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Old Dec 17, 2011, 2:23 PM   #1
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Default Vivitar Series 1 85mm 1.4 w/ macro extenders

So, I have a quick question about a lens. Right now I have a D1x body and a few lenses being a 50mm 1.4, a vivitar series 1 28-105 that I use most frequently. I am looking for a fast macro and was interested in something in the 85 to 135mm range. I love the series 1 vivitar I have now and was wondering if I could just get the newer series 1 85mm 1.4 and use a macro ring with it and get great results? Would that be better that getting the series 1 105mm 2.5 macro lens? The main focus for this new lens purchase would be for food photography. I like tighter shots, natural light, and a not-so-wide lens and a medium telephoto would allow for a narrow field of vision and give me some room to work on the food without being on top of it. So, that all being said, any opinions on using the super fast 85mm 1.4 with a macro ring(s)? The price on that lens is really nice and hard to pass up. Thanks... Ross
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 6:37 PM   #2
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First, it's a manual focus lens, and modern dSLRs don't have the kinds of focusing screens that have the tools necessary to ensure good focus.

Second, it doesn't support autoexposure, so you have to manually stop down the aperture.

Third, it's not a Vivitar Series 1 lens like your Vivitar Series 1 lens. It's made by Samyang, and is sold under multiple brand names like Bower, Pro-Optic and others.

Fourth, it suffers from a lot of field curvature until you stop down to at least f/5.6, which is pretty dim for macro work, especially since you have to focus yourself.

Fifth, extension tubes magnify the flaws in the lenses you use them with, and they cause light falloff too, so you'll be shooting macro in the dark whiel you're trying to focus.

I don't think that adds up to a very good solution.

I think I'd pay attention to the used market or eBay instead. KEH has a Canon 100/2.8 Macro lens in excellent condition for $379, which is about what you'd pay for the Samyang and extention tubes anyway.
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 8:49 PM   #3
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Default kinda what I thought was coming...

TCav.... thanks for the advice. Kind of what I thought was coming but thought I would get some secondary input. From what I was reading in other reviews and forums it seemed that the lens was well received and popular for the quality that you got for the price. Will look into another macro. Thanks again.... Ross
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