Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-16-2011, 10:15 AM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Bothell, WA
Posts: 103
What are some "sleeper" macro lenses?

First, let me start off by saying that I realize that extension tubes/reversing rings/bellows/Raynox adapters etc are all cheaper ways to get into macro than a dedicated lens. However, I'm basically looking for a 70-100ish prime lens that'll do double duty as a portrait/macro.

So what are some lenses that excel at macro and portrait work, but for one reason or another (obscure brand, odd mount etc) aren't very pricey? When I say "not pricey" I'm thinking generally $200 or less when available. I'm happy to do a mount conversion, provided it isn't drastic and difficult surgery.

05-16-2011, 10:25 AM   #2
Pentaxian
JohnBee's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: front of computer
Posts: 4,620
Do you care if its manual or not?

Because Vivitar has a pretty solid macro capable zoom lens that can be coupled with a matching 2x TC to call it a day.
05-16-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
JVi
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 105
I have a Flektogon 35 f2.8 and it is very close focus with great quality. I have the Pentax SMC A 50 2.8, the Tamron 90 f2.5 (with the 1:1 extender) and had the Vivitar Series 1 105 f2.5 all of which are great lenses. I also had a bellows system a long time ago and it could really get up close.
The Tamron and Flektogon sell in your price range including the respective adapter. The Tamron will do double duty as a portrait lens. I use it with a PKA adapter from Tamron.
05-16-2011, 10:29 AM   #4
Pentaxian
JohnBee's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: front of computer
Posts: 4,620
Oops!

Scratch that, I was thrown by the 70-100 in your post and missed your prime requirement.
For what it's worth, I think JVi's recommendation for the Vivitar 105/2.5 would likely be a very good alternative.

05-16-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
JVi
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 105
QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Oops!

Scratch that, I was thrown by the 70-100 in your post and missed your prime requirement.
For what it's worth, I think JVi's recommendation for the Vivitar 105/2.5 would likely be a very good alternative.
The Vivitar is now very pricey. The Tamron is a better deal.

I also have the Pentax SMC A 35-105 f3.5 zoom which has a macro function that can be used for portraits and is obviously quite versatile. These are very inexpensive but good quality all around.
05-16-2011, 10:48 AM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,407
I dunno what your f-stop requirements are, but I still regret getting rid of my M series 100mm F4; it was a much better lens than I realized at the time. The new 100 f2.8 probably isn't quite as sharp, but it's more versatile as a tele, owing to the 2.8 max aperture.

Pentax-M 100 f4:


05-16-2011, 11:47 AM   #7
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,863
The Tamron Adaptall-2 90mm f2.5 should be first on your list. You may need to do some shopping to find a deal on the lens and the right mount, but it should be within your budget, even with the P/K-A adapter. The disadvantage, that it's only 1:2 unless you get an adapter for that, makes portrait or general purpose use a little easier.

The mostly plastic Cosina 100mm f3.5 lens should work too. It is available under several brand names, like Vivitar, Pentax and Promaster. There are K, KA and KAF versions which all should fit within the budget. It has a screw-on diopter to reach 1:1. If you are at all fussy about the feel of a lens, this lens will be annoying. I might even look for the AF version to avoid the manual focus feel.

There are other 90mm f2.8 manual focus macros that would work, with brands like Panagor and Elicar. I have a Panagor which is 1:1 without adapters. The focus ring is very heavy, goes the opposite way of typical Pentax, and takes almost 3 turns to get from one end of the range to the other. The focus ring discourages general-purpose use. It might take a while to find one.
05-16-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,407
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The Tamron Adaptall-2 90mm f2.5 should be first on your list. You may need to do some shopping to find a deal on the lens and the right mount, but it should be within your budget, even with the P/K-A adapter. The disadvantage, that it's only 1:2 unless you get an adapter for that, makes portrait or general purpose use a little easier.
The SP 90 2.5 Adaptall 2 was a monster of a resolution machine. Very sharp and high in resolution, moderate in contrast. Great choice.

05-16-2011, 12:04 PM   #9
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
can you push it abit more around $250? just a suggestion if you could shell out $200 max, why not get something that you won't need upgrading or spending more in the future.

I think there are used AF macro lenses around the price range, Tamron 90 and Sigma 105.
05-16-2011, 12:11 PM   #10
Site Supporter
Groucho's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 402
I am very fond of my Vivitar 55mm F2.8 macro, which goes to 1:1. Colorful and sharp as can be. Mine's an M42; I believe there are K-mount versions floating around. They seem to usually go for under $100, but don't seem to come up for sale very often.

I had the Tamron 90mm F2.5 adaptall and it was nice, but I didn't use it much - I had gotten it for a good deal locally but already had the Lester A Dine 105mm macro (the same as the Kiron or Vivitar Series One 105mm). I wonder sometimes if I should have kept it and sold the Dine; the Tamron only went to 1:2 but I rarely get even close to that, and it's a lot lighter than the Dine. IQ is probably a little better on the Dine but the Tamron was nothing to sneeze at. The Tamron should be had for easily less than $200, plus you'll need an Adaptall adapter - P/K or M42 are cheap, P/KA is expensive.
05-16-2011, 12:11 PM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Deep Forest
Posts: 630
add another +1 to Tamron SP 90/2.5 (model 52B or 52BB), a lens designed specifically for your needs as a portrait and macro lens. In my experience, the Tammy has slightly better IQ than the M42 S-M-C Macro-Takumar 100/4 and the Bellows-Takumar 100/4, at magnifications of 1:2 or less -- I have not compared the lenses at higher magnifications. In my experience the Tamron 90/2.5 does pretty well for portraits, not quite the IQ of the M42 S-M-C 85/1.8, but compares favorably.

'What are some "sleeper" macro lenses?' -- the answer may be a quality enlarger lens on bellows.
05-16-2011, 12:40 PM   #12
Senior Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Bothell, WA
Posts: 103
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by JVi Quote
I have a Flektogon 35 f2.8 and it is very close focus with great quality. I have the Pentax SMC A 50 2.8, the Tamron 90 f2.5 (with the 1:1 extender) and had the Vivitar Series 1 105 f2.5 all of which are great lenses. I also had a bellows system a long time ago and it could really get up close.
The Tamron and Flektogon sell in your price range including the respective adapter. The Tamron will do double duty as a portrait lens. I use it with a PKA adapter from Tamron.
Thank you, that's very helpful. I assume the Adaptall mount is like using an M42 lens and adapter, or does it have an A aperture?

QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I dunno what your f-stop requirements are, but I still regret getting rid of my M series 100mm F4; it was a much better lens than I realized at the time. The new 100 f2.8 probably isn't quite as sharp, but it's more versatile as a tele, owing to the 2.8 max aperture.
Excellent shot! Is that the 1:2 version? It might be worth looking into...

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The Tamron Adaptall-2 90mm f2.5 should be first on your list. You may need to do some shopping to find a deal on the lens and the right mount, but it should be within your budget, even with the P/K-A adapter. The disadvantage, that it's only 1:2 unless you get an adapter for that, makes portrait or general purpose use a little easier.

The mostly plastic Cosina 100mm f3.5 lens should work too. It is available under several brand names, like Vivitar, Pentax and Promaster. There are K, KA and KAF versions which all should fit within the budget. It has a screw-on diopter to reach 1:1. If you are at all fussy about the feel of a lens, this lens will be annoying. I might even look for the AF version to avoid the manual focus feel.

There are other 90mm f2.8 manual focus macros that would work, with brands like Panagor and Elicar. I have a Panagor which is 1:1 without adapters. The focus ring is very heavy, goes the opposite way of typical Pentax, and takes almost 3 turns to get from one end of the range to the other. The focus ring discourages general-purpose use. It might take a while to find one.
Another vote for the Tamron, I'll have to keep my eyes open.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
can you push it abit more around $250? just a suggestion if you could shell out $200 max, why not get something that you won't need upgrading or spending more in the future.

I think there are used AF macro lenses around the price range, Tamron 90 and Sigma 105.
Well, all of this is sort of assuming I don't lose my job in June (which is currently a real possibility) but if not then $250 is possible if they are worth it. I actually like MF for this purpose, mainly because I'll be MF for macro and the older MF only lenses I assume will have nicer focus rings. But if the newer ones are optically superior I'd certainly be up for it.
05-16-2011, 12:44 PM   #13
Site Supporter
Groucho's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 402
QuoteOriginally posted by Balog Quote
Thank you, that's very helpful. I assume the Adaptall mount is like using an M42 lens and adapter, or does it have an A aperture?
Sort of like an M42 adapter, sort of not.

There are three adapters (at least) that you could use to connect that lens to your camera:
M42 - obviously you'll need an M42 to K-mount adapter
P/K - with this, it will behave like an "M" lens, with stopdown metering
P/KA - with this, it will behave like an "A" lens, nothing to do but focus and shoot

The M42 and P/K are cheap, as I mentioned earlier - probably $25 or so, maybe even less - but the P/KA is more like $100.
05-16-2011, 12:47 PM   #14
Veteran Member
Jools's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SW Wisconsin by way of Venezuela
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,386
Another vote for the Tammy.
The Tamron Adaptall-2 90mm f2.5 is a great animal. Great IQ and built like a tank.
05-16-2011, 12:50 PM   #15
JVi
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 105
QuoteOriginally posted by Balog Quote
Thank you, that's very helpful. I assume the Adaptall mount is like using an M42 lens and adapter, or does it have an A aperture?
Tamron has 3 different Pentax compatible mounts; M42, PK and PKA.

The PKA provides automatic exposure (I have three; two work fine; the third will not in Auto mode due to a missing spring inside the mount so it works as a PK version. I also have an M42 version that I have not put to use and will eventually sell along with the unresponsive PKA mount). I use the PKA versions in the Av mode on my K-x.
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!
k-mount, lens, macro, mount, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Post your "Park Bench" "or "Picnic Table" images tessfully Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 1438 2 Days Ago 02:13 PM
my new "sleeper" lens slip Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 04-21-2011 02:55 AM
Sports "Highside Exit" took 1st Place in DPReview "Missed It by THAT much, Part 1" Challenge MRRiley Post Your Photos! 27 02-21-2010 08:26 PM
For Sale - Sold: 2 18-55mm kit lenses ("L" and "AL II" version) dgaies Sold Items 5 12-28-2009 07:58 AM
K-7 and metering with "K" and "M" lenses NaClH2O Pentax DSLR Discussion 17 07-18-2009 09:00 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:14 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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