Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
Site Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 107
What is a good zoom lens for reverse lens macro?

I've been shooting a lot of macro lately and I find myself bringing both my 28mm and 50mm lenses plus tubes to get a decent range of magnification. It's a major POS to modify my set up on the fly when i only have precious seconds with a subject.

I currently shoot with a Pentax-M 28/2.8, and a super Takumar 50/1.4. So i feel a zoom lens that basically spanned that range of focal lengths would do me quite well.

Id rather it be an old lens as it is more my budget.

Any suggestions?

Cheers, and thanks!

I'll give you a little eye candy for clicking
Shot today with my k-r and a 28mm reversed lens on a 28mm tube:

Last edited by dmbaile2; 08-15-2012 at 07:21 PM.
08-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
LFLee's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Western MA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,264
Nice shot! very much like Thomas one. I believe Thomas use the kit lens in reverse (in one of the video interview he mentioned the lens he use). Thomas: Flickr: Thomas Shahan's Photostream
08-15-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
Site Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 107
Original Poster
Thanks LFLee.. Yea he is kind of an inspiration to me. I would love to produce images at that level of quality someday.

I think he has used a variety of methods but from what i have read I believe he uses predominantly prime lenses.
08-15-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
pacerr's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Henry, TN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,910
Since you mentioned a zoom lens in the 28 - 50mm range consider the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 35-80/2.8-3.8 (01A). It has a good reputation as a close-up lens (to 1:2.5 -- MFD 10.6") and I just tried it with a reversed SMC-M 50/1.4 which appeared to offer better than 1:1 simply by holding the lenses together beak-to-beak. It does have a 62mm filter thread so using a step-down reversing ring would be necessary; however, I imagine that would be the case with any fast zoom lens.

The 01A also performs well with extension tubes and with a Tamron 1.4x TC. Although it's not quite as capable as the 90/2.5 (52BB) in the pure macro mode, it's very versatile as a general nature-hunt lens and useable as a portrait tool.

Should be available with a PK adapter for about $100, or $160 with a PK/A adapter for auto exposure mode.

More info here: Tamron SP Adaptall-2 35-80mm F/2.8-3.8 Model 01A


Last edited by pacerr; 08-15-2012 at 08:27 PM.
08-15-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Philoslothical's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,723
Speaking generally, you will get better results with primes. Zoom lenses can also be quite unpredictable in their working distance when set on tubes, sometimes with the focal plane ending up inside the lens, making it useless. You have a good pair of lenses right now for working with tubes. Another option would be reverse lens stacking, which would get some higher magnifications quite easily. If you picked up something like a 135mm, and reversed either of your current lenses on it, you should get some good stuff (as long as the host lens is decently sharp, too). Your 28mm reversed on a 135mm will be a bit shy of 5:1 magnification (too much for handheld, really, but it can be pretty wild on a tripod with a rail), while your 50mm will attain a little better than 2:1, which should be good handheld, too.

If you really want to try macro with a zoom lens, I'd suggest getting a Raynox or Opteka addon lens. This will keep your working distance constant, while your zoom will affect magnification. Both of these are better than simple +dioptre lenses, in that they use multiple elements to correct for chromatic aberrations, and are generally much sharper, too. The Opteka one is both stronger and cheaper than the Raynox, while still giving pretty good image quality. If you use too long a focal length, it really brings out the worst in your host lens, with some pretty wild distortions around the edges if the host lens isn't flat field sharp. Still, it's plenty usable at the 1:1 through maybe 3:1 range, which is all you should be doing handheld. This is the lens I'm talking about. Below is an example of it in use on my cheap Sigma 70-300mm.

08-15-2012, 11:32 PM   #6

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: North
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,921
You can find setup references in this thread :

The best results seem to be coming from a 135mm + reversed 50mm or 28mm, so you might want to try something like it.
You may also get results with a Good Zoom + reversed 50mm (eg. DA 50-200; DA55-300)

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
28mm, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, range, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reverse stacking for macro onto a 100mm macro lens - 28mm good? GibbyTheMole Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 04-27-2012 02:56 AM
loved the idea of reverse-lens macro, BUT... slr_neophyte Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 18 08-31-2011 08:05 AM
For Sale - Sold: Prime Lenses--Macro Lens--Zoom Lens for Sale (CONUS) stl09 Sold Items 16 01-14-2011 04:53 PM
Reverse lens macro Deni Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 06-15-2010 01:05 PM
Reverse lens? macro NicK10D Photographic Technique 4 06-10-2010 08:19 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:24 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]