Looking for a general use quick lens with 'macro' capability


dinneenp

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 10:46
Hi,
I have a Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical lens and also a Pentax 100mm 1:1 macro lens. The macro lens doesn't get used much, I was thinking of replacing both with 1 if possible.
I know there's some lens (17-70 f2.8-f4, 28-75 etc.) that say 'macro' but how much better at closeups would one be than my current lens?
Can anyone recommend some options to replace my two lenses please?
I don't pixel peep so IQ isn't a deal breaker, obviously I'd like a sharp lens wide open but I'm open to all options (losing the constant f2.8, losing the 17mm focal length etc.); at the moment I'm just looking for options (and prices please, will probably go 2nd hand).
Thanks in advance,
Pa.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

johnriley

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 11:14
The 18-135mm WR lens focuses close, though not as close as your macro lens, has weather resistance, gives excellent image quality. All lenses should be sharp wide open, but of course some resolve more detail than others and some have a better edge performance than others. As a general purpose lens the 18-135mm should serve very well.
Best regards, John

Helpful

dinneenp

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 11:19
johnriley wrote:
The 18-135mm WR lens focuses close, though not as close as your macro lens, has weather resistance, gives excellent image quality..

Thanks. I hadn't considered it because of the aperture range- f/3.5-5.6.
I'm used to quick lenses (Tamron 17-50 f2.8, Sigma 30mm f1.4, Pentax 100mm f2.8, Sigma 70-200 f2.. The focal length is obviously great on it. In an ideal world I'd be able to try it (and other lenses) out for an afternoon and then decide.
I could try out my 70-200mm lens and keep it within the f/3.5-5.6 aperture range.
Cheers.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

Defragged

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 11:27
The older version Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro is also a very worthy consideration. F2.8 at its widest, focuses to under 8 inches, well built and still available used at a good price. link

Good luck.
C.O.L.B.A.S victim
(Compulsive Obsessive Lens Buying Addiction Syndrome)

What you need are lenses, more lenses, bigger lenses, better lenses, faster lenses, and when you have these, your pictures will be perfect!

RobL

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 11:32
The short as is that it won't. By definition a true macro lens gives a 1:1 ratio, like your Pentax 100mm macro. Other zoom lenses with a 'macro' setting generally don't and although you can get close-up it's not as close. I have the 100mm macro as well, and if you want macro then that or similar macro primes are best. I also have an 18-80 zoom with 'macro' but that doesn't come close (literally and image quality) and because of it's weight stays on the shelf. If you don't want to lose the macro quality the alternative might be a shorter focus macro lens, say 35 or 50mm. If you still want the zoom capability you might look at the new Pentax DA 18-50mm which is very compact; that means you would still have two lenses but would be less bulky than your present set-up.

Having said that if your 100mm macro doesn't get used much then you probably wouldn't want to splash out on another specialist lens.
Last Edited by RobL on 31/08/2015 - 11:36

dinneenp

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 11:52
RobL wrote:
The short as is that it won't. By definition a true macro lens gives a 1:1 ratio, like your Pentax 100mm macro. Other zoom lenses with a 'macro' setting generally don't and although you can get close-up it's not as close. I have the 100mm macro as well, and if you want macro then that or similar macro primes are best. I also have an 18-80 zoom with 'macro' but that doesn't come close (literally and image quality) and because of it's weight stays on the shelf. If you don't want to lose the macro quality the alternative might be a shorter focus macro lens, say 35 or 50mm. If you still want the zoom capability you might look at the new Pentax DA 18-50mm which is very compact; that means you would still have two lenses but would be less bulky than your present set-up.

Having said that if your 100mm macro doesn't get used much then you probably wouldn't want to splash out on another specialist lens.

I normally end up using my compact (Panasonic LX7) for macro. If you're out and about it's bother to change the lens for a close up shot. Unless you go out with macro in mind; which I don't. I just think it'd be nice to have as good close up ability as possible on my everyday lens.

On a side note I often wonder how much more bulk it'd add onto a lens to make it macro or very close to....
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

davidstorm

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 12:51
I would echo the recommendation for a Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4 HSM OS lens, the close focussing is pretty good and fine for everyday use on flowers, butterflies etc. No, it's not true macro but it's a good compromise. In addition, the lens itself is superb as a walkabout and is my most used lens. Good for landscapes, good for portraits, there's not much this lens can't do.

Regards
David
Flickr

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

MrB

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 14:03
johnriley wrote:
The 18-135mm WR lens focuses close, though not as close as your macro lens, has weather resistance, gives excellent image quality. All lenses should be sharp wide open, but of course some resolve more detail than others and some have a better edge performance than others. As a general purpose lens the 18-135mm should serve very well.

I agree with John.

If you rarely use macro, you might consider carrying a close-up lens to clip onto your everyday lens for occasional use, such as a Raynox 250. I don't have one, but you can see lots of examples of its results, e.g. https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=pentax%20raynox

Cheers.
Philip

Smeggypants

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 23:24
davidstorm wrote:
I would echo the recommendation for a Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4 HSM OS lens, the close focussing is pretty good and fine for everyday use on flowers, butterflies etc. No, it's not true macro but it's a good compromise. In addition, the lens itself is superb as a walkabout and is my most used lens. Good for landscapes, good for portraits, there's not much this lens can't do.

Regards
David

What David said. I have the Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5 version and love it.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

davidwozhere

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 23:30
I don't know anything about today's fancy lenses because I can't afford them so here's a cheapo list that you can buy off Ebay for under 20 and try them out anyway.
I'll bet you end up keeping them.
you might try a Pentax A series 35 - 70mm zoom. It's a great carry round lens with good IQ albeit not that fast at f3.5 - 4.5 but ISO 400 can deal with that if need be.
Pentacon's M42 fit f3.5 30mm is another really good one - razor sharp and capable of severe crops that you'd think were taken by a dedicated close up lens (the similar 29mm is a dud by comparison so leave it alone).
Also, If you sell your 100mm macro you will struggle find another so I'd hang onto it.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

jeallen01

Link Posted 31/08/2015 - 23:54
MrB wrote:
johnriley wrote:
The 18-135mm WR lens focuses close, though not as close as your macro lens, has weather resistance, gives excellent image quality. All lenses should be sharp wide open, but of course some resolve more detail than others and some have a better edge performance than others. As a general purpose lens the 18-135mm should serve very well.

I agree with John.

If you rarely use macro, you might consider carrying a close-up lens to clip onto your everyday lens for occasional use, such as a Raynox 250. I don't have one, but you can see lots of examples of its results, e.g. https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=pentax%20raynox

Cheers.

I have often used the 18-135 with a decent Hoya No 1 C/u lens with quite reasonable results in my last job.
Philip


K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 /"K-50" to a backup body), & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)
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