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11-15-2008, 01:39 PM   #1
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Pentax D FA 100mm f/2.8 vs SMC Pentax-F f/2.8 100mm

Sorry if this has been covered (I did search for it using the search feature but came up empty).

Is there a lot of optical difference between these two lenses?

How do they compare regarding weight and lens extension?

I'm interested in macro, so the one that will provide the best macro images is the one I'll try and get.

The F version comes up on ebay reasonably cheaply, but the D doesn't.

As another option, would I be better off getting the Vivitar S1 105mm lens over either of the pentax ones?

Sorry for the probably bleeding obvious questions to those who have been in the game a while.

11-15-2008, 01:46 PM   #2
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Pentax Short Telephoto Prime Lenses

Dimitrov's site has a wealth of information. From that page, I'd guess that the F and DA lenses have the exact same optical theory, but the DA is implemented for the smaller frame of digital cameras. I don't know how they come out in practice. Maybe this helps. :-)
11-15-2008, 01:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ViS Quote
Sorry if this has been covered (I did search for it using the search feature but came up empty).

Is there a lot of optical difference between these two lenses?

How do they compare regarding weight and lens extension?
This really answers only the weight question (D FA much lighter, and smaller at least at minimum extension), but it is a site you'd probably like to know about:

Pentax Short Telephoto Prime Lenses
11-15-2008, 02:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ViS Quote
Sorry if this has been covered (I did search for it using the search feature but came up empty).

Is there a lot of optical difference between these two lenses?
Not enough to matter; I have both and they deliver essentially the same IQ within normal product variation.

QuoteQuote:
How do they compare regarding weight and lens extension?
The D-FA version is considerably lighter and smaller, but it isn't as well built as it is mainly plastic and can seem a bit wobbly at full extension, while the F version is mainly metal and is VERY sturdy. Both extend to about the same length at full magnification but the D-FA is a lot shorter at infinity focus.

QuoteQuote:
The F version comes up on ebay reasonably cheaply, but the D doesn't.
The F is a much older lens and was the first AF version released so there are a lot more copies of it out there, mostly owned by film shooters who may be moving on...

QuoteQuote:
As another option, would I be better off getting the Vivitar S1 105mm lens over either of the pentax ones?
I've never used the Vivitar but others have expressed the opinion that it is comparable in IQ to the two Pentax macros.

QuoteQuote:
Sorry for the probably bleeding obvious questions to those who have been in the game a while.
De nada; asking questions is how we learn new things!

Regards, Jim

11-15-2008, 03:09 PM   #5
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Jim, I think you should try to put all your lenses in your sig!
11-15-2008, 04:55 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
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Jim, I think you should try to put all your lenses in your sig!
I don't think there's enough room in his sig for ALL of his lenses.

Back to the topic at hand, have you taken a look at the Sigma 105/2.8 macro? While there are no slouches among the Pentax, Sigma, and Tamron offerings in this range, the Sigma 105 seems to rise to the top of the heap whenever there's a discussion about macro lenses (currently produced) in the 100mm range. As a matter of fact, it's the next lens that will be going into my camera bag.

Check out some sample pics from pbase:
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

HTH,
Heather
11-15-2008, 08:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
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Jim, I think you should try to put all your lenses in your sig!
As Harriet suggests in her post above, there isn't enough room in the space allocated here for sigs to list all my lenses and other photo equipment; I've tried! That's why I have listed it at DPR instead. Unfortunately there is a bug in their forum software which won't allow me to keep it updated. (I actually have 3 or 4 additional lenses over what's shown.) What makes this really irritating is that DPR won't acknowledge my many emails about the problem!
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