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Old Aug 22, 2010, 3:03 PM   #1
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Default Pentax 50mm 2.8 Macro

I spotted one of these in a 2nd hand vendor's shop in a Shanghai camera mall this week. Looks to be in pristine condition. He is asking ca. US$310 and I could probably get him down to US$290. New here the Pentax D FA 50mm 2.8 Macro is nearly US$500.

I was thinking that the extra angle would enable me to get the complete body / head of some of the larger insects into the frame when getting really close, that's not usually possible with the Tamron 90 unless I back off (and lose the 1:1). I've read that it's a very sharp lens, probably a good portrait lens too ?

What do you guys think ? Is there sometimes an advantage to a 50mm instead of the 90/105/180 s ? Is the price good for a 2nd hand 50mm Macro ? The lowest price I can find on-line here for a 2nd hand one is US$270.
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Old Aug 22, 2010, 10:55 PM   #2
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Can't help you with the price, but since I have both 35 and 105 macro lenses, I can tell you that you have to get a whole lot closer to do 1:1. I don't use the 35 that way very often, mostly I use it as a walk-about and close-up lens. And I'm not able to get close enough to bugs to do 1:1. The 50 is supposed to be very sharp so it's worth considering. I'm just not convinced you'd be able to use it for bugs unless they are very cooperative.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 12:47 AM   #3
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I agree with mtngal. I had a 50mm macro before my 100mm macro. And it was not very good with things that can decide to leave.
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 1:44 AM   #4
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I have the 50 mm Macro F 2.8. I usually use it for vintage car pix.....parts of the car, hood ornaments, wire wheels....that kind of stuff. I find that it is very sharp.

I've lately started to use it for flowers...also bee's, dragonflies. I thought the bugs would fly away...but I'm finding that the honeybees seem to be concentrating on getting pollen...so they don't seem to fly away much...also taken a few of butterflies...they seem to hang around or if they do fly away, come back fairly soon.

Dragonflies when they rest also seem not to be too bothered by my closeness...I think early morning shots would also work as the bugs generally need to warm up before they can move very much...a captive audience as it were.

I would think the Pentax 100 mm macro might be better for bugs as it gives you more distance then the 50 mm.

I'm also starting to use a small folding reflector that seems to work quite well at directing sunlight onto natural subjects....works well with the 50 macro as I can get close to the subject which I need to, if I am using the reflector with the other hand.....not sure if the 100mm would get close enough .....
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Old Aug 23, 2010, 4:10 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses guys n gals.

With regard to getting close - I don't usually find that too much of an issue (same insects as Lesmore), they usually let me get within 6 inches and sometimes down to just 2 or 3" with dragonflies. I just want to get more of the insect in the frame, when I'm that close, than the Tamron 90 I use now (though I love that lense, incredibly sharp). From what you all say though I'm not sure there will be much advantage, if any, from the 50mm even if the distance to the insects is not an issue.

I think I'm starting to go off the idea - though the lens felt really sweet in my hands (Doctor, is that a symptom of LBA) ?!

That small reflector sounds like a great idea I might try out Lesmore !
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