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06-30-2008, 11:32 PM   #1
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A 180 macro Vs a 70-200/2.8- A different perspective..

Wildlifers usually own a 100/2.8 macro and a 70-200/2.8 telephoto + 300/ 400/500 primes. (We'll keep wide angles aside)..I was wondering that if a person wnats to buy only one lens which will give him a good, near 1:1 macro plus a decent FL for other wildlife, which one it should be...Of course there is no such lens, but which one would come closest in fulfilling one category completely (Macro Or Wildlife) and still serving the other (macro Or willife) well??


two Options I came up with-


1. A 180/3.5 Macro lens


2. A 70-200/2.8 lens + Canon 500D/raynox 250

180 macro

pros-
1. Less cost as u buy one lens instead of 2.
2. lighter than 70-200/2.8
3.1:1 macro without any hassles.
4. A 270/3.5 autofocus..(if it is like my 300/4, I CAN IMAGINE how good it will be to have an autofocus on a lens like this!)..AF is important for birding..
5. Use of wireless Pttl flash..I consider a wireless flash as important..(other wise I could have been happy buying an M 100/4..though it is great n cheap, it is slow, Manual focus, not 1:1 and no wireless pttl flash and i'll have to buy a telephoto for bird shots..)
6.Adding a 2x Tc makes it a 540/8.

Cons-
1.No zoom. But from my limited experiences with zoom cameras, I have realised that I dont zoom at tele-end, but at the wider end. So I dont think I'll miss the zoom..
2. No Autofocus with a 2x TC..
3. Slower than the 70-200/2.8

70-200/2.8

Pros-
1. Less cost as you buy one lens instead of two.
2. Zoom, Autofocus.
3. A stop Faster than the 180 macro
4. 100-300/2.8 on film slr
5. 200-600/5.6 on film slr
6. Use of wireless pttl flash

Cons-
1. Will have to spend on the close up filter.
2. IQ of macro compared to the 180 macro
3. Even with a 2x TC, it is not long enough for bird shots (compared to a 300/4 which becomes 900/8 with a 2x TC)..


General conscience will be to choose a 70-200/2.8..but wait..

The choice is obvious, if I do more macro, I should go for the 180/3.5..If I shoot birds more I should go for a 70-200/2.8...Hey wait, if I shoot birds more, I should go for a 300/2.8 or 300/4!!!!!

A 180/3.5 will serve me for ALL macro needs and as a bonus offer me a decent telephoto for birds where as the 70-200/2.8 will not serve me for ALL birding needs (NO lens will, but a 300/2.8 will serve the best) nor offer me good macro...

In other words, a 180 macro serves the macro category completley and serves the wildlife one well, where as the 70-200/2.8 doesnt serve either of the category completely..

Have u guys wondered about this? Which one would u choose??


Last edited by Buddha Jones; 07-01-2008 at 05:29 AM.
07-01-2008, 05:48 AM   #2
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Interesting question/analysis. A couple of things I would like to point out.
The difference between F2.8 and F 3.5 is only 2/3 of a step. Using the zoom with a closeup filter can end up with a gap in the focusing range from infinity to 1:2. Actually have a Sigma 50-200 APO white zoom that came with a matched AML dual element closeup lens. The lens focuses down to about 5ft at 200. It focuses out to about 3 ft at infinity with the AML on (at 200). So there is a 2ft gap where you can never focus with this lens! Couldn't believe it! Duh. Now using the lens with someone elses closeup filter might be different. Won't help my Sigma since it needs less powerful AML, which means no more 1:2. I live with it. Closeup lenses also cut down focal length. You don't end up with a 200 anymore and as long a working distance.
I don't find a 200 2.8 powerful enough for many of the wildlife shots that come my way. Have a 180 2.8 for the film system (Olympus). Didn't bother with it on the Pentax system. More of a sports lens to me.
The Sigma 180 is a beautiful lens. Had a chance to play with one the other day. The rotating tripod mount can also be used as a handheld flash bracket. Would have bought the lens if the Pentax A*200 hadn't became available.
thanks
barondla

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07-01-2008, 05:51 AM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
A 180/3.5 Macro lens
who manufactured this lens?
07-01-2008, 06:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
who manufactured this lens?
Sigma makes a Pentax mount version. Normally they only do production runs, then stop (according to a reliable poster on DPR who ordered then waited for his).

Therefore it's not always available, but it's a great lens, based on the images I've seen.

Regards,
Marc

07-01-2008, 09:35 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
The rotating tripod mount can also be used as a handheld flash bracket.
This made my day..I was wondering as to how exactly I'll hold the flash without any bracket in wireless mode and such that it will be looking at the subject from 30 degrees angle from vertically above the lens..(John Shaw's Closeups on Nature)..

This is a perfect solution..

thanks,

Hrishi
07-01-2008, 07:54 PM   #6
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Cool thing about using tripod collar is you get the same lighting in vertical or horizontal. You just turn the collar to put the flash above the lens. I took one of those old eveready camera case screws and modified it into a super small flash bracket. The case screw has another thread in its bottom to allow putting the never ready cased camera on a tripod. Took a small 1/4 x 20 treaded rod cut to about 1". Screwed it into bottom of case screw ( glued) - ending up with a male to male screw. Put a 1/4 x 20 nut on flash foot end. Screw other end into tripod socket on collar. Screw Pentax ttl flash foot on other end. Use jam nut to tighten it in the correct forward facing position. Hook in ttl cord and away you go. Cord weighs more than screw adapter! If you want it taller cut a piece of aluminum ( like in Shaw's book) and build what you want. Wish Pentax made an extension tube with tripod collar like Nikon! Then my DFA100 would work the same way. Tripod collar (revolving one) makes macro flash so quick and easy.
Thanks
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07-02-2008, 09:11 AM   #7
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Even this suggestion rock!!!

Finally I can make use of the neverready case of my Dad..

I can't wait to try this out..oh wait, let me get the lens 1st..:ugh:
07-02-2008, 07:46 PM   #8
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And hey, If I want to shoot hardcore wildlife, I'll get myself a cheap/used Olympus DSLR with IS and the Zuiko 70-300 lens..It becomes 140-600/4.5-5.6 and is soooo light!!
Also, the Camera + lens combo will cost me Same ($800) as an 70-200/2.8 lens would..

Or if I want the BEST lens for Wildlife, I'll buy the Zuiko 300/2.8 which gives me a 600/2.8 which weighs only 3.3 kg and will give me a 900/4 or a 1200/5.6 with TCs...Compared to Canon 600/4 L's cost of $ 7500, it costs $6000..

For non super telephotos and wides, of course Pentax offers the Best value..


Last edited by hrishi; 07-03-2008 at 08:19 PM.
07-02-2008, 11:22 PM   #9
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I emailed Sigma UK about the possibility of the Sigma 150mm F2/8 macro being made for Pentax yesterday and had a reply to say they will be producing one but there is no time scale as to when.
Now the 150mm is a fair bit cheaper than the 180mm so with the extra saved you could purchase the 1.4X apo converter to get a 240mm F/4 or the 2X for a 300mm F5/6.

That would interest me even more.
07-03-2008, 07:37 PM   #10
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hrishi, I use the Olympus E300/E330 for older OM lenses. These include the 180f2 and 350 2.8. Wish they were Pentax instead. Olympus has very small viewfinder (except E1 & E3). Hard to focus manually.
Would rather have 180 vs 150 macro. Haven't found that teleconverters work so well, near life size, on tele macros. Sure don't on my Pentax A*200 macro. Have heard this from other big macro lens users too.
thanks
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07-03-2008, 08:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
hrishi, I use the Olympus E300/E330 for older OM lenses. These include the 180f2 and 350 2.8. Wish they were Pentax instead. Olympus has very small viewfinder (except E1 & E3). Hard to focus manually.
I'm little aware of that, but the live view is an alternative to the small viewfinder though it limitls the speed, it has very of its advantages like we can zoom to focus through it..I'm not sure though..

QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Would rather have 180 vs 150 macro. Haven't found that teleconverters work so well, near life size, on tele macros. Sure don't on my Pentax A*200 macro. Have heard this from other big macro lens users too.
What doesnt work? AF OR the IQ? if the lens autofocuses on Pentax with a 1.4x TC, then I'll buy that. If it doesnt AF and IQ remains good, why not add the 2x TC? As I'll be using flash, smaller apertures don't matter...

This site juzaforums.com has many 180/3.5 macro users. A test done suggest that IQ doesnt change and that person always keeps 2xTC attached to the 180/3.5 all the times...

However, I might have to start with another alternative of buying used Super takumar 50/4 macro ($88) + a DA 55-300($350)..I'm wondering how the DA 55-300 works using a 1.4x TC and a 2x TC..If the IQ is good, then I'll sell off my k300/4 for it..I really want to see how Autofocus works on a telephoto lens! []


that is the fastest n the cheapest way to to get a macro and telephoto..My brief experiments with the Super takumar 50/4-

My Journey as a Photographer (as yet!): Super Macro Takumar 50/4 field experience

Considering its limitations, $88 is too expensive, but here in India we dont have much options..

May be then buy a
cheers

D[/QUOTE]

Last edited by hrishi; 07-03-2008 at 08:38 PM.
07-03-2008, 11:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Would rather have 180 vs 150 macro. Haven't found that teleconverters work so well, near life size, on tele macros. Sure don't on my Pentax A*200 macro. Have heard this from other big macro lens users too.
thanks
barondla

Yes, can see what you mean.
After all, I wouldn't say this picture taken with my 90mm Tamron and a 2X vivitar macro teleconverter works well at all.

07-04-2008, 07:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hrishi Quote
Wildlifers usually own a 100/2.8 macro and a 70-200/2.8 telephoto + 300/ 400/500 primes. (We'll keep wide angles aside)..I was wondering that if a person wnats to buy only one lens which will give him a good, near 1:1 macro plus a decent FL for other wildlife, which one it should be...Of course there is no such lens, but which one would come closest in fulfilling one category completely (Macro Or Wildlife) and still serving the other (macro Or willife) well??


two Options I came up with-


1. A 180/3.5 Macro lens


2. A 70-200/2.8 lens + Canon 500D/raynox 250

180 macro

pros-
1. Less cost as u buy one lens instead of 2.
2. lighter than 70-200/2.8
3.1:1 macro without any hassles.
4. A 270/3.5 autofocus..(if it is like my 300/4, I CAN IMAGINE how good it will be to have an autofocus on a lens like this!)..AF is important for birding..
5. Use of wireless Pttl flash..I consider a wireless flash as important..(other wise I could have been happy buying an M 100/4..though it is great n cheap, it is slow, Manual focus, not 1:1 and no wireless pttl flash and i'll have to buy a telephoto for bird shots..)
6.Adding a 2x Tc makes it a 540/8.

Cons-
1.No zoom. But from my limited experiences with zoom cameras, I have realised that I dont zoom at tele-end, but at the wider end. So I dont think I'll miss the zoom..
2. No Autofocus with a 2x TC..
3. Slower than the 70-200/2.8

70-200/2.8

Pros-
1. Less cost as you buy one lens instead of two.
2. Zoom, Autofocus.
3. A stop Faster than the 180 macro
4. 100-300/2.8 on film slr
5. 200-600/5.6 on film slr
6. Use of wireless pttl flash

Cons-
1. Will have to spend on the close up filter.
2. IQ of macro compared to the 180 macro
3. Even with a 2x TC, it is not long enough for bird shots (compared to a 300/4 which becomes 900/8 with a 2x TC)..


General conscience will be to choose a 70-200/2.8..but wait..

The choice is obvious, if I do more macro, I should go for the 180/3.5..If I shoot birds more I should go for a 70-200/2.8...Hey wait, if I shoot birds more, I should go for a 300/2.8 or 300/4!!!!!

A 180/3.5 will serve me for ALL macro needs and as a bonus offer me a decent telephoto for birds where as the 70-200/2.8 will not serve me for ALL birding needs (NO lens will, but a 300/2.8 will serve the best) nor offer me good macro...

In other words, a 180 macro serves the macro category completley and serves the wildlife one well, where as the 70-200/2.8 doesnt serve either of the category completely..

Have u guys wondered about this? Which one would u choose??
I have both of these lenses. I would not suggest the utilization of the macro 180 for anything other than macro imaging and perhaps product shots. The throw on the lens barrel (rotation distance) is simply not responsive in the field to fast moving wildlife... or even slow moving wildlife for that matter. I have never used the lens in AF because, even with a limiter, it simply is a lens for macro and macro is clearly best utilized in manual focus.

The 70-200 2.8 is (I have the EX DG APO IF version w/o macro) is simply an outstanding lens that can stand up to anything any other manufacturer can do... optically anyway. If you are using it for birding you need to be really close. If I were looking for a general purpose wildlife lens in a zoom, the Sigma EX DG APO IF 100-300 f4 might be a better answer. It is a big lens, reasonably priced and has been rated by some experts as the best lens that Sigma has ever produced (BTW, I own this lens too and can vouch for the professional quality of the output).

My personal philosophy is that each lens is designed for a purpose and therefore best utilized for that purpose. So buy the type of lens for the the purpose you will utilize it for the most. Any other use is generally a substantial compromise in one way or another to the final outcome.

That said, however, there are many creative people on this forum whom have done some nice work breaking the rules of convention.

Stephen
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