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07-25-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
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Affordable Macro K-Mount Lens for Film

I am looking for recommendations for an affordable prime macro lens for my KM (not K-M) Pentax. I paint toy soldiers and do a lot of nature photography, but in general I want the flexibility. I appreciate advice. The wealth of options is a bit overwhelming.

07-26-2013, 12:21 AM   #2
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The M50mm F4 is a very affordable option- check the lens database.

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07-26-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
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The 50 to 55mm lenses are often cheaper because more people want 90 to 100mm. The Pentax-M 50mm f4 is often cheap because it is only f4, 1:2 magnification, and harder to use on a DSLR. It's still a very good lens. If you really need 1:1 magnification, you can put an extension tube on the M50/4, but this is where the smaller maximum aperture starts to be a problem - kind of dark to focus. It may not be that bad on the KM viewfinder. The optics are the same for the K version or S-M-C Takumar. It's very compact for a macro.

If that focal length is OK but you want 1:1, the Vivitar/Komine 55mm f2.8 macro is excellent. It's harder to find this for less than $100, and you may have to settle for an M42 mount because the K mount versions are rare. For some reason, there's a Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro that gets overlooked, even though it has a KA mount and 1:1 magnification. I have one and it works very well.

If you want a longer focal length, look for a Tamron 90mm f2.5 Adaptall. There are three versions with similar optics, different filter sizes and all good. These are only 1:2 magnification but work well with extension tubes. Because of the Adaptall system, the supply is good, you just need the cheapest adapter for K mount. The design has trouble on DSLRs but that doesn't matter on film. An alternative is the Cosina-built 100mm f3.5, another 1:2 lens. These were sold under Vivitar, Phoenix and Cosina brands. Look for the all-manual versions. The lens is fine but the focus ring is plastic on plastic and feels like it.
07-26-2013, 02:00 PM   #4
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Many thanks for the replies!

07-26-2013, 03:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Archimedes the Dog Quote
I am looking for recommendations for an affordable prime macro lens for my KM (not K-M) Pentax. I
What do call affordable? Under $100?
07-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by p38arover Quote
What do call affordable? Under $100?
Yes, $100 seems to be the magic line for me.
07-26-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
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If you were in Australia, I could help with one of these: SMC Pentax-M 100mm F4 Macro Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
07-27-2013, 11:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
For some reason, there's a Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro that gets overlooked, even though it has a KA mount and 1:1 magnification. I have one and it works very well.
Ditto. I am quite fond of mine, though the working distance can be a little tight at 50mm. For under $100 I would suggest extension tubes or the Raynox (DCR-150, DCR-250) add-on macro attachments. The Raynox adapters are usually used in combination with a moderate tele zoom lens while most people pair extension tubes with a readily available "fast 50" prime.


Steve

07-27-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Ditto. I am quite fond of mine, though the working distance can be a little tight at 50mm. For under $100 I would suggest extension tubes or the Raynox (DCR-150, DCR-250) add-on macro attachments. The Raynox adapters are usually used in combination with a moderate tele zoom lens while most people pair extension tubes with a readily available "fast 50" prime.


Steve
My camera came with a fast 55 prime, I don't know anything about extension tubes I'll do some research, but I can go over $100, I always feel odd paying so much more for accessories than the accesorized device!!!
07-27-2013, 07:48 PM   #10
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Extension tubes for your fast 50 should be relatively inexpensive. How does $19.95 new sound?

Extension Tubes | B&H Photo Video


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07-29-2013, 09:27 AM   #11
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I ended up reading a bunch about the the extension tubes, but it sounded a bit fussy compared to what I wanted, and I found the sigma at Keh for $115, so i bought it. Thanks, folks.

Last edited by Archimedes the Dog; 07-29-2013 at 09:57 AM.
07-29-2013, 08:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Archimedes the Dog Quote
I ended up reading a bunch about the the extension tubes, but it sounded a bit fussy compared to what I wanted, and I found the sigma at Keh for $115, so i bought it. Thanks, folks.
Hope that works out for you. Did you get the 50/2.8 EX DG for $150 or was it another version? If so, that is a great deal and even if its not, its probably still a good deal.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-29-2013 at 09:39 PM.
07-29-2013, 10:05 PM   #13
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It was a 50/2.8 Sigma Macro A for $115 in EX condition. If I can find a decent wide angle I'll have everything I want for a while. Eventually I'll want a wildlife zoom but that can wait.
07-30-2013, 09:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Archimedes the Dog Quote
If I can find a decent wide angle I'll have everything I want for a while.
A decent wide angle for film at a low price point should be an easy task. I would be on the lookout for a straight K-mount Vivitar 28mm. I have the Komine version (serial # 28xxxxxxxx) and it is a very decent lens. I can also strongly recommend the Tamron Adaptal-2 28/2.5 (02B).


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08-01-2013, 09:16 PM   #15
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I've got a few affordable choices available. One is the SMC-M pentax 28/2.8, one is the Sigma 28/2.8, one is an older sears 28/2.8, one is a newer sears 28/2.8, and finally a "bargain"-quality SMC-M 28/3.5. Kinda overwhelmed by all the options. The. Old sears is kind of appealing on price and. Kitsch factor. any thoughts?
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