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08-19-2013, 07:08 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Which Macro lens?

Hello and would like your input on a good macro lens, I will be new to macro shooting so I do not think I need to invest a lot of $$ or do I?
I am currently shooting the K-5II body any input will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks, Jim

08-19-2013, 07:30 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by k-5 II Quote
Hello and would like your input on a good macro lens, I will be new to macro shooting so I do not think I need to invest a lot of $$ or do I?
I am currently shooting the K-5II body any input will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks, Jim
It depends somewhat on what you are shooting. If you are doing flowers and plants for example and want to shoot hand held, then a 50 or 70mm would work great. If you are going for bugs, then you might be better off with a 90 or 105 as it gives greater distance from the bugs.
I have the sigma 105 and unless you have a very steady hand, you might be best using a tripod in order to keep the lens steady. Most will say to use a tripod under all conditions, but I seem to never have the patients to do the full set up

Good luck!

Randy
08-19-2013, 07:45 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Slip has the right idea. If you are into flowers, 50. If you are into bugs 100. If you are into stamps, jewelry, etc. you would probably be better off with a 35. It will give you a better field of view from closer to the object. Adding extension tubes or bellows will give you more magnification. I'm a bug man myself and have an M 100/4 that I have used for many years. Hand held works best for bugs. Catch-in-focus is perfect for this use.
08-19-2013, 07:54 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Slip has the right idea. If you are into flowers, 50. If you are into bugs 100. If you are into stamps, jewelry, etc. you would probably be better off with a 35. It will give you a better field of view from closer to the object. Adding extension tubes or bellows will give you more magnification. I'm a bug man myself and have an M 100/4 that I have used for many years. Hand held works best for bugs. Catch-in-focus is perfect for this use.
Oops forgot about the 35 I agree it would be good for what Canadian Rockies says

Cheers

Randy

08-19-2013, 07:57 AM   #5
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ok I gotcha I guess it would make a difference what I am shooting I thinks bugs and insects will be more my style!!
08-19-2013, 07:59 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I would also add that it depends on what else you want the lens to do, the 35 limited is brilliant for flowers, great for general use, not so hot for portraits. Something like the Sigma 70 would be ok for bugs and great for portraits, and terrible indoors or for landscape. The 105 is better at bugs, but even more useless indoors, and a bit too long for portraiture.

My advice is to start with a 50mm macro, any of them are fine. Buy it here on the marketplace used, use it, decide what you don't like about it, and sell it here for more or less what you paid for it, and then buy something else which fixes whatever you didn't like about the first one. All macro lenses are pretty much fantastic, so no worries. It really is a personal issue, and depends more on your style then anything else.

Me for example, I have 0 need for a long macro. No interest in bugs at all. I use my 35 to take shots of flowers from very low positions, with lots of sky in the background. 35 is perfect for that. I'd probably be even happier with something wider.
08-19-2013, 08:00 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by k-5 II Quote
ok I gotcha I guess it would make a difference what I am shooting I thinks bugs and insects will be more my style!!
The advantage to the longer lenses is that you aren't as close to the insect, and scare fewer of them away. Trying to photograph a wasp with a 35mm would give me the willies.
08-19-2013, 08:04 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by k-5 II Quote
ok I gotcha I guess it would make a difference what I am shooting I thinks bugs and insects will be more my style!!
You're in luck! There's a 105mm macro (w/ extension tubes) for sale on the marketplace here... grab it and enjoy your K-5II and the bugs while they're still out (assuming you're in the northern hemisphere).

08-19-2013, 08:24 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Adding another wrench into the works, don't forget to consider good lighting for bug macros:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-technique/228550-my-techniqu...o-insects.html

Once I got my macro flash unit, it made a huge difference.
08-19-2013, 09:37 AM   #10
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Like Canada_Rockies, I also have the M100/4.
It's an old manual lens that can be found reasonably cheap and I sometimes use it with a close-up lens attached.
It's 1:2 in macro terms.
I'm quite the novice when it comes to macro photos, but just an idea of what can be achieved below. Someone with better skill could do far better.
I think, for me, macro photography is a once in a while type thing, but I hope that I will get into it more. If so, then I will invest in a AF lens, probably a 90mm Tamron.

Resized photo and 100% crop.




Last edited by mickey; 08-19-2013 at 09:44 AM.
08-19-2013, 04:50 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Budget Macro?

Hello K-5 II, Welcome to the Forum!
This question comes up often, and there are quite a few low-cost options like a reversing adapter, extension tubes and close-up filters.
But overall, I recommend a dedicated macro lens, it seems easier, faster and (usually) can double as a 'regular' lens.
My favorite focal length is the 90-105mm range, even for flowers. It provides space and working room, you're not nose-to-nose with everything.
And most of the 100's (roughly) make good general use short telephoto primes.
I started with the M series 100mm f/4.0 and still have a special feeling for that lens. It provided me with a great introduction to macro and certainly was sharp! At around $100 used, it's a fine macro.
But I also wanted auto-aperture, sometimes forgetting the green button ruined otherwise good photo ops. Anyone can forget sometimes, brain lock, call it what you want, it happens! Not having the f/stop readout in the viewfinder and EXIF data also slowed my learning curve somewhat.
Then I found what could be one of the best bargains in macro, the Pentax FA 100mm f/3.5 Macro. It's 1:2, not 1:1, but that's still great magnification, very sharp, auto-focus and auto-aperture, the works. About $150 used. I gave the M100 Macro to my Sister shortly afterwards.
Even better dollar-wise, is that this same lens was marketed by Cosina as the (you guessed it!) Cosina AF 100mm f/3.5 Macro. The only real difference is the lens coatings, Cosina uses their own, Pentax is smc. The Cosina sells for less, around $100 used.
Another fun option, not true macro, more like 'close-focusing' is the Pentax F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom. This is a great walk-around short zoom and has a macro function at the 70mm end. At $50.00 used, a good starter lens, but eventually its shortcomings as a macro will lead you back to a dedicated lens.
A few more ideas for you!
Ron
08-19-2013, 06:00 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Don't forget to see samples from various lenses too : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/129563-macro-lens-club.html and to add more to the great tips offered : Macro Photography for Beginners – Part 1
08-19-2013, 08:54 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by k-5 II Quote
Hello and would like your input on a good macro lens, I will be new to macro shooting so I do not think I need to invest a lot of $$ or do I?
I am currently shooting the K-5II body any input will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks, Jim
Hi,
A friend of mine has a Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens for sale, should you be interested PM me and I can give you his contact details.
Regards.
08-20-2013, 06:57 AM - 1 Like   #14
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I use an FA100 macro for insects. It's also a very nice close telephoto for birds etc within say 50 feet. I will use both auto and manual focus when outside, I find the autofocus very convenient, though you have to learn how to use that center point.
08-20-2013, 07:36 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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Here's an old shot with a Pentax D FA 100/2.8 Macro WR on my K-r using just the onboard flash ... it's a wonderful lens, but pricey. I had the Tamron 90/2.8, but sold it to get the Pentax. I also use a SMC M 100/4 Macro (only 1:2) and have a Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 90/2.5 (model 52BB - only 1:2 alone) with a Tamron SP 2x teleconverter ... but, my biggest obstacle now is lack of a proper macro lighting set-up.

The suggestion for the F 35-70 f3.5-4.5 is very good ... I find that this lens has a great focal length for me and the "macro" function at 70mm is quite good ... it's an under-rated lens IMHO and my copy spends a lot of time on the K-5 ... good luck, J

For more images see : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/15650...r-insects.html and https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/22331...c-spiders.html


Last edited by Jean Poitiers; 08-20-2013 at 07:45 AM.
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