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Old Aug 29, 2007, 3:16 PM   #1
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ThePentaxsmc DFA100mmmacro lens does not get a good write up and is quite expensive.

Can anybody recommend it, or recommend another compatible 100mm macro lens?
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Old Aug 29, 2007, 3:27 PM   #2
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Although I don't have the Pentax Macro, I do have an old Vivitar 100mm f3.5 macro lens.



This goes to 1:2 at around 16" and with a +4 closeup lens, it is just over 1:1 at 6".



Manual focus only, nice and sharp.



The usual recommendation for macro lenses is the old Vivitar, Kiron etc ones are very good - bear in mind that AF is not necessary with macro lenses.



Dal


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Old Aug 29, 2007, 4:11 PM   #3
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Dal1970 wrote:
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The usual recommendation for macro lenses is the old Vivitar, Kiron etc ones are very good - bear in mind that AF is not necessary with macro lenses.
DalĀ*
I agreed that for macro,AF is really not necessary. But you can use it as a mid tele in which case AF is a huge plus.
My suggestion is to look for either F or FA version 100mm micro F2.8. Back 5 months there were two F version at KEH for $160-190. Well that lasted for a few hours. I got my FA version 18 months ago for around $150 from KEH.

Daniel
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Old Aug 29, 2007, 6:01 PM   #4
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petehemdig wrote:
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ThePentaxsmc DFA100mmmacro lens does not get a good write up and is quite expensive.

Can anybody recommend it, or recommend another compatible 100mm macro lens?
Hi petehendig,

After a lot of agonizing, I bought a D FA 100/2.8 Macro last year. The IQ comparisons between macro lenses are actually usually pretty nitpicky -- they're all very very good. What swayed me is the light weight of the D FA. I anticipated using a lot of external flash on a bracket handheld, and the weight difference is significant between the D FA 100 and just about any of the other candidates. I wanted an AF lens for the purposes that Daniel mentioned -- to use it as a med AF tele/portrait lens in addition to its macro use. The Pentax branded lens appealed for rebate and value retention reasons. I do not regret my choice.

Realistically, I don't think that there's much real difference in the performance of any of the ~100mm macro candidates, so it's pretty much up to what you consider your priorities -- weight, handling, mag ratio, MF vs AF, and price. I don't think you can really go wrong. . .

Realize that macro is not something I'd consider one of my specialties -- and I allow myself a pretty liberal LBA budget, so my criteria for choosing what I did can certainly be questioned.

Scott


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Old Aug 29, 2007, 6:53 PM   #5
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I hardly use my FA100mm macro as a mid tele as I have the lighter FA135mm. But when I did , I was hardly disappointed

This one at F5.6. As a mid tele I need to blur it up as I can hardly hold up its sharpness






General use as a mid tele at 4 or 4.5 in low light iso 800 shot





While walking for macro, I got this instead. Again as a mid tele







And this as a test mid tele shot at F2.8 wide open








If you are tight with your budget, any of the AF Tamron/Pentax/Sigma can easily team up with a TC to give very decent performance. And do not underestimate its use as an autofocus mid tele

Scott DFA 100mm is a current and light wt model. But both the F or FA 100mm macro, Tamron90mm macro and Sigma 105mm macro are just as great, affordable and AF alternatives


Daniel, Toronto
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 3:10 PM   #6
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How about the Vivitar Series1 105mm F2.5 macro?

It will go 1:1 without an adapter.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vivitar-Series-1...QQcmdZViewItem


These are new and he doesn't have many left.
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 4:59 PM   #7
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Thanks - that looks good, and price in my range.


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Old Aug 30, 2007, 5:02 PM   #8
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Great detail on these, this is all agreat help. Thanks
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 5:43 PM   #9
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petehemdig wrote:
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Thanks - that looks good, and price in my range.

there are many here that have that lens.
i can assure you that you will not be disappointed.
it may have been me that started a trend here about this lens.
i love mine.

roy
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Old Aug 30, 2007, 6:31 PM   #10
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Hi again,

I just thought I'd offer another possibility. The Vivtar 2x Macro Focusing TC. It's long discontinued, but is occasionally available used. It's a very good 2x teleconverter, but also includes a helicoil that allows close focusing up to 1:1 with any non-macro lens. With a 1:1 dedicated macro, the ratio goes up to about 1.5:1.

If you have any of the fast 50mms, you end up with a 1:1 100mm macro. It was available in both "K" or "A" versions (with or without the electical contacts for passing aperture info from the lens to the body), and the "A" version is, IMO, the one to get. It is manual focus only, but for macros that shouldn't be a problem as others have stated.

Realise that as with any 2x TC, you lose 2 stops of light, so a 50 f1.4 becomes a 100 f2.8, a 50 f1.7 becomes a 100 f3.5, a 100 f2.8 1:1 macro becomes a 200 f5.6 1.5:1 macro. . . you do need a pretty fast lens to make it reasonable -- I'd say f2 or 2.8 is about the slowest I'd consider using since you have to manually focus, and this becomes harder as the viewfinder gets dimmer.

The results are pretty impressive, IMO. Here is a link to a comparison done by JensR of the DFA 100 f2.8 macro and an A 50 f1.4 + the 2x MFTC

http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/macro3_shootout.html

He also has a comparison between the DFA100 and the Tamron 90 2.8 macro.

There are a lot of other interesting Pentax related stuff on his site, so if you haven't seen it, it might be worth a look.

This is a viable alternative, IMO. It gives you all the advantages of a dedicated macro without adding another full lens to the bag, it's a very good 2x TC, and if you can find one, it should only cost between $75 - $100 in mint condition, unless things have gotten crazy in the market (which obviously happens)

. . . Just another thing to add to the general confusion of making a lens choice. . .:-)

Scott
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