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03-03-2017, 06:15 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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pentax 100mm WR macro or tamron spii 90mm f2.5?

I have an old Tamron SPii 90mm macro lens which I use on my K3 and on all my film gear. I keep wondering if I should get the Pentax 100mm for use on the K3 for close up shots. Am I going to see any significant improvement in image quality regarding sharpness, contrast and colour? I don't need the macro for general telephoto use as I have plenty of other lenses which cover the 50-200mm range. I have the Tamron 1:1 adaptor so the closer focusing of the Pentax is not an issue

03-03-2017, 06:31 AM   #2
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From what I've read, both are very well-regarded. At that point, it's probably more user technique and experience than hardware making great images.
The autofocus with the K3 is pretty fast with the 100mm, though maybe no better than with the Tamron.

I found the addition of a ring flash was a significant improvement for me last year. It's just a Sunpak DX 8R, used in manual mode, so not expensive.
03-03-2017, 06:37 AM   #3
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Tamron has the AF limiter-that works very well for portraits, but lacks quick shift. Still I prefer the rendering and overall feel of 100WR Macro for non macro usage.
03-03-2017, 06:44 AM   #4
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I have the Tamron SP-2 72B, which is the last of the manual focus Adaptall macro lenses, and have never thought I was missing anything in it.... it amazes me every time I mount it...

03-03-2017, 07:04 AM   #5
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No, you're not going to see a big improvement. I think your lens money could be better spent elsewhere.
03-03-2017, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by richard0170 Quote
I don't need the macro for general telephoto use as I have plenty of other lenses which cover the 50-200mm range.
Before I got the DFA 100mm I read a lot of reviews and comparisons with Sigma 105mm and Tamron 90mm. The optics on all three lenses are really good, very sharp. The difference might be in colours and bokeh, but not very big. The bigger differences between these lenses are the features. Focus limiter, WR, QS, aperture ring... so if you want WR or QS, 1:1 without adapter, go for Pentax. If you need focus limiter or aperture ring, then DFA is not best choice.
I really like my DFA 100mm, but I don't think it is worth the hassle to sell the Tamron and buy DFA 100mm, unless you really need one of the features. And the DFA does have some good features. You have to identify them and decide their value
03-03-2017, 07:44 AM   #7
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The significant difference in practical use (assuming hood use and manual focus for Macro) is coating technology. I have the SPII 90/2.5 52BB + 1:1 Extension, Vivitar Series 1 105/2.5, Vivitar (Tokina) Series 1 90/2.5 + 1:1 Adapter and FA50/2.8. The three older lenses occasionally experience rear element sensor ghosting, which is unlikely with the D FA 100 Macro. The Tamron is a fine, sharp, flat, contrasty lens. The 52B which I formerly had might be even better. The Viv 105 is awesome colorful. The 'Bokina' has its cult following - mine is fully manual; better on a film camera.

The Tamron Adaptall-2 has the most apparent 'snap' into focus of any lens I have ever used. For that reason alone I would keep it. IMHO you needn't seek another Macro lens.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-03-2017 at 07:55 PM.
03-03-2017, 10:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
No, you're not going to see a big improvement. I think your lens money could be better spent elsewhere.
I agree...if I was starting from scratch, I MIGHT go with the pentax...but since you already have the Tamron, I would not do it.

03-03-2017, 12:26 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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This forum is really great. Many of us have the Pentax 100mm macro (DFA, FA, F...), and we love it, but we are fair enough with advice to admit that in terms of optics most modern macro primes are really good, so the difference in optics is not worth a lot of money. Even though we are fanboys and want you to buy more Pentax glass eventually
03-03-2017, 12:31 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I have the Tamron SP-2 72B, which is the last of the manual focus Adaptall macro lenses, and have never thought I was missing anything in it.... it amazes me every time I mount it...
I feel the same way about the 52BB. I even have the 01F 2X TC for it...makes a very nice 180mm F/5.6...
03-03-2017, 01:13 PM   #11
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I think most macro lenses between 90-150mm are Sharp and offer a lot of Contrast, even the OLD lenses seem to cover these bases really well.

When I was in the market, I made my decision based off of Color rendering and Features, since it seemed all other aspects were negligible when compared to other macros. I went for the older SMC-F 100mm macro. This lense has a certain color profile that is really stunning, and hard to explain. It also features a focus limit switch which is helpful when shooting portraits (yes it doubles as a great portrait lens). Good luck finding this lens if you are interested, it is often a hidden gem and isn't as available as the SMC-FA 100mm macro.
03-03-2017, 02:16 PM   #12
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^^ The special color profile is a common observation when discussing F lenses. It is why I keep an F50/1.7 among all my other 50's.
03-03-2017, 02:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
^^ The special color profile is a common observation when discussing F lenses. It is why I keep an F50/1.7 among all my other 50's.
LOL Yes... And it is why I went out of my way to buy a SMC-F 50 1.7 AFTER I tried my F 100mm macro. I loved it so much I had to have another!!!
03-03-2017, 05:34 PM   #14
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Many thanks for all the responses.
Just to make it plain my Tamron is an old manual focus one. It wont be for sale anytime as it gets used on my film gear, not just Pentax. So a purchase of the 100mm WR would be an indulgence. What I want to know is would I see much difference or improvement in results if I went ahead.
03-04-2017, 07:49 AM   #15
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If you've never experienced sensor reflections with your Adaptall (52B or 52BB) lens - a purple-ish "cloud/haze" in the center of the frame, something this lens is known for on digital and which I can attest does indeed sometimes happen - then you probably won't see a huge difference in image quality. The coatings are better on the Pentax lens, but what you'd be getting is mostly auto-focus with quickshift, WR, and 1:1 capability built-in. To me, that's a pretty large difference, and if you add the absence of sensor reflection and possibly a slight IQ advantage, then the win is sizeable on the Pentax side. But, you know, a bird in the hand...
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