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08-24-2011, 05:04 AM   #1
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Which Macro??

One question for you guys... Lets say someone will gift you one macro lens..Which one would you choose? Pentax DFA 100 Wr or Tamron 90?? Your opinion will be very helpful because i am not experienced with macro lenses.. Please also dont take in account the price of the lenses.. Thanks in advance..

08-24-2011, 05:32 AM   #2
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The focal lengths are quite close. The IQ is probably close too (I own the DFA WR and the FA50, and can attest that there are differences but that both are close, at the end of the day. I assume the Tamron is close too).

the WR is an important advantage IMHO, as is quick shift (I am surprised at how much I use it with the DFA WR). And the Pentax will have a higher resale value if it ever comes to that.

So I would advise to get the DFA, for practical reasons, even though the Tamron is a highly regarded lens.
08-24-2011, 05:39 AM   #3
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If it were the standard DFA I would say the choice would be harder. However I think the added value of WR and circular aperture blades tips it in favour of the DFA WR over the Tamron (excellent though it is). The Tamron produces slightly more harmonius performance across it's range than the straight DFA (optically identical to the DFA WR):

Pentax SMC-D FA 100mm f/2.8 macro - Review / Test Report - Analysis

Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro (Pentax) - Review / Lab Test Report - Analysis

However as I said I think the WR, metal build and circular aperture on the DFA WR tip things in its favour.
08-24-2011, 07:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
The Tamron produces slightly more harmonius performance across it's range than the straight DFA (optically identical to the DFA WR):
This is based on the assumptions that (1) optically identical means identical resolution performance and (2) the photozone results can be fully trusted. If assumption (1) is valid, assumption (2) may not be. The reason for this is very simple: the photozone results aren't consistent with results made elsewhere. Go over and check out the resolution figures for the DFA 100 WR at lenstip and compare them to the figures for the FA 43. The Lenstip figures would have us believe that the DFA 100 WR is nearly as sharp as the FA 43 (perhaps the sharpest lens Pentax ever made). Now compare that with the photozone results for the earlier version of the DFA 100 and the FA 43. The numbers obviously don't add up. Photozone has the FA 43 as being considerably sharper the older DFA 100. So if the two DFA 100s really do produce identical resolution, then either we have tester error or someone has a bad copy of a lens.

Moral of the story: don't read too much into resolution tests found online. They sometimes contain glaring anamolies, particularly when compared to tests done elsewhere. From my own experience with DFA 100 WR, I'd suspect that the lenstip results present a far more accurate picture of the resolution of that lens then what we find over at photozone. And while the Tamron may be nearly as good, I doubt it would produce "slightly more harmonius performance across it's range" than the DFA 100 WR.

For practical purposes, I doubt there's any real significance difference between the two lenses; or if there is, it would probably be in favor of the Pentax lens. The decision between the two lenses really comes down to the WR, the circular aperture blades, the superior build quality of the Pentax, and 10mm of focal length. Are these advantages worth ~$250?

08-24-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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I believe the 100WR has better IQ wide open than the Tamron (I have the Tamron), but stopped down both would be the same. The reason why I say the 100WR probably has better IQ is because the Tamron wide open isn't as good as the Sigma 105, and shows a bit of CA.

Makes for lovely bokeh though.
08-24-2011, 09:56 AM   #6
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One can and should always select the brand name over the brand X unless there is a clear reason for the brand x simply because of resalevalue.

What the 'will fit' lenses don't have is enduring value. Practically speaking they may be just as good, and occasionally the brand name may be simply the 'will fit' lens rebadged, but if you go look at what happens on the second hand market, you see 'other brand' lenses being sold by the bucket, while whilePentax name lenses are getting decent prices.

Obvioiusly if you are buying used---and know your merchandis----you can dig through the bucket and find some gems on the cheap.

Likewise half the 'issues' that may appear with a 3rd party lens aren't ones that you would expect. Anyone making a lens can figure out that if it only takes blurry photos, it probably won't sell well, but quality is more than optics that pass the laugh test. Far more subtle is the mechanical durablity. This is never evaluated---and is diffiucult to objectively evaluate,but I've had far more mechanical issues with 3rd party lenses over time than I have with Pentax brand name stuff. Likewise, if it does fall apart, the OEM product has a better chance of finding a repairman...... and therefore being repairable.
08-24-2011, 10:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
The decision between the two lenses really comes down to the WR, the circular aperture blades, the superior build quality of the Pentax, and 10mm of focal length. Are these advantages worth ~$250?
That's all i wanted to hear..Since i won't pay for those 250 i definatelly will choose the DFA 100.. I just wanted to know if the tamron is better in glass..Thanks everybody..You are most helpful!
08-24-2011, 10:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
One can and should always select the brand name over the brand X unless there is a clear reason for the brand x simply because of resalevalue.
I'm sorry but I cannot agree with that. Brand name will probably be more expensive to begin with, so resale value should also be higher. But the original/used price ratio will have no reason to favour the brand name.

I say get the best lens for your needs, and disregard the manufacturer (as long as you stay with the reputable ones).

08-24-2011, 02:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I'm sorry but I cannot agree with that. Brand name will probably be more expensive to begin with, so resale value should also be higher. But the original/used price ratio will have no reason to favour the brand name.

I say get the best lens for your needs, and disregard the manufacturer (as long as you stay with the reputable ones).
I have no disagreement-----if the brand name is in fact more expensive. My c omment is based on an assumption that they are similarly priced. If there is a significant price difference----you get what you pay for....
08-24-2011, 05:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
One can and should always select the brand name over the brand X unless there is a clear reason for the brand x simply because of resalevalue.
Well, the Sigma 100-300/4 has a used resale value which is 1.5 times higher than its new price.

Cosina Voigtlander macro sells for 5 times more than new.
08-24-2011, 06:37 PM   #11
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sigma 70mm/2.8 - every test I've seen hs been very positive. It's also ideal portrait focal length. The Tamron 90/2.8 is also fine. The Da100 has WR going for it.
08-25-2011, 01:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
This is based on the assumptions that (1) optically identical means identical resolution performance and (2) the photozone results can be fully trusted. If assumption (1) is valid, assumption (2) may not be. The reason for this is very simple: the photozone results aren't consistent with results made elsewhere. Go over and check out the resolution figures for the DFA 100 WR at lenstip and compare them to the figures for the FA 43. The Lenstip figures would have us believe that the DFA 100 WR is nearly as sharp as the FA 43 (perhaps the sharpest lens Pentax ever made). Now compare that with the photozone results for the earlier version of the DFA 100 and the FA 43. The numbers obviously don't add up. Photozone has the FA 43 as being considerably sharper the older DFA 100. So if the two DFA 100s really do produce identical resolution, then either we have tester error or someone has a bad copy of a lens.

Moral of the story: don't read too much into resolution tests found online. They sometimes contain glaring anamolies, particularly when compared to tests done elsewhere. From my own experience with DFA 100 WR, I'd suspect that the lenstip results present a far more accurate picture of the resolution of that lens then what we find over at photozone. And while the Tamron may be nearly as good, I doubt it would produce "slightly more harmonius performance across it's range" than the DFA 100 WR.

For practical purposes, I doubt there's any real significance difference between the two lenses; or if there is, it would probably be in favor of the Pentax lens. The decision between the two lenses really comes down to the WR, the circular aperture blades, the superior build quality of the Pentax, and 10mm of focal length. Are these advantages worth ~$250?
I wasn't reading too much into the resolution figures. I referenced the photozone tests because they tested the two lenses and the OP was asking for a comparison. I wasn't saying it was the word of God or something!!
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