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09-29-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
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Which 100-105mm macro?

New or old, auto or manual focus, Pentax or third party; which 100mm to 105mm macro [1:2 would be sufficient] would have the highest image quality on the k-5 [with resolution prioritized over contrast, distortion, CA, fringing, and color]?

09-29-2011, 01:47 PM   #2
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There are many great ~100mm macro lenses for Pentax dSLR. As new lenses, you have the choice of the Pentax 100mm macro WR, the Tamron 90m macro and Sigma 105 mm macro. All three are very highly regarded (and I do not say so lightly). You will not be disappointed.

In addiition there are several older 2nd hand lenses like the Pentax 100mm lenses, the astonishing VL 125m f2.5, and not to ignore the new Sigma 150mm macro.

Simply the choice is great and you have plenty of choice.
09-29-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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I chose the Pentax DFA 100mm WR based on size, build and sealing, but the other two that hcc mentioned are plenty sharp and excellent lenses.

I did look for a Vivitar series one macro, but never found one, but people feel like that is a great lens.
09-29-2011, 02:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I chose the Pentax DFA 100mm WR based on size, build and sealing, but the other two that hcc mentioned are plenty sharp and excellent lenses.

I did look for a Vivitar series one macro, but never found one, but people feel like that is a great lens.
I've got a 100WR and Vivitar Series 1 105/2.5 at the moment, and you can't go wrong with either one (or the Tamron 90 or Sigma 105 for that matter).

Obviously the Vivitar S1 is manual focus, and it has a nice long focus throw. The 100WR has a decent MF feel, but it's no going to beat the Vivitar in this regard. The 100WR, by contrast, makes a pretty decent short telephoto lens with AF and is smaller size and WR. It also costs about twice as much.

09-29-2011, 02:33 PM   #5
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Macro lenses are the most corrected lenses and you really can't go wrong with any of them imho.
09-29-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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Did anyone make a bad macro in that range?
I can't think of one.
I personally have the D FA 100 (non WR) and the Sigma 70. Don't count that one out, if you don't mind working a bit closer.
Both are excellent.
The AF is superfluous for macro, but I do use it for other types of shots.
If macro is all you intend to use it for, an old full manual will work fine.........................
09-29-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Even though I have something different, SMC A 100/F2.8 macro is a dandy thing indeed.
09-29-2011, 02:47 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I own the Sigma 105mm and really do find the sharpness to be excellent and the built quality of the EX lenses is fantastic. I do find some slight CA once in a while, but only in extreme situations.



100% crop



09-29-2011, 05:39 PM   #9
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I just sold a Promaster 100/3.5 macro and bought a D FA 100 WR. The Promaster was sharp but manual focus was tough on shots other than macro. I wanted the versatility of AF for a telephoto and WR so I bought the Pentax. I've had it a couple of weeks and really like it so far.
09-29-2011, 06:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
Even though I have something different, SMC A 100/F2.8 macro is a dandy thing indeed.
I'll have to agree on this one. Other than MF and slightly bigger and heavier, it beats the later AF 100 macros from Pentax in IQ.
09-29-2011, 06:57 PM   #11
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Heh...at risk of contributing one more lens to the collective answer of "any of them", I quite like my A100/4. It's only 1:2, but that's all I need, so it was a nice, relatively inexpensive alternative to the A100/2.8 and other 1:1 macro lenses.
09-29-2011, 06:59 PM   #12
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Howdy - I have the tamron 90mm and I am very happy with it. And there is a used one at BandH for a resonable price...
09-29-2011, 07:07 PM   #13
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Leica APO Macro-Elmarit-R 100mm f2.8, if you are looking for the "best ever" and don't mind 1:2.

It does go to 1:1 with dedicated attachment.

Macro Challenge (Part 1)

If you'd like to go a bit beyond 105mm, there is the Voigtlander 125/2.5 macro as suggested already which according to many people is a fantastic lens, but it goes for a lot more than the Leica these days (it is 1:1 and autoaperture).

Last edited by DanielT74; 09-29-2011 at 07:30 PM.
09-29-2011, 07:52 PM   #14
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For a camera-mount lens, I love my M42 Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro. It cost me three bucks on eBay, but I got lucky.

Otherwise, my fave is a Novoflex Noflexar 100/3.5 on bellows, with some macro tubes for really closing in. That setup cost me US$50.

Before spending hard cash on something, see this: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html

Good luck!
09-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #15
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I think it is very true that in macro, the law of diminishing returns is truer than ever.

I would dearly like to see comparison shots between the $300 Tokina 90/2.5 and the $2500 Voigtlander 125/2.5 that showcase the difference in quality of those two lenses.
Serious people have said that it is there, but I want to see it for myself.
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