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02-07-2013, 02:41 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
Do the Pentax F-series zooms (with macro function at the tele end) count? They can be had at $50-100.

Seb
The F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 macro zoom can be had very cheaply these days - I've seen them as low as $15. I paid a lot more for mine with my SFX in 1989! It was a great walk-around lens on the FF film camera. See SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Here's a sample taken with the K100D and the 35-70 Macro

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02-07-2013, 03:32 AM   #17
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I'll add my vote to the excellent Tamron 90 / 2.5. I have the 52BB model with the additional X2 Teleconverter ( Tamron O1F ) and it.s a great lens. It's very sharp, does good close focus without the extender and is very good with both the extender and tubes. It does have a problem when pointed towards the sun or a bright light, the flat rear element reflects the surface of the sensor and causes a hot spot on the image, but as long as you know about the problem it's very easy to just change position slightly and it goes away. They are sought after and fetch decent prices, but it is worth the money.

I would also seriously consider p38arover's suggestion, the F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 macro zoom is a lovely lens, way under rated in my opinion. I use one as my 'kit lens' on a K10 and love it, it's compact and optically top quality, and cheap!
02-07-2013, 08:09 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by edgedemon Quote
I have the cosina AF 100mm f/3.5 macro, paid about 100 quid for it - absolutely superb lens, noisy AF, wobbly construction, but the IQ is absolutely amazing, I got mine with the matched adapter and I can't speak highly enough of it
I have the manual focus Promaster-branded version of your lens, and you're right - it is certainly a superb performer in every respect. It's not only a terrific macro & portrait lens on a DSLR, but I've found out it also makes a great super tele lens when used with an adapter on the Pentax Q.

You can't go wrong with this lens, just make sure if you buy one that the matched 1:1 adapter comes with it.
02-07-2013, 11:33 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone for the input.

I've done some looking around and I may be able to get the Pentax-A 50mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro, Vivitar 100mm f/3.5 Macro without adapter (which I guess is the sister of the much more common Cosina version), or Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro, all for around the same price (though Pentax/Tamron will be $40 or so more expensive). I'm getting that most dedicated macros are pretty damn sharp, but could anyone recommend just one of these if I had to choose?

Given that the Sigma is 1:1 it seems to be the best value, so that's what I'm leaning toward.

02-07-2013, 11:54 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by lukelbd Quote
Thanks everyone for the input.

I've done some looking around and I may be able to get the Pentax-A 50mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro, Vivitar 100mm f/3.5 Macro without adapter (which I guess is the sister of the much more common Cosina version), or Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro, all for around the same price (though Pentax/Tamron will be $40 or so more expensive). I'm getting that most dedicated macros are pretty damn sharp, but could anyone recommend just one of these if I had to choose?

Given that the Sigma is 1:1 it seems to be the best value, so that's what I'm leaning toward.
Good choice. Optical quality will be about the same for all of 'em, so what matters for you is the right focal length for your needs.

M
02-07-2013, 02:52 PM   #21
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I like the 90 - 100 length lenses, on a crop camera it's a nice length. I have a few in this range and they seem to get a lot of use, mostly on a Sony NEX but the crop is similar. .
02-07-2013, 08:09 PM   #22
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have a Zuiko 35-105 F3.5-4.5 tele/macro,which is very sharp on Oly DSLR,must get an adapter to try on Pentax,but will post some with the Q soonish.in its time this was one of the best Zuikos zooms--you must turn the outer barrel with a button to go into macro mode, think they can be found on ebay for under 200
02-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #23
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Not mine and not associated with me - a Pentax FA with opening bid at $100. Looks like a stock photo & marked "no returns" though.
auction link

02-07-2013, 09:08 PM   #24
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Vivitar S1/ Kiron Lester Dine 105mm 2.5 are the absolute killer lenses in this category - simply astounding IQ. The legendary Bokina 90mm is also incredible. The Bokina usually goes for around $400 with the 1:1 adapter, the 105's go for 200~300. Another one is the Panagor 90mm 2.8, another killer macro lens that beats most out there in IQ, you can sometimes get this one for around 175~200...
02-08-2013, 07:26 PM   #25
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I'll throw out there the M 50mm f/4, which is often about $100. Lots of value in that little package.
02-13-2013, 05:20 AM   #26
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I only note one mention of the 100/4, which in this part of the world is relatively common and can usually be had for (well) under $100.

I have used this lens (formula) in the form of the bellows Tak (from 1966) and am still using the SMC-T version on bellows as well as the A100/4 for more general use.

Optically I would rate them all as excellent, certainly when stopped down a bit, which you normally would for macros. (Nikon guru, Bjorn Rorslett rates the bellows Tak 4/5 and only criticizes flair, which has been reduced with SMC and later coatings)

It is relatively compact and light for a macro lens, which can be an advantage in the field. The only drawback for me is in general use due to the steep focusing at longer distances, with the next marking after infinity being at 3m, which makes manual focusing a bit more difficult than with e.g. the M100/2.8.

It only goes to 1:2 on its own, but with crop factor, relative to filling the frame, this disadvantage is mitigated a little.
As the bellows version proves, this is not an optical limitation, and this lens thus works very well with tubes and bellows extension, unlike some of the more modern floating element versions.
Focussing as a unit also has the advantage that there are no focal length changes when focusing closer, which helps this lens maintain a longer working distance than most 100mm macros.
It also performs much better with the old T6 teleconverter than the otherwise excellent Sigma 90/2.8 which features FREE and floating elements - this converter seems generally way better with old style unit-focusing glass.
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