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11-16-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
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More questions about macro lenses.

After several failed attempts on eBay trying to get some vintage Takumar macros (including a really nice mint condition Macro-Takumar 1:4/50mm that was sniped at the last second), my husband has been looking at other older Pentax lenses, as well as the Sigma 70mm. What happened to him considering getting me the Sigma 105mm or the Tamron 90mm I don't know.

Anyway, I'd like to ask you guys from some opinions on the following lenses!

SMC PENTAX FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Pentax M42 Screw mount 100mm f4 SMC Macro Takumar
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro
Sigma 70mm DG EX

Not looking to use a macro lens for much more than flowers and my cats' eyes at the moment.

Any opinions would be appreciated.

11-16-2009, 09:22 PM   #2
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This type of question comes up a lot. This macro lens or that. Honestly all of the above and a number of others are all top notch lenses. The difference in rendering and sharpness is extemely small between any of them.

The only exception might be the M42 100mm Not in IQ but in that it is a 1:2 lens where the others are 1:1. Also the longer the lens, the more space you have to the subject. A 50mm macro will give you about 5 inches of working space at max magnification. A 100mm is close to 11 inches.

So choose your lens on the working room you want, build quality and magnification. The m42 will be cheaper but the DFA100mm will be 1:1 and auto focus as a normal tele. Plus it will meter much more easily with the A setting.
11-17-2009, 02:46 AM   #3
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For both, a 50mm macro lens would also suffice, but the cat may get apprehensive being only 15-20cm away from his eye.

Seriously, as Peter says, all the lenses are fine and produce brilliant images. Choose the focal length and then go ahead and buy the one that's available to you for the right price.
11-17-2009, 03:54 AM   #4
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You haven't listed the Tamron Di 90mm f2.8 macro which has excellent reviews in this and other forums. I use a Pentax M 50mm f2.8 and the Tamron with a combination of bellows and extenion tubes for macro. I chose the Tamron for focussing, sharpness and ease of use after trying both the Pentax and Tamron.

Remember your degree of magnification depends on both the original focal length and amount of extension, ie 50mm extension on a 50mm lens is 1:1 but only 1:2 on a 100 mm lens but the subject distance is much greater for the 100 mm lens. I find I need both focal lengths for a reasonable range of macro shots.

Have fun,

David

11-17-2009, 05:00 AM   #5
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tamron's 90mm is brilliant and very cheap vs the current alternatives
11-17-2009, 05:57 AM   #6
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Do prefer the 50mm macros. Unless you want to photograph bugs or other fast moving scary subjects and need the extra distance the smaller focal length will give you greater dof meaning you may actually get you entire subject in focus.
11-17-2009, 06:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
Do prefer the 50mm macros. Unless you want to photograph bugs or other fast moving scary subjects and need the extra distance the smaller focal length will give you greater dof meaning you may actually get you entire subject in focus.
You can photograph bugs with a 50 macro, I've done it often (even though my thing is flowers and plants).
11-24-2009, 04:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice.
We ended up getting the M42 100mm f4 SMC Macro Takumar off of Ebay for a decent price. We almost got one of the original 1:1 50mm macros but was outbid at the last second. I think we're still going to try for it or a Sigma 70mm because I'd like the 1:1 magnification.

11-24-2009, 05:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by chinotenshi Quote
Thanks for all the advice.
We ended up getting the M42 100mm f4 SMC Macro Takumar off of Ebay for a decent price. We almost got one of the original 1:1 50mm macros but was outbid at the last second. I think we're still going to try for it or a Sigma 70mm because I'd like the 1:1 magnification.
Congratulations. It is a fine lens.

Steve
11-24-2009, 08:51 PM   #10
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I'm very excited about it. I did some test shots with it on Monday night and liked what I saw. It'll take a while to get used to focusing it until we can afford to get a KatzEye screen shipped into Japan, but I am very happy with the purchase. Just a little bit of dust and haze inside, but nothing that affects the quality of what comes out of it.
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