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07-04-2008, 01:33 PM   #1
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WHICH MACRO to buy & why?!

Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro


SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro

one is about 50-100$ cheaper from the other.

I want to do TRUE macro on flowers, friendly insects LOL (never a spider) and try it for the odd portrait. I also wanna see if it could work on my wildlife shots.

Honestly, what is the difference between the 2?

Which would you get and why? Glass info hurts my brain! LOL!

07-04-2008, 02:43 PM   #2

Hi Carie

This will get lots of advice...
The 100mm will give you more distance from your subject for the "friendly bug" macros. I have a MF 50 and 105 and I seldom use the 50 anymore.
But I would not limit my search to just the two pentax models or even to just AF models, unless the portrait usage will me the main reason for the lens.

The sigma 70 is a well reviewed lens and a great portrait length IMHO. And the Sigma 105 and Tamron 90mm are also great lenses. Dont know if the tamron rebate reaches canada or not but it has a 90dollar rebate....

But if you just want to play around with macro to see if you are really interested in it, the Raynox 150 or 250 will clip onto your DA 50-200 and give some really nice close-up macros. For about 40 bucks!
I used one on my 50-200 before I bought my Vivitar series 1 105. And I think it is a good option if you are not really sure you will be a macro nut. If you know you really want to shoot marcros then I would snag one of the 90-105 macros...

Here is an example of the DA50-200 with the raynox 250... Believe me it takes a little practice to get one like this from the macro adaptors but macro lenses can be tough too...
07-04-2008, 02:48 PM   #3
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Hey Carie,

Macro's great fun but challenging at the same time.
The main diffs would really be working distance and perspective.

The 100mm gives you more distance between you and the subject to work with (can be handy esp with bugs) - a healthy 30cm at minimum focus distance, which realistically is quite a lot less from the end of the lens barrel to the subject.

Another advantage with the 100mm is the more flattened perspective it renders compared to the 50mm - does make a significant difference when doing portraits. I've been pleasantly surprised with how flattering the portraits come out with the 100mm.

Good luck choosing!
07-04-2008, 02:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DuckysDoll Quote
Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro


SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro

one is about 50-100$ cheaper from the other.

I want to do TRUE macro on flowers, friendly insects LOL (never a spider) and try it for the odd portrait. I also wanna see if it could work on my wildlife shots.

Honestly, what is the difference between the 2?

Which would you get and why? Glass info hurts my brain! LOL!
The 50 macro requires you to be closer to your subject; the 90-125ish macros let you get farther away and provides a more flattened perspective.

Also think about how your macro lens works for non-macro things:
-- Would the new lens duplicate focal lengths you already have?
-- What else will you want to photograph while the macro lens is already attached?

Consider the Tamron 90/2.8; it's about $360US from B&H after a $90.00 rebate. Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 90mm f/2.8 SP Di Macro

Last edited by troyz; 07-04-2008 at 07:12 PM. Reason: fixed link
07-04-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
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Hello Carie,
I happen to have both a 105mm and a 35mm macro. For me, the difference is this: i take the 105 if I am sure that I am going to take a really really macro picture. I believe the magnification factor of a 35mm is less than that of a 105mm - although they both claim to give a 1:1. If I'm not sure what I'll make, I tend to take the 35mm.

This may be caused by the fact it is my latest acquisition. I am still very impressed by what it does. Now let me give an example of that. See the pic below. I preferred the 35mm for this shot because it had more DOF, allowing to show both a sharp bug and a sharp reflection in the drop.

Btw: this was a cropped picture.

Good luck on your decision! Maybe you'll end up with both, just like me. One day...

07-04-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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Million dollar question.
Many photographers, many answers...
I vote for Sigma 105. Why? I have it, and I love it...
07-06-2008, 02:27 PM   #7
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first decide what you will be shooting then decide on the FL you will use then the lens.

50 and 70mm macros are great for flowers and still lifes but not good for insects as the close focus is too short, 100mm and 90mm macros are good for insects. The 90 or 100mm macros also make the best general use macros.

While a 70-100mm macros can double as a portrait lens they are very slow to focus and heavy, not something you want to use on people in general, I got a 70mm ltd even tho I have a 70mm Macro for people..

07-06-2008, 03:30 PM   #8
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I'll preface this by saying I have no personal experience with either of the lenses I suggest. However I have heard nothing but raves about the Sigma 180, followed by the Sigma 150. The Sigma 105 would come in third by comparison.
07-08-2008, 01:52 AM   #9
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Just going on my experience ... I have the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro .. and it's a sharp lens indeed ... and works very well when it comes to macro work.

Although I have seen equally as good images from the Pentax and Sigma variants around the 100mm range.

Other notable lenses are the Pentax 35mm ltd Macro, Voightlander 125mm, Sigma 180mm macro.

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