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04-29-2010, 04:13 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by abby Quote
Shipping only to US. Being in Australia sucks.

I wondered why that one didn't show up in my searches....

But I'll add Vivitar to my list as another possible brand name for this lens.
The seller indicates he will ship external to the US. Often eBays search function is broken. I like to use the .co.uk and the .ca in addition to any searches done on the .com site.

04-29-2010, 04:16 AM   #17
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With a budget of 150 you should have no problem.
I posted a photo of a bellows setup that I put together for
a little less . Check the thread " does macro photography need a bellows" in the general photography forumm. Also play. The used market . I picked up an SMC takumar 50 mm macro, authentic ashai extension tubes and an ashai m42 focusing helix (15-30mm variable extensio tube) for just over $100 .
04-29-2010, 04:51 AM   #18
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There is one thing that has not been mentionned so far.

In addition to a good lens, you will need a decent tripod, because a lot of macro work is difficult to do handheld. A decent sturdy tripod, ideally coupled with a macro focusing rail, will get you a long way.

Another option concerning lenses is to get an older zoom with good macro performances. for instance, I used for a while the Vivitar series 1 70-210, which had a macro capability of 1:2.2, and excellent performances. It can be had for way under 100$, probably around 70$ for a good copy, and it gives you an amazing, legendary zoom, in addition to macro.

Good luck with your experiments!
04-29-2010, 10:14 AM   #19
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Still part of the group that says tripods belong at home when shooting macro's...... Check out my flickr link in the signiture to see some of my shots. All taken handheld, most above 1:1.

04-29-2010, 01:02 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by abby Quote
Hi all,

I'm also new to all this, with a K-x with one of the dual lens kits (18-55mm and 55-300mm DA-L lenses).

I've been looking for the 'plastic fantastic' 100mm f/3.5 macro lens (under all of Cosina, Phoenix, Promaster, Voightlander & Pentax) for the last few weeks and not been able to find one anywhere with a pentax lens mount. I think B&H still sell it for M42 mount at about USD$129 (as well as other mounts like Canon, Minolta/Sony, etc), but haven't found a Pentax one anywhere. I'd go for the B&H one, but add on shipping to AUS, and it ends up being over AUD$200. I've tried numerous google searches, KEH, Adorama, eBay, etc, and not found this cheap macro lens for Pentax anywhere.

Am I missing something, or is it just very hard to find these days in a Pentax mount? Is the B&H M42 version of the plastic fantastic likely to be my best chance for getting one, and just putting up with the lack of auto everything that using that mount will entail? (Aside: I've got an infinity-focusable M42 mount coming my way at the moment, so that's not an issue, but I'd much prefer auto focus and exposure options if possible.)

The Tamron 70-300 LD DI 1:2 macro is on sale locally new for AUD$200, but from what I've read, it won't actually be much better for insect photos (our target macro subject) than what we've already got, so I'm leaning away from getting that.

Thanks for any thoughts....
The Tamron is actually a capable lens. I don't know about the 55-300 but I doubt you can do 1:2 macro with it.

300mm f5.6



180mm f5.6



On a film camera (MZ-S), don't remember the settings, wind was blowing though. Flower is about the size of a US Quarter.



Pretty good for other things too..





04-29-2010, 01:15 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by abby Quote
The Tamron 70-300 LD DI 1:2 macro is on sale locally new for AUD$200, but from what I've read, it won't actually be much better for insect photos (our target macro subject) than what we've already got, so I'm leaning away from getting that.
1:2 is not enough for insect macros IME. Have a look at the Raynox Club thread. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/74221-raynox-macro-club.html
The 55-300mm only does 1:4 on its own, but add a Raynox 150 and you'll have macro+ magnification. Nice working range too.
04-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #22
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For $150 I would buy a Vivitar 50/2.8 1:1 macro, or a Vivitar 90/2.8 1:1 macro, both are described in the lens database (I did the first one this morning ). For the 50mm you can find examples of shots in the review. These two lenses are top quality, for realy no price.

Otherwise, I would go for a relatively cheap, fast prime and combine this with extension tubes. With some practice, this can give you excellent results!!!
04-29-2010, 02:04 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Praestigium Quote
I found some threads on the matter but they were a little outdated.

I'm currently the owner of a Pentax K-X with an 18 - 55mm Pentax lens and a 28 - 90mm Sigma lens. However I find that neither of the two are cut out for Macro photography.

Any suggestions on how I should go about this? Should I purchase a new macro dedicated lens or perhaps purchase a macro zoom lens?

I have a budget of about $150

Cheers!
There simply is no "macro zoom lens" on the market. There are some zoom lenses, that claim macro capability. Firstly it is not true per definiton, as true macro lenses start with half lifesize magnification and most true macro lenses will go right to 1:1 lifesize. Secondly those "macro enabled" zooms do not deleiver the sharpness of a true macro lens. Somebody posted some nice example shots, comparing a macro zoom lens and a true macro lens and the advantage of the true macro was very pronounced. (Sorry, can't remember the thread.)

A true macro lens will be a prime lens of between 35mm and around 200mm focal length, with most of them in the 50mm and 100mm area. Thus they can be used for any type of shooting at far distances too and will demonstrate their usually very high sharpness.

Quite contrary to zoom lenses basically any true macro lens will yield very high image quality, even if you buy a twenty or thirty year old manual focus lens. So, at the end of the day, the final image will not show, whether you used a current AF macro lens with all bells and whistles for 600 bucks or whether you used an old Vivitar lens from the 1980s, you found in the thrift shop for 20 bucks.

Ben

04-29-2010, 04:44 PM   #24
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I've gone through all your posts and am absolutely stoked with all the info, ideally I wanted a lens that was able to capture the same detail displayed in this photo:



It's definitely a stunning photo that would inspire anyone to dabble into the Macro world. (Photo courtesy of struller on Deviantart.com)

While all the lenses recommended were definitely what I asked for, I must say the Vivitar 50/2.8 1:1 macro blew me away, the detail it captures without extension tubes is amazing, particularly this picture:




But I can't seem to find anyone in Aus selling the lens T_T,

Also, is it crafted for Pentax cameras specifically or does it require an adaptor?

Many thanks for all of your posts!
04-29-2010, 05:51 PM   #25
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Go to the Tammy (Tamron) Club and look at the amazing Macro shots done with the 28-75, and it's not even a true macro. Granted, it's not a cheap lens either, but wow.

When doing macro, you have to wrap your head around the resolution concept--how large a file you're capturing, what size you'll ultimately need it, and your post processing cropping.

In other words, you can capture a hummingbird that only fills 1/8th of the frame, but in raw, you can crop out the other 7/8ths and still have an outstanding image.
04-29-2010, 06:44 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Still part of the group that says tripods belong at home when shooting macro's...... Check out my flickr link in the signiture to see some of my shots. All taken handheld, most above 1:1.
Mark me, I've shot most of my macro pictures without a tripod. But there are things that cannot be done without one, especially when you want to play with DOF, or work at f8 and more. Disregarding tripods entirely is like using four fingers only
04-29-2010, 11:28 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Mark me, I've shot most of my macro pictures without a tripod. But there are things that cannot be done without one, especially when you want to play with DOF, or work at f8 and more. Disregarding tripods entirely is like using four fingers only
I don't quite get what your saying.... are you saying a tripod is need when you shoot at F/8 or a larger F/stop i.e. F/5.6?

Could you please provide an example senario where a Tripod would be needed?
04-30-2010, 04:44 AM   #28
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Yeatzee, I mean that often, when closing down the aperture, the shutter speed slows down to a point where using a tripod helps keep pictures sharp.

A tripod will also help with bugs, because no moving parts get too close to them. With true 1:1 enlargment, when focus is tight, using a tripod and live view helps a LOT creating the image I see in my mind. When I want to take the same picture at various apertures, a tripod is mandatory. When I feel I'm in an ackward body position and risk moving while focusing, a tripod helps. For any "indoors macro" where light levels are surprisingly low, a tripod is quite a boon.

There you are. I've shot many excellent maco pictures without a tripod, but it's a real help in most cases.
04-30-2010, 10:10 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Yeatzee, I mean that often, when closing down the aperture, the shutter speed slows down to a point where using a tripod helps keep pictures sharp.

A tripod will also help with bugs, because no moving parts get too close to them. With true 1:1 enlargment, when focus is tight, using a tripod and live view helps a LOT creating the image I see in my mind. When I want to take the same picture at various apertures, a tripod is mandatory. When I feel I'm in an awkward body position and risk moving while focusing, a tripod helps. For any "indoors macro" where light levels are surprisingly low, a tripod is quite a boon.

There you are. I've shot many excellent maco pictures without a tripod, but it's a real help in most cases.
Out of curiosity, have you ever even shot bugs at or around 1:1? I shoot bugs usually above 1:1 almost daily and a tripod would make my work impossible. Bugs move, they don't sit still meaning the camera/photographer has to be mobile likewise. Just so we are clear, you do realize if you want to shoot at exactly 1:1 with a macro you must switch the lens to MF and extend it to 1:1 and move the camera back and forth to get the focus right. With a tripod that would be impossible unless you had a macro rail. Even if you had a macro rail, bugs move side to side also. Tripods would have to be picked up and moved to follow the bug traveling horizontally on the plant. THis is assuming you want a head on shot which is almost always good with macro because of DOF issues.

Also FWIW, i shoot above F/16 90% of the time (usually around F/20) and the only way a tripod would be of help is if your taking pictures of still life. Thats why most serious macro photographers if not all shoot with a flash. They can't be bogged down or constricted by a tripod so you buy a flash and master the exposure with one. That eliminates all problems associated with smaller apertures.

QuoteQuote:
When I want to take the same picture at various apertures, a tripod is mandatory.
Sure, but we are talking about field work no? Not tests....

QuoteQuote:
For any "indoors macro" where light levels are surprisingly low, a tripod is quite a boon.
"Indoor macro" contradicts itself. Unless your shooting with a studio setup, taking a macro indoors is usually unheard of(again Im talking macro i.e. 1:1 and not still life).

Last edited by yeatzee; 04-30-2010 at 10:16 AM.
04-30-2010, 01:18 PM   #30
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We're doing two things here : discussing words and their meanings, and highjacking a thread :P

Macro officially refers to anything near 1:1 enlargment. Not only bugs. If I grow a flower indoors, and want to photograph it, it can still be macro work.

I'd be careful with sentences like " eral macro photographers use a flash" and "real macro photographers don't use a tripod. I'd say real macro photographers get the job done, with whatever gear they want to use. We work differently and that's fine. I suggest using a tripod is a good thing (and I did mention a focusing rail... many of which move in two directions) and for me that's true. I don't make it a personal thing.

for the record, there is an immense difference between lab tests and experimenting with DOF. for me at least.
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