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01-18-2019, 09:41 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by SharkyCA Quote
Would be shooting outside, primarily nature, and I was hoping to get 1:1 magnification without using adapter. I know the da 35 Ltd will do this but focal distance is short, and was not looking at a ff lens. Any other suggestions?
Thanks for input.
I have the DFA-100 WR and A-50 macro lenses, using them with K-5.

Some pros and cons for each:

DFA100:
+ WR
+ subject distance
+ has AF <- doesn't matter much for macro, but I found this lens is also great for just everyday shooting
+ does 1:1 magnification without adapter

- size <- relatively speaking


A50:
+ size: small but feels solid

+ MF only and has a long throw, a joy to use for macro
+ cheaper than the DFA100
+ did I mention that the MF on this lens is absolutely fantastic to use


- only goes to 0.5x magnification
- not WR

Hope this helps.

01-18-2019, 09:44 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
If it has to vignette on a full frame then you are stuck with the 35mm. The vignetting is what defines a crop sensor lens. It needs to be cropped.
you got me

I deleted that post since I didn't think it was needed when I reviewed it
01-18-2019, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by czhao1009 Quote
I have the DFA-100 WR and A-50 macro lenses, using them with K-5.

Some pros and cons for each:

DFA100:
+ WR
+ subject distance
+ has AF <- doesn't matter much for macro, but I found this lens is also great for just everyday shooting
+ does 1:1 magnification without adapter

- size <- relatively speaking


A50:
+ size: small but feels solid

+ MF only and has a long throw, a joy to use for macro
+ cheaper than the DFA100
+ did I mention that the MF on this lens is absolutely fantastic to use


- only goes to 0.5x magnification
- not WR

Hope this helps.
one of the nice things about the Pentax 100mm macro series - D FA, FA and F:


The optical design is the tried-and-proven formula of the previous generation D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro lens, which in turn had inherited the optical design from the well-respected FA 100mm F2.8 and F 100mm F2.8 macro lenses introduced in 1991 and 1987, respectively. None of these earlier lenses had rounded aperture blades.

Read more at: Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro Review - Specifications | PentaxForums.com Reviews

so if cost is a concern ( when isn't it ) and you are willing to have no WR or rounded aperture blades, you may be able to find a good deal on an " experienced " lens
01-18-2019, 10:07 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by SharkyCA Quote
I had not looked at lenses above 55mm as I was thinking of something a little wider with macro capabilities, but I will definitely give it a look!
Thanks
What is the interest in wider angles on your macro?

I have the dfa50 & the dfa100 (older non-WR model). As much as I love the 50mm, if I plan on shooting @ 1:1 outside, I'll generally go for the 100mm for the longer working distance. At 1:1, the 50mm is about 5cm from the subject, the 100mm is about 13cm. This adds a huge level of convenience in positioning lights, reflectors, and generally not accidentally running into your subject.

Conversely, some people actually like the shorter working distance as it means an on-camera diffuser is that much closer to your subject at a given magnification.

The easy solution is to get both.

01-18-2019, 10:14 AM - 2 Likes   #20
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If you've never done macro, are looking or <50mm and want to primarily do nature, I'd suggest you look at the M50/4 Macro lens. Min focus distance is 23cm. Manual focus but with macro that is what you use most of the time anyway. They're relatively cheap too and a very solid performer IMHO.
SMC Pentax-M 50mm F4 Macro Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
01-18-2019, 10:14 AM - 1 Like   #21
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I can second the suggestion for the Tamron 90mm. I picked one up through the Pentax marketplace and found that it's a fantastic lens. It goes to 1:1 and is incredibly sharp. I've shot some non-macro subjects with it and my K-1, and the detail in the images is hard to describe.
01-18-2019, 10:24 AM - 1 Like   #22
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For whats its worth, the Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro is a winner in my opinion. I've been using it with my K-5, K-5iis and K-3ii with stunning results.
Only issue I have is the Sigma hood precludes using a lens cap when its in place. Other than that its extremely sharp.
01-18-2019, 10:25 AM - 1 Like   #23
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I had the DFA 100 macro and I currently have an old Sigma manual focus 50/28 1:1 macro. I had the 100 several years ago and sold it because I did not use it enough, but it's a superb lens. I kept my eyes open for a manual focus macro and came up with the Sigma for $65. I'm very happy with the Sigma, it doe what I need. I also have a 30mm macro for Sony, and yes you do have to get pretty close to the subject for true macro work. For true macro work the longer lengths like 90 and 100 may be easier to use. But that 35 is very tempting to me also.

Questions bring some answers and more questions, good luck in what you choose, you really won't go wrong with any of the choices.

01-18-2019, 10:41 AM   #24
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as I understand it, macro lenses are generally considered as " sharp " even if not being used as a macro lens

so how would a chosen macro lens work for you when not used for macro

I use my SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro as a short telephoto lens and have been happy with the result

[ my problem has never been the equipment I use, it is " operator error " ]

__________________

the OP has two zooms apparently and is looking for a prime lens

what would the lens be used for other than macro ?
01-18-2019, 10:44 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by SharkyCA Quote
Would be shooting outside, primarily nature, and I was hoping to get 1:1 magnification without using adapter. I know the da 35 Ltd will do this but focal distance is short, and was not looking at a ff lens. Any other suggestions?
Thanks for input.
A full frame lens does not change much when discussing macro, so don't discard it outright.

There are a few things to consider,
-when looking to achieve 1:1 subject to sensor reproduction ratio, first you need a tripod really because even though shake reduction deals with lateral and vertical movement, it does NOT help at all if you move towards or away from the subject. At 1:1 the depth of field is so small the error from moving towards and away from the subject are critical in getting focus.
- focus breathing, or the change in focal length when close focusing. Many longer macro lenses use this to achieve maximum reproduction ratio, you need to look at the close focus distance which should be 2x the focal length (from approximately the front element, not the camera)

You have a 55-300 which should give about 1:4 reproduction ratio, have you played with it? Just curious.

You might want to start with something relatively cheap, like an M100/4 which works to 1:2 and see where you wish to go from there. An A series macro would be better as it would allow flash support and metering, and auto aperture modes as well
01-18-2019, 12:09 PM - 2 Likes   #26
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This thread seems to speak about "minimum focus", but don't you think it would be a better idea to speak about "working distance"?

The working distance (WD) is the distance between the subject and the front of the lens.

WD is function of real focal length and magnification.

Here are some examples at 1:1:
Oshiro/Bresser 60mm 2:1 macro: 55mm
Tamron SP Di 90mm macro model 272E: 95mm
Panagor PMC 90mm macro: 127mm
Irix 150mm macro: 172mm

I have more examples at 1:1, 1:2 and 1:4 (other lenses with close-up or extension rings) if needed, you can read this page.
01-18-2019, 12:15 PM - 1 Like   #27
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I use F 100/2.8, sometimes also M 50/4 (both macro), albeit the latter offers only 1:2 reproduction rate. Both are relatively cheap, and because I use manual (i.e. cheaper one without P-TTL) macro flash, support for flash metering is irrelevant. In the past I was considering DFA 100 WR, but it does not work with bellows. On the other hand, while in the field WR lens is definitely an advantage.

Last edited by pentageek; 01-18-2019 at 12:16 PM. Reason: cheaper one _without_ P-TTL
01-18-2019, 01:20 PM - 1 Like   #28
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I have the Pentax DFA 100mm f/2.8 WR and I love it. Compact, styled like a Limited, handles very well and with great image quality. if shooting small critters, the greater distance helps. Having WR has been an important feature, as I have found some nice closeup opportunities created by drippy weather.
01-18-2019, 02:37 PM - 1 Like   #29
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You already received some good advice.

Two lenses are definitely worth to consider, available both new and used, and well regarded (eg in terms if IQ and macro capability) by PF members:
-Pentax DFA100mm = Pros: WR + Pentax
-Tamron 90mm = Pros: Price
You cannot go wrong with either of these two lenses.


Off course, there are many more macro lenses (e.g. Sigma 105 mm) and the lens reviews at PF may be useful information and reading. At the top of the most wanted, and if money is not an issue, one of the best, if not the best macro lens, is the infamous Voigtlander 125mm f2.5: Voigtlander Macro APO-Lanthar 125mm f2.5 Lens Reviews - Voigtlander Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database.
01-18-2019, 02:54 PM - 1 Like   #30
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As tryphon4 said, it's important to know that the minimum focus distance (MFD) is NOT the working distance. The MFD (like all distances marked on the lens barrel) is the distance from the sensor to the subject. The working distance (lens-front-to-subject) is a lot shorter.

For the Pentax 35 macro, the MFD may be 5.5" inches but the working distance at 1:1 is only a little more than 1" which makes lighting really hard and scares off everything besides flowers and mushrooms.

For the DFA 100/2.8 macro, the working distance is over 5" (the MFD is about 12") which gives a lot more room for lighting and is less likely to send tiny legs scurrying.
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