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03-11-2010, 01:53 PM   #1
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Battle of the Pentax Macros

If you had to choose between two Pentax macros: either the 50/2.8 with 1:1 ratio or the 100/4 with a 1:2, which would you choose and why? The 100/2.8 is out of my price range.

Obvious benefit to 50mm:
1:1 macro, f/2.8.

Obvious benefit to 100mm:
superior build, allows for more discrete shots of things that move (since you're farther away).

Anyone care to put in their 2 cents?

03-11-2010, 02:01 PM   #2
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I'm not sure of which version of the 100 and 50 you are comparing, but I own the FA 50 macro and it is a beautifully built lens. It reeks of quality and sturdiness.

If you purchase a macro lens, might as well make it a true 1:1 macro. Otherwise get something like the Sigma 17-70 with 1:2.3 macro, or a vivitar series 1 70-210 V1 with 1:2.2 macro.

Just my two cents.
03-11-2010, 02:11 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by malibru Quote
superior build, allows for more discrete shots of things that move (since you're farther away).
I didn't know discreteness could be measured in inches! I think it depends on your subject, if it is alive you're probably going to need the 100mm (or an alternative, tamron 90mm and sigma 105mm come to mind). with the 100mm (I assume current AF) models out of your range have you considered an older MF lens? a 100mm M F4 or even takumar shouldn't run more than $150-200. I find myself using MF a majority of the time anyways with a macro.
03-11-2010, 02:36 PM   #4
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Does it need to be Pentax?

I have a Sigma 50mm 1:2.8 and a Tamron 90mm 1:2.8, both can do 1:1 ratio. IQ-wise, I can't tell the difference. I use the Tamron for most of my macro shots because it allows greater distance from the front of the lens to the object.

My son prefers the 50mm. I think he just wants to be different.

03-11-2010, 03:23 PM   #5
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For the price of a Pentax 50mm macro you could get a Sigma 105mm or Tamron 90mm macro lens.

Personally I would take the Tamron but there is no such thing as a bad 1:1 macro imo.
03-11-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
For the price of a Pentax 50mm macro you could get a Sigma 105mm or Tamron 90mm macro lens.
A (new) Sigma 105mm costs twice as much as I paid for my my (used) FA 50mm f2.8.
03-11-2010, 06:11 PM   #7
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I was able to pick up a used Tamron 90mm macro from B&H for $349. It's really a great lens, although the aperture blades aren't rounded so bokeh below 2.8 isn't round. At the used price it's hard to beat.
03-11-2010, 11:40 PM   #8
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thanks!

Appreciate the input... and info. I have the Sigma 50/2.8 with a 1:1 and I just purchased a never-been-used "brand new" 100/4 Takumar macro from a collector in Seattle. I'm curious to try it out. I've enjoyed my Sigma, but the 50mm focal length makes things too crowded for me. I don't pretend to be a veteran macro shooter... am still learning my way around this style of shooting, but I used to own the Sigma 17-70 and actually preferred it for macro shots over my current 50mm, even though it was only 1:2.2.

In any case, I do appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

03-12-2010, 12:56 AM   #9
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try the Sigma 70/2.8. it's better than my FA100/2.8. in terms of IQ. although I find the 100mm useful for non-macro shots.
03-12-2010, 04:29 AM   #10
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So my manual M42 Vivitar (Komine) 90/2.8 macro cost an entire US$3 on eBay (shipping included). Bokeh is incredible; IQ is great, at old Series 1 level. Focus the usual way, or use trap-focus, no problem. Goes to 1:1 magnification; at full extension it's 7 inches / 18cm long.

Sure, it weighs 470g and can crush kittens. Sure, it's ugly -- the knurled rubber focus grip was half torn off -- that's probably why it cost US$3, eh? So I finished the removal and replaced the grip with a band of duct tape. So don't look at the lens -- look at what it does. Did I mention that it cost US$3 total? Well, a few dollars more for the Bowers M42-PK adapter that lives on it.

Then there are other approaches. Like putting a 58mm-PK reversal ring (US$9) on a Tak-A 70-200/4 zoom (also US$9). Good focus range, great IQ and bokeh, trap-focus again. But it weighs about 700g; stray chihuahuas are at risk. At least it's easy to go from macro to normal mode -- just remove and reverse it.

I could go on, but y'all will only hate me.
03-12-2010, 06:00 AM   #11
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RioRico, I would hate to be a small animal in your vicinity.
03-12-2010, 06:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
A (new) Sigma 105mm costs twice as much as I paid for my my (used) FA 50mm f2.8.
At least compare like for like .. either both new or both used otherwise its a pretty useless comparison.
03-12-2010, 06:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
try the Sigma 70/2.8. it's better than my FA100/2.8. in terms of IQ. although I find the 100mm useful for non-macro shots.
I have both these and 99% of the time I use the 70mm.
Superb lens.
03-12-2010, 07:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
At least compare like for like .. either both new or both used otherwise its a pretty useless comparison.
Point taken. I'm just sayin' I got that apple for less than that orange would cost--good source of fiber either way Of course they're different FL's too but I thought it was relevant, in an admittedly not-comparable way, to a general discussion of macro options.
03-12-2010, 08:12 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Point taken. I'm just sayin' I got that apple for less than that orange would cost--good source of fiber either way Of course they're different FL's too but I thought it was relevant, in an admittedly not-comparable way, to a general discussion of macro options.
In that case I have a Tamron 90mm f2.9 macro that cost a LOT less than a Pentax FA* 200mm macro I saw on Ebay.
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