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12-23-2015, 03:39 PM   #16
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As other comments have said here - different focal length primes have different uses so, if you are able to afford it, keep the 15 and buy the 100.

But if you have to choose, it might depend on what things you shoot with the 15. If they are generally static scenes, you could manufacture a wide field of view by shooting overlapping images with your 35 and stitching them together in PP software, which can work very well. You would then be able to sell the 15 to fund the 100 because, unless I am mistaken, it is not possible to manufacture the macro or telephoto effects, except by cropping an image from a very high MP count sensor.

Cheers.
Philip

12-23-2015, 03:45 PM   #17
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@Randomax, I sense a hobbyist nature photographer taking the same kind of journey as me. It's good that you are thinking about your kit as a whole.

As a general observation, I think it takes a little time to settle on preferred focal lengths. You need practice to see a shot as 35mm or 100mm or whatever. One thing about zooms is that they don't encourage you to see the world like that - we tend to frame a shot with the zoom, and hardly even notice what focal length we used (unless it was one end of the range or the other). A prime requires seeing the world differently, and that can take some time - or you might just find that that focal length doesn't suit.

Let's start wide.

If you aren't using the 15 a lot it might be for two reasons. It's not versatile enough, or ultrawide just isn't your cup of tea. I went for an ultrawide because I was constantly using 18mm (the widest FL) on my standard zoom (I chose the DA 12-24 because I wanted greater flexibility than I could get with a prime). If you have given the 15 a good shot and still haven't clicked with it, maybe you just aren't an ultrawide photographer. In which case, strengthen the area you are interested in.

Now, about the 100 macro. What a lens! Macro is just huge fun, but there is more to the 100 than that. At first I didn't use it much as a general tele lens as I found 100 too long or too short, but I'm using it more now. It's my preferred lens for flowers, and when I take the 100 on a walk I am seeing more 100mm shots now. Plus, the lens is so sharp that images can stand a lot of cropping. I went out with the 100 to shoot some flowers a couple of weeks back and got some nice callistemon shots, like this.



Then along came a spinebill to feed from the callistemon, and I got a shot of it acting like a hummingbird.


Of course a longer lens would have been better for this, but the 100 was good enough to take a shot with some cropping.

But, as others have said, both the 15 and the 100 are specialty lenses. Unless you are really confident that one or other of these is a focal length that suits you, to be honest you would be better off passing on both of them (which might mean selling the 15). What others are saying (and I agree) is to get a good wide-normal zoom first (and maybe sell the kit lenses). Those often mentioned are: Sigma 17-70 C, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, Pentax DA 16-85 or DA 18-135. Any of these would pair well with your 55-300. Which is best for you will depend on the trade-off of weight/bulk, price, speed, WR and focal range.

@BrianR makes a good point about trying a Raynox on your 55-300 as a cheap intro to macro, before committing to a specialist macro lens.

As for the suggestion from @ChristianRock to upgrade the body to a K-3 to allow more cropping, well it's kind of what I did. Certainly the 55-300 sings on the K-3 (focus is much better than on the K-30) and the scope for more cropping is handy. But that came after I had developed my kit a bit. Personally with your kit and a limited budget and I would go for a new lens first (unless your budget can stretch to a deal with K-3 plus lens). I think you are some way off pushing the limits of the K-50 yet - it's a fine camera.

Last edited by Des; 12-23-2015 at 09:19 PM.
12-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #18
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The good news is that you can use the 100mm WR Macro as a normal lens, but because the lens loves to hunt you have to know how to use it. First it is recommended that you focus manually then hit the AF button to fine tune. Keep in mind that on a cropped camera the 100mm is the equivalent of 150mm. It all depends a lot on what you like to shoot. If you like getting up close, then keep the 15mm, on the other hand, if you prefer to keep your distance and don't mind the limitations of the 100mm Macro then get that.

Last edited by hjoseph7; 12-23-2015 at 11:40 PM.
12-23-2015, 06:49 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
2) There are tons of great examples on these forums of the 55-300mm paired with one of those raynox adaptors if you're desperate to try your hand at macro work - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/74221-raynox-macro-club.html.
Thank you for the suggestions @BrianR.. I did really like this! This looks good to try and take a shot at macro before investing heavily into it.
Do you have any thoughts on how the Raynox fares against something like Hoya macro (close-up lens) set? If you think this should be a separate discussion, please let me know and I will open up a different thread.

12-23-2015, 07:57 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by randomax Quote
If you think this should be a separate discussion, please let me know and I will open up a different thread.
S/he who starts the post (Original Poster) gets to take it where s/he wants. Have at it!
12-23-2015, 08:57 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by randomax Quote
Thank you for the suggestions @BrianR.. I did really like this! This looks good to try and take a shot at macro before investing heavily into it.
Do you have any thoughts on how the Raynox fares against something like Hoya macro (close-up lens) set? If you think this should be a separate discussion, please let me know and I will open up a different thread.
I agree with Kath, you're fine to discuss this here. I've never used a Raynox, but from the photos in the "Raynox Club" they look about a zillion times better than the single element close-up filters I've tried in the past. As an added plus, if you do decide to get the DFA100mm at a later date, you'd be able to slap a raynox in front of it for even higher magnifications, so it's not like the money spent on the raynox would be wasted (unless you decide you absolutely hate macro, but then you can always sell it).
12-23-2015, 09:14 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by randomax Quote
Do you have any thoughts on how the Raynox fares against something like Hoya macro (close-up lens) set?
You've hit on what is almost an FAQ, @Randomax. Here are some threads touching on the issue:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/180774-macro-sho...ynox-lens.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/177-macro-photography/262296-macro-any-means-possible.html

And this helpful article summarises the options:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macr...lose-work.html
12-24-2015, 05:23 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
The old-timers say... "The only way to deal with LBA is to buy all of the lens offerings."

Another approach that could turn into a ton of fun is to go minimalist. Don't buy anything. Keep what you have and work to find its limits (that tiny 15 is an awesome close-up lens). Dedicate the next six months to becoming a world class post processor. Shoot every day. Study/master content and composition. Give yourself assignments (camera with you at all times, work only in B&W, shoot only Winter lines, shoot only red for a month, etc.) Develop a PP workflow that's measurable (say, be able to consistently fine tune an image from selection to finish in less than 3 minutes). Post an image daily on Flickr and develop a respectable following, then respect them by posting only your best (never cr@p, knowingly). Listen to the mostly silent reactions as well as the vocal ones in ways that help you refine things. Yah-da...

In sum, it just sounds like you are bored... Perhaps it's time to get off your @ss and do the work... something that matters while caring about its impact on others.

My 2 cents... Enjoy the season... M
Great suggestions.

Randomax, to add to this why not join the Single In Challenge here on the forums? You use and post photos from 1 lens every day for a month and receive comments on your posted images. There's a link about the December Challenge in the Mini Challenges section of the forums and we post our pictures in the social groups section under Monthly challenges. The January link should be up soon. Been doing it for a year and it really helps me learn my lenses.

12-24-2015, 06:39 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Don't buy anything. Keep what you have and work to find its limits
There's an apocryphal saying in the firearms community that dates back to the Old West and goes something like this: "Fear not the man with many guns; fear the man with only one gun." The implication being that he knows it intimately and can use it better than the man with many guns can use any of his.

There are clear parallels in the photographic world.
12-24-2015, 08:47 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
One thing about zooms is that they don't encourage you to see the world like that - we tend to frame a shot with the zoom, and hardly even notice what focal length we used (unless it was one end of the range or the other). A prime requires seeing the world differently, and that can take some time - or you might just find that that focal length doesn't suit.


@BrianR makes a good point about trying a Raynox on your 55-300 as a cheap intro to macro, before committing to a specialist macro lens.
@Des, you nailed it with the explanation about the focal length obliviousness with zoom lenses. I have been using the 2 kit lenses of 18-55 and 50-200 for about 2 years now - and I recently bought the 55-300 as I realized I needed a little more reach. It was only when I got a lemon lens and I tried to compare it with the 50-200 at similar focal lengths did it really sink in that most of the times I was at either ends of the zoom (200mm for most of the birds/animals etc and 18-35mm range for landscapes). Hence the decision to go for the DA 15.
Ok - now why macro?
I have clicked about 1k photos now with the 55-300 and there were many instances where I felt the 1.5m minimum focusing distance @300mm was limiting. For example, I was trying to capture some red mushrooms on one of the trails and it was impossible to get the shot standing close to it (as you might have guessed, am not tall!). I had to move away from it to focus, but couldn't get the same background/angle for the shot. That's when the research began for a lens that would enable me to go closer. I came across the post that this 100mm macro is an extremely good lens and thus began the conundrum..

Thank you all for your suggestions! I think I will try the cheaper macro (snap on) options first to learn about the art of macro photography before going for the big fish!
12-24-2015, 04:29 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by randomax Quote
have clicked about 1k photos now with the 55-300 and there were many instances where I felt the 1.5m minimum focusing distance @300mm was limiting. For example, I was trying to capture some red mushrooms on one of the trails and it was impossible to get the shot standing close to it (as you might have guessed, am not tall!). I had to move away from it to focus, but couldn't get the same background/angle for the shot. That's when the research began for a lens that would enable me to go closer.
I'm with you about the MFD on the 55-300. The maximum magnification is 0.28x, which is comparable to a number of lenses that are popular for pseudo-macro such as the DA 18-135 (0.24x). 16-85 (0.26x) and 18-270 (0.26x) but each of those has a MFD of half a metre or less. I found I generally preferred my Tamron 18-250 for flower shots because I could get closer for similar magnification, and I found that easier. But the reason why the 55-300 has a relatively long MFD is that it is not an internal focus lens, and the flipside advantage of that is that (unlike IF lenses) the magnification remains the same regardless of the distance from the subject (whereas the focus-breathing on IF lenses means that they only produce the field of view for a particular focal length at infinity).

BTW, have you tried using your 35mm prime for flower/fungus shots? If it's the DA 35mm f2.4 (the plastic fantastic) you might be pleasantly surprised. And some people have used it with a Raynox too:
Raynox 150 + DA35mm/f2.4 + T17-50 + T28-75: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
effect of Raynox-150 on a 35mm lens: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
12-24-2015, 04:43 PM   #27
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I just got my hands on the DA 35mm f2.4 from one of the nice guys here on the forum. I will surely try this out!
I ordered the Raynox 150 today.. hope to test it out next week!

Thank you all for your help!
12-25-2015, 06:53 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Here's the thing: if you are mostly intending to use primes and intend to shoot at a variety of focal lengths, you will be purchasing many lenses. This isn't LBA, it's merely necessity.
Warning -- That's a telling rationalization for what ~IS~ a prime case of LBA.

The doc sez -- "Take two lenses and call me in the morning..."
12-25-2015, 01:56 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
Warning -- That's a telling rationalization for what ~IS~ a prime case of LBA.

The doc sez -- "Take two lenses and call me in the morning..."
Hahaha.. A 'prime' LBA...
12-25-2015, 02:58 PM   #30
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Most cases of LBA are by necessity due to primes. After all, if we really wanted to, we could cover rectilinear from 12mm to about 300 with two OEM lenses and never need anything else.
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