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05-31-2010, 05:43 AM   #1
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Macro lens required for Pentax K-X


I'm new to this and am slowly learning photography. I bought the K-X twin lens kit as a good starting DSLR. I am looking for recommendations on additional bits and bobs to get me started. I am looking for value for money and probably good secondhand stuff compatible to get me started - until I feel comfortable and spend big bucks!

I am looking for a macro lens. I am also looking for a flash gun.

Any suggestions welcome on this subject.



05-31-2010, 06:24 AM   #2
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Tamron 90mm/2.8 Macro and Sigma EF-530 Flash would do you well.
05-31-2010, 06:26 AM   #3
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I would get one of the mid level Metz flashes (48 maybe?). As far as macro lenses, they are all sharp. Tamron 90 and Pentax 100 mm seem to get the most love around here. I own the DA 35 which is excellent, sharp and doubles as a walk around lens. The only thing is that you have to get awfully close to use the DA 35 as a macro lens and that doesn't work so well with bugs.
05-31-2010, 07:34 AM   #4
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I would recommend the Tamron 90mm 2.8 as well... it is a great sharp lens, and gets a lot of points in reviews in the IQ and value-for-money departments ...

and for a flash, I will second the Metz 48AF1 as well ... it is very feature rich for it's price point ... with a swivel/tilt head ...

I recommend you check some reviews on these two ... and you can PM me if interested in these second hand ...

05-31-2010, 07:45 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
Tamron 90mm/2.8 Macro and Sigma EF-530 Flash would do you well.
I second the lens, but I would hold off on the flash.

You're talking a big hunk of change for the two, and you can probably find a good deal on a used ring flash if you're patient. People buy them, don't always use them much, and then sell them.
05-31-2010, 09:52 AM   #6
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I'd have moved to the lens forum, but I see you are also asking about flashes. So I'm moving it to the Beginner's forum, as it definitely does not belong in the DSLR forum. in the future, please try to stick to one topic per thread, and post each in the most appropriate forum (lens for the macro question, studio accessories for the flash question - or beginner's forum if it's really basic question on pretty much any topic).
05-31-2010, 11:19 AM   #7
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For a cheap but very affective alternative to a macro lens, have you considered the Raynox 150?
I have been using this myself with the kit lens, and have been very pleased with the results.

As for a flash gun, I have been using a Metz48, which I have found to be very powerful and versatile flash unit.

05-31-2010, 03:20 PM   #8
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I can recommend the Tamron 90mm/2.8 Macro too. Bought it 2nd hand. I am using it with my K-x and love the sharpness.
05-31-2010, 07:10 PM   #9
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+1 for the Tamron 90mm f2.8 - great value, razor sharp, good weight and to be honest I love it You can extend its macro ability with extension tubes as well.
The only downside IMHO is focus hunting at times (low contrast situations mainly) - that's what the focus limiter is for (keeps it either in the macro range or the normal range).

However, to be fair you'll find very few complaints about prime macro lenses of any flavour. BTW I got mine from the marketplace here.

+1 for Metz 48 as well - I've got one (from Adorama) and it works a treat with the Tammy as well. The tilt & swivel head is very useful (the Pentax 360 doesn't have that). Its only downsides IMHO are the cryptic menus and its inability to be a master controller.

Good luck with the choices.

05-31-2010, 08:14 PM   #10
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Macro: How much money do you want to spend? How much magnification do you need? Are you willing to forgo automation?

The skinny on macros: To actually shoot really small stuff, autofocus and shake reduction and fast optics are irrelevant. You'll need a tripod; a ringflash is nice. Shorter focal lengths make you work closer to a subject -- 28-35-50mm lenses are mostly for studio work, while 90-105mm or longer is better for field work.

A convenient option: Raynox DCR-150 or -250 adaptor for your existing lens, easy and automatic but only modest magnification. More magnification: manual 28mm and/or 35mm and/or 50mm lenses with a mount reversal ring, simple but no automation. Most magnification: the above lenses, and a manual 135mm lens, and a thread reversal ring -- and you'll definitely need a tripod. Cheapest option: macro tubes, on any lens -- but there are limitations.

For more money: a 'macro' lens (and macro zooms don't count). A macro lens should attain 1:1 magnification, and is otherwise a general-purpose lens with (usually) fine optics. Manual macros can be inexpensive; my M42 Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 cost US$3. I just won a worn Takumar 50/4 for US$55; it should arrive in a few days. Autofocus macro lenses are in a higher cost bracket, and are wonderful tools for portraits and general short tele work also -- but you're paying for that flexibility, not for any special macro capability. I didn't *have* to buy that Tak-50/4M, since I can just put a US$5 mount reversal ring on any 50-55mm lens. Mounted normally, it's a normal lens. Flip it, and it's macro. Transition time: seven seconds. But I'm an optics junky...
05-31-2010, 09:22 PM   #11
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Another lens that could be a more multipurpose lens is the Sigma 70mm macro. The flash in the context of macro can be a tricky issue and will depend on several things, especially the subject and conditions.
06-01-2010, 01:22 AM   #12
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How's the 100mm M f/4 Macro? I know it's 1:2, and I've just ordered it from a user here.
06-01-2010, 01:55 PM   #13
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It will all depend on your budget.
If on a tight budget, then a Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250 would give you good resukts.
As for the flash, any flash would do but make sure that it is P-TTL.
Do you need a fixed flash, one with bounce or one with bounce AND swivel.
There are even ones that just work with auto-thyristor like the Pentax AF280T.
This is a small bounce and swivel flash but is not dedicated but works on the Pentax DSLRs.
06-02-2010, 09:20 AM   #14
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always consider poor man's macro if you just want to try it out. Use an old manual lens, throw it on some extension tubes or reversing ring and give it a shot! Will let you know if a) you like macro photography and b) sort out the things you want in a macro lens.

Would suggest the extension tubes. Not 100% sure but I believe you can still meter with the green button.

Otherwise, there are lots of good threads in this forum for people comparing lenses with some pretty amazing pictures from all the choices!
06-02-2010, 10:24 AM   #15
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If a dedicated 1:1 macro lens is too much of a stretch, I will also recommend the Raynox 150 as an inexpensive but effective solution. I wouldn't bother with a 1:2 macro lens, as the 18-55 already does 1:3 macro. A Raynox 150 on the 50-200 will do 1:1 with a generous 8" working distance. The combo supports auto exposure and auto-focus too, although AF is not terribly useful for macro shooting. Have a look here:

QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
Sigma EF-530 Flash would do you well.
Only if it's the Sigma EF-530 Super. The lower cost ST version is lacking too many features. Most notably wireless capability. That one is a deal breaker IMO. The difference between on-camera and off-camera flash is huge.

Last edited by audiobomber; 06-02-2010 at 06:55 PM.

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