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07-11-2008, 10:39 AM   #1
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"Macro" on Pentax 55-300

As I don't presently have a true macro lens, all of my "macro" shots have been with the Sigma 70-300 APO DG lens. All the favorable comments I have read about the Pentax 55-300, however, have me giving some serious thought to purchasing it. I was wondering if it also had "macro" capabilities, and if so, how they compared, magnification wise, with the Sigma. I like having the maximum amount of lens versatility with the minimum amount of weight and volume when traveling. (I have a Bigma, or example, but that obviously doesn't travel well.) If the Pentax is capable of shooting a decent pseudo-macro, then with my Sigma 10-20 and 17-70 in my bag plus the Pentax and a 1.4x TC, I should have 98% of what I mostly shoot covered. I obviously don't need both a Sigma 70-300 and a Pentax 55-300 (I'm not a lens collector), and I'm really impressed with the Pentax, but I'd hate to give up that macro function on the Sigma.

CN

07-11-2008, 03:35 PM   #2
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Pentax does not have macro. The min focusing distance is 4.6' (or 1.4m) which is far from being close...
Actually you can compare both by yourself - see specs here: PENTAX and Sigma - Lenses
07-11-2008, 05:19 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by x_goal Quote
Pentax does not have macro. The min focusing distance is 4.6' (or 1.4m) which is far from being close...
This was shot with a 55-300mm at 300mm, hand held with a K10D. Judge for yourself. This is a Spiderwort. The blossom is ** maybe ** 1 inch in diameter. This photo was cropped a little...



woof!
07-11-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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The spiderwort certainly turned out beautifully. After posting my question I decided to do some digging, and found that whereas the Sigma in "macro" mode gives 1/2 a life-sized image, the Pentax gives less than 1/3 lifesize (.28x). I wonder how the Pentax would be with extension tubes or a Raynox 250 attached to it?

CN

07-11-2008, 09:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
The spiderwort certainly turned out beautifully. After posting my question I decided to do some digging, and found that whereas the Sigma in "macro" mode gives 1/2 a life-sized image, the Pentax gives less than 1/3 lifesize (.28x). I wonder how the Pentax would be with extension tubes or a Raynox 250 attached to it?

CN
I started a thread a few days ago asking if anyone had tried the Canon 500D on the 55-300mm yet and apparently no one has.
07-12-2008, 06:08 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
The spiderwort certainly turned out beautifully. After posting my question I decided to do some digging, and found that whereas the Sigma in "macro" mode gives 1/2 a life-sized image, the Pentax gives less than 1/3 lifesize (.28x). I wonder how the Pentax would be with extension tubes or a Raynox 250 attached to it?

CN
I have a Raynox on the way, but it was a special order and will take a while to get here. The 55-300mm lacks close focussing ability, but it's noticeably sharper, with brighter colours than my Tamron at full zoom. The 55-300mm is great for flower heads and butterflies, useless for insects.





07-12-2008, 06:14 AM   #7
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"useless for insects"? Too slow? FOV too narrow? I'd think it would be just fine with a flash attached.
07-12-2008, 06:16 AM   #8
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Beautiful shots, and I think for my purposes that's all I'd need. Prints of the seed head and butterfly would look great hanging on my wall, but I can't imagine that my wife would allow me to hang a 13 x 19 portrait of a grasshopper. Were these last two images cropped, and if so by roughly what amount? Oh, and be sure to keep us updated with samples of the 55-300 with the Raynox. Thanks

CN

07-12-2008, 06:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
If the Pentax is capable of shooting a decent pseudo-macro, then with my Sigma 10-20 and 17-70 in my bag plus the Pentax and a 1.4x TC, I should have 98% of what I mostly shoot covered.
This is that to which I was responding ... The day I took the Spiderwort I was out looking for wildlife and landscapes. I had the 55-300mm and a 17-35mm and that was it. I had a tripod, but did not take the time to pull it out. I was mostly on my way to a spot that I was staking out for a turkey I had seen a couple of times but never captured.

I really like the lens for a number of purposes and in a pinch I feel it can and will work very nicely as a "psuedo" macro lens. The Spiderwort caught my eye in passing, so I shot off three or four shots and one came out ok. If I'd taken my time it might have come out a little better.

It would not be my first choice with a full bag. However, depending on what I was doing, I would be able to lighten up a little and be confident that I could do alright on "close" focus subjects if necessary.

Kind regards and best of luck,

woof
07-12-2008, 07:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by woof Quote
This was shot with a 55-300mm at 300mm, hand held with a K10D. Judge for yourself. This is a Spiderwort. The blossom is ** maybe ** 1 inch in diameter. This photo was cropped a little...
It's a nice lens, very sharp and I've done a few close shots by myself. However, you can not call it "Macro Lens" with min focusing distance of 1.4m and magnification of .28. As was mentioned, Sigma's quasi macro offers .5 for example.
But your shot is very nice...
07-12-2008, 08:03 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
"useless for insects"? Too slow? FOV too narrow? I'd think it would be just fine with a flash attached.
This is as close as I could get with the 55-300mm. The photo is uncropped, 300mm FL. As a flower shot it has nice colours, needs some more DOF. As a hover fly image, it's useless. Forget about bumblebees too. Without adding a close-up lens like the 500D or Raynox, don't bother photographing tiny subjects.

07-12-2008, 08:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
Beautiful shots, and I think for my purposes that's all I'd need.
Were these last two images cropped, and if so by roughly what amount? Oh, and be sure to keep us updated with samples of the 55-300 with the Raynox. Thanks
CN
Thanks Clem.

The milkweed flower was full size, the butterfly was cropped by about a third (from 3008 to 2007 pixels). I could easily have filled the frame with the butterfly, but I was afraid to get too close and spook it. I was probably about 7-8 ft away.

Last edited by audiobomber; 07-12-2008 at 09:35 AM.
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