Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

View Poll Results: Which Telephoto Prime?
Pentax FA 100mm F/2.8 Macro 321.43%
Pentax D-FA 100mm F/2.8 Macro 535.71%
Sigma 70mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro   00%
Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro 214.29%
Tamron AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 428.57%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-23-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
Pentaxian
unixrevolution's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Waldorf, MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,845
Telephoto Macro Prime Lens?

I'm having a little bit of a conniption trying to figure out which Macro lens I'll be getting. Here are the mandatory features:

1:1 Reproduction ratio
F/2.8 (or faster!)
Street price under $500
Autofocus
Equally adept at non-macro (I'm thinking double duty as a portrait telephoto)

The cameras I have are a K10D, *ist, Super Program, ME Super and K1000. I would like for it to work on all of them, but it's not an absolute requirement if one lens or another has other features or IQ that are superlative.

02-23-2010, 12:44 PM   #2
Veteran Member
Pentaxor's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,513
I would prefer the 70 since it is sharper than my FA100 and is the sharpest among the bunch. also, I highly prefer shooting portraits along 70-85mm which is the ideal focal length for telephoto portraits.
02-23-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
Senior Member
AirSupply's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 153
I agree with Pentaxor, the DA 70 or FA 77 both are ideal for portrait photo. However, they can't do macro like the DFA 100 can do. But sometime, too sharp make a serious concern for shooting portrait (someone have to use PS to soft it a bit). Therefore, macro is not 100% necessary for this purpose

In the end, I still recommend the new DFA 100mm WR. Its price now is $599 from Prodigital (CAD) and its built/IQ are superb.
02-23-2010, 10:49 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,144
I selected the DA 100/2.8 on the grounds that the latest one has weather resistance.

02-25-2010, 03:39 AM   #5
Veteran Member
rustynail925's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Philippines
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,552
I think you cant go wrong with any of the choices they are very sharp macro lenses.
I choose The Tamron for the price/performance.. I also like its look and weight.
02-25-2010, 04:04 PM   #6
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
Sigma 70, if you must

If your heart is set on one of those fine lenses you listed, I sure can't stop you. But I have some suggestions.

Serious macro work demands a tripod and control. Blazing speed is useless, as DOF is razor-thin; autofocus is flaky, as your AF may not pick the point you want to emphasize. I use an old screwmount Vivitar 90/2.8 macro (US$3 on eBay) that goes 1:1 and has near-Series I quality. Sometimes it goes on M42 tubes (US$10) for even closer detail. Full automation is not your friend when shooting macro. Cheaper is often better.

On an APS-C sensor, 100mm+ is just too long for decent portraits. Depth goes away, features are flattened. You get ID photos -- is that what you want?. With full-frame, portrait lenses are in the 75-100mm range, f/1.5-2 wide open. For APS-C, that translates to a fast 50-70mm prime. DOF is still thin, desirable in much portraiture (soften those features, blur those zits and blemishes).

I find the FA 50/1.4 ideal for close facial or further half-body work -- and I still manual-focus, and pre-focus if I know the distance, to control DOF. A manual 85/2 (Nikkor [US$10] or Jupiter-9 [US$70]) is about the feasible limit for longer shots, which translates to 127mm full-frame. Longer is flatter. So from your list, I'd suggest the Sigma 70. But still, there are less costly options.

For candid shots, portraits from a distance where you don't care that much about flattening, a fast AF lens around 90-105mm would be right. Just don't expect it to be right (or cost-effective) for formal portrait or macro work. I would even suggest a fast zoom in the 60-120mm range, but those that exist are expensive. So you just have to decide what compromises work best for you.
03-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #7
Pentaxian
unixrevolution's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Waldorf, MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,845
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
If your heart is set on one of those fine lenses you listed, I sure can't stop you. But I have some suggestions.

Serious macro work demands a tripod and control. Blazing speed is useless, as DOF is razor-thin; autofocus is flaky, as your AF may not pick the point you want to emphasize. I use an old screwmount Vivitar 90/2.8 macro (US$3 on eBay) that goes 1:1 and has near-Series I quality. Sometimes it goes on M42 tubes (US$10) for even closer detail. Full automation is not your friend when shooting macro. Cheaper is often better.

On an APS-C sensor, 100mm+ is just too long for decent portraits. Depth goes away, features are flattened. You get ID photos -- is that what you want?. With full-frame, portrait lenses are in the 75-100mm range, f/1.5-2 wide open. For APS-C, that translates to a fast 50-70mm prime. DOF is still thin, desirable in much portraiture (soften those features, blur those zits and blemishes).

I find the FA 50/1.4 ideal for close facial or further half-body work -- and I still manual-focus, and pre-focus if I know the distance, to control DOF. A manual 85/2 (Nikkor [US$10] or Jupiter-9 [US$70]) is about the feasible limit for longer shots, which translates to 127mm full-frame. Longer is flatter. So from your list, I'd suggest the Sigma 70. But still, there are less costly options.

For candid shots, portraits from a distance where you don't care that much about flattening, a fast AF lens around 90-105mm would be right. Just don't expect it to be right (or cost-effective) for formal portrait or macro work. I would even suggest a fast zoom in the 60-120mm range, but those that exist are expensive. So you just have to decide what compromises work best for you.
I appreciate your suggestions very much and you are certainly right about portraits at 100. I do already own a fast 50 for portrait work on the Digital...A Pentax-A 50mm F/1.4.

I know I want a 1:1 macro because I've played with a friend's 100mm F/2.8 macro and loved it. I think I'm going to settle on the Tamron for the following reasons:

1. It has an aperture ring (Unlike Sigma 70/Pentax D-FA 100mm
2. It's only slightly heavier than the D-FA 100mm Macro.
3. It's short length of 90mm Vs. 105 means that it's APS-C equivalent is 135mm, which is the furthest I'd think you'd want to shoot portraits at. So for a good long portrait lens and midrange telephoto, that's the ticket. 90mm is also closer to a proper portrait lens if I use it on my film cameras, which by the required presence of an aperture ring, I'm sure you can guess I plan to.
03-23-2010, 07:45 AM   #8
Ira
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,218
QuoteOriginally posted by unixrevolution Quote
I appreciate your suggestions very much and you are certainly right about portraits at 100. I do already own a fast 50 for portrait work on the Digital...A Pentax-A 50mm F/1.4.

I know I want a 1:1 macro because I've played with a friend's 100mm F/2.8 macro and loved it. I think I'm going to settle on the Tamron for the following reasons:

1. It has an aperture ring (Unlike Sigma 70/Pentax D-FA 100mm
2. It's only slightly heavier than the D-FA 100mm Macro.
3. It's short length of 90mm Vs. 105 means that it's APS-C equivalent is 135mm, which is the furthest I'd think you'd want to shoot portraits at. So for a good long portrait lens and midrange telephoto, that's the ticket. 90mm is also closer to a proper portrait lens if I use it on my film cameras, which by the required presence of an aperture ring, I'm sure you can guess I plan to.
Did you get it yet? I'm having some funky experiences with mine trying to learn it.

Like Rio said, for macro, forget AF. Not only doesn't the lens know what point you want to focus on (even when you're set for single point), but the damn thing hunts like crazy, even with the limiter switch set.

In addition, for maximum depth of field, you have to back focus anyway. My macro work is to shoot detail, nothing artsy fartsy, so my Tamron isn't going to see anything wider than F22, and it'll probably be at 32 most of the time. (I just started playing with it this past weekend with a flash ring.) But when you get in at the minimum focusing distance and focus on the surface of the object, the DOF is so thin that you have to focus behind that point to get it all clear--and I still wasn't too happy with the results.

As far as spontaneous off-the-cuff portraits go where it's not a set-up shot, although 90 may not seem the ideal length, I really love it because it's long enough to put you far enough away to put the subject totally at use. There's a huge difference in how people react to a camera when it's 6 feet away from them as opposed to 12.

But if I was just using it for set-up Macro work at home, I would probably go with an older, inexpensive, manual prime. The extra cost doesn't warrant it. But in the field doing macro, plus the portrait capacity, it's a well respected lens for the money.

03-23-2010, 11:13 AM   #9
Veteran Member
yeatzee's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Temecula
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,675
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
If your heart is set on one of those fine lenses you listed, I sure can't stop you. But I have some suggestions.

Serious macro work demands a tripod and control. Blazing speed is useless, as DOF is razor-thin; autofocus is flaky, as your AF may not pick the point you want to emphasize. I use an old screwmount Vivitar 90/2.8 macro (US$3 on eBay) that goes 1:1 and has near-Series I quality. Sometimes it goes on M42 tubes (US$10) for even closer detail. Full automation is not your friend when shooting macro. Cheaper is often better.
Does that mean I've been doing non-serious macro work all this time











all of these were taken at or above 1:1 handheld.....
03-31-2010, 12:08 PM   #10
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Portland area
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 20
I just ordered the Sigma 70mm version for my K-x (that hasn't even arrived yet). I, too, am interested in a prime that will do double-duty, something that I can learn with, too. I just stopped at a local Shutterbug to check out a representative 100mm macro, and I can testify that it seems to be too long for the kinds of shots I'll be interested in. So I'm glad I made the decision on the 70mm. I won't get my hands on it, though, until April 9 or so.
03-31-2010, 05:01 PM   #11
Veteran Member
creampuff's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,955
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Serious macro work demands a tripod and control. Blazing speed is useless, as DOF is razor-thin; autofocus is flaky, as your AF may not pick the point you want to emphasize. I use an old screwmount Vivitar 90/2.8 macro (US$3 on eBay) that goes 1:1 and has near-Series I quality. Sometimes it goes on M42 tubes (US$10) for even closer detail. Full automation is not your friend when shooting macro. Cheaper is often better.
I have owned both manual focus and AF macro lenses (FA & DFA macros) and I would still opt for AF because it is more useful for some subjects (quick moving insects for example). That's why the Quick Shift feature on the DFA macro lenses are very useful to fine focus after the camera's AF kicks in. I think you need to try out the DFA macro lenses before you pass judgment in calling autofocus as flaky. Also there are plenty of people who have shot macro successfully without using a tripod.

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
On an APS-C sensor, 100mm+ is just too long for decent portraits. Depth goes away, features are flattened. You get ID photos -- is that what you want?. With full-frame, portrait lenses are in the 75-100mm range, f/1.5-2 wide open. For APS-C, that translates to a fast 50-70mm prime. DOF is still thin, desirable in much portraiture (soften those features, blur those zits and blemishes).

I find the FA 50/1.4 ideal for close facial or further half-body work -- and I still manual-focus, and pre-focus if I know the distance, to control DOF. A manual 85/2 (Nikkor [US$10] or Jupiter-9 [US$70]) is about the feasible limit for longer shots, which translates to 127mm full-frame. Longer is flatter. So from your list, I'd suggest the Sigma 70. But still, there are less costly options.

For candid shots, portraits from a distance where you don't care that much about flattening, a fast AF lens around 90-105mm would be right. Just don't expect it to be right (or cost-effective) for formal portrait or macro work. I would even suggest a fast zoom in the 60-120mm range, but those that exist are expensive. So you just have to decide what compromises work best for you.
Sorry but saying 100mm+ is just too long for decent portraits is not true. Shooting with a 100mm lens on an APS-C sensor is perfectly fine for portraits, and I've got the photos to prove it.
03-31-2010, 08:14 PM   #12
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,166
QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Does that mean I've been doing non-serious macro work all this time











all of these were taken at or above 1:1 handheld.....
That is the notorious Glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (aka coagulata) that nearly put your Temecula vineyards and wineries out of business.
03-31-2010, 09:17 PM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fredericton New Brunswick Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 332
QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Does that mean I've been doing non-serious macro work all this time






all of these were taken at or above 1:1 handheld.....
Well, yah! Anyone who would dress up a mantis in silly hats like that cannot be taken seriously!

Great shooting, all of them!
05-20-2010, 10:42 AM   #14
Pentaxian
unixrevolution's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Waldorf, MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,845
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Did you get it yet? I'm having some funky experiences with mine trying to learn it.

Like Rio said, for macro, forget AF. Not only doesn't the lens know what point you want to focus on (even when you're set for single point), but the damn thing hunts like crazy, even with the limiter switch set.

In addition, for maximum depth of field, you have to back focus anyway. My macro work is to shoot detail, nothing artsy fartsy, so my Tamron isn't going to see anything wider than F22, and it'll probably be at 32 most of the time. (I just started playing with it this past weekend with a flash ring.) But when you get in at the minimum focusing distance and focus on the surface of the object, the DOF is so thin that you have to focus behind that point to get it all clear--and I still wasn't too happy with the results.

As far as spontaneous off-the-cuff portraits go where it's not a set-up shot, although 90 may not seem the ideal length, I really love it because it's long enough to put you far enough away to put the subject totally at use. There's a huge difference in how people react to a camera when it's 6 feet away from them as opposed to 12.

But if I was just using it for set-up Macro work at home, I would probably go with an older, inexpensive, manual prime. The extra cost doesn't warrant it. But in the field doing macro, plus the portrait capacity, it's a well respected lens for the money.
I did get the Tamron 90mm F/2.8 SP Di 1:1 Macro. Got it yesterday, and I must say I love it! I agree that AF is pretty useless with Macro, but macro is only half the reason I got this lens. The focusing system, with the focusing ring locking back into macro and being totally dead when it's in AF, is brilliant. For those who haven't handled this lens: When it's in the AF position, the focusing ring freewheels and the camera controls focus exclusively. True, no quick-shift like the Pentax lens, but it's nice not to have to hold it by something else and worry about twisting the ring or having the motor strip or do something else crazy. When it's in Manual, and you switch your camera to manual, it's smooth and a little bit more resistant to movement, like an old MF camera lens from the M or A series.

I have found, however, that it's ability to autofocus even close-up isn't that bad! For true macro work of course I'd do MF, but I did a couple AF shots of my pet bird up close (less than a foot) and it did just fine.

All in all, I'm extremely pleased.
05-20-2010, 02:04 PM   #15
Veteran Member
yeatzee's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Temecula
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,675
QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
In addition, for maximum depth of field, you have to back focus anyway. My macro work is to shoot detail, nothing artsy fartsy, so my Tamron isn't going to see anything wider than F22, and it'll probably be at 32 most of the time. (I just started playing with it this past weekend with a flash ring.) But when you get in at the minimum focusing distance and focus on the surface of the object, the DOF is so thin that you have to focus behind that point to get it all clear--and I still wasn't too happy with the results.

just curious, but do you still shoot like this? surely your images are greatly softened via diffraction
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
features, k-mount, lens, macro, pentax lens, slr lens, telephoto, telephoto macro
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Opinions on fast prime telephoto? Reportage Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 10-26-2010 11:47 AM
Wanted - Acquired: Medium Telephoto Prime 1:1 Macro Lens kangeroo82 Sold Items 1 06-02-2010 04:20 PM
First Telephoto Prime - 135/3.5 or 200/4? macke Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 18 12-04-2009 10:42 AM
For Sale - Sold: Sears 135mm f:2.8 Macro Telephoto Lens mycarsoots Sold Items 3 02-18-2009 04:48 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:05 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top