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02-03-2014, 12:31 AM   #1
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Macro lens recommendations for newbies

I've been playing around with my K-r in the year I've owned it, taking photos of all sorts of things, trying to work out what I like to photograph and what I don't. I've been reading stuff on this site, and in lots of other places on the web. I've also bought a couple of magazines.
I think I've worked out my preferred things to photograph - I enjoy architecture, landscapes, and photographing animals the most. Oh and I enjoy photographing things at night too.
My interest in macro has been piqued, enough to do a little looking around at lenses. Can anyone recommend any? I won't be buying soon, but would at least like to be pointed in the direction of the right thing.

02-03-2014, 01:34 AM   #2
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That depends on your budget, if you are willing to post process and if you are going to post on the internet in under 1000px, or if you plan to print large.
02-03-2014, 01:39 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The Cosina 100/3.5 (available under many different brands, in both AF and MF versions) is a good place to start. And it's good enough to keep as well. I still have mine, along with my D FA 100 WR (although currently I've given the Cosina to my daughter, to use with her K-r).

But honestly, there are many good older MF macros, from both Pentax and other brands.


But at least this gives you an idea - that there are many good options in the ~$50-150 price range.
02-03-2014, 01:49 AM   #4
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+1 for Cosina/Pentax 100 F3.5, if you are on a budget. But I am curious about those questions I posted. I am in a market for a macro lens and I noticed there is a lot of considerations that needs to be taken into account. For example, most people won't us AF for macros, which is why MF macro lenses tend to be a bit more expensive than their non-macro counterparts.

02-03-2014, 02:20 AM   #5
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No budget at the moment, it's all dreaming! I have trouble spending money on myself, for anything, so I tend to research research research, and um and ah for a while before I commit, unless of course there's some kind of special price/deal/savings to be made then I might act more swiftly.
I hadn't thought of second hand, although I'd be willing to buy second hand if it was in good condition.
Thanks for your replies
02-03-2014, 02:25 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kreuzn Quote
No budget at the moment, it's all dreaming! I have trouble spending money on myself, for anything, so I tend to research research research, and um and ah for a while before I commit, unless of course there's some kind of special price/deal/savings to be made then I might act more swiftly.
I hadn't thought of second hand, although I'd be willing to buy second hand if it was in good condition.
Thanks for your replies
Well, that sounds just like me.

Check out keh.com. They have some old macros in Takumar and M. just check reviews to make sure they are good. The 100mm F3.5 as previously posted is very good and can be bought below $100. I believe it has been branded as cosina, pentax and maybe vivitar. Another cheap lens is Sigma 50mm F2.8 macro. I am personally using a 80-200mm Tokina F3.5-4.5 which is 1:4 maximum magnification at 200mm, which was $25.

I would suggest going for longer lenses (ie not 50 or 35) because the close working distance can be a bit of a pain. Tripod will be extremely helpful for macros as well and will greatly facilitate manual focusing.
02-03-2014, 03:15 AM - 1 Like   #7
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The Tamron SP AF 90mm f2.8 is very very sharp and quite a bit cheaper than the Pentax "equivalent" D FA 100mm f2.8. Gets a 9.3 from 44 user reviews on this site. Handling is not as nice as the Pentax, clunky AF/MF changeover and no quickshift, but it does have a focus limiter, which is useful for macro.
02-03-2014, 08:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
The Tamron SP AF 90mm f2.8 is very very sharp and quite a bit cheaper than the Pentax "equivalent" D FA 100mm f2.8. Gets a 9.3 from 44 user reviews on this site. Handling is not as nice as the Pentax, clunky AF/MF changeover and no quickshift, but it does have a focus limiter, which is useful for macro.
Yes, I concur.

02-03-2014, 09:57 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kreuzn Quote
No budget at the moment, it's all dreaming! I have trouble spending money on myself, for anything, so I tend to research research research, and um and ah for a while before I commit, unless of course there's some kind of special price/deal/savings to be made then I might act more swiftly.
I hadn't thought of second hand, although I'd be willing to buy second hand if it was in good condition.
Thanks for your replies
For macros, have you considered a cheap M50 f1.7 or f2.0 off eBay and a reversing ring or macro tubes ?
02-03-2014, 11:25 AM   #10
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macr...lose-work.html
02-04-2014, 04:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
For macros, have you considered a cheap M50 f1.7 or f2.0 off eBay and a reversing ring or macro tubes ?
Ooh, thanks for the suggestion. I'd read recently online somewhere about doing this, but forgot to bookmark whatever it was I read. Perhaps this could be a cheap & fairly easy way to try macro without getting in too deep financially.
02-04-2014, 06:17 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Another option if you want to be more 'shooting small stuff' and less 'counting the pips on a bug's eyeball' would be to just buy a small point and shoot with a good macro mode. Shooting with a small macro point and shoot is a hell of a lot easier than having to maneuver your DSLR into place and hoping to be able to pull the shot off in a lot of situations.

You can pick up a budget point and shoot or something similar for around a hundred bucks. If you still want RAW capabilities, then figure to double that cost, but its still an option.

Examples: I pulled these off with an old A470 (hacked to support RAW). Mind you most (all?) are reduced for screen sie.






02-05-2014, 12:14 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kreuzn Quote
No budget at the moment, it's all dreaming! I have trouble spending money on myself, for anything, so I tend to research research research, and um and ah for a while before I commit, unless of course there's some kind of special price/deal/savings to be made then I might act more swiftly.
I hadn't thought of second hand, although I'd be willing to buy second hand if it was in good condition.
Well then you need another reason, like an imminent event where you need to equipment in order to do the job right. You're not spending it on yourself if you're taking worthwhile photos for others.

I could take forever too if I didn't believe the equipment I was buying was important.
02-05-2014, 01:32 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Well then you need another reason, like an imminent event where you need to equipment in order to do the job right. You're not spending it on yourself if you're taking worthwhile photos for others.

I could take forever too if I didn't believe the equipment I was buying was important.
Do you think you could come over to our LBA meetings and give a motivational speech every now and then? We are having some trouble figuring out ways to substantiate purchases and some of us don't even have the next lens to covet.
02-05-2014, 02:00 AM   #15
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I just put new lenses in my bag because I know when I pull one out, my husband will have *no* clue when I got it or how much it cost!
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