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03-04-2009, 11:59 AM   #1
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Advice on Macro lens

Hi, I have a K20D and am looking for a starter lens giving a 1:1 macro ratio. (not too much cash to play with yet)

I have recently seen a second hand SMC Pentax-M 50mm Lens 1:1.7 which looks in good condition. Does anybody know if it gives true 1:1 ? Also would it work on my camera. I understand it is a auto/manual lens. Thanks

03-04-2009, 12:12 PM   #2
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hi..misty....
there exists in this world, a relatively inexpensive 1:1 macro lens...
a promaster (which is cosina, vivitar, phoenix) 100mm f3.5 lens, which
is a 1:2 macro (1/2 life size) with a screw on macro lens which results
in a 1:1 macro image... currently available at........
Promaster 100mm f3.5 MF Macro Lens 3404 : Wolfe's Camera Shop
now, here's a post worth looking over..
Phoenix (Vivitar, Cosina) 100mm F3/5 Macro
.....
this lens construction leaves much to be desired... but.... the image quality for such a relatively inexpensive lens may be what you're looking for....
as well as myself.... i'd like the tamron 90mm 1:1 lens, but it's a lot more money.... over $400.00 u.s. dollars, but there is currently a $60.00 rebate....
best of luck, hope this helps... please update when you decide what you've done......
cheers !!!
03-04-2009, 12:19 PM   #3
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Misty there are two numbers that you are referencing here: 1:1 and then 1:1.7

The first set of numbers when used in conjunction in describing a Macro lens is a magnification ratio. The second set when used to describe the characteristics of the lens you are talking about here refers to the Maximum Aperture of the lens which is in this case f/1.7.

Now here is where it gets really confusing. through the use of extention tubes or converters you can make the SMC M 1:1.7 lens have a 1:1 magnification ratio. As I am not very good with extention tubes or the converters I will let someone else explain how those work.
03-04-2009, 12:25 PM   #4
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I think the least expensive quality macro lens available new is the Sigma 50/2.8 EX DG Macro. I got mine for $236 USD and have been pretty happy with it.

Now that I have made the pitch for the Sigma, I will make a more passionate pitch for the various cheap macro solutions. These include:
  • Auxiliary (filter type) close-up attachments (<$40 USD for a set)
  • The Raynox 150/250 macro adapter ($50 USD)
  • Reversing adapter (~$15 USD)
  • Extension tubes (Price is highly variable depending on features)
  • Bellows (Usually <$100 used...may be hard to find)
I have seen excellent close-up and macro photos on this site done with all of the above. I personally use a bellows for true macro work and leave the Sigma in the bag for that kind of stuff.

Steve

03-04-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Misty Quote
Hi, I have a K20D and am looking for a starter lens giving a 1:1 macro ratio. (not too much cash to play with yet)

Does anybody know if it gives true 1:1 ?
No it is not 1:1
QuoteOriginally posted by Misty Quote
so would it work on my camera. I understand it is a auto/manual lens. Thanks
Yes but I would look for an "A" version... $50-$100 used roughly and cheaper for those "lucky" people.

Pentax Manual Focus
50 F1.7 SMC A (49) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS STANDARD ANGLE LENS
Product Specs
PK060107000350
Grade Now EX $72.00
KEH Camera: Pentax Manual Focus - Fixed Focal Lengths

Beg/borrow or ... well not steal .... a dedicated Macro lens.
A 50mm Pentax f/4 M would set you back $120-$200.. believe these are 1:2. Can't remember though.
I prefer the f2.8's though.
Pentax Manual Focus
50 F2.8 SMC A MACRO (49) WITH CAPS 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS STANDARD ANGLE LENS
Product Specs
PK06010700530N

Grade Now
EX+ $310.00
EX $254.00
A NEW Tamron 90mm Macro is around $449 at B&H. Then there is a $60 rebate...
$389...
03-04-2009, 12:39 PM   #6
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Excellent response. Thanks very much. I will check out your links and be in touch. Regards
03-04-2009, 12:39 PM   #7
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I have been very pleased with an old "Macro-Takumar 50mm f4" It is the first and I think only manual focus macro 1:1 made by pentax. I think I paid $74.

There are other 1:1 manual macro lenses available too. Common wisdom is that pretty much all real 1:1 macro lenses are good.

Small and or manual aperture and/or manual focus don't matter much for macro work.

An alternative might be something automatic in the 100mm 2.8 range - that'd be handy for more than macro work, at around $250 used if you can find one.
03-04-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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Moved to SLR lens section.

03-04-2009, 01:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
Misty there are two numbers that you are referencing here: 1:1 and then 1:1.7

The first set of numbers when used in conjunction in describing a Macro lens is a magnification ratio. The second set when used to describe the characteristics of the lens you are talking about here refers to the Maximum Aperture of the lens which is in this case f/1.7.
Right, and just to be more explicit: the "SMC M 50mm 1:1.7" lens (aka M50/1.7) is *not* a macro lens at all. Not even close. The maximum *aperture* may be 1:1.7 (aka f/1.7), but the maximum magnification is actually around 1:8 or something like that - not actually as good as even the kit lens (18-55) in that respect.

The use of ":" to indicate both magnification ratio but also maximum aperture is a really unfortunate coincidence, but they have *nothing* to do with each other.

Cheapest reasonable (in terms of usability and quality) way to get 1:1 macro capability would be one of the Raynox adapters, assuming you already have a telephoto lens (like the 18-250, 50-200, etc). A Raynox works with the 18-55 too, but I don't think you'll get 1:1. Definitely not with the Raynox 150, although perhaps with the 250 it would be close?

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 03-05-2009 at 01:43 PM.
03-04-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The use of ":" to indicate both magnification ratio but also maximum aperture is a really unfortunate coincidence, but they have *nothing* to do with each other.
Yeah, I really dislike it too - I can't remember how many posts and listings I've seen where "50mm 1:2" gets mistaken for "50mm f/1.2". I make it a point to always write apertures using "f/" notation.
03-04-2009, 02:23 PM   #11
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Yes, go with a MF macro - and if you want a Pentax then their 50mm and 100mm lenses are just great sets of glassware for the job.
03-04-2009, 03:17 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I have been very pleased with an old "Macro-Takumar 50mm f4" It is the first and I think only manual focus macro 1:1 made by pentax. I think I paid $74.

. . .
You are correct about it being the only mf Pentax 1:1 lens unless you count the A* 200mm f4 macro.
03-04-2009, 03:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I think the least expensive quality macro lens available new is the Sigma 50/2.8 EX DG Macro. I got mine for $236 USD and have been pretty happy with it.

. . .

Steve
That's a good lens for the money. Another option would be to look for a used Sigma 105mm, or Pentax 50mm D FA.
03-04-2009, 03:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
You are correct about it being the only mf Pentax 1:1 lens unless you count the A* 200mm f4 macro.
Oooo, I need one of those too!

Iowa Dave
03-04-2009, 03:46 PM   #15
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Misty, if you don't mind manual focussing, I would recommend an "old" lens + extension tubes. Going there, there is a multitude in possibilities, from which some are shown here, or here. Two cheap possibilities satisfying me are the Helios-44M+tubes or the Macro-Takumar 50mm/4+tubes (both are M42, so screwmount lenses).
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