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Old Oct 2, 2007, 8:48 AM   #1
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Has anyone used a Sigma 180mm f3.5 EX APO, any recommendations for similar length primes ( my wife likes the kids at the moment so I can't sell them to pay for a new lens.:G )
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Simon
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 9:22 AM   #2
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Sell the wife....Keep the kids!

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Old Oct 2, 2007, 9:15 PM   #3
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Hi Simon,

The Sigma 180/3.5 is a dedicated macro, and as such is really about the only game in town for the Pentax K mount. There is, of course the A* or FA* 200/4 Macros, but you'd have to sell more than the kids (and the wife) to get one, and be lucky as he!! to boot :-). The Pentax A*200/2.8 ED and the Tamron SP 180/2.5 LD (IF) Adaptall 2 are about the only lenses in the K mount that would compare, but both are manual focus and do not have the 1:1 macro capabilities. I have both of these, and they are stellar lenses. Both will probably be almost as expensive used (probably within a few hundred, USD), but you could get lucky. . . I did, at least on the SP 180. In AF, there's the FA* 200 ED (IF), but that's another rarely seen one that will probably make your family smaller. . .

Pentax has a DA*200/ (f2.8 presumed, and not a macro) coming out in the not too distant future (maybe within a year) according to their roadmap, and it remains to be seen, but I'm guessing that it's going to be a good one, tho I doubt it'll be cheap.

Surprisingly, two and maybe three manual focus zooms might work at the long end for this focal length. I have and use both the Pentax A 70-210 f4 and the Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 ED Adaptall 2, and both are very very good wide open at the long end. The third has a lot of followers, but I can't personally attest -- it's the Komine mfg Vivtar Series 1 70-210 f2.8-4. I have a Cosina mfg variant, and it's not even close to the optical quality of the the first two mentioned. Another one to consider would be the Pentax F 70-210 f4-5.6 -- which is probably the best consumer grade AF zoom in this range ever made, but it's quite a bit slower.

The A70-210 is very common, and can be gotten for less than $100 USD easily the best bang for the buck -- look on ebay. The Tamron SP 80-210 is not too commonly offered, and will typically cost significantly more, is pretty big and heavy, and you have to get a pretty hard to come by Adaptall 2 PK/A mount to get the most from it. The Vivtar Series 1 Komine variants are relatively rare, some are M types and some are A types, and they usually go for a significant sum considering their age and the fact that they are MF. The F 70-210 is also not that commonly available, but can be gotten for reasonable money, if you're patient -- just ask Kjell. . .

If you're not that concerned with max aperture and AF is a high priority, the Pentax DA 50-200 f4-5.6 ED is a great lens, possibly not in the same class optically as some of the above mentioned, but not too far behind, and it's very available, very small and light, and has very good AF performance if you have enough light. It's one of the few consumer grade lenses that uses ED glass in at least one of its lens elements.

I don't know how much this helps. . .

Scott


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Old Oct 3, 2007, 1:56 AM   #4
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There is also the Vivitar Series 1 105mm f2.5 macro lens. The viv is an auto aperture and manual focus lens but a true 1:1 macro.

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Old Oct 3, 2007, 5:34 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the advice.
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