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05-30-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8--VS.--Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG, on Macro and Portrait

Hi all,

I'm looking for lenses which support both Macro and Portrait so I can save some bucks
After researched, I'll be thinking about these two.
Is there anyone has same thinking as mine or ever used these lenses may give some advise?

Thanks in advance.

05-30-2012, 08:26 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I have the sigma 70mm macro. The only complaint about portrait is I have had complaints it is too sharp. Its a great macro lens, but I love it even more as a portrait lens. I am tempted to soften the portrait shots by wiping some grease (petroleum jelly) on the filter. (My confession is I love my pentax 100 WR more for macro so the sigma now gets less use.)
05-30-2012, 10:35 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
I have the sigma 70mm macro. The only complaint about portrait is I have had complaints it is too sharp. Its a great macro lens, but I love it even more as a portrait lens. I am tempted to soften the portrait shots by wiping some grease (petroleum jelly) on the filter. (My confession is I love my pentax 100 WR more for macro so the sigma now gets less use.)
So how was the Pentax 100mm's portrait compare to Sigma 70mm?
05-30-2012, 11:43 PM - 1 Like   #4
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If you're most interested in portraits and macros, and have a relentless budget, a tidy cheap solution exists: enlarger lenses (ELs) on extension.

One of my favorite super-sharp portrait setups puts a Vivitar-LU 75/3.5 enlarger lens (US$8) on either an M42 17-35mm focusing helicoid (US$59) for general photography (focuses to infinity) or an M42 45-110mm Bellowscope bellows (US$21) for getting very close (10-30cm). Or I may use cheap M42 macro tubes (US$8) to set a fixed focus around 1-2m depending on the tube sections used -- around 25mm of extension puts the Vivitar's focus at around 1.5m.

For closer macro, get one of the many excellent 50mm ELs available for just a few bucks. My EL-Nikkor 50/2.8 was US$5 (but I was lucky). My Leitz (Leica) Varob 50/3.5 was under US$20. My Vega & Komura & Schneider 50s were each under US$10. 75s can be even cheaper, like four for a dime (US$10), name brands: Schneider, Rodenstock, etc. ELs in the 90-110mm range are great for general work.

PROs: Cheap. Edge-to-edge flatfield sharp. Plentiful. Cheap.
CONs: No AF. No aperture auto-stop-down. Flash can be tricky.

If you want to spend hundreds of bucks for a general-purpose AF lens that is also good for close work, fine. But I'm a cheap bastard. I know that AF is not useful for macros and formal portraits. Hay, with a little luck, you too may find an Industar-58 75/3.5 which has a formidable horn (like a bolshy black blunderbuss) and usually results in nervous, apprehensive expressions when shooting from 1m away.


Last edited by RioRico; 06-01-2012 at 02:02 AM.
05-31-2012, 10:01 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I was in the same boat a while ago. I went for the Sigma 70/2.8 EX Macro as a double talent for macros and portraits.
It is a great lens, unbelievably sharp wide open already.
05-31-2012, 11:44 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I have both the Pentax 100mm and the Sigma 70mm macro - they are both excellent for portrait and macro. For portraits, both can both be cruelly sharp (warts & all :-) but macro subjects don't usually complain about this.

I don't have the Pentax 50mm macro, but I'm sure its IQ is in the same class as the other two. If you have to chose between them, it shouldn't be over their IQ, but what you want in terms of typical working distance, field of view, etc (you will have to get a lot closer to macro subjects with a 50mm lens).

Unless you can afford all 3 lenses, the sigma 70mm would be a good compromise...
10-02-2012, 01:12 AM   #7
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Finally I had chance to try Pentax DFA 50mm f2.8 macro ;-)
Somethings I can say about this lens:
- Very light and compact
- Fast auto focus + quick-shift
- Sharp even at f2.8, contrast
- Can perform hand-held macro. The clamp lock for macro is really useful.
- 50mm is for "head-shoulder" portrait (good enough for me)
I think this lens satisfies my requirements: compact, walk-around lens or portrait photo, support macro, sharp.
Now is time to practice.
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