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02-17-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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macro choice

Hi, first time listener, long time caller...

Just picked up a K10d today, having retired a Nikon D70 and wanting to go a different direction. I primarily shot with a Nikkor 105mm micro lens, as I'm into macro, but also found it to be an excellent all around lens, although a bit long in tight spaces (not surprisingly).

I got the 18-55 kit lens with the camera, and also bought the 16-50 * as I figured it would be a better low light and all around lens. I shot them back to back and returned the 16-50*. From what I'm reading they seem hit or miss. Instead I got a 50-200 to fill out the long end, but despite the "fun" of zoom, I find I'm not really a zoom guy with a dslr. With a video camera and p&s, yes, but for some reason with dslr it feels odd.

Anywho, I'm pondering either the 50mm or 100mm macro. I have to say I wasn't crazy about the really narrow dof with the Nikkor as I usually like to get up close and personal, but it was nice to be able to work a little further away. Anyone shot both and have any biases?

I also have my eye on the 50/1.4 as I shoot indoors a lot and *hate* flash, so I try to use available light whenever possible. How does that lens work as a macro?

02-17-2008, 10:39 PM   #2
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The 50 macro has the equivalent field of view to 75 mm on film; the 100 becomes 150 mm. For the type of macro work that I mostly do, bugs and such, the longer the better. If, on the other hand, I were shooting stamps, my order would be in for the 35mm macro - close enough to fov of a 50 mm on 24x36. That lens is up close.
02-17-2008, 10:39 PM   #3
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Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro

Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro scores very good in reviews. That focal length is shorter than the 105mm, so I think that would be a good choice, both for macro and portrait.
02-17-2008, 10:51 PM   #4
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hmm, sounds like I need the 35 and the 100

Anyone tried the 50/1.4 as a "macro"?

02-17-2008, 11:32 PM   #5
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I support GSK's suggestion on the Sigma 70mm Macro. All reviews on it are very positive, check the test on "www.slrgear.com", it beats nikkor 105 micro and tamron 90 macro in terms of sharpness... 70mm is a useful focal length on digital (at least to me). There is one on the "Marketplace" now, unfortunate, I just bought the DA* 50-135mm so my buget is gone.
02-18-2008, 12:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
hmm, sounds like I need the 35 and the 100

Anyone tried the 50/1.4 as a "macro"?
How about some of these shots using the 50/1.4 at the Pentax Photo Gallery site?
PENTAX Photo Gallery

There are many macro shots there, and they are very nice. I have used the 50/1.4 for macro on flowers and such and it seems to work fine. I am probably not the best one to ask on macro since I do so little of it.

You can easily justify the 50/1.4 for this comment alone:

"I also have my eye on the 50/1.4 as I shoot indoors a lot and *hate* flash, so I try to use available light whenever possible"

Now that is something I know more about, and the lens excels there.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 02-18-2008 at 12:33 AM.
02-18-2008, 06:10 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Just picked up a K10d today, having retired a Nikon D70 and wanting to go a different direction. I primarily shot with a Nikkor 105mm micro lens, as I'm into macro, but also found it to be an excellent all around lens, although a bit long in tight spaces (not surprisingly).
Why don't you try your Nikkor (great lens) on the K10d?
Using Nikon F Lenses On Pentax K Bodies (LBA Post) [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Cheers,

Abbazz
02-18-2008, 06:27 AM   #8
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Did no one mention the Sigma 105mm macro? Same focal length as the Nikon you were used to. Very sharp lens, works nice as a medium telephoto prime (for portraits/etc....) And it's full-frame should Pentax ever go Full-frame.

As for the 50mm f/1.4 as a "macro", unless you reverse it, it doesn't focus all that close for small objects. Works great for portaits and stuff, and lets in ALOT of light.

02-18-2008, 09:14 AM   #9
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The 50mm f/1.4 doesn't fare very well with large extension combinations or use with bellows. Pentax specifically advises against using the f/1.4 for detailed close-up work according to my Pentax Auto Extension Tube K and Pentax bellows manuals.

Performance is much better with the f/1.7 of f/2 versions of the 50mm standard lens or with the 50mm macros.
02-18-2008, 09:50 AM   #10
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PPG

I took a look at the PPG linked gallery. Didn't see ANY macros. Well, maybe one.

To the OP- I assume you are wanting a true macro lens and not just a lens that can be used for close-ups?

I wish everyone would use the same proper terminology. It would save a lot of confusion.

As Canada_Rockies indicated, unless you're doing postage stamps and other flat plane studio work, the longer the better when it comes to a macro lens (IMHO). That's why the 200 is such a sought after lens.
02-18-2008, 11:32 AM   #11
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well, when I say macro, I mean macro (I think). Like this:

02-18-2008, 01:04 PM   #12
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Tamron 90mm macro

Have you considered the Tamron 90mm AF 2.8 macro? It comes in slightly better than the Pentax 100 as far as image quality, according to online numbers.
http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Pentax%20Lens%20Tests/362-tamron-af-90mm-f28...-macro-pentax-
About the same price ($350 to $450 before $90 rebate through March xx). Gets down to 1:1. Tamron is slightly heavier (405) than the Pentax 100 (345), and longer (97) than the Pentax (81).

QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I primarily shot with a Nikkor 105mm micro lens, as I'm into macro, but also found it to be an excellent all around lens, although a bit long in tight spaces (not surprisingly).
You are referring to physical size of the lens? The Tamron's shell sticks out quite a bit beyond the glass, so you can probably get along without using a hood or a plain glass protection "filter".

QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Anywho, I'm pondering either the 50mm or 100mm macro. I have to say I wasn't crazy about the really narrow dof with the Nikkor as I usually like to get up close and personal, but it was nice to be able to work a little further away.
My understanding is that DOF is strictly a result of the image size and the f stop, regardless of what lens(es) you are using. So a 50 or a 105 or a 90, at the same (real) f stop is going to give you exactly the same DOF as long as the dragonfly is the same size in your viewfinder.

A slightly more tele lens (90 - 105) is going to give you more working distance than a 50, of course. But it'll also let you pick your [out of focus] background better than a 50 would.
02-18-2008, 02:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
well, when I say macro, I mean macro (I think). Like this:

nope... i think he means macros like this..

02-18-2008, 06:36 PM   #14
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well, tried out both the 50 and 100mm at the local shop. Ended up getting hte 100mm. Even though the dof is pretty narrow I like the feel and throw of the lens. It is a fair amount shorter than my Nikkor 105 which makes it fit better in the small case. An added bonus.

Now to pick up a 10-17 zoom and a fast 50mm prime. Then I'm done. Really.
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