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08-03-2017, 01:17 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I would echo the sentiment of getting an auto focus dedicated macro lens, preferably in the 90 to 100mm range. There are a bunch of Pentax lenses as well as Tamron and Sigma lenses that would fit the bill. I think you could do that for about 200 and it will be significantly easier to figure out than using extension tubes or reversing lenses. If you catch the macro "bug" then you can start figuring out some of these options to get closer than what you can with your lens.

Macro is tough because of the narrow field of focus you are dealing with. I tend to shoot with a tripod just because I'm not steady enough hand held -- I just move forward and back enough that I miss the eyes.

what depth of field ???

what field of focus ???

in my short experience in trying macro

it isn't easy

08-03-2017, 01:34 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
what depth of field ???

what field of focus ???

in my short experience in trying macro

it isn't easy
I think the best thing is to start with pseudo macro and gradually get closer. It is really, really tough to get some of the shots that folks like Pascal (Doundounba) pull off really easily.

08-03-2017, 02:53 PM   #33
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thanks for all the great info.

I think I will keep my eye for open for a 90-100mm macro lens with auto focus while I sort other things out. I am also in the process of finally getting around to getting photos printed. I have 5 years worth of travels to decide what to print. But I also wouldn't mind a new technique to work on (macro)

I also updated my Lightroom and photoshop so I can stack again. Previous versions weren't cooperating with my k-70 PEF files and older version of camera raw. But back in business.

I would get the Sigma lens now but I still don't have a bank account here in the UK, only just moved here. Lots going on haha.

---------- Post added 08-03-17 at 02:57 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think the best thing is to start with pseudo macro and gradually get closer. It is really, really tough to get some of the shots that folks like Pascal (Doundounba) pull off really easily.

this is exactly what draws me. I think anything people do with a camera that the eye can't do itself is very attractive. It's like a waterfall, I can't help myself but use a ND filter because it creates something I cannot see. Although I could us a magnifying glass to look at bugs, when it's high resolution and sharp like that picture, it's sure something to aspire to.
08-03-2017, 10:26 PM   #34
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Tubes = Don't buy anything without aperture levers ..
I believe they call them Auto Tubes . Those cheap nasty Chinese tubes are just that , nasty . ( PITA to use )
If you cant find Auto Tubes buy a teleconverter and gut it ( remove the internal lenses )
Or just buy a tele macro converter .. They generally come on 2x or 3x and are built for 50mm lenses .. ( Turns a 50 into a 100mm Macro ) and they work well for the $$ invested .

A lot of the old stuff is starting to run out ( vanish ) , such as tubes .. A few years ago there was heaps to chose from , now there is far less and the prices are going up for whats left .

---------- Post added 08-04-17 at 03:26 PM ----------

Tubes = Don't buy anything without aperture levers ..
I believe they call them Auto Tubes . Those cheap nasty Chinese tubes are just that , nasty . ( PITA to use )
If you cant find Auto Tubes buy a teleconverter and gut it ( remove the internal lenses )
Or just buy a tele macro converter .. They generally come on 2x or 3x and are built for 50mm lenses .. ( Turns a 50 into a 100mm Macro ) and they work well for the $$ invested .

A lot of the old stuff is starting to run out ( vanish ) , such as tubes .. A few years ago there was heaps to chose from , now there is far less and the prices are going up for whats left .

08-04-2017, 03:00 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by following.eric Quote
hey guys

What would be the best step to get me started on macro. Just looking to expand on something to shoot. and not sure if finding a good deal on a 100mm macro lens be better or would buying some tubes and attaching that me cheaper and better to get me started.

Kit is k70 10-17mm, Simga 17-50 f2.8, Pentax A-50mm 1.7

Got loads of flowers in the garden and figured its a good cloudy day/rainy day activity.
to the OP and others viewing this thread:

while saving up for macro photography equipment,

may I suggest you look at some of the threads on the forums such as these:

Show me your insects - PentaxForums.com

Post your HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW pictures! - PentaxForums.com

Insects - PentaxForums.com

and look at what some people have been able to get without using a true macro lens

some time by cropping

some times not

not a substitute for a true macro lens true but still some good photography

the cost of some of the lenses used might exceed your budget but perhaps not

and some of the lenses used would give your options beyond macro

and bonus, you get to see some great photos

[ some advice, skip my efforts for the most part and concentrate on the ones posted in those threads by good photographers ]

Last edited by aslyfox; 08-04-2017 at 03:10 AM.
08-04-2017, 08:11 AM - 1 Like   #36
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There is also this article that I do not think has been listed in this thread: CHEAP MACRO -- Buying or exploiting a lens for ultraclose work - PentaxForums.com Sort of the definitive work on cheap macro by our dear friend @Riorico.
08-04-2017, 11:18 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think the best thing is to start with pseudo macro and gradually get closer.
Yes, I would tend to agree, especially if fun is important to you. Ease into it, and as your technique improves, increase the magnification. I actually started with a "close focus" lens that only went to 1:2.8 and then a Pentax-M 50mm F/4 Macro that "only" does to 1:2. (Then a 2X tele-converter, then tubes, then a true (1:1) macro lens, then a diopter. I think.) One of my best "early moves", as I think back, was to make a Pringles-can flash diffuser for my (then) K-01 onboard flash.

As others have mentioned, there are so many different ways to do macro. Both technique-wise - diopters, macro lenses, extension tubes, reversed lenses, stacked lenses, etc - as well as style-wise. For me, I decided very early on that I didn't want to do studio shots, or shots of dead or refrigerated insects. It was also important for me to get some shots I was happy with and to get pleasure from the discovery of the small world of insects as I went along. Who knew there can be so many different species of spiders on the outside wall of one's house? I also had a lot of fun from trying out various lenses and "low-tech" techniques.

If I had tried to do handheld focus stacks at greater than lifesize right from the start, I would have probably given up by now.

The advice in this video by Thomas Shahan is still wonderful:


QuoteQuote:
It is really, really tough to get some of the shots that folks like Pascal (Doundounba) pull off really easily.
Well, maybe it seems easy, but you don't see all the missed shots! A recent backyard garden outing consisted of 266 frames, and resulted in *four* published photos. Granted, three were stacks, but still, if you're getting over 10% keepers, my hat's off to you. (Either that or you're putting the bar way lower than me, and/or you like to publish 20 practically identical shots.)

BTW, on the subject of DoF, here's a comparison for you from a recent stack. The first image below is actually the last of the twelve frames that went into making the focus stack immediately below. Note that even the single frame is shot at F/20! I tried to do similar postprocessing on the single frame as I did on the stack, but I processed the stack a while back, so they're not quite identical. Still it should give you an idea of DoF differences. This partially explains why many shots of long insects are profiles - because it's very difficult to get the whole body in focus unless it's a profile.

Do note also that I think even the single frame was "publishable", since the nearest eye is in focus (same rule as for portraits of humans)...





p.s.: Oh, and here's a link to the stack on Flickr, if you want to see it in higher resolution.

Last edited by Doundounba; 08-04-2017 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Add link to stack on Flickr
08-04-2017, 11:34 AM - 1 Like   #38
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Give a rank amateur a macro lens (even a cheap used Tamron 90mm with 1:2) and they can start learning.
This tiny moth, first frame no cropping, shows you should really to take the lens hood off if using flash.
2nd and 3rd frame shows that like a butterfly it has an amazing tongue, cropped.
Now someone will tell me that it's not a moth at all.....and this is rubbish compared to the more experienced macro shooters.....but it's a start.
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08-04-2017, 11:39 AM   #39
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Remember the used market. You can set search terms here on the Marketplace to give you an idea what various lenses are fetching.
08-04-2017, 04:07 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skodadriver Quote
Now someone will tell me that it's not a moth at all.....
Nothing to worry about, 'tis a moth and I think it's this one: Udea rubigalis - Celery Leaftier

As I look at the stack of books next to my keyboard, I realize the last 5 or 6 books I've purchased have all been offshoots of my macro/nature photography hobby - various moth, insect, mushroom, and plant ID books.
08-04-2017, 04:13 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Nothing to worry about, 'tis a moth and I think it's this one: Udea rubigalis - Celery Leaftier

As I look at the stack of books next to my keyboard, I realize the last 5 or 6 books I've purchased have all been offshoots of my macro/nature photography hobby - various moth, insect, mushroom, and plant ID books.
Are you sure???

here I thought it was either a thingamajig or a thingamabob
08-04-2017, 04:24 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
Are you sure???

here I thought it was either a thingamajig or a thingamabob
Those terms work too, slightly more technical would be a "Little Tan Jobbie" to distinguish it from the more common "Little Grey Jobbies" and "Little White Jobbies".
08-04-2017, 05:12 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Those terms work too, slightly more technical would be a "Little Tan Jobbie" to distinguish it from the more common "Little Grey Jobbies" and "Little White Jobbies".
I stand corrected
08-05-2017, 09:39 AM   #44
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Jobbies are something entirely different (I work in Scotland a lot)

---------- Post added 08-05-17 at 09:39 AM ----------

must sort my sig
08-05-2017, 09:58 AM   #45
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Forgive me if I don't read all the responses.

My first choice would be a DFA 100 macro-WR, for ti's weight and size, and the weather sealing/
Barring that my next choice would be the Tamron 90 macro, a lens rated very highly on every platform it's been released on.
Third would be the Sigma 70 macro... a little short for a K-1 but functional on an APS-c sensor, and also ver highly regarded. It is used to determine relative sensor scores on Imaging Resources.
FA 50 macro, the last lens I'd recommend and already starting to get into a range for which you need to be really close to your subject.

All of these lenses are top notch, can be used as walk around lenses as well as macros, and should give you a feel for macro and what you might want to do. All of them work really well with TC. We use them with the F 1.7x AF adapter and HD DA 1.4 TC to increase magnification. For the two shooters in my family , none of us has ever felt the need to go beyond those lenses for what we do, but macro extension tubes or bellows are also an option.

The extension tubes or bellows take a lot more set up time, make the lens useless for normal photography if you're just walking around taking pictures and still need a good sharp lens to work well. It's all about what you mean by "macro". For us, most of what we shoot macro of, is shot on the fly, (ha ha) so tubes or bellows would be impractical. If you're talking about studio macro work, bellows or tubes may be more appropriate.

My own personal preference would be the DFA 100 macro WR, but it's also by far the most expensive. It's also the longest allowing me to try and get images without disturbing my subjects.

There are many 70-300 or 18-250 type lenses labelled macros. I've owned two, I'd advise stearing clear of them. They are all weak in the long end and produce soft images compared to a dedicated macro lens.
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