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05-24-2014, 03:25 PM   #1
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Manual Macro Lens..?

Hello guys...

I've a Pentax K-r with SMC Pentax 50mm M 1.7 lens and extension tube, I'm tryin to learn about macro photography. And I just wonder is there a manual macro lens to recommend to me?

05-24-2014, 03:35 PM   #2
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Yes. Either the Pentax-M 100mm f4 macro or the M- 50mm f4 macro. Both excellent lenses, and can be found fairly inexpensive.
05-24-2014, 03:50 PM   #3
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You have a very useable combination there already. A macro focusing rail can make your close-up photography efforts much more effective and efficient. I picked up a nice Velbon unit from a brick & morter dealer on a certain auction site for less than forty dollars. I'd recommend study and practice first and foremost. An economical option for a longer focal length dedicated macro lens is the Tamron SP 90mm/2.5 Adaptall-2, which will be easy to acquire at a nice pre-owned lens price (about $90-120 for a very clean example). A bonus with this model is an uncommon front floating element design, which helps it perform very well at longer distances; which isn't always true for short telephoto dedicated macro lenses. I own one, BTW; the Adaptall-2 feature means it's available for my Nikon film bodies, as well as for my K3.
05-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by onursoyturk Quote
Hello guys...

I've a Pentax K-r with SMC Pentax 50mm M 1.7 lens and extension tube, I'm tryin to learn about macro photography. And I just wonder is there a manual macro lens to recommend to me?
A dedicated macro lens is probably the best way to get started. I'd look for any lens with 1:1 focusing, such as the Pentax A 50mm F2.8. The cheaper M 50mm F4 might also work, but it doesn't offer life-size magnification, so you'll eventually outgrow it.


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05-24-2014, 04:48 PM   #5
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I was going to say pretty much what Kayaker-J said - An extension tube with your 50mm is a good combination already. The only thing it lacks would be the A contacts and the aperture control it affords you. Of course, that also means the extension tube needs the A contacts as well. Quality extension tubes for Pentax are getting hard to find (as opposed to the cheap-o aluminum ones infesting eBay). A few sets show up from time to time, but its a rare thing to find some with the contacts.

It may not be a true macro, but take a look at the lens reviews for the Pentax A 35-70mm F4. There's an M variety as well. These two have magnifications of about 1:3 at the long end. Not really macro, but you can certainly get close, as the samples will show. Plus, these guys are plentiful and cheap! As Adam said, since the 35-70mm isn't a true macro you may find yourself wanting more.

Another addition to what Kayaker-J said - He mentioned the Tamron SP 90mm 2.5. To the best of my knowledge, this guy is exactly the same inside as the newer auto focus version. It is a proven design with a lot of fans. I don't know if you're a pixel peeper, but the 90mm Tamron is sure to please.
05-24-2014, 06:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
A dedicated macro lens is probably the best way to get started. I'd look for any lens with 1:1 focusing, such as the Pentax A 50mm F2.8. The cheaper M 50mm F4 might also work, but it doesn't offer life-size magnification, so you'll eventually outgrow it.
Hmmm, I'm pretty sure my Pentax SMC-A 50/2.8 only goes 1:2 - but my Sigma 50/2.8 did go 1:1 without help. Sigmas and Tamrons generally go 1:1, the Pentax 100/3.5 and older 100/4s definitely go only 1:2 without assistance.
05-24-2014, 09:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
Hmmm, I'm pretty sure my Pentax SMC-A 50/2.8 only goes 1:2 - but my Sigma 50/2.8 did go 1:1 without help. Sigmas and Tamrons generally go 1:1, the Pentax 100/3.5 and older 100/4s definitely go only 1:2 without assistance.
Hmm, I think you might be right. I must have been thinking of the A 100mm F2.8.

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05-24-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
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No lie though, the A50/2.8 is a really nice lens.. spider alert!


05-24-2014, 10:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bluestringer Quote
Yes. Either the Pentax-M 100mm f4 macro or the M- 50mm f4 macro. Both excellent lenses, and can be found fairly inexpensive.
+1.

Note, except for coatings, virtually all pentax macros between Super Tak 100/4 and the A 100/4 are optically identical

There are just a lot more of the M lenses around.

One other thing you might look for as well is a vivitar macro focusing teleconverters. It is a bit of a unique thing, as it has a focusing helix combined with a TC, and when used with a 50mm lens gives you 1:1 macro. They can usually be had for about $50 for K mount, KA mount with lens contacts are rarer and cost more but let you have automatic functions
05-24-2014, 11:20 PM   #10
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Thank you guys...

by the way, when I put extension tube, my lens doesn't show after some distance, everything is blur, for example if I'm far away about 10cm or maybe 15cm (it depends on how many tubes I put) everything is blur. is it normal? because when I want to take a macro photo of a bee, I've to get close to bee about 10cm? isn't it dangerous? and bee might fly away from me, I guess, no?

this macro photography is really so hard.
05-25-2014, 03:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by onursoyturk Quote
by the way, when I put extension tube, my lens doesn't show after some distance, everything is blur, for example if I'm far away about 10cm or maybe 15cm (it depends on how many tubes I put) everything is blur. is it normal? because when I want to take a macro photo of a bee, I've to get close to bee about 10cm? isn't it dangerous? and bee might fly away from me, I guess, no?
Yes, adding extension gives you a restricted range of focus, generally very restricted. This is one way that dedicated macro lenses are much easier to use than extension, reversal, and other "by any means necessary" macro techniques -- they give you the full focal range from infinity to macro.

Insect photography with a short focal length lens can be done (plenty of people do so), but does require patience. Don't chase the bees -- pick a flower and let the bees come to it.
05-26-2014, 03:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
Yes, adding extension gives you a restricted range of focus, generally very restricted. This is one way that dedicated macro lenses are much easier to use than extension, reversal, and other "by any means necessary" macro techniques -- they give you the full focal range from infinity to macro.
I will play the devil's advocate a bit here since I own both a dedicated macro lens and a few of the "by any means necessary" macro approaches. Basically, with a few points of exception here are the discussion points:
  • Almost all allow for close focus by allowing the lens to extend beyond the usual close-focus limit
  • Many (not all) dedicated macro lenses have one or more floating internal elements to provide better optical performance
  • You can get high magnification with shorter focal lengths, but working distance suffers
  • Not all dedicated macro lenses reach 1:1 with 1:2 being very common with the older lenses
  • DOF is incredibly shallow at 1:1
  • My Pentax-M 50/1.7 on bellows provides results equivalent to my Sigma 50/2.8 EX DG Macro.
  • The standard focus mechanism for lenses on bellows and extension tubes are virtually useless. Traditionally focus is done by moving the camera and lens as a unit on a focus rail. Extension determines magnification and subject distance determines focus. This point is less true with a dedicated macro lens, but not you lose magnification fast as you back off the focus.
  • A good auxiliary close-up lens (think Raynox) on a moderate zoom can work very nicely
  • AF is not as useful as you might think while catch-in-focus (CiF) can be incredibly useful
  • Good work can be done with unsophisticated gear. Rense (PF member) regularly manages incredible results hand-held using an assemblage of "stuff".
  • Adequate light is a problem as is evenly lighting the subject. Your f/2.8 macro lens is a full stop slower at 1:1 than at infinity and f/16 (effectively f/22) or narrower is the rule.
  • May I mention again that working distance with a 50mm lens, even a dedicated macro lens, is very limited




Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-26-2014 at 04:05 PM.
05-26-2014, 04:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Good work can be done with unsophisticated gear.
There is no doubt about it. And I love the BAMN approach to macro. But a dedicated macro lens wins on overall convenience, if the magnification is enough.
05-27-2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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@LowVoltage... "...the 90mm Tamron is sure to please." Yep, though my copy is now a ways into no man's land for me, lenskit-wise, as I have recently acquired the 90mm/2.5 Series 1 "Bokina" w/ TC extender in K-mount. I wonder how well the latter accessory might work as a matched multiplier for general telephoto work at infinity focus? With either lens, having one in the bag also makes for a sweet, fast 180mm FF-equivalent FL mounted via adapter to my E-PL5. It would be icing on the cake if the TC added yielded a fairly sharp, clean 360mm equiv. at circa f.5 in m4/3!

BTW, I tend to be HighVoltage myself, being a vacuum tube audio designer & enthusiast -- with no particular prejudice against hybrids or hybrid systems, though! I've wondered, too (since I'm on the subject), what fellow Pentaxian '6BQ5's' electronics or audio related interests might be.
05-27-2014, 09:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kayaker-J Quote
I have recently acquired the 90mm/2.5 Series 1 "Bokina" w/ TC extender in K-mount. I wonder how well the latter accessory might work as a matched multiplier for general telephoto work at infinity focus?
It won't -- it isn't a teleconverter as such, and will not allow infinity focus. But congrats on finding a Bokina with the adapter.
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