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06-10-2014, 12:57 AM   #1
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Pentax FA 100mm 2.8 macro vs Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro

Hi. I am seriously considering getting a dedicated macro lens. The choices are: (1) a used but refurbished Pentax 100mm and (2) a new Tamron 90mm. The price are about the same. Which would be a better choice? Thanks and regards.

06-10-2014, 01:19 AM   #2
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Not that it's very helpful, but I have yet to see anybody say anything bad about either of the two when it comes to image quality. Some seem to find the AF/MF switch on the Tamron a bit awkward, but I can't really say since I've never used one.
06-10-2014, 01:46 AM   #3
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The Tamron is optically superb, but a bit of a pain to use. Swapping from manual to auto or vice versa involves both flicking the AF/MF switch on the body, and moving the collar forward or backward on the lens. You can actually do damage if you have them mismatched. Other disadvantages of the Tamron are: no quick-shift; hood very fiddly to put on in reverse; awful rear cap that only goes on in one position (get a spare Pentax cap). In its favour: focus limiter; aperture ring; brilliant optics.

For a similar price, I would get the Pentax. However, the Tamron is usually much cheaper. Depends how much you value convenience.
06-10-2014, 05:07 AM   #4
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I suggest you look here:

Tamron 90mm Macro vs Pentax 100mm WR: Review - Introduction - Pentax Camera Forums

It should answer most of your questions.

06-10-2014, 05:07 AM   #5
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No quick-shift on the FA either, I believe. The DFA has, though. But at least you don't have to switch the lens to manual. Switching on the body will suffice.

I suppose it pretty much boils down to the hassle of the AF/MF switch on the Tamron versus the lack of a focus limiter on the Pentax.

I think I would go for the Pentax, too. Actually, I sort of did already, having the DFA 100
06-10-2014, 08:22 AM   #6
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I will pick up an used lens, just because when considering resell, you wouldn't lose much
06-10-2014, 08:39 AM   #7
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Check the warranties too. Here in Canada, I believe Tamron offers a 7 year warranty - pretty nice! If you're talking about this FA Macro (as opposed to the D-FA or the D-FA WR), there's also a major weight difference between the two lenses, with the Tamron being much lighter. Personally, the switching between AF and MF on the Tamron doesn't bother me, and the focus limiter is nice to have when not shooting macro. The Tamron is a superb lens. Where I'd hesitate, personally, is between the Tamron and a non-WR D-FA, at around the same price. But I'd pick a new (400g) Tamron over a used (600g) FA anytime...

Last edited by Doundounba; 06-10-2014 at 08:41 AM. Reason: typos
06-10-2014, 05:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by el baroda Quote
Hi. I am seriously considering getting a dedicated macro lens. The choices are: (1) a used but refurbished Pentax 100mm and (2) a new Tamron 90mm. The price are about the same. Which would be a better choice? Thanks and regards.
I have 2 marco lenses, the DA 35 Limited and the DFA 100 WR. What I have come to realize is that quick shift on a macro lens is something I absolutely could not live without. Autofocus is much slower and more difficult with a macro lens especially going in and out of macro range. I use quick shift to get close then let autofocus fine tune the image and it works quickly and relatively quietly. This is something you may want to consider in looking for a macro lens. If you are looking at 100 mm macro I recommend the DFA 100 WR. I give it a 10. You may be able to find a good used one on the marketplace here or KEH.com if you want to save some money on it.

06-11-2014, 02:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I suggest you look here:

Tamron 90mm Macro vs Pentax 100mm WR: Review - Introduction - Pentax Camera Forums

It should answer most of your questions.
Hi. Thanks for the link. I am actually referring to the FA, not the DFA or WR variants. Cheers.

---------- Post added 06-11-2014 at 07:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
. If you are looking at 100 mm macro I recommend the DFA 100 WR. I give it a 10. You may be able to find a good used one on the marketplace here or KEH.com if you want to save some money on it.
Hi. Thanks for your inputb, but I was actually referring to the FA variant. Cheers.

---------- Post added 06-11-2014 at 07:42 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
The Tamron is a superb lens. Where I'd hesitate, personally, is between the Tamron and a non-WR D-FA, at around the same price. But I'd pick a new (400g) Tamron over a used (600g) FA anytime...
Hi. I'll definitely give this serious thought. Thanks a lot.

---------- Post added 06-11-2014 at 07:45 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by xinanbei Quote
I will pick up an used lens, just because when considering resell, you wouldn't lose much
Hi. As I mentioned earlier, the price is almost the same, which makes the used Pentax seem a bit too expensive. Thanks.

---------- Post added 06-11-2014 at 07:48 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
No quick-shift on the FA either, I believe. The DFA has, though. But at least you don't have to switch the lens to manual. Switching on the body will suffice.

I suppose it pretty much boils down to the hassle of the AF/MF switch on the Tamron versus the lack of a focus limiter on the Pentax.

I think I would go for the Pentax, too. Actually, I sort of did already, having the DFA 100
Hi. I shoot manual focus most of the time, even with my AF lenses. Thanks.
06-11-2014, 03:58 AM   #10
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I bought a used FA100mm from tom1803 via his eBay store in Japan for about $320, last year. He's also a member here.
Anyway, it's a fantastic lens, built like a tank, and sharp as. I'd recommend looking him up. The FA's in Hong Kong are about $100 dearer.

Regards
06-11-2014, 04:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sam-joseph Quote
I bought a used FA100mm from tom1803 via his eBay store in Japan for about $320, last year. He's also a member here.
Anyway, it's a fantastic lens, built like a tank, and sharp as. I'd recommend looking him up. The FA's in Hong Kong are about $100 dearer.

Regards
Hi. I have sent you a PM. Thanks.
06-11-2014, 04:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by el baroda Quote
Hi. Thanks for the link. I am actually referring to the FA, not the DFA or WR variants. Cheers.
The optical performances should be somewhat comparable, but not identical of course. At the least, the review will give you information on the Tamron and you can decide if you can live with how it operates in MF/AF.
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