Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-04-2007, 04:43 PM   #1
Veteran Member
Buschmaster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 806
1:1 macro lens showdown

So I am in the mood for a macro lens. So I'm thinking it's down to the 50mm A Macro, the 50mm FA Macro, and the 50mm D-FA Macro.

I'm not sure which to go with, can anyone list any of the pros and cons of these lenses stacked up against each other? ALL Pros and cons, including cost and all.

By the way, the 50mm A Macro is lacking for me because it's only 1:2 and the others are 1:1, also, I believe the other 2 are AF so they would even make nice and easy protrait lenses. Correct?

Thanks!

10-04-2007, 04:53 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,312
I would go for neither, opting instead for a 100mm or longer macro.

the reason being that 1:1 is only achieved at minimum focusing distance, which with a 50mm lens will be less than 100 mm away from the subject.

you would enjoy the greater working distance that a 100 mm macro provides, and unless you want to spend hours touching up portraits to remove every blemish, a lot of people over the years have commented that a macro is usually too sharp for portraits.
10-04-2007, 06:23 PM   #3
Site Supporter
rvannatta's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Apiary, Oregon
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,171
QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I would go for neither, opting instead for a 100mm or longer macro.

the reason being that 1:1 is only achieved at minimum focusing distance, which with a 50mm lens will be less than 100 mm away from the subject.

you would enjoy the greater working distance that a 100 mm macro provides, and unless you want to spend hours touching up portraits to remove every blemish, a lot of people over the years have commented that a macro is usually too sharp for portraits.
I'm so radical that I'm going to get flamed, but I wouldn't suggest buying a macro lens at all at least to start. Macro lenses have two 'special features' as I understand it. --- The helicoid has more travel for closer focusing, and they are corrected for 'flatness of field.' No flatness of field is very important if you plan on photographing postage stamps or other flat objects. It does nothing for you if you are going out in the garden to photo graph an insect because they aren't flat anyway.

Therefore the reasonable way to enter the world of macro photography
is with extension tubes, or a single helicoid tube. Far less expensive.

That said, I agree with you 'longer is better' for macro photography because
you need the working space to get the light on the object.

depth of field (actually lack thereof) is the killer in macrophotography, and the remedy for that is more light so you can stop down.

If you have a ring light you can use a 50mm decently, but I am aware of no compatble ring light with the K10D so presumably the extra working distance
will give you more options for getting enough light on the subject so you can stop down to where you need to.

One of my 'sore points' with pentax is that the obsoleted all of their flashes except the new G series and there is no G series ring light leaving macro photographers in a swamp.
10-04-2007, 06:23 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Buschmaster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 806
Original Poster
Well, one thing I would like about 50mm would be that I could use it for closer things. If I'm doing studio shots I can sit right next to the subject at hand and snap shots.

Mostly the whole price thing is the main factor. But are all 3 types (A, FA, and D-FA) available at 50mm and 100mm?

So, either way, which type should I get?

10-04-2007, 06:28 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Buschmaster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 806
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
I'm so radical that I'm going to get flamed, but I wouldn't suggest buying a macro lens at all at least to start. Macro lenses have two 'special features' as I understand it. --- The helicoid has more travel for closer focusing, and they are corrected for 'flatness of field.' No flatness of field is very important if you plan on photographing postage stamps or other flat objects. It does nothing for you if you are going out in the garden to photo graph an insect because they aren't flat anyway.

Therefore the reasonable way to enter the world of macro photography
is with extension tubes, or a single helicoid tube. Far less expensive.

That said, I agree with you 'longer is better' for macro photography because
you need the working space to get the light on the object.

depth of field (actually lack thereof) is the killer in macrophotography, and the remedy for that is more light so you can stop down.

If you have a ring light you can use a 50mm decently, but I am aware of no compatble ring light with the K10D so presumably the extra working distance
will give you more options for getting enough light on the subject so you can stop down to where you need to.

One of my 'sore points' with pentax is that the obsoleted all of their flashes except the new G series and there is no G series ring light leaving macro photographers in a swamp.
Can I get the same quality? Because I've been exploring macro photography for a while and really enjoy it with my point and shoot as well as as good as it can get with the kit lens...
10-04-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by Buschmaster Quote
Can I get the same quality? Because I've been exploring macro photography for a while and really enjoy it with my point and shoot as well as as good as it can get with the kit lens...
If close working distance is a problem with a 50mm macro (I've never owned one) then extension tubes/helicoids are going to be even worse. I've gotten some excellent results with a 50mm lens on extension tubes, but at decent (macro) magnification you're damn near on top of your subject.

Anyway, my only other input is that the FA 50/2.8 Macro is, with exception of the FA 100/2.8 Macro, the ugliest lens ever produced by any manufacturer. It is one continuous, phallic piece of gray plastic.
10-04-2007, 07:20 PM   #7
Veteran Member
Buschmaster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 806
Original Poster
With extension tubes I can't get as good of image quality especially for non-macro shots, from what I've seen. Huge disadvantage. Plus I'd still have to buy an extra lens... Hm. I don't know if I like that business. Are there any sharp zoom macros at all? That are at least 1:2 or better? Even though I really want 1:1

I like being on top of my subject sometimes. I need to play around with 50mm and see what it's like, like how close I have to get. But would you guys, 50 or 100 aside, prefer the A, FA, or D-FA?

It doesn't matter what it looks like, it only matters what the pictures look like.

From reviews I've read, the FA 50mm is tack sharp and one of the sharpest lenses produced.

Thoughts?
10-04-2007, 09:46 PM   #8
Veteran Member
Mechan1k's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,883
I just picked up my Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro lens today.
Looking forward to playing with it as well.
Will be my first foray into Macro Photography.

10-04-2007, 10:18 PM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,713
Buschmaster,

Just a thought, but if your on a budget a M 50mm f2 is a nice lens that shouldn't cost all that much.
I'm surprised that I didn't see any listed on my normal used lens sites
I haven't looked at the marketplace on this site.

And with a 49mm reverse ring it'll make a fine affordable macro alternative
There's a reverse adapter for $15.00 here.
General Brand | Reverse Adapter Pentax K to 49mm | AV49PK | B&H
10-04-2007, 11:35 PM   #10
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Myanmar
Posts: 510
QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
Macro lenses have two 'special features' as I understand it. --- The helicoid has more travel for closer focusing, and they are corrected for 'flatness of field.'
The main feature of macro lenses is that they are corrected for all kind of aberrations at close range. It is impossible to have perfect correction of all aberrations over the whole distance range. Non macro lenses are usually optimized for shooting at infinity or around their hyperfocal distance. When used for close focusing (with extension tubes or bellows), they tend to exhibit all kind of aberrations, and not only a lack of flatness of field.

Some lenses are worse than others (the FA 50/1.4 exhibits a lot of aberrations when used below 25cm), but a macro lens is always better for close range shooting. OTOH, a non macro lens usually yields better results at infinity.

A good approach to allow for non macro lenses to retain a good correction of all aberrations at close range would be to use two lenses, one mounted in the normal way on the camera and the second one mounted reversed on the filter thread of the first one with the help of a special reverse coupling adapter.

Cheers!
10-05-2007, 06:51 AM   #11
Veteran Member
Buschmaster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 806
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
I just picked up my Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro lens today.
Looking forward to playing with it as well.
Will be my first foray into Macro Photography.
Oh, be sure to let me know!!

The most I want to spend is probably around $300. But if a lens really stands out I'll go a bit more. So looking at the prices on ebay this lens would be just about right.

QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Buschmaster,

Just a thought, but if your on a budget a M 50mm f2 is a nice lens that shouldn't cost all that much.
I'm surprised that I didn't see any listed on my normal used lens sites
I haven't looked at the marketplace on this site.

And with a 49mm reverse ring it'll make a fine affordable macro alternative
There's a reverse adapter for $15.00 here.
General Brand | Reverse Adapter Pentax K to 49mm | AV49PK | B&H
So I could only put a 50mm lens on this thing? So then I'd still have to buy a 50mm lens... and why not buy a 50mm macro lens at that point.

I know I know, you said that lens would be a budget lens, but I still think the autofocus would have a few nice advantages, like taking non-macro pictures with family or things like that.
QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
The main feature of macro lenses is that they are corrected for all kind of aberrations at close range. It is impossible to have perfect correction of all aberrations over the whole distance range. Non macro lenses are usually optimized for shooting at infinity or around their hyperfocal distance. When used for close focusing (with extension tubes or bellows), they tend to exhibit all kind of aberrations, and not only a lack of flatness of field.

Some lenses are worse than others (the FA 50/1.4 exhibits a lot of aberrations when used below 25cm), but a macro lens is always better for close range shooting. OTOH, a non macro lens usually yields better results at infinity.

A good approach to allow for non macro lenses to retain a good correction of all aberrations at close range would be to use two lenses, one mounted in the normal way on the camera and the second one mounted reversed on the filter thread of the first one with the help of a special reverse coupling adapter.

Cheers!
If I don't win this auction for a 50mm FA, I may go ahead and try and get the 70-300mm Sigma APO macro. It only has 1:2 but that's better than the kit lens, and it would have the correction because it says macro in the name, correct?
10-05-2007, 06:56 AM   #12
Veteran Member
Tom M's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lincoln Park, NJ
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 782
Hands down...

Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 macro

Stunning!

Oh and, don't think you're gonna be auto-focusing either. Manual focus lenses rule the macro world.
10-05-2007, 07:04 AM   #13
Veteran Member
RBellavance's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Near Montréal, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,716
QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 macro

Stunning!
I agree it is stunning, in IQ as well as build quality, and I'm really glad I was able to get one. But it will be much harder to find now that traderjim has run out of his new old stock.
10-05-2007, 07:08 AM   #14
Veteran Member
Tom M's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lincoln Park, NJ
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 782
QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
I agree it is stunning, in IQ as well as build quality, and I'm really glad I was able to get one. But it will be much harder to find now that traderjim has run out of his new old stock.
It's estimated that for a company to produce that lens today, it would cost nearly $2000... It truly is top-notch IQ and Build quality.
10-05-2007, 07:34 AM   #15
Veteran Member
Buschmaster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 806
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
Hands down...

Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 macro

Stunning!

Oh and, don't think you're gonna be auto-focusing either. Manual focus lenses rule the macro world.
I mean auto-focusing for non-macro shots with a macro lens. I always mf on a macro shot.

Where can I look to get one of these and what would I expect to pay?
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
50mm, cons, k-mount, lens, lenses, macro, macro lens, pentax lens, pros, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro and Sigma 180mm F/3.5 EX DG IF APO Macro Lens LenWick Sold Items 9 06-16-2010 11:09 AM
Sports AMA Superbike Showdown, Road Atlanta 4/16-18 2010 emilf Post Your Photos! 14 04-24-2010 05:36 PM
For Sale - Sold: Tokina 90mm F2.5 AT-X Macro Lens with 1:1 Extender. A Legendary Macro Lens. Bo frank Sold Items 12 05-29-2009 05:57 PM
50mm macro lens vs 100mm macro lens. What is your experience? raider Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 10-28-2007 06:39 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:26 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top