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06-20-2008, 04:42 AM   #1
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Macro Lens Users - Need your input!

I want to get a macro lens and was told that the 100mm is really useless indoors. So the other option is the D FA 50mm f2.8 Macro. How does this compare to the FA 50mm f1.4 which I currently own in terms of quality and sharpness?


Last edited by LittleSwans; 06-20-2008 at 04:45 PM.
06-20-2008, 06:16 AM   #2
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well sharpness for sure is great for macro lens, but if you want to do indoor macro why don't u get the DA 35 macro? I like the FA35 focal length, and have it as macro should be great for indoor shoots
06-20-2008, 04:44 PM   #3
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I also have the FA 35mm. So if I get the macro 35mm, I should sell the FA 35mm then but I need to know that the macro 35mm is at least equivalent if not better than the FA 35mm.
06-20-2008, 05:37 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by LittleSwans Quote
I want to get a macro lens and was told that the 100mm is really useless indoors. So the other option is the D FA 50mm f2.8 Macro. How does this compare to the FA 50mm f1.4 which I currently own in terms of quality and sharpness?
I don't understand why 100 mm wouldn't work for macro shots taken indoors?
In general, you want a fairly long focal length when doing macro so as to get some distance between the front lens element and the object.
Since you already have a 50mm lens I would go for the 100mm Macro.

06-20-2008, 05:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LittleSwans Quote
I want to get a macro lens and was told that the 100mm is really useless indoors. So the other option is the D FA 50mm f2.8 Macro. How does this compare to the FA 50mm f1.4 which I currently own in terms of quality and sharpness?
Hi LittleSwans,
I have the DFA 100mm. Not sure where you are getting your advice from....but mine works fine indoors. In fact I find the focal length quite fun for portraits / people shots because you are a that little bit further back from your subject and they feel less intimidated by the camera.

That little bit of relaxation helps a lot

Cheers
06-20-2008, 09:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Hi LittleSwans,
I have the DFA 100mm. Not sure where you are getting your advice from....but mine works fine indoors. In fact I find the focal length quite fun for portraits / people shots because you are a that little bit further back from your subject and they feel less intimidated by the camera.

That little bit of relaxation helps a lot

Cheers
I like to use it for Portraits too. As Indoor, doing macro should really matter much since u r up close to the object anyways...
06-20-2008, 10:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
I don't understand why 100 mm wouldn't work for macro shots taken indoors?
i'm thinking maybe the OP meant that with the lower light levels indoors having to use a minimum shutter speed of 1/100 would be difficult, even with the f/2.8 (which would probably be way too little dof for macro anyway).

i don't do much macro myself, but i think mostly a flash is used anyway, so then the ambient light levels wouldn't matter at all.

i do think it would be very difficult to use the 100 macro with ambient light indoors for portraits &c. because of its focal length.
06-20-2008, 10:53 PM   #8
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It is difficult due to the low light and lack of room. I know it is sharp and that's the main drawcard for me. I want to use it for shooting details of newborns - feet, hands etc... you get the idea. So it is not so much for nature and stuff.

For those of you with the 100mm, do you have any problems with focusing i.e. did it search? My other concern is also the crop factor on the K10D.


Last edited by LittleSwans; 06-20-2008 at 11:00 PM.
06-21-2008, 07:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
I don't understand why 100 mm wouldn't work for macro shots taken indoors?
In general, you want a fairly long focal length when doing macro so as to get some distance between the front lens element and the object.
Since you already have a 50mm lens I would go for the 100mm Macro.
I found my 100mm macro a bit long for flower shots indoors ...caused me to back up too much and run out of room in the dineing nook where I have a large bay window for my main light.

I've said it before, I would love to see Pentax introduce a 60-120 true macro zoom, like Nikon's now discontinued but much loved 70-180 macro zoom. I would snap one up if ever introduced and it would compliment the 35 macro perfectly.

Mike.
06-21-2008, 09:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LittleSwans Quote
I want to get a macro lens and was told that the 100mm is really useless indoors. So the other option is the D FA 50mm f2.8 Macro. How does this compare to the FA 50mm f1.4 which I currently own in terms of quality and sharpness?
<heretic alert>
Have you thought about getting a set of extension tubes instead of a new lens?
</heretic alert>

Seriously though, with the APS-C digital format, I think you will find that a 50mm macro is a more useful length than a 100mm macro.
Something to consider:
Quality and sharpness concerns are moot, the macro lens can do macro photography, the FA 50/1.4 can't (unless you go for the aforementioned tubes, and then you have compromised it's optical quality somewhat). If you choose to buy the 50 Macro, treat them as two separate entities, if the macro turns out to replace the 50/1.4 in your photography, then make the choice to sell it or keep it. My guess is that you will end up keeping both, as they are very different lenses.
The advice regarding the 35m Macro is good as well, though personally, I would be holding out for the 30mm lens that is due out at some point, or else getting a 31mm LTD in that focal length range. This is because I have never had much use for a standard focal length macro, but have always had a use for a short telephoto macro.
Conversely, I use lenses close to standard focal lengths for most of my non macro photography. The lenses on my camera most of the time is the FA31mm or FA35mm.
I have both 50mm macro and 100mm macro lenses, and when shooting film, I rarely used the 50mm lens, but used the 100mm lens extensively. Most of my macro work benefits from a longer working distance, making the longer lens preferable. When I made the adjustment to digital, I found that my shooting needs didn't change, though my focal length needs did. The 50mm macro became useful, the 100mm macro became more useful in some ways, less in others, and the 200mm macro became rather more limited in scope, but just the thing for candid photos of butterflies and the like.
At the same time, I still don't see any need in my own work for a standard macro lens, but I see a real benefit in my work for a fast standard lens. I am hoping that the 30mm turns out to be an f/1.4. If it is, and it's a good enough lens, it could replace my 31mm as my go to lens.
Sorry for the digression.....
06-21-2008, 09:03 AM   #11
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Here's an example of my SMC Pentax-F 50mm f/2.8 macro, which should be optically identical to the D-FA 50/2.8 macro. It has a very nice bokeh and I'm thinking to use it as my favorite lens



It's quite usable for normal working distances.





I was quite close to the Barnevelder Rooster to get this shot:



A 100% crop of the above, not altered in any way, just converted from RAW-DNG to JPG:

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