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03-03-2008, 03:14 PM   #1
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Favorite macro lenses?

Mine's the Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5.

But - I'd like opinions, I may want to get another for my wife, who recently 'inherited' a K100D Super

I'm thinking Tamron 90mm, the Pentax 100mm 2.8, any others that you swear by that I may not have heard of? It would be nice to find one used, and preferably 90mm+.


BTW, there's one like mine going on ebay right now (not mine!!)

Vivitar Series 1 Macro Lens for Pentax VMC 105mm 1:2.5 - eBay (item 200204168923 end time Mar-07-08 13:49:10 PST)



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03-03-2008, 03:30 PM   #2
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Mine is pentax SMC-M 100mm F4

Don't bother with AF because you want to focus macro manually any ways
03-03-2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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I wish that Vivitar made a S1 in a 50mm or a 200mm, that would be a kick ass setup.
03-03-2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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Pentax FA 50/2.8, and the Tamron 90/2.5 AF.

03-03-2008, 04:38 PM   #5
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I would say AF for macro has it's uses too. It really depends on the magnification and subject distance one is shooting at.

At very high magnification, one would usually focus by setting focus first and moving the camera to and fro to get the subject in focus or by focusing manually. The reason why AF may not give the best results is because the DOF is very thin which causes the background or foreground to be blurred. This makes it hard for the AF to lock focus and you would need to set focus to a certain focus point. The camera's AF might hunt and because of the long focus travel for a macro lens, it might be a hit or miss affair. With the Pentax DFA macros, the Quick Shift feature however is useful to tweak focus manually. That's another reason why there's a manual focus override switch.

However AF is useful for subjects at longer distances where the lens does double duty as a tele. AF in this instance is usually much quicker than focusing manually. BTW I have 4 macro lenses, 2 are AF and 2 are manual focus. For ease of use I'd say the DFA 100mm f/2.8.
03-03-2008, 05:04 PM   #6
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I have got both FA50/2.8 and Tamron 90/2.8. I looked at the DFA 100 but didn't really like the build quality. Also looked at the Kiron 105/2.8, very very well built but too heavy! FA50/2.8 is a metal lens and has a clamp to help with manual focus. Tamron has got a very wide manual focus ring. Both lenses are very sharp wide open.
03-03-2008, 05:39 PM   #7
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At the moment i'm looking for 1:1 200mm macro Pentax mount, but it's just plain hard to find one at a decent price. If pentax decides to revive that awesome 200mm macro, it would get my vote as the best macro I have...

Otherwise, I have to say my Voigtlander gets the vote. I've never used the Pentax but I've used the new Tamron, the Vivitar S1 105, and the Tokina 90. I have to say the Voigtlander is sharper than the Viv S1. The bokeh might be a little less creamy than the Tokina (though bokeh is such a subjective matter). But the Tokina color and resolution is just not up to par with the Vivitar S1 or Voigtlander.

For macro purpose only, then Auto focus is useless (especially for creative purpose). I usually prefocus my lens to certain magnification, then I move back and forth or readjust the focus a little. Most macros are optimized to give the best result at 1:10 magnification, so they can be doulbed as portrait lenses.
03-03-2008, 06:27 PM   #8
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Currently I am a fan of voigtlander 125 macro for its smooth bokeh and nice manual focus ring. The colour is always rendered naturally with good smooth graduation of bokeh surrounding the subject of interest.

Pity that AF can be useful at occasions like chasing in-flight insects and alike.

03-04-2008, 12:19 AM   #9
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My vote is also for the SMC-M 100/4. The one I have happens to the the "dental" version - it has extra scales on the lens extension for use with the tube and close up lens that came with the dentist's kit. I have neither.

I find the stand off distance of the 100 to be good, and with the K10D, it will be even better, because of the (in)famous crop factor. I can be half as far away again from that 3 inch dragonfly.
03-04-2008, 01:16 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
At the moment i'm looking for 1:1 200mm macro Pentax mount, but it's just plain hard to find one at a decent price. If pentax decides to revive that awesome 200mm macro, it would get my vote as the best macro I have...snip...
Well, there is the Sigma 180mm Macro; don't know whether you'd consider its price "decent," though...but it's close in FL and is available in a Pentax mount.
03-04-2008, 03:24 AM   #11
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I have the Sigma 180mm - fantastic lens, but pricey compared to the others (except the old Pentax 200mm Macro)
03-04-2008, 05:35 AM   #12
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For me it's easily the Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro. Can usually be found second hand for a fairly good price. The lens is also an excellent short tele and an excellent portrait lens. It is one of my top 3 favorite lenses. The others being the 77ltd, and the Tamron 28-75 F2.8 zoom.

NaCl(I'm also fond of my Zenitar fe, the K 50 1.2, the DA 12-24....)H2O
03-04-2008, 05:55 AM   #13
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I use the same lens, but right now the aperture ring won't lock in Auotmatic - it GOES there and works on the new K10D (and KX), but it won't lock. Any suggestions?
03-04-2008, 06:21 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
My vote is also for the SMC-M 100/4. The one I have happens to the the "dental" version - it has extra scales on the lens extension for use with the tube and close up lens that came with the dentist's kit. I have neither.

I find the stand off distance of the 100 to be good, and with the K10D, it will be even better, because of the (in)famous crop factor. I can be half as far away again from that 3 inch dragonfly.
you should try it with the 1.7x AF TC. it gives you a measure of AF when you are close with manual focus, and combined with the 50mm or so of focus extension built in to the lens, can give you past 1:1.

that should help you chase dragonflies a little better!

I have also had some fun reciently putting a close up lens on my 135 F2.5. So far just in a local greenhouse, but I will play a little more when the bugs thaw out.
03-04-2008, 06:40 AM   #15
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I have the Sigma 105/2.8 macro lens. Wicked sharp! The Sigma 70/2.8 macro also gets rave reviews.
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