Tamron SP 90 macro or Pentax 100 WR macro


walt

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 15:16
Hi, I currently use an Olympus M4/3 OM-D E-M10 mkii with an olympus 60mm 2.8 macro lens for my shorter reach macros. For more distant stuff I've been using a sigma 180 F3.5 Macro on a K3, but I've added a Pentax KP recently and have started using my FA 100 F3.5 macro for the shorter stuff again (because of the flip screen on the KP) and been enjoying it. However the FA 100 is only 1/2 life size magnification, no focus limiter and no easy way to override af without switching off/on at the body. Both my Sigma and Olympus have focus limiters which I use quite a bit especially on the 60, plus the 60 has continuous manual focus override by just turning the focus ring. So I started looking at the Tamron and Pentax currently available macros. However neither quite fit my requirements. The Pentax has no limiter but has the ability to spin the focus back to min if it starts hunting without having to disengage the af clutch or flip any switches. The Tamron has a focus limiter but you have to disengage the af clutch (much like my Pentax FA*300 F4.5) to manually adjust the focus.
So I was looking for opinions on these 2 preferably from people who have used them. I thought I would never go back to extending macro lenses again having enjoyed the Sigma 180 and the Olympus 60 but I don't have that option for Pentax in the shorter range, do I?
I use AF all the time for my macros, having in the past relied on manual focus I find my hit rate with live view so much better with AF so I'm not looking for a manual focus lens.
I see from reviews that the pentax always spins the manual focus ring even during af, anyone found this a problem? (I sometimes use a flash diffuser that attaches to the lens body which can be a problem with my FA 100 where the focus ring always turns, thus spinning the diffuser unless I fix it away from the focus ring). I tend to hold the lens by or close to the focus ring so that I can make quick overrides on the 60. Moving my hand may well frighten off some of the more timid critters.
The tamron needs the focus ring pulled back to disengage af. What does this feel/sound like? on both my FA*300 and Sigma 180 it's a bit of a clunk, more so on the FA*, plus when af kicks in you can hear it re-engage. Also my sigma needs this but also needs the af/mf switch on the body set to mf. Do I have to set the AF/MF switch on the body as well for the tamron?
Is there any 2nd hand macro lenses in the 90-105 range that might be a better fit for me? I see the pentax DFA 100 (not WR) had a focus limiter, but I don't know if it had manual focus override.
If I get serious about this purchase I can always pop down to SRS as I see they have both the Tamron and Pentax in so I can test for myself, but for now I thought others may have some ideas?
Of course the final drawback for the Pentax has to be the price, £484 vs £349 for the Tamron.
Thanks
Walt
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JAK

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 16:20
Can recommend the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro (mine's the non WR version.)
Goes to 1:1, FF compatible and the Pentax ring flash is designed to fit on it. And yes it can be manually focussed.
It's such a great lens I've got two of them! (Open to an offer for one of them!)

You may find you can manage very well with a very basic fully manual macro too if funds are limited. (eg Vivitar 100mm/F2.8 macro )
https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/vivitar-100mm-f2-8-macro-or-attack-of-the-... http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/915389 https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/45192-vivitar-...
I can vouch for the quality of that one.
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 26/07/2018 - 16:24

johnriley

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 16:53
The Pentax macro lenses are all excellent, so you can't go far wrong. There are also plenty of other makes that are also excellent - it's quite difficult to find a poor macro lens.

So it's down to features really, and what suits your personal requirements.

I've used quite a few macro lenses and I've been happy with all of them.
Best regards, John

RobL

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 17:21
I find the Pentax 100mm macro gives excellent results and as Jak says works well with the Pentax AF160 ring flash. It zooms in and out to focus and the front element with the filter thread doesn’t rotate. I only wish it had a silent motor built in as it can be a bit slow and noisy to focus, and there is a not uncommon problem of the aperture lever sticking, caused apparently by lubricant leaking onto the aperture leaves. This can be fixed as mine has been and it has worked fine since, but something to be aware of especially if buying secondhand.

walt

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 17:47
JAK wrote:
Can recommend the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro (mine's the non WR version.)
Goes to 1:1, FF compatible and the Pentax ring flash is designed to fit on it. And yes it can be manually focussed.
It's such a great lens I've got two of them! (Open to an offer for one of them!)

You may find you can manage very well with a very basic fully manual macro too if funds are limited. (eg Vivitar 100mm/F2.8 macro )
https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/vivitar-100mm-f2-8-macro-or-attack-of-the-... http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/915389 https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/45192-vivitar-...
I can vouch for the quality of that one.

Do you mean it has Pentax quick shift focusing?

My first true macro lens was the Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Adaptall lens which I bought new from SRS in the 80's and only just traded in a at SRS a few years ago, where they spotted it still had their SRS sticker and price on the box. I've had a lot of experience with manual focus over the years, I'm AF or now't these days....
Walt
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walt

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 17:52
johnriley wrote:
The Pentax macro lenses are all excellent, so you can't go far wrong. There are also plenty of other makes that are also excellent - it's quite difficult to find a poor macro lens.

So it's down to features really, and what suits your personal requirements.

I've used quite a few macro lenses and I've been happy with all of them.

I agree, my FA 100 F3.5 is probably one of the poorest macros going but it's still pretty good for me. I'm just trying to nail down what the features are on some of these lenses as the reviews don't always make it clear.
Walt
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walt

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 17:53
RobL wrote:
I find the Pentax 100mm macro gives excellent results and as Jak says works well with the Pentax AF160 ring flash. It zooms in and out to focus and the front element with the filter thread doesn’t rotate. I only wish it had a silent motor built in as it can be a bit slow and noisy to focus, and there is a not uncommon problem of the aperture lever sticking, caused apparently by lubricant leaking onto the aperture leaves. This can be fixed as mine has been and it has worked fine since, but something to be aware of especially if buying secondhand.

Thanks the sticking aperture lever is something I was not aware of, is that the D-FA 100 WR, non WR or all?
Walt
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Algernon

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 18:29
The 100mm f/3.5 is a rebadged Cosina. You can also get the Cosina version. It came with a close up lens for 1:1. Cheap and poorly made.

New one for Nikon can be had for £87
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cosina-AF-100mm-f-3-5-MC-Macro-for-Nikon-with-matched...
----
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 26/07/2018 - 18:40

walt

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 18:43
Algernon wrote:
The 100mm f/3.5 is a rebadged Cosina. You can also get the Cosina version. It came with a close up lens for 1:1. Cheap and poorly made.

----

Yep it was cheap, £80 new from SRS in the early 90's when it first came out. I've been using it since then on many different bodies, inc Panasonic/Olympus. I liked it's output and light weight so much I tried it on my Canon 30D and the results were good enough for me to go out and buy the Vivitar version of it for my Canon kit.
As for poorly made it's still going 25 years or so after it was bought and well used, so I'm not sure what more you could ask?
I think the major difference is the smc coating on the Pentax version, you can see quite a difference in coating between that and the vivitar.
Walt
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walt

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 18:45
Algernon wrote:
The 100mm f/3.5 is a rebadged Cosina. You can also get the Cosina version. It came with a close up lens for 1:1. Cheap and poorly made.

New one for Nikon can be had for £87
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cosina-AF-100mm-f-3-5-MC-Macro-for-Nikon-with-matched...
----

Tempting.... now all I need is a Nikon camera to mount it on.
Walt
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walt

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 19:12
walt wrote:

........
I see the pentax DFA 100 (not WR) had a focus limiter, but I don't know if it had manual focus override.
Thanks

I've just re-read a review of the DFA 100 (not WR) and it appears it doesn't have a focus limiter but I can't edit my original post.
It is the FA 100 that has the limiter, but I assume doesn't have quick shift?
Walt
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Last Edited by walt on 26/07/2018 - 19:18

RobL

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 20:41
walt wrote:
RobL wrote:
I find the Pentax 100mm macro gives excellent results and as Jak says works well with the Pentax AF160 ring flash. It zooms in and out to focus and the front element with the filter thread doesn’t rotate. I only wish it had a silent motor built in as it can be a bit slow and noisy to focus, and there is a not uncommon problem of the aperture lever sticking, caused apparently by lubricant leaking onto the aperture leaves. This can be fixed as mine has been and it has worked fine since, but something to be aware of especially if buying secondhand.

Thanks the sticking aperture lever is something I was not aware of, is that the D-FA 100 WR, non WR or all?

Mine is the WR version, I imagine the mechanism was the same on the previous model.

JAK

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 22:00
walt wrote:

Do you mean it has Pentax quick shift focusing?

Can't remember if it was advertised as such but yes it does and the PF review page (link below) says it does. It was actually advertised with 'fixed rear-element extension (FREE)' but TBH I didn't understand what that meant and still don't!
Also has a focus clamp to stop it quick shifting! Often with macro you want to fix the focus and move the camera to get focus otherwise you're chasing everything, both the subject and the focus. This is why a fully manual macro without AF isn't a bad option.

Reviews and details here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DFA-100mm-F2.8-Macro-Lens.ht... http://kmp.pentaxians.eu/lenses/short-tele/dfa100f2-8-macro/

Another bonus is it takes 49mm filters if required. A con is it isn't WR like the newer one but doesn't cost as much as that one either.
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 26/07/2018 - 22:04

walt

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 23:06
JAK wrote:
......

Thanks that was very helpful. One more question if I may, does the focus ring rotate during AF?
Walt
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Last Edited by walt on 26/07/2018 - 23:08

JAK

Link Posted 26/07/2018 - 23:28
walt wrote:
JAK wrote:
......

Thanks that was very helpful. One more question if I may, does the focus ring rotate during AF?

It's more of a focus barrel than a ring, and it doesn't rotate during AF.

The 100mm macro tends to left on my K-1 ready for anything unusual that turns up in the garden!
John K
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