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Thread: Which macro lens?

  1. #1
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    Default Which macro lens?

    Intend to get a macro lens, which one should I get? I intend to use it for casual portrait too.
    Budget is about $700-800+

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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post
    Intend to get a macro lens, which one should I get? I intend to use it for casual portrait too.
    Budget is about $700-800+
    Pentax 100mm D-FA for the win. Great quality, very good sharpness, plus contrast of typical Pentax lenses. What more can you ask for? I think it's available for around 745 but out of stock everywhere...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    If you want a lens just for macro, consider:

    http://www.cameraquest.com/Voigt%20SL.htm the 125/2.5. AF is almost pointless for macro, and the 125 is super super duper sharp (reportedly).

    Of course the lack of AF sucks for casual portraiture....

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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Although I love macros but I don't think I'll need $900+ lens just doing macro

    From what I read in dpreview, many said the tamron sp 90mm is sharper. Since Vulpix0r said there's no D-FA 100mm in stock, I guess I'll forget about it. So the only macro lens left is Sigma EX 105mm

    Anyone wants to comment on Tamron 90mm vs Sigma 105mm? or any other option?
    Last edited by longko; 21st March 2007 at 09:19 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post

    Anyone wants to comment on Tamron 90mm vs Sigma 105mm? or any other option?
    Pity the DFA100 is out of stock, otherwise it's a great macro lens. I've had all Pentax 100mm macro lenses (M, A, F, FA, DFA versions), and I like the DFA one the best (for its light weight, small size, easy use and great optical quality).

    If between Tamron 90 and Sigma 105, I'd choose the Tamron 90 Di for sure. It's smaller/lighter and optically it's probably abit better as well. I had the Tamron 90 Di for a very short while, but sold it off right after I got the DFA100/2.8

    Good luck.

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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post
    Although I love macros but I don't think I'll need $900+ lens just doing macro

    From what I read in dpreview, many said the tamron sp 90mm is sharper. Since Vulpix0r said there's no D-FA 100mm in stock, I guess I'll forget about it. So the only macro lens left is Sigma EX 105mm

    Anyone wants to comment on Tamron 90mm vs Sigma 105mm? or any other option?
    Need it urgently? If not just wait for stock to come in again.

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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulpix0r View Post
    Need it urgently? If not just wait for stock to come in again.
    Not really, just scare I spent the money elsewhere again Money can come and go really fast for my case

    Maybe I should invest in the AFZ 540 1st then lens comes later.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post
    Maybe I should invest in the AFZ 540 1st then lens comes later.
    Good idea! You'll need a good flash for macros

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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Thanks all for helping with my decision. Now to look around for the best deal BTW is DFA 100mm faster than Tamron 90mm?

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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post
    Thanks all for helping with my decision. Now to look around for the best deal BTW is DFA 100mm faster than Tamron 90mm?
    You better grab the 540FGZ flash from Cathay Photo soon, they won't get shipment again until June for the stupid flash!

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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulpix0r View Post
    You better grab the 540FGZ flash from Cathay Photo soon, they won't get shipment again until June for the stupid flash!
    Thanks. I may want to grab it from KL/Penang over the weekend. But must try contacting the shops see if they have stock

  12. #12

    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post
    Thanks all for helping with my decision. Now to look around for the best deal BTW is DFA 100mm faster than Tamron 90mm?
    What do you mean by faster? They both are F2.8 lenses. For an AF lens, their AF speeds are all quite slow due to the long travel distance (from min to max focal distance). Not a big deal for macro I guess. The Tamron has better built quality, feels more solid. But it's bigger and heavier than the Pentax one.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post
    Thanks. I may want to grab it from KL/Penang over the weekend. But must try contacting the shops see if they have stock
    If you go there, maybe you can help us get some of those sensor cleaning kit

  14. #14
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Have you considered a 50mm macro? With the crop factor it becomes an equivalent 75mm and can work as a portrait lens too for head/shoulders shots. I use this for product and people shots. Superb sharpness.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by creampuff View Post
    Have you considered a 50mm macro? With the crop factor it becomes an equivalent 75mm and can work as a portrait lens too for head/shoulders shots. I use this for product and people shots. Superb sharpness.
    how is this compared with the 50/1.4?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    Have you guys noticed that these macro lens take very unforgiving portraits? Pores, wrinkles and pimples just stands out.

    Didn't like that effect when I use my vivitar 100mm for some casual shots.

  17. #17
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    The 50mm f1.4 is a good all round lens and obviously excels in low-light handheld shooting and anytime you want narrow DOF at wide apertures. Like all macro lenses, the 50mm macro is optimised for flat field reproduction (great for copying and avoids the distorted nose effect on close-up portraits).

    Obviously it focuses closer, allowing 1:1 magnification. Speed wise, at f2.8, it is 2 stops slower than the smaller sized 50mm f1.4, not a problem for macro, however AF focusing speed is a little slower due to the wider focusing range. In terms of outright sharpness, the macro is the winner here.

    The 50mm macro is great as a general use lens, but I would still buy myself a 50mm f1.4 for the benefits of the wider aperture. When I used Minoltas and Nikons in the past, I used both macro and standard 50mm lenses depending on the situation. That said, to me the macro is a little bit versatile.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    The idea of macro lens if to see hairs on bugs

    50/1.4 is a portrait lens (low light). 50/2.8 is a macro lens which can also act as a portriat lens, but can be a little too sharp like what southernoise mentioned. But a layer of blur will soften it

  19. #19

    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    ah then need to PP... must create an softening action for all macro lens -> portrait.

  20. #20
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which macro lens?

    A long time ago Pentax did make the SMC Soft 85mm f2.2 soft focus lens.
    Knew of someone who took pictures with it with his LX. Very nice soft focus effect.
    A long time ago I had the el-cheapo Sima 100 f2 soft focus lens which also gave a very nice effect.

    I believe the forthcoming Pentax DA* 55 f1.4 SDM would be a better than the 50 f1.4 as a portrait lens due to the slightly narrower angle of view.

    Actually it is easier to make things less sharp, either by in-camera setting, filters or software. However if a lens isn't sharp enough, post processing ain't gonna help very much.
    Last edited by creampuff; 22nd March 2007 at 10:53 AM. Reason: spelling

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