300 - want: A macro lens or a telezoom - advise please


Nimitz

Link Posted 05/11/2007 - 08:53
Ok - I sold some old stuff on e-bay and got a bit over 300 to spend on a lens (perhaps).

So far I got this:
K10D, A50mm 1:2 - M50mm 1:2 - M135mm 1:3.5 - Kit lens, FAJ 75-300 - Sigma 28-70 EX f2.8 and a vivitar 28-70 - a 28mm lens - Tripod manfrotto 055xpro with ballhead.

I was wondering to buy a flash - but not sure....probably wants a lens more than a flash. Either a macro or a tele (up to min 300mm). I do a lot of wildlife photos.

I do find the macro shot posted interesting.

This weekend we had a big photo show in Copenhagen. I was there

I had a talk with the Danish sales rep. regarding macro lenses (sigma). he told me the 70mm was the best selling atm. I thought it was the 105mm. Anyone know the difference - which one would you prefer?

I have read very good stuff about tokina/tamrom macro as well....So I'm pretty confused.

Besides macro I'm considering to replace the FAJ 75-300mm with a new and better tele. Still max is 300. I have read the other threads lately - but still unsure what to pick...

Any guidance is appreciated.
www.mieritz.net

hefty1

Link Posted 05/11/2007 - 11:41
I have the current Tamron 70-300 Macro (1:2) and the Pentax D-FA 100 Macro (1:1) and I can safely say there is no comparison! In terms of image quality the (dedicated) Pentax macro lens is far superior, however, the Tamron isn't terrible and it does give the extra flexibility of being a 300mm tele zoom.

The Tamron tends to retail for about 120 (or less) here in the UK and you do get a lot for your money! Many on here have the similarly specified Sigma 70-300 which costs about the same - I haven't used the Sigma but from what I've seen from other users I personally prefer the look of the Tamron, hence I chose it over the Sigma offering.

Either of these (Tamron or Sigma) zooms would give you the 300mm you want along with a usable macro mode. Neither are especially fast but then you'd need to spend a lot more money to get a quick 300mm lens! Best of all, you should have enough money left over to buy a Pentax AF360FGZ flash - a fantastic flash unit that will open up all sorts of new photo opportunities especially when used wirelessly with the K10D.

Alternatively, you could spend the whole 300 on the D-FA100 Macro which is a fantastic performer and will open up a whole new hobby as you find new ways to photograph things you'd never considered shooting before!
Joining the Q

niblue

Link Posted 05/11/2007 - 11:55
If I was doing a lot of macro I'd probably buy the Sigma 105mm as it's supposed to be very very good and it's about 100 cheaper than the Pentax 100mm macro.

I only shoot a bit of macro though so what I actually use most is a Cosina 100mm F3.5 macro (also sold with a Pentax badge on) that cost 37 used and is surprisingly good. The can usually be had for 100 or so new. Here is an example taken with it:



F3.5, hand-held



100% crop from shot above

I also use one of the Sigma APO 70-300 APO lenses and find it a good performer. It needs stopping down to F8 when at 300mm as it's soft wide open at the focal length, however it's pretty good elsewhere and the 1:2 macro is useful although not as sharp as with a dedicated macro lens. Here is an example taken handheld at 300mm with that lens:






100% crop from above.

If you shoot a lot of macro then 300 will get you an excellent lens - alternatively that case would easily get you both the lenses I mention if you want more flexibility. To get anything significantly better than the Sigma 70-300 APO (which is about 150-160 new) you'd have to spend a fair bit more - perhaps 410 for the Sigma 135-400.

ZaphodB

Link Posted 05/11/2007 - 12:31
All excellent advice above. A fast tele zoom with your budget isn't going to happen, unless perhaps you manage to find a good deal on a manual-focus lens.

Like others I can recommend the Tamron 70-300mm as a good budget tele zoom choice, perhaps the Sigma too although personally I feel it offers lower quality for more money... either way they are both decent lenses, but are unlikely to offer a huge improvement over what you already have. If you are after a really good or fast tele zoom, it might be best to wait and save a bit more.

On the other hand you can definitely get a macro tele prime within your budget. You may be able to find either the SMC-FA or SMC-DFA 100mm for within or slightly over your budget if you shop around. Personally I would look at the Tamron or Sigma offerings which will definitely come in under 300... either the Tamron 90mm or the Sigma 70mm or 105mm would be great choices and the choice really comes down to which focal length you prefer and which has the better look and feel for you (as always I suggest checking them out in a shop before buying if possible). For me it was the Tamron because I felt 90mm was a great length for either macro or portraits on both digital and film.

Mannesty

Link Posted 05/11/2007 - 14:11
Quote:
So far I got this:
K10D, A50mm 1:2 - M50mm 1:2 - M135mm 1:3.5 - Kit lens, FAJ 75-300 - Sigma 28-70 EX f2.8 and a vivitar 28-70 - a 28mm lens - Tripod manfrotto 055xpro with ballhead.

You could raise a bit more. You have 2 x 50mm 1:2 and 2 x 28-70's. Sell one of each (keep the A 50mm and the Sigma EX 28-70). They may not make very much but you'll get something for them and you'll have saved some space in your bag to make way for some 'new season' glass.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

niblue

Link Posted 05/11/2007 - 14:28
Mannesty wrote:
Quote:
So far I got this:
K10D, A50mm 1:2 - M50mm 1:2 - M135mm 1:3.5 - Kit lens, FAJ 75-300 - Sigma 28-70 EX f2.8 and a vivitar 28-70 - a 28mm lens - Tripod manfrotto 055xpro with ballhead.

You could raise a bit more. You have 2 x 50mm 1:2 and 2 x 28-70's. Sell one of each (keep the A 50mm and the Sigma EX 28-70). They may not make very much but you'll get something for them and you'll have saved some space in your bag to make ay for some 'new season' glass.

If you're buying another long lens then you could also sell the FAJ 75-300.

Malo1961

Link Posted 05/11/2007 - 15:59
Nimitz wrote:
I had a talk with the Danish sales rep. regarding macro lenses (sigma). he told me the 70mm was the best selling atm. I thought it was the 105mm. Anyone know the difference - which one would you prefer?


Hi Nimitz,

Back in the film days the 105 mm was considdered ideal for the photography of little creatures, who might be scared away because of the working distance you have to use with a 50 mm macro. The 50 mm was often used for static object and repro(stamps, coins, documents,etc...)
If you use the 105 mm macro with the cropfactor of 1.5 in mind you can get in trouble in spaces with not enough room to move. The 70 mm from sigma solves that problem. 70mm times 1.5 makes ......
Maybe you could do the following..... Buy yourself a chaep set of extension tubes to use with your best 50 mm and spend the rest of your budget on a good telezoom. The Sigma and Tamron are both good choices
IMHO.

Good luck with you search.
Martin

P,s, Just returned from your beautiful country, will soon post some pics of the east coast taken with my new K10D
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

Kim C

Link Posted 05/11/2007 - 16:07
If you want a good long lens and don't mind the limitaion of no A ring, I have a Pentax 200/2.5 and a Pentax 300/4 in the classified's.

Kim

Nimitz

Link Posted 06/11/2007 - 09:41
I'm really glad for all the help. Very good suggestions. Anyone know whats the price for a used faj75-300 - only used for about 50-100 pictures - so almost mint.

I will probably end up with a pure macro - I just have to figure if 70mm or 105mm is the best combo.

I would love the pentax 100mm but the price is just to high atm.

Some very good shots posted - thanks - haven't seen a cosina for a while - have looked for it though....
www.mieritz.net

Clarky

Link Posted 06/11/2007 - 10:04
I use a Tamron 90mm 2.5 AF macro and its a superb lens. I picked it up from the UK for 120quid Money well spent i believe.
Keep an eye out for the Vivitar series one and the Kiron 100mm Macros also I have read they are just as good and you can pick them up for not much money.
Camera:|K-7|
Pentax Lenses:|DA12-24/f4 ED AL|DA35Ltd Macro|FA31Ltd|FA77Ltd|FA50/1.4|F70-210|FA20-35 f4/AL|A*200/f4 Macro ED|A50/1.7|A50 Macro f2.8|1.7xAF adapter|
Voigtlander|125/f2.5SL Macro APO Lanthar|
Sigma Lenses:|EX DG 100-300 f4|2X & 1.4X TC|
Flashes:|AF540FGZx2|RingFlash AF160FC|

Nimitz

Link Posted 06/11/2007 - 10:38
Clarky wrote:
I use a Tamron 90mm 2.5 AF macro and its a superb lens. I picked it up from the UK for 120quid Money well spent i believe.
Keep an eye out for the Vivitar series one and the Kiron 100mm Macros also I have read they are just as good and you can pick them up for not much money.

Sounds like a good catch - I have looked at it - All reviews looks impressive. Just hate to buy it new

Ebay seems pretty empty for macro atm.....
www.mieritz.net

Nimitz

Link Posted 06/11/2007 - 10:52
Just a quick question: Whats the difference in the pentax FA and DFA 100mm Macro? Any noticeable difference optically or otherwise? (I cant figure if the FA is auto focus or not?)

Anyone used both?

Anyone know a reasonable price for the FA?

Sorry for all these questions ... really appreciate all the help
www.mieritz.net

niblue

Link Posted 06/11/2007 - 10:55
The Vivitar 55mm F2.8 (which isn't a Series 1 although apparently it was made my Komine which is supposed to be a good thing) is also worth a look as they're quite often cheap on Ebay, go to 1:1 and very sharp.

There are some example shots here (all shot wide open so bear that in mind!): http://www.pbase.com/niblue/vivitar_55mm_macro plus some more from it and the Cosina at
http://www.pbase.com/niblue/macro

The Vivitar is perhaps a little sharper than the Cosina although I tend to use the Cosina slightly more as it's still pretty good and being AF a tad easier to use.

Kim C

Link Posted 06/11/2007 - 11:03
The DA is supposed to be optimised for digital but both cover full format. The main difference is that the FA has the A ring whereas the DA doesn't. Not a problem on the K10 etc but if you have any older bodies, worth getting the FA. They seem to go for 200-250.

Kim

Nimitz wrote:
Just a quick question: Whats the difference in the pentax FA and DFA 100mm Macro? Any noticeable difference optically or otherwise? (I cant figure if the FA is auto focus or not?)

Anyone used both?

Anyone know a reasonable price for the FA?

Sorry for all these questions ... really appreciate all the help

Nimitz

Link Posted 06/11/2007 - 11:18
Kim C wrote:
The DA is supposed to be optimised for digital but both cover full format. The main difference is that the FA has the A ring whereas the DA doesn't. Not a problem on the K10 etc but if you have any older bodies, worth getting the FA. They seem to go for 200-250.

Kim

Thanks Kim - do you know if the FA is auto focus?
www.mieritz.net
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