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04-23-2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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Welcome to the forum and here's another "vote" for the 35/2.4 ... I have it and use it quite often since it's a "50" mm on APS-C. Your 18-55 should close focus relatively well ... Good luck, J

04-23-2013, 11:40 AM   #17
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Define macro If you read the replies from others, it depends on the size of the small object and how big you want it on the sensor (in the image). The kit lens is actually pretty good for close focus (30% magnification) while most other lenses will offer less (DA35/2.4 and DA50/1.8 give about 15%). For real macro, many prefer manual focus lenses and there are plenty manual focus ones available on the second hand market.

Define shallow DOF It can be achieved with the kit lens and else I suggest a fast fifty (the DA50/1.8 or older manual focus options like the M50/1.7).

I don't want to discourage you to get another lens, but for food photography indoors I can imagine that you might be better of with a flash setup, remote and tripod.

Food for thought, I guess.
04-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #18
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Thanks for the great suggestions everyone! So for macro (not just food, but the fine details of any static objects) manual is better than auto-focus, and the higher the aperture the better dof. Will I still be able to use auto-focus with a manual lens as an option? Also, will a mini-tripod give me enough stability (I don't want to have to carry around a tripod for outdoor photos)?
04-24-2013, 07:26 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by bellavida Quote
Thanks for the great suggestions everyone! So for macro (not just food, but the fine details of any static objects) manual is better than auto-focus, and the higher the aperture the better dof. Will I still be able to use auto-focus with a manual lens as an option? Also, will a mini-tripod give me enough stability (I don't want to have to carry around a tripod for outdoor photos)?
Unfortunately a manual lens is always manual, even on a new fancy auto focus camera. And it is true that for macro, auto focus is NOT your friend. The thing about macro photography is that the DOF is so thin the AF sensor covers too much area, and letting the camera chose what should be in focus will most likely not be what you would want to chose. For small static objects a good table top tripod should do the trick. Just check what its load rating is, generally you want at least 10% above the combined weight of both your camera and the heaviest lens you are likely to use.

NaCl( hope this helps)H2O

04-24-2013, 07:54 AM   #20
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Make that 50% please.
04-24-2013, 08:27 AM   #21
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First lens for a K-x, first, Macro is expensive.... so I wouldn't be thinking macro. There are a number of ways you could go. if all you have is the kit lens, the Sigma 70-300, as much maligned as it tends to be, would be a great choice. It's probably the cheapest AF macro on the market and goes to 1:2 macro, not shabby at all. It's also great in combination with the kit lens. And the 35 2.4 is a great prime for cheap. WIth those two you could be a happy camper for years. The downside being, once you get a lens like the Tamron 90 or Pentax 100, you Sigma isn't going to get used much for macro work. It's not the sharpest lens in the bag @300. But, it's a great low cost macro compromise.
04-24-2013, 09:09 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by bellavida Quote
Thanks for the great suggestions everyone! So for macro (not just food, but the fine details of any static objects) manual is better than auto-focus, and the higher the aperture the better dof. Will I still be able to use auto-focus with a manual lens as an option? Also, will a mini-tripod give me enough stability (I don't want to have to carry around a tripod for outdoor photos)?
Manual Focus lenses are MF only. There is a Trap in Focus feature that can be useful for NON-Macro photography but for Macro MF is actually more accurate.

A Mini-Tripod will not be much help I'm afraid - they are inherently unstable and don't allow for precise aiming like a large tripod. You might think about one of the newer tripods that can convert into a Monopod if you want some stability outdoors but not a tripod. However, many of the newer tripods are lighter and easier to carry around. But for macro a tripod and remote (you can get an IR remote for $3-8 that works like a charm) are essential - non-optional equipment.
04-24-2013, 09:12 AM   #23
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Add a cheap auto extension tube on the old manual lens and voila! Macro!

04-24-2013, 09:42 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
A Mini-Tripod will not be much help I'm afraid - they are inherently unstable and don't allow for precise aiming like a large tripod.
What about the gorillapods? Those are reasonably small.


QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
But for macro a tripod and remote (you can get an IR remote for $3-8 that works like a charm) are essential - non-optional equipment.
Just to point out, don't forget to set your camera to IR mode or else you'll be left wondering why the remote isn't working. It's on the Timer button.
04-25-2013, 07:02 PM   #25
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Ok, I believe I have it narrowed down to the 35/2.4 (b/c I can't bring myself to splurge on the 2.8!) or the 50/2.8. Which of these lenses will get me the clearest and closest macro shots (dewdrops, flowers, insects)?

Also, if I get the 35/2.4 do I need to use a clip-on such as the Raynox to get better magnification? As always, any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance

Last edited by bellavida; 04-26-2013 at 04:29 AM.
04-26-2013, 08:36 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bellavida Quote
Which of these lenses will get me the clearest and closest macro shots (dewdrops, flowers, insects)?
The Sigma is a macro lens, so it will definitely deliver better max magnification. It has a minimum focus distance (MFD) of 19cm. The DA 35mm f2.4 only has MFD of 30cm and its a wider angle.
If you want 1:1 macro, definitely get the Sigma, even though it is more difficult to use and much heavier. The DA 35mm is significantly smaller and lighter and probably has better flare control (according to the lens review database). To get higher magnification with a DA 35mm f2.4 you can buy extension tubes or a macro adapter that you clip on the front (but don't get cheap ones. Raynox is good.). That way you can get macro when you need it.
Oh and.. for all intents and purposes, the Sigma 50mm will give you a shallower DoF and bigger bokeh OoF balls.
According to what you said in this thread the Sigma macro might be the best choice for you. Just read its manual carefully. You can always buy a 35mm later.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 04-26-2013 at 08:42 AM.
04-26-2013, 10:46 AM   #27
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I have found a Pentax-A 50mm/2.8 (old Pentax lens) for $60 used - is this a good deal? This way, I can try out a manual focus lens and save up some money to perhaps get a more advanced lens down the line.
04-26-2013, 11:34 AM   #28
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I think thats a good price, if the lens is in-tact. Hell, even if it isn't, you can get it fixed and sell it at a profit. Most Pentax lenses retain their value very well.
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
No AF, but automatic aperture, which is really useful. Use CiF (catch in focus aka focus trapping) and you're good to go
04-26-2013, 12:08 PM   #29
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I ended up passing on the Pentax-A 50mm due to it not being 1:1. I have decided to wait on getting a macro lens and try to get more magnification out of my kit (18-55mm) lens until I can save up enough for a 35/2.8 or even the Tamron 90mm. What kind of magnification can I get by using a Raynox DCR-250 on my 18-55mm lens?

Last edited by bellavida; 04-26-2013 at 01:37 PM.
04-26-2013, 01:35 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by bellavida Quote
I only hesitate about the purchase due to the fact that the main cons from the reviewers stated that it is only a 1:2 magnification.....however the pics looked gorgeous! I'm guessing I can probably catch small flowers and slow-moving insects but not get close enough magnification for clear dewdrop and other similar pictures?
Keep in mind that you are using a crop sensor camera, which will also make apparent magnification bigger. lol friend, I think you are over-thinking this. You will have great fun and make nice photos with any macro 50mm, 1:1 or 1:2, Sigma or Pentax
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