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07-02-2018, 04:27 PM   #1
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Best Low Cost Macro Lens for Pentax K

What do people feel are the best low cost Pentax K (fits the K-X) macro lenses? I mean sub $150 or $200.

Thanks!

07-02-2018, 04:46 PM   #2
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Best value with auto focus would be the 100mm f/3.5


Not as good as the 100 f/4 or 100 f/2.8 ones but very good and usually priced in your budget.

You could also look at something like the Pentax-A 100mm f/4
That would be usually at the upper end of your budget but an excellent lens.
07-02-2018, 04:50 PM - 3 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldMountain Quote
What do people feel are the best low cost Pentax K (fits the K-X) macro lenses? I mean sub $150 or $200.

Thanks!
Pretty much any dedicated macro lens is going to be good. Find something in your price range and buy it. Brand doesn't really matter. It's darned near impossible to get a bad one as long as it is mechanically and optically in good shape.
07-02-2018, 05:02 PM   #4
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If you want autofocus the Tamron SP 90mm F2.8 Di Macro is probably one of the best values. I have seen them sell for $200.

Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di Macro Lens Reviews - Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

07-02-2018, 05:13 PM - 1 Like   #5
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There is a Vivitar Series 1 105 2.5 PKA for sale in the marketplace. Same lens as the Lester Dine.

Kiron / Lester A. Dine 105mm f2.8 Macro Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
07-02-2018, 05:17 PM   #6
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depends upon your budget and how far you want to go...

do you want a full 1:1 macro, or is 1:2 going to be sufficient...

MF or AF?

I have four genuine macro lenses - and a handful that have the word 'macro' in their lens designation that I would label as 'close-focusing'....


if I am shooting for true macro, I always reach for my Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 72B; it's a 90mm f2.8 manual focus lens, with native 1:1 capability, and amazes me just about every time I use it....
07-02-2018, 05:53 PM   #7
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I would argue the Raynox dcr-150 or 250 or a reversing ring or even an enlarger lens and tubes. It depends a lot on intended use.

An earlier thread about this that may help: Cheap Macro - PentaxForums.com
07-02-2018, 06:06 PM - 1 Like   #8
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CHEAP MACRO -- Buying or exploiting a lens for ultraclose work - PentaxForums.com

The FA 100/3.5 was made by Cosina. The same lens was sold under brand names like Phoenix, Promaste, and Vivitar. Only 1:2, but it had a matched 1:1 diopter. They can be found for less than $100, if you can find one in K-mount...

In addition to the Tamron 72B mentioned before, there is the 52B. 1:2 instead of 1:1 it can be used with a 2X flat field tele-converter or extension tube for 1:1. Usually less expensive than the 72B..

Sigma made a 50mm manual focus macro. It had the A setting on the aperture ring, and was 1:1, unlike the Pentax A 50/2.8 which was 1:2.

07-02-2018, 06:43 PM   #9
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If you want critters i recommend 90 + mm otherwise they are all good. A dedicated lens is nice for ease of use but other methods are fine. With macro light and depth of field and stability matter way more than iq.
07-02-2018, 06:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldMountain Quote
What do people feel are the best low cost Pentax K (fits the K-X) macro lenses? I mean sub $150 or $200.

Thanks!
how do you intend to use it

if you are trying to photograph " in the field " vs " in the lab " there could be one answer

if you are trying to photograph coins vs. live insects, there could be another

looking for " experienced " lenses the cost can depend on how lucky you might be

personally I am very happy with my D FA 100mm F2.8 macro


SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

yet the optics of these two are suppose to be the same and their cost ???

SMC Pentax-FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - F Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I try to shoot macro in the field my targets flowers and pollinators

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Last edited by aslyfox; 07-02-2018 at 06:59 PM.
07-02-2018, 07:32 PM   #11
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The Vivitar 55mm f2.8 macro is common, usually under $100. It goes to 1:1 but the working distance is a little tighter than a 100mm
07-02-2018, 08:14 PM   #12
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Wow, lots of great responses. Thanks - much appreciated all. My main usage is close ups of vintage brand name jewelry I will be selling on eBay. So it's important that the tiny stamp of the brand (in the back) is clearly visible.

With that said, what would be the best sub $200 and $100 macro or close focus lenses for such a purpose? Also, any actual tips on lighting and such for the best results would be appreciated.

Thanks again folks!
07-02-2018, 08:24 PM   #13
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Pentax FA 50mm 2.8 and an inexpensive ring LED flash. Easily under 200. Also a 1:1 Macro and if the jewelry doesn't sting, the 50 will work.

---------- Post added 07-02-18 at 08:28 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Pretty much any dedicated macro lens is going to be good. Find something in your price range and buy it. Brand doesn't really matter. It's darned near impossible to get a bad one as long as it is mechanically and optically in good shape.
This is true but the 1 to 1 to get the makers mark in focus makes things easier.
On the LED ring I have a manual one from Ebay where I can just turn on the lights and set the level of illumination and then just shoot F8-11 with my FA 50 2.8 or my Vivitar Series 1, (close focus at 28mm only though.)
07-02-2018, 08:34 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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You don't even need a special macro lens. These were all taken with a regular 50mm lens, reversed.
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07-02-2018, 08:48 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
There is a Vivitar Series 1 105 2.5 PKA for sale in the marketplace. Same lens as the Lester Dine.
Ohhhhh...If I were not already plush with macro gear I would pounce, though sadly, it appears to no longer be there. Back to the OPs request...The least expensive high quality macro solution is a set of extension tubes. The next least expensive is probably a Raynox auxiliary lens followed by a used macro lens of any vintage. Not all go to 1:1, but to be honest, I typically don't enter that realm for most closeup work and aside from the novelty of having it available, would not miss it for most shooting.*


Steve

* Effective aperture is halved at 1:1 and DOF is very slim. Light is precious to the extreme.
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