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Old Aug 17, 2010, 4:25 PM   #1
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Default Macro for K-x

I have a K-x. What would be a good macro lens for shooting extreme closeups? Anything relatively inexpensive?

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Old Aug 17, 2010, 4:41 PM   #2
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if you are looking for extreme close up, you are looking at a true 1:1 macro lens. What range are you looking for. If you photographing things that can get spooked away. You may want at least a 90 to 105mm lens, they are about 450 bucks. But for things that do not, you may get away with a 50mm macro, and they are in the 300 dollar range.
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 4:56 PM   #3
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There 2 very low cost option if you have the 55-300mm.

You can go with extension tubes. Or you can add the canon 500D macro lens that mounts to the filter ring on the long zoom. They are not as good as a macro lens but comes pretty close.
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 10:45 PM   #4
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What's your budget? If I were in the market for a macro lens right now I'd be drooling over the DFA 100 WR macro. Its got rounded aperature blades for awesome bokeh and wseather sealing.

I have 2 macro lenses that are capable of 1:1, the Vivitar Series 1 105 and the DA 35 macro limited. The second one is limited for such magnification because you have to be so close to your subject. But its wonderful as a close-up lens.

The Tamron 90 macro seems tp be a bit better than the Sigma 100 or the earlier Pentax 100 macro. But really all of them are well regarded by their owners.
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 10:52 PM   #5
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Default How 2 macro

The expensive way: Buy a new 'macro' lens (NOT macro-zoom, they ain't macro, which requires approaching 1:2 or 1:1 magnification). A modern AF macro lens is a great tool, good for portraits and general photography... and macros too, up to its limit. BUT for real nitty-gritty macro work, and for studio portraits, AF and even auto-aperture are unneeded or useless. But a macro lens is easy to use. Macro lenses tend to be VERY sharp.

I have a couple of M42 manual macros, bought used and cheap: Macro-Takumar 50/4, and Vivitar 90/2.8. But they're tricky to use with flash.

The cheapest way: Use +diopter lenses, or higher-quality corrected close-up adapters such as the Raynox DCR-150 or -250, or the Canon mentioned above, as supplementals. But these don't magnify all that much, and they distort. They're light and cheap and easy to use.

I usually carry a set of +diopters to play with, and a DCR-250 for more serious stuff; all are small, light, hardly in the way at all.

The purest way: Use an ordinary lens, or an enlarger lens, on tubes or bellows; these are called "extension". Many ordinary lenses work best for close-ups when reversed, which only requires a cheap mount-reversal ring. Manual tubes and bellows don't cost much; automatic-aperture tubes cost more. Whether with macro lenses (whose extension is built-in) or extended glass, longer focal lengths let you work further from a subject. The closest you can focus with any non-reversed lens is its focal length.

One set-up: An Industar-50/3.5 prime (US$25) on a set of M42 tubes (US$8) with a flanged M42-PK adapter (US$6). Another setup: ANY 28-35-50 mm manual prime (like a Takumar 55/2, US$15) and a PK-49mm mount-reversal ring (US$5) on cheap PK tubes (US$8).

The mightiest way: Use 'stacked' lenses as supplementals. These require only a cheap thread-reversal ring. A longer lens (the primary) is mounted on the camera. Then the thread-reversal ring. Then a shorter lens, reversed (the secondary). Primary and secondary can also be taped together, if needed. With the right lenses, GREAT magnification can be achieved, usually with little if any distortion.

I'll use a 105/2.8 primary, a five-buck 49mm M-M reversal ring, and a 35/2.8 reversed secondary. Magnification is 105/35 or 3:1. Or I'll use a 150mm primary and a 25mm secondary. Magnification: 150/25 or 6:1.

Working distance: As I said, the closest you can focus with any non-reversed lens is its focal length. The working distance for a reversed lens is its register, or lens-to-frame distance for that mount type. The nice thing about reversing lenses is that you don't need to stick to any one lensmaker. The mount type no longer matters, only the front threads. This is how I can get some mileage out of Canon and Leica and Contax lenses that I can't otherwise use.

Look at http://www.pentaxforums.com/ for extensive Pentax discussions, and search on MACRO there for tons of info on shooting ultra-close. Have fun!

PS: As mtngal says, the DFA 100/2.8 WR macro is to drool for. On upon. If I had one on my K20D, I could go crawling around in the mud & blood & beer chasing after itsy bitsy grubby subjects, heedless of environmental impurities. And I could shower with it to clean it all off. The Kx isn't quite so weather-tight, but it'll do.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 9:12 AM   #6
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The canon 500D macro lens is design to be used with zoom lenses with ranges from 70-300mm. That is when you get the greatest mag. At the shorter ranges, you do not get much mag with this lens. That is why I asked if you have the 55-300mm lens, it will not work as well with shorter range lenses.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 12:45 PM   #7
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Reversing rings are another option. Even a cheap 50mm lens will produce good results at or above 1:1 when reversed. To me one of the best deals out there is the Tamron Adaptall2 35-80SP close focus. It's razor sharp and while you need to add tubes to get to 1:1 I don't find that an issue. Downside is the working distance but that will be true of just abour any 1:1 lens you look at unless you start to add teleconverters. No one has mentioned this but a 1.4x with a tube and then the lens can be an excellent way to get higher magnifications w/o serious image degradation. I've used a 2x many times as well but it usually requires more work to make look good unless your using really expensive glass.

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Old Aug 18, 2010, 9:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
The canon 500D macro lens is design to be used with zoom lenses with ranges from 70-300mm. That is when you get the greatest mag. At the shorter ranges, you do not get much mag with this lens.
The magnification of the Canon, and the Raynoxes, can be told from their numbering, which indicates their focal length. To calculate +diopters, use 1000/FL; so the Canon500D is +2 diopters, the Raynox DCR-250 is +4, and the DCR-150 is +6.67. More diopters give more magnification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
Reversing rings are another option. Even a cheap 50mm lens will produce good results at or above 1:1 when reversed.
A reversed (but not stacked) lens still needs some extension in order to produce magnification. A lens with a deep front inset will be extended by the amount of that inset when reversed, but tubes or bellows are needed for more magnification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
Downside is the working distance but that will be true of just abour any 1:1 lens you look at unless you start to add teleconverters. No one has mentioned this but a 1.4x with a tube and then the lens can be an excellent way to get higher magnifications w/o serious image degradation. I've used a 2x many times as well but it usually requires more work to make look good unless your using really expensive glass.
I'll admit to not having used TC's for macro work. Since a non-reversed lens can't focus closer than its focal length, optically increasing that FL will also increase the working distance. But I'm confused; I just tested a 55mm lens, first on just a flanged adapter, then with a 2X TC on the adapter. Close focus without the TC: 32cm. Close focus with the TC: 39cm. I'd have expected the working distance to increase more. I guess I need to use TC+tubes more.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 9:31 PM   #9
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I am not talking about the diopter level, I am talking about the design. The canon 500D has hardly any mag when you mount it to a short lens like the 18-55. At the longer ranges it will mag to the full diopter mag.

I have actually tried it, it was really design to work in conjunction with a long zoom. It even saids it in the manual. To be used with ef70-300mm lens for best results. When I do not want to carry my ef 100 2.8 macro. I just bring this with either the 55-250 or the ef 70-300mm. And it give excellent results. Just not at the edges will be softer, as the lens is design around center sharpness.
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Old Aug 19, 2010, 2:50 AM   #10
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A reversed (but not stacked) lens still needs some extension in order to produce magnification. A lens with a deep front inset will be extended by the amount of that inset when reversed, but tubes or bellows are needed for more magnification.



I'll admit to not having used TC's for macro work. Since a non-reversed lens can't focus closer than its focal length, optically increasing that FL will also increase the working distance. But I'm confused; I just tested a 55mm lens, first on just a flanged adapter, then with a 2X TC on the adapter. Close focus without the TC: 32cm. Close focus with the TC: 39cm. I'd have expected the working distance to increase more. I guess I need to use TC+tubes more.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, the TC+tube combo is quite good though I prefer to not use 2x just because of the sharpness issues.

As for reversing, yeah tubes really make a difference but a 50mm w/o will get you a 25mm field of view which may be enough for the user who started this thread. Go down to 35mm and it gets even better. But thrown on a tube and wow. Here's what a 25mm tube and the Tamron 35-80SP reversed will get you:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...ly-tamron.html

John
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