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07-17-2014, 02:24 PM   #1
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100mm Macro A compared to new 90mm Macro

I just received my 645Z. Mostly I am very pleased with it's performance with the A and FA lenses.
I shoot a lot of closeups in the 1:3 range.
The 100mm "A" Macro that I own performs very well from 5 feet to infinity. I did a few close up images with it in the 1:3 range, and it was lacking. My Canon 5D2 with
a Zeiss 100mm Macro lens slightly out performed it. I'm a professional photographer and I had the camera on a heavy camera stand and shot with strobe lighting.
So there was no possibility of camera movement.
I'm wondering if the modern 90mm macro will perform better?
Anybody compare the two lens on a 645 D or Z?
Thanks
Rob

07-17-2014, 03:31 PM   #2
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Do you mean the 120mm macro?
07-17-2014, 04:13 PM   #3
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Yes it's the 120mm macro
07-17-2014, 05:39 PM   #4
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The 120mm is great optic. It shouldn't be lacking anything.

07-17-2014, 07:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
The 120mm is great optic. It shouldn't be lacking anything.
That's what I thought.
I'd like to see a comparison between the two lens.
The Zeiss lens I used on my Canon is one of the sharpest lens made.
07-17-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
The 120mm is great optic. It shouldn't be lacking anything.
I have the 120 FA lens, and its a great piece of glass. It can even be used for landscapes/portraits. I find infinity focusing is a touch off perfect but still I understand that this lens wasn't designed for anything other than Macro.

Tom
07-18-2014, 08:17 AM   #7
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I have the A 120mm Macro and also find it to be an excellent optic on my 645D though I haven't tried it on my 645Z yet. The Canon 5D Mk II + Zeiss 100mm macro is a good 35mm camera with a great lens. But if it is outperforming (even slightly) a 645Z as a generic statement, then it seems to me something is wrong, perhaps with your A 120mm. (I say this having shot a 5D Mk II for years, too.) If you post some example crops of photos that show what you're seeing, perhaps someone will have more specifically helpful ideas...
07-18-2014, 10:18 AM   #8
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If you bought the 120 used, there is a possibility that it could have been dropped. It doesn't take much movement of an element to cause a slightly soft image. It is rare to get a bad copy from the factory since they check performance before release. The 90 Macro has the strangest cross section I have seen and not like any known design. It looks as though they are attempting to limit the degree of oblique rays hitting the sensor; a common practice for digital era designs. I have not shot it but hear it's great; an expensive lens though.

07-18-2014, 11:01 AM   #9
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I have used both the 120 FA and the 90 D FA macro on the 645Z. Both are excellent performers, however the edge goes to the 90 in my opinion. I have also used the Zeiss 100mm macro on the Sony A7R with excellent results, however in my opinion the files from the 645Z are cleaner at high ISO (1600 and over) and I prefer the IQ on the 645Z to those from the Sony. YMMV!
07-18-2014, 11:16 AM   #10
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A120 macro

taken with 645Z A120 macro lens with about 85 mm extension tubes, flash light iso 800. uncropped



marcus
07-18-2014, 02:10 PM   #11
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For close up work the 120 has a shallow depth of field with large apertures- try stopping it down a bit more. I only rarely use it for macro work, but find that's desirable when I do... it's such a great landscape lens!
07-18-2014, 07:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
If you bought the 120 used, there is a possibility that it could have been dropped. It doesn't take much movement of an element to cause a slightly soft image. It is rare to get a bad copy from the factory since they check performance before release. The 90 Macro has the strangest cross section I have seen and not like any known design. It looks as though they are attempting to limit the degree of oblique rays hitting the sensor; a common practice for digital era designs. I have not shot it but hear it's great; an expensive lens though.
I appreciate the feedback.
My 120 must be off somehow.
I did buy it used.
I may have to get another one. The 90 seems over priced!
07-19-2014, 08:16 AM   #13
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With the A 120mm on a 645D:



And handheld:



If you are using this on a tripod with slower shutter speeds, it needs to be solid. I would look at your tripod first. If your lens is sharp at longer distances, it should be sharp a closer ones.

Last edited by Hakusan; 07-19-2014 at 08:54 AM.
07-19-2014, 08:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonmarsh Quote
For close up work the 120 has a shallow depth of field with large apertures- try stopping it down a bit more. I only rarely use it for macro work, but find that's desirable when I do... it's such a great landscape lens!
I agree on stopping down to f16 or f22, not sure if it will cause diffraction at that aperture, for max depth of field for macro work. A 120 f4 produces sharp images and taking centre point as focus area, the edges is expected to be out of focus, hence blurred. Down side of this macro lens with 645Z is the weight. Adding a flash light, wembly macro bracket, total weight near 3KG, making hand held almost difficult for me.



A120 f4, f11, iso 400. tripod support, flash light used. often camera and lens supported on 2 legs. Without a doubt, A120 is a sharp lens. I do not own the 90mm. shot captured at max 1:1 magnification.


marcus
07-19-2014, 10:04 PM   #15
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Which apertures are you using your lenses at? In my work with the 645D it pays to keep in mind the old rule of the thumb: " the best performance from any lens you really need to stop it down two stops"

The Zeiss 100mm f/2 macro isn't apochromatic - neither is the D-FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR*. The 90mm f/2.8 benefits for having a wider aperture than the FA645 120mm f/4 and has updated optical coatings which means improved resistance to flare and also optical image stabilization - which is not really needed with studio flash bit it is invaluable in the field.



* From many years of working with the Pentax SMCP-FA 645 120mm f/4 I can say that it is very close to being fully apochromatic, it compares well to the Leica APO Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5
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