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01-20-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
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Newbie question

im getting into macro photography and have been looking into lenses. this would be a good macro lens to begin with correct?

PENTAX-M SMC 50mm f1.4 LENS/KX/LX/MX/K1000/USED - eBay (item 290523205581 end time Jan-21-11 17:06:12 PST)

01-20-2011, 10:01 PM   #2
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That's not a macro lens. It's a fast (wide aperture) lens.
01-20-2011, 10:04 PM   #3
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Oh ok. could you give me an example of a inexpensive beginner macro lens. or how do i know its a macro lens when it doesnt specifically say "macro lens" on it.
01-20-2011, 11:12 PM   #4
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Generally, they DO say "macro" on the lens.

I'm trying to think of an example when it doesn't.

here is an ebay link to the 50mm macro lens of that era:

Pentax 50mm F4 MACRO Pentax-M K20d k7 k200 etc - eBay (item 370404527013 end time Jan-30-11 13:50:37 PST)

01-20-2011, 11:29 PM   #5
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Other inexpensive macro lenses worth having (IMO) would be the Cosina 100mm 1:3.5 and Pentax-M 100mm 1:4. The former has been sold as Phoenix, Promaster, Vivitar and even Pentax; build quality is pretty plasticky, but optically it is very nice. Both of these lenses go to 1:2 (50% live size on the sensor), the Cosina comes with an adapter to get to 1:1.

A macro lens around 100mm might be more useful in general than a 50mm or shorter one as the working distance is more generous and live subjects (insects and such) are not as likely to mind, also it is easier to avoid the gear and or photographer casting a shadow on the subject.
01-20-2011, 11:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by HugoPalitim Quote
Oh ok. could you give me an example of a inexpensive beginner macro lens. or how do i know its a macro lens when it doesnt specifically say "macro lens" on it.

it will say macro if it does macro, what you should be looking for are things that says "macro" but doesn't do macro lol.

ok, basically it's like this, any prime lens that says macro will do macro 90% of the time, the only exception i've seen is the sigma 28mm wide mini macro, this sucker do 1:4 (which is not true macro). Every other macro I've seen that's labeled as macro does at the very least 1:2 macro or 1:1 macro.

The zoom lens even if it says "macro" most of the time will not, they'll do 1:3 or 1:4 macro at some range, which is not true macro... so there you go.

example of the cosina mentioned a post above me? look at my sig lol.
01-20-2011, 11:56 PM   #7
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oh ok lol. awesome helpful info. thank you very much. ill post here again when i find one im interested in.
01-21-2011, 12:18 AM   #8
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i do have another question lol. i have 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED lenses that came with the camera. do you think i can get a set of extension tubes to put on the 18-55mm and use that for now? amazon has a set for super cheap.

01-21-2011, 12:26 AM   #9
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Consider a Raynox 'adaptor' that 'clicks' on the front of the lens; some people here are very happy with it.

I don't have one, so can't judge it.
01-21-2011, 12:37 AM   #10
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The problem with extension tubes and modern lenses is that there is no way to control the aperture (strictly speaking there are extra fancy extension tubes which do this, but these are hard to find and expensive). However, the Raynox mentioned would seem like the thing to have, in particular the Raynox 150 is reported to be quite respectable with the 55-300 considering the price (~$50, see e.g. : DCR150 Raynox DCR-150, Macro-Scan 1.5x Super Macro Conversion Lens, with Snap-on Universal Mount for 52mm to 67mm Filter Diameters.).

Last edited by jolepp; 01-21-2011 at 05:11 AM.
01-21-2011, 12:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by HugoPalitim Quote
i do have another question lol. i have 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED lenses that came with the camera. do you think i can get a set of extension tubes to put on the 18-55mm and use that for now? amazon has a set for super cheap.
you need extension tube with electronics contact to control aperture on lens without aperture rings.

Now if you want the cheap way out, grab yourself a pentax M prime, use extension tube, and a macro coupling ring, and stack a wide angle prime/zoom in front of it (reverse macro), that should get you something.

But i still prefer dedicated macro lens, makes your life alot easier... I bought some coupling rings that's gonna get here in a week or so, I'll let you know how that turn out.
01-21-2011, 01:35 AM   #12
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alright thanks everyone.
01-21-2011, 05:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by HugoPalitim Quote
i do have another question lol. i have 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED lenses that came with the camera. do you think i can get a set of extension tubes to put on the 18-55mm and use that for now? amazon has a set for super cheap.
No because there will be no way to control the aperture.

But you can mount the 18-55mm kit zoom backwards and get good macro photos over a nice range of magnifications.

The little photo strips at the bottom are images of a laptop screen. the detail pitch is about 0.25mm.

The little piece of plastic tube slips over the lens' aperture control lever & lets you control the aperture,

The reversing ring can be found on eBay. Here's one for $13.50 delivered in CONUS. NEW Pentax K mount Lens Reversing Ring 49mm Macro 49 mm - eBay (item 350428900078 end time Feb-05-11 05:11:56 PST)

Another inexpensive approach is to add a $50 Raynox DCR 250 to your 18-55mm lens. It will give good results and a nice range of magnifications up to about 0.8X but the working distance is pretty short, about 5".

One of the best low cost approaches for you is to add a $50 Raynox DCR 150 close-up lens to your DA 55-300mm lens. It'll give a range of magnifications up to 2X, mostly at a reasonable working distance of about 8" with a minimum of about 6" at 2:1. Your camera's automatic flash will work to illuminate the subject. You'll get excellent quality macros of natural subjects with a lens that is easy to carry, attach and use. I always have one in my camera bag "just in case".

Dave

Last edited by newarts; 01-21-2011 at 05:16 AM.
01-21-2011, 05:17 AM   #14
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Search the threads here for MACRO topics and you'll find all sorts of helpful information on what's involved in macro shooting: when it's best to use macro or enlarger or other lenses, extension tubes and/or bellows and/or teleconverters, lens reversal and stacking, close-up adapters, etc. Basic overview:

* A macro lens that reaches 1:1 or 1:2 magnification, especially if it has aperture automation, is the easiest and most expensive way to get into macro work.
* Close-up adapters (what I call strap-ons) like the Raynox optics, mounted on your existing lenses, are the easiest and less expensive way to do macro.
* Extension tubes and bellows, with bellows-macro or enlarger or reversed lenses, are the cheapest way to do quality macro, but they're a bit more work.
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