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Old Apr 5, 2010, 4:59 AM   #11
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JC,
Another cheap but effective macro setup is to use the Vivitar 2X macro focussing teleconverter with a standard 50mm lens (the faster the better), this can give a 1:1 macro shot, and is capable of first class results. ... Jack

: http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/macro3_shootout.html
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Old Apr 5, 2010, 5:45 AM   #12
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Hey Jack,

I've been looking for the Cosina 100mm however it is very hard to find, especially a used one. Now I'm deciding upon either the msc 50mm 1.7 with teleconverter or extension tube or de sigma 70-300 apo DG which I can get for a nice bargain (however without solarhood)

Any suggestions what to do?

Thanx
Carlo
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Old Apr 5, 2010, 11:22 AM   #13
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Hey Jack,

I've been looking for the Cosina 100mm however it is very hard to find, especially a used one. Now I'm deciding upon either the msc 50mm 1.7 with teleconverter or extension tube or de sigma 70-300 apo DG which I can get for a nice bargain (however without solarhood)

Any suggestions what to do?

Thanx
Carlo
Hi Carlo,
I'm surprised you didn't find the Cosina 100mm, it's usually pretty common, I can only suggest you look around under the different marks ie. search for Phoenix 100mm f3.5 macro lens, and just ring the changes on the name ... worth a try. On Ebay UK the manual version goes for around 50 GBP sometimes less, the AF version is more expensive nearer 100 GBP, but personally I wouldn't go for that model. Another excellent macro lens fairly commonly available is the Tamron 90mm f 2.5 that gives 1:2 macros or 1:1 with it's companion Extension tube or a 2X TC, tends to be more expensive though ... Take a look here ...

http://www.adaptall-2.com/lenses/52B.html

Hope this helps ... Jack
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Old Apr 5, 2010, 11:44 AM   #14
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I've searched for all the common names of the cosina branded 100mm macro lens but no luck.
Which option would you choose when considering the sigma 70-300 apo dg which has 1:2 macro and pentax smc 50mm 1.7 with a 2x tc? I can get the sigma for about $80 and the setup with the pentax and tc for about $60.
Note that I'm still a beginning photographer and will most often use the macro function without a tripod.

Your help is very much appreciated

Carlo
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Last edited by JC de Jonge; Apr 5, 2010 at 11:46 AM.
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Old Apr 5, 2010, 2:34 PM   #15
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I've searched for all the common names of the cosina branded 100mm macro lens but no luck.
Which option would you choose when considering the sigma 70-300 apo dg which has 1:2 macro and pentax smc 50mm 1.7 with a 2x tc? I can get the sigma for about $80 and the setup with the pentax and tc for about $60.
Note that I'm still a beginning photographer and will most often use the macro function without a tripod.

Your help is very much appreciated

Carlo
Carlo,
This is a 64$ question ... If you're thinking of macro only I'd favour the 50mm/1.7 + TC combination, but do be careful as to the TC you buy,if you're thinking of a fixed TC as opposed to the variable Vivitar unit the better quality (7 element ones don't come cheap) perhaps extension tubes would be a better option, but again quality isn't cheap especially the full auto types, you'd at least need a set that has auto stop down, the full auto ones allow the camera to read lens settings. My personal choice would probably be the Vivitar variable TC combined with the SMC-A or -M 50/1.7 this does work well. BTW there are 2 versions of the Viv TC one full auto, and one with just auto stop down, the first has contacts that allow camera to read lens info.

The Sigma 70/300 your second option is more versatile, and gives a wide range of applications, it's macro quality will be pretty good ( I've no experience of that particular lens), but I feel that TC/50mm would give marginally better results for macro, see what others think please, don't just rely on one opinion.

As far as experience goes I date to the days when everything was done manually, and the DSLR ( K100D) was my first introduction to anything auto, I've slowly got used to AF, but as far as macro goes, I stick to aperture priority, and manual focus + off camera flash on occasion. ... Jack
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Old Apr 5, 2010, 2:51 PM   #16
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My thought was to get the cheapest 2X possible (like $1.00 + shipping) and take the glass out of it, to turn it into an extension tube. I agree that the macro TC would be a great idea, but thought that would go out of his price range. If he gets an M 50mm f1.7 lens (which I personally like), he wouldn't care whether the TC had contacts for controlling the lens, as long as it was a K-mount it would have the lever so the camera could stop down the lens.

The Sigma is probably a better choice as it's a much simpler solution than the extension tube/manual lens. Adding extra pieces adds complication and more things to think about and when just starting out, its better to keep things simpler if possible. I started out with the home-made extension tube and 50mm but that's because I had everything from film days - the 50mm was my first lens and the lousy TC had belonged to my father. I tried it with two lenses and hated it - hopeless quality. It worked much better as an extension tube so it didn't bother me at all to sacrifice the glass. Later on I bought a macro lens, and occasionally use it with that home-made extension tube, or the 50mm reversed in front of it, so I don't regret starting that way. It also helped me understand the various options and how to combine them if I wanted, as well as forcing me to slow down and work at my technique for hand-holding and focusing by leaning in and out. I should also go way back and try to find Roy's thread about using a pole for added stability, it was really useful.
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Old Apr 5, 2010, 4:39 PM   #17
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Thanx again for your replies.
Each day I get to learn more and more about camera's and lenses
However I still have not made up my mind.
I also thought of another option.. is it possible to use a vivitar 2x TC on my current lenses e.g the DA 50-200? would that be a good starting point for beginning with macro?
The vivitar I'm offered is this one: http://verkopen.marktplaats.nl/photopopup/332084684/2
and I get a couple of asahi rings with it: http://verkopen.marktplaats.nl/photopopup/332084684/3

If this is any good I might just start with this and later on buy some more stuff.
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Old Apr 5, 2010, 5:55 PM   #18
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ahh that's kind of stupid, come to realise that my kit lenses don't have apeture rings so the tc won't be an option right??
so even with this tc and or rings i would need e.g a smc 50 1.7 ?
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 4:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC de Jonge View Post
Thanx again for your replies.
Each day I get to learn more and more about camera's and lenses
However I still have not made up my mind.
I also thought of another option.. is it possible to use a vivitar 2x TC on my current lenses e.g the DA 50-200? would that be a good starting point for beginning with macro?
The vivitar I'm offered is this one: http://verkopen.marktplaats.nl/photopopup/332084684/2
and I get a couple of asahi rings with it: http://verkopen.marktplaats.nl/photopopup/332084684/3

If this is any good I might just start with this and later on buy some more stuff.
Marco,
That Vivitar TC you linked to is the one I was referring to ( looks like a manual version), and with a 50/1.7 would be good, if you can get it at a good price it's an excellent start, the 50/1.7 is pretty easy to find in both SMC-A and -M, and not too expensive usually. The rings ( make sure they're at least auto stop down) could be used with other lenses, but not really necessary if you go for the Viv + 50/1.7 combination, which I'd recommend personally, I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed at results, having said that you'll find you scrap more shots than you keep with macro shooting, especially handheld, it does take a lot of practice, but it's all experience. ... Jack.

Edit:- I just checked the extension rings again, and this time it registered that they are a Pentax made item, so they should be fine, but usually pretty pricey.

Last edited by jachol; Apr 6, 2010 at 4:39 AM. Reason: Add info
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Old Apr 6, 2010, 9:19 AM   #20
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I just bought the vivitar 2TC and the extension rings (from the pictures) for about $25,-
And I believe I had a real good bargain with the smc 50mm 1.7 I bought it for about $40,- but I also got:
a Pentax ME
Panagor Autotelezoom f = 80-200mm;1 : 3, 8
Cullmann DC 25 Flash
Silgor automatic extension tube 24 mm
a 300mm Beroflex 8, 1 : 5.6, 62
Another medium range lens
And some filters and cases with it

Are the just mentioned products useful at all for my pentax k-x?

Can't wait to try out some macro

Carlo
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