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03-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
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Macro lens questions... Which one is best ?

So I had the Kiron 105mm Macro (Vivitar Series One) which was and still is an amazing piece of glass. Sharp as a tack. For my current project i've been using the Pentax 100mm f2.8. Which is sharp, but doesn't seem quite as sharp as the Kiron. The bonus is autofocus and size factor. Pentax is much smaller and lighter, as well as autofocus.

My question is: What are the thoughts on the Tamron or Sigma dedicated macro lenses?

I have not totally ruled out another Kiron but I do appreciate the autofocus feature.

By the way its mostly product photography its being used for...

Thanks in advance,
Fred


Last edited by Fred2726; 03-08-2011 at 12:56 PM.
03-08-2011, 11:14 AM   #2
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I find the Pentax D FA 100mm WR to be very sharp...
03-08-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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I have the Tamron 90 Di Macro, it is a really nice lens. Super super sharp, easy to use. Has AF which actually works quite well considering, there is a limit switch as well.

Superb for macro, takes great long shots too! Sharper than the Tamron 17-50 2.8

Last edited by Deimos; 03-08-2011 at 01:06 PM.
03-08-2011, 01:04 PM   #4
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I have only used the Tamron. I like it.



03-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fred2726 Quote

My question is: What are the thoughts on the Tamron or Sigma dedicated macro lenses?



Thanks in advance,
Fred
Hi Fred,
The Tamron's and the Sigma's are great. macro lenses to consider is the Tamron 90 and Sigma 70 (I own this and is really sharp, maybe even slightly better than the FA50/2.8 which was a macro gem). what I'm hoping for in the future is the Sigma 150. I might sell all my macros to finance that lens.
03-08-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
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I'll give my usual response to this question.

Do you really need AF and/or flash? If not, consider bellows mounting an enlarger lens (EL) with flatfield edge-to-edge sharpness. A few months ago I won an M42 Bellowscope with Steinheil Culminar-VL 105/4.5 (16 iris blades) for US$41 shipped. For a bit more speed, I'll use a Novoflex-Memmingen Noflexar 105/3.5 (10 iris blades, US$27). EL's with focal lengths longer than 80mm can focus to infinity on most bellows, so can be used for non-macro work too. No need to rob mini-marts to finance this gear!
03-08-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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If you intend to use autofocus for close-up images of anything other than flat copy, any decent macro lens will do, as non-critical focus will limit IQ more than will lens sharpness.
03-08-2011, 03:16 PM   #8
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Have any of you run a comparison between the current Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro and the old Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5, which was so well thought of in the 1990s?

I have one of the old ones (I used to use it on our two Spotmatics, with an M42 Adaptall mount)., and when my wife bought me a K-x for Christmas (my first dSLR) I was looking forward to fitting the old 90 f/2.5. I bought a PK Adaptall-2 mount off eBay.

OK, it's effectively all-manual, but for the static closeups we need it for (mostly museum-type specimens) that isn't much trouble. On the K-x this old lens is still very sharp. What has disappointed me, however, is the noticeable bluish flare in the centre of the field when the centre is something black or very dark. I find that this does not happen at the wider apertures, but can spoil a macro shot when one needs to stop down to f/11 or less for depth of field.

If anyone wants to see a crude test, showing this, I have put a couple of examples up on Flare in Tamron SP90 f/2.5 macro one of my web pages.

Presumably, the current f/2.8 SP Di macro does not show this fault?

Martin

03-08-2011, 04:56 PM   #9
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In my experience the FA 100 f/2.8 macro is as sharp as any other macro from f/8-f/22.
Never disappoints and never ceases to amaze me of the kind of detail it produces.







03-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fred2726 Quote
So I had the Kiron 105mm Macro (Vivitar Series One) which was and still is an amazing piece of glass. Sharp as a tack. For my current project i've been using the Pentax 100mm f2.8. Which is sharp, but doesn't seem quite as sharp as the Kiron. The bonus is autofocus and size factor. Pentax is much smaller and lighter, as well as autofocus.

My question is: What are the thoughts on the Tamron or Sigma dedicated macro lenses?

I have not totally ruled out another Kiron but I do appreciate the autofocus feature.

By the way its mostly product photography its being used for...

Thanks in advance,
Fred
All macro lenses are ridiculously sharp, and even with pixel peeping differences between any of them will be extremely hard to see or notice. I own the sigma which is wonderful. I've shot the tamron 90mm numerous times in canon mount on both film and digital. Both are fantastic. Overally I like the output a TINY bit better on the sigma, and I like the build more as well. The tamron is plasticky IMO
03-08-2011, 05:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
what I'm hoping for in the future is the Sigma 150. I might sell all my macros to finance that lens.
The forthcoming Sigma 150 macro has also piqued my interest. But if the estimated prices are to be believed, it's shaping up to be nearly twice the price of a new DA 100/2.8 WR. Advantages with the Sigma are reach, IF, and perhaps the 9 rounded blades... and perhaps IQ? Not sure how much value the OS technology is on a tripod (let alone on a Pentax SR camera). According to Sigma's US website, the lens will weigh 41.6 oz (about 1180g). That's nearly 3.5 times the weight of DA 100/2.8 WR. Maybe I'm just trying to cool my LBA, but some of these numbers are making me think there could be better options (for myself) than the new Sigma 150.
03-08-2011, 05:56 PM   #12
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Like always: I can't think of a bad macro lens.
There are one who do it even better than others but these tend to be even more expensive (Pentax FA* 200mm f/4 Macro, Sigma 180mm f/3.5 or sooon f/2.8 Macro for example).
For us normal folks some 90-110mm macrolens will have to do it.

So yes, the Sigma 105 Macro is a great choice. May not be a stury as the Kiron but it has AF and no real weaknesses (not a sports lens, though).
But you mentionend you'd primarliy do product shots with it - so AF isn't that important, I guess.
Considering this you should just stay with the Kiron if you still have it.
If not, any MF macro lens should do the job just great.


I have a question considering the enlarger lenses and bellows option:
Do theses ELs have apertures just like "usual" lenses?
What is the flange distance?
How big is the image circle they cover?
What magnifications can be achieved?
How to mount them on bellows and the bellows on the camera? M42?
03-08-2011, 06:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shichimi Quote
The forthcoming Sigma 150 macro has also piqued my interest. But if the estimated prices are to be believed, it's shaping up to be nearly twice the price of a new DA 100/2.8 WR. Advantages with the Sigma are reach, IF, and perhaps the 9 rounded blades... and perhaps IQ? Not sure how much value the OS technology is on a tripod (let alone on a Pentax SR camera). According to Sigma's US website, the lens will weigh 41.6 oz (about 1180g). That's nearly 3.5 times the weight of DA 100/2.8 WR. Maybe I'm just trying to cool my LBA, but some of these numbers are making me think there could be better options (for myself) than the new Sigma 150.
ok, so what better options are there than the Sigma 150?
03-08-2011, 06:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
ok, so what better options are there than the Sigma 150?
You have me there. Perhaps the IQ in the end will justify the price and weight. Here's hoping.
03-08-2011, 06:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shichimi Quote
The forthcoming Sigma 150 macro has also piqued my interest. Advantages with the Sigma are reach, IF, and perhaps the 9 rounded blades....
The DA 100 WR also has rounded blades.
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