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08-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
1:2 is the "consensus" for the cut off to be considered true macro.
Blue, so the D-FA 100 Macro is not generally considered a true macro lens?

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
Hello Ross, are you only looking for something for headshots? if that's the case, anything from 50-100mm would give you that. 50mm will give you a much closer space to shoot and a 100mm a bit longer to shoot. if you need something with a backdrop, a 50mm macro would be advisable. a 70mm is an intermediate focal length and a 100mm for longer shots. so depends on what you need and work around.
Pentaxor, it seems I'm stuck in the middle, between having an arsenal of specialized lenses and a single lens that "does it all", so I must seek a compromise. As anywhere from 50mm to 100mm seem to work for portrait head shots, I turn to the question of which one is more suitable for macro shots. By macro, I guess I mean insects, flowers, and whatever else comes along.

Come to think, now though, the 100mm may be a better choice as a portrait lens for me as it also usually makes it easier, in a non-portrait setting, to catch a person off guard (i.e. non-posed).

08-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #17
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Be careful of internal focus macro lenses; a "100mm" lens may actually only be 50mm at 1:1 so the working distance will be half what you expected - 100mm instead of 200mm.
08-17-2011, 11:28 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yukoner777 Quote
Blue, so the D-FA 100 Macro is not generally considered a true macro lens?
That is not what meant. The F, FA DFA and DFA WR are 1:1 true macro lenses. My comment was that lenses rated at 1:2 are in the macro range.
08-17-2011, 11:38 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yukoner777 Quote
By macro, I guess I mean insects, flowers, and whatever else comes along.
Big difference between shooting insects and flowers. My main macro interest is flowers, and I'm usually after the whole flower, so a shorter lens is appropriate. But for insects you really need the greater working distance that comes with a longer lens. 100mm is not really long enough.

08-17-2011, 11:45 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yukoner777 Quote
Blue, so the D-FA 100 Macro is not generally considered a true macro lens?



Pentaxor, it seems I'm stuck in the middle, between having an arsenal of specialized lenses and a single lens that "does it all", so I must seek a compromise. As anywhere from 50mm to 100mm seem to work for portrait head shots, I turn to the question of which one is more suitable for macro shots. By macro, I guess I mean insects, flowers, and whatever else comes along.

Come to think, now though, the 100mm may be a better choice as a portrait lens for me as it also usually makes it easier, in a non-portrait setting, to catch a person off guard (i.e. non-posed).
personally, I'm doing fine with the Sigma 70 for both macro and portrait work from afar, same with a 100mm. the thing you should consider is would something with a wider view works for you? or something with a bit more distance?
08-17-2011, 11:58 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
Be careful of internal focus macro lenses; a "100mm" lens may actually only be 50mm at 1:1 so the working distance will be half what you expected - 100mm instead of 200mm.
Which is a good excuse to use cheap enlarger lenses on bellows -- you always know EXACTLY what focal length is involved. And magnification is pretty easy to determine and control.

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
That is not what meant. The F, FA DFA and DFA WR are 1:1 true macro lenses. My comment was that lenses rated at 1:2 are in the macro range.
And the 1:2 cutoff distinguishes macro lenses from "macro zooms", which typically attain no better than 1:3.5 magnification. Such should actually be called "close-focus" but that apparently uses too much ink when labeling a lens. I have (and have disposed of) a number of "macro-zooms" and even fake macro primes, some of which do no better than 1:5. Devil in details, eh?

I have precisely ONE real macro-zoom, and it's a whole 'nother kettle of fish: a Schneider Betavaron 50-125/4-5.6 enlarger zoom. It's brutally sharp, monstrously good. It also weighs almost a kilo and really needs to be on a focusing helicoid -- I'm still working on that.
08-17-2011, 12:09 PM   #22
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Well I obviously don't have a good grasp of macro lenses. My simple understanding was that a 100mm macro lens would allow (or necessitate) me to be further from the subject than a 50mm macro lens. I also have read somewhere that the minimum focusing distance is measured from somewhere inside the lens (?), not from the end of the lens.

Newarts, I don't understand what you are saying about internal vs external focusing affecting that distance from the camera to the subject.

I'm going to have to do some research on macro lenses as I'm sure some of you must be sick and tired of newbies asking the same questions over and over, especially without searching for the answers on previous threads.
08-17-2011, 12:13 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
And the 1:2 cutoff distinguishes macro lenses from "macro zooms", which typically attain no better than 1:3.5 magnification. Such should actually be called "close-focus" but that apparently uses too much ink when labeling a lens. I have (and have disposed of) a number of "macro-zooms" and even fake macro primes, some of which do no better than 1:5. Devil in details, eh?
I was backwards on my understanding (or lack of) of the ratios. I was thinking a 1:2 magnified more than a 1:1. My bad!

08-17-2011, 12:33 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yukoner777 Quote
My simple understanding was that a 100mm macro lens would allow (or necessitate) me to be further from the subject than a 50mm macro lens.
It does. But if you are really interested in insect macro work, you may find that it still doesn't provide the needed working distance (distance from front of lens to subject). I can tell you 70mm doesn't cut it for this purpose, and 100mm isn't going to be that different.
08-17-2011, 12:39 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Which is a good excuse to use cheap enlarger lenses on bellows -- you always know EXACTLY what focal length is involved. And magnification is pretty easy to determine and control.


And the 1:2 cutoff distinguishes macro lenses from "macro zooms", which typically attain no better than 1:3.5 magnification. Such should actually be called "close-focus" but that apparently uses too much ink when labeling a lens. I have (and have disposed of) a number of "macro-zooms" and even fake macro primes, some of which do no better than 1:5. Devil in details, eh?

I have precisely ONE real macro-zoom, and it's a whole 'nother kettle of fish: a Schneider Betavaron 50-125/4-5.6 enlarger zoom. It's brutally sharp, monstrously good. It also weighs almost a kilo and really needs to be on a focusing helicoid -- I'm still working on that.
Plus, Zeiss would be in trouble trying to sell those 100mm macro lenses of theirs at 1:2.
08-17-2011, 12:40 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Which is a good excuse to use cheap enlarger lenses on bellows -- you always know EXACTLY what focal length is involved. And magnification is pretty easy to determine and control.
I just checked a couple of old listings in the Marketplace for bellows. Looks like a lot of machinery for a very small price. How is the IQ affected using a bellows setup?

If I can use my M50, f1.7 along with a bellows for macro, then I could lean my next lens purchase criteria more toward portrait purposes.
08-17-2011, 12:45 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
Big difference between shooting insects and flowers. My main macro interest is flowers, and I'm usually after the whole flower, so a shorter lens is appropriate. But for insects you really need the greater working distance that comes with a longer lens. 100mm is not really long enough.
Actually it is long enough. Been doing it for decades. On film I used a 50 or bellows predominantly. Currently on digital I use 35 or 100/105 predominantly. That said, it depends on the situation and what I trying to fill the frame with. Unfortunately, there are no macro lenses in production longer than 105mm (not counting the tammy 70-300 1:2). Pentax hasn't made the FA* 200/4 for about 5 years and Sigma dropped the 180/3.5 nearly 2 years ago. Now they are crawfishing on the 150/2.8 HSM. Among my entomologist colleagues, 90-105mm is the most common focal length of macro lenses. 50s are common as well.
08-17-2011, 12:45 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
It does. But if you are really interested in insect macro work, you may find that it still doesn't provide the needed working distance (distance from front of lens to subject). I can tell you 70mm doesn't cut it for this purpose, and 100mm isn't going to be that different.
those are just fine for insect work, although I would tend to agree that a comfortable working distance for insects would have to go far longer than a 100mm, which Pentax doesn't offer as of the moment or indefinitely. the Sigma 180 doesn't show that much, nor the other longer telephoto macros are. the Sigma 150mm is still a question even until now.
08-17-2011, 12:50 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yukoner777 Quote
I'm really disappointed to read all the horror stories of the HDM lenses.
Oops, I meant Pentax SDM; got it muddled with the Sigma HSM.
08-17-2011, 01:04 PM   #30
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my 2 cents:
1) Tamron 90mm has great bokeh for macro shots, but only sub-average for portraits. Compare it to say DA*50-135 zommed to 90mm, or to an 85/1,4.
2) DFA50/2,8 is perfectly usable for insects. I shot insects with this one, 180mm sigma macro, 90mm Tamron and also 100mm EF macro on Canon. They are all perfectly usable for 1:1 insect shots. Only with 180mm lens I have often problem to find the subject. It flies away bored before I get to push the trigger.
With 50mm you may scare off a house fly but not some more interesting insect - not when it is sleeping, eating or mating, then it is usually ignoring the camera. And then you get the best shot.
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