Over the years I’ve found I enjoy close up photography more than any other type.
While not being true macro of 1:1 or 1:2 life size, I really like the feel and intimate perspective of being close to my subject.
With the advent of APS sized sensors in the Pentax line (which I shoot and am a proud Pentaxian), I find the crop factor to bring more of a telephoto angle of view than I really like.
I have eliminated most of my film era telephotos and focused on gaining lenses that will bring the wide angle perspective back to my view finder.
When I bought my first digital camera, the Pentax K10d, I wasn’t so impressed with the sample images I’d seen from the kit lens and so coughed up a little more for the Sigma 18-50 2.8 macro.
As a zoom it doesn’t give the full 1:1 ratio but the other aspect of macros lenses that a lot of people over look is the limited distortion and sharpness when photographing close up, especially at wide angles.
When I was photographing the California Missions project, I was looking for a wide angle that would give me a little more field of view than the 18mm (eq of 28 FF) to be as close to the buildings as possible.
I rented the DA10-17-3.5 and the DA 4-2.8 before settling on the DA15-4 which I ultimately bought ( a fine lens in its own.)
I would rather have 1 stop less light even photographing at night than the distortion levels of the first two for architectural photographs.
Still, I would find myself going back to the Sigma 18-50 macro when ever possible.
To this day my Sigma 18-50 macro is my go to lens of choice, even over the prime DA’s and FA’s I own.
The only lenses I own and like better is the M50-1.4 and 1.7, neither which suits well for wide angle on the APS crop.
The autofocus on it isn’t as good as the Pentax primes but I find I prefer to manual focus when shooting close ups or night photography anyway.
I’m anxiously awaiting my version of the new FF K1 which I ordered this spring.
Sadly, I’m seeing most of the of the newer macro lenses for full frame are in the telephoto range, with only one third party lens being produced at 15mm.
I look forward to giving this lens a try but think it might be too ultra wide for most of my photographic style.
Guess I will have to be in the market for some of the older film era wide angle macros to fit into my bag.