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10-28-2020, 10:05 PM   #1
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Appropriate macro and zoom lens for K1 given FA 43/1.9 LTD

Hello,

I bought a K1 a couple of years ago with an FA 43 1.9 limited lens to shoot documentation in my studio. I'm an artist and that was what I needed at the time because I do quite large prints. I love the lens quality but my studio is pretty small so it becomes difficult to shoot certain things because of the lack of lenses. Now, I'm certainly no great photographer - I'm a sculptor - but I am at a point where I need to use the camera for a few more things and am wondering about what lenses to purchase. I have some objects that need photographing that are small - 4" to 12" across, so I believe a good macro would help, but I also want a lens for travel and portrait work, that can get wider than the FA 43. Would forum members recommend the Pentax D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens? Or would the Pentax HD D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR with a dedicated macro be better? I know the latter is three times the price of the former, but I would rather put the money into it once if that makes sense. In the case of the 24-70, would the Pentax D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR be the right choice?

10-28-2020, 11:23 PM   #2
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Summary: I think the 28-105 will cover you for closeups of 4" sculptures and travel. Your FA 43 can still be used if you want a very thin depth of field portrait. The money not spent on the 24-70 can be set aside for a true 1:1 macro if you test the 28-105 and sometimes need even more magnification.


The FA 43 is especially bad for macro because it has a large minimum focus distance. Minimum focus distance combined with focal length determines how much magnification you can get.

The K-1 sensor is 24mm tall, just under 1". With a true 1:1 macro a 1" subject can fill the height of a photo. If your smallest subject is 4" then you might only need 1:4 or 0.25x magnification.

Magnification values below are from Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

FA43 Max. Magnification = 0.12x. The DFA 28-105 can go to 0.22x (nearly double what the FA 43 can do). The 24-70 comes in close at 0.20x.

For general purpose use and travel, I love the 28-105 because it's sharp, compact, with good colors and contrast. The 24-70 offers f2.8, but you already can get f1.9 with your FA 43 for low light or thin depth of field.
10-29-2020, 03:00 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I have quickly tested my 28-105, and 4" object fills the frame at minimal focusing distance and 105mm, and 12" does it at 28mm. I can take some sample pictures if you are interested. 28-105 is really good all-around lens, I can only second what DeadJohn wrote.
10-29-2020, 03:32 AM   #4
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perhaps some information from the " Articles " section might be of help

QuoteQuote:
The Advantages of a Dedicated Macro Lens
Achieving lift-size magnification
By PF Staff in Tutorial Videos on Apr 4, 2016

Read more at: The Advantages of a Dedicated Macro Lens - Tutorial Videos | PentaxForums.com

______________________

QuoteOriginally posted by sphet Quote
. . . would the Pentax D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR be the right choice?
as far as " budget " considerations -

QuoteQuote:
Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro Review
Specifications
The lens covers the full 24x36mm format, not just APS-C. The aperture blades are rounded, delivering a smoother bokeh which is important for a macro lens. However, unlike its predecessor, it has no aperture ring.

Rounded blades

The optical design is the tried-and-proven formula of the previous generation D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro lens, which in turn had inherited the optical design from the well-respected FA 100mm F2.8 and F 100mm F2.8 macro lenses introduced in 1991 and 1987, respectively. None of these earlier lenses had rounded aperture blades.
Read more at: Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro Review - Specifications | PentaxForums.com Reviews

so perhaps an earlier " experienced " and cheaper version of the D FA 100mm F2.8 macro might be of interest

and you end up with a very good short telephoto lens as well


Last edited by aslyfox; 10-29-2020 at 03:57 AM.
10-29-2020, 04:47 AM   #5
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There are a lot of good macro lenses out there and I would suggest you might look at older manual focus macro lenses if you plan on using a tripod. With a tripod you have plenty of time to compose and manual focus using live view, focus peaking, and magnification. I have two different macro lenses and old Manual Focus Sigma 50/2.8 and a newer Auto Focus Tamron 90/2.8. Both are very good and neither cost a lot. I rarely have used the Tamron in autofocus. Most true macro lenses are very good. I also owned a DFA 100 WR at one time but sold it to buy a DA* 300. I wish I still had it but in reality, those two macros I have do everything I need them too, but they are not weather sealed. I also own an old Pentax F 35-70 zoom which has a macro setting at 70mm that actually works quite well for close shooting, I;m not sure that it will work for what you need, but they can be picked up for a song. I can't give any opinion on the 28-105 or the 24-70, but they possibly will allow you to shoot the smaller objects without needing a macro.
10-29-2020, 05:55 AM   #6
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My choices have been DFA 28-105, DFA 100 macro, DA* 55 1.4

For macro I use live view and manual focus so you could get away with MF, but I also use the 100 macro with the 1.4 and 1.7 TCs for an extremely light weight telephoto. The 1.7 AF adapter would turn manual lens into partial AF, so even for that purpose, a manual lens would do.

Last edited by normhead; 10-29-2020 at 10:11 AM.
10-29-2020, 07:16 AM   #7
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Are you going to be shooting some of your sculptures in macro?

If so, you want a longer focal length (macro) lens, to avoid the "big nose" syndrome of being too close to your subject. For flat work, any focal length is more-or-less OK, but for 3-D objects, you want to be able to back off.
10-29-2020, 07:34 AM   #8
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The 24-70 is a superb do-it-all lens. Goes wide, close focusing, and gives 70mm at 2.8 for nice portraits/subject isolation. The 28-105 is great for travel, but I found the 24-70 much more versatile.
Also the 43 works well with extension tubes to get closer.

10-29-2020, 08:28 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Thanks everyone for your quick responses. It sound like I should get a dedicated macro since I will be doing close up shooting of the small sculptures, and given that they are not flat the "big nose" issue that AstroDave is one to avoid. Whether I go with a new lens or a used one it seems like the 100mm option would make sense.

As for a zoom, is there a qualitative difference between the 28-105 vs 24-70? What exactly does the large price difference provide?

I appreciate all the thoughtful comments.
10-29-2020, 08:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sphet Quote
...but I also want a lens for travel and portrait work, that can get wider than the FA 43. Would forum members recommend the Pentax D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6ED DC WR lens? Or would the Pentax HD D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR with a dedicated macro be better? I know the latter is three times the price of the former, but I would rather put the money into it once if that makes sense. In the case of the 24-70, would the Pentax D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR be the right choice?
I don't own a k1, so keep that in mind. I did shot film and I've used a k1 for a month.

For portraits I'm not clear if you are looking for a non traditional look since you said wider than the FA 43. I THINK you are talking about the need for a zoom that can go wider and be used for portraits. If so then the 24-70 seems ideal. The 28-105 has a lot of good press and people love it, it's also smaller than the 24-70 which makes it more travel friendly, but when you say portraits and you are coming from the FA 43,
I suspect f2.8 is a better fit if you like subject isolation. Granted there are ways to use less wide open lenses by manipulating the background distance or choosing a background that is fairly nondescript, but having the wider aperture is an advantage potentially in portraits.

Here's a portrait I shot with my 18-135 on a k-3 (similar to a 28-200 on the k1) which highlights the way background can be minimized to make wide open aperture less essential for subject isolation. The 28-105 can easily do similar things and is lighter if this type of portrait is acceptable:



Generated from my Motorola o using tools.sportscard.trade

The original shot:

Generated from my Motorola o using tools.sportscard.trade

And here is a 50mm f1.7 shot to show how a busy background can be neutered by a wide open aperture:


Generated from my Motorola o using tools.sportscard.trade

And yes I needed some more light on the subjects face on this last shot...
10-29-2020, 08:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sphet Quote
is there a qualitative difference between the 28-105 vs 24-70?
I have and use both. In most situations I cannot tell images one from the other. 'Most' being stopped down a bit and in good light. If you are taking images on the edges of exposure, such as long exposure sunsets or wildlife in dim light the 24-70 has a clear advantage. For general photography I would get the 28-105. It is much more versatile though you give up the f/2.8 aperture.
10-29-2020, 09:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sphet Quote
. . . Whether I go with a new lens or a used one . . .
be sure to check the forums' marketplace if interested in " experienced " lenses

it can be sorted by country

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses (Canada) - PentaxForums.com
10-29-2020, 10:12 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
be sure to check the forums' marketplace if interested in " experienced " lenses

it can be sorted by country

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses (Canada) - PentaxForums.com
That's good info Aslyfox
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