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03-13-2018, 04:53 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonovanJM Quote
Thanks for all the advice! I ended up picking up a Pentax FA 100mm Macro. I got it for about half the price of what I was able to find for the DFA. I know you get what you pay for but at this stage in my photography life I can't justify the extra cost. Someday maybe!
Thanks again!
Ehh, my biggest complaint would be the size/weight compared to its DFA counterparts, but otherwise it's a question of features. If you value an aperture ring and the focus limiter, it could be preferable to the latest dfa100. A few more bucks in your pocket also doesn't hurt. It should serve you well for many years to come.

03-13-2018, 04:58 PM - 1 Like   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
. . . the size/weight compared to its DFA counterparts, . . .

are you saying he got more lens for his buck???

03-13-2018, 05:34 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
If you value an aperture ring and the focus limiter, it could be preferable to the latest dfa100
There are no D FA primes with focus limiter. And the FA lenses have an aperture ring.
Lenses for Pentax with focus limiter - PentaxForums.com
03-13-2018, 06:19 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
There are no D FA primes with focus limiter. And the FA lenses have an aperture ring.
Lenses for Pentax with focus limiter - PentaxForums.com
That was my point, yes. If you valued the focus limiter and aperture ring, the FA macro the OP purchased could be the way to go and shouldn't be considered second class compared to the latest dfa100mm (in case he felt like he 'settled')...

It's unfortunate that they don't have a macro using these optics with all the features rolled into one, WR, solid compact build, aperture ring, quick shift, focus limiter and clamp, etc. As it is, we have to choose between generations and there isn't a clear winner for everyone. The only certainty is that they are all capable of excellent results and should give anyone years of service.

03-13-2018, 06:25 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
That was my point, yes. If you valued the focus limiter and aperture ring, the FA macro the OP purchased could be the way to go and shouldn't be considered second class compared to the latest dfa100mm (in case he felt like he 'settled')...

It's unfortunate that they don't have a macro using these optics with all the features rolled into one, WR, solid compact build, aperture ring, quick shift, focus limiter and clamp, etc. As it is, we have to choose between generations and there isn't a clear winner for everyone. The only certainty is that they are all capable of excellent results and should give anyone years of service.
I agree, regardless of choice of lens and/or the reasons for the choice

the various 100mm F2.8 macros are winners
03-14-2018, 04:07 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
It's unfortunate that they don't have a macro using these optics with all the features rolled into one, WR, solid compact build, aperture ring, quick shift, focus limiter and clamp, etc.
Aperture ring isn't neccessary for Pentax AF film cameras with D FA lenses, since the are already at A-position. So the camera con control the aperture.
At least the D FA WR has the most features for AF cameras.
03-14-2018, 04:52 AM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
At least the D FA WR has the most features for AF cameras.
Except for the lack of focus limiter... I do wish they'd kept that feature.
03-14-2018, 05:01 AM   #53
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Like the af motor the focus limiter could be controlled by the camera.
In Body Focus range limiter - PentaxForums.com

03-14-2018, 07:01 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I've actually ended up with all three, Donovan.

For me, the DFA is the smallest and WR - just a 49mm filter - with the best build.

You can't go wrong with IQ from any of them. This is the beauty of macro lenses.
I agree with everything, but two words: "best built".
I've never owned the DFA WR, though I've seen/held it. It's a smallish, light lens, for a 100mm macro. Which is in many ways an advantage (together with WR), but I'm not so sure it is a sign of robust, durable build.
I'm not questioning, just asking... cause the physical impression was not in accordance with your first hand consideration.
I have the FA, the Sigma 105mm, and own/owned three different iterations of the old Tamron 90mm f/2.5.
The former two are a notch over the Tamrons, just because of the dreaded hot spot that sometimes (rarely) appears on the center of the frame with the old f/2.5 Tamron optical layout (because of the flat, fixed rear glass). I haven't seen the light spot once, with the K-1. Because of the missing AA glass in front of the sensor? Can't say.
The FA is a top class lens, and the Sigma 105mm is at least as good. Reportedly better than the Sigma Macro 50mm EX and only slightly inferior to the 70mm (which should be one of the best macros ever). I own all of them, but I don't use very much macro lenses below 90mm, all I can say is that all of them are damn sharp, and that the 50mm has a very ugly bokeh.
Regarding build quality, which is the reason I'm writing these lines, I think the best one should be the Pentax-F 100mm. I have the 50mm, built the same way. Forgetting about the manual focus ring, the innards are robust and use good materials, better than any subsequent generation of Pentax AF lenses. I've used the fifty a lot on film, and I've been not too bothered by the ridiculous ring. I used to set the ring and move the camera back and forth to get the subject in focus. Best technique for high reproduction ratios...
The 100mm should be about the same.
Regarding MF lenses, all of them had decent builds. The first version of the Tamron was one of the best, and because of its diffusion can be found for cheap. Best price/performance ratio in its category, in my opinion. With a working P/KA ring it's also very ergonomic.

I always thought that the DFA non-WR was nice and small, but not very well built, and that the later WR version was better, but only marginally.
This is why I'm asking, as I see you have the chance to compare, but reported a different experience.
In fact, despite having a few other macros in the same focal range, I tried to score a good F version, but always found rather high prices, so in the end I went for a cheap FA, with some strange AF problems.
Fortunately my theory was correct, the limiter was always engaged
It was a cheap fix, and now the lens works a charm (with nicely working limiter and clamp: a nice bonus for this kind of objectives, IMHO).
I don't think I would swap the FA for a recent DFA WR, though my interest is a bit more than merely academical... you never know what could happen tomorrow

Cheers
Paolo

03-14-2018, 11:52 AM - 1 Like   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
I agree with everything, but two words: "best built".
I've never owned the DFA WR, though I've seen/held it. It's a smallish, light lens, for a 100mm macro. Which is in many ways an advantage (together with WR), but I'm not so sure it is a sign of robust, durable build.
You've definitely forgotten its metal barrel, Paolo, and could even be called a Limited - just 49mm filter size:

https://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/pentax/100mm-f2.8-macro-smc-d-fa-wr/review/

The Sigma and Tamron are very plastic, and just not built well enough to keep out water.

Last edited by clackers; 03-14-2018 at 12:01 PM.
03-14-2018, 01:27 PM   #56
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The 100mm WR also has engraved letters instead of printed - like the Limiteds.
03-14-2018, 02:25 PM   #57
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the 100mm F2.8 macro WR

Construction and Handling
The outer lens barrel and focus ring are made of metal and the design is close to that of the DA Limited lenses. The inner barrel, which extends as you focus closer, is made of plastic, but fits tightly in the outer barrel and, opposed to the earlier D FA model, there is hardly any wobbling of the inner barrel. The lens feels like a precision optical instrument. The lens hood is made of plastic and fastens to the outer lens barrel using a bayonet. When the hood is mounted, the length does not change as you focus closer since the inner barrel extends within the hood. The front element does not rotate when focusing, making use of a polarizing filter convenient.
This lens is weather-sealed and thus well protected against dust and rain. The image below shows the seal on the lens mount. In addition to this visible seal, there are several seals inside the lens


Read more at: Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro Review - Construction and Handling | PentaxForums.com Reviews

D FA 100mm F2.8 macro


The DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro is very different from its older cousin (FA 100mm f/2.8 macro) - it not heavy metal block but mostly a plastic-fantastic lens which doesn't feel quite as durable. The inner lens tube wobbles a bit. Obvious advantages of the new design are the very compact dimensions and a very low weight. Typical for most medium tele macro lenses the inner lens tube extends significantly when focusing towards short focus distances. . . . Typical for macro lenses it shows an absolutely negligible degree of distortions. In relation to its fairly high price tag (~550€/US$) the build quality leaves a little bit to be desired - the lens doesn't feel quite as substantial as its predecessor and the lack of a focus limiter is a bit disappointing because the AF tends to hunt quite a bit.

http://www.opticallimits.com/pentax/129-pentax-smc-d-fa-100mm-f28-macro-review--test-report

Build and handling
Despite being comparatively small and lightweight, this lens feels well put together and up to the job.


https://www.ephotozine.com/article/pentax-smc-100mm-f2-8-d-fa-macro-intercha...ns-review-4582

Last edited by aslyfox; 03-14-2018 at 02:41 PM.
03-14-2018, 04:21 PM - 1 Like   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
I always thought that the DFA non-WR was nice and small, but not very well built, and that the later WR version was better, but only marginally.
I just have the non-WR version, and frankly I've always considered its build pretty decent. Allen has quoted a review which has my main concern about it:

QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
The inner lens tube wobbles a bit.
and as a result when I reverse a lens onto it (typically an A28/2.8), I make sure to support the reversed lens. Plastic? Partly sure. But apart from a little wobble if you push on it, it feels pretty sturdy. I haven't performed a drop test onto a hard surface, but so far it's given my nine years of service and I haven't always been gentle with it, snow, light rain, swamps, mud, I bought it to use and I do (lack of WR be damned!).

I also have a takumar 100mm f/4 macro, and if it got into a fight with my df100mm it would be a KO by the third round. They don't make them like the good old days, but that doesn't mean a newer lens won't give you years of service.
03-14-2018, 04:34 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
. . . I haven't performed a drop test onto a hard surface, . . .
I recently did try a drop test onto a hard surface of

the K 3 and the DA * 300mm

I have another boo boo, WARNING and seeking help - Page 5 - PentaxForums.com

not an experience recommended as being good for the heart

expressions of horror and sympathy will be acceptable

Last edited by aslyfox; 03-14-2018 at 05:12 PM.
03-14-2018, 05:02 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonovanJM Quote
Help me choose! I'm trying to decide between these 3 lenses -Pentax FA 100m f2.8 vs.Tamron 90mm f2.8 272Ep vs. Sigma EX 105 f2.8
They all seem to be about the same price ~$200 to $250 ish range. Which fits my budget. The vast majority of the Pentax ones on Ebay seem to be coming from Japan. I'm not sure if that matter or not. They all seem to have good reviews. I just don't know.
Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Donovan
I still owns FA100mm. Previously I had the Tamron macro before
For sample of Tamron shots ....... ..tamron90mm Photo Gallery by Daniel TONG at pbase.com
For sample of FA100mm shots .... macro Photo Gallery by Daniel TONG at pbase.com
I did not have chance to use Sigma macro
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