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Old Dec 16, 2006, 9:07 AM   #1
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I need to find a camera that can give me great photos of my jewelry for web and promotional materials as well as taking pictures here in NH. I like to take B/W photos outdoors as well as color photos of flowers and scenery. Pretty much everything!
I have been out of the loop for a quite a while. My old camera is a Pentax bought for a class in B/W years ago so I am leaning toward a K100D since I can use the lenses. What is the best lens for the macro pictures? Would it be one I can find used? Money is a limiting factor. I will have alot to purchase over and above the camera. Tripod, lights, etc.
thanks for any help you all can give.
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Old Dec 16, 2006, 9:34 AM   #2
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The kit lens that comes with the K100D is quite capable of good macro shots.

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Old Dec 16, 2006, 9:40 AM   #3
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The K100D is well liked by Pentax users that have one, and you'd have the advantage of stabilization for every lens (which could come in handy for shooting macros, since your shutter speeds can get slow when stopping down the aperture for greater depth of field).

As for a dedicated Macro lens, you'd have better luck asking in the Pentax/Samsumg DSLR Forum for Pentax branded lenses.

In third party lenses, there a few choices that receive high marks from users.

Macro lenses are rated by their magnification.

A 1:1 (a.k.a., Life size or 1x) Macro lens allows you to fill the frame with a subject the size of your film/sensor. This is the most desirable for smaller subjects. A1:2 (Half Size or 0.5x ) rating means that it can fill the frame with a subject twice the size of the sensor. A 1:4 (0.25x) rating means that it can fill the frame with a subject 4 times the size of the film or sensor.

Most of the zoom lenses with "Macro" in their description are in the 1:4 category and are not considered to be "true" macro lenses by some users. But, many lenses have the ability to focus that close (and for flowers, that may be all you'll need). Filling the frame with an insect is one thing, filling it with a flower is another. ;-)

The kit lenses sold with most DSLR models can focus that close.

Consider distance to subject when buying a lens, too.IOW, it may be preferrable to shoot from further away to keep from spooking your smaller subjects (or to make it easier to compose). For example,a 100mm lens is liked better by some compared to a 50mm lens for macros.

A popular choice in a third party 1:1 Macro lens is the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro.

The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro lenses are also popular choices (extremely sharp lenses). Some of the older Tamron Macro lenses require an adapter to give you 1:1 Macro. The newer versions don't.

BTW, another way to get close is by using extension tubes. Some users take an ordinary 50mm and use a tube with it for closer focusing.

A budget choice would be something like the Vivitar 100mm f/3.5 Macro. You can find these at bargain prices and I've seen some nice pics from 'em posted by owners. They are 1:2 Macro without an adapter or 1:1 Macro with an included adapter.

Build quality leaves something to be desired. But, most users appear to like the image quality from them. They're sold under a variety of brand names (Vivitar/Phoenix and more). Here's an example of one:

Phoenix 100mm f/3.5 Macro in Pentax mount

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Old Dec 16, 2006, 10:28 AM   #4
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Thank you.
I am probably looking for 1:1 since my objects are rather small ie jewelry. I have a friend who uses a coolpix with the macro feature and is very happy with it for around $300. For a picture on a business card it is pretty good but in using them on the web I could see some degradation in the image as it was geting larger. I guess I could cheap out but in the long run I would still want for a better camera.
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