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04-19-2011, 04:16 PM   #1
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Advice on macro

What would be a good to excellent AF macro to keep for a number of years as I change bodies. I now have a K100D Super.
Dudley

04-19-2011, 04:53 PM   #2
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Pentax D-FA 100mm f/2.8 WR

Weather resistant, Full frame, designed for digital, all metal construction.
Plus it takes some pretty nice photos too!
04-19-2011, 05:07 PM   #3
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Depends on your interests...if you are shooting bugs and litle moving things the 100 mm is a right call...The Tamron 90 mm is also well regarded and it is cheaper (no WR though..).
04-19-2011, 06:41 PM   #4
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I highly recommend the Pentax D FA 100mm WR too. As an owner of one, I can testify to it's goodness.
If you're on a budget, then definitely consider the Tamron 90mm though.

04-19-2011, 07:09 PM   #5
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For a lens to keep for life, the DFA 100 WR is the way to go.
Along with what's already mentioned about the lens, it's also very compact for a 100mm macro lens, considerably smaller and lighter than my FA 100 macro.

The Tamron 90 macro is also an optically excellent lens, just not as well built as the Pentax.
The Sigma 70 macro is also acclaimed as a sharp and brilliant lens, but is also not weather sealed.
04-19-2011, 07:27 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pmastello Quote
Pentax D-FA 100mm f/2.8 WR
Ditto. I've owned a number of macros including the latest Tamron 90 model and the Vivitar Series 1 105/2.5 Macro. Tamron is "sharper" but rendering looked less realistic to me. Vivitar is sharp and renders more organic looking images (plus would shoot at f/2.4), but is big, heavy, MF, and not good at portrait distances.

D-FA 100/2.8 WR Macro is the best of all worlds - maybe not the absolute best but excellent in all areas, including being relatively small and light, working well at portrait distances, and having rounded aperture blades which makes OOF areas look nicer than most lenses. It is a very practical lens which still gives very nice results.

I got my copy here on the Marketplace around the beginning of the year - it was advertised as Mint but was the most poorly cared-for 2 week old lens I've ever seen (no wonder it was sold used instead of returned to B&H! It wasn't horrible enough for me to send it back, but had many noticeable scratches on the body already). Nevertheless, it works great, just like the other two copies I'd used before getting it (one in the store and one a demo in a Pentax-sponsored traveling seminar - yes they actually do exist in the US!). The point is they seem to be making good copies consistently.

Most importantly, it is being taken with me and used more than those other lenses did.

BTW, don't be too anxious to sell that K100D Super - you may not completely regret it, but you'll look back at those images, just as I have, and realize how nicely it did.

Last edited by DSims; 04-19-2011 at 07:47 PM.
04-19-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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Nobody on the Sigma's? Not sure if they are all available in Pentax mount, but 70mm, 105m, 150mm and 180mm options.

Note to OP
Macro work is often done with MF, not AF. So unless you have a second use for that lens, you can drop the AF requirement. I use the DFA100WR for close up / macro as well as for light tele.

PS Just see that Ash metions the 70mm
04-20-2011, 06:08 AM   #8
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After loads of research of the Sigma lineup and Pentax offerings I went with the Tamron 90mm SP Di Macro. The Pentax weather sealing is nice, but I don't shoot in the rain that often and some reviewers had IQ issues with the Sigmas. That is just what I read, I have never used them. With the tamron I have had lots of fun. Macro opens up a whole new world and the Tamron 90mm is super sharp in macro as well as a very good portrait lens.

Example:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/140491-macro-lobster-bug.html

04-20-2011, 06:37 AM   #9
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Great advice, I'm thinking that I can use the lens for more than macro so the af is important. I must confess that I didn't consider using mf for macro work but it makes perfect sense.
My budget is $500. or less so it looks like the Tamron may work unless I can find a mint Pentax unit. I'll also check out the Sigmas.
Being new to this, it gets confusing very fast.
Thanks
Dudley
04-21-2011, 05:04 AM   #10
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It appears that on the Tamron in order to switch from AF to MF one needs to switch over both on the camera and the lens. Am I understanding this correctly?
Dudley
04-21-2011, 06:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pmastello Quote
Pentax D-FA 100mm f/2.8 WR

Weather resistant, Full frame, designed for digital, all metal construction.
Plus it takes some pretty nice photos too!
Or the non WR version if you can find a good price on a used one. The non-rounded aperture blades are the optical difference. The build isn't all metal but it is still fairly solid.
04-21-2011, 07:02 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dudley Quote
It appears that on the Tamron in order to switch from AF to MF one needs to switch over both on the camera and the lens. Am I understanding this correctly?
Dudley
Yup, you've got that right!
04-21-2011, 05:24 PM   #13
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I see that the Pentax is about 2 bills more than the Tamron so what the heck I have decided to splurge!
Dudley
04-21-2011, 05:29 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Nobody on the Sigma's? Not sure if they are all available in Pentax mount, but 70mm, 105m, 150mm and 180mm options.
I have the Sigma 105mm DG Macro and it works great. Excellent image quality and a very smooth lens to use. The quick shift is a bonus. Although not weather sealed like the Pentax it is an excellent lens and definitely worth looking into.
04-22-2011, 06:21 AM   #15
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don't overlook an older manual focus lens, a lot of time in macro manual focus might get better results

cheers

randy
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