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05-06-2015, 01:59 AM   #1
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SMC FA-100mm f:2.8 macro questions

I've finally found a nice clean copy of a Pentax FA-100mm f:2.8 macro for a reasonable price. It should be here in the next week or so. I already have the FA-50mm f:2.8 macro, and I love it.... but it didn't take me long to see why the 100mm is recommended so highly. The longer minimum focus distance with it means a lot to us older fellas with bad backs and hips! But I've got to show my ignorance about the "focus limiter" on the 100. Can anyone clue me in?

05-06-2015, 03:13 AM   #2
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The limiter will basically places a breakpoint on the AF ring, so the AF system won't go hunting as much when you're shooting things at a distance or things really close by.

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05-06-2015, 06:05 AM   #3
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Also if you want to switch from close to far and vice versa you'll have to turn it off. I've panicked before thinking I broke the thing.
05-06-2015, 06:39 AM   #4
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The limiter is marked M for manual AUTO LIMIT and AUTO FULL, manual setting will allow manual focus by disconnecting the drive in the lens overriding the body setting, AUTO LIMIT will allow the lens to auto focus but only to a point equivalent to a standard non macro lens, AUTO FULL allows the lens to full extend forward for macro use, also on the side of the lens is a clamp setting knob, with applies a drag effect on the focus movement, and should be left on "off" setting on the "full" setting it will not stop the focusing mechanism from working fully, but slows it down so if the lens is pointing down, gravity will not move the front element.

05-06-2015, 11:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys. I always know where to turn for the REAL scoop! I'm really anxious to get this lens in my paws. I have a friends lens at the moment, and after trying it, I knew I HAD to have one of my own. I'm obsessed with sharpness and this is the absolute Holy Grail! I have the FA-50mm f:2.8 macro and it too is mind-blowing. Time to sell off my hoard of other 50's.


I've never bought a lens from Japan, but I couldn't resist the temptation. I bought if through Pay Pal on eBay, so I hope it works out well. A very clean copy for $229.00 plus $20.00 shipping. The seller had a 100% seller rating out of 800+ sales, so.... I'll keep my fingers crossed.
05-06-2015, 04:07 PM   #6
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A lot of my stuff comes from Japan :
And even the stuff they mark as being 7 out of 10 is usually more like 9 out of 10 ..
The Japanese like to look after their stuff .. And their descriptions are mostly accurate ( Mostly )
05-07-2015, 06:19 AM   #7
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you'll like the FA100. It's been performing well for me now these past several years.
05-17-2015, 10:55 AM   #8
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Well, my FA-100mm macro arrived and it was in fine order! For all intents and purposes, it was brand new. And, surprisingly it took only 5 days from date of purchase in Osaka, Japan on eBay to reach my front door in Idaho! That's incredibly fast shipping.


After having used the lens for a week or so, it has quickly become the co-holder of the "Favorite Lens" honors, alongside my FA-50mm macro. Two magnificent lenses capable of some astounding sharpness, color rendition AND saturation. That was, without a doubt, the best $250.00 I ever spent. LOVE this lens! It is SOOOO easy on my old, tired, worn out back! Being literally obsessed with sharpness, I think this is the absolute pinnacle. I've found very quickly thought, that in order to reach maximum sharpness on close-up flowers, I'm better off using manual focus.


Still working on good rendering of deep, vibrant reds though! Rats! Purples? No problem. Deep orange? No problem. Yellow? Yep, can do.... but true, deep rose-reds? They remain very elusive. They tend to look washed out with no texture.... or at least like the other colors. They have a "glow" to them, a bleeding of sorts. I think the answer lies in the custom image settings, with manipulation of the tone setting. What an endeavor this has become. But, I WILL succeed.... I will!

05-18-2015, 06:03 AM   #9
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The red tones are a problem with the sensors, not the lens. This is a common problem with the Sony 16MP sensor. You can mitigate by shooting in RAW and desaturating that channel if required. Also - if you're shooting jpg don't shoot in Vibrant! That oversaturates colors, and blows reds. Shoot neutral.

$250 for the FA 100mm 2.8 is a steal.
05-18-2015, 08:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
The red tones are a problem with the sensors, not the lens. This is a common problem with the Sony 16MP sensor. You can mitigate by shooting in RAW and desaturating that channel if required. Also - if you're shooting jpg don't shoot in Vibrant! That oversaturates colors, and blows reds. Shoot neutral.

$250 for the FA 100mm 2.8 is a steal.

I never shoot in vibrant.... usually strictly in Natural. But, I've tried shooting rose-reds in "Muted," and adjusted the tone toward the blue with moderate success. But, I usually just shy away from true, deep red roses. Funny thing though, I have no problem with red cars or red clothing. Odd, that, eh?


Having shopped high and low for a FA-100, when I found this one in Japan for $229.00 plus $20.00 shipping, (after receiving reassurance about buying lenses from Japan) I jumped on it. I couldn't he happier with my decision. Old 45-70 was spot on when he said, "... the stuff they mark as being 7 out of 10 is usually more like 9 out of 10." As far as I was concerned, it was a perfect 10! With the FA-50 f:2.8 as it's companion, I've got the macro thing cornered. I haven't had the chance to use either of them in true 1:1 yet. That's a LOT more magnification than I'm used to and it takes more time and thought than a quick "I think I'll shoot real close" impulse!
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