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12-12-2007, 08:08 PM   #16
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For jewelry, I agree with most said above, a 50mm 1:1 macro lens would be great choice. If budget it tight, get a Sigma 50 macro. The manual Sigam 50/2.8 (with an A setting) lens cost less than 100 bucks, and it goes to 1:1.

And also, for macro lens, my suggestion is to get an auto aperture lens at least. The old M42 macro lens isn't really easy to use for macro work. JMHO.

12-12-2007, 08:52 PM   #17
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I am leaning toward one of the newer ones, if only because they are more readily available.

2 questions

1-would anyone think it wise to try and turn my 40 limited into the macro i need (ie, trade it in). i cant decide if i'd miss it....

2-would one of the more "all purpose" lenses be that bad (ie, 28-80 tamron which says macro in the name?
12-12-2007, 09:18 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmdeegan Quote
I am leaning toward one of the newer ones, if only because they are more readily available.

2 questions

1-would anyone think it wise to try and turn my 40 limited into the macro i need (ie, trade it in). i cant decide if i'd miss it....

2-would one of the more "all purpose" lenses be that bad (ie, 28-80 tamron which says macro in the name?
In that case, get a DFA50/2.8 Or a Sigma equivalent.

But the DA40 is a totally different lens from the macro you are getting. The DA40 is small, compact, and cool to have. But if you don't use it much, and don't want to keep it anymore, I don't see any reason not to sell. Trade-in is never a go-go to me, I'd rather sell it at the forum, or on eBay.

Although it's marked as macro on your Tamron 28-80 lens, it's not a true macro but a closeup only. Probably can go as close as 1:3 or 1:5. It's better to get a true macro lens (which goes to 1:1) for some small jewelries, or some special effect photos on some big jewelries too.
12-12-2007, 09:53 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
The longer focal length is better for field work because of the working distance. For jewelery and similar non-moving objects that don't run away from that big bad machinery when it gets too close, the additional depth of field is really helpful. Now if Pentax can copy a certain C***n 35 mm macro ... Sorry. but not very.
Thanks for the clarification Now I just got to go out and get me one of them... Oh the money, the money.

12-12-2007, 10:18 PM   #20
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i think im going to keep the 40. never know. and exposureplot did say it was my most frequent FL...

As for gear....would i be likely to miss the stop if I went for the 50 f4 instead of the 50 f2.8?
reason i ask is, if i went for the f4, then i could swing the focus rails. though if all im working on is a lightbox for rings, i could probably move the rings/tripod and not really flip out just yet. might leave the rails for a later purchase, if it pans out
12-12-2007, 11:22 PM   #21
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You could try a set of extension rings with the 40. That might even give you enough extra dof to swing another stop of exposure. Less money than the macro lenses, but not as versatile.
12-13-2007, 06:05 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmdeegan Quote
i think im going to keep the 40. never know. and exposureplot did say it was my most frequent FL...

As for gear....would i be likely to miss the stop if I went for the 50 f4 instead of the 50 f2.8?
reason i ask is, if i went for the f4, then i could swing the focus rails. though if all im working on is a lightbox for rings, i could probably move the rings/tripod and not really flip out just yet. might leave the rails for a later purchase, if it pans out
That 1 stop difference does make a noticeable difference when viewing in the viewfinder and focusing especially at higher magnifications.

Depending on your lighting setup (ambient vs flash), a focusing rail is nice but not really essential, you need a sturdy tripod and a good tripod head. Macro lenses offer a higher level of resolution than standard primes and more importantly, are flat field corrected.

An extension tube to your DA 40mm might be are a cheaper option but they can't match the versatility of a dedicated macro lens. Unfortunately, the lack of an aperture ring on the DA series of lenses does place some limitations on some macro setups, as you are limited to shooting at the maximum aperture.
12-13-2007, 08:06 AM   #23
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I keep flip-flopping, and the more i think about it and read, the more it sounds like some of the older models are as well recommended (if not moreso).

I can grab probably a used M series 50 and 100 macro for less than just one new DA macro, or something similarly new from Sigma or Tamron...my concern (and this is my total inexperience here). is that the M series glass is f4, but the newer glass is all f2.8, and I assume that 2.8 is preferred.

A lot of this is still hypothetical for me--I haven't personally spoken to the jeweler to find out what he had in mind, though I assume if he is indeed serious (and also willing to give me a go at it....), that all pictures would be in store, so it would be "nicely" lit by the store bulbs. plus i have a 360 flash, and could probably snag a ring flash if worthwhile.

I guess what I am wondering is, for my potential use-case, would I really regret saving money and losing that stop? Someone earlier mentioned 2.8 is better, but a lot of others here have said f4 is OK.
I am focusing on the jewelry as subject matter, simply because until that opportunity arose, I had little inclination to take a macro photo. So either this could be the start of something (like i needed more reasons to encourage LBA)....or who knows.

thanks again

12-13-2007, 08:42 AM   #24
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Consider that you'll be shooting stopped down quite a bit to get enough DOF, the advantage of 2.8 vs. 4 has more to do with focusing wide open. With good lighting the f/4 should not be an issue.

I've read in various places that the Pentax f/4 macros are Tessar designs. I like Tessar type lenses in general, I find the transition between in and out of focus is handled very nicely.
12-13-2007, 09:56 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Consider that you'll be shooting stopped down quite a bit to get enough DOF, the advantage of 2.8 vs. 4 has more to do with focusing wide open. With good lighting the f/4 should not be an issue.

I've read in various places that the Pentax f/4 macros are Tessar designs. I like Tessar type lenses in general, I find the transition between in and out of focus is handled very nicely.
forgive the noob in me, but shooting stopped down, you mean I'll be shooting at f4 or 5.6 or 8 or something along those lines, more often than at 2.8 (or 4) whichever the higher end is (assuming im grasping and communicating it properly).

if so...hm....tough call. is it worth having the 50 and 100mm macros?
12-13-2007, 10:31 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmdeegan Quote
forgive the noob in me, but shooting stopped down, you mean I'll be shooting at f4 or 5.6 or 8 or something along those lines, more often than at 2.8 (or 4) whichever the higher end is (assuming im grasping and communicating it properly).

if so...hm....tough call. is it worth having the 50 and 100mm macros?
Yeah, he means that you'll probably be shooting at smaller apertures (bigger f-numbers). I've always found that the depth of field of macro lenses to be surprisingly narrow.
12-13-2007, 10:38 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by digitaldevo Quote
Definitely snag a macro lens. If you can swing the $$$, the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 works excellent. I shoot Jewelry & Gemstones all the time, it is my Wifes other business, she sells retail as well as wholesale and sets the stones as well.

You will quickly find out that this is one of the most difficult forms of photography, shooting gemstones & jewelry.

To be honest, I have found that a nice P&S camera tens to work a bit better for this type of work due to the better DOF.

The most important thing is lighting though.

I actually wrote up a small tutorial. goto Gems By Jennifer About Me Page and scroll to the bottom of the page, there is a link to the tutorial.

Here is some of the shots I have done, some are with P&S and some with a dSLR.
Jewelry & Gems Photo Gallery by JameyS at pbase.com
Those are nice jewelry shots... and some nice pieces. But you tricked me... I saw a ring I liked, but there is nothing listed for sale on the GBJ site... Is it still active?

-gus-
12-13-2007, 11:37 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmdeegan Quote
forgive the noob in me, but shooting stopped down, you mean I'll be shooting at f4 or 5.6 or 8 or something along those lines, more often than at 2.8 (or 4) whichever the higher end is (assuming im grasping and communicating it properly).

if so...hm....tough call. is it worth having the 50 and 100mm macros?
You will be more likely shooting at f/11 or f/16 to get adequate depth of field at these magnification levels.

Not mentioned yet in this thread is that f/4 is as dim as f/5.6 at these close focusing distances. The focusing will be more difficult with the f/4 lens, but a good really bright light can assist with focusing. You can turn it off once the focusing is complete.

You might notice that I am still using the 100/4 M series macro. It serves my needs, and is still as sharp as it was when it was built some 30 years ago, and that is very sharp indeed. Some say the M f/4 macros were the sharpest Pentax ever made. Personally, I think they are "pixel peepers", because the newer lenses are also very, very sharp.
12-13-2007, 03:18 PM   #29
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I think I'm grabbing just the 100 f/4 tomorrow. Unless someone thinks having both a 50 and 100 macro is wise....but I am also thinking get one, get familiar, see if I can make it worth owning more than one lens.....

never expected to be going for a macro lens, thats for sure
12-13-2007, 04:40 PM   #30
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There is a reason why many have recommended a 50mm macro. I currently have macro lenses in the 50mm, 90mm and 125mm range and from my experience, you would be better served with a 50mm macro because of the wider field of view and the working distance to the subject.

Not that you can't shoot with a 100mm macro, just that it may not be the best tool for the subject. From my experience, it is far quicker and easier to shoot with a lens that has a wider coverage, especially if you need to shoot at different angles to the subject. Please note with a longer lens, DOF gets even narrower.

As I mentioned earlier, a faster lens makes focusing and viewing a lot easier, even if you shoot at smaller apertures.
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