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08-22-2010, 03:50 AM   #1
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100mm f2.8 macro FA vs new 100mm mavro f2.8 DA

Hello All.

I am contemplating selling my 100mm f2.8 FA for a new 100 mm f2.8 DA. The attraction is the light weight and water proofing of the new lens, but I wondered if anyone here has done any side-by-side optical tests.

Thanks.

Doug

08-22-2010, 04:00 AM   #2
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I think there was a thread about this earlier on and have a look here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/107807-dfa-100...gma-105mm.html
anyway, DFA WR shares otpical formula and general layout with DFA. On the other hand FA is slightly different with front element deeply recessed and according to photozone.de it's sharper than DFA.
08-22-2010, 06:05 AM   #3
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I've had all Pentax K mount 100mm macro lenses (K/M/A/F/FA/DFA/DFAWR), to be honest, optically there is no bad one. If you like the light weight and WR of the new DFA, just go ahead and get one. You won't be disappointed by its performance.

The only reason I can think of to keep the FA version is the aperture ring.
08-22-2010, 07:31 AM   #4
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I had the DFA, FA Macro lenses and the current DFA 100mm Macro WR and I just prefer the new WR version. The FA gives very deep and intense colors but isn't as contrasty as the DFA. I sold off the FA version for the new DFA WR because I prefer the lighter weight, Quick Shift and the feel of the focusing ring. No regrets.

08-22-2010, 10:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I've had all Pentax K mount 100mm macro lenses (K/M/A/F/FA/DFA/DFAWR), to be honest, optically there is no bad one. If you like the light weight and WR of the new DFA, just go ahead and get one. You won't be disappointed by its performance.

The only reason I can think of to keep the FA version is the aperture ring.
Hey Frank,

From a guy who has owned/used all those K mount macro lenses which one ( or more) did you prefer and keep. I'm sure other forum members would be as curious as myself.

I have the A 100/2.8 macro and preferred it on build quaility alone to the DFA version I tried. AF didn't seem to be that great an advantage for my style of shooting either.

Any chance you might draft a response and give us your opinion if time allows?

Tom G
08-22-2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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Here's a thread where comparisons between the 2 lenses are done.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/86625-lens-buy...ant-macro.html
08-22-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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you can't go wrong with either lenses when it comes to IQ.

so the obvious differences that would likely influence your decision are the following:

1.> FA100 - aperture ring, focus limiter, built like a tank, can use it as a weapon.
2.> DFA100 WR - WR, quick-focus, internal focus, light and small.
08-22-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Hey Frank,

From a guy who has owned/used all those K mount macro lenses which one ( or more) did you prefer and keep. I'm sure other forum members would be as curious as myself.

I have the A 100/2.8 macro and preferred it on build quaility alone to the DFA version I tried. AF didn't seem to be that great an advantage for my style of shooting either.

Any chance you might draft a response and give us your opinion if time allows?

Tom G
Hi Tom,

The A100/2.8 macro is a wonderful lens, one of my favorites actually. But there are a few things I don't like:
1. the focusing is a bit too easy (or you can say loose) compared w/ most of my other manual focus lenses. I'm not saying it's not smooth, it's just a tad bit too easy to turn.
2. bigger and bulkier than the newer DFA100.
3. the rear element is too big and almost extruded out of the mount end, a bit too easy to get scratched. I've seen a few copies with scratches on the rear elements already.
4. lack of AF which comes in handy when taking street or people photos.
5. too expensive to keep. I sold my A100/2.8 macro for almost twice as much as I paid for the DFA100WR brand new.

You can see, there is nothing wrong about the optical performance of the A100/2.8 macro. It's just some minor things which I prefer the newer DFA100WR better

08-22-2010, 07:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Hi Tom,

The A100/2.8 macro is a wonderful lens, one of my favorites actually. But there are a few things I don't like:
1. the focusing is a bit too easy (or you can say loose) compared w/ most of my other manual focus lenses. I'm not saying it's not smooth, it's just a tad bit too easy to turn.
2. bigger and bulkier than the newer DFA100.
3. the rear element is too big and almost extruded out of the mount end, a bit too easy to get scratched. I've seen a few copies with scratches on the rear elements already.
4. lack of AF which comes in handy when taking street or people photos.
5. too expensive to keep. I sold my A100/2.8 macro for almost twice as much as I paid for the DFA100WR brand new.

You can see, there is nothing wrong about the optical performance of the A100/2.8 macro. It's just some minor things which I prefer the newer DFA100WR better
Thanks for the insights Frank.

I've been using the A 100/2.8 macro so long I've gotten used to to the focusing. I'll admit it does take some getting used to. I have always liked the larger size of this lens but I like larger lenses as a rule. The K series in particular. The rear element is something I am always aware of when mounting this lens and that is a drawback. No big deal but you have to be careful.

I was curious as well regarding you thoughts on the K and M series macros.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-23-2010 at 08:57 AM. Reason: typo
08-22-2010, 08:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Thanks for the insights Frank.

I've been using the A 100/2.8 macro so long I've gotten used to to the focusing. I'll admit it does take some getting used to. I have always liked the larger size of this lens but I like larger lenses as a rule. The K series in particular. The rear element is something I am always aware of when mounting this lens and that is a drawback. No a big deal but you have to be careful.

I was curious as well regarding you thoughts on the K and M series macros.

Tom G
I'm glad to see that you like the A100/2.8 macro. I liked it too, but I just like the newer 100WR more

As to the K/M series macros, optically and mechanically they are fantastic. But in general I prefer at least A lenses for a macro lens 'cause I need to use flash for small bugs, and it's not easy to use flash with a non-A lens. To be honest, I'm not so good at using flash, have to rely on TTL/PTTL.
08-22-2010, 09:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I've had all Pentax K mount 100mm macro lenses (K/M/A/F/FA/DFA/DFAWR), to be honest, optically there is no bad one. If you like the light weight and WR of the new DFA, just go ahead and get one. You won't be disappointed by its performance.

The only reason I can think of to keep the FA version is the aperture ring.
Frank, for me the main reason would be the focus limit switch. All my current cameras (SF-1, MZ-S, K10D) can work without an aperture ring. A bit clunky on the SF-1, but it's the backup to the backup so to speak. If I had my original KX (not the K-X), then an aperture ring would be essential, as would the ME my wife had for a few years.
08-22-2010, 09:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Frank, for me the main reason would be the focus limit switch. All my current cameras (SF-1, MZ-S, K10D) can work without an aperture ring. A bit clunky on the SF-1, but it's the backup to the backup so to speak. If I had my original KX (not the K-X), then an aperture ring would be essential, as would the ME my wife had for a few years.
I know what you mean. I never really used the focus limit switch or focusing clamp when I was using the F/FA100 or the 1st version DFA100, so to me it's not a must. I prefer using MF when I'm shooting macro, but like to have AF too when I'm shooting everything else
08-22-2010, 09:43 PM   #13
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I would like to show you a side by side but I cannot. The one time I put my hands on an FA100 f2.8, the AF mechanism was screwed up so I sent it back. The DFA100WR on the other hand, is one sweet lens. Light, fast, small (about half the size of the FA), and yes, expensive. Worth it to me. The only time I miss the Aperture ring is when I want to use it on my MZ-S. So I bought a ZX-L to use that lens, with film.

Pentax DFA 100mm f2.8 WR - a set on Flickr

08-22-2010, 09:45 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I know what you mean. I never really used the focus limit switch or focusing clamp when I was using the F/FA100 or the 1st version DFA100, so to me it's not a must. I prefer using MF when I'm shooting macro, but like to have AF too when I'm shooting everything else
I do all my macro work with Manual Focus. Of course the fact that I have the M 100 Dental Macro might have something to do with it. The limit switch would be a real help whenever I were to use the lens as, for example, a portrait lens. I would hate to wait while the beast cycles all the way from life size to infinity and back, and would end up using it MF anyway.
08-22-2010, 09:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I would like to show you a side by side but I cannot. The one time I put my hands on an FA100 f2.8, the AF mechanism was screwed up so I sent it back. The DFA100WR on the other hand, is one sweet lens. Light, fast, small (about half the size of the FA), and yes, expensive. Worth it to me. The only time I miss the Aperture ring is when I want to use it on my MZ-S. So I bought a ZX-L to use that lens, with film.

Pentax DFA 100mm f2.8 WR - a set on Flickr

I have never quite gotten into the mind state where I could not get the aperture I wanted by changing the shutter speed. I had to use a shutter priority only camera once and it is not much difference to aperture priority only if you look at it from the right position. The MZ-S tells you what the aperture is going to be, so change the shutter speed to get what you want. YMMV.
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