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07-07-2015, 08:18 PM   #1
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Greetings from Oregon

Hello everyone,

My name is Far, from Wilsonville, Oregon. I'm fairly new to photography although I had my first SLR long time ago but I was never serious about it. My first SLR was Asahi Pentax MX 35mm. I then got Canon T2i and although it was more than enough for me, I went ahead and bought the K-3II. I had the camera for a week I really like the built and the grip feel of it. However, I've been checking the Pentax macro lenses since I find myself more into that type of photography, and I'm wondering if wondering if I took the right decision buying a Pentax. Are there enough Pentax macro lenses and how do they compare to other lenses. I find the focus system on Canon more accurate but that also could be the lens I'm using on the Pentax. Do you think that I should go with another brand or do you think that Pentax offerings are good enough for macro? What Pentax macro lenses do you recommend.

Thank you for your help.

The attached photos obviously were taken using a non-macro 50mm lens.

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PENTAX K-3 II  Photo 
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PENTAX K-3 II  Photo 
07-07-2015, 09:13 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Hi neighbor! Welcome to the forum!

Quick answer to your question is there are almost too many Pentax macro lenses. From 35mm to 200mm. I personally have 35mm, 2 different 50mm, and 2 different 100mm ones. All are excellent and have wonderful sharpness.

Go here to look at the lens database: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Remember on Pentax, any lens made for k-mount or m42 mount still works. Many of the manual lenses made years ago are great and even better for macro than modern autofocus ones because they have better focusing rings with longer throws. For example the Pentax-A 50mm f/2.8 is an amazing short macro lens.

As to autofocus, well I don't know I find the k-3 and k-3II extremely accurate though some lenses are not as fast to focus as the competition, accuracy should not be an issue. But shooting @ f/1.8 remember your depth of focus is very very small. And for macro manual focusing is better than auto.
07-07-2015, 09:24 PM - 1 Like   #3
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welcome aboard! plenty of serious macro nuts here! i'm heading down that macro path but currently only having fun with close up filters......reckon when I get some dollars might go for a 100 or 90 dedicated macro lens
07-07-2015, 09:25 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Greetings from an hour up the road in Longview! Older Pentax manual macros stop at 1:2 but autofocus macros do reach 1:1. The DFA 100/2.8 is weather resistant and produces excellent results; I've used Sigma 50 and 105, and Tamron 90mm without complaint

07-07-2015, 10:38 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone. Nice to know we have neighbors here

What do you think about a used SMC Pentax FA 50mm F2.8 Macro for $170? Frankly. I've never bought a used lens before and I'm not sure about what I ask the seller before I buy online?

Another thing, would a F2.8 be much different than F1.8? In other words, should I keep both the 50mm 2.8 and the 1.8 (non macro) or would I just be fine with the F2.8 bokeh and spend the extra money on a different lens?

I really appreciate your help.

Again, Thank you very much.
07-07-2015, 11:14 PM   #6
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Hi from Portland!

First off, your da50 f1.8 and a macro lens are completely different beasts - the focusing of a macro lens has a much much longer throw which can make AF quite a bit more difficult and slow. In low light conditions and for portraits, the f1.8 will come in handy too.

I've had several for Pentax over the years: Sigma 70, Sigma 105, Pentax DA35 macro, Tamron 90, Pentax DFA50 Macro, and DFA100 Macro WR. All of them were great and were extremely sharp with only minor differences in color temperature and bokeh. Personally, I found the Sigmas too big, particularly with the hood arrangement that they have - image quality was awesome though. The Tamron I liked, but I like the feel of the Sigma and Pentax 100 better. Focal length wise I liked the 100 for really tight shots, but found the 50 and 35 ok but often my working distance was very short. My fave out of all of these is probably the 100 WR followed by the 35. The 100 has a punch to the images and it's small and weather resistant. The 35 is super small, has great color, and is excellent from macro to infinity. Build quality of both of these lenses is superb.

Here are some macro's I've taken w/ these lenses and with others (often old lenses with a extension tube):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/55038128@N00/sets/72157643447729933
07-08-2015, 05:32 AM   #7
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Welcome aboard! My brother is in the Portland area, I'm overdue for a visit.

Macro was one of the reasons I chose Pentax. The on-body controls greatly help your photography, all the tools are at your fingertips.
I have been taking insect images for years, I continue to improve. I'm also contributing to science now for projects like the Native Bee Awareness Initiative. We're just getting off the ground this year.

100mm Pentax lenses are great. I use an FA version, though have been considering selling it and getting the newer WR version. They apparently pair well with the new 1.4X Teleconverter. Sigma makes a nearly mythical 180mm macro - mythical because it's not easy to find with Pentax mount.
I also have a Sigma 28mm f1.8 macro which I like for larger subjects.

You have plenty of choices.
Stop your lens down, but the lenses you have are not going to give you good close photo results. Look for a used 100mm on the forum Marketplace, or a 50mm but looking at your subjects, I'd get a 100mm first.
07-08-2015, 08:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by farhaddad Quote
What do you think about a used SMC Pentax FA 50mm F2.8 Macro for $170? Frankly. I've never bought a used lens before and I'm not sure about what I ask the seller before I buy online?
Almost all of my lenses have been bought used and I have not had many issues. You do need to be cautious, especially on ebay and Craigslist where the seller may not be familiar with camera gear and may not disclose a defect because they just don't know. The marketplace on this forum is also a great place to buy and generally the gear will be in better shape and the sellers very aware of any issues with what they are selling.

The FA 50mm f/2.8 is a very nice lens. I have the F 50mm macro and it is one of my favorites.

As noted above a 50mm macro and a regular 50mm are quite different and there is certainly room for both. In most cases you will be stopping the macro way down to increase DOF. The f/1.8 is great for low light or shallow DOF.

07-08-2015, 03:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
Hi from Portland!

The 35 is super small, has great color, and is excellent from macro to infinity. Build quality of both of these lenses is superb.

Here are some macro's I've taken w/ these lenses and with others (often old lenses with a extension tube):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/55038128@N00/sets/72157643447729933
It looks like I'll get both the 35mm and the 100mm. I need a wider lens and it would be great to be able to take good macros with it. I know I'll eventually get all macro lenses but at least for now, the 35mm and 100mm make sense to me.

Great macros on your Flickr profile!

Thank you very much for the helpful tips.

QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Welcome aboard! My brother is in the Portland area, I'm overdue for a visit.

You have plenty of choices.
Stop your lens down, but the lenses you have are not going to give you good close photo results. Look for a used 100mm on the forum Marketplace, or a 50mm but looking at your subjects, I'd get a 100mm first.
Yeah should visit :-)

Yeah, I'll definitely get the 100mm. Thank you for the helpful tips.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Almost all of my lenses have been bought used and I have not had many issues. You do need to be cautious, especially on ebay and Craigslist where the seller may not be familiar with camera gear and may not disclose a defect because they just don't know. The marketplace on this forum is also a great place to buy and generally the gear will be in better shape and the sellers very aware of any issues with what they are selling.
Thank you very much for the helpful tips. I'lll eventually get the 50mm or maybe depending on the marketplace offerings. Who knows!

Again, thank you everyone for being friendly and helpful, I really appreciate it. This alone makes my Pentax choice worth it.
07-08-2015, 03:26 PM   #10
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It's hard to find a bad macro lens. I use old ones because I prefer manual focus: Pentax A50/2.8, Kiron 100/2.8, and Tamron 300/5.6. enlarging lenses on bellows are great if you have time to stop down manually. Extension rings allow any lens to focus more closely.


I am in Oak Grove, just south of Portland [also Clackamas County].

Last edited by civiletti; 07-08-2015 at 10:38 PM. Reason: mistake
07-08-2015, 03:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
It's hard to find a bad macro lens. I use old ones because I prefer manual focus: Pentax A50/2.8, Tokina 100/2.8, and Tamron 300/5.6. enlarging lenses on bellows are great if you have time to stop down manually. Extension rings allow any lens to focus more closely.

I am in Oak Grove, just south of Portland [also Clackamas County].
Hello neighbor,

It looks like this forum is occupied by Oregonians.

I don't really care about auto focus for macro. Aperture settings would be better though. I'll look into those lenses. What extension ring do you recommend?

Thank you for your help

Last edited by farhaddad; 07-08-2015 at 07:43 PM.
07-08-2015, 10:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by farhaddad Quote
Hello neighbor,

It looks like this forum is occupied by Oregonians.

I don't really care about auto focus for macro. Aperture settings would be better though. I'll look into those lenses. What extension ring do you recommend?

Thank you for your help




The Pentax A50/2.8 is a fine lens up close and at distance. You want one without much scratching or scuffing on the elements, no fungus, and no sloppiness in the focusing helical.


Manual extension rings in K-mount are cheap, but ones with electrical contacts [auto] are expensive. I bought a used auto 2x teleconverter [cheap] and removed the lenses. It works fine for getting extra close.
07-09-2015, 10:52 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
The Pentax A50/2.8 is a fine lens up close and at distance. You want one without much scratching or scuffing on the elements, no fungus, and no sloppiness in the focusing helical.

Manual extension rings in K-mount are cheap, but ones with electrical contacts [auto] are expensive. I bought a used auto 2x teleconverter [cheap] and removed the lenses. It works fine for getting extra close.
Thank you very much for your help.
07-12-2015, 01:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by farhaddad Quote
Pentax macro lenses
Welcome to the forum.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Pentax-A 50mm f/2.8 is an amazing short macro lens
+1 on that, also IMHO the SMC Pentax-A* 200mm F4 Macro ED is one of the finest macro lenses ever made.

SMC Pentax-A* 200mm F4 Macro ED Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
07-12-2015, 03:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Welcome to the forum.
Thank you

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
+1 on that, also IMHO the SMC Pentax-A* 200mm F4 Macro ED is one of the finest macro lenses ever made.

SMC Pentax-A* 200mm F4 Macro ED Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
The 100mm WR will do better where I live since it rains a lot here. I may consider the 50mm later on. The A* 200mm is marvelous but it is expensive for me at the mean time.
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