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03-07-2016, 07:48 AM   #1
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Macro lens for K-50 suggestions needed please

I want to get into macro photography, and don't really want to spent mega-bucks to start. That being said, can anyone suggest an excellent macro lens to help me get my feet wet?

I would prefer (if there is any) a WR lens to keep everything water resistant, but it's not crucial. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Thanks to all!


03-07-2016, 07:53 AM   #2
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WR You say? Pentax D FA 100 Macro....
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I picked up a Tarmon 90 macro for a couple hundred bucks, and later a Sigma 70 macro for a bit more, but neither of those are water proof.

The Tamron 90 macro remains our favourite and is most loved by forum users. It's hard to beat a 9.71 rating.
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Of course the Sigma 70 is rate 9.72

The DA 35 macro is rated at 9.90 and the FA 50 macro macro at 9.71, and the kind os the FA 499ƒ4 macro rated a 10I doubt you'd see much difference between any of these lenses all top of the line ratings. But cheap? Cheap is a set of

I'm sure people will chime in with lots of legacy options, but they won't be WR either. And of course the absolute cheapest is probably a set of extension tubes.

Last edited by normhead; 03-07-2016 at 08:01 AM.
03-07-2016, 07:53 AM   #3
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03-07-2016, 08:25 AM   #4
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It does depend a little on what you want to do. Insects benefit from a bit of distance, making the 90mm+ range useful. Plants or broader subjects benefit from a wider angle, so the 28, 35mm offerings are a good option. Splitting the middle is the well-regarded FA 50mm lens.

Watch for used lenses, they can knock a lot off the price. Put a couple keywords in the Marketplace here and you'll see results.

I'm using an FA100mm f2.8 in the field for insect macro.

03-07-2016, 08:35 AM   #5
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28mm lens and reverse it. Not enough? Ext Tube+Reversed Lens
03-07-2016, 09:40 AM   #6
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I've got a 90mm Sigma macro on the marketplace for sale. :-)
03-12-2016, 01:31 PM   #7
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Many would disagree I guess, but a cheapest ticket to the real macro world of decent quality would be the bellows plus enlarger 80-150 mm combo. Not WR though.

The pictures here-under have been made with a 39EUR worth of gear (zenit USSR m42 bellows, m42 to pk flanged adapter and an Industar 100-U) that is good from infinity to approximately 2:1 macro

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03-13-2016, 06:21 PM   #8
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I've been using a K30 with a 135mm lens and a couple of extension tubes. 135mm gives me about 1 feet distance, usually OK for insects, I've gotten a couple of lizards too. A 50mm lens works too, but working distance is cut down to about 2 or 3 inches max.

I fashioned a couple of extension tubes from teleconverters by removing the glass, usually not difficult. I think the most expensive of the extension tubes was about 10 bucks with a box of other stuff.

The objective lens (big one) from a pair of binoculars will also fit on the filter ring of a 50mm lens, like shooting through a magnifying glass, and it works pretty well. I also use a flash with both rigs or sunlight if I have enough.

You have to watch the off brand extension tubes, many don't have the mechanical connections to operate the aperture, so you have to open it up to focus (can't see) then close it back done to shoot. Iffy at best. If you're working with a tripod, it's workable though. The Pentax and Vivitar brands do have the aperture usability. Others too probably, those are the only ones I've checked out.

Tele convertors made for Pentax K mount do have aperture control, just remove glass and it's an extension tube, sometimes cheaper too.

135mm and 55mm extension tubes, made from teleconverters, natural light. The flower is slightly larger than a match head.

Same rig, this flower is under " across.

Not sure if I have any uploaded taken with the binocular lens rig...This thread has a how to but the pictures are not on Flickr any more.

This thread does have some shots taken with this rig, the cheapest of the macro options I've found. I had the binocs already and a hacksaw, and I happened to work in a machine shop at the time so I cleaned up the cut on a small lathe. You can find used binoculars at resale shops often, usually they're junk and perfect for this, under $5 most of the time. Or ask relatives...they might have a pair in a closet somewhere.

03-13-2016, 06:23 PM   #9

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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That is the older, Non Weather Resistant (WR) version.

Correct link: SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
03-23-2016, 04:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Correct link: SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
I have that lens and it is excellent ( I'm currently using it on a K30 ). Recently, it was selling for a very good price ( see thread in the Price Watch section ). I considered getting another one as a
backup for that price, but the exchange rate was particularly bad at the time.
09-10-2017, 08:48 PM   #11
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So, I ended up buying the Pentax-D FA 100 mm 2.8 macro lens. Just a fluke that someone locally was selling it through Kijiji for $499.00 CDN. I got it for $475.00. Now to practice taking closeups. I hope to someday photograph insects really close as to see they're usually invisible to us details. Any advice would be great. Been photographing flowers & fruits & whatever I can really close, trying to get that ultra-sharp focus down. Again...any advice for that would be awesome. I have a Pentax K-50. Thanks for all the advice guys. Not too bad for a 1st macro shot attempt.
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09-11-2017, 05:40 AM   #12
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Check out the Macro Photography forum here on Pentax Forums. There are a number of recent posts there on beginning macro.

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