10 April 2014

one last stab at macro + my first Tak

I have mentioned before that I tried several dedicated macro lenses in the recent past.  A Sigma 50/2.8, Tamron 90/2.8, Promaster 100/3.5, Sigma 105/2.8 and a manual SMC-M 100mm took turns, but nothing quite convinced me they would get enough use.  The most convincing was the Sigma, which was a nice 50mm lens with bonus 1:1 coverage.  In the end they all left, and now I have several close-up filter-type diopters and a Vivitar 2x combo teleconverter and extension tube.  These too have not caught on, and I have pretty nearly despaired of taking 'real' closeup shots.

On a parallel track I've been seeking a few good manual-focus primes.  The SMC 17/4 Fish-Eye and SMC-A 24/2.8 are a very good start.  I have a decent SMC-M 50/2 but had hoped for something more 'versatile' whatever that might mean.  I have the DA40xs for autofocus, so a 50mm lens is not vital - but having a set of well-spaced MF primes might catch on.

from bdimitrov.de site
Looking back at me this evening was an SMC-A 50mm f/2.8 1:2 macro at a decent price.  Hmm that would be OK, and would instantly be my best close-focus lens... but I won't bother if it's not any good.  Yikes, this thing scores 9.6+ out of 10 at pentaxforums - that qualifies as really good!  Many owners say it's their sharpest lens, so I'm convinced.

So farewell to the M50, and here's to my one last attempt to use a macro lens.  I've read often that manual focus is as good as AF for really close work, and I did not give the SMC-M 100mm enough time to get used to it, as I was still an AF addict at the time.  Maybe this one will be the answer - or equally likely, after this time I will desist from asking the wrong question!

Hopefully one more MF prime will round it out, though if I find an 85mm I may be forced to add another for the long end.

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4/11 update - and for now that 'one more prime' is a 105mm f/2.8 Takumar M42 lens.  Serious retro pickup, and a well regarded lens probably from the 1960s.  This copy has lived a full 50 years and it shows, but mere age does not stop a Tak!  Well, so they say; I shall know soon.

This means I have a a Tak, one K-series and two A-series Pentax.  Maybe I should keep the M50/2 around so I have one of each?  Or maybe later I shall find a tweener M - who knows?  Never I, that's certain...

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