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07-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jennasis Quote

I'd really like to get a long range macro lens to improve on fine detail, but my budget at the mo is rather tight and I've not seen any positive reviews of the cheaper 100mm+ lenses, so think I am holding out until I can borrow one to test, then will perhaps save for the 100mm WR, if it's worth it

Any recommendations?

Jenn
Definitely save your money for the Pentax 100mm WR. You will fall in love with that lens immediately, believe me! :-)

07-16-2013, 10:36 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Diggoar Quote
Definitely save your money for the Pentax 100mm WR. You will fall in love with that lens immediately, believe me! :-)
Thanks for the advice!

I will need to save for a while, or be lucky enough to find a cheap second hand one, but if it's worth it, it's worth it! :-)
07-16-2013, 04:45 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jennasis Quote
I was also looking at an AF extension tube set on ebay for Ģ40 and was wondering if these would have any significant disadvantages, such as vignetting?
Extension tubes do not cause vignetting. You just lose light proportional to the extra magnification.
Any lens you want to put on extension tubes should have an aperture ring, so that you can set the aperture manually.
The only other option of still being able to select your aperture is if you manage to get PK/A extension tubes with the respective electrical contacts.
These are very rare and most people create them themselves by taking out the glass of PK/A teleconverters (which thus become PK/A extension tubes).

QuoteOriginally posted by Jennasis Quote
I will need to save for a while, or be lucky enough to find a cheap second hand one, but if it's worth it, it's worth it! :-)
I honestly don't know what is special about the Pentax 100/2.8. It is a good lens, but it isn't legendary like for instance the "Bokina" (Tokina 90/2.5).

For me personally, the Sigma 70/2.8 EX was the better choice. Anyhow, if you are convinced that it should be the Pentax 100/2.8 then you get it cheaper by forfeiting the "WR" option. The optical formula hasn't changed so you can get cheaper, used copies if you do not insist on the WR aspect.
07-16-2013, 10:39 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I honestly don't know what is special about the Pentax 100/2.8.
Did you try it? I bought mine for 420 Euro (un)used. Worth every penny imho.

It is such a joy to use, everything about it feels so fine, itīs (nearly ;-) full metal built and it looks supercool on the K-5. I know for example the SIgma macros from my brothers Canon. They take almost equivalent images, but for me, the Sigmas always felt like the budget solution. I canīt get over the cheapy surface of their lenses for example. If your happy with yours, then good for you, you saved some money.

BTW the not-WR version may have the same optical formula, but that doesnīt mean it is as much fun. It is a wholly different design/handling. But for me photography isnīt just about the results, it is also about the action of shooting. I learned there are different opinions about that point.


Last edited by Diggoar; 07-16-2013 at 10:45 PM.
07-16-2013, 11:48 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Diggoar Quote
Did you try it?
Not personally, but I've seen many shots made with it.

It is just yet another macro lens. Nothing special, optically.

BTW, the new WR version looks nice and has a nice built, but it lacks an aperture ring, so isn't suited for combining with regular extension tubes.
The older 100/2.8 versions are ugly (not only in comparison) but they do have the aperture ring.

QuoteOriginally posted by Diggoar Quote
the Sigmas always felt like the budget solution. I canīt get over the cheapy surface of their lenses for example. If your happy with yours, then good for you, you saved some money.
My Sigma 70/2.8 EX is built very well. It doesn't have a "cheapy surface". It has the -- now discontinued -- silk like surface that I quite like. You can argue that it is too delicate, but not that is is "cheapy", AFAIC. I'd never regard my Sigma as a budget solution. It wasn't overpriced, that's all. I don't see any compromises made to keep the cost down. On the contrary, it uses an impressive amount of special lens elements to improve performance.

Note that the Sigma 70/2.8 EX has a focus limiter. This is an essential feature for a macro lens and for some strange reason the Pentax 100/2.8 WR does not have one. I find this to be an omission that is inexcusable for all but the cheapest macros.
07-17-2013, 04:46 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Originally posted by Diggoar
Did you try it?
Not personally, but I've seen many shots made with it.
Okay I see...
07-17-2013, 05:03 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Great pictures, Jenna. I want a K-5 II and you make me want one even more
Glad you like, Christian! It is a fantastic camera, really wonderful - I hope you will get one and love it, too! :-D
07-17-2013, 05:10 AM   #23
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Re the macro lens - I think a great lens can often be let down by a photographer who can't quite utilize it to it's full potential. I've no doubt that all the lenses mentioned above could produce great photos in the right hands, so for me at least, it would come down to a mix of affordability, ruggedness (build quality) and resale value. If a really cheap lens can do a reasonable job it would certainly be a starting point, if only for experimentation before investing in a more robust unit.

When I used to sell cameras in Glasgow, we sold Sigma lenses alongside the body brands and they were very good, but the less expensive units did often feel a little fragile and alarmingly light at times. The optical quality was generally excellent and gave very similar IQ to more expensive manufacturer lenses.

I would certainly consider a used Sigma, as a stepping stone (who knows, might even stick to it!) but I do prefer the solid build quality of the all metal Pentax lenses on the whole.

Thanks both for your points :-)

07-17-2013, 06:07 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jennasis Quote
If a really cheap lens can do a reasonable job it would certainly be a starting point, if only for experimentation before investing in a more robust unit.
Definitely.

On this topic, if you use a macro lens for macro photography only, a manual focus lens is just as good, if not better.

In most macro situations, AF fails miserably. So focusing is either achieved by manual focusing, or more often, by pre-focusing and then slightly moving back and forth.

The manual focus helicoid of a good manual focus lens with a large focus throw can make focusing a more pleasant experience compare to the short-throw, geared AF mechanisms of most modern lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jennasis Quote
When I used to sell cameras in Glasgow, we sold Sigma lenses alongside the body brands and they were very good, but the less expensive units did often feel a little fragile and alarmingly light at times. The optical quality was generally excellent and gave very similar IQ to more expensive manufacturer lenses.
I'm not sure which lenses you've seen but Sigma produced a lot of cheap dogs in the past.

It still struggles to shake of the stigma it acquired in that era when it explored the low ends of price and quality.

Modern Sigma lenses, in particular of the "EX" or "Art" range, are nothing like the old, cheap dogs. They have impressive build quality and are excellent optical performers.

Pentax lenses are often optimised for size and weight and hence compromise on "speed" and sometimes performance. That's fine for those who hate the comparatively heavy and oversized glass but it also means that Pentax isn't always the best choice when it comes to optical performance.

That said, I have a lot of Pentax lenses and love their rendering, performance and build quality.
07-17-2013, 06:18 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Diggoar Quote
Okay I see...
I guess you want to imply that I don't know what I'm talking about.

I find the concept that you have to own or try a lens in order to appreciate its greatness a strange one.

If the lens cannot communicate its greatness through images then what good is it?

The Pentax 100/2.8 macro is definitely a very good macro lens. But so are hundreds of others.
07-17-2013, 06:40 AM   #26
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Welcome to PF and bonjour from France ... hope to see more images soon ... J
07-17-2013, 07:05 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Definitely.

On this topic, if you use a macro lens for macro photography only, a manual focus lens is just as good, if not better.

In most macro situations, AF fails miserably. So focusing is either achieved by manual focusing, or more often, by pre-focusing and then slightly moving back and forth.

The manual focus helicoid of a good manual focus lens with a large focus throw can make focusing a more pleasant experience compare to the short-throw, geared AF mechanisms of most modern lenses.


I'm not sure which lenses you've seen but Sigma produced a lot of cheap dogs in the past.

It still struggles to shake of the stigma it acquired in that era when it explored the low ends of price and quality.

Modern Sigma lenses, in particular of the "EX" or "Art" range, are nothing like the old, cheap dogs. They have impressive build quality and are excellent optical performers.

Pentax lenses are often optimised for size and weight and hence compromise on "speed" and sometimes performance. That's fine for those who hate the comparatively heavy and oversized glass but it also means that Pentax isn't always the best choice when it comes to optical performance.

That said, I have a lot of Pentax lenses and love their rendering, performance and build quality.
I worked in an Optometrists, selling cameras, telescopes and Swarovski & Leica binos and spotting scopes about 6 or 7 years ago now - the Sigma lenses we had were remarkably good then, I really enjoyed using them, but they were very plasticy, which is likely why they felt so comparably light to me. We did sell a lot less of them than the manufacturer lenses, but the EX zooms (I think that's what they were) sold fairly well overall. My memory is hazy though, I did drink a lot back then ;-)
07-17-2013, 07:06 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Welcome to PF and bonjour from France ... hope to see more images soon ... J
Thanks for the welcome, J! :-)
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