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08-21-2019, 11:35 AM - 1 Like   #16
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Several months ago I had pretty much settled on saving up for a Tamron 90mm macro. A few months back I bought a Pentax-F 100mm f2.8 Macro instead at a very good price. Wow, really impressed! Sharpest lens I've ever owned. Like others have said though, there are several great ones out there.


One thing I had to re-learn is how extremely shallow the DoF can be when shooting close-up at wide apertures. Check out this DoF calculator:
A Flexible Depth of Field Calculator

For shooting film slides this is not such a problem, but for electronic components sticking up from a circuit board or product photography it is a concern. I have to stop the aperture down several stops on my 100mm to get a workable DoF at close distances. The farther away your subject is, the better DoF you'll get. A 50mm lens will have inherently better DoF than a 90/100. If you shoot large (deep) products, you will want to consider this in your lens choice.

08-21-2019, 12:32 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
If you shoot large (deep) products, you will want to consider this in your lens choice.
That's a good point. I was blessed (and spoiled), with my FA-100mm f2.8 macro, it was tack sharp from f8 to f32, very little diffraction at f32. Excellent DOF. My D-FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR isn't so blessed. Beyond f16, diffraction becomes an issue, so I rarely use it beyond that. Less DOF to play with. I'd never realize how unique my copy of the FA-100 lens was.
08-21-2019, 12:35 PM - 1 Like   #18
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I can recommend the Tamron 72E model. I believe there are three versions released 1996, 1999, and 2005. I have the first version,
designed during the film era, but perfectly usable on today's digital bodies. This lens is quite sharp. Being nearly 23 years old the
AF doesn't match the AF of current models. No problem because MF is the preferred method of operation. The lens has an AF/MF
switch and focus limiter switch.

More detailed info on this lens is available from:

Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Macro 1:1 72E | LENS-DB.COM

The lens should be available from the big auction site for well under 200 USD,
probably less through a private sale.
08-21-2019, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by jlstrawman Quote
I can recommend the Tamron 72E model. I believe there are three versions released 1996, 1999, and 2005. I have the first version,
designed during the film era, but perfectly usable on today's digital bodies. This lens is quite sharp. Being nearly 23 years old the
AF doesn't match the AF of current models. No problem because MF is the preferred method of operation. The lens has an AF/MF
switch and focus limiter switch.

More detailed info on this lens is available from:

Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Macro 1:1 72E | LENS-DB.COM

The lens should be available from the big auction site for well under 200 USD,
probably less through a private sale.
This is the version I've been looking at as it is the cheapest one on the usual suspects. Thank you guys so much for the input on this.

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