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10-27-2013, 04:01 AM   #1
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DA 18 - 135mm WA macro... anything better?

I currently own a DA18-135mm and DA 100mm WR macro. I've been thinking about purchasing a lens to accompany either of these lenses when I am out and about (I almost never take both of them out at the same time). As such, I was thinking a wide angle macro... but I'm finding it hard to beat the x0.24 macro of the 18-135mm. In particular, I'd like something that will easily fit in my pocket so, for example, Sigma 20mm f1.8 is out.....

So first, does anyone know of a better wide angle macro for pentax than a Sigma 24mm F2.8 (x0.25)?

Second, any recommendations of lenses that you have found "complement" either of these two lenses when out (my primary interest is nature photography).

10-27-2013, 04:37 AM   #2
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If you want a real macro lens - 35 Ltd. Even though, it is not a wide angle. But, why do you need wide angle + macro? it is a little weird thing.

Last edited by Apapukas; 10-27-2013 at 05:07 AM.
10-27-2013, 05:08 AM   #3
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Yes, DA35 ltd for a proper real compact macro.

I have been impressed by the DA21 ltd close-up ability. DA21 is quite a bit wider and is tiny, much smaller than the DA35, DA15 or the Sigma 24mm. It's a useful all round prime actually.

<looks up database> It's 0.17x
10-27-2013, 05:13 AM   #4
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How about getting a reversing ring. Throw the wider angle lens on that and you have a pretty up-close macro. But then, maybe too close??

10-27-2013, 05:30 AM   #5
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Sigma Super Wide is probably your best bet for combining wide angle (but not that wide) with close focus (but not that close) in a small package (but not that small). Plus great IQ. The Vivitar 28mm Close Focus lenses are also nice, but those are getting closer to the normal range rather than wide angle.
10-27-2013, 05:33 AM   #6
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I don't really see the use of a true wide angle macro (if such a thing exists) due to the very short working distance. The DFA 100 is hard to beat as a macro anyway.

But for close focusing I agree that the DA 21 ltd is very good, and it is also very nice as an allrounder. And it is the definition of a pocketable lens!

The DA 15 ltd is small, too, and also adds range since it's wider than the 18-135. It's more of a specialty lens, though, not as flexible as the 21 IMO, and not really for close work. But excellent for what it does. I wouldn't be without mine.
10-27-2013, 05:47 AM   #7
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The 18-135 focuses close... WIthyour two lenses I'd be looking for something long.... like the A 200 or something super wide, like the Sigma 8-16. Neither of those are drop in your pocket lenses, but maybe in a pouch on your belt.

The 18-135 covers most of your shooting. And A-200 would give you long, but long is always heavy. A DA 15 might be your best bet for a bit wider and portable. With the 100 you have a workable macro and a lens to fill in for your 18-135 in the long end where it's not as strong or fast, when needed, so I'd concentrate on going outside your zoom range. But hey, that's just me.
10-27-2013, 05:55 AM   #8
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If you want wide and good close focusing capability, consider the DA 10-17 Fisheye. It's surprisingly good close up.

10-27-2013, 06:00 AM   #9
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+1, when I bought my *ist I had the kit 18-55 and a Sigma 70-300 (way to big and heavy for you, but it does do half assed macro, and then the 10-17. That is a great lens, I don't use it much because I do a lot of landscape and the 8-16 is corrected, but it's a great people lens, and a fun lens as well. My next lens after that was a 50 1.8. Everyone should have at least one 1.8 lens... although on APS-c the SIgma 30 1.4 is probably abetter choice if you can pay the big bucks.
10-27-2013, 07:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by turley85 Quote
In particular, I'd like something that will easily fit in my pocket so, for example, Sigma 20mm f1.8 is out.....
So does anyone know of a better wide angle macro for pentax than a Sigma 24mm F2.8 (x0.25)?
The Zeiss ZK 25/2.8, goes all the way to 1:2.3.

It is almost as big as the Sigma 20/1.8,
but since you'll want to keep it on your camera,
don't worry about fitting it in a pocket!
10-27-2013, 08:01 AM   #11
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Can you tell us when you are planning on using a wide angle macro? Macro is always closest possible focus. You probably noticed how close you need to be to the subject when you have your 100mm at nearest focus. With a 50mm, or 35mm, you need to be even closer to the subject. This has many drawbacks, like skittish animals running away, or the camera and lens casting a shadow, flash and light is harder to set up... That is why true macro (1:1) wider than 35mm is rather rare and not really useful. Keep in mind that if you have two lenses wit the same magnification, they will produce a similar image at that magnification of the same object. You will just need to be much closer. Of course, the frame will look a little different, but I dont think you gain anything by going wider, unless you are squeezing into a small space where 100mm's working distance is too big.

There are lots of 24mm and 28mm lenses with appx. 1:2 macro, though. Even older manual ones, which dont cost an arm and a leg. But macro will usually make the lens quite big. I never saw a macro pancake.

Edit: I attached an example of closest focus with my Samyang 14mm at f2.8. The flower was only a couple inches from the front element, and the frame still got half of that balcony! If this lens focused to a macro magnification, the front element would brush up against the object. For flower photographs I prefer to use my DA 40mm XS - super sharp, wonderful bokeh, great colour rendering. Lots of flower photos with that lens on my 500px page btw.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 05-23-2017 at 09:02 AM.
10-27-2013, 08:59 AM   #12
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As the last poster alluded to... 1:1 at much less than 35mm means that the plane of focus will be somewhere inside of the lens!

As others have recommended the Zeiss 25mm and the Limited 35mm are good options on the wide end for close focus. The Tamron 70-200 is a good option on the longer end, but it 'only' does 3:1 macro and of course is not pocketable.

Overall the 35mm Limited is probably your best bet. It's nice to have a close-to-normal lens, it does 1:1 macro, and it's the smallest of the lenses that has been recommended.
10-27-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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A practical, and inexpensive, solution would be to get +1 and +2 diopter "close-up filters" or a 12-18mm extension tube and explore the possibilities with your DA 18-135. You'll soon learn if a dedicated macro lens is of interest to you and what degree of FL and magnification would be most useful to you.

H2
10-27-2013, 01:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by turley85 Quote
As such, I was thinking a wide angle macro... but I'm finding it hard to beat the x0.24 macro of the 18-135mm. .
That x0.24 magnification will be at the 135mm setting and 40cm focus distance. It will be much lower at 18mm, so keep that in mind when comparing.

I'm also looking for an wide lens with close focus abilities. It might be better to not use the word 'macro' with really wide angle lenses, as many people consider 'macro' reserved for 1:1 or higher magnifications (Sigma disagrees of course). I currently use the cheapo 18-55mm, which you might want to consider. It focuses down to 25cm, and is somewhere in the x0.13 magnification range at 18mm (by my informal test of aiming it at a ruler). This will be a fair bit closer then your 18-135mm, and is a decent companion to the 100mm macro.

For what it's worth, the DA14/2.8, DA15/4, and the DA10-17 fisheye are all lenses I'm looking at, but I may be prioritizing wide-angle more than close-up compared to you. The Fisheye can hit the highest magnification (even at 10mm) but is obviously a fisheye (for better or worse). The DA14 beats the DA15 for magnification, but loses in size. The paralysis of choice.

As to the people asking why a close up-wide angle? For myself, I'd use it for showing little critters in their larger environment and for the radically different perspective it gives over the 100mm macro (fully accepting that the max magnification will be lower and working distances will be even tighter). To that end, I don't think the 35mm macro is wide enough for me at least (though I would also like it one day).
10-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #15
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How about a DA16-45, with about 1:3 closeup - and really close shots are available throughout its range. I'd love a 16-45, DA70 and 100 or 105mm macro triplet!
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