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03-05-2008, 12:13 PM   #31
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One lens I've heard almost nothing about, but bought anyway from the marketplace was the Pentax SMC-M 50mm f/4 macro. It's just incredibly sharp - sharper than my M f/1.7, and in fact might be the sharpest 50mm I've owned, at least between f/4 and f/6.3 or so.

Anyone else have this lens? Here's the marketplace ad I bought it from:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/sold-items/20563-sold-fs-smc-pentax-m-mac...-like-new.html




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03-05-2008, 12:13 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I don't have the 1.7, but I do have an A 1.4X-S, and it works well there also. The f/5.6 at infinity is a bit cramping, though. 4 times 1.7 = forget the AF, I think. f/6.8 is pushing the limits a bit, particularly with and extra 25 or 50 mm of extension with the focusing ring.
I know the math but it seems to work OK.

It is , as yoou say about at the limit, but I have used it on my *istD when photographing flowers.

I have used the 1.7X very successfully on both the 100 F4 macro and the 300 F4, with out problem. Someone has reported using it on the 500mmF4.5 but I think that has to be under either very bright conditions or really at the edge of use. I know absolutely that iot just does not work at F5.6
03-05-2008, 12:13 PM   #33
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I use a M 50mm 1.7 with the Vivitar 2x focusing macro converter for macro shooting and I have to say it does a great job.
I saw a M 100mm 2.8 macro for sale on Ebay today, bidding starting at 100 euro's. Don't know if that is a fair price (it's probably going up quite a bit).
03-05-2008, 01:10 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I've tried many macro lenses, but only keeping one for now, the A50/2.8. It's tiny, small, 1:2 only, but it gets the job done.

Probably will get a Voigtlander 125/2.5 someday. Tried it before, a very nice lens. A bit too heavy than what I really like, it's a bit hard to mount the lens on due to the big focus ring (virtually the whole barrel IS the focus ring!) ...

Kind interested in the Tokina 90/2.5 macro lens. Heard alot good things about this one, but I'd love to hear some actual users experiences here if you like to share

Cheers!
The Tokina has a cool tone, in contrast to the much warmer tone you would get from the Vivitar 105 (Voigtlander is neutral). The bokeh is definitely better than my Vivitar 105. Sharpness is about equivalent to the Vivitar (with the TC, the IQ degrades notably, but not much). But none of those two can compare to the Voigtlander in term of sharpness (at least at wide open). The Voigtlander is very comparable to the Tokina in Bokeh.

One more good side about the Tokina is its light weight, probably comparable to the Tamron SP 90 Di, though all metal construction. Some users report focus creeping in their copies, but mine is solid. I might take these three out for a mini Macro Round Up when I have some free time.

03-05-2008, 01:18 PM   #35
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FA 50 macro, but I'm anxious to what my soon to become DA 35 macro limited will be...
03-05-2008, 03:16 PM   #36
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Ok here's a really dumb question from a newb... what makes a lens a macro lens?
03-05-2008, 04:40 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by nixter Quote
Ok here's a really dumb question from a newb... what makes a lens a macro lens?
The ability to do close focus to give high magnification of the subject would make a lens to be a macro lens. Magnification is independent of focal length. So if you do a 1:1 (life size) magnification on a 35mm or a 90mm lens, the result would be the same. The difference would be the working distance, which you have to go much closer to the subject to achieve 1:1 on the 35mm case.

Life size magnification is basically the object's size will be the same on the sensor as it's in real life.
03-05-2008, 04:42 PM   #38
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I have the Sigma 50/2.8 macro. Really sharp, good colors, etc etc. But it's only a 2.8. I just recently got a Bower 2x teleconverter for it, so i now have beyond 1:1 control. Maybe 2:1? Not positive.

I'm sure pretty much every other macro lens that is currently made is better than this one, but this one does its job very well. I would reccomend the Sigma 105/2.8 or the Tamron 90/2.8 if price range isn't a problem. Or the Sigma 150/2.8 if price REALLY isn't a problem I'm a penny-pincher! I'm sure Pentax macros have better autofocus, though

03-05-2008, 04:47 PM   #39
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Like Ryan, I have the Tamron SP 90mm F2.5 with dedicated 2x. Super sharp lens.
03-05-2008, 07:06 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
The Tokina has a cool tone, in contrast to the much warmer tone you would get from the Vivitar 105 (Voigtlander is neutral). The bokeh is definitely better than my Vivitar 105. Sharpness is about equivalent to the Vivitar (with the TC, the IQ degrades notably, but not much). But none of those two can compare to the Voigtlander in term of sharpness (at least at wide open). The Voigtlander is very comparable to the Tokina in Bokeh.

One more good side about the Tokina is its light weight, probably comparable to the Tamron SP 90 Di, though all metal construction. Some users report focus creeping in their copies, but mine is solid. I might take these three out for a mini Macro Round Up when I have some free time.
Thanks for the useful info. Seems the Viogtlander 125/2.5 is THE ONE

Hope you'd get time to do a Macro Round Up

Cheers!
03-06-2008, 01:28 PM   #41
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Check the Welcome to Photozone! and see detailed tests of lot of lenses(some of the lenses are tested on Nikon and Canon, but the result is same on Pentax, too). You will see there that the best three macro lenses you can buy are Sigma 105mm(Sigma 180mm) and Tamron 90mm. Sigma 180mm is maybe the best, but double the price of 105mm. Can't be double as good, can it?? So, I will go for Sigma105mm macro lens.
03-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uros78 Quote
Check the Welcome to Photozone! and see detailed tests of lot of lenses(some of the lenses are tested on Nikon and Canon, but the result is same on Pentax, too). You will see there that the best three macro lenses you can buy are Sigma 105mm(Sigma 180mm) and Tamron 90mm. Sigma 180mm is maybe the best, but double the price of 105mm. Can't be double as good, can it?? So, I will go for Sigma105mm macro lens.
I think you missed out the Voigtlander 125mm macro review on the Canon section. Based on Klaus's test, the Voigtlander 125 is much better than the Sigma, slightly better than the Tamron (head and shoulder above both at wide open, however). For longer focal length, the Sigma 150mm or the Tamron 180mm is better than the Sigma 180mm. Unfortunately, both of the Sigma 150 and Tamron 180 are not available in K-mount. And none of the longer one can compare to the Voigtlander (based on Klaus data).
03-06-2008, 02:52 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadbelly Quote
I have the Sigma 105/2.8 macro lens. Wicked sharp! The Sigma 70/2.8 macro also gets rave reviews.
What leadbelly said ...
03-06-2008, 06:02 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by nixter Quote
Ok here's a really dumb question from a newb... what makes a lens a macro lens?
Apart from the likelihood that it will provide life size or half life size at the sensor plane generally they are designed to perform optimally at these magnifications whereas most normal lenses don't work best at close focus distances.

They are generally fairly well flat field corrected too, this means that the plane of focus at the subject is largely planar. Most regular lenses aren't so well corrected in this regard, they tend to have a more spherical field of focus, this isn't good when you are trying to faithfully record flat objects.

Lastly they are generally designed to exhibit very low levels of geometric distortion in other words they tend to render straight lines strait not bowed (ie barrel or pincushion). And most dedicated macro lenses also exhibit low levels of lateral chromatic aberrations, this means that the purity will remain good right out to the edges of the frame. Often when using add on close-up lenses on non macro lenses colour separation (CA or purity) becomes an issue.

There are plenty of options that you can use for close focus or macro work other than a dedicated macro lens but if you are demanding they are generally all compromises compared to a dedicated macro lens. In the Pentax line pretty much the cheapest way to get yourself a dedicated macro lens is to hunt down a used A50/2.8, it a great little lens that can be had for a very reasonable cost (good as a starter).

Cheers,
03-06-2008, 06:11 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
I think you missed out the Voigtlander 125mm macro review on the Canon section. Based on Klaus's test, the Voigtlander 125 is much better than the Sigma, slightly better than the Tamron (head and shoulder above both at wide open, however). For longer focal length, the Sigma 150mm or the Tamron 180mm is better than the Sigma 180mm. Unfortunately, both of the Sigma 150 and Tamron 180 are not available in K-mount. And none of the longer one can compare to the Voigtlander (based on Klaus data).
Indeed, I've owned a lot of very good dedicated macro lenses, and the V125/2.5 is the standout.

The following link is Nikon orientated but it's worth noting the authors comments regarding the V125/2.5 given his obvious extensive experience with top class macro lenses.

Special Lenses For Nikon 'F' Mount
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