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12-22-2007, 04:19 PM   #1
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Macro help

This seems to be a great forum for a knucklehead like me, thanks for all the help so far!

My next question.......
I'm a coin collector and would like to get some images of my coins, I mean close enough to fill the frame. What would be a good macro to fill my needs? I would like to keep the expence at a minimum so an older manual lens would probably be my best bet.

Any suggestions?

Thanks again,
Ray

12-22-2007, 05:29 PM   #2
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Hi Ray,
I'd start looking for a K 50mm F4 macro or it's almost identical brother the M 50mm F4 macro and a table tripod. I've seen both lenses from time to time at KEH

NaCl(and maybe a light box to shine on your collection)H2O
12-22-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Hi Ray,
I'd start looking for a K 50mm F4 macro or it's almost identical brother the M 50mm F4 macro and a table tripod. I've seen both lenses from time to time at KEH

NaCl(and maybe a light box to shine on your collection)H2O
Chemical compound,

I have a Pentax A 35-70 macro zoom but it doesn't get close enough for my purposes and I don't want to crop.

Would extention tubes be a good option instead of purchasing a new lens?

Thanks again,
Ray
12-22-2007, 05:59 PM   #4
Igilligan
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A badly lit shot...

I know nothing about really shooting coins. As with Jewelry, coin shots are a specialty...
But I did shoot a coin shot on a rainy day with my new/old macro lens.

Here is the shot with my Vivitar 90mm macro. It is 1:1 so a true macro. This was just a test I did to see how close I could go. I could have backed off and fit the coin in the frame.

I have a M50 F4 macro that I will try and do a test with for you if you want.
As mentioned a light box or some other way to control the lighting is really needed for coin shots. With macros it is all about the lighting.




Extension tubes might work for some of your existing lens. But a dedicated macro would be the best IMO.

gus

12-22-2007, 06:21 PM   #5
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you might want to look for an SMC-M 100mm F4 also. Although any macro will work, the 100 mm gets you further away from the coin while shooting.

You can also use many of the macro zooms that go to 1/3 life scale, as most coins will fill the frame at 1/3 life size. The only thing to watch out for is single ring zooms because the zoom collar tends to slip.

the 100mm F4 does 1/2 life size without extension tubes and can go to 1:1 with 50mm of extension tubes.
12-22-2007, 07:28 PM   #6
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How about this one Pentax Macro 100/4 for Pentax Manual Focus 35 Film SLR - (eBay item 300184374549 end time Dec-28-07 13:07:27 PST)

I'll jump on it if the good people here think the price is reasonable.

Ray
12-22-2007, 07:42 PM   #7
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that's about what I paid for mine used in top shape in about 1985. Still have it and use it frequently

Not sure of current pricing, but I would be surprised to see it go for a lot more.

I paid less for an SMC 135mm f2.5 which is a much more sought after lens/
12-22-2007, 07:59 PM   #8
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Lowell,

There is another one, maybe I will see if I can get it a a lower price.

SMC Pentax Macro f4 / 100mm Lens Bayonet Mount - (eBay item 190184032160 end time Dec-25-07 14:11:12 PST)

Ray

PS This is a good macro......Right?

12-22-2007, 09:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raybo Quote
Lowell,

There is another one, maybe I will see if I can get it a a lower price.

SMC Pentax Macro f4 / 100mm Lens Bayonet Mount - (eBay item 190184032160 end time Dec-25-07 14:11:12 PST)

Ray

PS This is a good macro......Right?
It's a good macro. I have owned one. But with the older macros (and this is an older one) they
only extend to a 1/2 ratio implying that in the context of film camera, the image on the film will be half the size of the 'real thing.---meaning that a 2" object could be focused full frame. but not a 1" object unless you used extension tubes.

newer macros will go to 1:1 without tubes.

You can use tubes with just a normal lens but they are not corrected for flatness of field
and depending on thte lens and the F stop you may see a lot of fall off to the edges, or actually in extreme cases encounter a photo that is 'in focus' in the center of the picture, but out of focus on the edges.

As for the specific lens---note that it is an 'M' Series, and not the newer 'A' series lens
so while usable on the digital cameras, it is a nuisance to use and a fair number of the exposure options don't exist. Personally, I got rid of all of my "M" lenses, and won't buy any more.
12-22-2007, 10:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
It's a good macro. I have owned one. But with the older macros (and this is an older one) they
only extend to a 1/2 ratio implying that in the context of film camera, the image on the film will be half the size of the 'real thing.---meaning that a 2" object could be focused full frame. but not a 1" object unless you used extension tubes.

newer macros will go to 1:1 without tubes.

You can use tubes with just a normal lens but they are not corrected for flatness of field
and depending on thte lens and the F stop you may see a lot of fall off to the edges, or actually in extreme cases encounter a photo that is 'in focus' in the center of the picture, but out of focus on the edges.

As for the specific lens---note that it is an 'M' Series, and not the newer 'A' series lens
so while usable on the digital cameras, it is a nuisance to use and a fair number of the exposure options don't exist. Personally, I got rid of all of my "M" lenses, and won't buy any more.
Now i'm confussed rvannatta,

With practice will an older lens be sufficent, or should I just forget my "cheap" route and get a newer macro?

I do want my images to be true..........HELP!

Ray
12-22-2007, 11:08 PM   #11
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Given the size of some coins, to get it all in the fram you'd probably be better off w/a 50mm Macro then a 100mm or greater... probably shoot @ 2:1 instead of 1:1 closeness of focus, as the subject requires. The older 50mm f/2.8 macro is very beloved and said to be the sharpest of Pentax's 50mm's (sorry, I don't recall if it's the K, A, or F series; definitely not an FA though if I remember correctly).
12-23-2007, 12:51 AM   #12
Igilligan
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Some quick macro tests

So I have a regular s-m-c Takumar 50mm 1.4 lens and I put it with a #3 ext tube to show you what it does... All of these shots are hand held with just desk light, but you get the idea of magnification. This is as close as it can focus... If you were shooting a larger coin you could just back away. If you were shooting a tiny coin you could add another ext tube

S-M-C 50 takumar with extension tube
Attachment 6950

This next on is a SMC 50mm F4 macro lens. Again as close as you could focus, but you could back away for larger coins
Attachment 6951

This is my Vivitar 90mm with out the macro adaptor... as close as it will focus.
Attachment 6952

And the 90mm with the macro adaptor 1:1 framed for full screen. with the macro adaptor I can get a lot closer for smaller coins.
Attachment 6953

Here is the closest focus with the 90mm + macro adaptor 1:1 Actually the 50mm tak with all three of my extension tubes gets a bit closer in.
12-23-2007, 01:10 AM   #13
Igilligan
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The reg 50mm with all three ext tubes

Please realize that this one and the above shots were all hand held. So differences in focus sharpness and exposure are just from sloppy quick testing. All of the lenses would be sharper on a tripod and would look much better under real lighting.

But you should be able to get a since of the largest size you can get from each.

The S-M-C tak 50mm + all three extension tubes
12-23-2007, 02:47 AM   #14
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did you set the coin down on your monitor?!
12-23-2007, 03:32 AM   #15
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I did set it on my monitor... I just wanted to do a quick test...

Is that a no no?
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