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03-30-2009, 12:01 PM   #1
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Pentax, Sigma or Tamron Macro

I'm going to pull the trigger for a dedicated macro. I've decided that the most useful macro for my purposes with my K20d would be the 2.8 Pentax 100mm, 2.8 Sigma 105mm or the 2.8 Tamron 90mm. I would appreciate your experiences, comparisons and recommendations on these lenses.

03-30-2009, 07:28 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schwatmann Quote
I'm going to pull the trigger for a dedicated macro. I've decided that the most useful macro for my purposes with my K20d would be the 2.8 Pentax 100mm, 2.8 Sigma 105mm or the 2.8 Tamron 90mm. I would appreciate your experiences, comparisons and recommendations on these lenses.
There are many threads on this subject and the general feeling is that you cannot go wrong with any one of these lenses. You may want to search around and locate those threads.

I went through this same exercise recently and purchased the D FA 100/2.8 Macro. While I am pleased with the lens, it has a learning curve (for me) because I shoot mostly older Pentax glass and I prefer to shoot manually (focus, shutter speed, aperture) which just does not feel as good with a modern lens.

Good luck with whatever you decide to purchase!
David
03-31-2009, 07:27 AM   #3
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i ruled out the pentax because of the lack of focus clamp.

Id probably prefer the 105 sigma because of the extra bit of reach, but now i hear the 150 sigma is coming to pentax mount so im going to wait for that because my preference for bugs makes that more useful and i already have a 50mm macro setup for things that dont move.
03-31-2009, 08:32 AM   #4
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I have currently three macro lenses, the old Pentax A 50mm, the Tamron 90mm (new version) and the Voigtländer Apo 180/4 (close-focus, not real macro). Of these the Tamron gets the most use. It is lightweight, high quality and manual focus is easy to chieve. First I was a bit reluctant, as it certainly looks like made out of a plastic drain pipe (okay, that's a bit exaggerated), but in fact it is quite robust and the finish is smooth. When I bought it, I took it over the older Pentax FA 100, as that seemed to big and heavy for me. The Tamron is so lightweight, I have it in my bag most of the time.

Ben

03-31-2009, 09:15 AM   #5
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I dont have any of these lenses, but I can comment on the build quality because I have 4 Sigma EX DG lenses. The EX DG Sigmas are built very nicely and have a very solid feel to them. So if I was going to go back and order a macro in that range then I would get the Sigma without even considering the others.

The reason I mention the "DG" version is because more than just the coatings were updated on some lenses. I had the non-DG sigma 105mm for 1 day (ordered accidentally) and did not like the build quality as much as the newer versions. But in the end I bought the Sigma 180mm EX DG Macro instead. Hope this helps.
03-31-2009, 09:15 AM   #6
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Thats an important consideration the sigma is massive and so is the pentax.

also i should mention here there is a samsung 105mm macro lens that is just a rebadged pentax that you might find cheaper.
03-31-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
I dont have any of these lenses, but I can comment on the build quality because I have 4 Sigma EX DG lenses. The EX DG Sigmas are built very nicely and have a very solid feel to them. So if I was going to go back and order a macro in that range then I would get the Sigma without even considering the others.

The reason I mention the "DG" version is because more than just the coatings were updated on some lenses. I had the non-DG sigma 105mm for 1 day (ordered accidentally) and did not like the build quality as much as the newer versions. But in the end I bought the Sigma 180mm EX DG Macro instead. Hope this helps.
That's an intersting observation. I have never read about or seen any difference in build quality between the DG and pre-DG versions of the EX lenses. I also have five or six EXes of mixed vintage and cannot say, they are different in their mechanical and cosmetic appearance. I always thought, the DG designation only was meant to denominate the special "digital" coating on the rear lens element.

Ben
03-31-2009, 12:16 PM   #8
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what kind of macro are you going to be doing... should be the first question. If your doing close-up work like Still life or Jewelry than a 35mm or 50mm would be fine if your looking for anything farther away the 180mm give's your more versatility.

03-31-2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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Mainly floweres and insects.
03-31-2009, 03:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schwatmann Quote
Mainly floweres and insects.
With insects you may find Tamron 90mm too short, get at least 100mm or preferably more if you can afford it. I bought first Sigma 70mm, which is great but too short for insects, I now use mostly my 125mm macro for bugs and such.
03-31-2009, 04:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
i ruled out the pentax because of the lack of focus clamp.
Do you know what you're talking about?
The DFA 100mm Macro definitely has a focus clamp.
What it doesn't have is a focus limiter. not that it needs one because it has Quick Shift.
The FA 100mm Macro has both the focus clamp and focus limiter.
03-31-2009, 06:26 PM   #12
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I know these pictures are kinda lousy and not for the Pentax mount, but if you compare these photos:

http://images.dpchallenge.com/images_lens/250/619.jpg

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51V8KTT99TL._SS500_.jpg

to the DG version here:

http://www.photozone.de/images/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_105_28/lens.jpg

you will see that there is some differences. The letters on the lens is an obvious one, but there is a slight finish difference as well. The focus ring was not as solid feeling to me either. The newer version has the same finish as the any other EX DG lens, but there is a slight finish difference from the older non-DG version.
03-31-2009, 10:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Do you know what you're talking about?
The DFA 100mm Macro definitely has a focus clamp.
What it doesn't have is a focus limiter. not that it needs one because it has Quick Shift.
The FA 100mm Macro has both the focus clamp and focus limiter.


I ment focus limiter! However I don't know what quick shift is please explain it for me!
04-01-2009, 01:25 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
I know these pictures are kinda lousy and not for the Pentax mount, but if you compare these photos:

you will see that there is some differences. The letters on the lens is an obvious one, but there is a slight finish difference as well. The focus ring was not as solid feeling to me either. The newer version has the same finish as the any other EX DG lens, but there is a slight finish difference from the older non-DG version.
Thanks for the links. I cannot compare myself, as I have only the older DC versions.

Ben
04-01-2009, 02:17 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
I ment focus limiter! However I don't know what quick shift is please explain it for me!
Quick Shift Focus System is a feature that is present in all DA, DFA and DA* lenses. If the focus mode is set to autofocus, it allows you to focus manually after autofocus is achieved. Just turn the focus ring manually to tweak focus and this can be done without changing the camera's focus mode to manual focus.

This information is found in the operating manual of every Pentax DA, DFA and DA* lens. You can get an online copy here Customer Support - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

With Quick Shift, there is less of a need for the focus limiter, which merely limits the focusing to a certain range.
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