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07-30-2014, 04:57 AM   #1
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best Macro Lens

Hi all this is an update on the thread I started about the m50 macro I have been doing sum reading on macro lenses and would like advice on these


which of these Lens below would you recommend as the best Macro Lens


for shots of bugs, insects, etc etc.


Is there one that would be best IQ, or are they all about the same. I think the 70mm may be to short but it gets a raving review??


 


( 1 ) SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR


( 2 ) Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Pentax Fit Lens
( 3 ) Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro




( 4 ) Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di Macro










one more thing I'm about to buy a new Tamron 17-50 but a friend of mine says the sigma 17-50 is better,
it is a bit confusing as I had read a lot about the Tamron,
and I set my sights on this lens should I stick to my original thoughts and get the Tamron


what do others think????


Tom G


Thank you all in advance for the advice






07-30-2014, 05:06 AM   #2
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Better yet is the Sigma 17-70 DC.... I own both the Sigma 17-70mm DC and the Tamron Sp 90mm 1:1 macro, both are exceptional lenses for the price.
07-30-2014, 05:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
Better yet is the Sigma 17-70 DC.... I own both the Sigma 17-70mm DC and the Tamron Sp 90mm 1:1 macro, both are exceptional lenses for the price.
hi Oldbayrunner


yes the Sigma is


New Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM DSLR Lens for Pentax cost 300
but the Tamron I can get for 177 brand new
Tom G
07-30-2014, 05:54 AM   #4
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Sometimes you get what you pay for... The DC line of Sigma is exceptional for the price. They have better rated optical sharpness, build quality and quieter/faster focus than that of the Tamrons.

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM (No Stabilizer) Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
Tamron AF 17-50mm F2.8 XR LD Aspherical IF SP Lens Reviews - Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

07-30-2014, 06:03 AM   #5
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Never owned either of the 17-50's. For your macro, a second-hand FA 100 is a good option if you don't need weather sealing, which I assume you don't if you're considering third-party lenses. I have one and it's the sharpest lens I have with great IQ. It also has two advantages over the D-FA;
1. It has an aperture ring which allows use of extension tubes for rely crazy macro
2. It has a focus limiter
07-30-2014, 06:18 AM   #6
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Pentax DFA 100mm WR is my best lens. Super sharp and with your K-3 it will be a great combo.
07-30-2014, 06:27 AM   #7
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I've used my buddy's Sigma 105mm, and I own the Tamron 90mm (shoot a lot of flowers and bees with this lens) -- both are excellent. You really can't go wrong with any of the three longer macro lenses you listed. The Sigma 70mm would probably be a little short if you were looking primarily to shoot bugs. I just sold my Sigma 17-70 (mine was the older model f/2-8-4.5), and it was a great lens, as well. Just wasn't using it much, and needed to fund another purchase. All three of the Sigma 17-70 models are highly regarded, and the Sigma 17-50 is a favorite of a lot of folks around here. You can go to the lens clubs and take a look at what people are posting. There is a dedicated thread to the Tamron 28-75, though I'm not sure about the Tamron 17-50. If you are upgrading from the kit 18-55, then you'll notice a definite difference in IQ and capability with any of the 17-70/17-50 models. My 18-55 DAL is actually pretty sharp, and makes nice pictures (especially when I have some sun to work with), but the Sigma 17-70 that I just sold was definitely a noticeable upgrade for me.
07-30-2014, 07:49 AM   #8
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I have a Tamron 17-50mm/2.8 and a Pentax D FA 100mm macro. I also owned a Sigma 17-70mm/2,8-4,5.

So, Sigma and Tamron zooms, like 17-50 or 17-70 are good lenses. But still, the difference between a dedicated macro, and a zoom, is significant. Yes, you can get images close to the subject with a 17-50, but not as close as with a macro.

Why your friend say that his zoom is better? Probably their are two reasons for his statement.

1.Macro lenses require a steady hand when you take the shoot, otherwise, at 1/1, your image will not be sharp.

2.At a focal distance of 17mm, the depth of field is huge compared to that from a 100mm macro, especially at very close distance and full open aperture.

07-30-2014, 08:19 AM   #9
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My thoughts on macro lenses: for bugs I wouldn't go for anything shorter than 90 mm. I know my DFA100 is excellent, but so is the Tamron 90 and just about any ~100mm macro. Other features, like WR, focus limiter, and quick shift, are the differentiators. A second hand Tammy is probably the economically most sensible option.

The 17-50: My impression is that both are good, the Sigma has silent and quick focusing, but the Tamron is so much cheaper that it wins easily on value for money. So others have said the Sigma 17-70 C is probably better. But don't take my word for it as I have tried none of them...
07-30-2014, 08:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
My thoughts on macro lenses: for bugs I wouldn't go for anything shorter than 90 mm. I know my DFA100 is excellent, but so is the Tamron 90 and just about any ~100mm macro. Other features, like WR, focus limiter, and quick shift, are the differentiators. A second hand Tammy is probably the economically most sensible option.

The 17-50: My impression is that both are good, the Sigma has silent and quick focusing, but the Tamron is so much cheaper that it wins easily on value for money. So others have said the Sigma 17-70 C is probably better. But don't take my word for it as I have tried none of them...
Thank you all for the quick response


I am bidding for this on fleabay Pentax-M SMC 100mm f/4 Macro Lens ** so I will mess about with this until next month then buy the DFA 100 and if possible I will go for the Sigma 17-50


I seem to have this bug for reviewing Lenses and then I want more & more I have just ordered a new HD-55-300WR it should be here 2-morrow, and I have bid on a few older prime lenses


its contagious disease buying Lenses and I have that bug????????


Tom G old-codgger
07-30-2014, 09:27 AM   #11
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Those macro lenses are all pretty great. I love my DFA 100mm WR macro, very sharp, contrasty. The only cons are that it doesn't have a focus limiter and it doesn't have an aperture ring (aperture ring is needed if you use this lens on older film cameras or with certain bellows or extension tubes). The main advantage of it is that it is WR. And it looks really great, with its aluminum barrel (I don't really like the Sigma plastic texture, even though it is tough)
But macro lenses are generally all optically pretty amazing. The main differences are features and such. Ive seen great photos taken with any of the macro lenses you mentioned.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom777 Quote
its contagious disease buying Lenses and I have that bug????????
You are not the first. On these forums we call it LBA or Lens Buying Addiction.
07-30-2014, 09:29 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom777 Quote
its contagious disease buying Lenses and I have that bug????????
Definitely! Welcome to the club
07-30-2014, 09:33 AM   #13
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Still killing myself over skipping a cheap Sigma 180mm Macro, would have been great!
07-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #14
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I've owned both the Sigma and Tamron. Still ownn the Tammy as it produces a better image than the Sigma, period. I bought the Tamron 90 because it was on sale and have been very happy with it.
07-30-2014, 10:16 AM   #15
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If you want to get a good idea on the image quality of these lenses, then go to photozone.de and read up on them there. According to the test results, both 17-50s are very close in terms of sharpness, with the Tamron edging out the Sigma by a small margin. You'll notice how the sharpness on the Tamron is doesn't fall off at the edges nearly as bad as the Sigma does. However, there's a lot more to a lens than just an MTF chart. The lenses were tested with Nikons APS-C cameras, but since they were both tested with the same camera, the results are still valid.

If you're going to be photographing insects a lot, then a 100mm is your best option with the Pentax mount since I don't know of anyone making a longer macro lens for the Pentax mount. The difference between macros of various focal lengths boils down to the minimum focusing distance. Keep in mind that although a 50mm has a closer focusing distance than a 100mm, this doesn't mean that it'll give you tighter shots. If you were to photograph a dictionary with any true 1:1 macro lens, the words and letters in the viewfinder would be identical, with the focusing distance being the only difference. Since an 100mm macro at 1:1 allows you to be further away from your subject than with a 50mm macro at 1:1, you are much less likely to scare off your subjects - we all know how skittish insects are. Additionally, since you're further away, you're less likely to be casting shadows onto your subject.

To avoid having your insect friends fly away, it's best to try photographing them in the early morning when their bodies haven't warmed up enough for them to take flight. You'll have the added benefit of being in better light in the early morning hours and in certain conditions the dew would not have evaporated either. A quick search on 500PX.com for "dragon fly" will give you an idea on what others are using.
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