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08-03-2011, 05:39 AM   #1
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DFA100 macro WR AF speed (LBA)

I'm currently looking to replace my FA50 macro and K135 f2,5 with a FA100 macro. I like the idea of a focus limiter, since it will also be used as a short tele. The weight scares me a bit, but not too much.

However, I'm wondering if I should shell out and buy the DFA100 WR instead. The WR is nice, and could create a nice WR kit with my 18-55 WR. The weight is great too. But there is no clamp and no focus limiter.

So I wonder if that's bothersome, regarding the AF speed. The FA50 macro is kinda slow to focus (although quick to correct if it stays in the same range). For macro that's no problem (and the quick-shift is a nice bonus) but for a tele, it would be annoying. for instance, at a wedding, having the lens rake through the range would not be fine...

Feel free to chime in.

08-03-2011, 05:55 AM   #2
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DFA 100mm WR is great as a short telephoto, but I would try not to use it when quick and silent AF is very important. When it misses the focus, it does rake through the whole range, and this is rather loud. This is not a wedding lens.
08-03-2011, 07:23 AM   #3
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I am surprised at how fast the focus on the 100mm WR is. It is really quite speedy. The biggest thing is that if it doesn't hit focus, it does have to go through the whole macro portion of the lens focus throw. With the K7 and K5, seems like that doesn't happen too much.

As far as noise goes, it really isn't any noisier than any of the other screw driven lenses.

It is a really sweet lens with nice bokeh. Almost too sharp for portraits, if the truth be told. Quite a bit sharper at 100mm f2.8 than my DA *50-135.
08-03-2011, 08:34 AM   #4
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It's all about trade-offs. The DFA 100 is a light, durable, elegant, and a joy to use. It's quick to focus if it hits its target from the start; if it doesn't, it's super slow. And it's by far the noisiest AF lens I've ever used. But that's a price one has to pay to keep the lens so wonderfully light and compact.

08-03-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
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Don't mistake the early DFA 100mm f/2.8 Macro with the more recent DFA 100mm f/2.8 Macro WR which has the silky smooth focus ring, rounded aperture blades and significantly better build quality. The older DFA macro was just ok but the new WR version is better optically (lens flare and nicer bokeh) and overall quality wise. As a one-time FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro owner, I find the focus limiter and clamp to be of limited use in practical shooting and the former is largely redundant because of Quick Shift, which allows much quicker and accurate focusing. The WR version is simply a stellar lens.
08-03-2011, 11:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
And it's by far the noisiest AF lens I've ever used.
Have you heard the FA 100-300 f4,7 or the FA50 macro?

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Don't mistake the early DFA 100mm f/2.8 Macro with the more recent DFA 100mm f/2.8 Macro WR
I've got that sorted out

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
The older DFA macro was just ok
I wouldn't say that, but to each his own.

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
because of Quick Shift, which allows much quicker and accurate focusing
You mean instead of using the clamp, you prefocus in the general area, then let the camera finish focusing for you? Or something else?

My worry is that if used in a non-macro situation, the AF is going to be too slow for practical uses. People here seem to think it's not dramatic but not lightning fast either.
08-06-2011, 06:15 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Have you heard the FA 100-300 f4,7 or the FA50 macro?
Haven't heard the FA50, but having just received a copy of the FA 100-300/4.7-5.8, I can't say to having as yet noticed it as being as loud or louder the DFA 100. Perhaps I need to pay more attention the next time I use the 100-300.

I have to admit to being completely indifferent to AFnoise. In fact, I find such noise reassuring, as it reminds me that I will never have to worry about replacing or fixing the lens motor.
08-06-2011, 06:45 AM   #8
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I have the original D FA 100mm, not the WR, but I've never heard of any difference in AF, so my tip should be useable. I rarely miss the focal point, the lens focusses quickly and accurately with no hunting, as long as I reset focus towards the infinity end after each shot. Focus will almost always start off moving inward. The rare time when it misses, I don't let it cycle through the range, I use quick-shift to move focus out past the target and AF takes over. Quick-shift is a far more useful feature than a focus limiter IMO. With a focus limiter you still have to wait while the lens cycles through the non-macro range if you miss the target. QS is much quicker.

D FA advantages: New with warranty vs. used with no warranty, WR, smaller size, latest lens coatings, quick shift, rounded blades. Provided you don't have a special need for an aperture ring, the new lens is better.

08-07-2011, 05:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
I have to admit to being completely indifferent to AFnoise. In fact, I find such noise reassuring, as it reminds me that I will never have to worry about replacing or fixing the lens motor.
I rely on it to know when focus is reached, sometimes. I've used a friend's Canon camera and ultrasonic lens, and he has to turn on the BEEP to know when focus is reached. Kinda defeats the purpose of a silent lens... But all things being equal I probably would like silent AF, like I'd like a larger house or better bike

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Focus will almost always start off moving inward.
True also with my FA50 macro.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Quick-shift is a far more useful feature than a focus limiter IMO.
That's interesting, and quite possibly true.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
D FA advantages: New with warranty vs. used with no warranty,
I'll be buying it used. In Canada it sells for 800$, which translates currently to 840$ US. Makes no sense. In the US it sells for about 620$, but shipping to Canada isn't very nice. Hopefully I'll get it for a better price in the marketplace.
08-07-2011, 08:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
You mean instead of using the clamp, you prefocus in the general area, then let the camera finish focusing for you? Or something else?

My worry is that if used in a non-macro situation, the AF is going to be too slow for practical uses. People here seem to think it's not dramatic but not lightning fast either.
You're more likely to have speed problems using AF on a close up subject, especially one that is moving (like blowing in the wind), than a telephoto one.

Quick Shift- Lock your focus on something then adjust with the focus ring.

08-07-2011, 08:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I'll be buying it used. In Canada it sells for 800$, which translates currently to 840$ US. Makes no sense. In the US it sells for about 620$, but shipping to Canada isn't very nice. Hopefully I'll get it for a better price in the marketplace.
B&H has a new Purolator ship method that is dirt cheap, and no broker fee. Put the lens in your shopping cart to see.
08-07-2011, 09:40 AM   #12
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it's a trade-off really.

the 100 WR macro is light and does appear smaller than the old FA 100/2.8. aside from that advantage, it has quick-shift and if you see yourself doing a lot of manual focusing other than for macro use, then this might work out. but if you really much on AF, this is not quite the best. also, the WR is an advantage if you shoot under the weather with this. does need a hood though and quite expensive.

the old FA 100/2.8 has quite some weight on it but tolerable. it does have a clamp which makes it appealing for macro and focus limiter which makes AF faster and more accurate rather than hunt and move at full throw. it has a deeply recessed element so putting on a lens hood is no longer necessary. also it is cheaper by almost half the price.

both lenses are noisy. both lenses render differently. the old FA renders a vivid, punchy color. the 100 WR is more subtle.
08-07-2011, 10:09 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
B&H has a new Purolator ship method that is dirt cheap, and no broker fee. Put the lens in your shopping cart to see.
I assume even if you use this method you still have to pay the 13% sales tax?
08-07-2011, 10:11 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Quick Shift- Lock your focus on something then adjust with the focus ring.
I often use quick-shift to get it close and then use AF to finish the job. I've found that it works pretty well that way with the 100WR, even for close-up work. The shots I posted a few months back in this thread were all done with AF, most of which I also used quick-shift to get it close before using AF to lock in.
08-07-2011, 11:11 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I assume even if you use this method you still have to pay the 13% sales tax?
Yes, but it's still cheaper in this case to buy in the US than Canada. OTOH, you get a 2-yr warranty from Pentax Canada for lenses bought here. I don't know what used prices are, and you still have to pay shipping for used. I believe there is also an import tax if the purchase is through a dealer.

This site is fantastic. Pentax D-FA 100mm F2.8 WR - Canada and Cross-Border Price Comparison - photoprice.ca. The Photoprice page shows pricing, including shipping and tax, for Ontario. I always know exactly what I'll have to pay.
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