Pentax 100mm f/2.8 Macro SMC D FA WR
(From Pentax lens literature) PENTAX Imaging Company has announced the smc PENTAX D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR lens designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras. Combining a high-quality exterior finish with PENTAX-original weather-resistant construction, this new macro lens is especially useful for the demands of outdoor photography.
This PENTAX macro lens features a high-grade, aluminum barrel with the high-quality, exclusive exterior design and finish unique to the PENTAX D FA series lenses. Further, the entire mechanism of the focus ring has been reviewed and upgraded to assure flawless manual-focus operation. For improved performance, the PENTAX D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR is the first PENTAX interchangeable macro lens featuring a completely rounded diaphragm blade to create a natural, beautiful bokeh at wide apertures, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources.
PENTAX WR lenses feature simplified weather-resistant construction to repel water and moisture. Combined with a PENTAX weather-resistant K-7, K20D, K200D or K10D digital SLR camera body, the lens performs well in damp, inclement outdoor conditions including rain, mist, water spray and splashes.
The lens also features the PENTAX-original SP (Super Protect) surface coating to repel dust, water and grease and to minimize fingerprints.
Other significant features of this latest WR lens include:
- Mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, this lens offers a focal length equivalent to 153mm in the 35mm format for high-quality, true-to-life images, while minimizing flare and ghost images. The maximum life-size magnification allows photographers to capture dramatic close-up images with great ease.
- A working distance of just over five inches (13 cm) facilitates close-up photography of subjects including flora, insects, and wildlife.
- The PENTAX-developed Quick-Shift Focus System for instant switching to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system.
- An image circle to accommodate 35mm film-format camera image size.
- Compatibility with the macro adapter included in the PENTAX AF160FC dedicated Auto Macro Ring Flash.
The PENTAX D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR lens will ship in January 2010 for USD $849.95.
Pentax 100mm f/2.8 Macro SMC D FA WR User Reviews
10 out of 10 points and recommended by sjwaldron (6 reviews)Extremely sharp, weather resistant, excellent bokeh.Extending inner barrel, plastic inner barrel and hood mount.
What I like about the lens:reviewed November 30th, 2010 (purchased for $700)
- Full frame lens (the FA specifier in DFA). Even with only APS-C available, it gives those cameras the “sweet spot” effect.
- Extremely sharp lens.
- Extremely good background blur (bokeh).
- Very nice contrast-y color rendering.
- Weather resistance.
- Solid aluminum casing and focus ring.
- Macro ability.
- Image quality is still good with a decent teleconverter.
- Quality related aspects of a DA* or Limited without a premium price (casing, lens details and serial number on the focus ring, solid feel).
- Aperture of f2.8 is nice to have.
- Relatively compact size.
- Images are nice and bright through the whole frame even at f2.8.
What I’m not too fond of:
- The interior barrel and hood mount are plastic, but it’s a welcome trade-off for a lower price.
- The interior barrel extends a lot. I’m just not personally fond of lenses that have any type of extending barrel because it won’t ever be as water resistant as ones that don’t. However it’s really unlikely a lens like this would be made that doesn’t have an extending barrel due to the large amount of travel the front lens element makes (fully extended, the lens is almost twice as long).
- Chromatic aberrations, specifically purple/green fringing, is visible in extreme lighting conditions.
I think Pentax really needs to release more D-FA WR lenses. This lens is an excellent combination of performance, build quality, and price. It also is a future relevant lens as it can support a full frame 35mm imaging sensor (assuming Pentax eventually joins the FF party someday). This lens is well worth the price of admission, which as of this review is around $610 from popular online retailers such as B&H and Adorama. It’s a very versatile lens and can be used for pretty much anything such as it’s intended macro purposes to portraiture and event photography. Just keep in mind focusing speed with macro lenses in general isn’t the fastest or is screw-drive focusing the quietest out there.
My blog article with pictures and such.