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Old Nov 19, 2011, 5:57 PM   #1
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Default Another Lens Test

Two of my favorite photo subjects are dragonflies and butterflies. Have gotten some pretty good shots with a Sigma 70-300 with 1:2 "macro" at the 300 end, but sharpness always seemed a little lacking. Have gotten better shots with the Sigma 105 macro, but it's difficult to get close enough to the shier 'flies with this focal length. Pentax did make some 200mm macros, but these are rare and far out of my price range (in the thousands of dollars!!) A few months ago, Scott (Snostorm) suggested I look into the Sigma 180 macro. Unfortunately, these are no longer being made, and are also too expensive for me.

So I did some research, and came up with an alternative. For a relatively low price, got a Tamron Adaptall 90mm macro, combined with the matched Adaptall 2 X TC, which becomes a 180mm 1:1 macro.

It's a bit late in the season for my intended "targets" for this lens, but had to get the lens when it (and the funds) were available.

Have had this "new toy" out a few times this week, just for some test shots.

Here are a few fungus shots with the new lens - some Turkeytail fungus and some tiny white mushrooms (not sure of the species).
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 6:01 PM   #2
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And here are some rather "seedy" shots - seeds of Plume Grass, seed pod of Turk's Cap Lily, Spicebush berries beginning to decay, and those tiny scales that fall as Birch tree cones scatter their seeds. (yes, we've had some snow at the higher elevations recently!)
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 6:05 PM   #3
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No dragonflies or butterflies out for a proper test of the new lens, but I have two Box Turtles in my office that are recovering from injuries. They were very cooperative subjects. Here's an Eastern Box Turtle, taken indoors by
#1: office light (see the fluorescent tube reflected in his eye) and
#2: lit by my bicycle headlight!
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 6:07 PM   #4
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Finally, here are a few snaps of a Three-Toed Box Turtle, lit by late afternoon sun, out on the driveway near our park office:
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 6:08 PM   #5
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Can hardly wait until Spring and "bug" season to give this lens a real test!

So what do you think of this old lens? Thanks so much for any feedback!!
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 6:49 PM   #6
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I have the 90mm Tamron with the 1:1 tube. It is an awesome lens. I think you will be very happy with the purchase. Results seem good using the 2x. I have been less than thrilled with any of my SP Adaptall lenses combined with their 1.4x. Maybe I will have to look into a 2x and try it.

John
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 7:47 PM   #7
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Looks very good to me - the pictures are really sharp. The only 2X TC I ever tried was lousy so I've never thought about doing something like this. Keep posting pictures like this and I'll change my mind.
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 8:20 PM   #8
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Shots look great, based on your results a low cost macro solution is possible.

Hans
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Old Nov 20, 2011, 1:23 AM   #9
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Hi mole,

Looks like you did good. I'm assuming that this is a model 52B with a model 01F 2x TC.

You can look up some information about this lens at the Adaptall 2.0rg site:

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

Looks like you also got a PK/A adapter. This will allow you to use any Adaptall 2 lens with your K20, and they've gotten to be pretty valuable by themselves, going for in excess of $100 for the adapter alone. The SP series of Adaptall 2 lenses has quite a few very good and excellent lenses, even by today's standards.

I'm a bit surprised by the IQ with the 2x TC as I have one, and haven't been that impressed but it looks to do great with that lens. You may find that you get smoother bokeh without the TC, but not having the lens, I can't say for sure.

Regardless, the results look great! Congrats on getting what looks to be a definite keeper.

Scott
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 5:36 AM   #10
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John - This one also came with the 1:1 tube, but I already have a sigma 105 macro, so will probably only use the tamron with the 2XTC.. It is indeed a sharp lens, with some very nice color too.

Harriet - Glad you enjoyed these! I too was dubious about using a 2X TC, but had heard some good things about this particular combination. The TC is an Adaptall model, so can only be used on Adaptall lenses. Sure seems to work well with this one (and shows up pretty cheap at KEH fairly often...)

Hans - Thanks! Yes, it does look like it should work well. I won't have many more opportunities to test it out for the next few weeks, but will be sure to post more here later...

Scott - Yes, it is the 01F TC, the lens is the slightly newer version - 52BB (said to be identical optically, just some "cosmetic" differences). Yes, it did come with the PK/A adapter, and I may be looking into more of the Adaptall lenses - especially hoping there may be a longer lens that will work well with the TC. Thanks for the original suggestion that led me to this one, and thanks also for the link to the Adaptall site - looks very informative!
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