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01-05-2015, 05:17 PM   #1
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Pentax 645 120 A vs 120 FA which would you keep?

I have both and was wondering which I should keep. I would like to hear other's opinions.

01-05-2015, 05:43 PM   #2
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I have both and have since the pre-645D days. I find them identical optically and always intended to sell one of them. The A version, with it's long focus throw and superb build, is really better for macro applications. Sometimes I like having the AF version for non-macro applications. If the prices for these lenses were higher, I'd likely sell the FA version and use the funds to help pay for a 90mm or a 28-45mm.
01-05-2015, 07:02 PM   #3
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I used to own both at the same time and ended up keeping the A and selling off the FA. Mind you I shoot with a 645N, so no experience with either of the 645D or 645Z.

As Thomas pointed out, the superb build - which I preferred to the FA's more plastic feel.

These are the same optical formula. Also, the A series will take the MH-RA 67mm metal lens hood (same as for the K series' 85mm f/1.4).
01-05-2015, 09:20 PM   #4
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for me, i much prefer the metal build of the A lenses. I do not use AF for landscape shooting, so the FA is necessary for me at the additional price.

01-05-2015, 10:35 PM   #5
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I have only one lens A120 macro and I use it a lot , in fact most of my macro shots are taken with the A.

Its all in M mode and the sharpness and rendering is superb. Beautiful bokeh and sharpness wide open.

If you are into macro, highly recommended to keep the A but if you are into portraiture, you may want to keep the AF but you are contemplating the better 90 mm macro, which can double up as portraiture as well with AF. No point in keeping the AF macro 120.


marcus
01-06-2015, 08:29 AM - 1 Like   #6
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My local camera store, who likes to take advantage of me, gave me a demo 90 to play with. They are working on a price.
01-06-2015, 11:53 AM   #7
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Yeah, if you open it up to all 3 macro lenses I would say keep the A 120mm and do the DFA 90mm for when you need autofocus, and get stabilization and one extra stop of aperture as bonuses. I have the A 120mm and it's wonderful; I wouldn't give it up. If I really wanted an excellent autofocus prime lens around this focal length, I'd find a way to afford the DFA 90mm. My local shop likes to enable me to take advantage of myself...
01-06-2015, 12:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
My local camera store, who likes to take advantage of me, gave me a demo 90 to play with. They are working on a price.
Funny

01-06-2015, 02:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
Yeah, if you open it up to all 3 macro lenses I would say keep the A 120mm and do the DFA 90mm for when you need autofocus, and get stabilization and one extra stop of aperture as bonuses. I have the A 120mm and it's wonderful; I wouldn't give it up. If I really wanted an excellent autofocus prime lens around this focal length, I'd find a way to afford the DFA 90mm. My local shop likes to enable me to take advantage of myself...
there's a cream for that ...
01-06-2015, 03:10 PM   #10
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I use lots of that cream...
01-06-2015, 04:41 PM   #11
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well, as long as you keep your problems in your own hands ...
01-11-2015, 09:58 AM   #12
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So is there any optical difference between the 120 A and FA? Other than the metal feeling? Have in mind the 90mm is only 1:2 so really not that so much macro. Quality is superb though.
01-12-2015, 08:43 AM   #13
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Supposedly, the optics are the same in the two 120s. The A has a better feel to it but I actually prefer using the AF. I am getting lazy in my old age. I have the 90 on loan and can get one at a discounted price but the 1:2 does bother me a little. Not being much of a pixel peeper, as long as something is reasonably sharp, I'm OK with it.
01-12-2015, 10:01 AM   #14
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I have two As and one FA and like all three. Tested them and one of the As is sharper than the second A, which is on the same level as the FA. The As are so ridiculously inexpensive and sharp that I got two of them that I have mounted for different applications. Sometimes prefer the autofocus of the FA and sometimes prefer the manual feel of the beautiful focusing helicoid of the A version. One of the advantages of the FA is that it can double up as a portrait lens because of the autofocus. Not that the A can't but with the narrow depth of field of the 645D/Z, the autofocus really helps for portrait applications. I used to agree on your concern about the 90mm, until I had a session to reproduce a number of small objects, and the 90 really excelled, because of (i) its sharpness, (ii) the stabilizing function, (iii) the slightly shorter focal length, which made it easier to maneuver. The 90 is really made for the Z, as the focusing mechanism sometimes freezes up on the D, which can be rather annoying.

Last edited by Lacunapratum; 01-12-2015 at 10:10 AM.
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