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12-09-2007, 12:57 PM   #1
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Macro lens suggestions for K10D


I am looking for a fantastic Macro for my K10D. Does the Pentax line up have a dedicated macro?
Any suggestions from Sigma or Tamron from users? Will be a big help...

Thanks and regards

12-09-2007, 01:04 PM   #2
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It has 2 dedicated macros.

It has the 50mm and the 100mm both D FA.

They are both 1:1 macro and sit at f/2.8

Sigma has a bunch of macro lenses but I'm not sure if any are quite as good as the D FA's.
12-09-2007, 01:48 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buschmaster Quote
It has 2 dedicated macros.

It has the 50mm and the 100mm both D FA.

They are both 1:1 macro and sit at f/2.8

Sigma has a bunch of macro lenses but I'm not sure if any are quite as good as the D FA's.
I have the Pentax D FA 100 Macro and it is very sharp. All of my still life for my "Diva" fashion editorial were shot with it.

12-09-2007, 06:37 PM   #4
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The Tamron 90 has good reviews.

12-09-2007, 07:19 PM   #5
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If you are on a tight budget, I use a Pentax A 50 2.8 mm macro. It is super sharp and as long as you don't mind manual focus (which personally for macro shots I don't like AF) then you can probably find one at a bargain price. You can use an extension tube for 1:1 shots.
12-09-2007, 07:34 PM   #6
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12-10-2007, 12:58 AM   #7
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What is your budget? Here are some > 50mm:

$50-90 - Vivitar 135mm f2.8 Close Focusing (1:2)
$100 - Pentax/Vivitar/Cosina/Phoenix 100mm f3.5 macro with matching 1:1 lens (used, maybe old stock)
$150 - Tamron 90mm f2.5 Adaptall-2 52B or 52BB (later version, optically same), 1:2
$200 - Tamron 90mm f2.8 Adaptall-2 72B 1:1
$250-$300 - Vivitar Series 1 or Kiron 105mm f2.8 1:1, Tamron 90mm f2.8 Di non-Adaptall
$400 - Pentax DFA 100mm f2.8 1:1
$750 - Sigma 180mm f4 1:1 (not sure on this one)
~$2000 - Pentax A* 200mm f4 1:1 but very rare

Other options:

Extension tubes.
Pentax 50mm macro.
Flektogon 35mm f2.8 (about 1:2 maybe closer?).
Vivitar 2x macro teleconverter.

And ricosauve's link above has even more I forgot about.

My recommendations:

The Pentax/Vivitar/Cosina/Phoenix 100mm f3.5 is nice lens if you can live with a light plastic build. The lightness can be an advantage depending on how you shoot. Without the matching 1:1 screw on lens (on to the front) it is 1:2. I've got some good shots with my Vivitar-branded version and I am keeping mine even though I have better macro lenses now.

Tamron 90mm f2.5 Adaptall-2 52B/52BB is an *awesome* lens in both build quality and optical quality. It is 1:2 and requires an Adaptall-2 PK (can be found cheap) or PKA (harder to find cheap) adapter. There is also a Tamron flat-field adapter that goes on the rear between the lens and the mount adapter to get to 1:1. I don't have that adapter but I do have the 52B model of this lens and I love it. It's great.

Tamron 90mm f2.8 Adaptall-2 72B is a nice lens. It can go 1:1 without an adapter. The only downside is the focusing mechanism is internal so at 1:1 the lens is closer to the object than some other 90mm/100mm lenses. The long built-in hood doesn't help much either. This lens typically earns it's keep as a portrait lens though and at that it is great. It's not too shabby at macros at all if the closeness isn't an issue to you. I like it but I don't know if I'll keep it. I'm curious if the later 90mm Di non-Adaptall version is the same with the closeness.

Vivitar Series 1 105mm f2.5 is a very nicely built lens that rivals the Tamron 90mm lenses for sharpness. I have noticed in mine that it may have a tiny bit more purple fringing but I haven't tested for this. It's nice but it is also very heavy. The Tamron 52B is heavy too but it is more stubby and easier to hold. Of course the 52B only goes 1:2 while the Vivitar goes 1:1.

Last edited by cmv; 12-10-2007 at 01:10 AM.
12-10-2007, 09:38 PM   #8
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If you have the $$$ the Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX DG Macro lens is the best one you can get, hands down! The 150 and 180 are about the 2 best ones out there, but sadly, the 150 is not made in a Pentax mount .

The Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG is another excellent macro lens, a bit short for my taste, but optically it is simply amazing!

I can also recommend the Kiron 105mm macro, superb lens!

I like the Pentax lenses, but go ahead and shoot me, I think they are a bit over priced really.

If you really want to get into macro photography though, forgo a dedicated macro lens and pick up a macro bellows and a nice 35mm, 50mm, and 135mm lenses for it. If you go M42 you can get a nice setup fairly cheap. Bellows will allow you all different kinds of magnifications, not just 1:1 or 1:2, but when combined with the right lens and extension tubes on a long bellows you can get upto like 10:1+.

This was done with a Novoflex M42 mount bellows + 68mm of stacked ETs, Practika (rebranded Zeiss) 35mm lens + Novoflex macro rail (the close up part is those little orange circles you see on the top of the Ocean Jasper):
_MG_0660sm.jpg photo - JameyS photos at

Same setup as above but with a 135mm lens I believe (it is a grain of table salt):
hdr2sm_2.jpg photo - JameyS photos at

12-10-2007, 11:53 PM   #9
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The problem with using regular lenses on a bellows is that they are not optimized for the flat field needed at the very close focusing distances. A bellows is a wonderful macro too, but you need the bellows lens. Pentax used to make a 100 without a focusing mount for their bellows.
12-11-2007, 02:01 AM   #10
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I never use flat field corrected on mine and get just fine results as can be seen from the samples I posted.

But hey, want to make sure you have FF, then snag a Spiratone 35mm or 75mm or Pentax 100mm Bellows lens(es). Not that expensive at all.
12-11-2007, 06:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chilichoco Quote

I am looking for a fantastic Macro for my K10D. Does the Pentax line up have a dedicated macro?
Any suggestions from Sigma or Tamron from users? Will be a big help...

Thanks and regards
You asked for dedicated macro:

I have a PENTAX SMC-M 100mm F/4.0 dedicated macro, (K Mount) which focuses to 50% life size. You get to 100% life size with extension tubes which I also have.

I have also used this from time to time with my 1.7x AF TC, but note that with Macro, you can't trust the AF to focus where you want the point of focus to be, and manual focus is probably much better.

I also have a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 zoom with a "macro" switch, that allows macro focusing at 70mm to 1/3 life size. It also works very well (but note you need to do a lens mount modification to make it fit on a DSLR that is documented elsewhere in this forum )

In addition, I have a set of close up lenses that fit my Pentax 18-105mm FA lens

What I take with me is a function of what I intend to do. The close up lenses go with me on trips where I don't expect to do much dedicated macro, The Series 1 Zoom is good as a general nature walk around, and if I really am serious, I then take the dedicated macro, since with extension tubes I have, I can get to about 1.25 life size
12-11-2007, 07:15 AM   #12
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Found the Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX DG Macro for 390USD at amazon today, I guess that is a decent price?
12-13-2007, 06:37 AM   #13
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Hi and a big thanks to everyone who's been kind enough to answer. I am sorry I am quite an amateur and have absolutely no idea what "Bellows " is....but I'll try and read up on that.....seems like Pentax 100mm and Tamron 90mm go head to head. Pardon me for my ignorance, but do they have the option of switching to MF ?

CMV, you listed out the options,thanks so much...appreciate it. Thanks to everyone else as well for taking the time.

12-13-2007, 07:31 AM   #14
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The one I'm using is a Tamron SP Adaptall-2 90mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro. I used to use it on my digital rebel, but had to manually stop down the lens. Least on the Pentax with the PK adaptall mount it'll auto stop down, and when I get a KA adaptall mount I'll be able to treat it like I do a Pentax-A lens.

Probably one of the sharpest manual focus macro lens I have.
12-13-2007, 09:32 AM   #15
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I have the Tamron 90mm SP Macro f/2.8 lens as well.
I ahve started shooting with it a little bit ... and only really started look at the 100% crops ... sharp is not the word ... DAMN.

I need to get myself a macro slider head for my tripod now ... to really make life easier.
But for now ... WOW is all I can say.

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