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10-18-2014, 07:45 PM   #1
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Lens suggestions for K-50?

Hi!

My girlfriend shoots on a K-50 - really great camera. I'm looking to get her a lens for christmas so she can shoot some incredible macro shots and I was hoping to get some suggestions. (My budget is around $500.)

I was looking at the HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro and that looks like it could be suitable, though I was hoping for something with maybe a lower aperture. Are there any legacy lenses I should consider? If so which ones? Also I would then need to get a mount right?

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated!

10-18-2014, 08:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by watchingskyfallatm Quote
(My budget is around $500.)

I was looking at the HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro and that looks like it could be suitable, though I was hoping for something with maybe a lower aperture.
Fast macro lenses (like the Zeiss Makro-Planar 50/2) are more expensive.

I have the older SMC DA 35 Macro, and have found it to be an excellent lens.
10-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by watchingskyfallatm Quote
Hi!

My girlfriend shoots on a K-50 - really great camera. I'm looking to get her a lens for christmas so she can shoot some incredible macro shots and I was hoping to get some suggestions. (My budget is around $500.)

I was looking at the HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro and that looks like it could be suitable, though I was hoping for something with maybe a lower aperture. Are there any legacy lenses I should consider? If so which ones? Also I would then need to get a mount right?

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated!
I second the 35mm f2.8 Limited Macro. My budget was lower so I went for the F50mm f2.8 macro. It is a legacy lens but super sharp and on APS-c sensor, it is the equivalent of a 75mm lens to give you more subject to camera distance. I bought it used and I could not be happier.
10-18-2014, 10:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by watchingskyfallatm Quote
Hi!

My girlfriend shoots on a K-50 - really great camera. I'm looking to get her a lens for christmas so she can shoot some incredible macro shots and I was hoping to get some suggestions. (My budget is around $500.)

I was looking at the HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro and that looks like it could be suitable, though I was hoping for something with maybe a lower aperture. Are there any legacy lenses I should consider? If so which ones? Also I would then need to get a mount right?

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated!
If she wants to strictly do macros, I'd recommend a longer lens. Either the DFA/FA 50mm F2.8, the Tamron 90mm F2.8, or the DFA 100mm F2.8 (WR or non-WR, they have the same optics).


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10-18-2014, 10:38 PM   #5
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I've been hooked on my Sigma EX 50mm Macro of late, but a longer lens (like what Adam mentioned) will cover you bases better for macro work. My Tamron 90mm is easily my most used lens, and it's great for portraits when used wide-open. Prodigital2000 (eBay) routinely sells the Tamron 90mm for $325 new, and I picked up the Sigma EX 50mm for $167 (eBay again). I've seen a couple of DFA 100mm f/2.8 WR lenses in the Marketplace for around $500.
10-19-2014, 01:14 AM   #6
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Thank you all so much for the responses, I'll look into all of them.

So would these types of lenses be better than going for an old lens with a K-mount?

I had read somewhere on this forum that a great lens for macro stuff is the Pentax ashy, super Tacoma, f 1.8 50mm prime lens, but am not sure if that's something that has to be bought 2nd hand?

Thanks again
10-19-2014, 01:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by watchingskyfallatm Quote
(My budget is around $500.)
Buy her a ring..

10-19-2014, 01:27 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Oh wow, very cool, I'd never heard of that. Will consider it!

10-19-2014, 01:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by watchingskyfallatm Quote
Thank you all so much for the responses, I'll look into all of them.

So would these types of lenses be better than going for an old lens with a K-mount?

I had read somewhere on this forum that a great lens for macro stuff is the Pentax ashy, super Tacoma, f 1.8 50mm prime lens, but am not sure if that's something that has to be bought 2nd hand?

Thanks again
any of those with reverse ring will work well, yes they are only available second hand:
Pentax M42 Screwmount Normal Primes - Lens Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
10-19-2014, 03:25 AM   #10
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Ah thanks dude that is a fantastic resource. Cheers!
10-21-2014, 01:08 AM   #11
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Do you think she will be interested in shooting bugs, insects live creatures? then definitely buy a 90mm or 100mm macro for her. (Tamron 90macro is great, as well as Pentax- DFA100macro)
If you think she will be interested in shooting flowers and things which won't be scared by presence of a person, then the DA35ltd is a fantastic lens, or the DFA50macro

I've had experience with DFA50macro, M100macro (old lens), DFA100macro WR, DA35ltd, and can tell you that all of them are great. but auto focus lenses are better for general purpose shooting, so I think you better buy an auto focus lens for her.
I still have and will keep the DFA100 and DA35ltd, and love them both.
10-21-2014, 03:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by watchingskyfallatm Quote
I had read somewhere on this forum that a great lens for macro stuff is the Pentax ashy, super Tacoma, f 1.8 50mm prime lens, but am not sure if that's something that has to be bought 2nd hand?
Probably referring to something like this: SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Normal Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Takumars are manual lenses, meaning you need to not only focus manually but set the aperture manually. They have many devoted fans, but a more modern lens with at least auto aperture will be a lot easier to use - without needing any of the complexities of extension rings, lens reversal and stop-down metering.

If your budget runs to $500 you have a wide choice of recent specialist macro lenses, including the ones mentioned above. I would endorse what others have said that something in the 90mm to 105mm range is best (eg Tamron 90 Pentax 100 or Sigma 105), because it allows more working distance from the subject.

I have the Pentax D FA 100 WR macro and it's just fabulous. Easily my best lens. The autofocus can hunt a lot, but that is a common feature of macro lenses. You often use them in manual focus mode anyway. But it's beautifully built and produces superb images. And WR means you can use it confidently in rain or snow. You would never regret buying one (available for about $500 second hand).
10-21-2014, 04:09 AM   #13
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Lots of good advice already given. I've done a great deal of macro work with numerous lenses, Here's my take.

1) What kind of macro is she doing? Is it primarily plants/flowers or does she do, or intend to do insects? If insects are in the mix, go for a longer FL lens, preferably 90-105mm.

2) DOF is extremely shallow in the macro range, so very small apertures are commonly used. Easily 95% of my macros are done at f11 to f16. A macro faster than f2.8 is a waste of $$$$ although the Zeiss 100mm f2 has an outstanding reputation, and price.

3) Much/most macro is done with manual focus, in fact, AF is largely useless. Therefore, older A-series manual lenses are 100% sufficient and available at reasonable cost.

4) Reversing rings, recommended above, are the least expensive way to do macro, but you lose diaphragm control which can make operation both awkward and slow. Also, lens reversing works best at higher macro magnifications, generally life size or more.

5) Lenses I would recommend: Pentax A-series 100 f2.8; Tamron 90mm macro either manual or AF; Sigma 105mm macro either manual or AF. IF NO INSECT PHOTOGRAPHY IS DONE OR ANTICIPATED, the manual or auto focus 50mm to 55mm f2.8 macros from Pentax & Sigma are also good choices. There are some 100mm f4 manual focus macros (Pentax made one in the A-series) but these generally do not have the IQ of the f2.8 lenses so are probably not worth the savings in cost. The current 100 f2.8 AF macro from Pentax has an outstanding reputation, but it will be significantly more expensive than any second hand manual focus lens. If I were pressed to name one best-buy, do-it-all macro, it would probably be the manual focus 90mm Tamron. Never owned one, but have seen many stunning macros taken with this lens.

And BTW: For flowers, but absolutely NOT for insects, the DA35mm f2.8 is excellent. I have one in my collection primarily for use in museums. It provides a fast aperture for flashless indoor work and can take excellent close ups of small artifacts such as coins or jewelry.
10-21-2014, 11:10 AM   #14
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Bear in mind that all the 'cheap' methods for macro, i.e. reversing rings, extension tubes and Raynox type addon lenses, leave you with more or less only one working distance where it's possible to focus (MF or AF) and also a fixed magnification. A zoom lens with a Raynox is probably the cheapest way of getting a bit more control, but if you want flexibility it's a proper macro lens that's needed.
10-21-2014, 11:54 AM   #15
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Before you commit to buying anything, read through this.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macr...lose-work.html
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