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10-28-2007, 04:30 AM   #1
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50mm macro lens vs 100mm macro lens. What is your experience?

I am interested to buy a used macro lens as my first step to macro photography. Hence, I am trying to watch my budget carefully.

There are 50mm f2.8 macro lenses and there are also 100mm f2.8 macro lenses. What are the differences between them? Is it just the focal length?

What are your opinions and recommendations?

Thanks!

10-28-2007, 05:10 AM   #2
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Not quite. The 50 requires you to get very close to the subject and isn't the greatest for a moving object like a flying bug as you will usually scare them off. As you get longer in focal length you can get further away from the subject. There may be others but as far as I'm aware the longest Pentax macro lens was a 200mm f4. Sigma makes a 180mm fast macro for getting away from the subject (about 18 inches).

Some of this might help:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/11161-answer-macro-question.html

and:
F 50/2.8 Macro

FA 100/2.8 Macro

Last edited by Peter Zack; 10-28-2007 at 05:19 AM.
10-28-2007, 05:36 AM   #3
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It's a big difference.

I used to (try to) shoot macros with a 50mm with extension tubes, and it was very, very hard and frustrating.

Flowers and non-moving objects worked ok, but living bugs were nearly impossible.

Then I got the Kiron 105mm macro lens, and it's really a world of difference...

+ another good thing is that these longer focal lengths serve great for portraits too.

Tom
10-28-2007, 05:01 PM   #4
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Thanks Peter! The link you posted is very very helpful. Thanks again.

I searched ebay and there is this old Pentax-M Macro 100mm F4 SMC K-Mount Lens. Is this a good macro lens?

10-28-2007, 05:10 PM   #5
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Yes it is. I used to own one of these with a Pentax LX and took some great shots with it both as a Macro and a mid length tele. It will get down to 1:2 (half life size) which for many is more than enough. Particularly as you can easly crop a shot a bit if it's sharp enough to make it appear you were closer. It's sharp but against some of today's lenses a little slow at f4. I only sold mine to have an AF lens and got a Sigma 105 f2.8 but that's selling around $300-350 where the 100mm is selling around $100.00.

You might want to look in the lens data base and see if there are any reviews there.
10-28-2007, 05:25 PM   #6
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Thanks again Peter. If one is to put a closeup lens say +3 to this 1:2 macro lens, how much will the magnification improve?

I am getting ready to bid on this lens.
10-28-2007, 05:34 PM   #7
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I honestly don't know what the calculation is for the +3 lens. But I'd assume it would give you greater than 1:1. I think in that other thread someone posted a rough calculation. It will degrade the image quality a little though. If you already have the 3+ then it's worth a try if you win the lens. I don't think I'd spend more than 5 bucks on the 3+ because you may find the 100mm is great and close enough on it's own. If you don't have the 3+ and you want to get closer then a set of extension tubes might be the best way to increase the magnification without loosing any image quality.
10-28-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
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A 100 macro also takes in less background. This makes a simpler looking photo. A very nice benefit. If you want really close up use a 50mm lens reversed on the front of the 100. This will give great magnification and good quality. The male-male rings are about $15.
thanks
barondla

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