Pixels or Glass?

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Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 07:55
Glass trumps camera generally, but in your case you have a specific requirement that a new camera won't help you with much, except to provide higher resolution for the crops.

Another option would be to get a K5 mkII and an AF macro lens such as the Tammy 90mm or Sigma 70 or 105mm. That should set you back about the same amount as a K3.

Your other option would be to go for a cheap manual macro lens. Of the Pentax ones, the M 50mm f/4 is the most common and cheapest, though there are plenty of third-party options too.

Even cheaper would be extension tubes. I have some but I've only really used them on my M 85mm, where they performed superbly, but focus is tricky, even with a Katzeye screen installed.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

Jim-w

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 08:23
How about the Sigma 70mm DG macro, rated very highly on review sites, scores very high for IQ. Mine seems to be permanently stuck on the front of my K5, for macro, portraits, almost anything, I even shot a wedding almost entirely with this lens. This lens on the front of your more than capable K7 would do flowers, scenery and family portraits very well indeed, and leave more than enough cash left over to buy me some new wheels for my vw camper for offering this sound advice
I better offer some negatives for this lens also, focus speed can be a bit slow, but I believe this is the norm for macro lenses, personally I don't find it a problem it has a limit switch and pre focusing manually to roughly the distance needed then switching to AF generally stops it hunting, this is of course when photographing things like kids that cant keep still for two seconds. Flowers of course are not a problem as they tend not to run around as much. The only other very minor neg is its not WR. Check out the reviews Nigel I know you love that technical stuff.

Jim.

ChrisA

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 08:25
dougf8 wrote:
Aperture tubes will cost as much as an AF Cosina 100mm.

I hadn't thought of that.. the only ones with all the contacts I could find on eBay is indeed a lot more expensive than I thought.

Mine are Jessops PK/A ones which I paid about £30 for, and they originally had a contact missing so I had to scratch a bit of paint off to get full aperture coupling.

Two minutes work, and they've been perfect ever since. I'll be holding on to them if 'proper' ones are over £100.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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redbusa99

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 09:14
agree with David Storm K5-11s + 90- 105mm Macro if it is affordable ,these lenses are also good for other subjects apart from macro.
this was done with a Teleplus x2 Macro converter on my FA50 f1.7 using catch in focus, a cheap way to macro for me as i already had the lens so just £30 for the converter, i think it did a reasonable job the beetle is about 1/2 inch long. i would imagine any of the Pentax 50's would work well with it.



K3 II and the odd lens or 2

Flickr
Last Edited by redbusa99 on 31/05/2014 - 09:15

charlottef

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 09:15
You can pick up 2x teleconverters with contacts for 20-30 quid, remove the glass and you have a cheap extension tube with aperture control from the camera.

_______

I'm not sure I see the point in spending £900. odd for extra MPs just to crop most of them out tbh.

As has been saide, there are loads of brilliant lenses you can get for that amount of money and you'd still have change for a second hand K5.

Tak 55mm 1.8 sharp, beautiful colour rendering lovely for flowers - mine cost me £10.

K55 f2 lovely for flowers as well.

Vivitar 55mm Macro I really regret selling mine. goes to 1:1 for insects, lovely in every way and makes a half decent landscape lens as well.

Sigma 50mm macro manual version ditto above although easier to use.

Sears 135 2.8 with Macro Zone - fantastic for flowers absolutely amazing lens - has a lot of personality and take a bit of getting used to though.

Vivitar 135 close focus lens I haven't used the Pentax one but I have it for my Nikon and it blows my socks off. The colours from this lens along with the sharpness is phenominal.

The Plastic Fantastic Vivitar/Cosina/Pentax 3.5 Macro. I had the Pentax version and tbh the only difference between this lens and the DFA 100mm 2.8 macro is the fact that it only opens to f3.5 and only goes 1/2 it's a tad sharper I think and the pictures are slightly more contrasty.

Pentax f 35-70 has a Macro zone take lovely flower photos and is a very useful sharp contrasty walk about lens as well.

Sigma 70-300 macro the first few photos in my PPG portfolio were taken with that lens doesn't go 1/1 obviously but takes lovely piccies.

I've owned all of the above so these are just my personal opinions - as always others will have different veiws.

Kind regards
Charlotte

ChrisA

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 09:24
redbusa99 wrote:
...i think it did a reasonable job the beetle is about 1/2 inch long...

I think this is an example of exactly the problem the OP is attempting to solve:

McGregNi wrote:
My telephotos will not focus very closely, leaving my subject occupying only 20-40% of the frame in many cases.


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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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McGregNi

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 09:30
Just to be more specific, here's a few of my shots with the current gear - K7 & Tamron Adaptall 135mm f2.8 :




















Because the Tamron doesn't focus very close, these are all significant crops on the K7 - at least a factor of 1.5, maybe even 2.0 for some. I think both the camera and lens have done rather well, but the question is this ...

Would these shots look much better with the same lens taken on a K3 and cropped the same?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 31/05/2014 - 09:31

ChrisA

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 09:36
McGregNi wrote:
Would these shots look much better with the same lens taken on a K3 and cropped the same?

Much better?

Very unlikely.

A bit better, maybe.

I still reckon tubes or a Raynox is a much better way of getting closer on a sensible budget. It's a virtually zero-cost experiment, since you can resell them if you don't like them.

Doug's earlier point about needing a lens with an aperture ring if the tubes don't have the contacts is a good one, but even at 120 quid for the expensive tubes I linked earlier, you then have the flexibility of using almost any lens.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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matwhittington

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 09:47
You could look at whether you can rent a lens, or a K3, and do a little experimenting (I think that SRS does pentax rentals, although I have no idea how much it costs). My personal favourite lens for things like flowers is a DA ltd 35mm macro - a mini-wonder. You can get them pretty reasonably I think (certainly second had, like mine was) and wouldn't hesitate to recommend that lens, although it'll be more than a raynox/tubes etc. but a lot less than a K3... I've been using mine a fair bit recently and there'll be a load of pics taken with it on my flickr if helpful (albeit taken with a K3)

Cheers
Mat W

My Flickr: link
Last Edited by matwhittington on 31/05/2014 - 09:48

doingthebobs

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 10:03
How about a DA16-45.
It is a great lens, constant aperture, close focus and ideal for flower pictures. Seems to have been sidelined now as other lenses have come along but prices are such that it has become extremely good value for money second hand. Not a macro lens but it close focuses and would be ideal for flowers.
Bob

gartmore

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 10:30
I think extension tubes and a decent prime, definitely not a zoom is the way to go, for a very small amount of money you should invest in a big white diffuser.

See the the thread in Mirrorless Cameras about extension tubes for the Q, there is mention of K mount one as well.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

dougf8

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 10:42
By the way, my research and comments from others indicate "there are no bad macro lenses". Also if you buy at the market value, you can sell at the same price just losing postage.
Lurking is shirking.!

Gravelrash

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 13:41
I have already had my say but as always thr truth is possibly somewhere between your options.

I only say this because I think that reading the other comments I agree with a middle ground. Hogboy is advertising a K-5iis and the idea of that and some top glass would really be my choice.

I dunno what the price of a new iis would be but splitting £900 half and half looks very attractive and Hogboy's camera sits neatly in the middle.

I initially ordered a K-3 from SRS but then cancelled the order to go for their K-5ii and 18 - 135 bundle. I would have gone for an "S" but that wasn't an offer then. Just sayin'
Steve

Sometimes I'm serious and sometimes not, but I consider sarcasm an artform. Which is it today?

dpm

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 14:12
^ I'd agree with Steve here. I noticed a big difference in general usability going from K7 to K5ii; nothing about the K3 really sells it to me in comparison.

McGregNi

Link Posted 31/05/2014 - 14:28
Jonathan-Mac wrote:
Glass trumps camera generally, but in your case you have a specific requirement that a new camera won't help you with much, except to provide higher resolution for the crops.

Thats exactly the point I want to explore in so far as it compares relatively in terms of extra IQ potential.

Will the extra resolution for the crops on a K3 equate to similar IQ from a better lens used on the K7? Apart from the focus distance issue, the lenses I'm using perform rather well I find....
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 31/05/2014 - 14:28
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