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12-22-2009, 02:19 AM   #1
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Best Macro 1:1 Lens?

I'm looking for which to buy...

What is the Best Macro 1:1 Lens under these criteria?

1) Macro 1:1
2) Most useful prime or zoom range... would also like to use for portraits... long is good.
3) Low-light... ƒ2.8 or close is good.
4) Great bokeh in macro and normal.
5) Image quality, construction, etc.
6) Used or new - doesn't matter.
7) Pentax or 3rd party - doesn't matter.
8) Price - doesn't matter - looking for the BEST.
9) Auto-Focus or Manual, but prefer AUTO - looking for the BEST.

Thanks!


Last edited by PentaxForums-User; 12-22-2009 at 03:10 AM.
12-22-2009, 02:33 AM   #2
Zav
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I would say there is no such lens, but there are 3 lenses which seem to fit your description:
Pentax DFA 100 f2,8 macro
Sigma 105 f2,8 macro
Tamron 90 f2,8 macro

Optically speaking, I don't believe that those are the best lenses, they are very good but not the best.
If not autofocus, I would go for a Voigt 125 or a Leica R APO Macro 100 with 1:1 adapter.

Last edited by Zav; 12-22-2009 at 01:52 PM.
12-22-2009, 03:04 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxForums-User Quote
I'm looking for which to buy...

What is the Best Macro 1:1 Lens under these criteria?
,,,
9) Auto-Focus.
Do you really need AF for macro? There are a few very very good MF macro lenses out there, such as Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 Macro.
12-22-2009, 03:05 AM   #4
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The DA 35 Macro Limited is a wonderfully crafted lens with full metal construction and a beautiful bokeh.

When comparing the DFA 100 f/2.8 Macro and Tamron 90 f/2.8 Macro against each other, they are going to be very close in terms of IQ, but overall the DFA 100 has the upper-hand with quick-shift and SMC coating.

By the way, I wish I had as much money as you do, price ain't a problem huh? Wow that's wonderful.


Last edited by LeDave; 12-22-2009 at 03:27 AM.
12-22-2009, 03:26 AM   #5
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Best Macro 1:1 Lens?

Personally I use the following macro lenses:
- Pentax DA 35/2.8 Macro Limited
- Vivitar Series 1 105/2.5 MF Macro Lens
- Sigma 180/3.5 IF EX DG APO Macro Lens
The quality of these lenses is beyond any doubt.

My dream Lens would be the:
- Voigtlander APO Lanthar 125/2.5 MF Macro Lens

Regards,
Hartmut
12-22-2009, 03:36 AM   #6
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Hi,
I recently had the same thought cause I was looking for "the best" for a friend of mine who does stop-motion films.

"The best" with AF is the Minolta 2.8 / 100

"The best" non-AF is the Leica APO Macro Elmarit 2.8 /100. This will get to 1:1 only with Leica Elpro put-on lens + distance ring. Still is "the best" with it.

"The best" for mid- to infinity distance is the (ZK) Carl Zeiss Macro Planar 2/100.

All the best (without quotation marks!),
Georg
12-22-2009, 06:05 AM   #7
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I'm looking forward to the Pentax D-FA Macro 100mm F2.8 WR..

and im gonna assume it's the besterest 1:1 Macro lens :P
12-22-2009, 06:17 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Voigtlander 125/2.5

That's easy - Voigtlander 125/2.5

and I have for comparision: FA 50/2.8 Macro, Leitz Elmarit 60/2.8, Vivitar S1 90/2.5
and I used previously DA 35/2.8 Macro and FA 100/2.8 Macro. All of them are great but only Voigtlander combine all together: 1:1 macro, great portrait lens with bokeh and top IQ.

Pentax *ist DS ,Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 SL Macro APO-Lanthar
1/500s f/2.4 at 125.0mm iso400


Pentax *ist DS ,Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 SL Macro APO-Lanthar
1/180s f/3.5 at 125.0mm iso400


Pentax K20D ,Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 SL Macro APO-Lanthar
1/320s f/8.0 at 125.0mm iso100


12-22-2009, 09:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxForums-User Quote
I'm looking for which to buy...

What is the Best Macro 1:1 Lens under these criteria?

1) Macro 1:1
2) Most useful prime or zoom range... would also like to use for portraits... long is good.
3) Low-light... ƒ2.8 or close is good.
4) Great bokeh in macro and normal.
5) Image quality, construction, etc.
6) Used or new - doesn't matter.
7) Pentax or 3rd party - doesn't matter.
8) Price - doesn't matter - looking for the BEST.
9) Auto-Focus or Manual, but prefer AUTO - looking for the BEST.

Thanks!
Certainly the 180mm Voightlander is extremely good, but also check into the Ultra-Micro-Nikkors, which are even better, but can cost thousands of dollars: http://homepage2.nifty.com/akiyanroom/redbook-e/ultra/ultech.html . The micro-nikkors are also very good.

AF is useful only when macro lens is used for non-macro.
12-22-2009, 10:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxForums-User Quote
1) Macro 1:1
2) Most useful prime or zoom range... would also like to use for portraits... long is good.
As soon as I say this, someone will post some obscure example, but to my knowledge, there are no 1:1 zoom lenses. Zoom lenses labeled "macro" are practically never better than 1:2, if that.

Beyond that, as I think you'd see if you browse the man other threads on this topic, there really aren't any bad macro lenses; people tend to liek them all. The obvious choices since you mention portraits are the Sigma 70, the Tamron 90, the Pentax 100, and the Sigma 105. Maybe any of the 50's if your taste in portraits runs that short. But if it were me, it would come down to the 70 and 90 on portrait focal length alone; there would be no significant differences on any other front worth even taking into consideration.
12-22-2009, 10:40 AM   #11
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The Sigma EX DG 180mm f/3.5 is awesome at all distances. I love everything about it. I paid about $700.00 from Adorama.
12-22-2009, 10:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
As soon as I say this, someone will post some obscure example, but to my knowledge, there are no 1:1 zoom lenses. Zoom lenses labeled "macro" are practically never better than 1:2, if that.

Beyond that, as I think you'd see if you browse the man other threads on this topic, there really aren't any bad macro lenses; people tend to liek them all. The obvious choices since you mention portraits are the Sigma 70, the Tamron 90, the Pentax 100, and the Sigma 105. Maybe any of the 50's if your taste in portraits runs that short. But if it were me, it would come down to the 70 and 90 on portrait focal length alone; there would be no significant differences on any other front worth even taking into consideration.
I would agree with Marc with the 70mm. it gives you more versatility and space for portraits, and the most preferred focal length (100mm is a bit long for my use) and at the same time, give you enough distance for macro usage.
12-22-2009, 11:10 AM   #13
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A question for the experts

This is a good thread for a question I have pondered...

When someone is asking about a AF macro lens to also be used as a portrait lens. I often see it mentioned that someone would chose the Pentax 100 because of it's"Quick Shift AF" like LeDave did here and many others do in other threads.

To me this is not really something I would use as a macro feature since I tend to MF and/or slightly move the camera to achieve focus on macro shots. And I just don't see quick shift AF being all that helpful for portraits when you are relying on AF.

It seems to me the "Focus Limiter" switch on the Tamron would be more useful in an AF macro lens that is going to double as a portrait lens. Sense you dont want the lens cycling thru the entire range every time your re compose a portrait shot.

Am I off base with this thinking?

Is 'quick shift' more important than 'focus limiting' on an Auto Focus Macro lens?


PS I would love the Voigt - 125mm! Or the siggy 180mm
12-22-2009, 02:01 PM   #14
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I've personally never felt wanting with my Pentax FA 100/2.8 macro but have never had a Voigt 125 to compare it.

Given the Pentax is AF and is sharp at f/2.8, I can use it in so many applications and be pleased with it results each time.
12-22-2009, 02:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
This is a good thread for a question I have pondered...

When someone is asking about a AF macro lens to also be used as a portrait lens. I often see it mentioned that someone would chose the Pentax 100 because of it's"Quick Shift AF" like LeDave did here and many others do in other threads.

To me this is not really something I would use as a macro feature since I tend to MF and/or slightly move the camera to achieve focus on macro shots. And I just don't see quick shift AF being all that helpful for portraits when you are relying on AF.

It seems to me the "Focus Limiter" switch on the Tamron would be more useful in an AF macro lens that is going to double as a portrait lens. Sense you dont want the lens cycling thru the entire range every time your re compose a portrait shot.

Am I off base with this thinking?

Is 'quick shift' more important than 'focus limiting' on an Auto Focus Macro lens?


PS I would love the Voigt - 125mm! Or the siggy 180mm
Ooh wow, I never knew about the Focus Limiter thing until now, I didn't know such thing existed. Sounds pretty neat.
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