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11-05-2010, 02:41 AM   #1
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which macro on a smaller budget

Hi There

just wondering about a 1:1 macro lens for the insect shots and maybe a little portrait work. I'm new to dslr and own a kx with the standard lens and an old tokina SD 1:4 5.5 70 - 210. I'm keen to buy either a smc dfa Pentax 50mm f2.8 Macro Lens $219.00 or


Cosina AF Macro 100mm f3.5 Pentax PKA Lens 1:1 Adaptor $150.00 plus

What would you guys recommend...is the pentax lens all that much better?
Cheers

11-05-2010, 05:53 AM   #2
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why not look at manual focus macros

there are lots of good takumar and K mount macros available for less than $100.
11-05-2010, 12:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by screwedon Quote
Hi There

just wondering about a 1:1 macro lens for the insect shots and maybe a little portrait work. I'm new to dslr and own a kx with the standard lens and an old tokina SD 1:4 5.5 70 - 210. I'm keen to buy either a smc dfa Pentax 50mm f2.8 Macro Lens $219.00 or


Cosina AF Macro 100mm f3.5 Pentax PKA Lens 1:1 Adaptor $150.00 plus

What would you guys recommend...is the pentax lens all that much better?
Cheers
The D FA if you can swing it is a very nice macro lens. The focus distance will be closer than a 90 or 100mm 1:1 macro lens, but is very workable with insects. If you can go that route for $219, I recommend it because that lens can be used as a general af lens as well.
11-06-2010, 06:24 AM   #4
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Manual macro lenses often cost rather less than AF macros. Even cheaper: enlarger lenses on extension (bellows and tubes). BUT: AF / auto-aperture lenses work more easily with flash. Getting flash right with non-aperture-automation (non-A-type) lenses can be frustrating.

A rule for any lens: it can't focus closer than its focal length. This also means that you reach 1:1 magnification from a greater distance with a longer lens. 28-35-50-55mm macro lenses are for working CLOSE, which is fine in studios, not-so-fine outdoors. A 100mm lens keeps you at least 4 inches from a subject; a 200mm lens, at least 8 inches. I regularly use a 162mm enlarger lens on extension, which keeps me 6.5 inches away from praying mantids etc. And I used to put a 400mm tele plus 2x TC on extension, mounted on a shoulder stock. Why? To shoot closeups of rattlesnakes from a safe distance, like 3m.

For dumb bugs and flowers, 100mm is fine. For nervous bugs and reptiles, 200mm is better.

11-06-2010, 06:28 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Manual macro lenses often cost rather less than AF macros. Even cheaper: enlarger lenses on extension (bellows and tubes). BUT: AF / auto-aperture lenses work more easily with flash. Getting flash right with non-aperture-automation (non-A-type) lenses can be frustrating.

A rule for any lens: it can't focus closer than its focal length. This also means that you reach 1:1 magnification from a greater distance with a longer lens. 28-35-50-55mm macro lenses are for working CLOSE, which is fine in studios, not-so-fine outdoors. A 100mm lens keeps you at least 4 inches from a subject; a 200mm lens, at least 8 inches. I regularly use a 162mm enlarger lens on extension, which keeps me 6.5 inches away from praying mantids etc. And I used to put a 400mm tele plus 2x TC on extension, mounted on a shoulder stock. Why? To shoot closeups of rattlesnakes from a safe distance, like 3m.

For dumb bugs and flowers, 100mm is fine. For nervous bugs and reptiles, 200mm is better.
I disagree with you on this. I have an AF canon macro lens that was used exclusively for insect macro shots for the better part of 20 years for work related stuff. From a 50mm macro 1:1 to a 100mm 1:1 you go from 6 inches to 12 inches. Woopie Doo. At $219, the D FA 50/2.8 is an excellent macro lens.
11-06-2010, 07:19 AM   #6
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I've found the Cosina very nice for the price, however I paid US$82 for the lens itself (NIB, ebay, US seller). This was a Promaster branded MF one though (also comes AF and branded as Vivitar and Phoenix, I think). This goes to 1:1 with the (included) adapter only (This is a lens to screw on the filter thread), without it is 2:1 which seems to be enough for my purposes most of the time though.

Especially with the adapter AF is not much of use as focusing is done by mostly adjusting the distance, the regular focus mechanishm is useful for fine tuning only. With macro in general the focus usually needs to be tuned by hand because of the incredibly shallow DOF. AF is as useful as ever when using the lens for other purposes though.
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