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02-20-2013, 02:24 PM   #1
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Best Prime/Macro for landscape

I own a K-30 with the 18-55mm kit lens. It's a great camera and capable of capturing wonderful photos. I've decided to purchase the DA 18-135mm WR as a walk around, since most of what I shoot is outdoors, i.e wildlife and landscapes. I considered the SMC DA 50-135mm, but it is bit pricey for a walk around. I also want a macro/prime lens, something with above average IQ, color saturation and contrast. I would also use this for landscapes. My first choice has become the DA 35mm F2.8 Macro limited. The reviews are complimentary, the sample photos look good, although some have said it is not good for landscape?? The other lens I've considered is the Tamron 90mm macro. Just so you know what I want to get as close as possible to, I love the IQ and color rendition of the Zeiss 28mm Distagon. I'm just not willing to drop that kind of $$ on a lens for this camera. Bottom line: Think the DA 35mm will meet my expectations?

02-20-2013, 02:32 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjeller Quote
Think the DA 35mm will meet my expectations?
Along with a ZK 35/2, I use the DA 35 Ltd a lot.
It's obviously very good for up-close-and-personal,
but also for landscape if you make sure it's focussed properly.

Being so close, you need to approach bugs with care,
so you don't scare them away.
02-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #3
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The easy choice for most liked landscape lens is the DA15 Limited around here.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club.html
02-20-2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
The easy choice for most liked landscape lens is the DA15 Limited around here.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/86234-15mm-limited-controls-my-mind-club.html
But it's not a macro.

02-20-2013, 03:02 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Wide angle can be over rated for landscapes. Wide angle is great when you love to play with lots of elements in your composition, particularly the foreground. I think your 18-135 will do that anyway.

The 35mm does a lot. It's a sensational lens like all the other Ltds. Its a nice walk around lens. It's excellent at macro. You get more depth of field compared with a 50 or 100mm. It's equivalent to a 50mm on a full frame which is what we all stared with back in the 70's.

My favorite landscape lens is my pentax 50-135. I prefer tight shots which are not too busy, that's why I think the 18-135 is a good choice for you.
02-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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Personally I prefer my Macro to be 70 or 100 so that I don't shade my subject and use my Da 15 or 21 for landscapes. I had the 35 Limited and it was a good lens but too short for my macro needs (i have a DFA 100)and I use my 15 and 21 for landscapes. The 35 is a good normal lens however.

Basically it depends on what your shooting style is. One lens doesn't do both for me. I do confess to having a bad case of LBA, especially when it comes to primes...bags...cameras...the odd zoom.
02-20-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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I am rather greedy and own a sigma 70 and penatx 100WR and will be the first to buy the sigma 150 or 180 macro if they ever make it in a penatx mount. My 35Ltd goes everywhere with me while the others are optional. My most used Ltd lens is the 21 mm, but it's because I love that focal length. I have taken a few amazing closeup photos with the lens when it has been the only lens on me. Getting close to insects is really difficult with a 35 mm and you will find the 18-135 worth giving a go. You can always catch the insect and place in the fridge for an hour. You have about 30 seconds for it to warm up and its off. I take my wildflower photos with the 35mm.
02-20-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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Macro and landscape definitively need different lenses. I suggest a DA15 for landscape, and something in the 90-100 mm range for macro, as the FA100 WR or the Tamron 90. The macro lens could also be used for nice portraits. DA 35 macro is not wide enought for landscapes most of the time, and the 35 mm is already covered by the 18-55 lens

02-20-2013, 03:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
You can always catch the insect and place in the fridge for an hour. You have about 30 seconds for it to warm up and its off.
Great idea Bob! I like insects, but I agree that this lens will be too short to capture the majority of them. So like you, I will probably be using the DA35 mostly for wildflowers and the occasional "artistic" shot.
02-20-2013, 03:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
But it's not a macro.
Yeah, the way I read the OP was as either/or (usually what a "/" means) but I see that they want a Macro Prime.
02-20-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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"Landscape" and "macro" can be at odds with each other much of the time. Many people want a short focal length for wide angle landscape. But for 1:1 macro (especially moving insects) longer focal lengths tend to be preferable because they provide more working distance. It all comes down to what sort of photos you want to take, and maybe the DA 35mm Macro Limited is good for you, or maybe you really need a wider landscape lens plus a longer macro lens.

What do you want from "landscape"? Review some of the landscapes you've taken with your existing 18-55. What focal lengths have you been using most often? If you've been at around 35mm and are happy with the framing of those photos then the DA 35mm Macro Limited might be a good landscape candidate for you. (for me, I wanted to go very wide sometimes so picked a Tamron 10-24 as my landscape lens)

What do you want from "macro"? Inanimate objects in a controlled indoor situation, living insects in uncontrolled situations, or something else? Pentax' specs state a short working distance of 5.4 inches (0.139m) between the lens and subject for the 35mm. That's likely to scare many insects away but may be usable in a more controlled environment. (the Pentax 100, Tamron 90, and discontinued Sigma 105 are popular macro lenses because they give more working distance for the same 1:1 magnification)

Last edited by DeadJohn; 02-20-2013 at 08:22 PM. Reason: fixed typo
02-20-2013, 03:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Yeah, the way I read the OP was as either/or (usually what a "/" means) but I see that they want a Macro Prime.
Yes, sorry. I want a prime macro. It's a little redundant, as most macros are prime, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't reading about multi-focal length lenses.
Also, really not looking for a "wide angle". Maybe at a later date, but right now I have only budgeted for 2 lenses, and trying to get the most pleasing and useful lenses with my allotted dollars.
02-20-2013, 03:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjeller Quote
Yes, sorry. I want a prime macro. It's a little redundant, as most macros are prime, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't reading about multi-focal length lenses.
Also, really not looking for a "wide angle". Maybe at a later date, but right now I have only budgeted for 2 lenses, and trying to get the most pleasing and useful lenses with my allotted dollars.
I understand. I started off with an M100/4 Macro and an M50/4 Macro (they were bundled together in an auction) and for macro manual is fine most of the time - plus they are cheaper and with focus peaking its much easier to mail the focus with them. Might think about those if budget is an issue.
02-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #14
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By the way, thanks to everyone for the feedback. I really appreciate the information from the forum and it's members. I'm just getting back into photography after a 15 year layoff, so I have some catching up to do!
02-20-2013, 09:04 PM   #15
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I have the 18-135, and it does a very nice job of pseudo-macro at 1:4. For my 1:1 macro work I got the Tamron 90, but that won't work for landscapes, of course.
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