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12-29-2012, 12:51 AM   #1
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Need a decent macro lens

Hi i have a pentax k-r and am looking for a decent affordable macro lens for flower and insect photography. Any advice much appreciated

12-29-2012, 04:13 AM   #2
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For insects you are best off with 100mm macro. That's because you don't want to get too close as they will remove themselves depending on their form of locomotion. If you were just interested in flowers then a 35mm or 50mm provides greater depth of field.

I have the macro pentax 35mm and 100mmWR and the sigma 70mm and all are excellent macros. However they will cost you.

You could consider cheap alternatives such as a reversing ring on an older pentax lens with adjustable f stops. Second hand auto rings are a bit pricey due to no one manufacturing them at the moment.

A second hand 17-70 sigma does a very respectable macro if you don't need to go to 1:1
12-29-2012, 04:17 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by char3106 Quote
Hi i have a pentax k-r and am looking for a decent affordable macro lens for flower and insect photography. Any advice much appreciated
Take a look at the tamron 90mm:
Tamron 90mm Macro vs Pentax 100mm WR: Review - Introduction -

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12-29-2012, 04:57 AM   #4
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Affordable Macro?

Hello Char3106, Welcome to the Forum!
In addition to the suggestions you've received, I'll make a couple more;
The Pentax M 100mm f/4.0 Macro. This is a manual focus, manual aperture (green button) lens, so it requires a bit more work from the user. However, the results are very good, just ask anyone who's used it. This is a 1:2 macro, not a "True" 1:1. Prices range from $100-$150 USD.
The Pentax FA 100mm f/3.5 Macro. An auto-focus, auto aperture (capable) 1:2 Macro, It's a 1/2 stop slower than the highly-regarded f/2.8 version and lacks focus-lock. Otherwise a very good macro and short telephoto. About $150 used, several hundred $$ less than the f/2.8 version. Samples here;
Both are good starter macro lenses.


12-29-2012, 05:02 AM   #5
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Sigma 105mm F2.8 Macro DG EX is at least really cheap used here in Sweden (around 150€ and sometimes lower) and it got really good reviews. It good a very recessed front element so you can work without a hood. The only thing that i can complain about is slow AF (though it got a limiter) which is really slow when the lens is pointed upwards but you mostly work with MF in macro and maybe, as most macros, that it grows pretty long at close distance.
12-29-2012, 05:42 AM   #6
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I have this Promaster F3.5 100mm macro lens, and it's terrific. Extremely sharp, terrific color and contrast, and probably the most affordable real macro lens out there. There's also an autofocus version which has a little dodgier build quality, but is optically identical .

This lens was made by Cosina, and sold under the Cosina, Promaster, Phoenix, and believe it or not, Pentax brand names. Here's the Pentax version.

I paid $60 for mine, but they have went up a bit since then. I think you could score one for $100 if you kept your eyes peeled. Just make sure if you buy one on the used market you get the original matched 1:1 diopter with it.
12-29-2012, 06:15 AM   #7
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I like my tamron 90mm. I highly recommend it.
12-29-2012, 08:38 AM   #8
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For those little critters you are best off with something about 90mm or more, so you do not have to get quite so close to them as with a 35 or 50. It can also double as a medium telephoto/portrait lens :-)

Most focusing for macro is done manually, so an older manual-focusing lens may be had for a very reasonable price.

Just about any of the current macro lenses are very good. I chose the Tamron mostly on price and reviews. No complaints, even about the manual focus gyrations Adam hates so much - it takes 2 seconds :-)

12-29-2012, 10:47 AM   #9
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The Samsung badged version of the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database comes in about 100 cheaper on the used market here in the UK... Love mine!
12-29-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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If you can find it, I've used and really like the old Sigma 90mm f2.8. (HERE in the database.) I eventually got a Tamron 90mm because I wanted autofocus using this focal length for lowlight, theater shots. For macro, that Sigma is really just as good as the Tamron though you do have to attach the macro adapter.
01-03-2013, 05:55 PM   #11
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i also have the tamron 90 and like it but havent had it in the spring yet for flowers. If you can find a manual lens cheaper it may not be too bad. in macro mode the thing focus hunts like crazy, the limitier on the tamron helps a lot but i always just end up switching to manual focus anyway. also the new digital lenses are coated over the old film lenses but thats only protecting you from glare, when you focused on flowers and bugs your not really going to need that glare protection and most macros front elements are set so deep that they avoid flare even without the hood.

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