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11-25-2008, 12:27 AM   #1
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Pentax macro. Sigma 180mm? Tamron 70-200?

I am going to invest in a macro lens soon and I just wanted to hear what you think about the pentax-mounted macro lenses. I have a K20D and I have mainly been looking at the pentax 100mm, tamron 105 and sigma 90. But then I discovered the Sigma 180mm and I fell a little bit in love with it. Is the 180 mm worth the price? Since I'm not an experienced photographer I also want to know if the focusing distance on it (42cm I think) is low enough?

thank you for your tips! If you know something about a DA* macro lens please tell

Last edited by Nimrad; 11-27-2008 at 04:54 AM.
11-25-2008, 01:06 AM   #2

In my humble opinion...

Coming from someone who has a few macro lenses...

Vivi series 1 90mm - Vivi Series 1 105mm - Pentax M 50- F4 and I have got to shoot with a Tamron 90 Di macro....

They are all good, but the 180mm length is something I would love to have...
11-25-2008, 01:17 AM   #3
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Okay, what would you choose if you could choose only one macro lens? Mostly insect photography
11-25-2008, 06:58 AM   #4
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if you shoot mostly insects, i would choose the 180 (if the price is not a problem for you). the additional focal length and the resulting focusing distance is better suited for insects. i have the tamron 90mm and i often scare them away because of the short focusing distance (i believe 10cm or so).

but a good tripod is a must for the 180. its almost impossible to handhold a 1:1 shot at that focal length. the shorter lenses allow you to handhold and still get good results.

11-25-2008, 09:30 AM   #5
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i would choose the 180-good lenses
11-27-2008, 04:54 AM   #6
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I just came across the 70-200 macro lens. How is this? Anybody tested it?
11-27-2008, 05:05 AM   #7
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If it's insects and critters, it'll have to be the sigma 150 or 180. Both are amazing lenses. And yup you'll need really good support (ballhead and tripod).
11-27-2008, 06:39 AM   #8
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The 180 is a beautiful lens. For insects it is the lens. Also prefer the longer focal length to 100 for flowers. The back ground goes so smooth and simple when out of focus.
When my pentax 200 macro arrived I was surprised how my shooting style changed over the 100 macro. With the 100 there is a lot of hand held/ flash used to get the bug before it runs. Can do that with the 200 but don't have to often. The insects just sit around while I shoot from a tripod. Out of their fear distance so there is time to shoot tripod and available light. Never expected this wrinkle. The larger macros are very hand holdable - especially with flash. Just takes practice.

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11-27-2008, 08:34 AM   #9

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Shot the above images with A200 macro. Its the working distance as has been mentioned above, approximately 1foot. Macro lens of 90 mm or 100 or 105, the working distance maybe in the region of 1/2 of a foot for 1:1 magnification. Such short distance will distract most insects, bugs, flies, spiders damselflies etc.

With A200, I have a better working distance and a need for me to have a tripod. the above shots were taken with monopod/ and a ballhead. The out of focus are for A200 is beautiful. So even for f8, background is greenish-creamy. Its tact sharp at the point of focus. The shots were not processsed, from K10 D.

Sigma 180, should have almost the same working distance and should be great for insects. I dun think sigma 150 macro has for pentax mt.

11-27-2008, 08:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nimrad Quote
I just came across the 70-200 macro lens. How is this? Anybody tested it?

There is no such 1:1 in existance as far as I know. It' s probably a 1:2
11-30-2008, 03:53 PM   #11
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Go for Sigma 180mm

As many others have already stated - the Sigma 180 Macro is a wonderful lens. After viewing some pictures another shooter gets with his on a Nikon D80, and finding it was also available for the Pentax mount, I had to get it. It's not cheap, but it's the sharpest of all the lenses I have for the K10D. As to minimum focal distance, I believe it's about 15 inches.

I use it primarily for bird photos, from about 12 feet distance, except for hummingbirds I shoot about 6 feet away. And I have shot a few insect pics, even though that's not my main interest they have all been very good.

It is large and fairly heavy and works well tripod mounted, very well balanced. But I also do a fair amount of handheld shooting, using the camera's shake reduction and don't seem to lose shots because of movement.

This is sorta unrelated, but I use Manual exposure setting mostly with it, and use the camera's option, in Playback, of the Histogram to insure I have it correct.

Good luck,

Olin McDaniel
11-30-2008, 04:29 PM   #12
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Go for FA 2.8/100mm macro

I had it and used together with Voigtlander 125mm f2.5. To say true no big difference - both are excellent. I sold FA becuase having two at the same time was to much for me. But it is simply best Pentax 100mm macro.

more examples here:
SMC Pentax-FA 1:2,8 100mm MACRO Photo Gallery by Piotr Sobolewski at

and now there is one in matsuiyastore on eebay for 380$ - bargain.
12-01-2008, 02:36 AM   #13
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Wow, that's one hell of a photo. But I think I'll rather go for the Sigma 180 mm than the 100 mm pentax. It just seems like a lot more useable focal length for taking pics of insects and birds maybe. Don't you agree Piotr?
12-01-2008, 10:57 AM   #14
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in fact my foto specification is:
Pentax *ist DS ,Pentax smc P-FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro
+TC1.7 +3tubes (68mm) 1/180s f/22.0 iso200

so in fact it was 175mm

I never had Sigma 180, but if you look at photozone test than decision for me is obvoius

Pentax SMC-FA 100mm f/2.8 macro - Review / Lab Test Report

Sigma AF 180mm f/3.5 EX HSM APO macro - Test Report / Review
12-01-2008, 12:29 PM   #15
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Thing is I want the 180 mm focal length. Not surprising that 100mm is a bit better, it's 100, not 180 mm.

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