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06-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
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DA Lineup - Macro

The DA Lens lineup seems pretty stacked.
I did notice however, that the only macro lens is the DA 35mm.

Do you guys think there are any plans for another DA macro lens in a larger focal length?

Perhaps even weather-sealed?



06-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonMexico Quote
The DA Lens lineup seems pretty stacked.
I did notice however, that the only macro lens is the DA 35mm.

Do you guys think there are any plans for another DA macro lens in a larger focal length?

Perhaps even weather-sealed?

I certainly hope so. Perhaps a 70mm lens or why not a 60-120 true macro zoom like Nikons 70-180 ...but, a 70mm first and then a 135 would be OK too.
06-24-2009, 01:39 AM   #3
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The current Pentax line up of macro lenses is quite good:

DA35/2.8 macro limited
DFA50/2.8 macro
DFA100/2.8 macro

Not much point of squeezing in anything more in between them. However, what they should do is a DFA version of the A*200/4 macro or FA*200/4 macro, supposedly two of the best macro lenses ever!

A set of automatic bellows and a set of AF (srew and SDM) tubes would be good too.
06-24-2009, 01:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
The current Pentax line up of macro lenses is quite good:

DA35/2.8 macro limited
DFA50/2.8 macro
DFA100/2.8 macro

Not much point of squeezing in anything more in between them. However, what they should do is a DFA version of the A*200/4 macro or FA*200/4 macro, supposedly two of the best macro lenses ever!

A set of automatic bellows and a set of AF (srew and SDM) tubes would be good too.
totaly agree

06-24-2009, 08:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
The current Pentax line up of macro lenses is quite good:

DA35/2.8 macro limited
DFA50/2.8 macro
DFA100/2.8 macro

Not much point of squeezing in anything more in between them. However, what they should do is a DFA version of the A*200/4 macro or FA*200/4 macro, supposedly two of the best macro lenses ever!

A set of automatic bellows and a set of AF (srew and SDM) tubes would be good too.
But the 50 and 100, as good as they may be, are DFA not DA lenses and their focal length is appropriate to the 35mm era not todays APS size sensors. Back in the 35 mm days the 100mm was the defacto standard in a macro lens but equates to 150mm today ...and the 50 is equivalent to 75mm, not quite long enough.

Hence we need a 70mm DA lens and perhaps a 135 to replace the renowned 200mm macro from 35mm days. I currently have the 35mm limited and a 100 macro and make do with that. My next aquisition is slated to be the DA* 55 f1.4 and then likley the 300. However, if pentax don't come out with a 70mm macro within the next 12-18 months, I will get the Sigma 70mm macro.

Last edited by MikePerham; 06-24-2009 at 08:24 AM.
06-24-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
But the 50 and 100, as good as they may be, are DFA not DA lenses and their focal length is appropriate to the 35mm era not todays APS size sensors. Back in the 35 mm days the 100mm was the defacto standard in a macro lens but equates to 150mm today ...and the 50 is equivalent to 75mm, not quite long enough.

Hence we need a 70mm DA lens and perhaps a 135 to replace the renowned 200mm macro from 35mm days. I currently have the 35mm limited and a 100 macro and make do with that. My next aquisition is slated to be the DA* 55 f1.4 and then likley the 300. However, if pentax don't come out with a 70mm macro within the next 12-18 months, I will get the Sigma 70mm macro.
I think that 50mm or 55mm macros existed since they were based on normal focal length and because they were relatively easy to build. 90, 100 and 105mm macros was simply selected to be about twice the normal macro and to double as portrait lenses. Rather arbitrary. With the 35mm macro (aka 52.5mm normal macro), 50mm macro (aka 75mm macro) and 100mm macro (aka 150mm macro) we have enough options. But give me a 200mm macro (aka 300mm) for bugs, I will be hapy (and sell my care or something to afford it!).
06-24-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
But the 50 and 100, as good as they may be, are DFA not DA lenses and their focal length is appropriate to the 35mm era not todays APS size sensors. Back in the 35 mm days the 100mm was the defacto standard in a macro lens but equates to 150mm today ...and the 50 is equivalent to 75mm, not quite long enough.

Hence we need a 70mm DA lens and perhaps a 135 to replace the renowned 200mm macro from 35mm days. I currently have the 35mm limited and a 100 macro and make do with that. My next aquisition is slated to be the DA* 55 f1.4 and then likley the 300. However, if pentax don't come out with a 70mm macro within the next 12-18 months, I will get the Sigma 70mm macro.
And despite covering FF, the DFA macros are fairly smallish, and already tweaked for digital photo with modern coatings, so why do you see a problem that they are FF and not DA APS-C lenses?
06-24-2009, 02:15 PM   #8
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The problem with DFA macro lenses is that they offer poor value for money. Canon 100mm macro costs about as much as Pentax DFA (about 520 here in UK) but it offers ultrasonic motor, IF, focus limiter and optional tripod collar. I am sure that Pentax is optically excellent but it doesn't really offer anything except small size and quick shift. Both Tamron and Sigma offerings are also very good optically, better built and have focus limiter to help with focusing.

I think Pentax should introduce 70 and 135 macro with good built, weather sealing and SDM, the longer one with tripod collar. Right now many people dont feel like they are getting theirs money worth with Pentax macros (well except 35mm which I have and think it's great).

Just IMHO

Marcin

06-24-2009, 02:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
But the 50 and 100, as good as they may be, are DFA not DA lenses and their focal length is appropriate to the 35mm era not todays APS size sensors.
Nonsense. You can shoot the subject from greater distance to keep it filling the same relative area of the sensor and this has two advantages - you're further away meaning bugs are less scared and DOF is greater. Bingo, the curse of macro photography, getting good DOF, just had a little help.
06-24-2009, 04:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
But the 50 and 100, as good as they may be, are DFA not DA lenses and their focal length is appropriate to the 35mm era not todays APS size sensors.
I actually prefer if Pentax made all their lenses to be DFA because I need the ability to control the aperture manually on the lens particularly when using extension tubes or bellows that do not have electrical contacts to allow aperture control from the body. One can also choose to reverse a lens and have apertures to play with.

My guess is for the DA 35mm macro, the need for an aperture ring goes against the DA design philosophy for compactness, but practically speaking there would be no need for aperture control on this lens as at 1:1 magnification because the working distance is extremely close making it pointless to use an extension tube or bellows. In fact the extremely close working distance at 1:1 makes this lens all but impossible to use flash to illuminate the subject.

There is still a great need for the 50mm and 100mm focal lengths on APS-C in part due to the varying working distance to the subject. The DA 35mm is a great lens but at 1:1 magnification some subjects do start to show a little wideangle distortion imo.

Last edited by creampuff; 06-24-2009 at 05:31 PM. Reason: spelling
06-24-2009, 05:11 PM   #11
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douglas and marcinski make some good points.

i guess we'll see what pentax decides.
06-24-2009, 05:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcinski Quote
The problem with DFA macro lenses is that they offer poor value for money. Canon 100mm macro costs about as much as Pentax DFA (about 520 here in UK) but it offers ultrasonic motor, IF, focus limiter and optional tripod collar. I am sure that Pentax is optically excellent but it doesn't really offer anything except small size and quick shift. Both Tamron and Sigma offerings are also very good optically, better built and have focus limiter to help with focusing.

I think Pentax should introduce 70 and 135 macro with good built, weather sealing and SDM, the longer one with tripod collar. Right now many people dont feel like they are getting theirs money worth with Pentax macros (well except 35mm which I have and think it's great).

Just IMHO

Marcin
I think value for money propositions vary according to where one buys one's lenses, certainly prices are pretty high in the UK.

But I think the comparison with Canon's 100mm macro has to be qualified. Pentax has to date never had a macro lens with an ultrasonic/SDM type motor, so I'm not sure one can compare here. Pentax's Quick Shift actually makes the need for a focus limiter redundant based on my personal usage of the Pentax FA (which have a focus limiter) and DFA macros lenses. QS is so much quicker to use imo. In the DFA series, Pentax has slimmed down their lenses in size and weight (some say too much) so the need for a tripod collar isn't so pressing. But if you're shooting macro the whole day, the lighter lens makes a big difference.

Yes internal focus is nice as it maintains better balance as the lens barrel does not increase in length but as with all internal focusing macros, the true focal length at the closest focusing distance is shorter.
At any rate there are very few macro lenses that are poor and more choice would offer more options for buyers looking to shoot macro.
06-24-2009, 05:33 PM   #13
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I'm not sure a super-sonic drive is going to do me much good in macro work. I guess if I were to try and use AF, I could hunt a lot faster.
06-24-2009, 11:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I actually prefer if Pentax made all their lenses to be DFA because I need the ability to control the aperture manually on the lens particularly when using extension tubes or bellows that do not have electrical contacts to allow aperture control from the body. One can also choose to reverse a lens and have apertures to play with.

Sure, I would also like all my lenses to have an apperture ring, and I can't really see why someone is a priori against the DFA macros for having the ring and FF coverage. If that made them bigg, I would understand, but they are actually quite small, after the redesign they even use 49mm filters.

My guess is for the DA 35mm macro, the need for an aperture ring goes against the DA design philosophy for compactness, but practically speaking there would be no need for aperture control on this lens as at 1:1 magnification because the working distance is extremely close making it pointless to use an extension tube or bellows. In fact the extremely close working distance at 1:1 makes this lens all but impossible to use flash to illuminate the subject.

Yes, it would be nice to be able to use the DA35 macro backward...but the option to buy an old K/M/A/F/FA 35mm is not that expensive and would work quite well also. The FA35 you can get even new.

There is still a great need for the 50mm and 100mm focal lengths on APS-C in part due to the varying working distance to the subject. The DA 35mm is a great lens but at 1:1 magnification some subjects do start to show a little wideangle distortion imo.
Yes, it does, but when shooting bugs or flowers you can't really see it. When I do technical macros at work, I can sometimes see it, on the other hand those shots are not very artistical anyway.

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I think value for money propositions vary according to where one buys one's lenses, certainly prices are pretty high in the UK.

I thinks so to...I got a desent price for my DFA100...but I've seen that the Samsung version goes for a bargain price in many places, and it is the same lens. Something worth looking for for anyone who thinks the DFA100 is too costly.

But I think the comparison with Canon's 100mm macro has to be qualified. Pentax has to date never had a macro lens with an ultrasonic/SDM type motor, so I'm not sure one can compare here. Pentax's Quick Shift actually makes the need for a focus limiter redundant based on my personal usage of the Pentax FA (which have a focus limiter) and DFA macros lenses. QS is so much quicker to use imo. In the DFA series, Pentax has slimmed down their lenses in size and weight (some say too much) so the need for a tripod collar isn't so pressing. But if you're shooting macro the whole day, the lighter lens makes a big difference.

I thought I would miss the focus limiter, and was considering to search for a FA100 macro, but I don't really miss it. The manual focus is superb, the AF is better than I thought, and it turns out that I can actually make use of the AF even in macro much more than I thought I would do. It is quite fast and preciss...will be a thrill to see what it can do on the K-7.

Yes internal focus is nice as it maintains better balance as the lens barrel does not increase in length but as with all internal focusing macros, the true focal length at the closest focusing distance is shorter.
At any rate there are very few macro lenses that are poor and more choice would offer more options for buyers looking to shoot macro.
More choises are good, but in this case, let the third party companies supply the options to the current 35/50/100 Pentax macro lenses. Pentax must prioritise, as everyone else, and I see many other more usefull lenses: bring back the planned DA30/1.4, the SDM 1.4x converter, extend the DA ltds above the 70mm with something compact in the 100-135mm range, make a DFA version of the excellent FA135/2.8 (the current whole between the DFA100 and the DA*200 is large), and I know many of us would like to see that promissed extrem tele, a DA(*)400 or 500, bring us a DFA version of the legendary A* or FA*200 macro lenses, give is a fast wide angle, something like a 20mm/1.8, give us a APS-C equivalent lens to the FA*250-600 zoom (150-400?)...and they will have to put some resources into the digital era of 645 lenses quite soon.

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I'm not sure a super-sonic drive is going to do me much good in macro work. I guess if I were to try and use AF, I could hunt a lot faster.
As for lack of SDM...I haven't felt that the bugs fly away because I'm noicy


The DFA100 macro AF does actually do a good work, and the lens itself is putting out great quality results (limited by my ability of course). Used the AF on these:




Here with an extension tube to 2:1 macro, still with AF:
06-25-2009, 07:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
Nonsense. You can shoot the subject from greater distance to keep it filling the same relative area of the sensor and this has two advantages - you're further away meaning bugs are less scared and DOF is greater. Bingo, the curse of macro photography, getting good DOF, just had a little help.
Well, that's assuming you want to shoot bugs ...in many instances the 100 puts you too far from the subject and you run out of room. Many nature photographers chose the 100 in 35mm days because it gave you that happy medium, enough working distance but not too much. I have the 35mm limited and the 100 and would really like something in between. I have always envied Nikon their 70-180 macro zoom (although now discontinued) and would snap up a 60-120 true macro zoom if Pentax ever produced one.
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