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08-18-2012, 12:04 PM   #1
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confused, in a good way: 100mm f/3.5 macro

After picking up this Promaster 100/3.5 I did some checking online. This would seem to be the Cosina-made Plastic Fantastic in AF, which comes across in reviews as an ugly and very noisy AF lens with high-torque focus ring that presents challenges when focusing manually. Despite all this the optics are deemed excellent, so I was looking forward to its arrival. After all it's 100mm, it's a macro (1:2 but with 1:1 adapter), it has the 'A' setting and it's about 210g - all very appealing features to me.



Well it's here.. and it's not what I expected. Yes the plastic is pretty old-school and feels like it would shatter not bounce, and the optics have impressed me a lot in the first five minutes. But the AF is fast and no worse than the 18-55 kit for noise, and focusing manually is really easy, a bit too much so - also very kit-like. So this has all the positives and none of the drawbacks of its close relatives. I paid more than the average price that I see in reviews, but given how this lens works I'm not in the least bothered.

Do others have any info on more recent versions of this lens?
My Promaster looks nearly new and has the 1:1 lens - it's a featherweight marvel. I let my 410g Tamron 90 macro go as it was among my bulkiest lenses; this one will go to far more places and might bump the Sigma 50 macro off my must-carry list (the SMC-M50 will do nicely with the 100 in the bag).

f/3.5, no 1:1 adapter -


08-18-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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I had a MF version before the AF version I have now. My memory's a bit vague, but it seems the MF had a much stiffer focus ring than my current AF version (which looks like yours).

So this may be the difference. The AF version is probably also more recent, since I bought it new (old stock, I presumed) in a camera shop a couple of years ago.


Interestingly, I also sold my Tamron 90 macro (the latest version) when I got this lens. I then later got the DFA 100 WR macro. The Tamron was just stuck in the middle - a better lens than the Cosina, but not enough for me to justify the cost, and yet not as good as the DFA 100 WR, which I believe to be one of the best overall macros made by anyone.

Last edited by DSims; 08-18-2012 at 12:25 PM.
08-18-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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I have the 90mm Tamron and the 100mm Phoenix which is a manual focus version of your lens.The Phoenix is small and lightweight,the Tamron is much heavier ,easier to focus,IQ is somewhat better so if I sell one it will be the Phoenix.
08-18-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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I've owned the MF Vivitar-branded Cosina 100/3.5 and both of the Tamron 52's and had them in hand in hand at the same time.

The Cosina was more than adequate for a nature/trail camera but either Tamron 52 was the superior lens . . . and noticeably heavier too if that's important to you.

H2

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