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01-12-2010, 12:25 AM - 1 Like   #1
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LBA: smc Pentax D FA 100mm/2.8 WR Macro

Just got this lens over the past weekend. What a beauty! I really love its metal barrel and beautiful finishing. Played it for half a day at the Zoo, didn't really take any macro but used it mostly for portraits. It's surprisingly good, one of the best portrait lenses for a macro from my experience.

Here are some hands-on feeling about this new macro lens:

1. The metal barrel design is exactly the same as FA Limiteds: smooth metal finishing, beautiful but attracting finger smudge and dusts pretty easily.
2. Focusing ring rotates during AF, just like the FA Limiteds, but has Quick Shift feature.
3. Focusing throw from minimum focus distance to infinity is about 150 to 160 degree, slightly less than a full round, same as the earlier non-WR DFA macro. But MF is so much smoother, it's almost like using a manual lens when turning the focusing ring, really love it!
4. There is no CLAMP switch to limited the AF range, not really a big deal I guess 'cause I never really used this switch when I had the FA and DFA 100 macro.
5. Aperture blades form a near round circle when set to wide aperture (wide open to somewhere near F4.5 or so), this might improve the bokeh, and my test does show more pleasing highlight bokeh than the non-WR DFA 100 macro.
6. There is no aperture ring, which is a good thing if the lens is only used on digital SLR
7. Weather Resistant barrel. I haven't really put this into full test, but this does make the lens feel more sturdy, and the extruded front barrel isn't as shaky as the non-WR one
8. Lens hood is narrower than the non WR one, and slightly better built. The old lens hood (for the non-WR DFA 100) can also be used on this new lens w/o any problem, but the new lens hood can't be used on the earlier DFA macro due to the thicker teeth on the new hood. 9. The new WR macro is slightly slimmer, feels heavier than the old DFA 100, but actually the old one is about 5 gram heavier on paper.
10. Optically the lens is pretty sharp even wide open. There is no focusing problem on my K7 (no need to adjust AF). It's also a very good portrait lens, produces smooth bokeh even at a distance.

I have yet tested it out for real macro work, will do so over the next weekend during our gathering, if got bugs to shoot there

Here is this beauty mounted on my beloved K7:



01-12-2010, 12:26 AM   #2
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The lens is really beautifully made:



Some comparison between the two DFA 100 macros:












Round aperture shape:



Does it make difference? You bet.

DFA100WR wide open:



DFA100 wide open:



DFA100WR at F4:



DFA100 at F4:



DFA100WR at F8:


DFA100 at F8:



The earlier DFA100 has some CA problem, but seems the new WR one has the same problem too. Luckily when stopped down to F8, the CA can be very minimum:

DAF100WR wide open:


DFA100 wide open:


DFA100WR at F4:


DFA100 at F4:


DFA100WR at F8:


DFA100 at F8:




It's pretty sharp not just at macro distance, but for a normal tele lens too:

Wide open:


100% crop:


Wide open:


100% crop:


Another wide open one:


At F4, the round aperture makes smooth bokeh even w/ messy highlight background like this one:



Or this one:





Some other random testing shots:








Didn't take many animals photos at the Zoo because of its short focal length, here are two more quick snaps:







My kids just recovered from ChickenPox (yeah, both of them had it), we didn't let them play in the water, so I shot some other kids at the Kids World:

























01-12-2010, 12:29 AM   #3
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Great review... I gotta get one myself...
01-12-2010, 12:40 AM   #4
TKH
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Great pics!

Argh! LBA!!!!!



01-12-2010, 01:16 AM   #5
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I love the lightweight and feel of this lens. That being said, I feel a focus limiter would've been really nice. But can't beat the FA limited feel + weather sealing + quickshift. Although at $799 CDN retail, I wonder if it's a bargain...

I think I'll keep my eye on the Tamron 90mm F2.8 at this rate, but this lens looks like another legend to be born Hopefully a sign of FF things to come!
01-12-2010, 01:18 AM   #6
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Wow...beautiful

Thanks for sharing!!
01-12-2010, 06:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Great review... I gotta get one myself...
Thanks Bro. You'll have your copy soon I guess


QuoteOriginally posted by TKH Quote
Great pics!

Argh! LBA!!!!!

Thanks.


QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
I love the lightweight and feel of this lens. That being said, I feel a focus limiter would've been really nice. But can't beat the FA limited feel + weather sealing + quickshift. Although at $799 CDN retail, I wonder if it's a bargain...

I think I'll keep my eye on the Tamron 90mm F2.8 at this rate, but this lens looks like another legend to be born Hopefully a sign of FF things to come!
Once you hold the lens in your hands, you probably won't eye on the Tamron 90 anymore


QuoteOriginally posted by VIXIV Quote
Wow...beautiful

Thanks for sharing!!

Yeah, it's a beautiful lens, and it's one of the better macro (and portrait) lenses I've ever had.
01-12-2010, 07:02 AM   #8
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thanks, nice review.
do I have to sell my DA70 too (after DA40 and FA77), and then buy this lens??

how about dynamic duo FA31 + DFA 100 f2.8 Macro WR ???

01-12-2010, 08:18 AM   #9
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Great looking and performing lens, but where's the focus limiter?
01-12-2010, 08:41 AM   #10
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Sure looks to be a great Lens. I'd be hard pressed to give up my Tammy 90mm f/2.8Macro though. Pictures are fantastic. As I sit here with the temperature @ +1 C, that nice warm weather sure looks good.
01-12-2010, 09:15 AM   #11
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This sure does look like a great lens!
Thanks for sharing all of those photos.

I didn't even know this new D-FA (and WR) was now available.

I am quoting Ed n Georgia here who says: I'd be hard pressed to give up my Tammy 90mm f/2.8Macro though.
because I also have this Tamron lens.
It is a very tempting lens indeed and very bad for LBA. Will it perform better than the Tammy? Or the "old" DFA?
I can't wait to see some macro shots with this new D-FA.

JP
01-12-2010, 09:17 AM   #12
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Nice report and great pictures, thanks for sharing.
Marcin
01-12-2010, 01:15 PM   #13
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Remarkable results Frank, good to see those rounded aperture blades making these real life difference.

I also was tempted by the Tamron 90mm and at the the end placed an order for that and the Sigma ring flash yesterday for the same price as one of these beauties. I am not into macro's much and couldn't justify the price, but you shots are making me think twice
01-12-2010, 07:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by julia Quote
thanks, nice review.
do I have to sell my DA70 too (after DA40 and FA77), and then buy this lens??

how about dynamic duo FA31 + DFA 100 f2.8 Macro WR ???
Thanks It's an excellent lens, but I don't think I'd sell my FA77 for it

QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
Great looking and performing lens, but where's the focus limiter?
Well, I've never used the focus limiter on F/FA/DFA100 when I had them, so I guess it's not a big deal to me

QuoteOriginally posted by Ed n Georgia Quote
Sure looks to be a great Lens. I'd be hard pressed to give up my Tammy 90mm f/2.8Macro though. Pictures are fantastic. As I sit here with the temperature @ +1 C, that nice warm weather sure looks good.
Here we have warm/hot weather all year long Sometimes I really miss the snows from up north.

The Tamron 90 is a very nice macro lens too. But I'd change to this new DFA100WR if I still had the Tamron 90


QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
I can't wait to see some macro shots with this new D-FA.

JP
I'd try to do some macros over the next weekend, if weather and time permit

QuoteOriginally posted by marcinski Quote
Nice report and great pictures, thanks for sharing.
Marcin
Thanks Marcin.

QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
Remarkable results Frank, good to see those rounded aperture blades making these real life difference.

I also was tempted by the Tamron 90mm and at the the end placed an order for that and the Sigma ring flash yesterday for the same price as one of these beauties. I am not into macro's much and couldn't justify the price, but you shots are making me think twice
Congrats on the new toys. I'm sure you'd enjoy using them
01-12-2010, 07:47 PM   #15
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extensive writeup frank!
so water can't leak into the focal distance window? it sure looks vulnerable
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