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05-09-2016, 02:14 PM   #1
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Macro Lens

Question, Thanks in advance! I plan on posting a lot more in future!

I currently have the Pentax D FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens.

What better full frame Macro lenses are there? or is that about as good as it gets?

Thx

05-09-2016, 02:27 PM   #2
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This is about as good as it gets. Tokina 100mm macro has the same optical diagram as the DFA 100mm macro (they were done in partnership)
Pentax FA and F 100mm macro are same optical design, as well (only maybe a little older lens coatings and different feature set).

Sigma 105mm is about similarly good, but not necessarily significantly optically better.
Sigma 70mm is considered one of the best macro lenses out there, ever, but it is wider angle, and difficult to find.
Pentax also makes two other macro lenses, DA 35mm f2.8, DFA 50mm f2.8. Both are pretty great.


What exactly do you need that the DFA 100mm doesn't have? If you need something specific, we can find you a lens that has it. Do you need aperture ring? Wider angle? More telephoto?
05-09-2016, 02:28 PM   #3
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the practical differences in the (rather large) field of available 90-105mm K-munt macro lenses are minor -- much more important is your technique. One advantage of the K-1 is that the diffraction limit will be at a smaller aperture so you would get that benefit. But lighting, stacking, tripod use, etc, will have a huge impact vs. lens choice. The fact is, pretty much all macro lenses are darn good. So I would say you are "good to go" with the DFA 100mm Macro. (same lens I use)

Michael
05-09-2016, 02:32 PM   #4
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Pretty much what Michael said. Any of the Pentax 100mm macros will do the job. The dfa model is the most current and has the latest coatings.

05-09-2016, 02:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
This is about as good as it gets. Tokina 100mm macro has the same optical diagram as the DFA 100mm macro (they were done in partnership)
Pentax FA and F 100mm macro are same optical design, as well (only maybe a little older lens coatings and different feature set).

Sigma 105mm is about similarly good, but not necessarily significantly optically better.
Sigma 70mm is considered one of the best macro lenses out there, ever, but it is wider angle, and difficult to find.
Pentax also makes two other macro lenses, DA 35mm f2.8, DFA 50mm f2.8. Both are pretty great.


What exactly do you need that the DFA 100mm doesn't have? If you need something specific, we can find you a lens that has it. Do you need aperture ring? Wider angle? More telephoto?
THANKS! I enjoy shooting small insects. I agree, that lens is great! I've seem some pictures online that are insane zoom. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Thanks again.
05-09-2016, 02:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by adamwv Quote
Question, Thanks in advance! I plan on posting a lot more in future!

I currently have the Pentax D FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens.

What better full frame Macro lenses are there? or is that about as good as it gets?

Thx
The only thing better might be the FA* 200mm macro. That one is full of pixie dust

But seriously, the D FA 100mm is one sharp lens. The only issue it suffers from is a bit of fringing.

Adam
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05-09-2016, 03:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The only thing better might be the FA* 200mm macro. That one is full of pixie dust .
And also the original 200mm SMCA ED macro. The FA* version is extraordinarily rare. Don't think Ive ever seen one up for sale second hand. The older manual version is only extremely rare. Saw an exceptionally clean one on EBAY from someone in Japan, offered at $3300.
05-09-2016, 03:17 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by adamwv Quote
I've seem some pictures online that are insane zoom.
Aahh, so you mean magnification?? Because DFA 100mm and the other modern Pentax macro lenses all go to 1:1 macro, which is really great. Same thing for the competition (Sigma 70mm, Sigma 105mm, Tamron 90mm), Not long ago, macro lenses could only reach 1:2 without extra accessories (the Zeiss macro lenses still, despite being considered really great lenses)
Lenses that go beyond 1:1 magnification are actually enlarger lenses. They are generally more difficult to use and have many limitations. I don't think there are any currently in production for Pentax, but you can get them only from specialized producers (Rodenstock?). Its a very niche lens, unlike the DFA 100mm, which can be used for purposes other than macro.

Anyway, one thing to keep in mind is that "macro" is not "zoom". Macro is actually "close focus". So to get the most macro, you need to turn the focus ring on your lens to nearest focusing distance (away from infinity), then simply move as close as you need to until the subject comes into focus. That gives you the highest magnification (which is generally considered "macro" when it is 1:2 up to 1:1).
So I would suggest you work on this technique at first. Come as close as possible, use aperture f8-f14 to get a wide DoF. Use tripod and 2 sec timer if possible. Or a flash system for moving subjects like bugs.

If this is still not enough, you can shoot raw and crop the photo in post processing. Cutting the corners off will make the subject seem more magnified. This is a wide practice among macro and wildlife photographers, where the most important thing is getting good focus, and then the framing gets done in post, later.

Other options are to buy a Raynox macro filter (Raynox is a good brand of macro filters; many others are really bad and have low image quality). You can also use extension tubes or try reversing a lens with a reversal ring. There are many ways to get beyond 1:1 macro and there are some threads in the forums here. I think one is called Macro at any cost, another one is something along the lines of Dirt cheap macro. Just look over the macro forum for big threads.

Because the DFA 100mm is.. just about as good as it gets, at least in the 90-120mm range. You can get exotic monsters like 200mm macro, but it will still only be 1:1 magnification - only you will reach it from slightly further away! You can get something like DA 35mm macro (not FF, but great lens), which will still give you the same 1:1 magnification, but a different field of view, and you will have to get much much closer to the subject, almost touching it, to achieve that magnification.

05-09-2016, 03:23 PM   #9
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B&H just emailed specials for today and the 100mm 2.8 is on sale at $180.00 off normal retail.

Pentax smc Pentax-D FA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro Lens 21910 B&H Photo
05-09-2016, 03:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by adamwv Quote
Question, Thanks in advance! I plan on posting a lot more in future!

I currently have the Pentax D FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens.

What better full frame Macro lenses are there? or is that about as good as it gets?

Thx
What are you going to use it for?
05-09-2016, 03:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
B&H just emailed specials for today and the 100mm 2.8 is on sale at $180.00 off normal retail. Pentax smc Pentax-D FA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro Lens 21910 B&H Photo
Ufff, what a steal! I hope everyone on this forum that hasn't got one yet gets it! Its an amazing lens, can be used for landscapes, portraits, and so much more, as well as true 1:1 macro! Sharp, well-corrected, WR, QS, beautiful lens.
05-09-2016, 04:29 PM   #12
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pentax macro lenses are excellent, but few. sigma makes a nice 180mm 1:1 macro in k mount... if you can find it. the dfa 50mm 2.8 is my favorite.
05-09-2016, 05:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Ufff, what a steal! I hope everyone on this forum that hasn't got one yet gets it! Its an amazing lens, can be used for landscapes, portraits, and so much more, as well as true 1:1 macro! Sharp, well-corrected, WR, QS, beautiful lens.
The DFA 100 WR Macro also doubles as a super sharp telephoto as well. very compact and lightweight too. It is not just macro and is definitely one of my favorite lenses. The DA 35 Limited is another great choice but for things like small animals, frogs, dragonflies or butterflies, 100 mm is a better focal length.
05-09-2016, 08:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The only thing better might be the FA* 200mm macro.
"might" be better? I can't think of a better AF K mount lens over 100mm for macro photography*.


Pentax K10D - SMCP-FA*200mm f/4 ED Macro


*
Though the voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 and 180mm f/4 are both superb lenses.
05-09-2016, 08:36 PM   #15
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Another (much less expensive) way to get long reach and 1:1 macro is the Tamron Adaptall 90mm macro combined with the matched 2X teleconverter. Gives you a (cheap) 180 mm macro.

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