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View Poll Results: Which should I get (be sure to read my post first)?
Pentax Telephoto SMCP-D FA Lens (100mm, F/2.8) 3462.96%
Tamron Telephoto Macro Di Macro Lens For Pentax (90mm, F/2.8) 1527.78%
Sigma EX DG Macro Lens for Pentax (70mm, F/2.8) 23.70%
Sigma Telephoto 105mm f/2.8 EX Macro Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF 35.56%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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04-17-2007, 05:06 PM   #1
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Best macro lenses for the K10D (medium telephoto)

I have a Pentax K10D and I am planning on purchasing a 1:1 macro lens.

I would appreciate any advice you have regarding this purchase.

Here are my choices:

Pentax Telephoto SMCP-D FA Lens (100mm, F/2.8)
Tamron Telephoto Macro Di Macro Lens For Pentax (90mm, F/2.8)
Sigma EX DG Macro Lens for Pentax (70mm, F/2.8)
Sigma Telephoto 105mm f/2.8 EX Macro Autofocus Lens for Pentax AF

Please let me know which lens you recommend and why. I will mainly be using this lens for macro photography of insects and plants. I am currently leaning towards the Pentax Telephoto SMCP-D FA Lens (100mm, F/2.8). Is this a wise choice, or is it not as good as the some of the other ones listed above?
thanks for the help,

Nolan Evans

nolan@nolan-photography.com
Nolan-Photography - Nolan-Photography

04-17-2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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The Pentax D-FA because:
-great reviews
-small size
-quickshift focus
-aperture ring
-probably the best quality control
-better resale value
04-18-2007, 07:06 AM   #3
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I have an old-school version of the Tamron 90mm and it is definitely a wonderful lens. I have no experience with the Pentax 100mm, but I think either would probably be excellent.
04-23-2007, 12:13 AM   #4
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Hullo folks!

I'd like to discuss, essentially, image quality. Some inputs from 'Photodo' follow:
For test data on the Pentax macro see: Pentax SMC 100mm f2.8 D FA Macro
For test data on the Tamron macro see: Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro

Based on above review, the Tamron appears to outperform the Pentax by a considerable margin - from wide open to stopped down. The only caveat is - it was tested on a Nikon body, whereas the Pentax naturally on a Pentax SLR. I have seen a few more reviews - all commenting postively on the imaging qualities of the Tamron against the Pentax macro, especially at wider apertures. (Size & weight wise both are more or less the same, practically speaking - the Pentax about 5mm shorter & about 50gm lighter.)

I own neither so cannot comment from personal knowledge. However, many members here have voted for the Pentax. Is this based on personal usage of both lenses under similar conditions or on just reading of material on-line?!

Also, a question for the cognoscenti: Is the Tamron likely to perform poorly on a Pentax vis-a-vis a Nikon body? Equally, is the Pentax macro likley to perform significantly better on a K10D than on a *1stDS on which it was tested by Photodo?

I am in the pipe line to purchase a macro too and will appreciate inputs on the above please.

Also apropos macro lenses: See Ebay auctions: Items: 120109926818 and 270112870398. Both are Pentax 100mm/f2.8 AF macro lenses but appear to be different. Can someone explain what the differences are and which is better of the two, please?

Thank you all in anticipation.

04-23-2007, 12:40 AM   #5
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Having the Tamron myself I voted for the Pentax because from all that I've heard and read it is the better lens.
As for the Tamron:
I have the old manual 2.5/90 and the new 2.8-AF-version.
The AF-version is a bit sharper and more contrasty.
From my point of view the image quality is simply very good!

As for the Sigmas:
The 105 is told to be same quality.
The 70mm is a tad too short (even with the crop-factor of a DSLR).
BUT: I've heard from some dealer that the Sigma lenses have a great variety in quality ad some saying they sent every 3 lens back!
I don't want to make quality checks for Sigma...

:-)
04-23-2007, 12:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nystateofmind27 Quote
The Pentax D-FA because:
-great reviews
-small size
-quickshift focus
-aperture ring
-probably the best quality control
-better resale value
The above is probably the synopsis most people voting for Pentax would agree with. Let's have a look:

great reviews? Well, we just saw a review that was the opposite. I have owned both and the Tamron was sharper at large aperture openings, and without doubt so.

quickshift? True, the Tamron does not have that. And how many here use AF for macros?

aperture ring? Tamron has one.

probably the best quality control? Any fact where a "probably" is involved is of little value. If you get a dude, exchange it.

better resale value? I think so. But it cost some money to get the better resale value. Should I use a lens performing less good for years because I'll get a good resale value?

on the opposite:

Tamron has better build quality.
The construction makes for no need of a hood.
The Tamron reports the correct aperture value when coming really close
The Tamron is cheaper

I voted Tamron but I also think the Sigma lenses are very good. Thatis from reading reports. The Tamron and the Pentax I have owned and compared.

In practise I think all the lenses will be very close to eachother for macro use.


Good luck with those macros,
04-23-2007, 05:14 AM   #7
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Thank you, Jonas; inputs appreciated!

What I understand from your summary is: for macro work only, all of them are more or less the same - IQ wise; but if planning use at wider apertures, the Tamron may prove a better bet.

That leaves me with those two Pentax macros on eBay to figure out. Thank you again.
04-23-2007, 07:05 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote

The Tamron reports the correct aperture value when coming really close
The "correct" aperture does not change with close focusing. There is considerable light fall-off with close focusing so the effective aperture changes, but the actual aperture does not change with close focusing. I am guessing that the Tamron behaves like the Nikon Micro-Nikkors which report a smaller aperture with closer focusing, although the actual aperture (and depth of field) do not change with focus. Some like this feature and some don't. With TTL metering and TTL/P-TTL flash it really doesn't make a difference.

04-23-2007, 10:41 AM   #9
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My "vote" should be construed more as "I have one and am happy with it" rather than I like it better than the others in the list, because I can't say that.

The only thing I might comment on is that switching from AF to manual. On the Tamron this is a 2-step manual procedure: 1. click the ring 2. switch the camera whereas on the Pentax it is automatic (ie. 0-step) and with the Sigma its ring disengages the AF internally at the same time as it engages the manual focussing (ie. 1-step). Not a big deal to me, might be to others.
--
dbh
04-23-2007, 11:50 PM   #10
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I'll consider Voigtlander 125 SL F2.5 macro instead (if you don't mind manual focus)
04-24-2007, 02:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Khukri Quote
That leaves me with those two Pentax macros on eBay to figure out. Thank you again.
Just a guess, but I think maybe the 1st one is a F100 macro, the second a FA100.
04-25-2007, 03:51 AM   #12
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Thank you Alan; and which, pray, is better of the two?

I am just a non-professional photographer. Occassionally, I sell to ad agencies (when the going gets tough!); and frequently contribute to magazines. Mostly they are used not more than a double fold size. So do you think it is worth springing extra for the latest D/Di designated Tamron/Pentax models or one of these older lot F/FA will do just as nicely? Does the image quality difference show up noticely in a A4 size picture when using a D lens? (I plan dual use for it: macro and a short tele with maybe a 1.4x with a view to keep the kit as light as possible.)

Thanking You,
Bharat
04-25-2007, 11:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by al98228 Quote
I'll consider Voigtlander 125 SL F2.5 macro instead (if you don't mind manual focus)
yes, I probably would have voted for that too!

- even if it's a bit more on the expensive side....
04-30-2007, 07:11 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Khukri Quote
Hullo folks!

I'd like to discuss, essentially, image quality. Some inputs from 'Photodo' follow:
For test data on the Pentax macro see: Pentax SMC 100mm f2.8 D FA Macro
For test data on the Tamron macro see: Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro

Based on above review, the Tamron appears to outperform the Pentax by a considerable margin - from wide open to stopped down. The only caveat is - it was tested on a Nikon body, whereas the Pentax naturally on a Pentax SLR. I have seen a few more reviews - all commenting postively on the imaging qualities of the Tamron against the Pentax macro, especially at wider apertures. (Size & weight wise both are more or less the same, practically speaking - the Pentax about 5mm shorter & about 50gm lighter.)

I own neither so cannot comment from personal knowledge. However, many members here have voted for the Pentax. Is this based on personal usage of both lenses under similar conditions or on just reading of material on-line?!

Also, a question for the cognoscenti: Is the Tamron likely to perform poorly on a Pentax vis-a-vis a Nikon body? Equally, is the Pentax macro likley to perform significantly better on a K10D than on a *1stDS on which it was tested by Photodo?

I am in the pipe line to purchase a macro too and will appreciate inputs on the above please.

Also apropos macro lenses: See Ebay auctions: Items: 120109926818 and 270112870398. Both are Pentax 100mm/f2.8 AF macro lenses but appear to be different. Can someone explain what the differences are and which is better of the two, please?

Thank you all in anticipation.
Well Pentax does have a slight problem with in-house jpegs but notice how the DFA100mm's Maritime Museum is a heck of a lot more contrastier that the Tamron? Is that largely in part due to the SMC coating? Judging from the boat dock photos, the Sun seemed to been in similar places.
04-30-2007, 08:37 AM   #15
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I have both the Tamron and Pentax

I have both the Pentax and the Tamron (Newest Version). Have a look at these images shot with the Pentax and make up your own mind as well as the Tamron...Both Excellent and "Brutally Sharp":

Pentax:
http://anashcreation.com/thenashgallery/BenjaminKanarek/double04?full=1

for the still life shots from the "Diva" series

Tamron 90:

http://anashcreation.com/thenashgallery/BenjaminKanarek/1CRW_6061

from the "Black Sky White Soul" series

Ben
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