Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-13-2008, 10:16 AM   #1
Veteran Member
rmtagg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Warrington, PA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,271
Help with Macro selection

Hi,
I got a K10d last Aug and love it! I have a 70-210 5.6 macro lens from a 35 mm camera. I am getting older and can't seem to hold still as long now so I would like to get something a little faster. I don't have a lot of money to spend on a new lens so I thought I would ask for suggestions. This pic is an ex of what I typically use the lens for and I do need crisp sharp images. Any help is appreciated.


03-13-2008, 10:57 AM   #2
Veteran Member
aegisphan's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 815
Hi Rosemary,
Welcome to the forum. What's your primary subject? What's your budget? We need to know in order to provide a fitting solution. I also assume that you don't need an AF macro. Tripod is also a must to achieve this kind of magnification (unless you photograph fast moving subjects). Personally, I choose 90-100ish macro. But if you're constraint in budget and working with still subject then other members can suggest you a good 50ish macro.
03-13-2008, 10:57 AM   #3
Forum Member




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 68
If you can find yourself a Kiron (AKA Vivitar Series 1, AKA Lester A Dine) 105mm f2.5 macro, you'll get one of the best macro lenses around for a good price. They made an A version of the lens, but no auto-focus, which is pretty bothersome for a macro, anyway.

Failing that, probably the next most reasonable is a Tamron SP 90mm macro.
03-13-2008, 11:05 AM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,148
Dedicated macro

I would suggest a dedicated macro lens, after looking at your superb example. There are some really good ones out there. I have and love the Pentax M 100/4 macro, even though it only goes to 1:2 without an extension tube. With the 50mm tube I have, it becomes a lens limited to 1:2 to 1:1. At 1:1, you fill the sensor with something 16x24 mm (.63 inches by .94 inches). At 1:2, it is filled with something about 32x48mm (1.25" x 1.9").

I am usually taking pictures out in the field, so I really appreciate the snap-in-focus available with the manual focus macro lens. The technique is to set the magnification on the lens using the scale, then with the camera in AF.S, hold the shutter release down and slowly approach the subject until the camera fires.

With an M lens, I am restricted to manual exposure as well, but the meter will give me an idea of what I need. I have not yet "calibrated" my lens to see what the metering is like, but I have done it with my 400 M lens, and it is not that difficult.

For my use, I would prefer an A series lens, which would allow me more exposure options, but I will stay with the manual focus.

As others say, your results may vary.

03-13-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
Veteran Member
rmtagg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Warrington, PA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,271
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by afs760bf Quote
If you can find yourself a Kiron (AKA Vivitar Series 1, AKA Lester A Dine) 105mm f2.5 macro, you'll get one of the best macro lenses around for a good price. They made an A version of the lens, but no auto-focus, which is pretty bothersome for a macro, anyway.

Failing that, probably the next most reasonable is a Tamron SP 90mm macro.
I have a few hundred to spend on the macro lens but I will save for what I need if necessary. I am pretty new to photography so I don't really know what I need. I know the lens I have is slow and need something faster. I also need a lens that produces excellent quality photos. I will be taking pictures mostly of flowers with this lens and I love getting close. The closer the better.
03-13-2008, 11:13 AM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,148
QuoteOriginally posted by rmtagg Quote
I have a few hundred to spend on the macro lens but I will save for what I need if necessary. I am pretty new to photography so I don't really know what I need. I know the lens I have is slow and need something faster. I also need a lens that produces excellent quality photos. I will be taking pictures mostly of flowers with this lens and I love getting close. The closer the better.
Rosemary, for a few hundred dollars, you can buy a pretty good dedicated macro lens. I would watch the marketplace in these forums. The prices are fair, and the people seem to be selling some stuff so they have cash to buy more stuff, rather than try to make a killing.
03-13-2008, 11:14 AM   #7
Veteran Member
rmtagg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Warrington, PA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,271
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
Hi Rosemary,
Welcome to the forum. What's your primary subject? What's your budget? We need to know in order to provide a fitting solution. I also assume that you don't need an AF macro. Tripod is also a must to achieve this kind of magnification (unless you photograph fast moving subjects). Personally, I choose 90-100ish macro. But if you're constraint in budget and working with still subject then other members can suggest you a good 50ish macro.
I haven't used a tripod for my macro work yet and where I will be doing a lot of shooting they don't allow tripods. I got lucky and was approved to take and submit pictures of flowers at a famous tourist garden. I am not sure what the difference is between what I will get with a auto focus or manual focus lens?????? As I said I am pretty new but am making like a sponge!
03-13-2008, 11:58 AM   #8
Veteran Member
aegisphan's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 815
Some people do use their macro lens as a portrait lens so autofocus might come in handy. But if it's just for macro work, then manual focus would be your best option (cheap and sharp).

Seem like you do more flora macro than insect one. You can get by with a 50mm macro if you can find a cheap one below $100. Above that, I would suggest going with at least a 90mm macro. Here is my list of suggestion

Vivitar Series 1 or Tokina 90mm
Tamron SP 90mm
Vivitar Series 1 or Kiron or Lester Dine 105mm
Panagor or Elicar or Spiratone or Kiron 90mm (these can be had for a little more than $100)

Personally, I've used the first 3 options, and I can assure that they're very sharp. But they cost more than the last option.

Note that, by using a dedicated macro lens, you have more flexibility/ease of use than other cheaper alternatives (close up filter, reverse ring, macro coupler...).

Albert suggests you to check out our marketplace for a used one, and I think that's a good idea. I'm going to sell my Vivitar Series 1 105 macro soon after a few more tests. So if you can wait, it will pop up in the marketplace in a day or two.

03-13-2008, 12:00 PM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 452
I can vouch for the Marketplace on this forum. I picked up a Pentax A 100mm /4 Macro for $250 and a old Takumar SMC 50mm /4 M42 with close-up lenses and extension tubes for $150. So for not too much money you can get some nice buys. Both very good lens, nice and sharp. The prices were reasonable for the market.
03-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #10
Veteran Member
rmtagg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Warrington, PA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,271
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by tybeck Quote
I can vouch for the Marketplace on this forum. I picked up a Pentax A 100mm /4 Macro for $250 and a old Takumar SMC 50mm /4 M42 with close-up lenses and extension tubes for $150. So for not too much money you can get some nice buys. Both very good lens, nice and sharp. The prices were reasonable for the market.
I will keep an eye on the listings. I just have to make sure I get a lens that will give me sharp images since I will be submitting them for sale. I just wish I had more experience but am trying to learn as fast as I can. Thanks everyone for your help
03-14-2008, 08:14 AM   #11
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 114
Just to add a bit more to your choices. There are more affordable lenses out there too. A few of us here on the forum were lucky enough to get some Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro lenses from the Marketplace a month or so ago. Here is an example of that lens. The reviews are very good for it, and if you enjoy getting close then a 50mm lens will do just that. The 50mm lens will give you a somewhat larger depth of field (but less working distance) when compared to a longer focal length lens (e.g 90mm, 105mm) which will keep you further away from your subject, but dof will be somewhat shallower, all else being equal.

Shot with Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro @ f22 1.6 sec, ISO 100 w/ available light in a greenhouse.
Second shot is a 100% crop.
Both 'Smart Sharpened' in CS3. edit: maybe overly so...

Please feel free to ask any more questions before you bite the bullet, drop the hammer, shave the sheep, or whatever you prefer to call parting with your money.

Cheers, Matt

Last edited by loudbay; 03-15-2008 at 12:49 PM.
03-14-2008, 01:43 PM   #12
Veteran Member
rmtagg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Warrington, PA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,271
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by loudbay Quote
Just to add a bit more to your choices. There are more affordable lenses out there too. A few of us here on the forum were lucky enough to get some Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro lenses from the Marketplace a month or so ago. Here is an example of that lens. The reviews are very good for it, and if you enjoy getting close then a 50mm lens will do just that. The 50mm lens will give you a somewhat larger depth of field (but less working distance) when compared to a longer focal length lens (e.g 90mm, 105mm) which will keep you further away from your subject, but dof will be somewhat shallower, all else being equal.

Shot with Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro @ f22 1.6 sec, ISO 100 w/ available light in a greenhouse.
Second shot is a 100% crop.
Both 'Smart Sharpened' in CS3. edit: maybe overly so...

Please feel free to ask any more questions before you bite the bullet, drop the hammer, shave the sheep, or whatever you prefer to call parting with your money.

Cheers, Matt
How close were you able to get with the 50mm to take these pics ?
03-14-2008, 08:12 PM   #13
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 114
rmtagg,

I'm a measly inch away or so at 1:1 magnification. That being said, if the subject can't run away, the dof really is worth the trade off in my opinion. The dof is thin, but nothing like some I've seen from longer focal length lenses. e.g. What do you mean you can't tell it's a flower? Look how sharp that point on the tip of the pistil is.

Matt
03-14-2008, 09:23 PM   #14
Veteran Member
Mechan1k's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,883
I am using a Tamron 90mm SP Macro .... and it is very sharp indeed.
I really haven't put that much effort into macro shots ... I have taken a few to test what it is like though ... and from the 100% crops .... it is extremely sharp.

I haven't taken beautiful shots with it ... just close (and only handheld so far) ... if i can find a decent Macro slider head ... I might get into it a bit more.

But so far so good ... and it is a very nice lens for long portrait shots as well. I spendt a bit on it ... but I have found it was worth the $$$$.
03-14-2008, 10:26 PM   #15
Veteran Member
rmtagg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Warrington, PA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,271
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Mechan1k Quote
I am using a Tamron 90mm SP Macro .... and it is very sharp indeed.
I really haven't put that much effort into macro shots ... I have taken a few to test what it is like though ... and from the 100% crops .... it is extremely sharp.

I haven't taken beautiful shots with it ... just close (and only handheld so far) ... if i can find a decent Macro slider head ... I might get into it a bit more.

But so far so good ... and it is a very nice lens for long portrait shots as well. I spendt a bit on it ... but I have found it was worth the $$$$.
Thanks for the info...what is a slider head?????? Sorry, I'm a newbie pretty much
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
help, k-mount, lens, macro, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nature Macro Flower selection Squier Post Your Photos! 6 10-26-2010 10:10 AM
Q on a 2x Converter selection. arbib Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 11-23-2009 01:31 AM
Help with lens selection splurf Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 3 11-20-2009 08:17 AM
Help with lens selection JamesD Pentax DSLR Discussion 39 10-30-2007 04:59 PM
Need lens selection help? DJR Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 09-18-2006 06:58 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:04 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top