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05-31-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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Macro lenses, hard choice

Hey!

I am looking for a macro lens for the moment and been looking at the Pentax older and newer version of the 100mm and the Tamron 90mm. I have read about the lenses in the Lens Review Database.

Money-way it doesnīt matter (so much ) and because of the weight of the pentax lens itīs leaning a little bit towards that one, but... Still not sure whatīs the best choice... for me would be.

I have noticed I do like bokeh (at least under f3.5) and of course I would like the lens to be as good it can from Min. Aperture to Max. Aperture (if possible).

My biggest problem at the moment is that I have no clue of "how close/how big" the object is with a 100mm macro lens (not talking about the Min. Focus: 30cm).
If you have pictures to show me the differences I would be happy. (Perhaps between a 1:1 and a 1:2 lens, since I am taking all the time images with my Pentax F 35-70/3.5-4.5 at the macro (which I know is not a real macro...)).

I am still a beginner with nowadays a K7.

Thanx in advance.

05-31-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
rkt
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I have a Tamron 90 2.8 and can say that it is a great lens ... you can check some of these snaps taken with it ...

http://picasaweb.google.co.in/117342065535037277218/K200DSamples#5464139635674397090
http://picasaweb.google.co.in/117342065535037277218/K200DSamples#5464139642681456066
http://picasaweb.google.co.in/117342065535037277218/K200DSamples#5464140211968033058
05-31-2010, 11:23 AM   #3
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I have another suggestion; order the one you THINK you want today from B&H and if it does not meet expectations, return it for no charge and get the next lens in line. Its cheaper than renting one to test it out. Case in point, I was sure the Sigma 105mm macro was the one I wanted but returned it to B&H after 10 days for the Tamron 90mm and couldn't be happier. B&H makes returns quite easy by emailing you a UPS shipping label.
05-31-2010, 12:05 PM   #4
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For me, I love my Sigma 105mm f2.8

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3311/4620008872_0b2150ba96_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/4619777021_48800cee2e_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4619777655_8a9f4f40b5_b.jpg

05-31-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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I'm Loving the Raynox 150, sorry but I know it's not a dedeicated macro lens, but it sure does give some surprising results.

05-31-2010, 01:21 PM   #6
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My two cents: take into account the Pentax has WR and the body will do matrix metering with it, which is not the case with non Pentax lenses. I have the Tamron and it is excellent but I started to see that my non Pentax lenses tend to be less usable in high dynamic range situations because they will do only spot metering.

So if you want to use your macro lens for general shooting, consider the above...
05-31-2010, 02:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kytra Quote
My two cents: take into account the Pentax has WR and the body will do matrix metering with it, which is not the case with non Pentax lenses. I have the Tamron and it is excellent but I started to see that my non Pentax lenses tend to be less usable in high dynamic range situations because they will do only spot metering.

So if you want to use your macro lens for general shooting, consider the above...
Huh? Non-Pentax lenses will also do matrix metering. Lenses that don't pass the aperture/focal length data through will do center-weighted.
05-31-2010, 03:18 PM   #8
axl
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You can't go wrong with any of the Pentax 100/2.8 macro incarnation, or Tammy 90/2.8 or Sigma 105/2.8. They all great lenses, with very little (if at all) difference in IQ. Main differences are in price and size IMO.
I used to own Sigma 105 and loved it, just didn't shoot much of macro stuff so I sold it

BR
Peter

05-31-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by HeG Quote
My biggest problem at the moment is that I have no clue of "how close/how big" the object is with a 100mm macro lens (not talking about the Min. Focus: 30cm).
If you have pictures to show me the differences I would be happy. (Perhaps between a 1:1 and a 1:2 lens
That's actually very easy to explain even without pictures. On the K-7, the sensor is almost exactly one inch wide. So if the lens allows you to focus close enough to fill the width of the viewfinder with an object that is an inch wide, that's 1:1. If the lens won't allow you to fill the frame with an object that small, but will allow you to fill the frame with an object two inches wide, that's 1:2. And so on. Focal length has nothing to do with it. A 100mm macro lens that does 1:1 will fill the frame with that inch-long object exactly the same as a 35mm macro lens that does 1:1 will - the only difference is that the 100mm will allow you to do from farther away.
05-31-2010, 04:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kytra Quote
My two cents: take into account the Pentax has WR and the body will do matrix metering with it, which is not the case with non Pentax lenses. I have the Tamron and it is excellent but I started to see that my non Pentax lenses tend to be less usable in high dynamic range situations because they will do only spot metering.

So if you want to use your macro lens for general shooting, consider the above...
That is simply wrong. I have had the Sigma 105mm EX DG macro, the Sigma 180mm EX DG macro and the Tamron 90mm SP DI macro. All three lenses meter in matrix, center weighted and spot. For various reasons I no longer own the two Sigmas, but they did meter correctly in all three modes. If you own older manual lenses, those (including even Pentax) will only meter in center weighted or spot.

NaCl(just to set the record straight)H2O
06-01-2010, 07:57 AM   #11
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Oh, thanx everybody!

imtheguy, itīs not an option, since the only (perhaps) good thing is that I can return the lens.

I have to admit I donīt get the IQ and size IMO, that axl are talking about?
Not mentioning other relative words "distortion, vignetting or chromatic abberations" that Iīve come across when reading about the lenses.

Do you (anybody) have any more of such photos like rktīs first picture (like how close a flower I can get?, how many details of a flower, etc...?)?
So far I have been taking quite many flower-pictures and perhaps it would be easier to see the difference(s) between the 1:2 and 1:1...
Okey, I am now more in to take photos of flowers, leafs etc than insects.

BTW, your explanation, Marc Sabatella, was really good as well. Did finally get it.

How much differences is there between 100mm and 90mm (since I think the Sigma 105mm is too heavy for me) when thinking of the focal length?
Does it matter that the min focal for tamron (29cm) and pentax (30cm) is different (when concidering the 90mm-100mm)?
06-01-2010, 08:15 AM   #12
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I use an old smc 50mm f/1.4 with 50mm of extension tubes which gives me 1:1 magnification. Sometimes I don't use all 50mm, and get less than 1:1 depending on if I need it for my subject. If you are patient, you can get insect shots but you have to be really close (as in 1-2 inches). Flowers don't care how close you are. Best of all, the lens + extension tubes were only around $100 total from KEH.com. Great results for cheap. Just throwing this out there as an option.

If you want to try out macro shooting, this might be a route to try. You can still go all out and get a dedicated macro lens later if its the right kind of photography for you. I am happy with my results and don't really see the need for a more expensive lens.


The links are higher res 1600px for more detail
Pink flower with dew


Wasp


Dandelion in B&W


Fly in B&W


Green Stink Bug


Dew Drops on Leaf
06-01-2010, 08:25 AM   #13
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Thanx enoeske!
I do have extension tubes (9mm,16mm,30mm and not automatic) but I have noticed I donīt use them since I want to take the photos without the tripod and also I haventīt got enough interest in photoing manually (and I have noticed that itīs for me quite hard to take manually some pictures lying on the ground, sometimes in difficult positions).
06-01-2010, 08:29 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by HeG Quote
Thanx enoeske!
I do have extension tubes (9mm,16mm,30mm and not automatic) but I have noticed I donīt use them since I want to take the photos without the tripod and also I haventīt got enough interest in photoing manually (and I have noticed that itīs for me quite hard to take manually some pictures lying on the ground, sometimes in difficult positions).
I don't use a tripod for my shots
06-01-2010, 08:50 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HeG Quote
I have to admit I donīt get the IQ and size IMO, that axl are talking about?
I believe he was referring to the physical size of the lenses themselves - some of those are bigger than others, and that might matter to you.

QuoteQuote:
How much differences is there between 100mm and 90mm (since I think the Sigma 105mm is too heavy for me) when thinking of the focal length?
Barely noticeable in regular shooting, pretty much completely irrelevant in macro shooting. Since both are presumably 1;1 macro lenses, they will take *exactly* the same picture in terms of how magnified the flower will be. The longer focal length lens will create a larger image *from a given distance*, but the shorter one must make up for it by allowing you to focus from closer. That's how macro works: to get more magnification, you either use a longer focal length or a shorter distance. There's no magic here - it works exactly as common sense suggests.

QuoteQuote:
Does it matter that the min focal for tamron (29cm) and pentax (30cm) is different (when concidering the 90mm-100mm)?
As I said above, in order for a shorter focal length length to provide the same magnification as a longer focal length one, it has to allow you to focus from closer. But we're talking about small differences here, and again, it just won't matter as far as how much detail you can get - 1:1 magnification is 1:1 magnification, regardless of whether it's done with a 90mm lens from 29cm away of with a 100mm lens from 30cm away. Exactly the same amount of the flower will fit in the frame either way: 1 inch, as I said previously, because 1:1 magnification always means 1 inch of the subject fits in the frame when using a camera with a sensor that is 1 inch wide. So if you want to see how much that is with the flowers in your garden, just take a ruler with you. 1:1 magnification means the picture will consist of 1 inch worth of flower - it's as simple as that. 1 inch is just a small part of larger flower like an iris, but it's a whole bunch of blossoms for smaller flowers like lilacs, for instance.
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