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07-16-2015, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primus Quote
Since everybody is praising the 120 f4 Macro so much, it seems that mine must be a soft copy. I compared it to my FA 150 2.8 and the FA 75 2.8 and even stopped down to f8 or f11, the other two are sharper, especially in the corners. That 75 is really good. I bought the 120 macro used from KEH, all the others from various ebay sources in Japan. My FA 45-85 and the DFA 55 are superb.

Would it be worth trying out another copy of the 120 Macro? Is it really that good?

Pradeep
here's one with the A120 Macro. Click to go to the link in flickr and then click once again on the image to zoom in. You can see crazy detail in the painted letters of "Pt. Reyes" and the paint flecks.

https://flic.kr/p/nsCzHc

07-16-2015, 01:56 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by destroya Quote
I'll second these lenses. Except that my 105. I find that stopped down to f4 or 5.6 my copy is very sharp. Also, the latest 200mm smc is very sharp as well. I find that 80% of my photos are taken with the 55mm and the 105mm lenses
Yes, it's good stopped down, but those other lenses have better performance wide open. I've heard the latest 200mm is very sharp, and it's very cheap as well.

55+105 is my typical kit. It starts getting a bit heavy after that. Sometimes I'll do 75+150 if I know I'm going out to shoot portraits, or just the 75 if I don't want to futz around with lenses.
07-16-2015, 03:02 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
here's one with the A120 Macro. Click to go to the link in flickr and then click once again on the image to zoom in. You can see crazy detail in the painted letters of "Pt. Reyes" and the paint flecks.

https://flic.kr/p/nsCzHc
Hmmm.....I see it. Mike, I've got a problem then.

A good FA 120 costs over $800, while the A120 is around $250-300. Do you think there is a difference in terms of IQ? If both are equally sharp then I may give up the AF and simply go for the A120 at least for now.

Pradeep
07-16-2015, 09:05 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primus Quote
Hmmm.....I see it. Mike, I've got a problem then.

A good FA 120 costs over $800, while the A120 is around $250-300. Do you think there is a difference in terms of IQ? If both are equally sharp then I may give up the AF and simply go for the A120 at least for now.

Pradeep
As far as im aware the A and FA versions are equality sharp and use the same/similar optical formula. My FA120 is by far the sharpest lens I have used/own.

07-17-2015, 01:40 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primus Quote
Since everybody is praising the 120 f4 Macro so much, it seems that mine must be a soft copy. I compared it to my FA 150 2.8 and the FA 75 2.8 and even stopped down to f8 or f11, the other two are sharper, especially in the corners. That 75 is really good. I bought the 120 macro used from KEH, all the others from various ebay sources in Japan. My FA 45-85 and the DFA 55 are superb.

Would it be worth trying out another copy of the 120 Macro? Is it really that good?

Pradeep
Looks like we're in the same boat, my 150 is also much sharper in the corners, starting from as early as f/5.6, while the 120 doesn't get as good even by f/11. I would suggest playing the lottery, since it can't be that we're the only two people who got a bunk lens. Others say the Pentax 120 is even better than either the Mamiya/Phase or Hasselblad 120 macros.

I myself don't feel the immediate need to replace it though, as I literally use it only for product photography in the studio (flash + small aperture). Even so, compared to my previous Canon setup, this "bad" macro is still leagues ahead, and it only took a couple of shots for me to commit to the Pentax system. I didn't notice the poor performance of the lens until I tested it in ambient light at open aperture, and then compared it to the 150/2.8 at infinity.
07-17-2015, 07:17 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
Looks like we're in the same boat, my 150 is also much sharper in the corners, starting from as early as f/5.6, while the 120 doesn't get as good even by f/11. I would suggest playing the lottery, since it can't be that we're the only two people who got a bunk lens. Others say the Pentax 120 is even better than either the Mamiya/Phase or Hasselblad 120 macros.

I myself don't feel the immediate need to replace it though, as I literally use it only for product photography in the studio (flash + small aperture). Even so, compared to my previous Canon setup, this "bad" macro is still leagues ahead, and it only took a couple of shots for me to commit to the Pentax system. I didn't notice the poor performance of the lens until I tested it in ambient light at open aperture, and then compared it to the 150/2.8 at infinity.
I agree with you, it looks bad only in comparison. I may just hold off on buying one right now since I don't need it immediately and there are so many other things happening on the gear front

However, it is probably one lens to have in the Pentax kit (which is why it was the first one I bought).

Pradeep
07-17-2015, 08:11 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primus Quote
Hmmm.....I see it. Mike, I've got a problem then.

A good FA 120 costs over $800, while the A120 is around $250-300. Do you think there is a difference in terms of IQ? If both are equally sharp then I may give up the AF and simply go for the A120 at least for now.

Pradeep
Pradeep:

I have both the A and FA versions and can see no difference in performance. The A is my choice for macro however. The long focus throw allows more precise focus and the hood travels with the lens barrel (unlike the FA) and so is more effective at close focus. One more observation: I also have the 150mm FA f/2.8 and 150 A f/3.5, both of the 120mm lenses are sharper. Bokeh and rendering are a different, subjective subject. If you have a 120mm that is not sharp, you have a bad copy.

Tom

Last edited by Thomas; 07-17-2015 at 08:49 PM.
07-18-2015, 05:07 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
Pradeep:

I have both the A and FA versions and can see no difference in performance. The A is my choice for macro however. The long focus throw allows more precise focus and the hood travels with the lens barrel (unlike the FA) and so is more effective at close focus. One more observation: I also have the 150mm FA f/2.8 and 150 A f/3.5, both of the 120mm lenses are sharper. Bokeh and rendering are a different, subjective subject. If you have a 120mm that is not sharp, you have a bad copy.

Tom
Tom, thanks. If I decide to buy it I might just go for the A version since I am more likely to be using it for landscapes anyway and live view focusing on the Pentax is so easy.

Pradeep

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