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02-06-2014, 12:05 PM   #1
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best budget macro lens ?

Hi,
I am looking for a budget macro lens to replace the SMC Pentax F 1:4 -5.6 35-80mm I am selling. The price range I am looking is around $60. I don't mind using older manual lens,though I would prefer an AF. Also, I am looking for a 28-70mm or something close to that. I found a Tamron Tele-Macro 159A 28-70 mm F/3.5-4.5 CF Lens pentax pk mount for $30 but I wasn't able to find that many user reviews for it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I currently have my pentax 18-55 kit lens that came with my K-30, pentax m 1:1.7 50mm, pentax A 1:4 70-210, and a Tamron AF 70-300 1:4- 5.6.

Thanks.


Last edited by t.manning; 02-06-2014 at 12:29 PM. Reason: needed to add information
02-06-2014, 12:07 PM   #2
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Best budget for macro!?
Extension tubes OR bellows OR macro filters. For cheaper than $60.

Good macro lenses (1:1) will cost you around $350+ (depends on condition and luck )

Some Sigma lenses (and other brands) come as macro capable but only 1:2... and they can be found for around $35 - $50.
And quality is OK.

I think if you want macro, extension tubes are way better than any other non-dedicated macro lens.
02-06-2014, 12:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Best budget for macro!?
Extension tubes OR bellows OR macro filters. For cheaper than $60.

Good macro lenses (1:1) will cost you around $350+ (depends on condition and luck )

Some Sigma lenses (and other brands) come as macro capable but only 1:2... and they can be found for around $35 - $50.
And quality is OK.
Yep. Extension tubes. $6 on ebay.
Then all you'll need is a lens with an aperture ring and you're set.
02-06-2014, 12:13 PM   #4
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There is this lens for $79.99 USD in the marketplace:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/249878-sal...lens-p-ka.html

It's autofocus, and reviews are decent. It seems to be one of those solid budget lens options.

I don't know if it gets better than that for a dedicated AF macro prime lens.

02-06-2014, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thanks mrNewt. I was using the term "macro" loosely. I am looking for a 28-70 lens that would be a good lens for when I am hiking and would take good landscape pics but also enable me to take decent pictures of flowers, insects, etc.
02-06-2014, 12:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by t.manning Quote
Thanks mrNewt. I was using the term "macro" loosely. I am looking for a 28-70 lens that would be a good lens for when I am hiking and would take good landscape pics but also enable me to take decent pictures of flowers, insects, etc.
In that case, personally, I think this is a decent lens. I've had it and sold it when I've purchased my dedicated macro lens:
Sigma 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 II Macro Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
Look for the II version.

For bugs pictures, depending on how big they are, is decent and you can get some nice results.
However, the good part about it is that since it has the aperture ring, you can attach extension tubes to it and go even closer .
02-06-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
Yep. Extension tubes. $6 on ebay.
Then all you'll need is a lens with an aperture ring and you're set.
Thanks geomez for the advice. I will look into extension tubes. Though I still would be looking for a 28-70 lens.
02-06-2014, 12:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
There is this lens for $79.99 USD in the marketplace:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/249878-sal...lens-p-ka.html

It's autofocus, and reviews are decent. It seems to be one of those solid budget lens options.

I don't know if it gets better than that for a dedicated AF macro prime lens.
Thanks EarlVonTapia for the listing, I will check into it.

02-06-2014, 12:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
In that case, personally, I think this is a decent lens. I've had it and sold it when I've purchased my dedicated macro lens:
Sigma 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 II Macro Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
Look for the II version.

For bugs pictures, depending on how big they are, is decent and you can get some nice results.
However, the good part about it is that since it has the aperture ring, you can attach extension tubes to it and go even closer .
Thanks mrNewt for the listing of the Sigma 28-80 lens. I checked the review and one thing that was mentioned is how the lens seems to "hunt" when in macro mode. Did you have this happen frequently when you used the lens ?
02-06-2014, 12:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by t.manning Quote
Thanks mrNewt for the listing of the Sigma 28-80 lens. I checked the review and one thing that was mentioned is how the lens seems to "hunt" when in macro mode. Did you have this happen frequently when you used the lens ?
Well, is all about the available light.
There seems to be a confusion when people are saying that the lens is "hunting".
Lens don't focus by them self... this hunting happens because of the camera, not because of the lens... camera can't focus properly in low light.

Other than that, with good light and considering that your camera can properly focus in low light conditions, focus is decently fast and on the spot.
02-06-2014, 12:54 PM   #11
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Thanks mrNewt that is good to know.

Last edited by t.manning; 02-06-2014 at 01:00 PM.
02-06-2014, 12:59 PM   #12
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Budget Macro?

Hello t.manning, welcome to the Forum!
I'll make a different recommendation, the Pentax F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 w/macro. This tiny wonder makes a good short-zoom choice, will be slightly sharper (at its best) than the 18-55 kit, has very fast (and noisy) AF and includes a sem-macro function @ 70mm that actually works. For a 'Zoom' macro, that is.
All for $50-75 USD.
But none will provide the ultimate clarity, sharpness, flat-field and resolution of a true (non-zoom, dedicated) macro lens.
The Vivitar 100mm f/3.5 linked above looks exactly like my Pentax-branded, Cosina-made, version. If so, it's a good bargain way to try macro, albeit 1:2, not 1:1.
The AF tends to hunt somewhat at short range, not uncommon with macros generally; that's why the MF function becomes important. Manual focusing's pretty good on the Pentax version. Works very well as a short telephoto and the AF is faster there, too.
Good luck!
Ron
02-06-2014, 01:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by t.manning Quote
Thanks mrNewt for the listing of the Sigma 28-80 lens. I checked the review and one thing that was mentioned is how the lens seems to "hunt" when in macro mode. Did you have this happen frequently when you used the lens ?
There was a Quantaray 28-90 that was a twin cousin of the Sigma.

1:2.3 macro, 10 extra mm & 9 aperture blades vs 8.

Quantaray 28-90mm f3.5-5.6 version 5 Lens Reviews - Quantaray Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

I don't recall paying more than $30 for mine. It's a much bigger lens than the F 35-70 though.

Last edited by boriscleto; 02-06-2014 at 01:16 PM.
02-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by t.manning Quote
Thanks EarlVonTapia for the listing, I will check into it.
I have the Quantaray-branded version of this Sigma lens in 28-90, and it's a great value. It's a nice walkaround lens with a bit of macro (1:2) on the side. I don't know about AF focus hunting in macro, since I use it in MF mode, which is better for this type of shot anyway. I've gotten nice results in good light with this lens. The Vivitar listed in the Marketplace is well known as one of the best budget macro lenses out there.
02-06-2014, 01:24 PM   #15
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Thanks rbefly for welcoming me to the forum and for the information. I have greatly appreciated the helpful answers from so many of the members here. The Pentax F 35-70 looks to be a good lens, I will see if I can find it online. The Vivitar 100mm looks to be a good choice as well.
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