I'm not sure you guys are considering his needs with the suggestions of 50mm macro lenses - aquarium photography generally implies a subject 3-15" from the front of the tank.. I'd suggest a 90+mm lens if you're using digital, 150+ if film. The tamron 90 I have focuses 1:1 at about 4" from the end of the barrel, because extended the lens is like 8" long! The Pentax DFA100 ups the distance to about 5" from the barrel.

The promaster/vivitar/phoenix that was mentioned earlier would be a nice choice for you, cost/performance wise.

Not sure what kind of lighting you will be shooting under, halides probably or VHO / power compact fluorescents, but aperture may be something to consider. In macro work of live moving organisms there is almost never enough light. Part of it is needing to stop down for DOF of course but interesting bugs and such rarely spend a lot of time in that perfect sunny spot.... When you have the camera out.

If there any particular type of creature you plan on photoing, or just general fish? Saltwater, reef stuff crustacians etc?

Last edited by tentacles; 10-22-2010 at 07:43 PM.
10-22-2010, 07:46 PM   #18
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My wife picked up a Vivitar 55mm F2.8 Macro for around 50$
It does 1:1
She's done some ridiculously nice pics. She's on Olympus so doesn't post here.

You should look up at the Macro group. There's a user called Rense that has it.

Here's a thread about it:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/99599-after-so...1-1-macro.html

It's a low priced gem since everyone goes for the larger focal lengths.

It's well regarded in the reviews page:

Vivitar 55mm F2.8 1:1 macro Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

If I didn't already have the FA 100mm Macro, I'd pick it up. Hell, I'd wake up one night and secretly convert the Olympus mount she's got it in into a K mount if I didn't think I'd get murdered.
10-22-2010, 07:50 PM - 1 Like   #19
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The cheap way to do real macro (better than 1:2 magnification):

* Bellows, either Pentax K-mount (PK) or M42 screwmount. These can be had on eBay for US$50 or rather less if you shop carefully. I have one of each.

* One or two sets of cheap macro tubes, either PK or M42, to match the bellows. These are common on eBay (NEW!) for under US$10 per set. I just bought two more sets of each last week.

NOTE: Tubes and bellows are referred to as extension.

* One or more enlarger lenses (more on these below). These can be had on eBay for anywhere from US$1 to $1k, but cheap ones are fine. Most of mine were under US$10 each.

* A cheap safe flanged no-infinity-focus M42-PK adapter, usually around US$5 new on eBay. Many enlarger lenses are M39 screwmount, so you also need an M39-M42 adapter ring; if the price new is above US$3, it's a rip-off. I have dozens.

* A tripod, the sturdier the better. These can often be found in thrift shops for under US$10. I can't comment about any available on eBay.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

OK, enlarger lenses (EL's): These are SHARP or they're worthless on enlargers! Used EL-Nikkors (Nikon) often fetch a premium price, but I just missed an 80/4.5 for US$8 this week. As long as the lens is in good shape, it should perform well.

Which focal length to use depends on how close you want to shoot, and what else you want to do with it. Some important factors here:

* An EL longer than 75mm, on a bellows, can focus to infinity, and so can be used for non-macro shooting too. I often wander around with a 162/4.5 Wollensak on tubes and bellows, shooting everything near and far in town and country.

* No lens can focus closer than its focal length. Short lenses let you work close; longer lenses allow/force you to work from further back. More extension gives more magnification, but no matter how many tubes you add, you still can't focus closer than the focal length.

What focal length to use? If I want to get REAL close, I'll use a 35mm or 50mm EL. That's for subjects that won't be scared off by the lens, like dead stuff inside my mini-studio. Outside, I'll more likely use a 105mm or 140mm EL, or that 162mm Wolly. To get REAL extreme, I've put a 400mm telephoto on lots of extension, the camera+bellows+tubes+lens all mounted on a shoulder stock, so I could shoot sunlit closeups of rattlesnakes from a safe distance, like 4m / 13 feet away. But for shooting into an aquarium, lenses in the 110-160mm range should be good.

That's the cheap way: enlarger lens and extension. Have fun!


Last edited by RioRico; 10-22-2010 at 08:02 PM.
10-23-2010, 04:36 AM   #20
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Two Pentax-M 100mm F4 lenses currently on ebay.com (US):

SMC Pentax-M 100mm/f4 Macro Lens: K-Mount on eBay (end time 25-Oct-10 03:08:09 BST)

Asahi SMC Pentax M 100mm f4 Macro lens, film & digital on eBay (end time 30-Oct-10 03:04:52 BST)

I fear that the above might get a bit too expensive in the end, but then only he who waits until the auction is over knows. I haven't any direct experience on this lens, but would trust that as a Pentax-M it has great IQ and construction quality. The Cosina 100mm - IMHO - has great IQ too, the construction is very plasticky indeed, but - most importantly - the focusing ring has pretty nice feel to it. It is also has the convenient A-position on the aperture ring).

One more Pentax-M 100 F4 from Germany (with international shipping), buy-it-now with the price so-so for the budget:

Pentax 4,0/100mm Macro SMC Pentax-M für analog &digital on eBay (end time 14-Nov-10 16:21:09 GMT)

And, finally, two very dull demo snaps from the Cosina:

1) a full 1:2 frame at the 43cm min. focusing distance, at this the barrel extends to its maximum, about 16-17 cm from the focus plane so this means > 25 cm or 10" working distance from the front element,

2) 1 cm x 1cm crop from the same.

Last edited by jolepp; 03-16-2011 at 08:57 AM.
10-23-2010, 10:10 AM   #21
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One more snap with the Cosina 100mm 1:3.5 of my photogenic metric tape measure, this time to demonstrate maximum depth of field at minimum focus distance (at the smallest aperture available, 22). This has been taken from low angle (*) so the length of the piece of the measure that is in focus (~20mm) should be close enough to the available DOF.

(*) the center point of the sensor is @0cm, ~7 cm above the plane on which the tape measure rests

Last edited by jolepp; 03-16-2011 at 08:57 AM.
10-23-2010, 10:14 AM - 1 Like   #22
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I just thought of another one. I'm sure I'm going to be lamb basted for this because it's not a true macro, but, it will give you a lot more working distance and you could use the Raynox 150 or 250 with it to get better magnification if you wish.

Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 1:2
or
Quantaray 70-300mm F4-5.6 LD Macro 1:2

Now the great thing about this is you get a long telephoto zoom and a 180-300mm macro in the same package. Wide open image quality will not be as good with a dedicated macro lens, but stopped down (as you would normally use a macro to get better DOF) it should produce good results. I don't actually own one, but I've seen some very impressive macro shots online taken with both of these lenses. You can pick one of these up for anywhere form $50 to $150.

Again, this is just another option, and not necessarily the best. Just kind of a value for the money option.
10-23-2010, 07:41 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian Quote
I'm sure I'm going to be lamb basted for this because it's not a true macro...
I baste no lambs. Fire-roasted kebab is better. But I digress. Depending on how macro one want to go, the vast majority of zooms just don't make it. Macro lenses and enlarger lenses are characterized by edge-to-edge flatfield sharpness, which just isn't obtainable with general-purpose zooms. An exception: the truly weird Schneider Betavaron 50-125 enlarger zoom. If shooting a bug without concern for what happens at the image edges, a zoom with a Raynox added, or on extension tubes and/or bellows, will do fine. If edge details are important, a flatfield prime is essential.

10-24-2010, 09:07 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
If shooting a bug without concern for what happens at the image edges, a zoom with a Raynox added, or on extension tubes and/or bellows, will do fine. If edge details are important, a flatfield prime is essential.
Oh, I completely agree, just throwing out options though.
10-24-2010, 10:07 AM   #25
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I think there are competing ideas here between damian and riorico The difference between a macro capable zoom and a macro setup is that a macro capable zoom is what you carry for general purpose work and the macro is just in case you need it. True macro with a good flat field lens is for when you set out to do just macro work. At least that is how I think of it
10-25-2010, 03:02 AM   #26
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I just found my long-lost bellows in a box in the closet.

Time to play in the backyard!
10-25-2010, 03:22 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I think there are competing ideas here between damian and riorico The difference between a macro capable zoom and a macro setup is that a macro capable zoom is what you carry for general purpose work and the macro is just in case you need it. True macro with a good flat field lens is for when you set out to do just macro work. At least that is how I think of it
My only quibble, Lowell, is that only an tiny fraction of "macro zooms" actually go MACRO, say 1:2 or better. But MACRO sounds sexier (and uses less ink) than PRETTY CLOSE FOCUS. And a flatfield lens over 75mm on bellows is fine for general work. I regularly use 90-105-140-162mm enlarger lenses on bellows for just plain old wandering-around shooting. It does tend to attract attention, though...
10-25-2010, 07:17 AM   #28
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So Rio, I'm about to order some tubes. I checked out enlarger lenses, but most I see are in Europe, and don't know the brands--so I'm gonna wait on that.

So for closest magnification at a distance for a set-up shot, is this my plan?

1) Use 105 2.8 S-Tak

2) Use all 3 extension tubes

3) Extend bellows to maximum length

4) Move tripod to figure out my working distance
10-25-2010, 07:37 AM   #29
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Ira

the only questions I have are how much magnification do you want.

the 105mm with extension tubes will get you close to 1:2 and adding the bellows, which probably has an extension of 150mm will get you much bigger than 1:3.

Note also, depending on the bellows, you may be able to slide the bellows towards and away from the subject to get in focusing range as I can on mine
10-25-2010, 07:59 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Ira

the only questions I have are how much magnification do you want.

the 105mm with extension tubes will get you close to 1:2 and adding the bellows, which probably has an extension of 150mm will get you much bigger than 1:3.

Note also, depending on the bellows, you may be able to slide the bellows towards and away from the subject to get in focusing range as I can on mine
Duh:

So 1:3 is closer than 1:2?

And don't all bellows slide in and out?
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