Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-21-2018, 04:13 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: May 2018
Location: Londo, UK
Posts: 13
Build quality of various 100mm f2.8 AF lenses

I'm looking at getting a 100mm f2.8 - but it seems there are a few versions knocking about. As the optical formula is identical, the only differance is the build quality.

The review database mentions that the D-FA (non WR) is a bit plasticey, and I'm currently leaning towards the FA version (2nd one in the list). Only downside is that its quite heavy (but thats quality ...)

SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - F Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

All versions seem readily avaialble on eBay - but I use film a bit, so the most recent version which doesn't have a aperture ring is out...

If anyone owns multiple of these (I'm mainly interested in FA vs DFA versions), I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,

Wes

05-21-2018, 05:05 AM   #2
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: May 2011
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,761
QuoteOriginally posted by Wes_G Quote
I'm looking at getting a 100mm f2.8 - but it seems there are a few versions knocking about. As the optical formula is identical, the only differance is the build quality.

The review database mentions that the D-FA (non WR) is a bit plasticey, and I'm currently leaning towards the FA version (2nd one in the list). Only downside is that its quite heavy (but thats quality ...)

SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - F Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Reviews - D FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

All versions seem readily avaialble on eBay - but I use film a bit, so the most recent version which doesn't have a aperture ring is out...

If anyone owns multiple of these (I'm mainly interested in FA vs DFA versions), I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,

Wes
I had the FA 100 because I read so many reviews about how nice it was. It was heavy and I didn't feel the pictures were any better than the DFA do I kept the lighter one. It is plastic but works great and I have no regrets.
Amy
05-21-2018, 05:15 AM   #3
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,736
I have the FA version and I can certainly attest to its build quality. Steel and glass predominate. Its focus ring is smooth and easy to finesse for those tricky focusing situations but damped enough not to slip. Every bit of it is solid, but the heaviest of the lot. Doesn't bother me much as its results have been stellar. If I didn't have it, I'd go with the DFA WR version, given its solid build factor yet lighter and smaller/tighter design.
05-21-2018, 05:20 AM   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ffking's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Poole
Posts: 3,810
I've got an F version - it's built like a tank (I've had it and used it a lot for nearly 30 years), and optically excellent so there's no reason not to get one if it's a cheap option, but I'd probably go for a current one if I had to replace it just for the WR (and possible digital optimisation, though I've co complaints about the rendering of the F)


Last edited by ffking; 05-21-2018 at 05:26 AM.
05-21-2018, 05:28 AM   #5
Pentaxian
TaoMaas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,259
I have the FA and as everyone else has said, it's well-built but very heavy. The weight doesn't bother me because I use a tripod most of the times I'm shooting with it. One of the things I like about it is that if you want to focus manually, it has a control that dials in a bit of resistance to the focusing ring so that it feels more like a manual focusing lens. Like most macro lenses, it's performance is excellent. It's easily my go-to lens for close-up work.
05-21-2018, 05:34 AM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 14,088
I owned the F version for many years. It developed minor element separation in a doublet that caused a small amount of fog. The lens was sold and I got the DFA 100 WR. I love the lighter weight, but miss the focus limiter switch.

Btw, only the non WR version of the DFA is available with an aperture ring. On my film camera of choice (pz-1) that isn't a problem, but you mentioned the need for the ring.
05-21-2018, 06:35 AM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 14,088
The F version is beefy. However I have heard of quite a few having the same element separation issue I had. It can be repaired but making sure it is aligned perfectly after repair is complicated per my repair guy. The problem only slightly impacted the lens sharpness at apertures wider than f4.
05-21-2018, 07:40 AM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 942
I find the OP's comments regarding the inferred poor build quality of the D FA WR version interesting, as a few reviews suggested it should have been a Ltd.

I agree. Great lens. That said, never tried the FA version.

05-21-2018, 08:01 AM   #9
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 49
I have the FA version, big, heavy but built like a tank. This and the F version are the ones with Focus Range Limiter (FRL).

When using the lens at normal distances (not macro work) the AF can be really slow if the FRL is set to FULL (30cm to infinity). Limiting the focus range to 0.6m to infinity with the FRL improves AF speed considerably, much less hunting.

If AF in both D-FA versions behave as the FA with the FRL at FULL setting, I would consider the lack of FRL a significant drawback.

On the other hand, compactness, weight and weather resistance have tempted me sometimes to go for the D-FA WR version.
05-21-2018, 08:40 AM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 14,088
QuoteOriginally posted by CarlosU Quote
I have the FA version, big, heavy but built like a tank. This and the F version are the ones with Focus Range Limiter (FRL).

When using the lens at normal distances (not macro work) the AF can be really slow if the FRL is set to FULL (30cm to infinity). Limiting the focus range to 0.6m to infinity with the FRL improves AF speed considerably, much less hunting.

If AF in both D-FA versions behave as the FA with the FRL at FULL setting, I would consider the lack of FRL a significant drawback.

On the other hand, compactness, weight and weather resistance have tempted me sometimes to go for the D-FA WR version.
Spot on analysis. This is the one flaw in the DFA in my opinion. The lack of the limiter is offset slightly by the availability of quickshift.
05-21-2018, 08:41 AM   #11
New Member




Join Date: May 2018
Location: Londo, UK
Posts: 13
Original Poster
Cheers for your replies, I think I'll look for the either the F or FA versions (both seem to be appearing for about 300 and holding value more than the others) due to the Range Limiter point made by Carlos. They both seem of higher quality and similar weights (only 10g different) so I'll see if I can find one
05-21-2018, 08:44 AM   #12
New Member




Join Date: May 2018
Location: Londo, UK
Posts: 13
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
I find the OP's comments regarding the inferred poor build quality of the D FA WR version interesting, as a few reviews suggested it should have been a Ltd.
The reason I don't like the WR version is the lack of manual aperture control , the non WR version has a few comments about plasticy-ness (compared with the 2 earlier models) although that is a trade off for being about half the weight.
05-21-2018, 10:53 AM   #13
Pentaxian
angerdan's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 867
The WR version is the best, because it offers auto-aperture (A-position). So modern SLR cameras can control the aperture like with an DSLR.
05-21-2018, 10:54 AM - 1 Like   #14
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 14,088
QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
The WR version is the best, because it offers auto-aperture (A-position). So modern SLR cameras can control the aperture like with an DSLR.
? So do the A, F, FA, and non-WR D FA versions.
05-21-2018, 12:08 PM   #15
New Member




Join Date: May 2018
Location: Londo, UK
Posts: 13
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by angerdan Quote
The WR version is the best, because it offers auto-aperture (A-position). So modern SLR cameras can control the aperture like with an DSLR.
It doesn't offer manual aperture ring that the earlier ones do, so won't work with the older cameras I have (MX and P30N). All the other lenses mentioned also have the A position, as Vanya says.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
100mm, build quality, database, f2.8, fa, feature, features, k-mount, lens, lenses, macro, mind, pentax, pentax lens, people, plastic, reviews, series, slr lens, smc
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Build Quality & AF - DFA* 70-200mm f2.8 (vs FA* 80-200mm f2.8 & DA* 60-250mm f4) Joshua A Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 15 06-28-2016 06:58 AM
MEtz 24 AF-1 - build quality kaizoku Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 4 01-17-2014 01:24 PM
SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F2.8 Price and Build Quality SomeClown Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11 05-02-2012 06:06 PM
Build quality of Pentax Limited lenses? ducdao Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 22 05-16-2010 06:31 AM
AF lens build quality? ChrisPlatt Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 05-28-2008 05:13 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:44 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top