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12-23-2012, 04:04 AM   #1
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thinking of replacing my Tamron 90mm Macro with Pentax D FA 100mm/WR...

I wonder if it's worth it, maybe someone used both lenses extensively to be able to comment?

I currently have Tamron 90mm. While I like what it does in non macro situations (pretty sharp all over at narrow aperture), in macro it produces those weird bagel like bokeh which annoys me greatly.

Another thing I find very annoying is that it required two actions to switch between AF and MF - you need both on lens switch and then on the body switch to toggle MF.

Also the front 'tube' is so long that you can't use flash on the shoe while having 1:1 magnification because light is blocked by the this built-in 'hood'.

So I am thinking to buy 100mm WR for Quick Shift and hopefully better macro pictures.

Will I get better non macro pictures with 100mm WR and maybe 100 WR has some macro issues as well?

Also, is 100mm WR better wide open?

Also what is the quality situation with 100mm WR? I will be buying online without the ability to check, plus it would be super hard to replace it if I get defective lens (no Pentax seller or representative anywhere within 1000 km). Is it worth the risk of running into one?

12-23-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
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The D-FA 100mm f/2.8 WR also uses a front tube extension the closer it gets to 1:1 magnification - so you are still going to have issues with the lens blocking the flash and the 100mm WR isn't going to improve the working distance at 1:1 much over what you get with the Tamron 90mm f/2.8- perhaps your money could be better spent on getting an external flash. The only lenses that do not extend when focusing are Internally focusing [IF] macro lenses - at the moment those are pretty thin on the ground for the pentax K mount.

The optical performance of both macro lenses is exceptional, you won't see much difference.To my experienced eyes the D-FA 100mm f/2.8 WR holds the advantage in terms of image contrast at wider apertures, but the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro produces image quality that is indistinguishable from the D-FA 100mm f/2.8 WR at f/5.6

Last edited by Digitalis; 12-23-2012 at 06:18 AM.
12-23-2012, 09:00 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by olenl Quote
I wonder if it's worth it, maybe someone used both lenses extensively to be able to comment?

I currently have Tamron 90mm. While I like what it does in non macro situations (pretty sharp all over at narrow aperture), in macro it produces those weird bagel like bokeh which annoys me greatly.

Another thing I find very annoying is that it required two actions to switch between AF and MF - you need both on lens switch and then on the body switch to toggle MF.

Also the front 'tube' is so long that you can't use flash on the shoe while having 1:1 magnification because light is blocked by the this built-in 'hood'.

So I am thinking to buy 100mm WR for Quick Shift and hopefully better macro pictures.

Will I get better non macro pictures with 100mm WR and maybe 100 WR has some macro issues as well?

Also, is 100mm WR better wide open?

Also what is the quality situation with 100mm WR? I will be buying online without the ability to check, plus it would be super hard to replace it if I get defective lens (no Pentax seller or representative anywhere within 1000 km). Is it worth the risk of running into one?
Conveniently, we have a comparative review of the two

Tamron 90mm Macro vs Pentax 100mm WR: Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

I'd stick with the Tamron unless you need the weather sealing. The AF/MF thing can be annoying, yes, but on the other hand, the Pentax lens has no aperture ring, so you can't do any fancy macro work with it.

Adam
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12-23-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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I bought the DFA 100mm last week and it was defective. It stopped communicating with the body whenever the focus ring reached a certain position. Waiting for B&H to send a replacement. This is the first Pentax lens that was defective out of the box. Kind of frustrating.

12-23-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The optical performance of both macro lenses is exceptional, you won't see much difference.
What he said. If you don't need the WR, there is nothing to gain by switching.


Steve
01-15-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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Original Poster
So I just got the DFA 100mm WR lens and so far it's everyting I expected it to be. It is also much smaller than Tamron which is a huge plus for me.

Sure it also has retracted front element but it is WAY less deep than Tamron. I can actually shoot 1:1 macro using built-in flash, or of course any hot shoe flash, so I don't need to use extra hand to hold the flash, which is the only way to do it with Tamron (using either wireless mode or extension cord). It's probably not only because of the depth of the front element but also because of the width of the lens which is smaller on Pentax (49mm filter vs 58mm).

The bright spots bokeh in macro (from flash for example) don't look exactly perfect but better than Tamron's "begels" in my opinion.
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