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Choosing a macro lens...
Posted By: Zephos, 03-04-2015, 06:28 PM

I've committed to buying a 1x1 mag. macro lens... at some point. That point in time will be determined by the price of what I decide to buy. I'm considering these three:


SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F2.8 Macro - I could do this in a month or two. Less that $200. Don't like the pics I've seen taken with this as much.
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2.8 Macro - I could do this in a month or two, but no AF. Less than $200. I've seen very nice images taken with this one.
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro - I couldn't do this for a few months to a year. Around $300 on ebay. I love the IQ of images taken with this one.

Side note: Is there a significant difference between SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro and HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro?

Okay what do you all suggest? I really like that DA 35mm but its going to be tough on the budget... gotta find some stuff to sell in a spring yardsale or something.

Thanks for your advice!


Edit: Hey everyone thank you for your replies. After rethinking things, I realize that as much as I love the DA 35mm IQ, I want a better working distance for bugs, etc.

Can you suggest any 1:1 macro lenses that can match or come close to the DA 35mm macro IQ?

Last edited by Zephos; 03-04-2015 at 10:49 PM.
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03-05-2015, 08:51 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zephos Quote
This is what I have:
Thanks -- not sure any of these is an especially good candidate for use with a close-up lens. You're correct that the FA100/3.5 is 1:2 only.

Have a look at some of the third-party 90mm macro lenses, as suggested above by starjedi:

Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 (model 172E) Lens Reviews - Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Tokina 90mm f2.5 AT-X Macro Lens Reviews - Tokina Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

03-05-2015, 08:59 AM   #17
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I have the Tamron f2.8 and it's a great lens at a great price. The Voigtlander 125mm and 180mm photos in the Lens Club look good, too, if you're that way inclined.
03-05-2015, 09:00 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The Voigtlander 125mm and 180mm photos in the Kens Club look good, too, if you're that way inclined.
Both of these lenses are manual focus ( not much of an issue for macro work) and are expensive and rather rare in Pentax K mount.
03-05-2015, 11:38 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zephos Quote
Isn't that lens .5x mag, not 1x?
You are correct, but it is listed as Macro in our database. Perhaps technically not macro, but often used as such.

03-05-2015, 01:12 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamarley Quote
If you're set on the 2.8 aperture there are often DFA 100 (non WR) from Japan on eBay for a little under $300.
+1 for this, it's been turning up used in the marketplace for around that price. It's a decent savings over the newer WR version. It also has quick shift auto-focus, a big plus over the FA macros for when you are making use of AF. The dfa100 is also great for 'normal' use, not just close-ups, so AF does come in handy.
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