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09-05-2007, 04:37 PM   #1
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uses of dfa 100mm macro?

hi all

i'm thinking about getting the dfa 100mm macro, but not sure of how i would use it...

obviously i would take pictures of small things, and such
but i might get tired of taking pictures of bugs and plants (if they are all the same)
and just wondering how good it is as a 100mm prime, is it sharp? i've looked at the photozone review, it seems good, although stopped right down (past f/16) it doesn't seem great

would the tamron 90mm or sigma 105mm be any better (for the same purposes)?

also, is it absolutely vital to have a flash (external) for macro photography?
i don't have a flash atm, but i'm thinking of getting the af540 some time as well
but i guess, if it is needed, i would accelerate that purchase


Last edited by dtra; 09-05-2007 at 04:45 PM.
09-05-2007, 05:10 PM   #2
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Hey Dave, I would say the lens is great. I had one, I loved it. Its very sharp, and a great 100mm lens for anything outside portraits, its just to harsh.

As for other brands, I must say I would stay Pentax. I don't know if you still use film, but trying to keep colour casts the same is huge. Pentax is very very good at doing that.

I would say go for it!

For flash, no, its not huge. It can help, of course, but it all depends on how you use the lens and flash set-up.
09-05-2007, 05:18 PM   #3
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Tamron 90 or sigma 105 macro are sharper than DFA 100mm f2.8 macro wide open.

DFA 100 macro sharper at f4-5.6 range and I would not go above f8 for the sack of diffraction. Contrast is definitely stronger than competition brands. Colour is rich as well.

The lens is light and compact. In one of the trips, it survived the banging.

Few shots

Flash can be used but I prefered to take shots with narrow DOF with no flash
09-05-2007, 05:45 PM   #4
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hey cool, thanks guys
that's good to hear about the flash, cos i don't think i'm ready for that yet

very nice pics too, roentarre

the main reason i was asking about the smaller apertures was because, sometimes when taking long exposures, it can be fun to try with a longer lens to see the effect

thanks again

09-06-2007, 05:11 AM   #5
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Easy solution for that is to use ND filters.
09-06-2007, 06:05 AM   #6
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As for other uses of a macro tele... how about portraits... or in fact anything else that you would normally use a telephoto lens for.

An idea... take your 50-200mm zoom... set it to 100mm and leave it on that, then go around shooting with it permanently on 100mm for a day. But imagine having the advantage of the f/2.8 aperture. This should give you some idea of the possible uses of the lens apart from close-up work.

As roentarre said, the third-parties (Tamron and Sigma) are generally thought to be sharper wide-open. Once you stop down to f/5.6 they are all going to be very sharp. The Pentax has the advantage of the clutch-focus mechanism, so you can focus manually in AF mode (for example you can let it auto-focus and then fine-tune the focus manually). With the Tamron and the Sigma, to go from autofocus to manual focus you have to change it on the body and on the lens. Needless to say this is a bit of a pain.

Having said that, I went for the Tamron 90mm over the Pentax... I can live with the inconvenient focus thing, because on the plus side it's sharper wide-open, IMO it's a slightly better focal length for portraits... oh and it was 100 cheaper! The D-FA just didn't impress me as much as the older FA, and for me neither were worth 100 more than the Tamron.

The Sigma is very good as well, but I just don't get on with most Sigma lenses (can't really explain why, they just don't feel right to me )... anyway to be honest I would not expect the Pentax to produce noticeably 'better' images, but if you can comfortably afford the DFA then it's definitely worth considering for the manual focus thing (and for having the word Pentax on all your lenses )
09-06-2007, 06:22 AM   #7
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well, here's my 2
i use a vivitar 105/2.5. it's a remarkable lens. all macro lenses are going to give good macro results. that's what they were designed to do. as far as flash goes, i think macro and flash are like peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, or ham and cheese.. all good by themselves but are better when combined. i use flash off camera in a custom DIY grip. you will miss many shots if you stick to available light because of the small apertures required.

09-06-2007, 04:19 PM   #8
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thanks again guys
i plan on getting some relatives to get me the lens, so the price difference will be negligible after rebate, i also like the smaller size of the pentax
i'll have a try at looking at 100mm on my 50-200, i guess i normally think that it's too long to be a portrait lens, but i guess it means you can stand further away from your subject (so as not to startle them )

re: flash, i think i can handle missing a couple of pictures while i'm learning how to use it
it's already on my wishlist, but i think i can hold off on it for a while (at least until i see how the macro handles)

thanks again everyone

Last edited by dtra; 09-06-2007 at 05:01 PM.

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