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03-01-2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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DFA 100 macro or DFA 100WR macro or Sigma 70

Ok I'm down to these 3 macro lenses..Pentax DFA 100,DFA WR 100 & Sigma 70 macro
is there any optical difference between the 2 Pentax lenses? from what I read AF is not so good and maybe these are best for macro only? but I wish to use for portraits of animals as well. The Sigma is also high on my list ,as not so much diff between 70 & 100 for what I need....
or should I wait ,is there any new model macros coming out soon?
Thanks for any help again

03-01-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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I can promise you that all of these three lenses works just fine for portraits, many seems to use macros for portraits as they are really sharp. Most macro's are really slow when it comes to AF due to having a really long focus throw (wonderful for macro work) but it's not bad for posed portraits or similar. I wish my Sigma 105mm was WR to use it in harsh weather for some interesting macro work, so if you can afford it get the WR!
03-01-2013, 10:41 PM   #3
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My Sigma 70 is now only used for people portraits although its probably too sharp for the job. I use my pentax 100Wr for insects and my pentax 35Ltd for wildflowers.

The sigma 70 mm is a really big lump compared with penatx 100. As I usually manual focus for macro images, the pentax 100mm WR hunting is not an issue. I suspect they didn't place a focus limiter on the pentax to keep it small.

For me I would always go a WR lens when I have the option. It is good in damp conditions, and less likely to suck in dust.

The 100mm WR does not look cool and I read a review that advised to keep the lens hood on so you didn't look stupid. But I do like nice small well built lenses.

My gut feeling is that the pentax is sharper as a macro and the sigma sharper as a normal lens.
03-02-2013, 09:57 AM   #4
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I can't comment on the Sigma other than it's nice to have the longer reach of the DFA100WR for insects. I frequently only use 2 lenses when I go hiking. DFA100WR and DA15.

The DFA100WR focus hunting is annoying when it happens but it's not an issue that often. Aslong as the focus isn't hunting and traveling the entire forcus range it's actually quite fast. Not fast enough for moving targets though.

03-02-2013, 10:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote
I can't comment on the Sigma other than it's nice to have the longer reach of the DFA100WR for insects. I frequently only use 2 lenses when I go hiking. DFA100WR and DA15.

The DFA100WR focus hunting is annoying when it happens but it's not an issue that often. Aslong as the focus isn't hunting and traveling the entire forcus range it's actually quite fast. Not fast enough for moving targets though.
hmmm so the 100 wouldn't be so good for animals,unless there are sitting still....the DA15 is also on my list..
03-02-2013, 11:05 AM   #6
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I'm not sure any macro lens is going to be very good at tracking motion. As a matter of fact this is a general Pentax weakness. I don't photograph movement very much so I'll defer to someone else on this particular technique but I would not expect great results. I usually take a MF telephoto if I'm doing sports (rarely) and prefocus on a particular area.
03-02-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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I've owned all three of your choices, and still have the DFA 100 WR. The Sigma is a huge, clunky , heavy beast compared to the 100 WR, but of the three, I do believe it was the sharpest. ...But sharpness isn't everything. For one thing, 70 is kind of short, as others have said, for things like insects. As far as the 100 WR not having a focus limiter, I think even with the limiter, the Sigma probably spent more time hunting, and boy it's screw-drive AF sounds godawful in comparison! That, and I really like the Pentax color rendition much better; certainly something that could be handled in post-processing though, if needed. The Sigma just seemed to produce "cooler", less vibrant tones.

Between the old Pentax 100, and the new 100 WR, the build quality definitely makes the WR more desirable. (To me, anyway!) It really is superb, as they say almost like one of the Limiteds. It is also the most compact of the three choices. And the Quick-Shift works very well and eliminates the perceived negative of not having a focus limiter. Plus, it has WR, and the aperture blades are rounded. The 100 WR has very nice bokeh, and functions well as a portrait lens if needed, although last time I took some shots of my girlfriend with it, she complained that it was too sharp!

Many times I throw the 100 WR and DA 15 in a (very small!) camera bag, with the FA 43 on the camera, and with that little combo I feel very adequately prepared for just about anything. (Oh, and they all take the same filter size, too!)

One other thing though... if you decide you're really going to get into macro photography, the 100 WR will not function properly with any of the commonly-found extension tubes, because it doesn't have any manual aperture settings. The required ones seem to be as rare as hen's teeth. But if that kind of photography turns out to be your "cup of tea", you'll probably end up owning more than one macro lens anyway!

...Last thought: why not consider the Tamron 90 as well? Especially if budget is a consideration, it's probably the best bang-for-the-buck, also very highly rated. (Sorry to throw in that monkey wrench!) Good luck in your choice.
03-03-2013, 12:06 AM   #8
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Very happy user of the Sigma 70/2.8 here.

It is very sharp at f/2.8 already and I've successfully shot flies and butterflies with it.

It also doubles nicely as a portrait lens.
I personally find 90mm or even 100mm too long for most portraits on APS-C.


Last edited by Class A; 03-13-2013 at 10:41 PM.
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