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04-18-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
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FA 28-105 f4-5.6 older vs newer model - OK experts, jump in

I have the itch to get one of these two lens in the next few days in prep for family events. I know neither will knock my socks off but either fills the gap in range for a walk around, fits budget and fits my existing filters. I have the chance to get the old heavy one, in black thank god, for $125 used or just buy the new light-weight silver version from Adorama for $209. Can't find much in the way for reviews to compare the two. Anybody have experience with either or both and wish to steer me? I have been married a long time and thus steer easily.

thanks.

04-18-2009, 07:58 PM   #2
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I should probably have some advice here because I own the older FA 28-105mm f4-5.6. I bought three lenses to cover that range, including the Pentax-F 35-135mm f3.5-4.5 and the Vivitar Series 1 KA 28-105mm f2.8-3.8. I ended up using the Pentax-F only, because it does the job and when I want a zoom, I'm not that picky. I have never used the FA except for testing, and the Vivitar has strange colors.

The FA has a good reputation I think - there is a third version that always confuses me. I see a lot of copies with broken power zoom switches, and mine has a broken one. Mine also has a strange lumpy feeling when manually focusing, like a gear has a broken tooth. I should sell it but I tend to keep the problem lenses. It works fine. If you want it for like $40, PM me. As I recall, it's a bit heavy, probably $7 shipping.
04-18-2009, 09:08 PM   #3
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There are 3 versions of the FA28-105 (two of them came/come in black and silver/black):

FA 28-105/4-5.6 (power zoom)
FA 28-105/4-5.6 [IF]
FA 28-105/3.2-4.5 AL [IF]

I have a copy of the PZ version. If you have a PZ series camera that can make use of the various built-in functions they're a fun lens to have, but its not what I would refer to as a "go to" lens. It's difficult to fine-adjust the power zoom for regular use and the front element spins while focusing.
04-18-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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I have the FA 28-105/4-5.6 [IF] third version in silver finish - the one said to be the Tamron design.

I like it. If there's no lens-specific plan, this lens as often as not ends up on the primary camera body. It delivers typical Tamron build and image quality for this class of lens and covers a useful range, although occasionally 24mm would be nice at the lower end. Within its focal length range, I use it much as I imagine I'd use the Tamron 18-250 and its image quality seems consistent with what I've seen from that lens. Noticably better than the two 18-55's I've used.

It isn't a lens I'd have chosen - it came with my first K200D - but now I think it would be one of the last general purpose, mid-range lenses I'd let go. In baseball terms, it's a good utility infielder that consistently bats .285 and never gets injured.

I wouldn't intentionally look for the Power Zoom model, but the other two versions appear to have good reputations for image and durability.

H2

04-18-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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For a while a few years ago, the 3.2-4.5 version was really popular as a sort of "alternate kit lens". Cheap, light, and pretty good IQ - but faster and with a much more impressive zoom range (if you don't need the wide end).
04-18-2009, 11:20 PM   #6
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Wow, thanks for the feedback V. I should have done this before making an offer on the first lens. Its the PZ I committed to and I did NOT know the front element spins. Oh well, that kills part of my reason for wanting this lens to use existing CP and GND filters. I can cancel my purchase if need be though.

PACERR: I like the baseball analogy!

MARC: If I had seen the faster version I would probably opt for that but since I seem to always end up stopping down to f/8 for best IQ not sure why I pay more for faster lens. Could it be because I don't know what i'm doing yet????
04-18-2009, 11:47 PM   #7
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Or it could be because you never shoot in low light, or don't care about creating shallow DOF.
04-18-2009, 11:54 PM   #8
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ah true about the light....i spend as much time as possible with the 55-300 trying to get marsh birds in flight and as little time as possible with my camera at family events getting ANOTHER 50 pictures of my inlaws indoors.

I checked out your pics Marc and you hit the light and dark while I stay stuck in the light. I have a lot to learn before i get anywhere near that level. Very nice looking portfollio. Will take me a while to get through the whole flickr album. really nice.

oh....forgot to mention early on. cant find any of the f/3.2-4.5 lens. Everybody reputable is out of stock.


Last edited by imtheguy; 04-19-2009 at 12:01 AM.
04-19-2009, 04:47 PM   #9
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I used to have the f/3.2 version, great walk around lens! I used it primarily on my honeymoon in Malaysia and I had no complaints for the price I paid. The only reason I sold it is that I wanted to help pay for a prime lens.
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