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01-09-2009, 01:31 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
sorry for hijacking the thread, but i have a quickie question regarding 100mm Macro: I have the DFA 100mm and it is 1:1 macro. I opt for 100mm because i read some inputs saying that it is better to work with insects and all.

Once I received the lens, when I try to set the focus on the 1:1 scale, the object it is TOO DAMN near to the lens! am I doing something wrong?

I had the impression 100mm macro would give me some working space... and I have none! I can't imagine how a 50mm macro lens would work then!

Is this the way it works?

Thanks in advance!
A 100-105mm lenses will have 0.3 meters working distance and a 180-200mm macro lenses will have around 0.55 meters working distance at 1:1. They are called close focusing lenses for a reason!

Edit: The sigma 180mm has 16inches at 1.1 and the 105mm has 12.2 inches, Sigma 70mm has 10.1 inches, the Sigma 50mm has 7.4 inches, the Pentax Da 35mm is 5.5 inches and the D FA 100mm is 12 inches and D FA 50mm is 7.7 inches, and the current Tamron 90mm is 11.4 inches, and the Zeiss 100mm T* is 16.8 inches but it is only 1:2 without an extension tube. These are for current production lenses.


Last edited by Blue; 01-09-2009 at 01:43 PM.
01-09-2009, 01:34 PM   #17
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Blue beat me to it! But yes that is how it is supposed to work.
01-09-2009, 02:02 PM   #18
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The even worse news is that the focusing distances mentioned are measured from the film plane (or in the case of a digital camera, from the sensor plane.) This means you are REALLY close with a 35mm lens at 1:1.

Tom
01-09-2009, 03:16 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
the Pentax Da 35mm is 5.5 inches and the D FA 100mm is 12 inches

I guess this is the distance to the sensor, so it is hard to judge how far away it is from the further element... but in any case, 5.5 inches!?!?

I am having a lot of trouble with 12" so I can't imagine working with 5.5"....


When I chose the 100mm macro, from the replies on the forums, I had the impression I'd be shooting 1 foot away from the object at 1:1.... but as it is, the freaking thing is almost touching my lens!!!



01-09-2009, 03:36 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
I guess this is the distance to the sensor, so it is hard to judge how far away it is from the further element... but in any case, 5.5 inches!?!?

I am having a lot of trouble with 12" so I can't imagine working with 5.5"....


When I chose the 100mm macro, from the replies on the forums, I had the impression I'd be shooting 1 foot away from the object at 1:1.... but as it is, the freaking thing is almost touching my lens!!!

I know what you mean. My Viv S1 105mm is 7.5" long at 1:1 focus from the rear mount to the end of the lens hood. Add another 2" from the rear of the lens to the sensor and you are talking about less than 3" from the subject to the front of the lens hood at 1:1!

In reality though, I rarely go to 1:1. There aren't many situations where you really need to be that close.
01-09-2009, 04:03 PM   #21
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The recent posts support my initial thoughts of going for the 100mm (or thereabouts) macro vs the 50mm or other.

I guess my real hangup is on the Pentax and its lack of a focus limiter. I would imagine that the focus travel (or throw) would be REALLY long...perhaps close to a full 360 degrees. Ive looked at the individual specs for each of the Tamron/Sigma/Pentax variants, but none of the manufacturers lists how much travel or throw there is on the focusing of the lens. Can anyone help enlighten me on each lens' "approximate" travel? (ie - if the focus ring goes half way around the barrel of the lens from infinity to minimum focus distance, then its about 180 degrees of travel - or am I just not making any sense?) Is the Pentax a bad choice as a secondary 100mm portrait lens without it? There have been comments that its not optimized for this, but does a long travel mean 3-4 sec focus times in broad daylight?
01-09-2009, 04:26 PM   #22
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I own none of these macros, but that's not going to stop me from giving my opinion

I have looked through every image posted in flickr and pbase, of these macros. In my opinion the Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro is in a league of it's own, almost as good as the voigtlander 125/2.5. If I ever get a macro, and if it ain't the VL 125/2.5, it will be the Tamron 90mm/2.8.
01-09-2009, 04:31 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxScott Quote
The recent posts support my initial thoughts of going for the 100mm (or thereabouts) macro vs the 50mm or other.

I guess my real hangup is on the Pentax and its lack of a focus limiter. I would imagine that the focus travel (or throw) would be REALLY long...perhaps close to a full 360 degrees. Ive looked at the individual specs for each of the Tamron/Sigma/Pentax variants, but none of the manufacturers lists how much travel or throw there is on the focusing of the lens. Can anyone help enlighten me on each lens' "approximate" travel? (ie - if the focus ring goes half way around the barrel of the lens from infinity to minimum focus distance, then its about 180 degrees of travel - or am I just not making any sense?) Is the Pentax a bad choice as a secondary 100mm portrait lens without it? There have been comments that its not optimized for this, but does a long travel mean 3-4 sec focus times in broad daylight?
With the hood off, my sigma is 4 inches long in its shortest configuration. When completely extended (1:1) in the manual focus mode, it is 6 inches long and maybe 5.75 at 1:1 in AF mode.

Edit: I have a love/hate relationship with the hood. It is a screw in hood. The lens cover won't fit with it installed.

01-09-2009, 04:52 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
I guess this is the distance to the sensor, so it is hard to judge how far away it is from the further element... but in any case, 5.5 inches!?!?

I am having a lot of trouble with 12" so I can't imagine working with 5.5"....


When I chose the 100mm macro, from the replies on the forums, I had the impression I'd be shooting 1 foot away from the object at 1:1.... but as it is, the freaking thing is almost touching my lens!!!

This is the reason, why I added the 180/4 Voigtländer Apo Lanthar to my Tamron 90mm and the Pentax A 50mm macros: more working distance! In practice the 90mm Tamron gives enough space under many circumstances, except perhaps for creepers. The 50mm only sees use, if I want a more dramatic perspective, going much nearer to the subject. Not the right choice for insects...

The minimal working distance also makes lighting more difficult...

You could add a 2x tc to your 100mm macro, to get a bit further away from your subject (reaching the same magnification at double the distance).

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01-09-2009, 04:54 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxScott Quote
After being tempted with pictures from a good friend, Ive opted to make my next lens purchase a 100mm (ish) macro lens. With plans to get the 55mm SDM when it arrives (and having the 16-50) I figured the 100mm lens will also fill a hole as a longer mid range portrait lens as well. As I would like to stick with an AF lens, I have 3 choices that I can see: 1) Pentax DFA 100mm, 2) Tamron 90mm, and 3) Sigma 105mm. My problem is that not one of these lenses sticks out to me as the one to own. Recently Ive preferred sticking with the Pentax lenses, as the SDM and weathersealing are worth the extra to me, but with the DFA lacking both - as well as a focus limiter (but it does have the quick shift focus to manual), the Pentax doesnt stick out much. Ive heard great things about the Tamron, the Pentax has the great SMC coating (best of the bunch) and the Sigma is the cheapest.

Anyone care to share their first hand experience / pics to help me make my decision any easier?
I only ever used the Tamron 90mm and found it to be an excellent lens. In terms of pure image quality, most macro lenses are much better anyway, than the average lens. But there are some things about the Tamron I liked especially: It was much smaller and ligter than the Pentax FA 100 (no DFA in sight a couple of years ago). Focus limiter and very good manual focusing. Despite its plastic body it is a sturdy liitle lens, which handles nicely.

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01-09-2009, 07:39 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxScott Quote

I guess my real hangup is on the Pentax and its lack of a focus limiter. I would imagine that the focus travel (or throw) would be REALLY long...perhaps close to a full 360 degrees. Ive looked at the individual specs for each of the Tamron/Sigma/Pentax variants, but none of the manufacturers lists how much travel or throw there is on the focusing of the lens. Can anyone help enlighten me on each lens' "approximate" travel? (ie - if the focus ring goes half way around the barrel of the lens from infinity to minimum focus distance, then its about 180 degrees of travel - or am I just not making any sense?) Is the Pentax a bad choice as a secondary 100mm portrait lens without it? There have been comments that its not optimized for this, but does a long travel mean 3-4 sec focus times in broad daylight?
The beauty of the quick shift is that if it racks all the way out to 1:1 while you're doing portraiture, you can manually swing it back into normal range pretty quick, then let AF do the rest.

Have you considered the FA 100 Macro? It has your focus limit switch, but no quick shift. There are a couple on KEH right now for ~360.
01-09-2009, 08:02 PM   #27
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I don't know much about the other two choices, but I'm very happy with my DFA 100mm. Colour and contrast are superb, it's sharper than my FA 50mm 1.4 and it's very compact. I shoot in MF for macros, regardless of the lens. At 1:1 you need extreme control of DOF, and focus is critical in achieving that.

In AF mode, most of the time it just snaps into focus. If it gets lost, I just grab the focus ring and bring it back to the subject. Not a problem at all.
01-09-2009, 08:07 PM   #28
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Having gone through the 50mm and 100mm Pentax macro lenses in FA and DFA versions, I prefer the colour rendition from the FA versions, though the DFA ones give slightly better contrast but a little weaker wide open. The Quick Shift of the DFAs is much preferred over the focus limiter on the FA 100mm. The FA macros are solid and heavy, the DFA have been reworked to be smaller and lighter but build quality is not as good.

The Tamron 90mm is an old design. Sharper at wider apertures, but the AF version tends to hunt when light levels are low. The Sigma 105mm has probably the best build quality but some don't like the bokeh.
01-09-2009, 08:12 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I don't know much about the other two choices, but I'm very happy with my DFA 100mm. Colour and contrast are superb, it's sharper than my FA 50mm 1.4 and it's very compact. I shoot in MF for macros, regardless of the lens. At 1:1 you need extreme control of DOF, and focus is critical in achieving that.

In AF mode, most of the time it just snaps into focus. If it gets lost, I just grab the focus ring and bring it back to the subject. Not a problem at all.
I suspect all of the lenses do a credible job of taking photos.
My experience however (having bought and sold quite a few used lenses) is that the 'brand name' lenses hold their value much better than the others. Some 'will fit' lenses are really good and some not so good and few people have the expertise to tell one from the other so if you are in the second hand market in particular it makes a lot of sense to screen out the 'will fits'
01-09-2009, 08:19 PM   #30
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Here is a site with all of the Tamron 90mm macros except maybe the very last model. Variations of Tamron 90mm Macro lenses
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