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02-18-2018, 12:01 PM   #1
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novice question: macro lens for k200d

Hello, I am a new member, definitely a novice. I own a k200 Pentax with a 18 to 55 and a 50 to 200 lens. I want to take very close still life macro photos of items the size of a 25 cent coin or less. Could anyone recommend some options. I have seen adds for bellows or diopter lens. There are lots of adds for macro lens but I'm just not sure what ones are appropriate for my needs.
Thank you

02-18-2018, 12:16 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mytime Quote
Hello, I am a new member, definitely a novice. I own a k200 Pentax with a 18 to 55 and a 50 to 200 lens. I want to take very close still life macro photos of items the size of a 25 cent coin or less. Could anyone recommend some options. I have seen adds for bellows or diopter lens. There are lots of adds for macro lens but I'm just not sure what ones are appropriate for my needs.
Thank you
Get the D FA 50mm macro. It'll save you a lot of hassle and make it easy to get high quality shots. Also, it is not too price and will double as a very sharp prime lens.

SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

In the long term, I would also recommend upgrading to a body with live view (i.e. the K-70 or just about anything else released since 2010) as that makes it much easier to verify focus.

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02-18-2018, 04:28 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, great answer already given, Iíll just +1 on that.
02-19-2018, 02:22 AM   #4
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The bugbear I have with taking macro shots is lighting. If you intend to use ambient light or onboard flash the lens can make unwanted shadow.
If you have plans to use a Tripod with ambient light, a lightbox or bounced light / flash, that will help.
My two suggestions are my current macro lenses, usable at other than macro distances, can be had relatively cheap.
1) SIGMA 50mm F2.8 MACRO, 1:1 possibilities but you get quite close to the subject. Manual focussing is easy at macro distances.
2) TAMRON SP90 adaptall, 1:2 on it's own or 1:1 with a matched tube or 2x teleconverter. Provides more distance from subject. A PK-A Tamron Adapter is best if you want auto exposure and avoid green button metering.
These are not the best necessarily, just the ones I own.
There are many many threads regarding "macro" in this forum regarding ways, means and lenses. Should you search out and read many of the posts, you will not be wasting your time, lots of information to be gleaned from members, some of which will no doubt be provided in answers to this question you have posted.
If you see any "macro" 50mm, 90mm, 100mm (or if you are really lucky 180 - 200mm) prime lens going cheap, snap it up, they can be very expensive and mostly hold their value if not increase should you get lucky!


Last edited by Skodadriver; 02-19-2018 at 02:24 AM. Reason: Duplicated comment.
02-19-2018, 03:03 AM   #5
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I found an " experienced " pentax d fa 100mm f2.8 macro which is capable of 1:1 in the " market place " ( buy/sell ) above

the info found in the newer d fa 100mm f2.8 macro WR " in depth review " -

Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

States that the d fa, fa, and f versions of the 100mm f2.8 macro all share the same optics as the WR version

As mentioned, the longer focal length of the 100mm macro vs the 50mm macro allows me to be further away from my target

If you look under " Lenses " above you will find reviews

Last edited by aslyfox; 02-19-2018 at 03:08 AM.
02-19-2018, 11:49 AM   #6
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Helpful information.

Thanks for all the replies. I now have a starting place to do some shopping. I agree just from attempting photos with my existing lens that lighting is an issue and like the idea of some sort of diffuser for my flash. I can also see that manual focusing on close still objects is no issue. You've all been very helpful.
02-19-2018, 02:45 PM   #7
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A few comments.

There are lots of ways of doing macro on the cheap without getting a dedicated macro lens. But generally you want a pretty sharp lens as a base. Old MF primes 50mm or longer are a good cheap way to get started. But getting a dedicated macro lens is a lot less trouble - and the lens will be good for lots of other things too. The good news is that there is no such thing as a bad macro lens, only very good and better (assuming the lens is in good condition of course). The other good news is that manual focus is fine for macro - which means you have more choice and cheaper options. Even with an autofocus lens people tend to use it in manual focus for true macro, and the conventional way of focusing precisely at the minimum working distance is to move the camera fore and aft very slightly. A cheap rail mounted on a tripod would help for this.

What @Skodadriver says about lighting is right too - but again there are cheap options. Plenty of suggestions for diffusers out there, but a ring flash may be the easiest way to go. See this thread for suggestions: Cheap ring flash with 1 point hotshot? - PentaxForums.com
02-20-2018, 11:31 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I use a Sunpack DX-8R ringflash in manual mode, it's quite nice and plenty powerful. Outdoors in the sun I use it at 1/4 power, essentially to freeze action and underexpose the background if possible.

There's a thread here about macro on the cheap - for super-close work you may not beat a reversed lens. That's for staged photography, controlled conditions and stable setup - not chasing bees and wasps in the field like I do.

02-21-2018, 11:22 AM   #9
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More options.

Thank you. I'll look into these options. I am installing a mount on a swing out arm over my desk for my camera so the ring flash sounds ideal. I haven't bought a lens yet and my setup should be very stable so I'll look into your other options as well although I'm liking the sound of having a good macro lens for any occasion.
Mytime
02-21-2018, 01:18 PM   #10
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Good luck with it @Mytime and I hope you share some images when you get it going.
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