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04-10-2010, 05:11 PM   #1
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Macro

Hi guys. Can you recommend a good, reasonably priced MACRO lens for a beginner? I'd really like to start experimenting with this close up photography but my budget is limited. Any suggestions?

04-10-2010, 05:31 PM   #2
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Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250.
It just attaches to whatever lens you have.
Costs around $40-$60.
Take a look at this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/74221-raynox-macro-club.html
04-10-2010, 05:38 PM   #3
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A reversing ring is the cheapest macro device you are going to find.









04-10-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naturenut Quote
Hi guys. Can you recommend a good, reasonably priced MACRO lens for a beginner? I'd really like to start experimenting with this close up photography but my budget is limited. Any suggestions?
If you want a lens that is actually dedicated to Macro, then I would suggest the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro. It's about $250-$350 used depending on where you look and would be a great lens to learn with.

04-10-2010, 06:34 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naturenut Quote
Hi guys. Can you recommend a good, reasonably priced MACRO lens for a beginner? I'd really like to start experimenting with this close up photography but my budget is limited. Any suggestions?

Without knowing your budget we can only guess and so far I agree with the above suggestions. However in the $125 range is a 100mm f3.5 1:1 lens that goes under a couple names; Phoenix and Pro-Optic come to mind, maybe Vivitar and others. It is MF which for most real tight macro work is what I use anyway, and it has a screw on diopter that takes it from 1:2 to 1:1 magnification. It is MUCH higher quality than something like a simple screw on close up lens. I find it a perfect fit between the Raynox clip on (I also own) and the $400-$700 Tamron 90mm, Sigma 105mm or Pentax 100mm macro lenses.
04-10-2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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Questions that can help you narrow down your search:
  • What size are the typical subjects?
  • How close do I want to be to the subject?
  • What lighting conditions will the subject be in?
  • Is the subject moving or not?
  • What do I already have that can be used with an accessory for closer focus?
  • How much automation do I need (auto-focus, body control of aperture, etc.)?
If you aren't really sure how to answer those questions, consider buying the Raynox to learn on. After using it, you should know what doesn't work about it or if it's perfect.

The inexpensive dedicated lenses I have used and liked:
Sigma 50mm f2.8 manual focus - KA mount, 1:1 magnification, good handling.
Panagor 90mm f2.8 manual focus - 1:1, basic K mount, excellent handling.
Pentax-M 50 or 100mm f4 manual focus - 1:2 and basic K mount, excellent handling
Phoenix 100mm f3.5 manual focus - 1:2 with diopter for 1:1, inexpensive but adequate handling - AF version is similar

The Tamron Adaptall-2 90mm f2.5 is a very nice lens and I finally broke down and bought one. The disadvantage here is getting the adapters and converter or tube for 1:1 and KA operation, which drives the price up.

Last edited by Just1MoreDave; 04-10-2010 at 08:52 PM.
04-10-2010, 06:52 PM   #7
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I think it would also be a good idea to tell us how much you are willing to pay for one as well. That way we can let you know everything in that price range.
04-10-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
If you want a lens that is actually dedicated to Macro, then I would suggest the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro. It's about $250-$350 used depending on where you look and would be a great lens to learn with.
The manual focus version goes for about $100.

04-10-2010, 06:54 PM   #9
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Besides the reversing ring you can also get a coupler that allows you to screw one lens on the front of another -- backwards. It gets insane magnification but can be very finicky to use. How much magnification are you wanting?
04-10-2010, 07:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The manual focus version goes for about $100.
Oh, I meant to the original poster. They didn't really give enough information about how much their limited budget had for a macro lens.
04-10-2010, 08:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
Oh, I meant to the original poster. They didn't really give enough information about how much their limited budget had for a macro lens.
I was just pointing out that the MF version of the Sigma 50mm Macro goes for about $100 often even less. You mentioned the more expensive AF version.

It's a decent lens.



04-10-2010, 08:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250.
It just attaches to whatever lens you have.
Costs around $40-$60.
Take a look at this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/74221-raynox-macro-club.html

I agree..............Raynox all the way!
I have seen some excellent image taken with these filters.
04-10-2010, 08:41 PM   #13
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I didn't even know there was a MF version of the Sigma 50mm Macro! Thanks for letting me know, I'm going to check it out.
04-10-2010, 08:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Without knowing your budget we can only guess and so far I agree with the above suggestions. However in the $125 range is a 100mm f3.5 1:1 lens that goes under a couple names; Phoenix and Pro-Optic come to mind, maybe Vivitar and others. It is MF which for most real tight macro work is what I use anyway, and it has a screw on diopter that takes it from 1:2 to 1:1 magnification. It is MUCH higher quality than something like a simple screw on close up lens. I find it a perfect fit between the Raynox clip on (I also own) and the $400-$700 Tamron 90mm, Sigma 105mm or Pentax 100mm macro lenses.
That's the lens I referred to in my post (incorrectly at first, now correctly). User reports will all mention the cheap build quality, which is true. The mount is metal, some parts of the aperture blades, and screws - pretty much everything except else is plastic. I don't think it really affects durability as much as feel. You can tell right away that it's plastic. In use, it doesn't affect results. I probably should not have sold my copy. I have lenses that are better on paper and better-feeling, but may not produce better results.
04-10-2010, 09:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
I didn't even know there was a MF version of the Sigma 50mm Macro! Thanks for letting me know, I'm going to check it out.
The one I have is this lens:

PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - 50mm f2.8 Macro

I got it on eBay from "steve_the_builder". I don't know whether he still has any but I saw an auction a couple of weeks ago. His listings don't really emphasize that it's a 1:1 macro with a KA mount. As a result, I paid a lot less than $100. I think its performance justifies a $100+ price.

It's an older version; the new EX has AF and "digital" coatings. Focus is fairly light for a 1:1 macro, similar to the old Vivitar/Komine 55mm f2.8. It works well as a general purpose 50mm lens too. I took a really nice portrait of my wife with it on the spur of the moment.
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