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05-22-2020, 07:30 PM   #31
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FA 50 f/2.8 on sale at usedphotopro.com as shown in the sale thread here. Reasonably priced, and sharp. The DFA 50 is more money. the FA is under 140 USD. Mine is a bit beat up but works great so as a budget model I can heartily recommend it.

05-22-2020, 07:42 PM - 1 Like   #32
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Aa aslyfox suggests, a good used DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro non-WR might be had at a decent price, since it has been replaced by the better-built WR version, both being identical and very highly-rated optically. There might also be some advantage in the non-WR version having an aperture ring, for certain 35mm film bodies or other uses.
05-22-2020, 11:49 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
To be honest, if you want very cheap: use the DA 18-55. In the manual of this lens they recommend(ed) to use it for macro and I did so quite often. It can focus 0.25m so you can get quite close to the subject. The 0.25mm works from 18-55 so you have a lot of combinations to make a good picture. The 0.25m is also quite close to the shortest focus distance of the several 50mm macro's Pentax produced. Give it a try. Contrary to the general thought of this lens it is better than you expect. It gives you time to decide if you really want to buy a (short) macro or not. The Pentax 18-55mm is probably the best kit-lens for APS-C on the market. Most of the time Macro lenses are not that cheap second hand, even the old manuals remain costly. So play with that kit-lens if you have it.
Great stuff afterpentax, some great advice there. Many thanks
05-23-2020, 06:38 AM   #34
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Adding to what others said:

1:2 or 1:1 dedicated macro offers a lot of flexibility.

In cramped spaces a mock macro zoom might give the best results if 1:3 or 1:4 is sufficient.

Raynox, Nikon and Canon all make excellent APO close up lenses. Many macro sites have concluded that on longer lenses these outperform tubes by a lot. Even on shorter lenses if high magnification isn't required they excel. Remember there is no loss of f stop using these vs tubes.

A combination of zoom and Close Up Lens (filter attached) can also work as it offers more flexible positioning than a fixed focal length lens plus close up lens. However test to ensure no vignetting occurs.

05-23-2020, 06:58 AM - 1 Like   #35
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I have not heard of Raynox before, so I looked it up.


05-23-2020, 07:03 AM   #36
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I have a sigma 50/2.8 (manual focus with an A setting) on the way, I paid $54 including shipping. I know it is a very good lens because I already have one. My other is not in the best shape so I have kept watching. The autofocus Tamron 90 used lens are going for $125-175 these days. I picked up one of those a while back. Strangely I donít shoot that much macro, but I like to have the ability, and do it as well as I can.

The thing about macro for me is that I will shoot macro on a tripod, therefore autofocus is not needed. On the tripod I can use live view, focus peaking, and magnification to get superb focus.

Another inexpensive alternative is the Pentax-F 35-70, although itís not really a macro at 70mm you push the zoom to macro and becomes close focusing (I assume thatís how it works). Itís a nice lens overall and can be bought very cheaply.
05-23-2020, 07:31 AM   #37
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from what I have read and with my experience with my D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro

dedicated macro lenses are very good and useful, even when not used as a macro lens
05-23-2020, 10:25 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Another inexpensive alternative is the Pentax-F 35-70, although it’s not really a macro at 70mm you push the zoom to macro and becomes close focusing (I assume that’s how it works). It’s a nice lens overall and can be bought very cheaply.
I like my F 35-70mm very much for hiking and mountaineering and the close focus ability is also useful and provides sharp images, but it's only a 1:4 magnification so not even close to the possibilities a real macro lens provides. If I am not mistaken even my 18-55mm kit lens can go closer.

05-23-2020, 03:06 PM   #39
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The 18-55mm has a minimum focus of about 10" (0.25m), but it is only f/5.6 at the long end. With the OP's original requirement of good subject separation, a rather wider aperture seems more desirable. Having said that, If the OP has an 18-55mm to hand and he's happy with the results ... problem sorted
05-25-2020, 07:17 AM - 1 Like   #40
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Add this to the 135 and shorter lenses you already have and get closer...

Pentax Helicod Extenstion Tube K - PentaxForums.com
05-25-2020, 07:25 AM   #41
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Another option:

SMC PENTAX-M MACRO 1:4 100mm - PentaxForums.com
05-25-2020, 03:13 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Add this to the 135 and shorter lenses you already have and get closer...Pentax Helicod Extenstion Tube K - PentaxForums.com
Don't tempt me. I've bought enough new stuff in the past 2 weeks and that looks nicer than my off brand M42 one.
05-25-2020, 03:33 PM - 1 Like   #43
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what makes you think we would tempt anyone to spend their money

good luck

and we are sure you will choose wisely
05-25-2020, 04:05 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
what makes you think we would tempt anyone to spend their money

good luck

and we are sure you will choose wisely
I've already spent just under $1000 and while I don't blame you (I did sort of turn down an offer) there is still just too much I want and the more I find out exists the more I want.
05-31-2020, 04:56 AM   #45
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I have the Cosina 100 f3.5, only relabeled as a Pentax FA
It works really well but makes a horrible racket when focusing.
The matched multiplier is cool, but 1:2 is good for me most of the time.

I’ve also tried the Raynox, with very good results on a 200mm lens in particular...

And I have a Takumar 50mm f4 (1:2 but very sharp) and a FA50mm f2.8 (1:1 and easier to use)

I’ve found for my sort of casual macro, I want a lens with ‘A’ contacts to enable p-ttl flash. Most extension tubes don’t do that.

If I was starting from scratch, I’d probably start with the Raynox then an A50mm macro.

-Eric
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