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05-05-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Pentax D FA100 F2.8 Macro WR user question

I want a lens with excellent IQ and sharpness, but at a longer focal length than my FA 43. My budget is about $750. I can buy the D FA 100 at prodigital for $709. Have any of you used the D FA 100 Macro as your telephoto lens as opposed to buying say the cheap DA L 55-300? I could purchase the DA L 55-300 but am afraid I will not like the IQ. I know the D FA is quite a bit shorter, but hey it offers Macro as well.

To put it bluntly, would you sacrifice focal length for better IQ, or vice versa, sacrifice IQ for longer focal length.

05-05-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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I don't think the DFA 100 would be a good substitute for a tele zoom like the 55-300. The range difference is just too much. Yes, the 100 is an excellent lens and would likely produce some good crops but if you shoot a lot of telephoto, I would recommend a longer lens. The 2 lenses are designed for different purposes. You can crop 55-300 shots for a "macro" look and crop the 100 for the long telephoto but that's not something you want to do all the time. Determine first what you need the most right now.
05-05-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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I have had the DA 55-300 for several years and it is good for a mid priced telezoom as long as you realize it is not going to be as good as your 43. I use my DFA 100 and DA*200 when I want the highest quality plus the Macro is nice on the 100. If you need the longer reach, the zoom would be better. Your needs and expectations may be different from mine.
05-05-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primes4ever Quote
I have had the DA 55-300 for several years and it is good for a mid priced telezoom as long as you realize it is not going to be as good as your 43. I use my DFA 100 and DA*200 when I want the highest quality plus the Macro is nice on the 100. If you need the longer reach, the zoom would be better. Your needs and expectations may be different from mine.
IQ is more important to me. Would you put the D FA100 as equal in IQ to the 43?

05-05-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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I owned DA 55-300 for a few years before I got rid of it because I don't need the range and now have DFA100. The 55-300's IQ is quite good (or DAL + hood) without pixel peeping. So if you need the reach, IMO, I wouldn't sacrifice for IQ.
05-05-2013, 12:18 PM   #6
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It's hard to compare 2 lenses like this as they are totally different.

You say in your last post that IQ is more important - when you say that then the DFA 100 is the lens you want.
05-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
It's hard to compare 2 lenses like this as they are totally different.

You say in your last post that IQ is more important - when you say that then the DFA 100 is the lens you want.
True but I'm wondering if this lens will be good for fast moving sports events at my daughters soccer tournaments.
05-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
True but I'm wondering if this lens will be good for fast moving sports events at my daughters soccer tournaments.
I don't think so. If the 100mm macro misses focus, it can take forever for it to "hunt" it's way back to the action. Unless you are confident in manual focusing, skip it for something like a Tamron 70-200/2.8. The Pentax 100mm is a true 1:1 macro, which means a very long "throw" on the focus (takes many turns to go from one end of the focus zone to the other), and that's what can take forever in AF.

Like others have said, if truly "IQ trumps all," even over your choice of prime vs. zoom/ focal length/ max aperture, etc... you could end up with a great lens you'll never use!

05-05-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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It's an apple and orange comparison ... I have both, and if soccer is the main use, then no doubt, go for the 55-300. J
05-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
True but I'm wondering if this lens will be good for fast moving sports events at my daughters soccer tournaments.
Well now you are changing what you are saying you want. You said IQ was most important out of the 2 lenses. Now you are wondering if it would be good for fast moving sports. As Panoguy say, basically no.

I will also agree with Panoguy in that a 70-200 2.8 might be more of what you want........
05-05-2013, 02:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Unless you are confident in manual focusing, skip it for something like a Tamron 70-200/2.8.
Wow, I hadn't seen that guy. Thanks for the heads up! That looks exactly like what I want.
05-05-2013, 04:22 PM   #12
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For soccer, you will need more reach than a 100 for most shots. The 100 is not bad focusing in good light, I have used it in basketball indoors with reasonable results as well as event photography. The 55-300 is OK in good light which should not be a problem for soccer. I use my DA*200 in those situations but that is more expensive. Personally I find the Tamron or Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lenses to be too heavy for my taste since sports events make tripods and sometimes even mono pods a pain to setup and some places restrict their use.
05-05-2013, 04:54 PM   #13
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For a budget of up to $750 and the need to shoot soccer, you should consider buying the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 used. Fast AF, excellent IQ, much more compact/light compared to 70-200 f/2.8 options.
05-06-2013, 12:07 AM   #14
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For field sports the 100 macro might not be so good. It does depend on the size of the field too.

If the action is close then 100mm will be too long. At the far end of the field it will be too short. If you misfocus it will go all the way in and allll the way out.
The 55-300 is cheap and OK for outdoor sports in good light. Its not a constant apeture zoom if its wide open (goes f4.5 - 5.6) so it makes it more tricky to get the exposure right in M mode so I just leave it on f5.6. This apeture doesn't help separate the players from the background. For that you want a 2.8 zoom. I should add that the 55-300 does sometimes hunt focus in average light conditions.

70-200 is what most people recomend as the "default" sport lens, maybe OK for full frame, but sometimes the action is up too close for 70mm.
With a 50-150 you can always crop in for the far end but with a 70-200 you'll be stepping back to get the closer action in.

I dont have a fast zoom. On the weekend i shot my sons under 6's soccer on a really small field with a DA21 and a DA70 2 bodies with the same apeture, speed & iso. When the light stayed pretty constant it was easy, and I just cropped to get the best compostion later.


IIRC Pro sports shooters on a full sized pitch with Full frame typically may use 24-70, 70-200 and a long prime like a 400/ 2.8 or something like that.
05-06-2013, 03:30 PM   #15
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Well, I just got the chance to pick up a Pentax DA* 50-135 for $610 used in excellent condition. I cant pass it up. Thanks for all your replies.
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