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03-12-2011, 04:31 PM   #1
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100mm f2.8 Macro - Fa or DFA?

I've got the itch to upgrade - I am currently using an M series 100mm macro f4.

My itch brings me to the newer 100mm macros.

The first main difference I see is the M is 2:1 while the FA and DFA are 1:1.

I looked at the review database here, but for some reason can't find the differences in the FA and DFA.

Anyone point me in the right direction?

This would be mounted to a K20D.

03-12-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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IIRC, the D-FA is just like the FA with weather-sealing.

If you're taking those sorts of shots where you're in damp areas or whatever, go with the D-FA.
03-12-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
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I need to edit - the M 100MM is a 1:2 ration - not 2:1

QuoteQuote:
IIRC, the D-FA is just like the FA with weather-sealing
That is where I get a little confused - in the lens review database here, they list the D-FA, and a D-FA WR separately which would mean the is a non-WR version along with the WR.
03-12-2011, 04:57 PM   #4
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Well yea, there's a D-FA and D-FA WR... and then FA...

I think the D-FA's are similar spec to the FA, but different construction (made lighter)

03-12-2011, 04:59 PM   #5
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if you are referring to the old DFA, then it is not weather-sealed. the only obvious difference is that the FA version is built like a tank, has focus clamp and focus limiter and aperture ring.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 03-12-2011 at 05:09 PM.
03-12-2011, 05:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
IIRC, the D-FA is just like the FA with weather-sealing.

If you're taking those sorts of shots where you're in damp areas or whatever, go with the D-FA.
FA 100mm has focus limiter, clamp and aperture ring.

I don't think you can go wrong with FA, D-FA, or D-FA WR. Great lenses.
03-12-2011, 05:09 PM   #7
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Well, my first choice would be the D-FA WR version since I am coupling it with the WR K20D, but there are a couple lenses for sale here right now.....like to save a couple bucks with a used lens.....and I've got the itch........

For my own review:

FA - focus limiter, focus clamp, and aperture ring
DFA - none of the above?

Being fairly new to all this, what is the advantage/disadvantage to the focus limiter and focus clamp?

Would this make the DFA inferior to the FA?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is a large purchase for me, and want to be sure I get it right the first time!
03-12-2011, 05:27 PM   #8
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Focus limiter is practical for autofocusing in macro distances, to prevent the AF from whirring all the way from .305m to infinity and back if it misses focus.
Focus clamp is useful if you want to prevent any fine movements in the focus ring when shooting - useful in static subjects.
The DFA is not inferior to the FA - it's optically very similar, just lighter and smaller.

03-12-2011, 06:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Well, my first choice would be the D-FA WR version since I am coupling it with the WR K20D, but there are a couple lenses for sale here right now.....like to save a couple bucks with a used lens.....and I've got the itch........

For my own review:

FA - focus limiter, focus clamp, and aperture ring
DFA - none of the above?

Being fairly new to all this, what is the advantage/disadvantage to the focus limiter and focus clamp?

Would this make the DFA inferior to the FA?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is a large purchase for me, and want to be sure I get it right the first time!

you cant get wrong with either lenses. so if budget was an issue, go for the cheaper one.
03-12-2011, 06:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Well, my first choice would be the D-FA WR version since I am coupling it with the WR K20D, but there are a couple lenses for sale here right now.....like to save a couple bucks with a used lens.....and I've got the itch........

For my own review:

FA - focus limiter, focus clamp, and aperture ring
DFA - none of the above?

Being fairly new to all this, what is the advantage/disadvantage to the focus limiter and focus clamp?

Would this make the DFA inferior to the FA?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is a large purchase for me, and want to be sure I get it right the first time!
DFA has WR. It was raining lightly today and WR would have been nice. Lighter lens would be nice too. DFA in production (available new) and comes with warranty. FA you have to go used.
03-12-2011, 06:55 PM   #11
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Thank you Ash for the detailed explanation - I understand it all now.

I hear you pz1fan about new with a warranty plus would give me WR - just have to justify if that is worth ~$200 more which I think it is at this point........

Now that I understand the differences in the Pentax lineup, I'm going to also research and compare the Sigma 105mm 2.8 & Tamron 90 2.8.

Thanks to all for the help so far!

Edit to add: One thing I like about my other Pentax lenses, and I am not sure of the exact term.....I know when I am in autofocus, I can just manually turn the focus ring to find tune the focus without switching anything. Can I do this with the D-FA also?
The reason I ask, is when looking at the Tamron lens, it looks like you need to unlock the focus ring to change from auto-focus to manual focus.

This option will make up my mind.

Last edited by stormtech; 03-12-2011 at 07:08 PM. Reason: added question
03-12-2011, 07:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
...
Edit to add: One thing I like about my other Pentax lenses, and I am not sure of the exact term.....I know when I am in autofocus, I can just manually turn the focus ring to find tune the focus without switching anything. Can I do this with the D-FA also?
The reason I ask, is when looking at the Tamron lens, it looks like you need to unlock the focus ring to change from auto-focus to manual focus.

This option will make up my mind.
What you describe is called Quick Shift, where you can manually override the focusing ring after the AF has locked focus. This feature is available in all DA and DFA and DA* lenses. This feature largely offsets the need for a focus limiter found in the FA Macro. On the FA macro lenses, you will need to manually disengage AF before you can use manual focus. On the Tamron and Sigma, this is done by shifting the focus ring to disengage the AF.
03-12-2011, 08:35 PM   #13
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Thanks creampuff - I thoroughly understand now.
03-13-2011, 12:51 AM   #14
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What convenient timing! There's a new review lol
03-13-2011, 03:32 AM   #15
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The weather sealed version of the DFA does not have an aperture ring while the 'plain' DFA does. This matters if planning to use the lens with basic extension tubes (no pressing need maybe as it goes to 1:1 on itself, I suppose) or film bodies. With the long focus throw a limiter would be nice, but, as pointed out, the quick shift feature compensates quite nicely in practice. The non-WR DFA has a a bit of an El-Cheapo / El-Rickety feeling to it, light and compact though (I understand the WR version of the same or the Sigma 105 would be the polar opposites in that department If something happened to my non-WR DFA 100mm I suppose I'd get the Sigma 105mm for the focus limiter and the more solid build quality (this would seem to have a version of quick-shift too?) ... the 70mm Sigma offering seems like an useful focal length for portraits though ... hmm ...
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