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04-20-2009, 03:30 AM   #1
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Macro lens obsession

I currently own the Sigma 105 and just purchased Viv S1 105. I have had the Sigma for about a year, the Viv a few days.

Anyway, I was looking to replace the Sigma and stumbled across the Vivitar but I was originally looking at either the Sigma 70mm or the Pentax Fa 100. If I had the money I would get the VL 125.
Which is the sharpest out of the two. What I am confused about is that photodo has the Pentax Fa rated as 3.9 ( not very high ) but photozone has the FA with the highest resolution numbers of 2109.5. Higher than the Sigma 70 with 2009.5So which is the sharpest.

I have the sigma up for sale right now and I think I am going to put the Viv in the market also to get one the the two lenses above. Please help me end this OCD LBA with a decision.

04-20-2009, 06:26 AM   #2
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I've seen some really good images from all of the lenses you mentioned above. Sooner or later you eventually get to the point of diminishing returns. I mean how much sharper can any one of these lenses be than the next. Face it....they're all VERY sharp lenses. You may want to factor things like color rendering, ease of use/metering, bokeh, weight, size, etc. into your decision, especially if you plan on using the lens for more than macros.
04-20-2009, 06:53 AM   #3
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I have never used the Sigma 105 or the Viv S1 105 but I do have an F100 Macro. I really love it, and I believe that the FA is exactly the same except for the body (and maybe slightly different coatings?? not sure). The Pentax F/FA 100 Macros are definitely bricks, with all metal bodies, so if you are trying to conserve weight they might not be the best choice. They both have a focus limiter which is very useful for quicker autofocus under normal conditions. I believe the FA has a "clamp" switch that should increase the damping for MF, but I don't think that my F version would need anymore and it doesn't have the switch.

If it matters, the Pentax might hold value better in the long run because it is first party...even if the sigma were sharper, people would recognize the pentax more easily.

Cheers,
-Jim
04-20-2009, 07:02 AM   #4
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What Maxwell said.
Also, Photodo's testing methods are very unreliable, to the point of being a joke.

04-20-2009, 08:33 AM   #5
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Well, the Vivitar1 105 or the Kiron 105 are legendary. I do not think there is an equivalent to these in contrast/sharpness.

Anything better? Only if the working distance matters. Then I'd choose 150mm Sigma (rave reviews all across the board) or if I win a lottery and get incredibly lucky finding one on sale, then the Pentax 200mm.

As for Pentax 100mm. Then FA is supposedly better than DA. It is rather heavy though. But honestly, if you have the V1, then look no further.

U
04-20-2009, 08:37 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
I currently own the Sigma 105 and just purchased Viv S1 105. I have had the Sigma for about a year, the Viv a few days.

Anyway, I was looking to replace the Sigma and stumbled across the Vivitar but I was originally looking at either the Sigma 70mm or the Pentax Fa 100. If I had the money I would get the VL 125.
Which is the sharpest out of the two. What I am confused about is that photodo has the Pentax Fa rated as 3.9 ( not very high ) but photozone has the FA with the highest resolution numbers of 2109.5. Higher than the Sigma 70 with 2009.5So which is the sharpest.

I have the sigma up for sale right now and I think I am going to put the Viv in the market also to get one the the two lenses above. Please help me end this OCD LBA with a decision.
I can end it. You are neither obsessed nor compulsive. If you were, you would have spent some time understanding the Photozone result. You didn't and overlooked several important details in your comparison.

(1) Photozone test results cannot be compared across different bodies.

At the very top of each lens test page is the important note "(!) Please note that the tests results are not comparable across the different systems!". You can also understand more from the PZ FAQ.

However you compare the FA100 on the Pentax system vs. the Sigma 70 on the Nikon system. It's an invalid comparison.

(2) Ignoring, the different body comparison, you seem to think that there is a significant difference between "2109.5" and "2009.5". You even quote the numbers down to 5 significant digits as if the extra ".5" is significant. There is exactly 1.0% difference between the resolution numbers. You would be unable to see a difference between a lens that resolves to 2110 and 2010 LW/PH. 1% difference would be within the sample-to-sample variation and within the testing-error.

Therefore, since you are unable to distinguish between the test results, you probably won't be able to see a difference in real-life results.

In all practicality, most macro lens in the 70~105mm have excellent MTF results. Just choose the one that fits best with your needs (price, FL, size/weight, handling, colour-cast, etc.),
04-20-2009, 05:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
Please help me end this OCD LBA with a decision.
Stop wasting time with internet reviews and go outside and shoot.

In my not so long experience with photography I already learned internet reviews by pixel peepers are totaly useless and a waste of time. The only worthy reviews are those by actual photographers who actually use the itens in question. So I'd look into this forum's lens review database if you must have some insight.
04-20-2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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Decisions....

Either one will do you fine:



In case you were ever wondering what a macro subject might be seeing at the receiving end of 200mm...



BTW, almost all of them are very good - just choose what focal length you need...

Cheers,
Marc

04-20-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
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Funny that I replied to this thread after going through a Tamron 90/2.5, Vivitar 55/2.8, and the 2 Pentax macros in my sig within the last 6 months or so.

Like I'm one to give advice on choosing a macro lens...
04-20-2009, 06:04 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
Funny that I replied to this thread after going through a Tamron 90/2.5, Vivitar 55/2.8, and the 2 Pentax macros in my sig within the last 6 months or so.

Like I'm one to give advice on choosing a macro lens...
Deeds are sometimes stronger than words, considering the word 'obsession' is in the title of this thread Alan, yours are probably the most relevant comments.

Last edited by Damn Brit; 04-20-2009 at 10:52 PM.
04-20-2009, 06:44 PM   #11
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Mine are the Tamron AD-2 90mm f/2.5 and a bought-new Viv S1 105. When I got the Tamron (for almost nothing) I had panned to sell the Viv.

I really can't tell the difference between the two other than a slight color cast difference (the Viv is a bit warmer/bluer - I can never get that straight), and the Tamron snaps into focus like no lens I have ever had before - truly a visible SNAP!.

I know that doesn't help you with the Pentax, but I agree with Dave9t5 - try them together and keep the one you like the best.

I suggest getting the Pentax, shooting with both for a while, then selling the one you don't like.





secret: You'll have two macro lenses for a long time
04-20-2009, 06:49 PM   #12
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Just a suggestion.....You can get mighty close with a couple of ext. tubes and your sigma 100-300. My preliminary tests with basic ext. tubes are promising, and I am waiting for the Ext. tubes with A contacts to be delivered (modified TC's) to make it easier. If you want I will post some Images once I get them.

Last edited by pcarfan; 04-20-2009 at 07:08 PM.
04-20-2009, 09:31 PM   #13
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I started out with the 2 tamrons 52b & 52bb. Got really good deals on both and only payed $50 for the 2 P/ka's that I attached. This was the beginning of my DSLR adventure also. At that time I really didn't want to deal with manual focus as a beginner so I sold them and purchased the Sigma.
Don't get me wrong, I know the Sigma is a good lens but my expectations are possibly too high. I also want a lens I can't blame. At this point I am not willing to take full responsibility for lack of capability. I can end this by getting the highest resovling lens so I have to take the blame. I am not really out of pocket much at all by playing with all these lenses. I am fairly safe with resale.

Maxwell1295, very good input and all important factors in first post, but more important is you understand, as stated in second post.

arpaagent, F series are near impossible to find. I think the FA is a favorite for many.

Wheatfield, good to know about photodo. I have heard them mentioned but thought they were reputable. Actually helps a lot knowing this because I now do not question the numbers on the FA from photozone.

Urmas R, It is hard to tell the difference between the Sigma and the Viv resolving wise. I really like the focus throw on the Vivitar though. It seems like it resovles better because it is actually in focus because of the throw.

dave9t5, no comment

kristoffon, you are right . I do spend far too much time in front of the computer. It does come down to knowing your gear, not by facts but by use.

Marc, if I had those then I wouldn't be here on my duff right now. You can end this madness by lending them to me so I can do a real world comparison myself.

Damn Brit,

monochrome, if I had known AF really wasn't an issue and the P/ka's weren't a pain I would still problaby have them, or not Thanks for the help.

pcarfan, I seen you purchased the focal 2X tc and I though to myself if I had know you wanted one of those I would have just given you mine. I will finally get some use out of it now that I know there is a use. Let me know how you dissemble if you will.

I think now it is a search for a good copy of the FA 100.

Last edited by OrenMc; 04-21-2009 at 03:14 AM.
04-20-2009, 10:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
I

I think now it is a search for a good copy of the FA 100.
Have fun!!

There is an unusually large numebr of them showing up right now here and o the auction sites.
04-22-2009, 02:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
...............
pcarfan, I seen you purchased the focal 2X tc and I though to myself if I had know you wanted one of those I would have just given you mine. I will finally get some use out of it now that I know there is a use. Let me know how you dissemble if you will..........................................
I posted it as a separate thread here

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/57964-pictures...tml#post567693
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