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05-02-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Your recommended lens for insect Macro

Howdy folks.

Got my longer range lens DA 55-300mm that'll do me on longer wildlife shots.

Now I'm looking for something good I can use to take pictures of insects. I used to hold my point and shoot camera about an inch away from some insects and got some pretty amazing shots. I actually have a shot of the cicada below reaching out to climb on the lens. I don't know how it focused so closely!

I'd like to be able to trump these easily.

Here are a couple of my favorites I shot with a point and shoot CASIO.. Basically, I want to be able to achieve this and more with my K-30.
To be frank, I'm a little irritated at the quality of pics I could get from that point and shoot. It has trouble getting a focus right, but when it does, it sure looks good.. Anyway, I want to beat it. What should I do?








A little education on macro shooting or macro attachments would be in order to, so don't hold back, I'm a newbie


Last edited by Polioliolio; 05-02-2013 at 08:30 PM. Reason: spelling
05-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Adam did a side by side test not too long ago of the Tamron 90, Pentax 100 and a Sigma I think. You can also look in the macro thread and ask what is used if it is not already noted.

There is also a Lensbaby attachment that produces some nice results.
05-02-2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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For live insects longer focal length is better. You will still have problems with them flying away before you can get as close as you would like.. Your only option is around 100mm. Sigma no longer has a k mount for a longer focal length.

There are many lighting options including natural outdoor light. Light will play a big part in your photos. Give everything that is available a go. I like using off camera flash. I also use all manual control when using flash including manual focus.

Other people like using a tripod to use a lower shutter speed and greater depth of field.
05-02-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Adam did a side by side test not too long ago of the Tamron 90, Pentax 100 and a Sigma I think.
This is the link to the review: Tamron 90mm Macro vs Pentax 100mm WR: Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

The conclusion seemed to be that the Pentax had very slightly better image quality, but not enough to justify the significantly higher cost unless you needed the weather resistance.

Looking in the macro threads, it seems you can actually get some pretty good shots with a Raynox 150 mounted on the DA 55-300mm for $70. Might be worth trying that first, you could save a lot of cash if it meets your needs...

05-02-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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I love my MF 100mm f/3.5 Promaster (aka Phoenix, Cosina, Vivitar) with focus peaking enabled on the K-01 (which I believe the K30 also has). You can find new old stock on eBay for around $100.
05-03-2013, 07:37 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlaporte Quote
I love my MF 100mm f/3.5 Promaster (aka Phoenix, Cosina, Vivitar)
I have the same lens. It's a terrific performer that punches far above it's weight. Super sharp, beautiful color rendition, nice bokeh... There's literally nothing I can fault it for.
05-03-2013, 07:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlaporte Quote
I love my MF 100mm f/3.5 Promaster (aka Phoenix, Cosina, Vivitar) with focus peaking enabled on the K-01 (which I believe the K30 also has). You can find new old stock on eBay for around $100.
Yes, the K-30 has focus peaking as well. Took a peek on eBay but didn't find any copies for same right now.
05-03-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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Have a look at the Raynox club thread. A Raynox 150 on your 55-300mm would easily trump the results from your Casio, and at much longer subject distances.

A dedicated 1:1 macro lens will have superior IQ and is easier to manage than a lens + diopter, but more costly. Your 55-300 alone does 1:3 macro, so a 1:2 macro lens may not be enough of an upgrade. Subject distance is a major concern with insects, so you're best to go with a 1:1 macro lens, with a focal length around 100mm.

05-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #9
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Hey, thanks a lot guys!

A dedicated macro would be great, but I'm going to start with the Raynox 150. The Raynox club has plenty of people using their 55-300mm with it, and I'm pretty impressed. Hoping I can get some shots like that.
Had some points on my Amazon card too, so it was about 50 bucks.

Yay!
05-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #10
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A Raynox is a great place to start. I kept my Raynox 150 and 250 even though I have a D FA 100mm. They're handy for converting almost any lens into a quick and effective macro setup, and no lens change required.
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