Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-23-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
Hello and SOS, I think I need a macro lens!

Hi, I have been interested in photography for a very long time and now I am just starting with a Pentax K-30 and I need help . I have a Pentax DA 50-200mm and a Tamron AF 17-50mmF/2.8 (Di II), and I realized these are not the best for food photography, so I am thinking I might need to get a macro... but I am not sure which one: a Pentax or Tamron? 35mm or 100mm? what is the difference between a macro 35mm and a macro 100mm (is it the DOF, how the background looks)? My main focus will be food photography but since I am just starting and doing this for love, I need a lens that is versatile and not super expensive. Those will come later. Any recommendations?

Thanks you!

11-23-2014, 10:20 AM - 1 Like   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Sydney
Photos: Albums
Posts: 844
The da35 and dfa50 will be the best bet for food photography (100 is better for small insects). Failing that, the 50mm sigma isn't bad (the 70mm sigma is supposed to be a little better, but may be a little long). I'd probably recommend the dfa50 if price is a concern (although I think the da35 is a touch better). The sigma 50 is sharp, but a little unexciting, and is a bit bland at non-macro distances. The da35 is the best all rounder IMHO (possibly worth looking for a second hand smc copy?)

Longer focal lengths tend to keep you a bit further away from the subject. With the da35, min focus distance is very close to the lens. Fine for things like food and flowers, but is a bit too close for bees, wasps, etc.
11-23-2014, 11:34 AM - 2 Likes   #3
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,876
Macro can be a really technical subject. The main concepts you want to understand are magnification and working distance.

The current macros that Pentax offers all do 1:1 magnification. They can all take a shot of something that's the size of the sensor, 16mm x 25mm, and have it fill the frame. In food terms, that's not a lot of food. The lenses you mention can do 1:4 or 1:5 magnification. For a plate of food, that's good enough. For one cookie, it's not enough.

Working distance is how far your lens can be from the subject to get that magnification. This is where the lens's focal length comes in. The DA 35mm f2.8 macro is really close to its subject at 1:1 magnification. The DA 100mm f2.8 WR is farther away. The image would be the same size with both lenses. Smaller working distances can mean disturbing the subject or creating shadows.

I think you don't really need the 1:1 magnification; 1:2 is fine and 1:3 is probably OK. The DA 18-55 does 1:3 and it's cheap. A few other zoom lenses will do from 1:2 to 1:3. The images won't be as sharp as a dedicated macro prime. An accessory like the Raynox may be enough. I'm not familiar enough with them to know. Used dedicated macro lenses shouldn't be too costly. The Pentax-M 50mm f4 Macro is 1:2, should do the job, but is manual focus and manual aperture. That means a little less flexibility and some challenges with flash. There's a lens made by Cosina that's 100mm f3.5, 1:2 macro with an accessory filter to go to 1:1. It was sold as a Pentax, Cosina, Vivitar or Phoenix. Some versions are autofocus, some manual focus.

I have this lens, a 90mm f2.5 1:2 macro, which should be excellent. It's autofocus. I'm not the seller:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/279016-sal...-f-2-5-af.html

Last edited by Just1MoreDave; 11-23-2014 at 11:42 AM.
11-23-2014, 11:39 AM - 1 Like   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Mikesul's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,684
The Pentax Da 35 and the Dfa 1000 macro are both excellent lenses. But for most uses the 100 is better because you do not have to be so close. Save your pennies and get one of these excellent lenses.

11-23-2014, 12:24 PM - 1 Like   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,664
QuoteOriginally posted by Elfy S. Quote
what is the difference between a macro 35mm and a macro 100mm (is it the DOF, how the background looks)?
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The main concepts you want to understand are magnification and working distance.
What he said.

The shorter the focal length the closer you have to be to the subject. I have posted this photo several times in the past. This is a 50mm macro lens at 1:1 magnification:





Steve
11-23-2014, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #6
Pentaxian
Miguel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,729
Food photography can encompass everything from watermelons to grains of Dead Sea salt and Norman Rockwell-esque holiday banquet layouts. What kind of food photography are you going to be practicing? Without knowing your particular requirements, it is risky to recommend, let alone purchase, a tool that can cost $500. If you haven't figured this out yet, I'd stay with the Tamron until you reached the limits of your capabilities. I also assume that you already have the lighting that is critical for decent food shots.

I'll also ask (I used to work for a food producer, though my photography for them was limited to a few predictable food products) if you are familiar with how food is doped up by designers for shoots to withstand hot lights, and the ongoing exposure to the elements involved with setting up shots. You should consider identifying beforehand what attributes of the food you want to capture and setting up the shot to reflect those.

M
11-23-2014, 01:35 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,607
What about your current lenses is stopping you from getting the photos you want? Do you have examples of what you've been able to achieve compared to what you're aspiring to achieve?

Miguel's advice is solid- do you already have the secondary gear, like lighting junk, reflectors, tripod, etc? If you do need the 1:1 magnification of a dedicated macro, these secondary things are even more important, as magnification increases so do the technical challenges.
11-23-2014, 02:16 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: traverse city MI
Posts: 342
For almost all situations I can think of other than the grain of salt mentioned earlier I don't know why your 17-50 2.8 won't work great. However if you need to get closer both the 90mm Tamron or 100 mm Pentax will work great. The IQ is very similar with the Pentax winning with a slightly longer reach and WR. If you have the money get the Pentax, I have the Tamron and it takes great photos and costs about half what the Pentax does. If you want to see a comparo go to flickr and look up Pentax 100mm macro and Tamron 90mm macro groups.

11-23-2014, 02:28 PM   #9
Forum Member




Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 98
The Sigma EX 105 F2.8 1:1 macro is also a great lens!
11-23-2014, 11:17 PM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
What about your current lenses is stopping you from getting the photos you want? Do you have examples of what you've been able to achieve compared to what you're aspiring to achieve?

Miguel's advice is solid- do you already have the secondary gear, like lighting junk, reflectors, tripod, etc? If you do need the 1:1 magnification of a dedicated macro, these secondary things are even more important, as magnification increases so do the technical challenges.
I've had some problems with the ones I have, like the lens being too long and it creates a shadow, or it not focusing because I am too close, but further away it's not the frame I wanted, or not being able to get a close up/ closed frame. I do not have any more accessories yet, since it also makes it harder to take them all out in a restaurant (think blog pics not studio). What I also really need is a lightmeter...any recomendations for that?
11-23-2014, 11:21 PM   #11
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Food photography can encompass everything from watermelons to grains of Dead Sea salt and Norman Rockwell-esque holiday banquet layouts. What kind of food photography are you going to be practicing? Without knowing your particular requirements, it is risky to recommend, let alone purchase, a tool that can cost $500. If you haven't figured this out yet, I'd stay with the Tamron until you reached the limits of your capabilities. I also assume that you already have the lighting that is critical for decent food shots.

I'll also ask (I used to work for a food producer, though my photography for them was limited to a few predictable food products) if you are familiar with how food is doped up by designers for shoots to withstand hot lights, and the ongoing exposure to the elements involved with setting up shots. You should consider identifying beforehand what attributes of the food you want to capture and setting up the shot to reflect those.

M
The lightning is also something I have to constantly struggle with since I am not taking "studio" pictures (yet), but they are (for now) from when I go out for dinner to restaurants (blog), what I cook at home, and for love and passion to photography.
11-24-2014, 03:28 AM   #12
Senior Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Nass's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The British Isles
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,251
Hello Elfy,

Not trying to be controversial, but if a lot of your shots are going to be in a restaurant or just casual shots in the kitchen, you'd be better off using a smartphone. If for nothing else than portability, you really don't want to be slepping a DSLR and flash and bracket around in restaurants

Good luck!!
11-24-2014, 08:11 AM   #13
Pentaxian
Miguel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,729
QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Hello Elfy,

Not trying to be controversial, but if a lot of your shots are going to be in a restaurant or just casual shots in the kitchen, you'd be better off using a smartphone. If for nothing else than portability, you really don't want to be slepping a DSLR and flash and bracket around in restaurants

Good luck!!
+1 A whole DSLR, macro, tripod, lighting setup for a restaurant will most likely result in your last meal there. Smartphone shots seem to be at just the right level of technology and unobtrusiveness. Especially if this is just for a blog and not fine prints.
At home I'm sure you can use whatever. A friend of mine who started with a food blog, now has a contract for a published commercial cookbook. He ultimately learned how to shoot his creations using a light tent and a few macro lenses.

M
11-24-2014, 09:03 AM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,607
QuoteOriginally posted by Elfy S. Quote
I've had some problems with the ones I have, like the lens being too long and it creates a shadow, or it not focusing because I am too close, but further away it's not the frame I wanted, or not being able to get a close up/ closed frame. I do not have any more accessories yet, since it also makes it harder to take them all out in a restaurant (think blog pics not studio).
Your Tamron and DA50-200 max out at about 0.25x magnification. Much more than that and it starts to get pretty tough to handle in low light situations (like most restaurants) without either a tripod or external flashes (not ideal in a restaurant). Without these secondary pieces of equipment, making use of a macro lens' high magnification is honestly frustrating unless you're outside in full sunlight all the time.

I'd consider the smartphone idea that's been suggested (if you have one), possibly with a small, discrete tabletop tripod.

Or I'd just go with a fast 50mm lens. In restaurants they can focus close enough to fill the frame with about half a dinner plate without you leaving your seat. More discrete and faster than your tamron. You will lose some magnification though, but for web quality blog stuff you'd have a fair bit of cropping room with your k-30. If you get one from the film era, it will be even cheaper than the DA50/1.8 and it will have an aperture ring so you can use it on cheap extension tubes for when you can whip out a tripod (at home). Spend the rest of your budget on tripod, a couple of reflectors/diffusers, and a couple of things to hold the reflectors for use at home.


QuoteOriginally posted by Elfy S. Quote
What I also really need is a lightmeter...any recomendations for that?
I use a sekonic l308s that I'm happy with (it also works as a flashmeter), but there are several different basic light meters that can do the trick. If you just want it to meter ambient light and not flashes, I think there are some cheaper models but I'm not familiar with any. I'd put an ambient lightmeter low on the priority list though, they're handy but the built in spot meter can do a fine job.
11-29-2014, 02:56 PM   #15
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Hello Elfy,

Not trying to be controversial, but if a lot of your shots are going to be in a restaurant or just casual shots in the kitchen, you'd be better off using a smartphone. If for nothing else than portability, you really don't want to be slepping a DSLR and flash and bracket around in restaurants

Good luck!!
I have an iPhone 3G
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
100mm, 35mm, camera, food, macro, pentax, pentax help, photography, tamron, troubleshooting
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I think I have every lens I need. VoiceOfReason Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 117 12-05-2014 09:41 AM
I need to shoot a video and I have no idea what I'm doing Outis Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 19 11-13-2014 05:42 PM
I think I need a tripod kshapero Pentax Q 15 05-28-2013 06:01 AM
I think I need the 17-70mm lens wpg Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 9 05-26-2012 10:37 PM
Lens advice -- I need a fast autofocus zoom, I think? Mister Horrible Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 27 12-25-2011 06:49 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:33 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top