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Old Sep 15, 2008, 3:30 AM   #1
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Hello, I am looking to get into some close up macro work, I have been looking into different lenses but I figure i would ask and see what the favorites were. I have read about tele converters but don't have any experience with using them or what kinds of results they produce in the way of telephoto or macro photography. I am on somewhat of a budget so if you include what you picked it up for and that would be most helpful.

Also I am looking into a few different prime lenses old or new. I am not real familiar with the different pentax mounts and what type of adapter would be necessary to fit them. I have found some older lenses in shops/internet but just want to see how they will fit on my K10d. Any input is much appreciated. Thanks
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 4:50 AM   #2
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abieleck wrote:
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Hello,* I am looking to get into some close up macro work, I have been looking into different lenses but I figure i would ask and see what the favorites were.* I have read about tele converters but don't have any experience with using them or what kinds of results they produce in the way of telephoto or macro photography. I am on somewhat of a budget so if you include what you picked it up for and that would be most helpful.
I have FA100mmF2.8 macro and Tamron 90mm Di F2.8. Both are widely held except that the former has been discontinued for some time.
The latter one is available new at $350 after rebate (in the U S only). See my recent post on the Tamron re images.
The current Pentax macro is DFA100mm F2.8.

Daniel
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 8:08 AM   #3
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As far as old lenses go - any of them will work on the K10, but they will only maintain whatever capability they had new. Briefly, they are:

M lenses (such as Pentax SMC M 50mm 1.7) or K mount (such as Pentax SMC 24mm 2.8): manual focus, manual exposure (set the camera to "M" mode, set aperture on lens, pushgreen button which will temporarily allow the camera to stop down the lens and meter, manually focus and shoot)

A lenses (such as the Pentax A*300): Auto exposure, manual focus. Camera can control the aperture but you still have to focus manually.

F and FA lenses: Auto exposure, auto focus. Work the same way on the K10 as the DA lenses do. DA lenses are usually smaller and lighter since they are optimized for the smaller sensor and aren't designed to work on a film camera.

As far as macro goes, I like and use a Vivitar Series One 105mm macro lens that I bought on ebay. They aren't currently in production, mine was made by Kiron (a company that is no more) and is an "A" lens. It cost $250 a year ago.

An inexpensive option, not sure if they are still in production, is the Phoenix 100mm macro lens. I had the FA version (definitely not in production)but didn't think much of the auto focus - getting the manual focus model will save you money. They cost somewhere around $100 new several years ago. They are made of light plastic so seem somewhat fragile compared to more expensive models, but the optics are very good.
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 11:21 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info on the macro options and the different mounts. Other than the DA lenses made for the K10D, will I need to use any adapter to mount any of these different types of lenses?

Does anyone have any information on tele-converters? How they work with macro, focusing distance and sharpness ect? Any other suggestions on lenses are much appreciated, thanks.
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 2:09 PM   #5
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You don't need an adapter for any of the K-mount lenses (that's all of the ones I mentioned above). You do need an adapter with the M42 screw mount lenses (which also work, but will be completely manual, the camera can't even stop down the lens like it can with the K-mount lenses).

From my understanding, rear mounted TCs in general won't change the focus distance, it will just enlarge the picture by whatever the factor is (i.e., a 2X TC will make a 100mm lens like a 200mm lens). I don't have a TC at the moment, so I'm not entirely sure about how they work - hope someone who knows more than I do will chime in on this. They would be useful if you want to increase the focal length of a lens, but don't want to get any closer than the lens is capable of.

There are other ways of shooting macro, besides getting a macro lens. One way is with dioper lenses/filters. You add these to the front of the lens (make sure they have the right thread to fit your lens or buy rings as appropriate). Some of these are almost as expensive as a macro lens and excellent quality, while others are inexpensive and could make your picture softer. These will work better on lenses that are really sharp.

Another way is to use extension tubes. This doesn't introduce any extra glass, so your picture will be as sharp as the lens you are using is capable. The disadvantage of them is that you lose light (you've mounted your lens further away, like at the end of a black tunnel that absorbs light). You also have to remove the tube in order to focus to infinity.


P.S. - sorry about the typo, I'm always switching letters when I type. Kjell is correct - it IS M42.
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 3:12 PM   #6
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Hi abieleck!

I have the old SMC Pentax-M Macro 1:4 100mm, and I'm very satisfied with it. It's an all manual lens as Harriet explained in her reply. I don't think autofocus is very useful for macro shooting, at least I don't miss it and one quickly learns how to set the exposure with these (M and K) lenses. Most, if not all, dedicated macro lenses are very good optically. This one also works well for general photography, being as sharp as any good lens atlonger distances too.

The advantage of this one is price and weight.It goes for around 150 USD/100 EUR on ebay, and it's available every now and then. The lens was also made in an A-version, which goes for more. I didn't pay anything for mine, I bought a whole kit from someone, sold what I didn't want and was left with a small profit and this lens, a set of extension tubes (very useful also with a macro lens).

The downside with this lens is the f4 maximum aperture and maximum magnification being only0,5X. With extension tubes you get more magnification, at the expense of light meaning longer eposures.

All in all a very priceworthy lens even if you pay ebay prices.

The picture below was taken with this lens and extension tubes. It's a hazel flower, the whole bud is about 5-6 mm long in real life. I used a tripod to avoid shake blur. The camera is the 6 megapixel DS model, and the picture was slightly cropped. I think I would get more detail with my K20D camera.



Kjell



PS Harriet made a typo in her second reply. It should be M42 screw mount, which works with an adapter. DS

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Old Sep 15, 2008, 9:07 PM   #7
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My 18-55 Kit lens does a great job in close ups but for serious macro work I prefer the Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5. It gives a 1:1 macro without any diopters or extension tubes and is a fast lens at f2.5, which helps in lower light situations and lets you use a faster shutter speed to eliminate vibration caused blur. It has an "A" setting so it can be used in green mode or program or A priority mode and is a manual focus lens which really for macros is best. Mine was purchased for $249 plus shipping. They are not made any more but are sold on Ebay regularly for anywhere between $200-$350 according to condition and the bids that are offered. There are others that do a good job such as the Lester A. Dine 105mm f2.8, which is almost a carbon copy of the Viv series one. Also the suggestions above are good one as well.

Dawg

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Old Sep 16, 2008, 1:38 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone that has added to this post and provide some awesome and very useful information. If anyone has any other input keep in rollin! I will post some of my macro shots once I get the equipment set up. Thanks again!
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Old Sep 16, 2008, 1:21 PM   #9
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Hi, Some really good results can be had with the so called "Plastic Fantastic" the Cosina 100mm/3.5 ( Comes under other labels also ...Vivitar, Phoenix and others)

It's a relatively el cheapo macro lens, plastic body, but the glass is excellent, basically the lens on it's own gives a 1:2 image 1/2 life size, but it also has a screw on filter lens that gives 1:1 when required, It's worth consideration. ... Jack
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Old Sep 16, 2008, 4:29 PM   #10
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Some images (macro and non-macro) from my FA100mmF2.8. The color rendition should be the same as F100mmF2.8

















Daniel
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