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12-07-2010, 09:38 AM   #1
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Suggestion for beginner macro lens

I'd like to get a macro lens but not break the bank doing it.

I would prefer that it had the usual macro features of close focusing and 1:1 aspect, but it doesn't necessarily need to have the best quality....

Any suggestions...

Javaslinger

12-07-2010, 09:50 AM   #2
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Not sure how big your bank is.

But I think the best bang for the buck is Tamron macro 90mm F/2.8.
12-07-2010, 09:57 AM   #3
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A cheap macro lens would be the Cosina 100mm 1:3.5:

Cosina 100mm F1:3,5 MC Makro Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database
Cosina AF 100mm f/3.5 macro (Pentax) - Review / Lab Test Report

This has also been sold as Phonix, Promaster and Vivitar (at least). It does 1:2 by itself and 1:1 with the included "matched adapter" (a lens that fixes to the filter thread).

Another cheap and decent macro option would be the Raynox 150 (or 250) add-on (see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/74221-raynox-macro-club.html)
12-07-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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Extension tubes are also a good option.

12-07-2010, 10:27 AM   #5
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I'm very interested in that Cosina lens. Is it difficult to find? I don't see it on Amazon or Ebay...

Thanks,

Ken
12-07-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm f/2.5 (52B) Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

Don't bother with an AF lens. AF is not needed for macro work and just adds to the expense. If you want to do macro work with an AF lens, get a Raynox.
12-07-2010, 10:40 AM   #7
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It appears on ebay time to time, got mine there (for US$82, badged Promaster, MF but this is ok for macro). It might be worth checking out ebay.uk too, my experience is that most of the time the sellers are happy to send to outside UK if asked politely (there is one going there now, but probably not worth asking as the seller explicitly states 'UK only'). Another idea would be putting a wanted ad on the marketplace here.
12-07-2010, 10:45 AM   #8
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Around 100mm: Panagor/Vivitar 90/2.8 1:1 macro
Around 50mm: Panagor/Vivitar 50/2.8

You could also browse here: Macro Photography - PentaxForums.com

12-07-2010, 11:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Javaslinger Quote
I'd like to get a macro lens but not break the bank doing it.

I would prefer that it had the usual macro features of close focusing and 1:1 aspect, but it doesn't necessarily need to have the best quality....

Any suggestions...

Javaslinger
Raynox 250, not quite 1:1 but close enough (pun intended) There is even a "club" thread here The two best things about a Raynox (besides image quality) are:
1: it's small, can easily fit in your bag and turns almost any lens into a "macro" lens w/o the hassle of changing lenses
2: Compared to a "real" macro lens, it is very inexpensive, IIRC I paid about $60 for mine lasst summer.

NaCl(worth looking into)H2O
12-07-2010, 11:10 AM   #10
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Another vote for the Tamron 90 Di - fantastic lense for macro, street & portraits.

EBay has lots and you should be able to pick one up BIN for under $350 new ... quite a lot less if you keep plugging away at the auctions until you win one with a lowish bid.

Rense (above) is a fantastic macro shooter - but I disagree with him on the 50mm - it is too short for general use, you need a 90 / 100 / 105.

Also I disagree with people who say disregard AF in macro - there are some techniques that can get you fantastic shots when MF simply can't (or if your eyesight isn't brilliant etc.).


EDIT. And NaClH2O's suggestion of the Raynox is excellent too. I have this and it does a great job ...... BUT minimum focus distance is very close to the subject (2 or 3 inches).
12-07-2010, 11:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90mm f/2.5 (52B) Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

Don't bother with an AF lens. AF is not needed for macro work and just adds to the expense. If you want to do macro work with an AF lens, get a Raynox.
Those two lenses are great ideas, and I have them both. The Sigma has everything I'd want in a macro lens: 1:1, an A position, quality, even f2.8. I pretty much stole it on eBay for $60. The Tamron is a little more trouble, requiring an Adaptall PK-A adapter for the A position and a converter for 1:1. It's a great lens otherwise, and also fills in as a moderate telephoto.

For features, I like the KA mount lenses because it makes flash easier, and flash makes macro easier.* Everyone wants 1:1 but keep in mind that the highest magnifications are more difficult. Lens speed looks like a luxury for macro, but adds to flexibility for general use. Faster lenses do mean brighter viewfinders and easier manual focus. I agree with the statement about AF and Raynox, but I've never used either.

I also have a Panagor PMC 90mm f2.8, no A position but 1:1 without adapters. It may be difficult to find. All these lenses are better than my technique; I wish I could blame the lenses but no.

I've used the Cosina (Phoenix version, KA manual focus), the Pentax-M 50mm and 100mm f4s, and the Vivitar Macro focusing Teleconverter. Again, the lenses are better than I am, though the Vivitar MFTC depends on what lens I use. The Cosina feels really cheap and is mostly plastic, but has reasonable optical quality and will last a lot longer than you think. The Pentaxes are the exact opposite in build quality, the 50 is compact, but both are only 1:2 and f4. That means manual focusing is harder, and extension tubes for higher magnification make that worse. The Vivitar is good with a 50mm lens but can cost more than other solutions with all the contacts for KA mount.

*Extension tubes with KA mount contacts are hard to find and expensive. I buy cheap KA 2x teleconverters and remove the glass.
12-07-2010, 11:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
...
EDIT. And NaClH2O's suggestion of the Raynox is excellent too. I have this and it does a great job ...... BUT minimum focus distance is very close to the subject (2 or 3 inches).
I believe the working distance is roughly equal to the focal length of the lens on which this is mounted, e.g. you'll get around 10" with the DA 55-300 @300mm and Raynox 150 while magnification is somewhat >1x.
12-07-2010, 11:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
I believe the working distance is roughly equal to the focal length of the lens on which this is mounted, e.g. you'll get around 10" with the DA 55-300 @300mm and Raynox 150 while magnification is somewhat >1x.
Ah - that may well be accurate since I usually add it to my Tamron 90 ..... so roughly 3".
12-07-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Don't bother with an AF lens. AF is not needed for macro work and just adds to the expense.
Don't agree completely with this statement, which I hear a lot.

AF is not needed for macro work, it's also not needed for other types of photography (I survived with MF until 1994). But it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

More importantly, a macro lens is not only for macro work. My Sigma 50mm macro and especially my Tamron 90mm macro are excellent for portraits.
12-07-2010, 05:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Javaslinger Quote
I'd like to get a macro lens but not break the bank doing it.

I would prefer that it had the usual macro features of close focusing and 1:1 aspect, but it doesn't necessarily need to have the best quality....

Any suggestions...

Javaslinger
Check out the Raynox Macro Club or some other close-up lens, to see if Macro is for you:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/74221-raynox-macro-club.html
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