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10-05-2007, 08:47 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
It's estimated that for a company to produce that lens today, it would cost nearly $2000...
Wow! Do you remember where you heard/read that ?

10-05-2007, 09:46 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
Hands down...

Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 macro


Oh and, don't think you're gonna be auto-focusing either. Manual focus lenses rule the macro world.
Got one of Trader Jim's last 105 Vivitars. Truly a great lens..But you can do almost as well with a Vivitar Series One group 1, 2, or 3, 70-210mm lens with the 1:2 macro focusing. Just add a +1 closeup lens and you are close to 1:1 macros. They are sold everyday on Ebay but they are going up in price. Some of the group three's are auto aperture as well. The minus here is the very quick focus with out the fine tune focus ring of the 105mm lens.
Also some that do really well are the Vivitar 75-205mm macro focusing lens. I've gotten some very sharp photos with these lens. I have one right now that is a lens mount conversion from a Minolta mount that will not focus past 70 feet as the infinity focus is not going to work on a Pentax camera but it does a really good job at macros. Sharp as a filed tack!!

10-05-2007, 10:13 PM   #18
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If you are looking under $300, you might want to consider the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro. I own one and am pretty happy with both the picture and build quality. I paid $236 from 47th Street Photo. In a longer focal length, I would try and find a good copy of the Tamron 90mm Macro. There are several versions of this lens going back 25 years or more. The later versions (Pentax A mount or AF) are probably the better deal with good examples occasionally going on eBay near the top end of your price range.

There are full reviews of both the Sigma and the Tamron at (Tamron Review, Sigma Review)
10-06-2007, 07:57 AM   #19
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Thank you very much! Ill look for both these lenses. I could expand this question to best lens under 300 to complement my kit lens. Then I could pick up a cheaper m42 "macro"

10-06-2007, 10:21 AM   #20
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Another vote for the Tamron 90 mm f2.8

This is an excellent and versitile lens. Can be found both on eek bay and KEH in the various different iterations for about $300. In the autofocus catagory there are at least two different versions I know of; a pre-digital one and one with "digital" lens coatings. I've got the older one and can't see any difference myself but maybe others can.
I like it for it's short tele capabilities and it's portrait capabilities as much as I like it for it's macro.
A few samples

NaCl(if it's not on the camera, it's in my bag or in my pocket)H2O
10-06-2007, 10:36 AM   #21
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great shots! Ill look into this lens!!

But now ive almost sold myself on a telephoto zoom with some m42s to accompany it! Haha. I want it all.
10-06-2007, 12:37 PM   #22
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A macro lens is a very specialised tool. It does provide much (visibly!) better results in close-up and macro photography, than a standard lens mounted on extension tubes or with a close-up lens screwed in.

It is not only about flatness of field - which by the way is generally a desirable feature for any lens, because it leads to visibly better sharpness at larger (wider) aperture settings –, but first and foremost, that macro lenses are corrected to deliver best resolution at near distances.

Standard lenses of all kinds are corrected to perform best at infinity. This is, by the way, the reason, that in some reviews lenses, which are widely held in highest regards by photographers, deliver poor test results. Only, because in lab tests the measuring distance is very often limited to 20 x the focal length - not infinity.

A macro lens will still deliver excellent results, when used in combination with extension tuber or a bellows to get even higher magnification, as standard lens breaks down fast after a 1:1 ratio is reached.

Some people use standard lenses in retro-position (with a filter thread to camera mount adaptor). That delivers better image quality, than just adding an extension tube. The problem is: The working distance gets very, very short, which will bring loads of problems with lighting.

In my experience, one cannot compare a 50 mm macro lens with the 100 mm macro lens. These are different lenses, delivering different results. You shouldn't just look at the max. magnification, but also at the angle of view. It is the same difference as using a standard lens and a short telephoto for portraiture or architecture, because at the same magnification, you will go nearer to the subject with the 50 mm and as a result will have a more dramatic perspective. You should take this perspective differences into your equation.

I personally use 50 mm and 90 mm (the Tamron) macro lenses and a specialised 25 mm micro lens (Canon, but works of course just as good with my Pentaxes). if I had to choose one lens to start with, I would recommend the 90/100 mm type. Only because of the longer working distance, which makes lighting so much easier and also doesn't scare small animals away...

Also, the macro lenses are of such a high quality, that they will deliver first-class sharpness even at infinity, so you get an allround lens.


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