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11-23-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Decent Entry Level Macro Lens?

Hello All.

I just ordered a new K-X after having been using an *ist DL for the past 3-4 years.

I have the stock 18-55 kit lens, and a pretty decent 80-210mm zoom by Kodak (which, to this day I still cant find other pentax lenses in Kodak Brand). I am looking to get a decent macro lens now.

I am big into bugs, and I would like to get some real close up photos.

My budget on this lens though probably wouldn't be more then $200-$300, so I don't know exactly what I can get.

From what I have read I will want something with a magnification of 1:1 for it to be a true macro lens, although some consider 1:2 to still be macro.

Anyway, if anyone has recommendations they will be greatly appreciated. I have no problem in using third party brands either, it doesn't have to be a big name brand.

11-23-2009, 04:46 PM   #2
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A new Tamron 90mm Macro F/2.8 is about $400 after rebate.

Be patient, you may be able to find a decent used copy (maybe of older version, but still does 1:1) for about $300.

A Sigma 180mm Macro F/2.8 is probably better for bugs, but it's out of your price range.
11-23-2009, 04:50 PM   #3
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A really great macro is the old Tamron 90mm f/2.5 with the adaptall mount. You can probably get one for ~$100, and a KA adaptall mount will probably cost as much.

A great heavy brick of a lens, and makes beautiful images.
11-23-2009, 05:24 PM   #4
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There are two Macro-Takumars 50:4 on ebay at present. They are excellent 1:1 macros lenses and sometimes go for around $100 or less.

Not SMC, or Super, or any other focal length Takumar. The original Macro-Takumar is the only 1:1.

Dave in Iowa

11-23-2009, 05:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
A really great macro is the old Tamron 90mm f/2.5 with the adaptall mount. You can probably get one for ~$100, and a KA adaptall mount will probably cost as much.

A great heavy brick of a lens, and makes beautiful images.
This is a great lens, but the Adaptall-2 version will only go to 1:2 without an extension tube or 2X tele-converter. Tamron made both an excellent matched 2X TC and an extension tube that allow focus to 1:1. The TC goes for about $50, but results in a 50% reduction in affective aperture.

There are a lot of options with used lenses in the sub-200 dollar range that would include M42 lenses from various makers. If you are interested in buying new, the Sigma 50/2.8 EX DG Macro is probably the best value. Working distance is a bit close, but the optical quality is quite nice. Mine cost me $236 USD.

And...if you really want to have fun without putting out the big bucks and have a decent close-focus zoom...the Raynox DCR-250 auxiliary lens is pretty cool.

Steve
11-23-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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There was also a Tamron 72B adaptall 2 lens that was 1:1 and I believe it was the last manual focus version of the 90mm macro.

Here is a good comparisons of the various Tamron 90mm macros including the adaptall 2 versions.

http://home.comcast.net/~tmoreau2/dyxum_90mm.htm
11-23-2009, 07:42 PM   #7
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Maybe you could find a used vivitar 105mm macro. I have seen them go for between 200 and 300 dollars and people really like them.
11-23-2009, 08:47 PM   #8
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Wow, thanks for all the reply's guys! You gave me a lot to look into .

Guess it's time to start scouring eBay and the marketplace here

11-23-2009, 10:15 PM   #9
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If you can get a copy of this lens, it is the most "budget" ~100mm lens you will find.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-FA-100mm-F3.5-Macro-Lens.html
11-23-2009, 10:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
There are two Macro-Takumars 50:4 on ebay at present. They are excellent 1:1 macros lenses and sometimes go for around $100 or less.

Not SMC, or Super, or any other focal length Takumar. The original Macro-Takumar is the only 1:1.

Dave in Iowa
That's fine if you kill the bugs first but 50mm is usually too short a focal length.
11-23-2009, 11:34 PM   #11
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KEH has a Pentax-M 100/4 Macro for $133. The condition is BGN, but many users here swear by their BGN level lenses. They also have two others EX and EX+ for $235. If M42 is an option, they have three SMC Takumar 100/4 in EX condition starting at $165.

They also have the Tamron 90/1.8 (72B) 1:1 (mentioned above) in NEW condition for $245.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-23-2009 at 11:42 PM.
11-23-2009, 11:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
There was also a Tamron 72B adaptall 2 lens that was 1:1 and I believe it was the last manual focus version of the 90mm macro.

Here is a good comparisons of the various Tamron 90mm macros including the adaptall 2 versions.

http://home.comcast.net/~tmoreau2/dyxum_90mm.htm
Blue,
Thank you for the information. I was aware of the 72B lens, but for some reason thought that it was a fixed mount and not Adaptall-2.

Steve
11-25-2009, 02:13 AM   #13
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I was also looking for a not too expensive, decent macro lens and purchased a used Pentax A 4/100 macro lens for ~300 USD. I'm very satisfied with it. It doesn't have AF (which I don't miss at all for macro) and magnification is only 1:2 though.
11-25-2009, 07:12 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The condition is BGN, but many users here swear by their BGN level lenses.
Yeah, "BGN" at KEH = "MINT A++++++!!!!!!!!!!!!!" at ebay.
12-16-2009, 03:49 PM   #15
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Vivitar 100mm f/3.5 macro (MF), a great low-$ lens

I have one of these and have gotten some superb images with it. It even impressed the folks at Popular Photography when it came out a few years ago (like maybe 8 years...).
Caveats:
1. Manual focus. I use it for flowers and and occasionally insects and spiders, so I don't really need autofocus. I got some excellent shots of a praying mantis a couple of months ago. As bugs go, they sure hold still!
2. Only goes to 1:2. I comes with a "1:1X matched macro adapter" that screws on like a filter, but I have never used it.
3. Seems to made entirely of plastic, including the focus threads (but not the lenses).

I got mine from Cameta for something like $40. There is a version from Phoenix that's identical. I checked Ebay today and found a Vivitar for Canon mount for $50, and also an autofocus version, but I don't know if the autofocus version was ever made for Pentax.

I agree with the others that have said a 50mm macro is too short for bugs. I have the old 50mm f/4 Takumar preset.
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