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12-21-2020, 04:42 PM   #1
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Budget macro confusion

Hi everyone, I am considering trying out macro photography and want to go the cheap route first but i am getting confused on my options. I have read that extension tubes are better that the little screw on lens kits you can get but just discovered there are issues if you want to try and use auto focus ( i am still learning so most of it is beyond me) I have a k70 with kit lens plus a 55-300 which hasnt been used yet. I have only tended to take quick auto shots out and about.

I saw this being advertisd here: Manual P-K Extension Tube Set (12mm, 20mm, 36mm) - $15 shipped! - PentaxForums.com

It seems to be what i am looking for but as the details about connections etc is beyond what i know, i am unsure! this set seems to be as 'auto' as you can get? does it mean i can use either of my lenses with it but i will need to sit down and understand how to set up a manual pic? or are there some simple settings etc i can use? is this above my best option and do i need to buy a 'manual' lens?


Sorry if this is all abit basic, but im being offered this or its equivalent as a Christmas present and dont know what to do.

Thanks

12-21-2020, 05:21 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rococo Quote
Hi everyone, I am considering trying out macro photography and want to go the cheap route first but i am getting confused on my options. I have read that extension tubes are better that the little screw on lens kits you can get but just discovered there are issues if you want to try and use auto focus ( i am still learning so most of it is beyond me) I have a k70 with kit lens plus a 55-300 which hasnt been used yet. I have only tended to take quick auto shots out and about.

I saw this being advertisd here: Manual P-K Extension Tube Set (12mm, 20mm, 36mm) - $15 shipped! - PentaxForums.com

It seems to be what i am looking for but as the details about connections etc is beyond what i know, i am unsure! this set seems to be as 'auto' as you can get? does it mean i can use either of my lenses with it but i will need to sit down and understand how to set up a manual pic? or are there some simple settings etc i can use? is this above my best option and do i need to buy a 'manual' lens?


Sorry if this is all abit basic, but im being offered this or its equivalent as a Christmas present and dont know what to do.

Thanks
Extention tubes is a good cheap way to get into macro. Almost all extension tube sets are devoid of any electrical connections or focus screw drive connections.
If you can still get one of these, it will allow AF: Kenko Pz-AF UNIPLUS TUBE 25 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

Having said that, manual focus is much easier to use under most circumstances once you start playing with extension tubes or reversing rings (where you turn the entire lens around and the back element faces away from the camera body) or lens couplers. (where you screw two lenses to each other via their respective filter threads)
12-21-2020, 05:28 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I suggest a little research before the OP decides how to proceed with macro

there are advantages to a true macro lens beyond macro photography:
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
12-21-2020, 05:28 PM   #4
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Tubes are better than cheap add-on lenses for optical quality.
The tubes you show have neither electrical contacts nor auto-focus coupling, so will require careful manual focussing as well as manual exposure settings.
I'm unaware of any tubes with auto-focussing coupling, though some do have the electrical contacts for auto-exposure.
Many will suggest manual focussing is better for macro-work anyway, so maybe that's not an issue
Assuming your "kit lens" is the ubiquitous 18-55mm, the close-focus is only a few inches, so may be adequate for a "first try" … really does depend on what you're trying to photograph
Once you get much closer than "a few inches" there's all sorts of other issues to consider, one being shadows and lighting!
A point to consider, if your lens doesn't have an aperture ring you'll need tubes with contacts to enable control of the aperture … in this instance, a manual lens can be superior, but I'll not suggest buying a lens just to be able to use these tubes, though that might be cheaper and easier than trying to find a set of tubes with contacts

12-21-2020, 05:32 PM   #5
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Those look really nice :-)

I've got one of the reversing rings; basically a K-mount that screws onto your filter rings, letting you reverse the lens on your camera. Works great as far as allowing high(er) magnification sharp pictures, but I have absolutely no control over the focus distance, and the lens needs to be not just manual aperture, but like ultra manual ;-)
12-21-2020, 05:32 PM   #6
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I moved this thread as the Product Suggestions and Feedback forum was inappropriate:

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Feedback/suggestions posted in this forum will automatically be forwarded directly to Ricoh Imaging (Americas) management. Appropriate topics include:
  • Your experience with current Pentax/Ricoh equipment
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Please start a new thread for each suggestion/issue that you have.

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12-21-2020, 05:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I suggest a little research before the OP decides how to proceed with macro

there are advantages to a true macro lens beyond macro photography:



Read more at: The Advantages of a Dedicated Macro Lens - Tutorial Videos | PentaxForums.com
The OP did say "budget" Allen. A dedicated macro lens per the link you suggest is going to be somewhere between $300 and $600. While those are nice options, I don't think they're "budget" considering the extension tubes he's looking at retail for $15.

12-21-2020, 05:41 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
The OP did say "budget" Allen. A dedicated macro lens per the link you suggest is going to be somewhere between $300 and $600. While those are nice options, I don't think they're "budget" considering the extension tubes he's looking at retail for $15.
the purpose of the post was to give the OP information on options


budget is not a good term a monetary amount would be better

I should have specified an " experienced " lens as oppose to " new "

not as cheap as the extension tubes but within " budget " I don't know and worth the difference, again, I don't know

I bought a D FA 100 F2.8 Macro ( non WR ) from the Market Place for under $150

A FA or F version could be cheaper


the D FA 100mm F2 Macro ( non WR ) as well as the FA 100mm F2 Macro and the F 100mm F2 Macro share the same optics of as the newest WR version

I do realize that the availability of older Pentax lenses may differ depending on where you live
12-21-2020, 05:52 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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I've done extensive testing of extension vs. supplementary lenses for achieving high magnification ratios, and I must disagree with the assertion that bare extension (tubes or bellows) is optically superior to adding a supplementary lens. However, you can certainly achieve fine results with plain extension.

The thing about photo gear is that there's always more stuff you can buy; the question is what do you need for what you want to achieve. So in the case of macro, much depends on what kinds of subjects interest you. That will give you a range of magnifications that makes sense. Giving us some more information about what sort of macro photography interests you, and we'll have a better idea of what to recommend.
12-21-2020, 05:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
the purpose of the post was to give the OP information on options


budget is not a good term a monetary amount would be better

I should have specified an " experienced " lens as oppose to " new "

not as cheap as the extension tubes but within " budget " I don't know and worth the difference, again, I don't know

I bought a D FA 100 F2.8 Macro ( non WR ) from the Market Place for under $150

A FA or F version could be cheaper


the D FA 100mm F2 Macro ( non WR ) as well as the FA 100mm F2 Macro and the F 100mm F2 Macro share the same optics of as the newest WR version

I do realize that the availability of older Pentax lenses may differ depending on where you live
It's like trying to buy some new hooks and sinkers and the salesman tries to sell you a new Bayliner with a 150 HP Mercury Outboard.
12-21-2020, 05:59 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
It's like trying to buy some new hooks and sinkers and the salesman tries to sell you a new Bayliner with a 150 HP Mercury Outboard.
Well if the fishing is 10 miles from shore





And I think you exaggerated the price difference
12-21-2020, 06:01 PM - 5 Likes   #12
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IMO, the easiest budget-friendly way to get crackin' on macro photography is with something like the Raynox DCR-150 (or 250) macro lens. They are very easy to use. The 55-300 in particular seems a very good candidate for the DCR-150.



The above photo is not cropped.

The thread for the Raynox adapters: The Raynox Macro club - PentaxForums.com
12-21-2020, 06:05 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
IMO, the easiest budget-friendly way to get crackin' on macro photography is with something like the Raynox DCR-150 (or 250) macro lens. They are very easy to use. The 55-300 in particular seems a very good candidate for the DCR-150.



The above photo is not cropped.

The thread for the Raynox adapters: The Raynox Macro club - PentaxForums.com
Very true.

Also check out this site: http://extreme-macro.co.uk/raynox-adapter-techniques/ which belongs to one of our members who is very, very, very good when it comes to all things macro.
12-21-2020, 06:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
Well if the fishing is 10 miles from shore





And I think you exaggerated the price difference
Only slightly.
12-21-2020, 06:40 PM   #15
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Did you read RioRico's Cheap Macro article?

CHEAP MACRO -- Buying or exploiting a lens for ultraclose work - PentaxForums.com

Autofocus extension tubes for K-mount do exist, but they don't fit the definition of cheap. These were in a lot on Shopgoodwill, and I ended up paying about the original sticker price
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Last edited by boriscleto; 12-21-2020 at 06:50 PM.
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