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02-02-2011, 11:29 AM   #1
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Macro Lens

I want to do some macro photography and looking for suggestions for a lens for my K20D. I'm thinking in the range of 180mm to 200mm with a 1:1 ratio magnification or greater fo true life size. Like to here some ideas of what and where to acquire. Thank you, Jerry

02-02-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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Are you sure you need something as long as 180mm? There pretty hard to find nowadays, as none are currently being produced for the Pentax mount. Best bet is to try track down a Sigma 180/3.5 on ebay. If money is not a problem, you could try to find either a Pentax A* 200/4or the even rarer FA* 200/4. But I've seen the former lens sell for over $2,000 and the latter sell for over $3,600.
02-02-2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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Jerry, what is your budget? As mentioned the lenses you're after in that desired focal range are quite expensive. If you can find the Sigma 180 macro, then you'd be fortunate - it's not a very common lens to find anywhere:

Sigma APO MACRO 180mm F3.5 EX DG IF (AF Lens) Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

The next step down in focal length would be in the range of 100mm options: The Pentax FA/DFA 100 macro or the Sigma 105 macro
02-02-2011, 04:25 PM   #4
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180mm to 200mm macros for the Pentax mount are quite rare and also expensive. the best bet you can get such focal length are on other camera mounts (non-Pentax). if you can find the Sigma 180 macro for the Pentax or Pentax 200mm macro and could afford it, then that's fine. if you can't find one, then you should reconsider something around 100mm or 105mm.

02-02-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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Just couple of years ago, before Sigma discontinued their 180 3.5 Macro for Pentax, you could buy the lens, brand new, in the $700 range. I was on the fence, couldn't pull the trigger, because I heard Siggy was releasing the even better (IMO) 150mm Macro 2.8 in Pentax mount. Anyway, neither lens is avaliable now. I sure do regret that decision.

It appears, much in the Martha Stewart tradition, inside information leaked from Siggy and some people scooped up the lens for later sale. Supply & demand being what it is, I'm not surprised to see the lens going for the price NCGreg mentions.

However, in our Marketplace, perhaps 6 months ago, I saw one selling in the $1200 range, which sure beats $2000. I have a Tamron 90mm 2.8 which I sometimes couple to my Tamron SP 2x Tele for a 180mm 5.6 Macro--probably not what you have in mind, but worth mentioning. Also, Pentax, especially with the K5's excellence, is bringing in new blood, which very well could get the sales department over @ Siggy to reevaluate their decision to stop the lens production. Writing a leter to them could not hurt your cause in any way.

Best of Luck to you!
JT

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 02-02-2011 at 09:42 PM.
02-02-2011, 09:35 PM   #6
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1) Acquire bellows and tubes.
2) Acquire an enlarger lens in the 160-240mm neighborhood.
3) Whip it out.
02-03-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Hi JT, I was thinking about that, I have a Tamron 1.4X converter. If needed you could put this on sigma 105mm macro? Thankyou, Jerry
02-03-2011, 10:55 AM   #8
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Thank you, Pantaxor. I am considering 105 sigma.

02-03-2011, 11:42 AM   #9
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jerry

as others have mentioned a 200mm macro is a very expensive beast.

there are lots of macros in the 100mm range for $100-200, which will give either 1:2 or 1:1 magnification

the real difference between 1:1 and 1:2 is usually that of focusing design, internal focus lenses give 1:1 , lenses that move the entire group give 1:2/

Note also, however, I suspect that an internally focused 1:1 macro achieves this by reducing the focal length as part of the focusing, and therefore the working distance may not be as large as you think.

I have SMC -M 100F4 and SMC-Macrto_Takumar 50mmF4 lenses and both are quite good, however I prefer the 100mm to get better working distance, using extension tubes 1:1 with the 100F4 is at 200mm working distance.

I also cobbeled together a macro bellows, with a 135mm enlarging lens, and can achieve 1:.8 with that rig, or if I put a 50mm on it about 1:.25

Bellows are cheap, look on E-Bay you should get them for under $50 and you can usually rig it to put any prime you wish on the front.
02-03-2011, 03:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Note also, however, I suspect that an internally focused 1:1 macro achieves this by reducing the focal length as part of the focusing, and therefore the working distance may not be as large as you think.


quite right, IF lenses tent to develop a slightly wider FOV as the focus gets closer, cinematographers call this "breathing" you see it sometimes in movies, even in fairly recent ones.

however IF lenses don't lose as much light as front extending macro lenses do - it's about a stop~half stop but it helps when manually focusing. incidentally I own the sigma 180mm f/3.5 and the Pentax FA*200mm f/4 ED macro
02-03-2011, 05:39 PM   #11
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Digitalis while they do not lose as much light you give up working distance. If you consider you save perhaps a stop that is a big reduction of focal length when in close
02-03-2011, 06:00 PM   #12
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JT, I'm also a little confused is a Tamron SP AF 70-200 f/2.8 DI LD IF Macro a true macro lens in that it has a 1:1 for life size or greater. I have been reading and still unclear. Jerry
02-03-2011, 07:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by firstshot Quote
JT, I'm also a little confused is a Tamron SP AF 70-200 f/2.8 DI LD IF Macro a true macro lens in that it has a 1:1 for life size or greater. I have been reading and still unclear. Jerry
According to this, yes.

Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di Macro Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database
02-03-2011, 10:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Digitalis while they do not lose as much light you give up working distance. If you consider you save perhaps a stop that is a big reduction of focal length when in close
Actually neither lens loses much focal length when at 1:1. I consider it to be a workable compromise especially in light of the fact you still can obtain working distances that are far greater than any other macro lens presently on the market. I prefer to use my macro lenses on APS-C cameras as opposed to my full frame D3s. Sure the D3s has a "crop" mode but even the Pentax K10D can beat the Nikon D3s in terms of resolution and still provide identical magnification.
02-04-2011, 01:14 AM   #15
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I think the Sigma 105 is a good solution. If the focal length is too small may be you can add some 2x Teleconverter macro.
And it will be cheaper than a sigma 180 for example, which is extremely rare in Pentax mount.
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