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10-13-2011, 03:33 AM   #1
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Looking for opinions on SMC-D FA 100/2,8 Macro + 50 mm Macro

Found both of these new for a very reasonable price

Tried the 100mm out in the shop but found its focus was pretty slow. Maybe manual is the way to go with Macro?

I'm building up both a Canon and Pentax system & I'm wondering if I should go for a Macro for Canon or Pentax? Which do you think would get the most satisfying results?

For those of you who have these Pentax lenses, would you recommend the 50mm or 100mm (mainly want to do portraits and the occassional detail shot)? Are you happy with the lens?

Thanks in advance,

Enjoy your day

10-13-2011, 04:50 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolinjo Quote
Tried the 100mm out in the shop but found its focus was pretty slow. Maybe manual is the way to go with Macro?
Manual IS the only way to go with macro.

QuoteOriginally posted by jolinjo Quote
I'm building up both a Canon and Pentax system & I'm wondering if I should go for a Macro for Canon or Pentax? Which do you think would get the most satisfying results?
Both brands obviously are capable - unless you are going with a FF system with canon, nothing else in their lineup will outperform and give you results as good as the K5.

QuoteOriginally posted by jolinjo Quote
For those of you who have these Pentax lenses, would you recommend the 50mm or 100mm (mainly want to do portraits and the occassional detail shot)? Are you happy with the lens?
The FA50 - for a great 3rd party lens, check out the Tamron 90mm macro...




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10-13-2011, 05:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolinjo Quote
Tried the 100mm out in the shop but found its focus was pretty slow. Maybe manual is the way to go with Macro?
A macro lens has an enormous throw, to be able to fine-tune the focus on the macro range. That makes it slower, yes. Normally it's faster in the non-macro part of its range.

Most people prefer to use MF with macro, since it's hard to lock the focus on exactly what you want.

QuoteOriginally posted by jolinjo Quote
I'm building up both a Canon and Pentax system
Why would you do that?

QuoteOriginally posted by jolinjo Quote
I'm wondering if I should go for a Macro for Canon or Pentax? Which do you think would get the most satisfying results?
I'm sure both systems will deliver great results. From what I've read on photozone, Canon lenses are slightly less sharp except the very expensive ones.

QuoteOriginally posted by jolinjo Quote
For those of you who have these Pentax lenses, would you recommend the 50mm or 100mm (mainly want to do portraits and the occassional detail shot)? Are you happy with the lens?
If you want to use the lens also for portraits, I think 50 will be better. Macro is a bit harder with a 100mm too, focusing is more touchy. But both the 50 and 100 macros from Pentax will deliver outstanding results.
10-13-2011, 05:57 AM   #4
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Thanks guys !

Really appreciate your advice.

Well I'm using Canon mainly for film (+ full frame) and the K-5 for stills. Ive grown very attached to Pentax (as I can imagine many of you have aswell) and the limited lenses and wouldn't dream of switching completely.

Think I'll take my chances & go with the 100mm cause already have 40mm & 50mm lenses but nothing around 100mm.

Once again, big thanks !

10-13-2011, 06:04 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If you want to use the lens also for portraits, I think 50 will be better. Macro is a bit harder with a 100mm too, focusing is more touchy. But both the 50 and 100 macros from Pentax will deliver outstanding results.
I agree with most of the above and would add that for portraits I prefer the shorter working distance to the subject that the 50mm affords.
The only reason I can think to go Canon is the availability of the 60mm Tamron Macro which would be a sweet spot for both applications - IMHO!
Having said all that I am finding my 35 Ltd. Macro surprisingly satisfying for portraits, and it is a tiny gem to boot!
10-13-2011, 06:08 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
If you want to use the lens also for portraits, I think 50 will be better. Macro is a bit harder with a 100mm too, focusing is more touchy. But both the 50 and 100 macros from Pentax will deliver outstanding results.
I agree with most of the above and would add that for portraits I prefer the shorter working distance to the subject that the 50mm affords.
The only reason I can think to go Canon is the availability of the 60mm Tamron Macro which would be a sweet spot for both applications - IMHO!
Having said all that I am finding my 35 Ltd. Macro surprisingly good for portraits!
10-13-2011, 02:57 PM   #7
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I have the 100mm 2.8 macro and the focal plane seems to be very shallow, great for portraits. But getting up close it seems like only a fraction of the subject can be in focus and the rest is thrown wayyyy out. Hope this helps.
10-13-2011, 03:43 PM   #8
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The reason to have an AF 'macro' lens is to use it for non-macro work also. As mentioned, AF is not your friend with macro work. AF is also unnecessary for controlled portraiture. I managed to shoot (un)official portraits quite well before AF was even invented. And my favourite lenses for any formats from 135/HF (APS-C size) to 135/FF to 6x6cm and 6x9cm were around 80/3.5.

We can argue that softer lenses are good for portraiture, but softness can be added in PP. Sharp lenses ARE nice. I am a cheap bastard. I like cheap sharp lenses. Enlarger lenses (ELs) have edge-to-edge flatfield sharpness; on the right extension, they can be used for anything from extreme macro to infinity shoots. ELs and extension can be very inexpensive. I like that.

Put these together: About my favourite headshot portrait lens is an Industar-58 75/3.5 on PK tubes for a fixed focus of about 1.5m. I'll use other 75mm ELs on bellows to focus from about 5m down to 8cm at 1.5x magnification. Shorter ELs (50-60mm) are for closer work and more magnification; longer ELs (90-110mm and beyond) are for further subjects, out to infinity. A complete kit of EL-Nikkor, Leitz, Rodenstock, Schneider, and Novoflex ELs, with an M42 Macrobel bellows and some adapters, cost under US$100. All these can be used on both Pentax and Canon platforms.

Or, to be REALLY cheap: The A35-80/4-5.6 is arguably the worst lens Pentax ever sold. But reversed, it is sharp. Reversed, it has great magnification for close work (to 5cm), less magnification for further work (to 15cm), and will focus to infinity. The lens plus a mount-reversal ring cost me under US$20. It can be used safely with a PK-EOS adapter. Yes, it needs hooding. No, it's not automatic. But it works.

10-17-2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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Thanks again for all the advice

Picked up the 100mm today & managed to get the price down to roughly 300 US since it's the D FA version without WR.

Seems like lots of fun & think this lens will find it's purpose.

Have a good 1 !

/J
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