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06-23-2008, 06:28 PM   #1
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Macro Options

Done a lot of reading, but thought I'd post one...

I'm interested in getting a macro lens, but don't have the $$ for some of the more popular models that I've seen recommended. Anyone have any ideas for some more affordable options? I don't mind MF for macro stuff, but would want auto metering. Any used, slightly older models that might be out there that I should look for?

Thanks for the help and all the great reading.

06-23-2008, 07:02 PM   #2
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Brian, you might want to take a look at this lens. Used Pentax | Macro 50mm f/4 SMCP-M Manual Focus Lens for

I bought a 100mm M macro about two weeks ago, and held this lens in my hands while comparing the two. It's very clean and looks to be in perfect working order.

The only thing that's different, is that the focusing ring is about half as wide as the lens pictured.

There was a Demo 100mm A macro for $299 at Adorama, but someone bought it recently.

Good luck in your search.

06-23-2008, 07:46 PM   #3
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I've got the A100/4 and it's a good inexpensive lens. The only thing that you need to be aware of is that the macro ratio on these lenses is only 1:2, but you can pick up a Raynox close focus adapter like one of following and it'll magnify it even further.
DCR150 Raynox DCR-150, Macro-Scan 1.5x Super Macro Conversion Lens, with Snap-on Universal Mount for 52mm to 67mm Filter Diameters.
DCR250 Raynox DCR-250, Macro-Scan 2.5x Super Macro Conversion Lens, with Snap-on Universal Mount for 52mm to 67mm Filter Diameters.

I haven't tried this with mine, but there are others who have used the Raynox macros on other lenses with pretty decent results.

Another lens you might want to be on the lookout for is the FA100/3.5 macro (autofocus!).
FA 100/3.5 Macro
Also known as the "plastic fantastic", it also was produced under the Phoenix brand name, as well as Cosina and Vivitar, I think. It's also a 1:2 macro, but it comes with an attachment that will make it a 1:1 lens. Normally, I would say that they run in the neighborhood of $100-125.

06-23-2008, 10:40 PM   #4

I agree with Heather... It looks like you may have the DA 50-200? If so the raynox 150 or 250 will clip on it and give you some pretty nice macro shots. They are only about 40 bucks, so If you really enjoy the macro shooting after using them, spend some real dough and get a dedicated macro later.
There are a couple of folks on this and the other forum that are doing some amazing macro work with this combo. Do a search on both forums for Raynox 250 and you should get some results.

Here are a couple of shots I took with my DA 50-200 and the raynox 250.... the raynox 150 will give less magnification but with more DOF

06-24-2008, 04:25 AM   #5
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Macro choice


I have two macros at the moment which seem to fit your criteria. The Pentax M 50mm f/4 and the A 100mm f/2.8. Both are excellent macro lenses. I've recently become a big fan of the M 50 macro. It is virtually weightless and brutally sharp. It also doubles as a nice (albeit slow) walk around normal lens. I believe there is an A version of this lens as well. On a digital camera it becomes approx. a 75mm macro which isn't too bad. Metering will be stop down and this is not really an issue as you get used to it. It is often seen on EBAY in the $100 to $150 dollar range. If on a tight budget this lens is well worth considering. The M 100 f/4 macro is also-well regarded and offers some extra reach. There is also an A series 100mm f/4 macro which offers the auto exposure you want.

The A 100 f/2.8 is my favourite macro but hardly a budget item. It doesn't show up on EBAY very often and in the last year the two I noticed went for over $500 dollars. For this kind of coin you can almost buy the current FA 100 f/2.8 macro. The FA 100 is not a well built as the A 100 but is designed for use on a digital camera. The extra length of the 100mm is a blessing over the 50mm here. The A100mm becomes roughly a 150mm macro in digital with no loss of speed. As an A series lens you also get auto exposure. It is built like a tank and is extremely sharp.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your macro hunt.


Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 06-26-2008 at 03:57 PM.
06-24-2008, 06:41 PM   #6
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Gus--with shots like that, I'm tempted to go ahead and get the Raynox. If it works as well on my 55-300 as it does your 50-200, I would be tempted to sell my A100/4 macro and just use the 55-300/Raynox combo if I need longer-length macro pics. With what I paid for it, I could easily buy the FA50/1.4 I've been wanting.

B&H has both the Raynox 150 & 250 in a set for $79.99, which is an excellent deal.
Raynox | CM-2000, 1.5x/2.5x Macro Lens Kit | CM2000K | B&H Photo


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