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01-10-2008, 09:27 AM   #1
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No Macro Setting for Pentax Zoom Lenses?

A friend of mine who uses canon and another that uses nikon say thier ~50-200+ lenses have a built in Macro setting on the lense, that limits zoom and focus movement and allows Macro use. I was wondering why Pentax lenses don't have the same, and require you to purchase Macro specific Pentax lenses to acheive the same.

01-10-2008, 09:49 AM   #2
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Both Sigma and Tamron offer this on their 70-300mm lenses. True macro is 1:1 magnification (life-size). On the zooms it's a 1:2 magnification (half-size).
01-10-2008, 10:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DarkSideofOZ Quote
A friend of mine who uses canon and another that uses nikon say thier ~50-200+ lenses have a built in Macro setting on the lense, that limits zoom and focus movement and allows Macro use. I was wondering why Pentax lenses don't have the same, and require you to purchase Macro specific Pentax lenses to acheive the same.
Merely printing the word "Macro" on a lens does not a true macro make.
01-10-2008, 12:19 PM   #4
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Many older Pentax zooms had 'macro' settings; for example both my A35-70/3.5-4.5 and A70-210/4 have one. However as has already pointed out, no 'macro' zoom is a true macro lens. It's simply a lens designed to focus a little bit closer than typical. For true macro perfomance, you want a dedicated macro lens.

01-10-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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First things first, Pentax DOES offer macro lenses. Most importantly though, true Macro is minimum 1:1 scale. Also, if you want to shoot macro, you'll want a fast fixed focal length prime. A zoom with Macro is likely both, A) not a true macro and B) not a very good macro. Also, many folks who shoot macro use only Manual Focus - so, either your auto-focus lens has good manual focus controls or you simply buy a dedicated manual focus macro lens. The best route is to buy a fast fixed-focal length manual-focus macro lens.. Pentax offers a 50mm and a 100mm.. Though both are auto-focus, they both have good manual focus controls. Personally, I use a 105mm f2.5 macro (Viv Series 1)..

Here's an example - not the best, certainly not the worst but, it's what I got at work..

Last edited by Tom M; 03-05-2008 at 06:21 PM.
01-10-2008, 01:43 PM   #6
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Comparing macro shots between the FA 100/2.8 macro (a true macro) and the Sigma 70-300 DG Macro (NOT a true macro) is like night and day. The Sigma's performance in macro shots is mediocre at best, whereas the Pentax fixed focal macro simply shines.
01-10-2008, 07:44 PM   #7
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Gotta love those 1:4 "macro" zooms...
01-10-2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
Gotta love those 1:4 "macro" zooms...


Darky... ask your friends what they maximium reproduction ratio is... No idea what the 50-200 is (I have one) but you may find it's not that different to theirs.

Nige.

01-11-2008, 06:48 PM   #9
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One of the first questions I asked about 10 months ago is what happened to the word, "Macro?" The answer was it has lost most of it's meaning. I have little Point and Shoots with Macro Mode that cost less than I paid for my wife's used Pentax 50mm 2.8 true Macro for her K1000. It is her favorite lens, now permanently mounted on her istD. Even Pentax got on the bandwagon, my K100D manual lists Macro Mode which has nothing to do with lenses.

Does anyone know what Pentax's Macro Mode does? The manual says, "Lets you take vibrant pictures of flowers or other small subjects at short distances." The Magic Lantern Guide says exactly the same thing. Well, does it raise shutter speed, reduce aperture, limit focus range, or what? How much? I have yet to see what the Macro Mode does to help, perhaps because I'm usually in Manual Mode when shooting close up.

My K-mount Sigma manual 70-210 says Macro on the barrel. It doesn't mean much. I think it gets about 1:4 magnification at best.

My wonderful wife gave me the D FA 50mm 2.8 1:1 Macro this December, the modern equivalent of her lens.

Last edited by LeoTaylor; 01-11-2008 at 06:53 PM.
01-11-2008, 07:17 PM   #10
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I'm new to the macro world, and I have to agree with the others here.
Zoom lenses just aren't the same, and don't even come close.

I get to play with a fair amount of NEW Sigma zoom lenses these days, and have yet to find any that come close to what I see through the Pentax-FA 50mm F2.8 Macro I'm using.


Although I must admit that I've gotten several nice close up pictures with my Sigma 135-400, which doesn't have a macro setting on it
01-11-2008, 07:48 PM   #11
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I don't even think about it anymore. I just mentally replace the word "Macro" on zooms with the phrase "close-focusing."
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