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12-04-2008, 10:15 AM   #1
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noob that could use some advice

i have a k200d that will be used mostly for outdoor macro photography... my mom works for pentax in golden, Colorado USA so i get a fantastic deal on pentax/hoya glass...

My questions: What are the best macro lenses? i have heard a lot of good things about the 100mm da... and what are the best filters for outdoor macro close-ups?

12-04-2008, 10:31 AM   #2
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first of all I envy you, and likely everyone else as well, that you have a Pentax 'connection'. you really cant go wrong with any of the Pentax macros, though I think most people prefer the FA over the DFA macro. if you are wanting to do serious macro, AF isn't really important, in fact it can be inhibiting. so a manual focus lens is a great choice. beyond that for most macro work, I would recommend at least a 100mm lens. I wouldn't recommend a filter for anything, well maybe a high quality Hoya UV filter for basic protection on close ups. other than that you need no filters, just a good quality lens with 1:1 capability and a focus limiter or clamp. and of course a tripod, and maybe a ring flash.. yea you absolutely need the new AF160FC ringflash. =)

if I had to give a recommendation to someone with your connection, unless you can get an A* 200mm Macro or the even more rare FA* 200mm macro, I would say go with either the FA or DFA 100mm macro 2.8.

im not a macro person, and dont currently own a 'true' macro lens so Im sure other people can give a better recommendation.
12-04-2008, 11:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
first of all I envy you, and likely everyone else as well, that you have a Pentax 'connection'. you really cant go wrong with any of the Pentax macros, though I think most people prefer the FA over the DFA macro. if you are wanting to do serious macro, AF isn't really important, in fact it can be inhibiting. so a manual focus lens is a great choice. beyond that for most macro work, I would recommend at least a 100mm lens. I wouldn't recommend a filter for anything, well maybe a high quality Hoya UV filter for basic protection on close ups. other than that you need no filters, just a good quality lens with 1:1 capability and a focus limiter or clamp. and of course a tripod, and maybe a ring flash.. yea you absolutely need the new AF160FC ringflash. =)

if I had to give a recommendation to someone with your connection, unless you can get an A* 200mm Macro or the even more rare FA* 200mm macro, I would say go with either the FA or DFA 100mm macro 2.8.

im not a macro person, and dont currently own a 'true' macro lens so Im sure other people can give a better recommendation.
thanks a lot! i have heard multiple things about filters... i may get an expensive uv filter just for protection like you said just because i will be outdoors and so close to the subjects... i would hate for that awesome dfa 100 to get damaged... i think the dfa 100 is my decision... hopefully some others will chime in so i get the right lens... i strongly hinted at the ring flash on a wish list... maybe i will get lucky... even with the discount its still pricey... thanks for your input i appreciate it...
12-05-2008, 07:33 AM   #4
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the FA is better built. if you're limiting yourself to pentax cuz you get the deal, then the DFA 100 is the only choice.

but for comparison's sake, you should also check out the Tamron 90 and the Sigma 105 and the Vivitar 105 (available second hand)

12-05-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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I have to echo k100d above, I personally own both the Tamron 90mm and the Sigma 105mm. I like the Tamron a little bit better, but you could starve on the difference between those two. If you want to do extreme macro, think about getting an extension tube(s). When added to a macro lens you can get some pretty extreme closeups. If you can find it, the Kenko Unitube Plus is a very nice extension tube as it has all the electrical contacts so that you do no lose auto aperture. As others have said, Auto Focus for macros is pretty useless, but if you get a good macro lens, you should not limit the lens to macro only, and AF will come in handy for those other uses.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O
12-05-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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Hi seymour,

I have the D FA 100. I chose it over the competition mainly on the basis of weight, since there's little difference in IQ to my eye. I use mine mainly with an external flash, and the weight savings helps greatly with my ability to more easily handle this camera/lens/flash combo. I considered the FA because of the focus limiter, but as others have said, AF is not that important in macro shooting, so I considered this a secondary priority to weight in my considerations.

You basically can't go wrong with any of the lenses mentioned, so whatever choice you make will probably work well for you.

Scott
12-05-2008, 01:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by seymourpentax Quote
thanks a lot! i have heard multiple things about filters... i may get an expensive uv filter just for protection like you said just because i will be outdoors and so close to the subjects... i would hate for that awesome dfa 100 to get damaged... i think the dfa 100 is my decision... hopefully some others will chime in so i get the right lens... i strongly hinted at the ring flash on a wish list... maybe i will get lucky... even with the discount its still pricey... thanks for your input i appreciate it...
If you're really worried about damaging the front element then you should consider the Sigma105. The front element is placed very deep in the tube (about 1 inch) so you will not need a filter for protection or a hood...

Note that I don't use filters on any of my lenses. The chances of damaging are very small and modern coatings are very hard. For the money spend on good filters for every lens you could easily buy another lens. Use a hood for protection. Only exception would be mounting a polarizing filter or for protection near the sea or in a sandstorm a cheap protective filter, although in that situation I would prefer using an older cheap lens anyway because the sand/salt gets anywhere.
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