I want to try Macro


gwing

Link Posted 11/07/2013 - 16:48
1947lcs wrote:
Just spotted this for 35

SMC PENTAX-A ZOOM 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 PENTAX K MACRO LENS

???????


Les

That lens would be 'macro' in a marketing sense rather than technical. Zooms called 'macro' aren't really macro lenses but just general purpose zoom lenses that can focus reasonably close. These are useful and if that is what you want that's fine, but to get real macro reproduction sizes you will want either a specialist fixed focal length macro lens or something else (preferably an older prime with an aperture ring) combined with some combination of extension tubes, macro converters, reversing rings or bellows.

For a cheap but good start look for something like an M50/1.7 and a cheapish set of auto extension tubes. Then afterwards if you want more extreme magnification add a moderate wide angle (say 28mm) and a reversing ring and you will have an unbelievably versatile macro kit which doesn't have to cost much. Plus the lenses are useful in their own right as well as for macro work

For less faff but also less flexibility and slightly higher price get something like one of the older Tamron 90mm adaptall SP macro lenses - there isn't really much advantage in spending money on the modern AF lenses for this sort of work.

GaryJohn

Link Posted 11/07/2013 - 17:27
[quote:3496ace15f="1947lcs"]Just spotted this for 35

SMC PENTAX-A ZOOM 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 PENTAX K MACRO LENS

???????

The F version with autofocus is available on eBay for 30 BIN + postage. Cracking little lens for the price

CIBarker

Link Posted 11/07/2013 - 19:16
Either pentax 35-70 paired with a set of tubes will produce impressive macro, in the technical sense, results. I prefer a macro with a broad focus ring for the most part I'm manually focusing even with an AF lens.

davidstorm

Link Posted 11/07/2013 - 22:10
gwing wrote:
davidstorm wrote:
How did you control the aperture on the 55-300 Roger? Do your tubes have the aperture control, as mine don't, so I can't use them with the 55-300 as it has no aperture ring.

Regards
David

You need a better set of tubes then

They only cost me 8 on ebay and are superb quality Japanese made Chinon tubes, that although they don't have aperture control do fit extremely well with no chance of getting stuck on the camera or lens. I don't feel I need the 'A' control as I usually use the tubes in conjunction with prime lenses that have an aperture ring, so no need for me to spend more. I find I get excellent images from something like my K55 F1.8, or my M50 F1.4, when used at between F11 and F16.

I do think that a good starting point for learning macro is to use an older 50mm lens with tubes, or reversed, as it's great fun and usually gives excellent IQ.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

martoto

Link Posted 11/07/2013 - 23:07
I think Raynox is a very good introduction into macro photography on a budget. However it is far more easier to work with DCR-150 compared to DCR-250, because the latter has quite strong magnification and the dof is really thin.

Gamka

Link Posted 11/07/2013 - 23:16
1947lcs wrote:
I want to try some Macro shots but don't have a suitable lens. What recommendations re a lens on a budget. I have seen all prices both new and 2nd hand but really need some advice. Don't want to pay hundreds. Camera is a K-r and the shots would be flowers, insects etc.

Thanks

Les

I have an A series 28-80 Macro going spare - and open to silly offers! It is not, as already said about the zooms, a true Macro but can be a starting point.

Mandrake

Link Posted 11/07/2013 - 23:51
While not truly "macro", the kit 18-55 focuses surprisingly close and actually gives better magnification than a fair few "macro" zooms. That's a very easy starting point for flowers and bigger things like that. You could couple that with a close-up filter for a very cheap set up to see if macro is something you want to spend more time/money on.

The kit lens doesn't have an aperture ring though, so if you go down the extension tube route then you'll need ones with the aperture contacts and they're relatively rare.

Here are a couple of examples from the kit lens with no extra attachments:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/simon_morgan/8466407200/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/simon_morgan/8524352911/

In the end though, after considering all the options I just went and bought a brand new Tamron 90mm Macro and love it!
Simon

My online scrapbook: http://smxc.co.uk
Last Edited by Mandrake on 11/07/2013 - 23:51

walt

Link Posted 12/07/2013 - 12:38
I'd say the raynox DCR-150 would be a very good intro to macro photography on your 55-300, it will clip on and off in seconds and does a very good job. I don't have the 55-300 but a while back I asked about the raynox on it and was told it does vignette a bit at mid focal length settings. I've used the 150 and 250 very happily on a number of lenses, it works best on telephoto zoom lenses not standard zooms. They seem to be around 48 at the moment. The other option is the canon 250D or 500D achromatic close up lenses that screw on the front of the 55-300 lens, they are very good, the 500D being half the magnification strength of the 250D and the 250D being similar to the raynox dcr-150. They seem to be going around 74-78 new at the moment for 58mm thread that should match your 55-300. I use a sigma +1.6 dioptre achromat (the 250D is +4 and the 500D is +2) as well as the raynox's and I use macro lenses or extension tubes or reversing rings. My gallery at link has some examples in the butterflies, insects and dragonfly galleries if your interested.
The other good source of info on achromatic close up lenses is link
For a low cost good quality macro and closeup I think achromats are perfect.

1947lcs

Link Posted 12/07/2013 - 17:21
Thanks to everyone for the advice. I now have to think it all out. I may well start with a reversing ring. I wanted to take closeups when out walking so I may also get a Pentax F 35-70mm just to try. They seem cheap and have good reviews. There are just so many ways to go so I best start experimenting. If I get hooked and take something I think is worth it I will post it for C&C.

Thanks again.

Les
K5, DAL18-55,SMC 50mm f2,DA 55-300, SCM F 35-70 and all the help I can get.

ajp8422

Link Posted 16/07/2013 - 09:55
I have recently bought the K5II and am delighted with it, I have been experimenting with macro and decided to use one of my older manual lenses, the Pentax 55mm f1.8 which I have coupled with a Teleplus 2x with macro converter (which cost me 50 from e-bay), This is also totally manual and is giving excellent results, I use some fill in flash as well, the only slight downside is that I need to take two or three test shots to start with but as an inexpensive set up I am please as punch.

Mongoose

Link Posted 16/07/2013 - 18:24
another vote for a reversing ring and an f-35-70, the zoom acts as focus when reversed making it more convinient than my other preferred option which is an M series 28mm

if you get hooked, look out for older manual focus macros. Much cheaper than modern ones and the quality is excellent almost across the board. I'm not aware of an optically bad macro prime, although some of the cheaper ones sacrafice build quality and therefore may not have aged well.

I use a Tamron Adaptall 90mm f/2.5 with a KA adapter and occasionally a 2x converter. Lovely lens and makes a good short telephoto as well. Only problem with it is it only goes down to 1:2 without the converter or an extension tube, so strictly speaking it isn't a true Macro lens. Also the KA adaptors are like hens teeth.
you don't have to be mad to post here



but it does help

davidstorm

Link Posted 16/07/2013 - 21:36
Be aware that if you use a reversing ring with something like a Pentax-M 28mm, it becomes extremely difficult to get shots in focus, if you are shooting things that move about 'in the wild'. The depth of field with such a lens when reversed is wafer-thin to say the least. It is much easier with a macro lens, or even something like a 50mm standard lens with tubes or bellows, but the results with a reversed 28mm can be spectacular when you get it right!

Another good option is a teleconverter with a macro lens attached, or a macro teleconverter with a standard lens. You will lose a bit of light and a bit of sharpness (not very much sharpness if the lens and TC are good), but good results are readily achievable.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

1947lcs

Link Posted 31/07/2013 - 10:42
Just an update and a question. I have purchased a Pentax SMC A 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 with Macro setting which should arrive on Friday. When I put this on the camera it will ask for a focal length to be entered. As its a zoom what should I put in or will I need to constantly adjust it. Have also borrowed a set of extension tubes to use so hopefully I Will be experimenting over the weekend

Les
K5, DAL18-55,SMC 50mm f2,DA 55-300, SCM F 35-70 and all the help I can get.

Mongoose

Link Posted 31/07/2013 - 10:55
if you want to use the SR and have it as effective as possible you need to put in the focal length you are using. Most Macro zooms will only go into "Macro" at one focal length (either full wide or full tele). I've not used the SMC-A 35-70 so not sure, but I'd guess you'll be at 70mm when doing "macro" with it.
you don't have to be mad to post here



but it does help

johnriley

Link Posted 31/07/2013 - 11:16
An A lens has electronic contacts, so it shouldn't ask for the focal length. Some of the cheaper Takumar-A lenses do though.
Best regards, John
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