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11-21-2009, 09:17 AM   #1
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What macro lens do you suggest?

Hello!

I have been dabbling on ebay for some lenses for my new kx. So far I have acquired a 70-210mm f/4-5.6 Promaster MC Zoom and a SMC Pentax - M 50mm 1:1.7. Of course, plus my stock 18-55.

I really want to be able to shoot things really close, like insects or fine details on leaves. What lens should I go about hunting for?

Thank you!

11-21-2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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I Love the Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro. It is very sharp.
I got it for a couple of a hundred dollars less than the Pentax 100mm Macro. I could not determine any significant difference in image quality between the two lenses. (although honestly didn't have more than half an hour to look at both in the store).

Above anything, you do want a real macro lens. Super-zooms with "macro" ability in general get in "close" but leave a lot to be desired in terms of detail and sharpness.
11-21-2009, 09:57 AM   #3
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for begining I suggest you to read this thread :
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/76902-fast-good-macro-lens.html
It is very good source of valuable information.
11-21-2009, 10:21 AM   #4
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Beautiful, thank you.

I assume this is going to be my most expensive lens then.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270488004590&_trkparms=tab%3DBidding

or

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pentax-Super-Takumar-Asahi-105mm-f2-8-M42-Lens-100-FB_W0...item19b7c6ccd4

Would that be what I am roughly looking for?


Last edited by Dynasty; 11-21-2009 at 10:26 AM.
11-21-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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this is a topic that has been posted and replied to hundreds of times, over and over and over. That is what the search button is for

here's another link that might be helpful

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/78001-pursuit-...ppiness-2.html
11-21-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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Overall, you can hardly go wrong - just decide: MF or AF? Then decide on budget, then go out and hunt for one.
11-21-2009, 03:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Overall, you can hardly go wrong - just decide: MF or AF? Then decide on budget, then go out and hunt for one.
What Ash says...

Most macro lenses are very good. Let build quality and your pocket book be your guide. MF works great unless your subject demands AF, though I can admit to using AF on bugs (hand held!) on occasion.

Steve
11-21-2009, 08:39 PM   #8
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Manual focus 1:2 magnification macro lenses are common, and provide excellent image quality at low cost.

But, small bugs require more than 1:2 magnification and lenses shorter than around 90mm tend to scare bugs away. In general, shorter focal length macro lenses, while easier to hand-hold, are more difficult to arrange lighting for and because of the wider angle include more background, tending to clutter an image. Here's an example (same actual background):


Manual Focus is sufficient if the lens will be dedicated to macros, but AF is nice if 90-105mm lens is expected to double as a mild telephoto for portraits.

If I were starting over, I'd probably look for something like an 90-105mm, 1:1, f2.8, AF lens.

The Macro lens I use most often is an ancient Macro-Takumar 50mm f4 1:1.
Dave in Iowa


Last edited by newarts; 11-22-2009 at 03:52 AM.
11-22-2009, 12:12 AM   #9
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Don't forget extension tubes

Extension tubes are a very economical route for macro photography. Especially on the Pentax system where you have many options for manual aperture adjustment.



edit:
You can turn any high-quality lens into a macro lens with extension tubes. I'm sure there's a trade-off somewhere but I've had had nothing but exceptional results.

Last edited by jadedrakerider; 11-22-2009 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Adding
11-22-2009, 12:51 AM   #10
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Thanks guys!

I actually ended up getting this...

Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 105mm F2.8

I can't seem to figure out of its 1:1 though.

Would it still benefit to use tubes? And maybe a hood?
11-22-2009, 01:22 AM   #11
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I don't think this would benefit from an extension tube. I mean, certainly its magnification would increase, but you'd lose a lot of light by the same token.

The real beauty of the extension tubes is the ability to use any lens you want.

*Shorter focal length have greater depth of field, but you have to get closer to your subject.

Not a problem, as long as your subject isn't alive.

*I am not totally confident about the factuality of this statement.

Last edited by jadedrakerider; 11-22-2009 at 04:20 AM.
11-22-2009, 03:30 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jadedrakerider Quote
I don't think this would benefit from an extension tube. I mean, certainly its magnification would increase, but you'd lose a lot of light by the same token.

The real beauty of the extension tubes is the ability to use any lens you want. Shorter focal length have greater depth of field, but you have to get closer to your subject. Not a problem, as long as your subject isn't alive.
Extension tubes do not loose more light than using a normal macro lens at the same magnification. When you focus on close objects the lens assembly is moved away from the focal plane and you'll loose a lot of light too.

Regarding dof, a wider lens has the same dof as a longer lens, when you obtain the same magnification ratio with both.
11-22-2009, 04:07 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomtor Quote
Extension tubes do not loose more light than using a normal macro lens at the same magnification.
That's what I meant. When a macro lens is extended fully, it has already lost a substantial amount of light. You'd get more magnification, but you'd lose more light after already losing a substantial amount.

If you're shooting a still object on a tripod, this isn't an issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by tomtor:
Regarding dof, a wider lens has the same dof as a longer lens, when you obtain the same magnification ratio with both.
I did not know that! Thanks!
11-22-2009, 05:03 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jadedrakerider Quote
That's what I meant. When a macro lens is extended fully, it has already lost a substantial amount of light. You'd get more magnification, but you'd lose more light after already losing a substantial amount.!
Yes, we agree

What I tried to make clear is that there is no fundamental difference between eg an 1:2 ratio 105mm macro which is combined with an extension tube to obtain 1:1 and an 105mm which does 1:1 without the help of extension tubes.

To the original poster, I don't think that you will miss af with the older lenses for macro work. A drawback will be that you could miss automatic exposure and pttl flash. On the other hand, manual flash is often no problem, because the distance to your subject is often fixed.
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