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07-24-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
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FA or DA Lenses For Kr

Been looking into getting a macro lens. I haven't really been able to settle on a lens mainly because they are so expensive. I am hoping to find a good deal on a used lens at some point, but I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. Leaning 99 percent on an auto focus.

Should I be looking into an FA or DA lens? Or should I be looking into something else?

I'm merely a hobbyist so I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a lens.

I know I can look up the differences between the two types of lenses, but I was hoping to get perspective from actual people. What are the main benefits/drawbacks of the two types of lenses?

Thanks in advance.

07-24-2011, 11:14 PM   #2
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There's really no practical difference between the two, except that the two latest macro lenses, the DA 35 and the DFA 100, lack aperture rings so you can't do fancy things with bellows, etc. All Pentax macros are full-frame lenses with the exception of the 35mm. As far as new macro lenses go, you have the following choices:

macro Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Comprehensive Database

And here are your used FA choices (only the 100mm F3.5 is affordable):

macro Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Comprehensive Database

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07-24-2011, 11:14 PM   #3
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Pentax has several series of high-quality lenses includig the FA Ltd, DA Ltd, DA*, FA*. All are excellent, but none are cheap.

Simply a good lens is not cheap, but it is worth every penny.

Importantly you need to consider carefully several parameters:
- set yourself a budget;
- what focal length to do you need ? There are some excellent Pentax macro at various focal lengths incl. 35mm, 50mm, 100mm, ... and much more if you include third-party lenses,
- consider carefully if you want a dedicated macro prime;

Then you can make an informed decision, using the PF lens reviews, in-depth reviews and independant reviews at photozone.de and slrgear.com.

Hope that the comment will help.
07-25-2011, 12:21 AM   #4
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I have the KR too, and it's so loud. The super loud AF noise isn't going to help you on a bug safari. So you'll probably MF the lens anyways. AF would be for using the lens as something other than a macro. I use my Tamron for portraits, etc. If you really want to go cheap you might really consider a MF macro lens. You can get one of the Panagor clones for a little over 100. Otherwise the Pentax 100 macro lets you quickshift focus, and that would be a nice feature.

Have you looked into getting a Raynox at all? You could have what you need for 60 bucks.

07-25-2011, 01:53 AM   #5
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I'm definitely going to get one of those Raynox lenses when I can afford it (I know, they're cheap, but things are tight right now). They look like a great starter for macro stuff, and so much cheaper. They also have the flexibility of being able to attach to multiple lenses, so lots of experimentation is possible.

As for the noise level of the K-r, I use it for bugs every day and have yet to scare one off. Maybe they're all deaf, but it really doesn't seem to bother insects. Birds on the other hand... it's nice when you want them to look at the camera, other times it's a bit frustrating.
07-25-2011, 05:14 AM   #6
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You can do either AF or MF with macro. I have an AF Quantaray 28-90 that is really nice and I got it shipped for <$35. Its a re-bagged Sigma lens but by all accounts this 28-90 is significantly better than the 28-80 version.

On the MF front, I have the M50/f4 and M100/f4 and an M42 Pentax Bellows. It really depends on how much magnification you are going for which one you should consider. If you want greater than 1:1 then a bellows is a good choice.

For just being out and about and taking butterfly pics and an occasional flower pic the AF is fine for my purposes. When I want to do something more serious its usually in the studio (such a fancy term) and I use the MF lenses.

I guess the take away message is to not forget that there are 3rd party AF macro lenses and the older MF lenses can be had a far less than the current crop of Pentax AF Macro lenses too.

I also strongly urge you to read this article here on the forum:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...ml#post1583483
07-25-2011, 11:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for that link to the Cheap Macro article, I hadn't found it yet.

Very good reading.
07-25-2011, 08:25 PM   #8
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Went ahead and ordered a Raynox DCR-250. The reviews on it were just too good to pass up. Hopefully one day I'll be ready to buy a good macro lens. For now this seems like it will do.

07-28-2011, 05:29 PM   #9
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I second the consideration of MF lens. Find an A version which meters light, and use "Catch-in-Focus". I picked up a Pentax A-100mm F4 from a forum member off the market place. I've been very pleased with the lens. The price was less than half of what a modern AF version would be (though it is the slower F4 variety)

Last edited by mattt; 01-07-2016 at 05:34 PM.
07-28-2011, 05:46 PM   #10
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Hook the Raynox onto a decent telephoto (even someething like a DA 55-300) and you'll be surprised the kinds of images you can produce with it.
08-10-2011, 02:23 PM   #11
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Ended up going with some close up lenses. I know they're not as good as the Raynox, but I got a pretty good deal on a Zeikos set.

A couple of questions if anyone can help:
1) Do the close up lenses work with any type of lens (Prime or Zoom)?
2) How much light will I need to compensate (I've read you need more light when using these lenses)?

Will be testing it out soon (had to order a step up adapter for one of my lenses and it will take some time to get here).
08-10-2011, 02:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
A couple of questions if anyone can help:
1) Do the close up lenses work with any type of lens (Prime or Zoom)?
2) How much light will I need to compensate (I've read you need more light when using these lenses)?
1) Yes.
2) None.

CloseUpLenses (CULs) drop the focus distance and thin the DOF; the strength of the CUL in +dioptres determines the distance. The focal length of the host lens (prime or zoom, doesn't matter) determines the magnification. Unlike extension (tubes and/or bellows) or teleconverters, CULs don't eat light, don't change the effective aperture, none of that. The price is some loss of IQ, especially at the image edges.
08-10-2011, 02:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
1) Yes.
2) None.

CloseUpLenses (CULs) drop the focus distance and thin the DOF; the strength of the CUL in +dioptres determines the distance. The focal length of the host lens (prime or zoom, doesn't matter) determines the magnification. Unlike extension (tubes and/or bellows) or teleconverters, CULs don't eat light, don't change the effective aperture, none of that. The price is some loss of IQ, especially at the image edges.
Thanks. Can't wait to try out the lenses.
08-10-2011, 02:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
1) Yes.
2) None.

CloseUpLenses (CULs) drop the focus distance and thin the DOF; the strength of the CUL in +dioptres determines the distance. The focal length of the host lens (prime or zoom, doesn't matter) determines the magnification. Unlike extension (tubes and/or bellows) or teleconverters, CULs don't eat light, don't change the effective aperture, none of that. The price is some loss of IQ, especially at the image edges.
I remember reading about some equation that people use in order to use close up lenses that can try to get it to 1:1. If I'm using a 50mm or 55mm how could I achieve that?
08-10-2011, 03:50 PM   #15
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Macro Test Shots With +10 Close Up Lens

Took some test shots with a +10 Close Up Lens on my DAL 18-55. Not too disappointed (considering it was the first time using the lenses), didn't have the best light (all shot indoors), I can see a lot of room for improvement once I learn to use the lenses better. Any suggestions welcome.

No cropping, images were resized to fit better.

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