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12-25-2017, 09:39 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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D-FA 28-105mm lens vs. older FA 28-105mm lenses. Anyone?

Has anyone compared the recently released D-FA 28-105mm lens with some of the older film era FA 28-105mm lenses?

I purchased a D-FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 during the Christmas sales and I have a FA 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5 from before. I was thinking of taking some comparison shots tomorrow but I wanted to hear if anyone has done something like this already so I don't go about reinventing the wheel so to speak.


Thanks!

12-25-2017, 10:19 PM   #2
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I haven't seen anyone do a comparison yet. I am curious to see any results though, as I have the FA 28-105 [IF]. The FA 28-105 is currently one of my favorite lenses, and is a nice walkaround lens but definitely needs stopped down a bit in bright light even with a hood.
12-25-2017, 11:07 PM   #3
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I did some informal tests and found the DFA lens to have a significant edge over its F and FA series competitors. Optical tech has definitely evolved!

Our review of the lens may also have some comparisons, can't remember for sure.

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12-25-2017, 11:28 PM   #4
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There were at least two FA 28-105's- One with a power zoom feature, rather large and well-regarded at the time, f/3.5-5.6 I believe. The other the one you are considering testing against your new lens. One thing amazing about the later f/3.2-4.5 version is its small size and light weight, especially for its faster aperture. I will have to look in my storage- I might still have both!

12-26-2017, 04:41 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Has anyone compared the recently released D-FA 28-105mm lens with some of the older film era FA 28-105mm lenses?

I purchased a D-FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 during the Christmas sales and I have a FA 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5 from before. I was thinking of taking some comparison shots tomorrow but I wanted to hear if anyone has done something like this already so I don't go about reinventing the wheel so to speak.
QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
I haven't seen anyone do a comparison yet. I am curious to see any results though, as I have the FA 28-105 [IF]. The FA 28-105 is currently one of my favorite lenses, and is a nice walkaround lens but definitely needs stopped down a bit in bright light even with a hood.
I'd be interested to see the comparison shots

I also have the FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5, and rather like it as a walk-around lens on APS-C... It's small, light and pretty versatile, and has decent optics for its age. I agree, though - it does need to be stopped down a little, and that sort of negates the slight advantage in speed over similar lenses...
12-26-2017, 07:53 PM   #6
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Oh I was just pondering this exact same question last night - it must have been really late and I missed this post! Based on what Adam said, the D FA 28-105 would smoke the old FA lenses I have. I guess I was hoping against hope that the older lenses would be up to snuff :-) but I do recall using some of the other FA lenses on my K5 and the quality wasn't all that great, especially when shot wide open.
12-26-2017, 10:27 PM   #7
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The particular version I own is the FA 28-105 f/4-5.6 [IF]. Sure the new versions will smoke the old ones, but I'd still love to see the comparisons between all the different variants.
12-27-2017, 05:13 PM - 3 Likes   #8
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I started photographing test shots to get an idea how the older FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 lens will compare against the newer D-FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Here are my initial impressions.

Both lenses are sharp in the center. The D-FA gets a little sharper a little faster when stopping down from wide open to f/8 and the D-FA is a little sharper at its sharpest than the FA. Comparing the circular areas of sharpness I would say the D-FA definitely has a larger circle of sharpness compared to the FA.

The D-FA is much sharper in the edges and corners than the FA. Thankfully, the FA sharpens up a bit when stopping down but it won't reach the same level of sharpness as the D-FA in the same area at the same f-stop.

The FA is slightly faster than the D-FA but the FA is too soft at wide open for my pixel peeping pleasure. For something small like a 4"x6" print or maybe something for the web then wide open is probably plenty good.

The FA lens vignettes more than the D-FA.

Colors are outstanding on both!

I photographed sand to get an idea of how the lenses resolve detail. The distance was about 3 feet, or 1 meter. This was my "up close" scene. I also photographed the view from my backyard which includes some hills, the neighbor's roof, and some trees. This was my "infinity" scene. Now that I am beginning to understand how the lenses behave I think I can come up with some better test shot scenes to photograph. Then I will try posting some samples.

The FA is not disappointing lens at all, especially when you consider it's age, where it came from, and today's going price for it. eBay seems to have them priced anywhere from $90 to $130 and hoods seem to be selling separately nowadays. I used the lens on my K-30 for a good long while and I was very happy with the images it produced. It is certainly a viable alternative for those looking to buy a lower cost lens that covers the 28mm to 105mm focal lengths. The D-FA is much more stout and may be more future-proof with its DC motor. Lets not forget the updated coating and optics too. You definitely get more when you pay more. Do you get 4x more when you pay 4x more? That's an individual decision.

More later!

12-27-2017, 05:19 PM   #9
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Interesting, though not at all surprising. I'm looking forward to seeing the final test shots, Boris
12-27-2017, 09:27 PM   #10
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Thanks for taking the time to share your findings Boris !
12-28-2017, 01:11 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
The particular version I own is the FA 28-105 f/4-5.6 [IF]. Sure the new versions will smoke the old ones, but I'd still love to see the comparisons between all the different variants.
It's the third version, the Tamron one, with some more elements, if I remember correctly.
I have the first, the Powerzoom one.
I'd like to to try the second FA version, slightly faster, because I have two other "silver" zooms, looking quite cheap and with a plastic bayonet, that are not bad at all.
Last time I checked I couldn't find one (with hood) at a decent price

Cheers

P

01-04-2018, 11:18 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I haven't forgotten about my thread here!

I photographed a third scene after my sand shot and my backyard shot. This third scene is now a view from my front yard. It shows an empty lot with heavy equipment on it and two built houses, one on each side of the house. The scene was shot at 28mm, 50mm, and 105mm and my aperture was f/5, f/8, and f/11. Quick conclusion is that the D-FA is noticeably sharper, especially in the center, than the FA when pixel peeping but not so when viewing the image to fit on my 21" iMac monitor. I also noticed that the FA renders high contrast details in the edges and corners of the frame better than the D-FA but the D-FA renders lower contrast in the edges and corners than the FA. So, depending on what is in those areas could change your perception of sharpness.

The color "pop" is about the same. Maybe the FA has a bit of an edge because it likes higher contrast than the D-FA. I still think the FA 28-105mm f/3.2 is very good lens and is a great alternative to the D-FA 28-105mm.

Pixel peeping crops coming soon!
01-04-2018, 09:49 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Made a small gallery of sample pics taken with the FA 28-105mm f/4-5.6[IF] these are just "best of" shots from the last 3 months that I took with that lens, no "test"-style images. I did cherrypick the best ones I found, so you won't see any of my shots where I needed to stop down/etc...

Auzzie-Phoenix's Album: FA28-105 f/4-5.6(IF) samples - PentaxForums.com
01-10-2018, 04:45 PM   #14
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Any progress on the testing?
03-16-2018, 06:57 PM   #15
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Ok... it's been a while since the last update.... I'm validly curious about the progress on this.
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