Macro lens options


Harlequin

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 13:03
I'm looking to upgrade my partners current gear with a particular emphasis on a macro lens (1:1 or better). Her current kit is a Kx and cheap Tammy 70-300 + 18-55 kit lens

In my head I'm thinking second hand K30 + either Pentax 100 (I have this and am most happy) / Sigma 105 or something along those lines - This option would be relatively costly and I'd consider it an expensive birthday treat!

On the lower end of the spectrum I'd consider an old, considerably cheaper but optically good manual lens - I've no idea what this could be.

There's quite a few variables in there so all opinions appreciated

Thanks
John

Marselus

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 13:17
Some while ago i was thinking about same thing ( i mean macro lens) and been advised to have look at Sigma 70mm f2.8 EX DG macro. It is great lens if you dont mind its bulkier size. Have look at it.

LennyBloke

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 13:32
Personal favourite is the 100 WR, but if you want to avoid duplication (with your 100) you might want to consider the DA35/2.8 Limited Macro - compact, light, top IQ, and they can be had for around 250 second hand quite often.

The older F and FA series macros (50 or 100) don't appear too often nowadays - but can be a fair price when they do.

The A series 50mm is often a good buy (I know where there's one for 150 if you want to pm me) but is only 1/2x magnification, so you might want tubes to go with it.
LennyBloke

swarf

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 14:31
Worth considering the Tamron SP 90 F2.8. It's a true 1:1 macro and produces super quality images and it's a lot cheaper than the Pentax 100mm - BUT it's not WR.

Phil
K-5iiS; K-r; ME Super; ME; DA* 16-50 f2.8; DA 18-135 WR; DA 55-300 WR; HD DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited; FA 50mm f1.4; A50mm f1.7; DAL 18-55mm; M40mm f2.8; + assorted non-Pentax lenses

My Flikr Page link

Darkmunk

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 15:00
Yes, the 35 ltd is absolutely lovey and a versatile standard(ish) lens.
or this?


Just bought an El-Nikkor 50mm 2.8 enlarger lens, 15. Still waiting for the enlarger, so I attached it to the tubes with the helicoid from a broken fuji
About twice macro like this...
No, get the 35 ltd
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Epithet Man

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 19:36
I'm also pondering a similar question (35 Ltd vs 100 WR) but for my own birthday (in any case, my wife's only interest in cameras is how much money I spend on them plus an occasional request to take a picture of the children in unpromising light).

Do you find subject to lens distance to be an issue with the 35mm?

Thanks,
EM

Offertonhatter

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 19:45
There are lots of permutations out there really.

Default choice would be the DFA-100mm F2.8 Macro WR. I don't have one but from I have seen it is an epic lens. Weather sealed too.

On the other hand, the Sigma 105mm F2.8 Macro is another stunner, and actually the default lens used by AP magazine for testing camera bodies. Why? it is the only one on all mounts, and again it is an epic lens.

Tamron 90mm F2.8 is another fantastic lens, and if you decide this is the one, get it while you can as Tamron have brought out a newer version with VR but not on the K-mount.

Second-hand.
Well I do have a couple of pre-owned Macro lenses, for a decent price.
The aformentioned Sigma 105mm but not DG spec, not that it matters.

And the second beauty:-

Tamron 90mm F2.5 SP Macro. Manual only, 1:2 ratio, but mine came with a 2x 1:1 converter, making it a 180mm F5 macro. Very slow to use (its a macro) but built like a tank and stunning in its sharpness. Cost? 120 with converter. Bargain really.

One thing though with this lens, ensure that you set the WB to anything other than Auto, as the camera can be fooled for some reason. Mind you if you set to daylight, cloudy, shade etc, no problem at all.

Worth looking for, and there are plenty about.
Some Cameras
Last Edited by Offertonhatter on 27/03/2014 - 19:47

Offertonhatter

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 19:51
Epithet Man wrote:
I'm also pondering a similar question (35 Ltd vs 100 WR) but for my own birthday (in any case, my wife's only interest in cameras is how much money I spend on them plus an occasional request to take a picture of the children in unpromising light).

Do you find subject to lens distance to be an issue with the 35mm?

Thanks,
EM

Horses for courses really.

If you are intending to shoot insects, then longer is better as you don't spook the insect. Shorter is better for fawna.
On the other hand, having a 35mm Macro is better for general use and shallow DOF where a normal 35mm or indeed a 50mm will only allow you to get within 1.5 feet of a subject
Then again having a longer focal length macro like the 90, 100 and 105, double up as superb portrait lenses.

Like I say horses for courses.
Some Cameras

davidstorm

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 20:25
I have owned and extensively used both the Sigma 105 DG EX Macro and the Pentax 100 F2.8 WR (still got the Pentax). Both of these lenses are true stunners, but for different reasons.

- The Pentax is a magnificent macro lens, extremely sharp, great colours and contrast and would be my default choice for macro work

- The Sigma is also a very good macro lens, not quite in the same league as the Pentax, but it does have more subtle colour rendering and better bokeh which make it an absolutely stunning portrait lens and probably the better 'all rounder' of the two

I wouldn't know which one to recommend without understanding what it will mainly be used for, but I can say that both are brilliant and well worth spending your money on.

I wouldn't look any further than one of those two.

Regards
David
My Website http://imagesbydavidstorm.foliopic.com

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Defragged

Link Posted 27/03/2014 - 21:16
Another inexpensive route to the introduction of macro photography would with my Panagor Macro Coverter which can be perused at here:- link and should your partner find macro isn't for them, then you won't have wasted a small fortune either....

Whatever!... 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!

LennyBloke

Link Posted 28/03/2014 - 08:08
Epithet Man wrote:
....Do you find subject to lens distance to be an issue with the 35mm?

Offertonhatter has pretty much covered it, and I'd agree with his wise words If you come from a 35mm film background the DA35 will probably feel a bit more "natural" to you (equiv to 50mm), if they were to add WR to it I would "upgrade" mine in a shot. The WR100 is significantly longer and gives you that extra bit of camera to subject distance (for nervous insects) and although a little long for traditional portraits you'll probably find it excellent for shots of he children running around in the garden. The only problem you will come across is when it misses focus and hunts to the extremes of the focus range before locking, this can be a little frustrating and is where a focus limiter would be useful
LennyBloke

Smeggypants

Link Posted 28/03/2014 - 08:39
Darkmunk wrote:
Yes, the 35 ltd is absolutely lovey and a versatile standard(ish) lens.
or this?


Just bought an El-Nikkor 50mm 2.8 enlarger lens, 15. Still waiting for the enlarger, so I attached it to the tubes with the helicoid from a broken fuji
About twice macro like this...
No, get the 35 ltd

Like 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

Algernon

Link Posted 28/03/2014 - 09:05
Enlarger lenses should be reversed for Macro.
Nikon is OK but some makes flare up quite easily.

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

Darkmunk

Link Posted 28/03/2014 - 09:32
I tried it reversed but the difference was negligible, so I chose the best fit, which probably has more impact on quality, as it keeps everything square.
This lens is well regarded. This one is definitely sharp, but it only has 8 aperture blades and colour and contrast are poor, by camera lens standards, so I'm still on the lookout for others
I started a thread here:
Heath Robinson Macro

Back to the OP:
Have you seen this?
35mm macro Ltd for sale
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Last Edited by Darkmunk on 28/03/2014 - 09:39

Harlequin

Link Posted 28/03/2014 - 10:19
Thanks all so far. In response to a couple of questions this will be for bugs and flowers etc and not for portraiture. I'd also prefer to stay away from anything 'fiddly' to setup as she most definitely isn't a patient person lol
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