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11-29-2007, 12:58 AM   #1
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Which of the legendary macros should I try to get?

Hi everybody,

I'm currently considering three options for a macro lens:

Lester A. Dine 105mm f2.8 Macro
Voigtlander 125mm f2.5 macro
Pentax A* 200mm f4 ED Macro

The price differential between the Dine and the Pentax is quite significant with Voigtlander sitting in the middle. I'd be very grateful if someone who has actually used more than one of these lenses could comment on them. I'm tempted by the Pentax, given it's reputation, but it would likely ruin my budget for many years

Best regards and TIA!
Boucicaut

P.S. Comments are welcome also from those who have used only one of the lenses, of course

11-29-2007, 02:55 AM   #2
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You mean you can get hold of a Pentax A* 200mm f4 ED Macro? I've been hunting high and low for this lens, so if you can get your hands on this discontinued macro, you are indeed pretty fortunate and dare I say pretty flush with cash. It is an excellent lens by all accounts, plus AF is nice, especially for a long tele macro. Really a specialist macro, suitable for shy subjects.

I have the Voightlander 125mm Apo Lanthar macro. This lens is very good. Excellent build quality but hefty. Sparkling contrast, no purple fringing, excellent resolution and colour but sadly just discontinued. So if you're keen on it, better start looking for one now because there aren't many left around.

Can't comment on the Lester Dine 105mm macro as I haven't used this old lens.
11-29-2007, 03:06 AM   #3
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If price isn't an obstacle (and it presumably isn't if you're after the pentax 200mm macro) then I'd add the Sigma 180mm f3.5 to the list - if you can find one. It's a truely excellent macro which is often favourably compared to the pentax 200mm.
11-29-2007, 03:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
You mean you can get hold of a Pentax A* 200mm f4 ED Macro? I've been hunting high and low for this lens, so if you can get your hands on this discontinued macro, you are indeed pretty fortunate and dare I say pretty flush with cash. It is an excellent lens by all accounts, plus AF is nice, especially for a long tele macro. Really a specialist macro, suitable for shy subjects.

I have the Voightlander 125mm Apo Lanthar macro. This lens is very good. Excellent build quality but hefty. Sparkling contrast, no purple fringing, excellent resolution and colour but sadly just discontinued. So if you're keen on it, better start looking for one now because there aren't many left around.

Can't comment on the Lester Dine 105mm macro as I haven't used this old lens.
Yes, I know of a copy of the Pentax A* 200mm f4 ED Macro that is apparently in mint condition. Just minutes ago, however, I received info of a brand new Voigtlander 125mm Apo Lanthar being available. The price difference is pretty huge so the voice of reason tells me to go for the Voigtlander...that would mean that I'll maybe have a chance to get the K20D when it comes out.

Thanks for the info, it was very helpful!

Best regards,
Boucicaut

11-29-2007, 03:14 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by chirpy Quote
If price isn't an obstacle (and it presumably isn't if you're after the pentax 200mm macro) then I'd add the Sigma 180mm f3.5 to the list - if you can find one. It's a truely excellent macro which is often favourably compared to the pentax 200mm.
Price is a thing to consider, unfortunately. I could -just barely- afford the Pentax 200mm, but that would leave me with limited options regarding other lenses and upcoming bodies.

Anyhow, it seems that there are many more excellent quality macro lenses than I initially thought! Thanks for the tip on the Sigma.

Best regards,
Boucicaut
11-29-2007, 08:56 AM   #6
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I have the Voigtlander 125. It is magnificent. Quite heavy but a beautifully made lens. It's almost worth the price if it just sits on a shelf to admire. Seriously, it renders wonderfully and the throw of the focusing ring allows for very precise focusing. There might be some left at cameraquest.com.
11-29-2007, 09:01 AM   #7
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The Voigtlander 125 is extremely good... And not just as a macro lens. Highly recommended.
11-29-2007, 09:26 AM   #8
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Boucicaut, seen this thread yet?

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/12509-opinion-...zk100-2-a.html ...how are those pix in post #17 for ya?!!!

edit: the Voigtländer 125/2.5 has been 'glued' to my K10D body since I bought it...

Also, the lens works very well w/the Pentax 1.7x AF TC to make for a 212/4.25 lens, with semi-AF from the TC! (granted, add another $400 USD more for that TC, but if you have it already...).


Last edited by m8o; 11-29-2007 at 09:45 AM. Reason: added my recommendation
11-29-2007, 09:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
(granted, add another $400 USD more for that TC, but if you have it already...).
If you find it.
11-29-2007, 09:58 AM   #10
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don't forget the "Vivitar Series 1 105mm f2.5 Macro"

Now, THAT'S a legendary lens.. You won't be disappointed.
11-29-2007, 12:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
don't forget the "Vivitar Series 1 105mm f2.5 Macro"

Now, THAT'S a legendary lens.. You won't be disappointed.
That is the exact same lens as the Dine 105mm macro referenced by the OP

I own one, and I agree, BTW.
11-29-2007, 04:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
don't forget the "Vivitar Series 1 105mm f2.5 Macro"

Now, THAT'S a legendary lens.. You won't be disappointed.
Atta Boy!! VIVa S1!! VIVa S1!!
11-29-2007, 06:49 PM   #13
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Depends on what you want to shoot. The shorter focal length could be better for copy work. The 200 is better for shooting bugs and flowers. The 125 is sort of in the middle. I use the DFA 100 and the A*200. They don't have the same look and each has its place. Use more available light with 200 (bugs don't fly off as quick). For shooting up high on bushes the 200 can have too great working distance (not that tall). Does the Dine and Voightlander have the A contacts and go to 1:1 magnification? Also like the tripod socket on the 200. Makes for a very easy flash setup - flipping from horizontal to vertical easily. Also helps without flash. Buy more than one. If only pne would take the 200. You can always resell it if need be.
thanks
barondla
11-29-2007, 07:39 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
Atta Boy!! VIVa S1!! VIVa S1!!
i agree!!! and it has the A setting

11-29-2007, 08:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Does the ... Voightlander have the A contacts and go to 1:1 magnification? Also like the tripod socket on the 200. Makes for a very easy flash setup - flipping from horizontal to vertical easily.
Dunno about the Dine but yep to both for the Voigtlander. I wish it had any tripod mount, but that would detract from the beauty of the lens I imagine.
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