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04-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #1
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Macro Quandry

Apparently as a result of my testosterone levels decling in middle age , I'm finding shooting flowers and butterflies more appealing.

Which leads me to my question, do I purchase an F/FA 100 macro for this work, or do I buy a set of extension tubes and use the FA135 I already own?

However, extension tubes confuse me with different lengths and how to focus etc...

Thoughts please?

04-03-2013, 11:35 AM   #2
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Macro lenses usually have higher IQ at close range. Auto extension tubes are not cheap. If you don't want to spend as much, there are many good manual focus 90-105mm macros. Auto focus is not very useful for close-up work, anyway.

Also, flowers often look more dramatic with a shorter lens, but butterflies will likely flee at the close working distance.
04-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
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I split the cost difference with a Promaster 100mm f/3.5 - a fine, sharp AF macro lens but under $200. If I use it a lot I can justify the Pentax model, but if not I have a fine mid-tele prime with excellent sharpness and talented for the occasional close shot. That may not be the answer for you, but so far I'm really happy about it.
04-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
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Original Poster
so should I be looking more for a 50mm (70?/35?) macro for flower work and just stick with the 135 or longer for butterflies and hope the crop doesnt get too bad?

here in az the flowers and the butterflies seem to be rather small, unlike those in wetter climates

04-03-2013, 11:51 AM   #5
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Try this for a comprehensive list of options:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html

H2
04-03-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
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I bought a used FA100 macro years ago, and enjoy it a lot. I've also achieved good results with the DA55-300 for butterflies, since they're not always up close enough for a great macro shot (and you use the lens on the camera despite the subject). For bees, beetles etc. that 100mm is better.

Last year I bought a used Sigma 28mm macro which is really, really, really nice for close work. I don't know how it compares with the 50mm macros but I like it better than the DA35mm macro for whatever reason (I rented it, maybe didn't give it enough of a chance).

It's coming to the season, though, so maybe pick your first priority and then see how that 135 works for stand-off work.
04-03-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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A DFA100 should be in your lens collection. It's spectacular.
04-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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You will find it difficult to find auto extension tubes second hand. Nobody is making pentax auto extension tubes. I prefer my 35Ltd for flowers to get more depth of field and the 100 WR for insects as I can't get that close. I am hanging out for sigma to produce their 150 or 200 (very expensive) in a pentax mount. I have the 35,and 100mm pentax an 70 mm sigma and all are excellent lenses.

If you are going to really get involved in macro then the best quality macro you can afford is the way to go. I don't use auto focus that often so you could go for a second hand lens. 100mm is the best option for insects, especially skittish butterflies. (I have been known to use my 500mm for butterflies)

You could look into using a reversing ring where you put the lens back to front on your camera. You would need a lens with a aperture ring.

04-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #9
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The DF A 100 mm should be the minimum for flowers. With most macro photography, you want to use manual focusing so even an old manual macro lens will work. With one of those and the Pentax adapter, you are in business. I am also playing around with an old Ashi Opt Co Super-Multi Coated 300 mm f4 in pristine condition. This year I am going to try using it with an extension tube just to see what the end result will look like. The advantage of a long lens is it's shallow depth of field which works to your advantage.

Just waiting for some warm weather so the tulips have a change to show their wares.

Jay
04-03-2013, 04:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
Which leads me to my question, do I purchase an F/FA 100 macro for this work, or do I buy a set of extension tubes and use the FA135 I already own?
How much IQ do you want?
If you don't plan to make large prints,
the Q and a K2Q adapter
(total cost of possibly less than $600)
is an option in Pentaxland.

Then, if you find yourself getting more seriously involved later,
you can move on to better things.
04-03-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
Apparently as a result of my testosterone levels decling in middle age , I'm finding shooting flowers and butterflies more appealing.

Which leads me to my question, do I purchase an F/FA 100 macro for this work, or do I buy a set of extension tubes and use the FA135 I already own?

However, extension tubes confuse me with different lengths and how to focus etc...

Thoughts please?
Macro has become a generic term. Are you talkin' about true 1:1 macro or closeups?

M
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