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01-16-2009, 05:07 AM   #16
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For butterfly, and other small insects, you will need some working distance.

100 mm pentax, tamron 90 or sigma 105 and many more, are great macro lenses

Another great dedicated macro lens is voigtlander 125 macro currently available in the marketplace, if price is not a factor. Also, A*200 macro a longer focal length that allows a greater working distacne from the subject. Both lenses are available in the marketplace that give 1:1 magnification. Great optics, easy isolation of your subject.

Marcus

01-16-2009, 05:36 AM   #17
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Hi JP, for butterflies, I'd recommend the Sigma 180 f3.5. It gives you enough distance so that you don't scare these shy critters. It's got both a focus limiter switch and a mf/af clutch so that switching from one to the other is as simple as pushing/pulling on the lens barrel. It is an expensive lens @900 usd new, but can be found for much less second hand. I picked up my copy a few weeks ago but weather has been beastly since then so I haven't been able to get out with it yet. I hope to go out sunday if it's anywhere near halfway decent out. I'll post a LBA post on the lens as soon as I can get some decent shots with it.

NaCl(buying lenses in the winter is a drag)H2O
01-16-2009, 05:38 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Where in the world can one find such extension tubes? And for what lenses?
I have a Sigma 100-300 F4 which I believe is good, but not a prime lens, of course.
Maybe I could give it a shot with the Zeiss Plnar 85/1.4? Not sure if that would work.
For an inexpensive macro setup you could try a Raynox diopter. I'd recommend the DCR-150 mounted on your 100-300mm. It would allow up to 1.7:1 at 300mm and a decent working distance of about 7". Other than vignetting on some lenses at some focal lengths, I've never noticed any significant deterioration due to my Raynox 250. The best thing is, it doesn't lose light. I'm waiting for a DCR-150 now, even though I own a 250 and a DFA 100mm macro.

Here are a few samples with the Raynox 250. Picasa Web Albums - Dan - Raynox 250
01-16-2009, 06:27 AM   #19
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Who says you can't shoot bugs with the DA35mm ltd macro?




It is just a bit more difficult! (both are shot with the DA35/2.8 ltd macro hand held on the K20D, backgrounds are my left arm and my car window)
Also, someone claimed you cannot use this lens with extension tubes because it has no aperture ring. That is only true if you buy manual tubes that lack the A connection. With tubes with KA mount the 35mm macro works very well. It even does so on film since you get rid of the bad corners.

In the long run you will want two lenses, one normal macro lens (the 35mm macro is near normal on APS-C) and one tele macro. There are many good options if you buy new mentioned in this thread. Cheap used alternatives are a Pentax 100mm/f4 1:2 macro, or the Tamron adaptall 2 SP 90/2.5 1:2 macro (gives you 1:1 with an extension tube or converter).

As someone mentioned another option if you have a good prime lens is to put tubes on it. I'd like to add that the 2xmacro converters are also a good a relatively cheap start if you put it on a prime lens that you already have.

135mm lens on a Kenko (aka Vivitar) 2xmacro converter => 270mm/f3.6 1:2.7 gives good working distance (sorry for the dust on the sensor)...now this lens is not cheap, but the macro converter does not cost that much and can be used on any other lens with good results


2xmacro converter on the cheap A50/1.7 => 100mm/f3.4 1:1, cropped a bit


Most normal macro lenses will serve as sharp but slightly slowish normal lenses as well (including the 35ltd) and many tele macros (like the 70, 90, 100, 105 options) will serve as good portrait lenses, especially those a little bit faster like the Tamron 90/2.5 or 2.8.

01-16-2009, 07:52 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Hi JP, for butterflies, I'd recommend the Sigma 180 f3.5. It gives you enough distance so that you don't scare these shy critters. It's got both a focus limiter switch and a mf/af clutch so that switching from one to the other is as simple as pushing/pulling on the lens barrel. It is an expensive lens @900 usd new, but can be found for much less second hand. I picked up my copy a few weeks ago but weather has been beastly since then so I haven't been able to get out with it yet. I hope to go out sunday if it's anywhere near halfway decent out. I'll post a LBA post on the lens as soon as I can get some decent shots with it.

NaCl(buying lenses in the winter is a drag)H2O
Salt, I have seen some butts from Cano- forum and it was beautiful with sigma 180.. Have not seen anything form pentax mt. yet. Awaiting for some ofyour pics.

Mightlymike did some post on Raynox lens mounted on normal zoom and as audiobomber said, its another alternative and result is as impressive.

marcus
01-16-2009, 07:53 AM   #21
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Since macro focus is critical and the AF sensors are not usually at the point of interest in a shot, an AF lens is not a necessity.

My preference is for MF.

I also agree with those who suggest longer focal lengths and increased working distances.

My macro is an old SMC-M-100mm F4,
01-16-2009, 08:42 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Hi JP, for butterflies, I'd recommend the Sigma 180 f3.5. It gives you enough distance so that you don't scare these shy critters. It's got both a focus limiter switch and a mf/af clutch so that switching from one to the other is as simple as pushing/pulling on the lens barrel. It is an expensive lens @900 usd new, but can be found for much less second hand. I picked up my copy a few weeks ago but weather has been beastly since then so I haven't been able to get out with it yet. I hope to go out sunday if it's anywhere near halfway decent out. I'll post a LBA post on the lens as soon as I can get some decent shots with it.

NaCl(buying lenses in the winter is a drag)H2O
Never mind, the instant rebate just went off and the price went up.
01-16-2009, 08:51 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Since macro focus is critical and the AF sensors are not usually at the point of interest in a shot, an AF lens is not a necessity.

My preference is for MF.

I also agree with those who suggest longer focal lengths and increased working distances.

My macro is an old SMC-M-100mm F4,
The only negative thing about the M 100mm macro is it needs help getting it to 1:1 and at f4 that makes it a little on the slow side.

01-16-2009, 09:19 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
In AF mode the DFA 100mm usually snaps into focus.

One thing I really like about the D FA 100 is its size. It's pretty compact, easy to throw in the bag when I'm goiing out for other types of shooting.
Agree about the size (that's the only reason i own it) but the AF performance is MISERABLE. It's loud, incredibly slow, easily confused and plain horrible to use.

The Tamron 90mm is literally three times faster and optically just as good.
01-16-2009, 11:52 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Never mind, the instant rebate just went off and the price went up.
It can be found second hand. I got mine at KEH for under 550 USD including shipping. EX+ grade, which means it looks damn well new.

NaCl(can't see spending 900 on a macro)H2O
01-16-2009, 11:59 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The only negative thing about the M 100mm macro is it needs help getting it to 1:1 and at f4 that makes it a little on the slow side.
that's what extension tubes are for.

I have had a set for years that take it well out past 1:1

While I agree F 4 is not fast, the DOF is so narrow that unless you are really wanting to use the DOF to isolate one specific point, you are usually stopped down to F11 any way.

Also, one thing to consider with a shorter focal length, aside from working distance might be defraction due to very small apature openings. remember the apature is focal length / diameter. the shorter the lens, the smaller the opening, hence loss of IQ due to difraction will occur at larger apature settings respectively
01-16-2009, 02:49 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
that's what extension tubes are for.

I have had a set for years that take it well out past 1:1

While I agree F 4 is not fast, the DOF is so narrow that unless you are really wanting to use the DOF to isolate one specific point, you are usually stopped down to F11 any way.

Also, one thing to consider with a shorter focal length, aside from working distance might be defraction due to very small apature openings. remember the apature is focal length / diameter. the shorter the lens, the smaller the opening, hence loss of IQ due to difraction will occur at larger apature settings respectively
That's exactly what I meant by it needs help to get to 1:1. F4 isn't as big of a problem until you start adding extension tubes. I face a similar situation with the Tamron 90mm 52BB.
01-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Since macro focus is critical and the AF sensors are not usually at the point of interest in a shot, an AF lens is not a necessity.

My preference is for MF.

I also agree with those who suggest longer focal lengths and increased working distances.

My macro is an old SMC-M-100mm F4,
Just a question on M-100 macro. Macro Images to be captured in M-mode as there is no A-setting.(No aperture coupling) becomes difficult as one stopped down to f11 and above as the viewfinder get darker, more so with extension tube.

At f4, the image viewed is sufficiently lit.

Still, I prefer a macro lens with A priority and manual focus.

marcus





















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01-16-2009, 10:04 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
It can be found second hand. I got mine at KEH for under 550 USD including shipping. EX+ grade, which means it looks damn well new.

NaCl(can't see spending 900 on a macro)H2O
I actually watched that one for over a week! I saw it the day it came up. There was the 180mm, the 70mm and a 50mm that showed up at the same time.
01-17-2009, 08:01 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
That's exactly what I meant by it needs help to get to 1:1. F4 isn't as big of a problem until you start adding extension tubes. I face a similar situation with the Tamron 90mm 52BB.
QuoteOriginally posted by marcusyoung Quote
Just a question on M-100 macro. Macro Images to be captured in M-mode as there is no A-setting.(No aperture coupling) becomes difficult as one stopped down to f11 and above as the viewfinder get darker, more so with extension tube.

At f4, the image viewed is sufficiently lit.

Still, I prefer a macro lens with A priority and manual focus.
At least the Tamron 90/2.5 is a bit faster than the M100/4, but I know what you mean, that is why I prefere to use it with the tube to get 1:1 rather than the converter since you lose more light with the converter (probably ends up somewhere aroudn f3-4 instead of f5), even if the 180mm you get with the converter is usefull. Even if on tripod I shoot at an even smaller apperture, the MF gets less exact with less light in the viewfinder.

And the Tamrons SP 90/2.5 macro can be equiped with an adaptall KA mount so you get full set of exposure programs (though the KA adaptall mounts goes for too high prices).
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