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03-18-2015, 05:06 PM   #1
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Good short macro zoom for Pentax MX?

My wife says she'd like to try some macro photography of plants etc. with her Pentax MX camera.

We agree it would be best to start with something multipurpose and not-too-expensive.
Later if her interest becomes serious will purchase a fixed focal length macro lens.

For now we're looking for a small walkaround zoom 105mm or less with decent macro function,
i.e. 1:4 or better, preferably at maximum focal length setting.

An "A" lens would be a bonus, for possible future use with an AE capable body.
Pentax or third party is fine. Must be a manual focus lens; not interested in anything AF.

Any recommendation from you classic film camera users?

TIA,
Chris


Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 03-18-2015 at 06:04 PM.
03-18-2015, 06:24 PM   #2
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Chris,

If you already have something like a Pentax-M 50mm f1.7, a set of extension tubes would work really well, and is extremely cheap. Or, possibly a 2X teleconverter to make it a 100mm lens assembly.

-Joe-
03-18-2015, 06:34 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
My wife says she'd like to try some macro photography of plants etc. with her Pentax MX camera.

We agree it would be best to start with something multipurpose and not-too-expensive.
Later if her interest becomes serious will purchase a fixed focal length macro lens.

For now we're looking for a small walkaround zoom 105mm or less with decent macro function,
i.e. 1:4 or better, preferably at maximum focal length setting.

An "A" lens would be a bonus, for possible future use with an AE capable body.
Pentax or third party is fine. Must be a manual focus lens; not interested in anything AF.

Any recommendation from you classic film camera users?

TIA,
Chris
The A 35-105mm would be a good multi-purpose choice with a macro mode.

Adam
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03-18-2015, 07:14 PM   #4
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I would second that lens, it practically never leaves my film cameras.
If you stick A 2x teleconverter with the glass removed behind it, it becomes a WAY higher magnification macro with a minimum focus distance of zero when combined with the lens macro function. The zoom then becomes a focus (regular focus doesn't do much with extension tubes on) which is handy since you don't have to move your whole body to focus and can use a tripod easier.
You can an extension to knock the glass out of dirt cheap under lens accessories on KEH. I found a rare oddball sigma one cheap with A contacts that has bayonet mounted guts so the glass pops out easy to go from 2x zoom to super macro adapter.
There are several pictures on here taken with that setup (some are crops of the ones next to them and the spider was even taken using a film camera) and a picture of that sigma thing itself with the core removed and sitting next to it. PPPPPP42's Album: Pictures - PentaxForums.com

03-18-2015, 07:23 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I would look at the A24-50/4, or A35-70/4.
03-18-2015, 08:03 PM   #6
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I'm wary of manual focus era zooms. They are typically slow and the vast computer aided improvements in design that we take for granted today did not apply back then. If you get one make sure the range is modest and check the reputation. Remember that the lost f/stops make more of a difference in a medium where ISO 400 is about as fast as you will typically be shooting.

If zoom isn't a requirement then any A series normal lens with an extension tube or a closeup filter like a Raynox would work.
03-19-2015, 01:52 AM   #7
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Extension tubes, macro teleconverters or close up filters would work but are too fussy.
I sold my A 35-105. It's real sharp for a zoom but too big and heavy.
I may have the Cosmicar clone of the A 35-70/4 around somewhere...

Chris
03-19-2015, 04:17 AM   #8
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I think that either the A35-105/F3.5 or, if you want to go smaller and lighter, the A35-70/F4 would be good choices that meet your requirements.

03-20-2015, 07:38 AM   #9
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I acquired a very good copy of the Vivitar Series 1 28-90 mm f/ 2.8-3.5, at an unbelievably great price off of CL.



You can read more about it -> Allphotolenses - Vivitar Series 1 28-90 mm f/ 2.8-3.5. Links to manufacturer PDF there as well. The very complex 14 elements of 12 groups makes it a heavy 690g. Very good macro range.

There is one review on there and it states, "This unassuming little 28-90 is one of the sharpest zoom lenses ever made. Period." I have tested my copy on my K20D and the results wide open indicate that this lens exceeds the K20D's sensor at both ends of the zoom range. I will have to test further using TMAX100 to see just how good it is.

I just noticed it is well reviewed here too -> https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/vivitar-series-1-28-90mm-f2-8-3-5.html
03-20-2015, 09:54 AM   #10
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There were quite a few 28-80ish macro-zooms made.

I have three with A mode:

Vivitar 28-105/3.5-4.5 will do 1:5 "Macro" at 105mm. It is a push-pull zoom with a very short focus-throw. Required flange-removal for DSLR use. IQ isn't bad. 72mm filter thread.

Takumar-A Zoom 28-80mm/3.5-4.5 has "Macro" at 80mm. Of the three, this is my favorite for quickly zooming & focusing when using a motor drive. IQ is good. 58mm filter thread.

SMC Pentax-A 35-105/3.5 has its "Macro" mode available at all focal lengths. It provides the greatest IQ among these three and is the heaviest. 67mm filter thread.

Good luck in your quest.
03-23-2015, 12:48 PM   #11
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I had the 35-105 and it would probably be a sin to put something so heavy on a camera so small and light :-)
03-23-2015, 01:40 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jamey777 Quote
I had the 35-105 and it would probably be a sin to put something so heavy on a camera so small and light :-)
A SuperPROGRAM wasn't exactly a beast, was it?
03-23-2015, 09:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
A SuperPROGRAM wasn't exactly a beast, was it?
No, quite petite and svelte.


Steve
03-24-2015, 12:20 PM   #14
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Actually I did use mine on a super program, but OP said MX (which I have now). In any case I didn't even like that lens weight on my k-01 but it was better balanced.
03-24-2015, 03:21 PM   #15
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So much for a zoom.

I found an irresistible deal on a real clean A50/2.8 Macro lens.
It can replace my wife's M50/1.7, her usual walkaround lens.
The fixed focal length will be less complicated to operate.
I'm confident she will use it enough to justify the additional cost.

Thanks all for your suggestions and other input.

Chris
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