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07-27-2011, 06:20 AM   #1
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100mm macro vs 50mm macro and 135mm combo

I currently have the FA50 macro (amazing, sharpest lens I own) and the K135mm f2,5.

I have been offered a FA 100mm macro for a honest price, nothing spectaculat but fair. I wonder if I should sell both my 50 and 135 and buy the 100 macro.

I already have the F50 f1,7 so loosing the otherr 50 is no problem, focal length wise. for macro, 100mm is a little nicer, but not that much, I manage pretty well with my 50. The 135 is MF, and because of this sees little use. I'm thinking the 100 could serve a dual purpose, as a short tele/macro lens. Based on the reviews, I would not be loosing much regarding IQ. I mostly wonder if I would miss the 135 mm focal length. I also wonder about the AF speed of the FA 100 macro.

In short, in my shoes, would you keep the 135/50 macro combo, or sell it and buy the 100 macro (turning up a little profit?)

07-27-2011, 06:37 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I currently have the FA50 macro (amazing, sharpest lens I own) and the K135mm f2,5.

I have been offered a FA 100mm macro for a honest price, nothing spectaculat but fair. I wonder if I should sell both my 50 and 135 and buy the 100 macro.

I already have the F50 f1,7 so loosing the otherr 50 is no problem, focal length wise. for macro, 100mm is a little nicer, but not that much, I manage pretty well with my 50. The 135 is MF, and because of this sees little use. I'm thinking the 100 could serve a dual purpose, as a short tele/macro lens. Based on the reviews, I would not be loosing much regarding IQ. I mostly wonder if I would miss the 135 mm focal length. I also wonder about the AF speed of the FA 100 macro.

In short, in my shoes, would you keep the 135/50 macro combo, or sell it and buy the 100 macro (turning up a little profit?)
I might go for the 100mm for doubling up use as a long portrait lens, especially if you don't like the mf required by your 135. The downside of the 100mm macro is that it is twice as hard to hand hold compared to the 50; on the other hand you've got double the working distance.

For low light work the small focal length advantage of the 135 doesn't seem as important to me as the AF the 100 offers at the same speed.

PS I have an m42 135:2.5 and intend to keep it for low light theater etc.. I'm ok with mf ... but I'd trade it for an FA 100:2.8

Last edited by newarts; 07-27-2011 at 08:07 AM.
07-27-2011, 07:23 AM   #3
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Where do you want to be photographically, and will the FA100 macro get you there?
So the K135 sees little use because it's not AF -- have you tried CIF with it?
Would using the much slower FA100-300 more, offset not having the K135?
I recently went out of my way to get a SuperTak 135/2.5, and I won't give it up!
Is the F50/1.7 sharp enough to stand in for your FA50 macro?
Is buying the FA100 macro impossible without selling the others?
07-27-2011, 07:48 AM   #4
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I think the FA 100mm f2.8 Macro makes a good substitute for the K135/2.5. It solves one problem with a lot of 135s, the 1.5 meter minimum focus distance. Usability is easier with AF, etc. Focal length would be close enough for me; you can figure that out with a zoom. Weight and size are probably close enough. The macro is heavier but offers enough extra so that's OK. You could keep your 150.

07-27-2011, 08:08 AM   #5
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A 50mm macro is fine unless you are after easily spooked creatures.
07-27-2011, 08:39 AM   #6
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Since you already have F50/1.7 I don't think you'll miss the FA50/2.8 that much.
FA100/2.8 is really nice lens. Big and heavy though! If you don't mind the bulk then it's excellent short tele. Very fast AF and excellent colours, contrast and sharpness from f2.8.

On the side note, may I ask how much were you offered the FA100 for?
07-27-2011, 10:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Where do you want to be photographically, and will the FA100 macro get you there?
That's what I'm trying to figure out

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
So the K135 sees little use because it's not AF -- have you tried CIF with it?
Would using the much slower FA100-300 more, offset not having the K135?
CIF does not really work for me, most of the time. The fast short teles I've owned (Tak bayonet 135, M150 and K135) have served sporadically, mainly for indoor situations like weddings. CIF is not quite fast enough for me in those situations, maybe my technique is lacking. The 100-300 is my go-to lens for normal tele, I keep one short tele prime for speed and Iq when needed (quite rare).

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Is the F50/1.7 sharp enough to stand in for your FA50 macro?
Heck yes The FA50 is dedicated to macro work, the F50 is my standard 50 lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Is buying the FA100 macro impossible without selling the others?
Impossible, no. Advisable? No either. I cannot keep two macros, that's for sure, and with a newborn in the house I can't really justify the loss I'd have by buying the 100 and selling only the 50.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Weight and size are probably close enough.
100g more on the FA100.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
You could keep your 150.
Mayne I could keep the 150 and the 100, and sell the 50 and 135 The 135 would probably be easier to sell.

QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
On the side note, may I ask how much were you offered the FA100 for?
350$ CND, maybe a bit less (I haven't seen the lens yet).
07-27-2011, 04:03 PM   #8
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Hmmm...I personally don't like the 50mm focal length on crop sensor cameras. I find it too long for indoor portraits and too short for anything else. Plus, with a 50mm macro, you have to get so close to your subject, you end up blocking your own light or scaring your subject away.

In your shoes, I would do the 100 mm macro.

07-27-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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Personally I'd dump the F 50mm f/1.7 and the K 135mm f/2.5 and keep the FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro and acquire the FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro.
Both macro lenses do very well with non-macro subjects and being able to focus up close has always been a plus for me.
07-27-2011, 06:51 PM   #10
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I'd say sell the 50mm macro and 135mm. the 100mm can double up as a macro and excellent telephoto.
07-27-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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The FA 100 is a fantastic lens. And close enough to a FF 135mm since we still seem to be wrapped up in the film standards in a digital age. FWIW, I'd get the 100mm, keep the 50mm 2.8 and part with the 135 and 50mm 1.7. On the 50's, you're not even losing a full stop and you keep the macro capability along with one of the sharpest lenses Pentax ever put together. I have all three and if forced to choose, that's the way I would go.
07-28-2011, 05:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I personally don't like the 50mm focal length on crop sensor cameras.
I personally like it very uch, perfect for portrait and handheld night street photography.

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Personally I'd dump the F 50mm f/1.7 and the K 135mm f/2.5 and keep the FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro
Surprising advice.

QuoteOriginally posted by jac Quote
I'd get the 100mm, keep the 50mm 2.8 and part with the 135 and 50mm 1.7. On the 50's, you're not even losing a full stop and you keep the macro capability along with one of the sharpest lenses Pentax ever put together. I have all three and if forced to choose, that's the way I would go.
On the 50s, I'd be loosing one and a half stop, and f2 to f2,5 is where I use my f1,7 the most.

It's true that the FA50 macro is astoundingly sharp. I'm a bit afraid of loosing that. Since you own all three, how would you compare the sharpness of the FA100 with the FA50? Would I honestly notice the difference?
07-28-2011, 06:06 AM   #13
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it is a tough call, and largely depends on what you do presently with the 50mm macro.

for me, a 100mm macro is a better field lens for true macro work because you have better working distance for the same magnification, and this makes many aspects easier including lighting, as you have less risk of shadowing the subject with the lens / camera especially if / when using flash as well.

If you use the macro also for copy work, however, the 100mm will be a pain because it will take more distance from the subject. A shorter macro is preferred for copy work and inside work because you need less space and are in control of the surroundings.

there will be some loss of portrait performance when going to a 100mmF2.8 compared to the 135F2.5 if you are shooting wide open, as the shorter slower lens will have more DOF, but that will be a marginal call i think.
07-28-2011, 07:49 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
it is a tough call, and largely depends on what you do presently with the 50mm macro.
Solely macro.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
there will be some loss of portrait performance when going to a 100mmF2.8 compared to the 135F2.5 if you are shooting wide open, as the shorter slower lens will have more DOF, but that will be a marginal call i think.
I agree it will be marginal.

I have yet to see the lens, though. I'm beginning to be convinced, I hope the deal won't fail
07-28-2011, 10:29 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote

It's true that the FA50 macro is astoundingly sharp. I'm a bit afraid of loosing that. Since you own all three, how would you compare the sharpness of the FA100 with the FA50? Would I honestly notice the difference?
I know the question isn't directed to me, but I just want to share my cents on this one. in comparison with the FA100, the FA50 is sharper, about a tad. unless you are afraid of losing such lens due to it's rare sharpness, don't be. the Sigma 70 is highly capable of that and could be even more sharper by some degree, and is an available replacement. added the fact that it's a 70mm, makes it a bit for flexible as a short telephoto macro.

however, if you are worried about losing such legacy lens for collector's purpose, I'd say keep it. if you worry about aperture ring, keep it. and if you worry about AF speed, I say keep it. although having said that, this is more plainly for macro use as you said, so AF is not a real issue.

here are 2 Sigma 70 samples if macro sharpness worries you just in case you get rid of the FA50 macro.




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