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View Poll Results: Which is better for Macro and Portrait, including options like MF/AF, Shift, Clutch?
Pentax 100mm 2.8 Macro - DFA 1618.39%
Pentax 100mm 2.8 Macro - FA 1416.09%
Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro 1517.24%
Tamrom 90mm 2.8 Macro 4248.28%
Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

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06-17-2009, 06:33 AM   #1
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Better Lens? Sigma 105mm, Tamron 90mm, or Pentax 100mm 2.8?

I'm looking for the better lens to buy, for both Macro and Portrait.

In another thread, I narrowed it down to these...

So which is better?

Sigma MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG (AF), Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro, or Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro - F or FA or DFA?

ALSO - How hard is it to switch from Macro to Portraits, or to focus on these?


Last edited by PentaxForums-User; 06-17-2009 at 06:40 AM.
06-17-2009, 07:35 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxForums-User Quote
I'm looking for the better lens to buy, for both Macro and Portrait.

In another thread, I narrowed it down to these...

So which is better?

Sigma MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG (AF), Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro, or Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro - F or FA or DFA?

ALSO - How hard is it to switch from Macro to Portraits, or to focus on these?
I quickly perused the reviews here; these lenses are all highly rated:
Sigma MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG (AF) ...9.6 @$350
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro...9.6 @ $300
Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro - F...9.5 @$300
Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro - FA..9.1 @$364
Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro - DFA....8.9 @ $435

A focus limiter switch is important for using the lens as a portrait lens (to speed up autofocus). The Sigma & Tamron lenses have this feature, the Pentax F & DFA do not - I don't know about the FA version.

Iowa Dave
06-17-2009, 08:49 AM   #3
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I own the Tammy 90mm but I think you could probably starve on the difference between all of these lenses. I got the Tammy because there was a good deal on it at KEH. And as newarts has said the focus limiter is very handy.

NaCl(my advice is "it doesn't really matter which one you pick)H2O
06-17-2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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Having used the Pentax FA 100mm f/2.8 and DFA 100mm f/2.8, I personally like the colour rendition of the FA version a little bit more BUT the DFA has a little more contrast and a little more practical and easier to use due to it's lighter weight and Quick Shift. The lenses you have listed are all good lenses in terms of sharpness but do vary ever so slightly in colour rendition. I guess the only concern is handling and price.

Macro lenses make versatile walkaround or portrait lenses in addition to their traditional macro function. A quick holiday snapshot...


K100D Super DFA 100mm f/2.8 Macro

06-17-2009, 09:06 AM   #5
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I handled a sigma 150mm macro this weekend (canon version, that f.l. isn't available for pentax) and was thourougly underwhelmed. While optically it appears excellent macro focusing is impossible. The ring only turns a half-turn and not even autofocus works properly at macro distances. Don't know if the sigma 100mm is the same but beware. So you'd have to set focus and move the camera, ok, but any focus adjustment (without moving the camera itself) at close distances is completely impossible.
06-17-2009, 09:06 AM   #6
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Sigma 150/2.8. Sigma 70/2.8.
06-17-2009, 09:12 AM   #7
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I have the FA 100mm and I love its IQ, but sometimes I miss shots simply because it is too long, so my vote goes to the tamron!

Although like what OGL said, I really think you should also consider the Sigma 70mm, which I have seen to have extremely good IQ and it is even wider.

For macro work, I suggest you go with the FA 100mm macro. The color, contrast, and sharpness are one of the best and it makes simply amazing photos. The only problem with it is it's slightly hard to hand-hold while doing macro work (portraits should be fine though).

Last edited by GLXLR; 06-17-2009 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Adding stuff
06-17-2009, 10:04 AM   #8
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If build means anything to you since they are all optically superb you might not like the tamron or Pentax macro's. The sigma feels like a rock!

06-17-2009, 10:16 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
Sigma 150/2.8. Sigma 70/2.8.
The 150 Sigma is not available in a Pentax mount. The 70/2.8 is said to be the sharpest lens ever produced by Sigma. I like that focal length also as I was using (and still have) a 105 macro from my 35mm film days and found that to be a very usefull focal length. However, as I have the Pentax 35/2.8 macro and the Sigma 105 macro ...and my next lens will be the 55/1.4, the 70 Sigma macro will have to wait.
06-18-2009, 07:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
If build means anything to you since they are all optically superb you might not like the tamron or Pentax macro's. The sigma feels like a rock!

the FA version is a tank, just to let you know.
06-18-2009, 08:05 AM   #11
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I have no experience with the others, but my non-DG Sigma 105 is a great performer!

01-14-2010, 10:29 PM   #12
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They are all great lenses--this thread is as perennial as the grass. Just buy one--you will be delighted.
01-15-2010, 02:07 AM   #13
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If manual focus doesn't worry you (and for macro work, I find manual focus is better), consider the amazing vivitar series 1 105mm - also sold as a lester a dine and kiron.
Superb lens!
01-15-2010, 03:50 AM   #14
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Out of all the AF Macros there ... pretty much there is bugger all difference between them.

I have the Tamron 90mm ... and I love it ... just like other members on this forum have the other Macro lens and love them as well.

There's much of a muchness between them.
01-15-2010, 05:32 AM   #15
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The poll is now lacking the Pentax 100 DFA WR. Seems based on photos like that is a significant update to the older lens. A lot nicer bokeh in particular.
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