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11-15-2009, 09:27 PM   #1
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best macro lense for a KX?

I just bought a KX. My 1rst DSLR and want to get a good macro lense. Can anyone recommend a macro lense. Ive seen some macros that were 35 mm, 50 mm, and 100 mm. Not sure what to get. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

11-15-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
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What kind of macro photography do you want to do? If it's insects you probably want a 100mm, flowers you can get the 35 or 50. The shorter the focal length, the closer you need to get to the subject.
Incidentally, it doesn't matter what camera you have.
Welcome to the forum.
11-15-2009, 10:41 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dehanson1 Quote
Can anyone recommend a macro lense.
Gary's question about what to use it for is spot on.

It is hard to find a macro lens that isn't very sharp. Where they may differ is in the bokeh (out of focus rendering) and what else you can use them for.

I once asked the question which macro lens has a "double talent". The Sigma 70/2.8 EX came out as the winner for me personally. Not ideal for very nervous insects (you'd want 180mm or 200mm for these) but then the longer the lens the hard to hand-hold.
11-15-2009, 10:54 PM   #4
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macro lense

I see. So I take it that there isnt really a "one does it all" macro lense? Id be shooting flowers mostly but Id like to be able to shoot some bugs also. I want to stay with a Pentax lense. So far I have seen a 35, a 50 and a 100 Pentax macro.

11-16-2009, 01:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dehanson1 Quote
I want to stay with a Pentax lense.
What for?
Why not choose the best for a particular purpose from all available?

An important decision to make is whether you want AF or not. For macro work AF is not important at all, but can be useful for other applications.

Many MF (manual focus) macro lenses come from third party vendors, such as Vivitar, Tokina, Tamron, etc. and can sometimes be had for less money then their AF cousins.
11-16-2009, 11:31 AM   #6
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3rd party lense

You have a point there about the AF and 3rd party lenses. Any recomendations on a really good 3rd party macro lense? Thanks
11-16-2009, 11:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dehanson1 Quote
You have a point there about the AF and 3rd party lenses. Any recomendations on a really good 3rd party macro lense? Thanks
Tamron 90/2.8, Sigma 70/2.8, Sigma 105/2.8, Vivitar Series 1 105/2.5
11-16-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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Basically, they're all good. You won't find many bad reviews of any currently available macro lenses, including the most commonly available older ones. It's more about what focal length you prefer, how big of a lens you can stand, and how much you want to pay. The longer the focal length, the more working distance you have at a given magnification, so if you're looking for the most generally useful lens for macro, get the longest focal length you can. but that won't be smallest or cheapest, and it might be a focal length you don't find useful for much else. The 35 is the least generally useful for macro, since it requires you to be around an inch away from your subject, but it's probably the most generally useful focal length overall (for non-macro purposes). Part of your decision making process should probably be, what other lenses do you have, and what focal length do you think would make a good addition to your collection independent of macro photography.

For that matter, if you already have a telephoto zoom - like the 50-200 that is often sold with the K-x - you might consider whether a $40 Raynox 150 clipped on to the end of that wouldn't do everything you need (see the Raynox club thread in the SLR Lens forum).

11-16-2009, 01:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Gary's question about what to use it for is spot on.
Am I back in your good books now?
11-16-2009, 01:40 PM   #10
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If you want a do it all, go for the 70, 90 or 100/105 range. The longer ones will be the most flexible for different kinds of macro. The one advantage the 70 would have is if you wanted to use it as a portrait lens but that's only because you could use it in a smaller room, all macros do other stuff pretty well.
All macro lenses are good lenses optically so you needn't worry on that level.
11-16-2009, 02:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Am I back in your good books now?
Always been, Gary.

My recent comment was just about a new "grumpiness" I seemed to have detected, but apparently it wasn't a global mood change but just a reaction to some topics you were a bit allergic to.

Last edited by Class A; 11-16-2009 at 02:21 PM.
11-16-2009, 05:59 PM   #12
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Considering the size and weight, the 35mm Ltd could be a good companion to your lightweight setup.

It's also a good walkaround lens, but as mentioned before, you have to get close so don't expect many bug close-ups.

If you want to see some examples, check out my flickr (Macro Shots and Tokyo)

Good luck choosing!
11-16-2009, 06:31 PM   #13
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The DA 35 is a great little lens -- good for walk around -- J Sherman had a long thread going about it, something fun to look up if you are interested in some macro shots. I have taken many macro shots with it, including some bugs, although it has be a hot day and they have to be lazy. It is very sharp. One interesting thing is that I find it a lot easier to hand hold a 35 mm macro shot then a 100 mm macro shot. I would be more likely to break a tripod for the 100 mm one.

Just a little warning. Sigma and Tamron stick the "macro" label on all kinds of lenses that aren't really macro lenses, but rather can focus kind of close. They are often not as sharp when used this way and probably wouldn't serve your purpose.
11-17-2009, 06:17 AM   #14
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tameron and sigma macro lenses

Thanks for all the info. Very helpful. The last poster said to watch out for sigma and tameron lenses that claim to be macro and really arnt. So, how can I tell a true macro from a not-so-true macro in these brands?
11-17-2009, 06:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dehanson1 Quote
Thanks for all the info. Very helpful. The last poster said to watch out for sigma and tameron lenses that claim to be macro and really arnt. So, how can I tell a true macro from a not-so-true macro in these brands?
Usually if it's a zoom, it's not a true macro.
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