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10-08-2011, 08:59 AM   #1
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Macros: DFA 100 WR, A 100 2.8, A* 200, Sigma 180, Sigma 150

I need a macro. Oh the options. I don't need AF so you will see I am considering several MF versions. I will likely often be using a tripod and focusing rail.

Considering:
Pentax A 100 2.8 $800-1000
Pentax DFA 100 2.8 WR $620 Only one I can purchase new as of now
Pentax A* 200 4.0 $2000
Sigma 180 3.5 $800-1000
Sigma 150 2.8 WR $1100 Not yet available
Other Recommendation????????

These are all 1:1. I like the idea of WR for protection against sand and dust. Although many MF only lenses are relativly sealed against this unlike modern AF. So this only realy puts a disadvantage on the Sigma 180. I like to keep the comparisons in two groups 100mm macros vs longer macros...

  • Lets talk about the A vs DFA 100 2.8:
Is the A 100 2.8 $200-400 better than the DFA?

A lens: Advantages to the A lens I see are better MF, classic fun-to-use status. Claimed not suitable for digital
DFA lens: Advantages to the DFA lens I see are full WR, AF but no focus limiter, more compact.

I have both 58mm and 49mm filters so no advantage disadvantage there. So this choice comes down to image quality. Opinions please?

  • Now the other options come down to if I decide I want a longer macro.
Pentax A* 200, is it all hype or is really worth twice the price of the Sigmas? Dust may not be as big of an issue with the 180mm since it is internal focus. All have tripod mounts

Pentax A*: easily holds it's value, longest FL, Legendary status, but puts the biggest hole in my pocket. MF should be a dream! Built in hood. Amazing build quality. Who cares about if my filters work when I am paying this much. New filter are nothing in comparison.
Sigma 180: Reviews claim it is as good as the Canon L version. Longest version at a good value. AF with limiter. I don't have 72mm filters, need a step ring from 77.
Sigma 150: The non OS version was suppose to be great. AF with limiter. Longest lens with actual WR. However shortest long lens. Again 72mm filter

So they all seem to be excellent image quality. The A* is said to be the best, but is it worth double? Hard to justify double for a specialty lens. Opinions please?

FYI: The Voigtlander 125 is out of my price range...
Any opinions on the two Leica 100mm macros?


Last edited by atlnq9; 10-08-2011 at 12:02 PM.
10-08-2011, 09:13 AM   #2
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Pentax A* 200 4.0 $2000 probably the best Manual Macro lens ever built.
but if you want to get one I would buy the Sigma 105 2.8 macro for around 300 dollars and save up for a better one.
I own the Pentax 100 DFA WR and have been very pleased with it for the money I spent on it. 400 used.
If you aqre going to specialize in Macro Photography then go for the Pentax A* 200 IF ED. or wait for the Sigma 150.
10-08-2011, 09:17 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
Sigma 105 2.8 macro
It is discontinued. Most everybody is out of stock. Sigma has not announced the new OS version in Pentax yet but if they do the price jumps to $970. However, even if it comes out for Pentax the 150 sure seems like a much better value which hopefully is one day coming.
10-08-2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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There is also the Tamron 90mm, just a tad shorter. One possible disadvantage of the DFA100WR is that it does not have an aperture ring (non WR version has).

You don't seem to be looking for shorter, else a M42 Vivitar 55/2.8 macro is a very nice lens (from experience) and the Sigma70 macro is well regarded.

10-08-2011, 11:20 AM   #5
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Just pick up a used 105 sigma till then. or grab this fast. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-equipment-sale/161663-sale-f...2-8-macro.html

Last edited by Fl_Gulfer; 10-08-2011 at 11:26 AM.
10-08-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fl_Gulfer Quote
I think there is at least one Sigma 105 on KEH and one on eBay right now.

I have one, great lens. It's very sharp and I like the handling and build quality a bit better than the D FA 100 Macro I used to own.
10-08-2011, 11:47 AM   #7
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As much as I like my A100/2.8, it is not a good lens on digital. The rear element is prone to reflecting light bouncing off the sensor, producing a hot spot in the middle of the image.
Great lens on film, not so good with a DSLR.
10-08-2011, 11:50 AM   #8
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I am not really interested in the Sigma 105, Tamron 90, or non WR Pentax 100 2.8. As I mentioned I need resistance to dust. The extending of those lenses without seals will draw in lots of dust.


Last edited by atlnq9; 10-08-2011 at 11:55 AM.
10-08-2011, 11:55 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
As much as I like my A100/2.8, it is not a good lens on digital. The rear element is prone to reflecting light bouncing off the sensor, producing a hot spot in the middle of the image. Great lens on film, not so good with a DSLR.
Thanks, this is great information to know. The A 100 is out then putting the DFA to the top of the short macro list. If I ever go back to film it is medium format; got to love big slides. That is unless someone has a different MF lens in the 100mm range they would recommend for digital?
10-08-2011, 12:11 PM   #10
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If I were starting in macro photography and had to buy a lens today, it would most definitely be the DFA 100WR. It has the build quality of the Limited series, the WR and excellent image quality with rounded aperture blades. From time to time you can find a used FA100 macro which is better built than the DFA macro and has a focus limiter switch along with a lens clamp switch (no longer works on mine).
10-08-2011, 01:35 PM   #11
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If you didn't live so far from me I would let you try my Pentax 100 WR to see if it meets your needs.
10-08-2011, 10:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
Sigma 180 3.5 $800-1000
Did this lens exist in Pentax mount and then was discontinued? I don't remember seeing it on the market.
10-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
As I mentioned I need resistance to dust.
DFA or Sigma 150 then.

Since you mentioned resistance to dust, what is the main use scenario?
10-08-2011, 10:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
DFA or Sigma 150 then.

Since you mentioned resistance to dust, what is the main use scenario?
Yeah, I wonder about that too, even a WR lens when it racks out sucks in air. Maybe the OP is hoping the rubber o rings on a WR lens might minimize the dust intake but I doubt that is the purpose of WR designation. Perhaps other forum members with WR lenses might shed some light on the OP's assumption that a WR lens keep dust as well as water out of the lens.
10-08-2011, 10:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Did this lens exist in Pentax mount and then was discontinued? I don't remember seeing it on the market.
Yup, I have one.
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