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04-08-2010, 06:50 PM   #31
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Thank for you opinion Ira.
Just a question. Is there a Macro lens performing well in term of AF or they are all about the same?

04-08-2010, 06:54 PM   #32
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Ah, I'm back from the dentists'. Their house cam is a Canon 10D with a 100mm macro and ringflash. all Canon. They like to shoot before-and-afters. And with the 100 they can do 1:1 from a comfortable distance. Which is why so many macro lenses are in the 90-105mm range. Trying to shoot my molars with a 35 or 28 would almost involve crawling into my mouth.

Macro lenses can be had in many focal lengths, and lenses of any length can be used for macros. Although I *might* hesitate to put my Zenitar 16/2.8 on tubes. Hmmm, let's see what happens there... yeah, working distance gets rather tight. 28 or 35 or 50 work OK in mini-studio or lightbox settings. For the outside world, longer is better.

[But I can even take that to an extreme. Back in my film days I'd put a Spiratone 400mm tele on a 12" bellows on my Olympus Pen-FT half-frame 35mm SLR, the whole thang mounted on a rifle-stock rig for stability. I could shoot close-ups of rattlesnakes from a safe distance, like 3-4m. Cowabunga! In full sun, of course.]

I have no dog in the Pentax-Tamron fight. I use a Series-1-quality M42 Vivitar 90/2.8 macro I got on eBay for US$3. I also shoot standard M42 primes on tubes. from the incredibly sharp and cheap (US$13 for mine) apochromatic Industar 50/2.5 (quite popular for studio work) to a surprising Hanimar 135/3.5 Preset (US$18). Or I'll use various cheap but brutally sharp enlarger lenses on bellows.

Then there's the Schneider Betavaron 50-125mm enlarger zoom, fixed-focus, fat and heavy, difficult to use, but there's nothing like it. Don't get me started...

Anyway, of current-generation zooms (which I haven't researched extensively because I can't afford any yet) the DFA100M-WR is my favorite. Maybe because of the build, the famous Pentax color rendering, and oh yeah, the WR. I can put it on my K20D and go crawling around in rain and ruin and mud and muck and never need to worry.
04-08-2010, 06:57 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by miss_alexx Quote
Thank for you opinion Ira.
Just a question. Is there a Macro lens performing well in term of AF or they are all about the same?
The very nature of Macro negates autofocus:

Not only won't your single focus point be able to lay on the part of the image you want--the area is too big and doesn't change just because you have a macro on there--but depending on your aperture and the DOF and effect you're trying to achieve...all crystal clear or blurred in the background...autofocus simply doesn't know what you want to focus on.

If they came out with a Tammy 90 macro with only manual focus for $100 to $150 less, they would sell tons of them.
04-08-2010, 06:58 PM   #34
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Can't afford a new D-FA WR!

04-08-2010, 07:01 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
The very nature of Macro negates autofocus
Manual focus is ok for me... so maybe the Tamron would be a great lens for me or is there something else I may not like ?
04-08-2010, 07:19 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
AI can put it on my K20D and go crawling around in rain and ruin and mud and muck and never need to worry.
Yeah, but I heard the neighbors aren't too thrilled.
04-08-2010, 08:35 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Yeah, but I heard the neighbors aren't too thrilled.
I'll be in mud-and-muck cammo, i.e. covered in slime - they won't even see me. Heh heh.

QuoteOriginally posted by miss_alexx Quote
Can't afford a new D-FA WR!
Neither can I right now. I'm waiting for an inheritance. C'mon Uncle Ray, drink the lemonade...

QuoteOriginally posted by miss_alexx Quote
Manual focus is ok for me... so maybe the Tamron would be a great lens for me or is there something else I may not like ?
I don't know the Tammy itself, but consider: For serious macro and portrait work, AF is irrelevant. For general-purpose short-tele work, AF is a real nice-to-have. Modern glass sold as 'macro' lenses are intended for general shooting, which INCLUDES macro, portrait, GP short-tele, and just grab-shots. That's why AF is included.

For dedicated macro work, an expensive AF GP lens just ISN'T needed. My US$3 manual Vivitar 90/2.8 macro is splendid. It also weighs 470g and extends out to almost 20cm. The F100M in the marketplace weighs 590g; asking price is around US$500. I'm not sure what the Tammy weighs, but you say it costs $400. My cheap-but-sharp f/2.8 100mm or 135mm lenses (~US$20) weigh about 250g each; 140mm of modular M42 extension tubes (US$15) weigh around 200g total. If I want to use the lenses for manual non-macro shooting, I just remove the tubes. If I want to do closer macros, the (60g) Industar-50 (US$13) is at hand.

In other words, I have a whole 50-100-135 macro and short-tele kit for a small fraction of the cost of a modern macro. All manual focus -- so I enable Catch-In-Focus, the poor hominid's free AF. All manual apertures, so I stop down and shoot in Av or M mode.

I'm not trying to sell you on M42 tube systems. (Who, me?!?!?) I'm just saying that you can do elegant sharp macro work with VERY inexpensive components. As long as I'm not crawling in mud, I don't really NEED that FDA100M-WR. (My LBA is totally under control, yes it is...) Do you normally shoot a lot at 100mm? Do you want to? If you feel that you need a general-purpose AF short tele that's also quite good at macros and portraits, and you want to spend that money, fine. Go for it. I just like to consider the alternatives. I'm cheap. I can't buy any more lenses right now. (Whine bitch moan groan...)
04-08-2010, 09:03 PM   #38
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Personally I see a WR macro as pointless. When taking macro's your always struggling with not having enough light. Taking a macro shot in a situation where you need WR will be beyond difficult..... almost pointless. Now the only decent arguement in my eyes is that a 100mm WR lens is very nice to have, which I agree with. Still I believe Pentax would have been much better off with something like a 135mm F/2.8 WR or heck a 100mm F/2.8 WR non macro with nice and fast AF. Modern macro lenses have excruciatingly slow AF, almost not worth using IMO.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
5) The 90 isn't fast, and some of the best macro is done wide open with shallow DOF and beautiful bokeh.
Just about all macro lenses are F/2.8..... so when you say it isn't fast and some of the best macro's are done wideopen.....? I can almost garuntee those pictures you saw are F/2.8..... actually they were probably stopped down.

And just so we are clear, I don't know of one person that has taken macro's wideopen. At 1:1 the DOF is so small at F/2.8 its not even worth trying.....Even at F/11 its easy to get beautiful bokeh because of the shallow DOF 1:1 or near 1:1 produces.


Last edited by yeatzee; 04-08-2010 at 09:10 PM.
04-08-2010, 10:15 PM   #39
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I have the Tamron. Fantastic IQ, snappy focus, good contrast...you name it...

The only advantage of the DFA 100mm over the tamron is the weather sealing. As long as IQ is concerned, the Tammy is the king IMO.

So ask yourself if you want to pay the extra $$ for the WR, if not, run and buy the Tamron, you will seldom take it off the camera . Also more chances to get a good copy compared with Sigma so you can buy it from e-bay's Honk Kong sellers at around USD 400.
04-08-2010, 10:42 PM   #40
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there is no bad macro. any macro lens would do. it only depends on what focal length use you need the macro for, or other use for such focal length aside from macro use. there are a lot of great macro lens, but selecting which macro would depend primarily on price and focal length usage. got 2 macros (sigma 70 and pentax fa100) and love/need both for their strengths at their respective arenas, fa100 for af speed and color, sigma 70 for overall IQ and focal length.
04-08-2010, 11:15 PM   #41
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WR for wet macros.
04-09-2010, 06:54 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by kytra Quote
I have the Tamron. Fantastic IQ, snappy focus, good contrast...you name it...
I have to start using mine more, but I'm just too in love with the old Tak glass.
04-09-2010, 08:36 AM   #43
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Make sure you include the Sigma 70/2.8 EX into your considerations. The lens has a lot going for it.

It also doubles as a portrait lens (on APS-C).
04-09-2010, 02:17 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Make sure you include the Sigma 70/2.8 EX into your considerations. The lens has a lot going for it.
The sigma 70 is a little bit out of budget because I would like something costing no more than $450 shipped to Canada. Maybe if I see one used of this price, I will consider it.
04-09-2010, 02:34 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by miss_alexx Quote
Thank you for your advices. It made me realize that de DA 35 will not suit my need for macro. Right now there is a D-FA 100 Macro for sale on the forum. I think it's a good deal. But I don't know wich I should choose between the Tamron and the Pentax.
I use the Tamron and it is as good as a macro lens gets. Honestly, if you compare macro lenses of the same or similar focal lengthes, the optical quality is always very comparable. So, other factors should be taken into consideration too:

The Tamron was the lens of choice for me, because at that time the Pentax FA macro was simply so much bigger and heavier (the new DFAs might be smaller and more light weight, I don't know). Manual focusing is easy and smooth, which is important with a macro lens. And the smaller form factor makes it slightly easier to work with light - the less lens is in your light's way, the better.

Others sure have different preferences.
Ben
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