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Old May 24, 2010, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default Old macro 1:1 lenses

more curiosity than anything... did any comapanies ever do any manual 1:1 macro lenses. i was going to save up and buy a 1:1 lense in a few months, but seeing as most of my super close up stuff has only ever been manual anyway, is there any older models that might still be about?
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:32 AM   #2
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there are bunch, the vivtar 105mm macro is a great manual aperture and focus macro lens.
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:33 AM   #3
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But they are almost the price of a good modern macro. Like the sigma 105 and the DA 100 macro.
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:52 AM   #4
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there are plenty, but you will have to look around a little to get a good price. the easy backwards compatibility of the pentax mount means that the manual lenses of good quality usually come at a premium.
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Old May 24, 2010, 3:17 PM   #5
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In addition to what Dustin brought up, there's enough Pentax shooters out there that availability is getting harder. Look around for a manual focus 100mm Phoenix/Cosina/Promaster (and I think there were others who sold this lens). They were all made by Cosina. The lens was very inexpensive to begin with (mine cost $120 new, and I had the AF version. I'd recommend saving the money and buying the MF version). The only thing you have to be careful of if buying used is to make sure that you get the matched adaptor that originally came with the lens. It does 1:2 without it, 1:1 with it and there's no degradation in quality because you have a "filter" in front of it. It's light-weight plastic, perhaps not the best build quality (that's where they saved money) but the optics are very, very good. I took some comparison shots with my old Phoenix and the Viv 105 when I first got the 105 and was surprised at how close the pictures were.
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Old May 25, 2010, 8:31 AM   #6
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My screwmount Vivitar (Komine) 90/2.8 macro cost me all of US$3 on eBay. But I was lucky. Heh heh...

A 'macro' lens in the 90-105mm range is useful for closeups, portraits, and general short tele work. So it's a multipurpose lens, and too often is priced high, often because of features that don't apply to macro shooting such as autofocus (AF) and speed. A major challenge in macro work is focus: depth-of-field is razor-thin at high magnifications, a fast wide aperture only thins it even more, thus focusing is difficult. And AF becomes unreliable. Why pay?

You may have read of less expensive ways to shoot macro: lens reversal / stacking; tubes and bellows; a Raynox DCR-250 or other quality adapter. When I'm not shlepping that heavy Vivitar (470g) around, I'll use a cheap apochromatic Industar-50 (60g, US$13) on macro tubes (60g, US$6) to good effect. For more magnification, I'll mount a mount a 100mm or 135mm primary, then use a thread-reversal ring to stack a 55mm or 35mm or 28mm secondary -- magnification is primary:secondary. If I'm lazy, I'll just slap the Raynox onto whatever I'm using. I like cheap approaches.
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Old May 28, 2010, 2:59 AM   #7
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Some choices to consider are the Tamron 90mm SP, considered by some to be one of the best macro lenses. Needs an extension tube to do 1:1 however and units with the tube are hard to find. Another one that will get you close, is very cheap for what you get and takes nice sharp pics is the Tamron 60-300 SP macro. Does 1:1.5 as is and 1:1 with a 25mm extension tube. Is a bit soft at 300mm when used as a regular lens but still quite usable and it is nice to be able to switch from macro to telephoto w/o changing the lens.

I'd also listen to RioRico as the cheap options are often very good. I have made a 2:1 setup using plumbing parts and a reversed 50mm Canon lens that could be duplicated for under $25. Use the lens in forward position and it's about 1:1. Stacking is also great though I tend to limit that to studio work because I prefer hand held in the field.

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Old May 28, 2010, 10:35 AM   #8
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The Vivitar 105mm or the 90mm Vivitar with it's matched adapter are the two I'd look out for but they will cost at least 200+ dollars. Well worth the cost though. Save up for one then shop Ebay. You'll usually find one of those posted any time you look. The Komine or the Lester A. Dine's are the same as the Vivitars. Only difference is the f/2.8 instead of the f/2.5 of the Vivitar branded one. Also you can look for a Vivitar 50mm Macro. An older lens and not as long a focal length but still a very good quality Macro lens.
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 2:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonholland89 View Post
more curiosity than anything... did any comapanies ever do any manual 1:1 macro lenses. i was going to save up and buy a 1:1 lense in a few months, but seeing as most of my super close up stuff has only ever been manual anyway, is there any older models that might still be about?
Really we should've asked this first, but what do you shoot macro? And would you use the lens for anything else? If you only want to shoot macro blowing $200+ on a 100mm lens that also does macro is a waste of money, there are much cheaper ways to get 1:1. OTOH if you're into insects 100mm may not be long enough, a 150 or 200mm that does macro and can be used with tubes to get 1:1 may be a better choice. Also, what sort of lighting are you planning on using? If you use a ring flash then a reversed lens is harder to use. If you can use natural light or off camera flash then a reversed quality 35mm on a tube will get you 1:1 for little and will weigh next to nothing. Anyway, I just thought I'd throw these ideas and questions out there. Best of luck with whatever you decided to get. I'm sure you'll have fun with it.

John
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Old Jun 3, 2010, 4:24 AM   #10
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just a caveat, don't overestimate the power of extention tubes with long lenses.

ex. a lens of 200mm, that does a magnification of 1:2 (0.5) will give you a magnification of 1:1 if you add an extention tube of 100mm.

the longer the lens the less inpact of the extentiontube, a 50mm lens with a magnification of 1:2 (0.5) will give you with an extention tube of 50mm a 3:2 (1.5) magnification.

The math isn't 100% true but close enough.

Ronny
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