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SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.1
Bokeh 
 9.5
Autofocus 
 7.7
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
106 457,320 Sat September 2, 2023
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
99% of reviewers $560.33 9.55
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize

Description:
A weather-sealed version of the DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Maximum magnification is 1:1. The image circle of the lens covers the full 35mm film format as did its predecessor. Cosmetics have changed and build quality has been improved - the lens now has an aluminum barrel. This new lens does not have an aperture ring so it is not suitable for use on the older film cameras which do not allow for setting the aperture from the camera body, such as the LX, MX, ME, ME Super, K1000 etc.

The aperture has rounded blades which should result in a pleasing and smooth rendering of out-of-focus areas (aka bokeh).

Like all weather-sealed lenses, the D FA 100mm Macro has a rubber seal around the lens mount, which can be seen in the photo (colored red). The front element is SP (Super Protect) coated.

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades (rounded)
Optics
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
1x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 16 ° / 14 °
Full frame: 24 ° / 20 °
Hood
PH-RBE 49mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC49
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Metal Build
Diam x Length
65 x 80.5 mm (2.6 x 3.2 in.)
Weight
340 g (12 oz.)
w/ Hood: +38g
Production Years
2009 to 2022
Pricing
$449 USD current price
$376 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 1:2.8 100mm WR
Product Code
21910
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-30 of 106
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 75
Review Date: May 25, 2019 Recommended | Price: $449.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, Super Build Quality, Joy to Use
Cons: None really
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 IIs and K-3   

My wife "borrowed" the lens from me along with my backup K-5 IIs body.
She loves it and never gave it back.
If you want to see what it can do look at her instagram account " malgorzataquinn "

She says there: " Pentax 100mm Macro WR on Pentax K-5 IIs, most of the time "
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Telemark
Posts: 85

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 7, 2019 Recommended | Price: $580.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, handling, versatility
Cons: Autofocus obviously
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

This is a work of art. Just like the 43 mm limited, this stands out from the bunch of Pentax lenses I own.

The sharpness is extraordinary, the bokeh with the aperture blades are amazing. The small size is great too. It's labelled a macro lens which it is with 1:1 magnicifation and near focusing, but I use it for a lot of other stuff too because of the sharpness and IQ.

The autofocus, espcially with macro is terrible, it's like a Tamron 70-300 priced at $150 quality.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: St George, Utah
Posts: 24

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 4, 2019 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, small
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k1 ii   

Great , not just for macros
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 220

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 27, 2019 Recommended | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Sold Build, WR, Lightweight
Cons: Autofocus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1II   

Extremely well built lens that is compact to carry and adds very little weight to your kit/carry. WR is a wonderful addition for peace of mind. Images are incredibly sharp and the color output is wonderful.

The only drawback is the Autofocus. The lens is very noisy to focus and has a tendency to hunt. Not necessarily an issue for Macro or Portraiture, but definitely something to keep in mind. A focus limiter would be a welcome addition in a 'next iteration'.

   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,920

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 12, 2019 Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, clever design, lightweight, weather sealed, smooth bokeh
Cons: no focus limiter, autofocus hunting
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1 II   

This amazing lens is underrated, despite how well rated it already is.
Sharpest tool in the shed. Amazing image quality.

I compare it to the FA 100/2.8 macro, and the D-FA version is better in every way. I thought the FA would be enough, and to me it was, but I took the plunge for the D-FA and I am impressed by its excellent colour rendition and sharpness even above that of the already excellent FA version.

The 49mm thread of the D-FA is in stark difference to the 58mm thread of the FA, along with its overall shorter and thinner build to the FA. Nevertheless, the build quality is everything you could imagine a top quality lens should be, just like the classic FA Limited lenses (it really should be classified as a D-FA Limited lens).

The clever design is in the way the hood attaches to the main body, yet the extending inner barrel extends within the lens without taking the lens hood with it, giving the impression that with the lens hood on, the lens acts as an internal focusing one. In contrast, the FA does not have a lens hood. Also being weather sealed, you have a versatile macro that is easy on the camera bag and shoulders when carrying it around.

The proof is in the images it produces, which words cannot express. It shines throughout the aperture range, and its bokeh is second to none. The images render magnified macro subject matter in exquisite detail, and as long as you handle the focusing right, it reliably reproduces sharp images with great micro-contrast.

This is by far the lens that impresses me the most, and I would overlook its limitations every time just to have my breath taken away by its spectacular results.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2018
Posts: 12
Review Date: January 26, 2019 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, build quality
Cons: Autofocus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

Sharp and feels and handles as though very well built. Plays nicely with the 1.4x TC as in the photo, which brings more magnification at same close focus distance.


Illustrative photo is wide open and shows that it's acceptably sharp even there, and also the excellent soft and smooth bokeh.


The only real downside is the autofocus which other reviewers have commented on. It does get there in the end, but meanwhile is very noisy and has a tendency every so often to hunt right from one end of the focus range to the other. It's difficult to credit how noisy this is without trying it yourself! My 16-85 HD, 8-16 Sigma, and 70-200 f2.8 D-FA* (all of which have internal motors) and 300 F* and old kit 18-55 (which are screw driven) all (all of them!) lock in more quickly and quietly than this lens. While the other screws just settle with the usual quick fidget, this one take its time good and proper. Recommended for its excellent IQ, but be prepared!
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 389

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 11, 2018 Recommended | Price: $355.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely solid build, very sharp!
Cons: Focal length makes it a bit less handy for urban landscapes.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70, K-1   

Probably the sharpest lens in my kit and with a f/2.8 it's plenty fast too. Extremely solid, well built, like a tank. Superb macro with a little more working distance than some of the shorter macros and it does a very good job with landscapes and portraits too.

Only possible draw back (on APS-C) is in an urban environment, shooting landscape, street photography and architecture, etc. It's just too long a lens to be ideal in this sort of relative close quarters, forcing me to stand at least a block away to get the shot I want. But that's not what this lens is for anyway!

ADDENDUM (9/03/2019): I recently had the opportunity to shoot three different music acts in the same "day" (overcast and dark, as the sun was setting), without flash. I took the K-1 and the 100mm WR. This is my third copy of this lens, all purchased used, and all have been consistently excellent. I have a couple of other fast primes I could have used but the 100mm let me keep a little more distance and shooting in manual mode, close to wide open, and in RAW, allowed me to push exposure in post quite easily. This lens is a treat on the full frame it was designed for. Scroll down for a few extra shots:



This stick is about the size of your little finger. See the spider?!? When I took this photo, I hadn't even noticed it!




This one I had to stand approx. a city block away to get the entirety of the larger boat in the frame... sharp, though!


K-1 in poorly lit conditions, manual mode, close to wide open, RAW, exposure corrected in post:





   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2018
Posts: 49

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 20, 2018 Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: macro ability
Cons: none
New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-70   

I watched this youtube review.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wrH-9mvudM

I was concerned that the first critique was the lens rattled when the reviewer shook it. I however bought it form B&H because of its macro capabilities, and it was on sale.

When I received it, I gave it the shake test and it does not rattle at all, so I think Pentax has seen the review and fixed it, if the fix was not already in the works.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2018
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 8,408
Review Date: August 28, 2018 Recommended | Price: $406.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp
Cons: Autofocus
New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3ii   

I can't really rate the lens because 1) I don't think I have the knowledge to accurately rate most characteristics 2) I'd need to use it a bit more.

For now, here are some initial images





   
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Gislev
Posts: 87
Review Date: August 22, 2018 Recommended | Price: $540.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Build Quality, Ergonomics, Weight and Size
Cons: None

A great macro lens and a wonderful medium telephoto lens on the K-3 II.

The resolution is magical, and the sharpness is perfect.
There are no aberrations, bokeh is lovely, and the build quality of this lens is on the highest level.

Autofocus is fast - but a focus range limiter would have been nice to have: At times it hunts excessively for focus, when you use spot autofocus because the system goes to closest focus before returning to the appropriate focus range. A way to minimize this problem would be to use 'area autofocus' with all focus points engaged, I guess.

Highly recommended!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 796

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 6, 2018 Recommended | Price: $610.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, 49mm filter thread, WR
Cons: No focus limiter
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30, KP   

This lens is very sharp and has a decent bokeh. First I bought it for portraits and it worked well, but I like more the wider FoV of the DA*55, FA43. The lens is very well built and WR. Perfect for insect macros, but I feel a wider macro would be better for flowers. If the lens starts to hunt for focus it takes a long time, it goes to minimum and then back. In general I release the AF button and use quick shift to aproximetly set the focus. It's faster. A focus limiter would help, even one implemented in the firmware. This is the most well corrected pentax prime I have. No CA or PF, no distorsion, no flare.
Altough on APS-C I prefer the FA77 in general because the wider FoV.

Here are some images:
IMG160619_0067 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160709_0266 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG0012_150416 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160416_0017 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG180505_0075 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG171008_0003 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170611_0029 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG0023_150416 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170313_0007 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG161031_0022 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160820_0027 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG161016_0029 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr
   
Custom User Title

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 6,786
Review Date: March 20, 2018 Recommended | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Super sharp, f/2.8, sleek design, quick-shift, weather-resistant
Cons: Screw-mount noise, focus hunts sometimes, some aberrations wide open
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

This lens is really great - it's produced some of my best shots!

Totally usable as a portrait lens, and a fast mid-range telephoto.

Would have been nice to have silent focusing, but the flowers and insects don't mind that too much!

Really like the WR lineup from Pentax!
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: London
Posts: 2
Review Date: February 5, 2018 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, bright, 1:1 macro, excellent build quality
Cons: None!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1   

This is quite easily the sharpest lens in my bag - just outstanding.

Nice and bright with a maximum aperture of f2.8, in a surprisingly small and light package. Great build quality with all-metal construction. The 1x magnification is ideal for macro photography.

It's also great as a portrait lens, with very pleasing bokeh.

The price of this lens is amazingly low considering the quality.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: St. Petersburg
Posts: 22
Review Date: October 29, 2017 Recommended | Price: $590.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, build
Cons: weight, focusing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5iis   

I would say this lens is one of the best in Pentax line-up. It's good not just for macro, but for portrait shots too. It is brilliantly sharp and doesn't have notable aberrations. The lens is build perfectly, looks and felt solid. The only pity - the screw-drive autofocus doesn't work good (but for macro shots it almost doesn't have any matter). Finally, the lens covers the 35mm frame, which allows you to shoot portraits in more appropriate focusing range.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 56

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 25, 2017 Recommended | Price: $429.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, Sharpness, Image Quality, WR
Cons: Screw Drive AF, Autofocusing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

Is this lens a limited? I have had two limiteds, the 35 and the 70, a this would be right at home with a Limited badge on it.

The metal barrel construction is great, focusing manually is a dream, perfect size (it isn’t so big you don’t want to carry it - there is alway room for this), beautiful bokeh, etc. A first rate lens on any platform, and a great lens for Pentax.

I could go on, the positives are countless.

Negatives? Screw drive autofocus and the focusing noise. AF in general with the lens hunting from end to end for what seems like eternity due to the lack of a focus limiter.

So if you can handle a few autofocusing issues, or focus manually, then you have a great lens that will product top quality images on APS-C or FF cameras. It is well worth the purchase price.
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