SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR review

For the provided SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR lens, many thanks to the official PENTAX representative office in Ukraine.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR. The lens is shown on the camera. Pentax K-70

Navigation

  1. In short
  2. History
  3. Main Specifications
  4. Assembly
  5. Focusing
  6. Image quality
  7. Sample Photos
  8. My experience
  9. Alternatives
  10. Video review
  11. Price
  12. Results
  13. User Comments
  14. Add your review or question on the lens

In this review I will call SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR abbreviated Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

In short

Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR - classic 'macro weaving', i.e. macro lens with a focal length of 100 mm and a maximum aperture of f / 2.8. Well assembled and with decent image quality. Most importantly, the lens can shoot 'real' macro at a maximum magnification of 1: 1.

In general, this is an updated version of an older model. SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm, which received weather protection, a redesign of the case and a new enlightenment.

The lens was designed primarily for cropped digital cameras, but it can work just as easily on full-frame cameras (usually the opposite happens).

Of the weaknesses of the lens there is a very noisy focus and noticeable chromatic aberration, but in general it is a good solution for amateur and professional photographers.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

History

The Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR was announced on December 9, 2009.

The 'Macro 100 / 2.8' class Pentax autofocus macro lens models have gone through four iterations:

  1. SMC PENTAX-F MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm, 1987-1991
  2. SMC PENTAX-FA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm, 1991-2004
  3. SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm, 2004-2009
  4. SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR, 2009 - today

All these lenses use an optical design with 9 elements in 8 groups.

By the way, lenses

uses the same optical design.

The graphic GIF animation is shown below, in which the drawings of the schemes are taken from official sources and their complete identity is clear from the Marokotka Tokina and Pentax:

Optical circuits for SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR and Tokina Macro 100 F2.8 D AT-X PRO lenses

Optical circuits for SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR and Tokina Macro 100 F2.8 D AT-X PRO lenses

Most likely, Tokina is simply collaborating with Pentax. I am inclined to assume that initially the Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR optical circuit was nevertheless developed specifically by Pentax, and later Tokina agreed with Pentax to release its similar lens. Who has reliable information, please write about it in the comments.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Main technical specifications SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Review Instance Name Near the rim of the front lens: SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR 9371112 Ø49. On the PENTAX 100 MACRO WR
Basic properties
  • SMC (Super Multi Coated) - special enlightenment of optics
  • MACRO - lens designed for macro photography
  • DFA - a line of lenses designed for digital full-frame cameras
  • SP (Super Protect) - special protective coating / coating of the front lens
  • Quick shift focus - the function allows manual focusing even in the automatic [AF] position of the focus mode switch
  • WR (Weather Resistant) - the lens is weatherproof
  • AF (Auto Focus) - automatic focusing with the camera motor
  • FREE (Fixed Rear Element Extension) - focusing system with a fixed rear element
Front Filter Diameter 49 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 100 mm; EGF for Pentax cameras with APS-C sensor is 150 mm
Zoom ratio 1 X (this is a fixed lens, it does not have a zoom)
Designed by for full-frame and cropped digital cameras
Number of aperture blades 8 rounded petals
Labels
  • bayonet mount tag
  • label for attaching the hood
  • focus distance scale in meters and feet
  • depth of field scale, for for F / 32 and F / 16
  • 1 / x magnification scale with values ​​of 25, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1.2, 1
Diaphragm F / 2.8 to F / 32
MDF 0.303 m, maximum magnification factor 1x (1: 1)
The weight 340 g
Optical design 9 elements in 8 groups

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WRThe lens does not use special optical elements. Some other lenses use the same optical design.

Lens hood Plastic lens hood PH-RBE 49mm. The hood is supplied, can be installed in the opposite direction
Manufacturer country Assembled in Vietnam (assembled in Vietnam)
Period December 2009
Instructions See
3D view See
Price View prices E-CATALOG

At the same time, on the review, I had a SMC PENTAX-M MACRO 1: 4 100mm ASAHI OPT lens. CO., JAPAN, who is about 30 years older than the hero from the review. At the same time, the old man is made to the touch better than his descendant. And also in the difference in image quality of these same 30 years, it is quite difficult to trace.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Assembly

The lens came to my review in very good condition. In the hands of the lens feels like a good thing. The weight of the Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR lens is 340 grams. The lens itself very compactand the diameter of the front filter is record small and is only 49 mm.

This is one of the smallest 100mm full-frame macro lenses! Personally, I do not know a more compact similar lens.

In general, the lens is well assembled. Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR has metal mount mount. The focus ring is not wide, metal, without rubber inserts, tactilely pleasant. The lens body is almost completely made from metal (from aluminum alloy). The thread for the filters is plastic, the trunk is also plastic.

The lens is weatherproof, near the bayonet there is an 'O'-shaped red bayonet seal. The front lens has a special moisture and dream repellent coating.

The lens has additional seals, including a retractable trunk. The official website indicates that the lens was designed for difficult conditions, such as rainy and foggy weather and drops of moisture are terrible for her.

The design of the Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR resembles other similar modern Pentax lenses.

Diaphragm consists of 8 petals and forms a hole in the shape of a regular octagon, while in the photos in the blur zone rather round discs of blur appear. At values ​​from F / 2.8-F / 5.6, the blur discs are almost completely perfectly round.

It is very strange that on official sources the rounded aperture of the diaphragm is distinguished as a significant advantage. It is also worth mentioning that the aperture is well rounded only at F / 2.8-F / 5.6. It turns out a certain, albeit small, flaw, since the hole in strongly covered apertures is still in the shape of a polygon, and this is critical for a macro lens, because macro lenses are often removed with a very closed aperture to increase the depth of field.

Included in delivery plastic lens hood. The hood is made of thick plastic, pleasant to the touch. The hood is installed in special grooves near the front lens of the lens (bayonet type hood), it can also be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. There are white dots for installation. The lens hood is fixed nicely and securely. In the opposite direction, access to the focus ring is completely lost. Important: during focusing, the hood remains stationary, as it is mounted on the fixed part of the frame of the body. It turns out that the movable trunk of the lens moves inside the hood, thus making virtually internal focusing. With the hood installed and focusing at infinity, it will be extremely difficult to snap the front cover.

The front lens itself is recessed into the frame of the housing, which creates the effect of a small lens hood.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Focusing

The lens does not have a built-in focus motor. Focusing is carried out by the motor of the camera. This solution simplifies and reduces the cost of lens design, but has a bad effect on noise. During focusing, the lens emits an unpleasant piercing howl, like from an electric drill, which can frighten the shot livestock.

When used on a camera Pentax K-70 with a good focusing system on 11 focus points, 9 of which are cruciform, the lens behaved predictably. With precision and clinging focus, I had no particular problems. The lens clings well to captured subjects, rarely re-focusing. There are still misses in focusing, but they are more related to the specifics of shooting with macro lenses.

Auto focus speed high, but there are nuances. Due to the huge range of focusing distances, the travel time of the lenses from infinity to MDF takes about two seconds. During refocusing again, this negatively affects the usability. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR does not have a focusing distance limiter, which is quite important for a macro lens. Almost all modern 'macro cameras' from other manufacturers have a focusing distance limiter, which greatly speeds up the work with the lens.

When focusing, the front lens travels forward along with the trunk of the lens. The elongation of the trunk is significant and is 4.5 cm. The thread under the filters does not rotate. For focusing, a special FREE system (fixed rear element extension) with fixed rear element, which allows you to improve image quality at any focusing distance.

Sorry, but during auto focus focus ring rotates and cannot be touched. In similar lenses from some other manufacturers, the focus ring remains stationary during auto focus.

Of course, the Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR supports mode Quick shift focus. The focus ring in auto focus mode can only be rotated after the camera has completed focusing. This allows you not to switch the camera to the MF focus mode in order to perform manual focus or adjust the focus.

A little about Quick Shift Focus in real conditions:

Example: using the Quick Shift Focus feature, I focus manually, but as soon as I press the shutter button, half-pressing the same button forces the camera to refocus as it wants. If you continue manual focus / focus correction with the shutter release button half-pressed, then there is a 'fight' for focus control. It turns out that with my hands I rotate the focusing ring in one direction, and the camera moves the focus to the other. This is especially noticeable in the 'AF.C' focus modes. In 'AF.A' and 'AF.S' modes, the conflict is present only until the camera itself focuses as it wants, after which the focus ring becomes obedient only to the photographer. Quick Shift Focus is only most useful in 'AF.A' and 'AF.S'. The focusing speed of the Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR is high and the automatic very quickly knocks down the manual focusing that the photographer could work on for several minutes. This is very annoying and has to switch the camera to 'MF' focus mode, thereby destroying the benefits of Quick Shift Focus mode.

In comparison, Nikon lenses that have a similar feature called M / A (manual focus priority), always automatically turn off the auto focus instantly at the start of the rotation of the focus ring and this does not depend on the selected modes and functions of auto focus. Automatic focusing becomes priority again only after pressing the focus activation button again and only if the focus ring no longer rotates manually. There are no fights for focus control between the camera and the photographer. This is very convenient, and when you switch to Canon, you immediately feel the inconvenience of the FTM.

You can only make Quick Shift Focus work as I would like if you remove the focus activation function from the shutter button and assign it to another button, and do not press this button during manual focus / focus correction. In this case, you can focus manually at any time, and when you press the shutter button, there will be no conflict between the camera and the photographer for access to focus control. Usually, the activation of autofocus is programmed on the 'AF' button (for those cameras on which it is), or on the 'AF / AE-L' button (as is the case with Pentax K-70).

In manual focus mode, the focus ring rotates approximately 270 degrees (3/4 of a full revolution). Manual focus is quite comfortable. When extreme positions are reached, the focus ring abuts and cannot be rotated further.

The minimum focusing distance is 30.3 cm (the distance from the camera’s matrix to the subject). With such an MDF, the maximum magnification ratio is 1: 1. But the working distance to the subject is about 13 cm (the distance from the subject to the lens).

Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR does not have a focus mode switch. To translate the lens into manual focus, use the focus mode switch located near the camera mount.

Important: real aperture the lens, expressed in T-stops, decreases significantly during focusing towards MDF. If F / 2.8 and approximately T / 3.1 are used during focusing on infinity, then F / 5.6 and approximately T / 6.3 are used during focusing on MDF. This is a common occurrence for macro lenses.

Focus Features:

  • There is a strong effect of 'Focus Breathing' (changing the viewing angle during focusing). During focusing towards the MDF, the viewing angle decreases. In fact, focusing on MDF produces a 200 / 5.6 lens. This can serve as a plus (increase in focal length), and as a minus (decrease in aperture)
  • Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR supports macro extenders
  • The lens does not have hard stop (hard infinity mechanical stop) which allows you to accurately and quickly focus the lens at infinity under any external conditions
  • The lens has a focus distance scale with marks in meters and feet
  • Focus shift (shift-focus) was not noticed
  • Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR has no focus problems in Live View mode (tested on Pentax K-70), but it focuses more slowly and uncertainly (the problem of the Live View mode with focusing in contrast is more)
SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Image quality

In general, the Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR shows a high-quality image. There are tangible benefits and a few performance drawdowns associated with aberrations.

Sharpness

  1. in the center of the frame at F / 2.8, the lens shows confident sharpness
  2. there is a slight drop in sharpness to the edges of the frame at f / 2.8
  3. excellent resolution in the center of the frame at closed apertures after f / 4
  4. good contrast
  5. The lens was developed in the era of 10 MP cropped sensors. Nowadays, its resolution is quite enough even for 24 MP APS-C sensors

Distortion

  1. almost zero distortion
  2. has a unified character and is easily fixed in the editor

Vignetting

  1. noticeable vignetting observed most strongly at f / 2.8
  2. vignetting decreases with focus towards MDF. Most noticeable when focusing on infinity
  3. on APS-C cameras with a sensor vignetting almost disappears at f / 4

Aberration

  1. open apertures have palpable amount of chromatic aberration
  2. general level HA is at a level slightly higher than modern more high quality lenses
  3. there is tangible friging

Rest

  1. low levels of coma and astigmatism
  2. on highly covered apertures you can achieve the beautiful effect of an 8-ray star
  3. the lens tolerates back and side light well even without a hood, but in rare situations, you can get a yellow-green highlight
  4. diaphragm forms fairly smooth discs of blur only in the range F / 2.8-F / 5.6, at values ​​F / 6.3-F / 32 you can trace the correct polygons from point light sources in the blur zone

There is a profile for the popular RAW converters for this lens.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Sample Photos

All sample photos were taken with a camera. Pentax K-70on camera JPEG, image setting 'AUTO' with default settings. Highlight compensation: auto, shadow compensation: auto or strong, distortion correction: on, optical correction vignetting: auto, diffraction correction: on, chromatic zoom correction: on, everything else: off.

Archive with source files can download from this link (83 file JPEG, 0.8 GB).

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

My experience

Tokina Macro 100 / 2.8 AT-X PRO I liked more with its more aggressive design and tactile sensations than the compact Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR, sorry Tokina Macro 100 / 2.8 AT-X PRO not available with Pentax K.

Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR is a very interesting macro solution. I highly recommend the Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR for its intended use, especially since the system cannot offer anything better for a full digital (!) Frame.

By the way, there are not so many lenses of the DFA series themselves. This series includes lenses primarily designed to work on digital full-frame cameras by type Pentax K1-II.

  1. HD PentaxD FA * 1:1.4 50 mm SDM AW
  2. SMC Pentax-DFA 1:2.8 50 mm -MACRO-
  3. SMC Pentax-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100 mm
  4. SMC Pentax-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100 mm WR
  5. HD PentaxDFA 1:2.8 15-30 mm ED SDM WR
  6. HD PentaxDFA 1:2.8 24-70 mm ED SDM WR
  7. HD PentaxDFA 1: 3.5-5.6 28-105 mm ED DC WR
  8. HD PentaxD FA * 1:2.8 70-200 mm ED DC AW
  9. HD PentaxDFA 1: 4.5-5.6 150-450 mm ED DC AW

However, here you can also attribute several lenses of the DA series, which, according to the marking, are suitable exclusively for cropped cameras, but in fact they can work perfectly with full-frame cameras:

  1. SMC Pentax-DA * 1: 2.8 200mm ED [IF] SDM
  2. SMC Pentax-DA * 1: 4 300mm ED [IF] SDM
  3. HD PentaxDA 1: 5.6 560mm ED AW

It turns out that there are not many 'digitized' lenses for full-frame Pentax digital cameras.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Alternatives

Pentax has a lot of different macro lenses and there are plenty to choose from. The following is a list of all Pentax autofocus macro lenses:

  1. SMC Pentax-DA 35 mm 1: 2.8 Limited Macro (for APS-C)
  2. HD Pentax-DA 35 mm 1: 2.8 Limited Macro (for APS-C)
  3. SMC Pentax-F 50 mm 1: 2.8 Macro
  4. SMC Pentax-FA 50 mm 1: 2.8 Macro
  5. SMC Pentax-DFA 50 mm 1: 2.8 Macro
  6. SMC Pentax-F 100 mm 1: 2.8 Macro
  7. SMC Pentax-FA 100 mm 1: 2.8 Macro
  8. SMC Pentax-DFA 100 mm 1: 2.8 Macro
  9. SMC Pentax-DFA 100 mm 1: 2.8 Macro WR
  10. SMC Pentax-FA 100 mm 1: 3.5 Macro
  11. SMC Pentax-FA * 200 mm 1: 4 Macro ED [IF]

Also, under the Pentax K bayonet some models Tamron 90 / 2.8 and Sigma 105 / 2.8 were previously produced.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Video review

You can watch the video review at my humble Youtube channel by this link, or below:


Price

You can see the prices for Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR in the catalog E-CATALOG.

SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

SMC PENTAX-M MACRO 1: 4 100mm ASAHI OPT. CO., JAPAN and SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

Results

The Pentax 100 / 2.8 WR is a good functional lens. He does his job well. In fact, it is one of the best solutions for some types of macro photography among all Pentax optics.

10 main advantages

  1. full 'macro' with 1: 1 magnification ratio and 13 cm working distance
  2. quick reaction of auto focus, convenient manual focus, manual focus adjustment mode, focus ring rotates 270 degrees, the thread under the filters does not rotate
  3. there is a scale of focusing distances, depth of field and magnification
  4. compact dimensions, tiny diameter of the front filter
  5. good build quality, lens hood included
  6. the lens is protected from bad weather conditions, and there is also a protective layer on the front lens from dirt and splashes
  7. eight aperture blades, almost perfectly flat opening at F / 2.8-F / 5.6
  8. I must mention that Pentax cameras have a built-in stabilizer, because, in fact, this lens can be conditionally attributed to lenses with a stabilizer
  9. nice / neutral drawing, which can be used as a good artistic device
  10. good sharpness starting from F / 2.8 in the center of the frame, low distortion and vignetting

10 main disadvantages

  1. focusing is not internal, the trunk travels a long distance
  2. focus ring rotates during auto focus and must not be touched (according to instructions)
  3. $ 450 worth (e.g. Tokina Macro 100 / 2.8 AT-X PRO with the same optical design costs $ 350 on average)
  4. long focusing time from mdf to infinity and back
  5. no built-in focus motor (Canon Macro Lens EF 100mm 1: 2.8 USM acquired a quiet and fast focusing back in 2000)
  6. strong noise from the focus motor
  7. no focusing distance limiter (old SMC Pentax-FA 100mm 1: 2.8 Macro had a 'CLAMP' function, Tokina Macro 100 / 2.8 AT-X PRO there is 'Limit')
  8. strong effect of 'Focus Breathing' (reducing the viewing angle during focusing towards MDF)
  9. the aperture is not perfectly rounded at very hidden values
  10. strong chromatic aberration

The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. My Youtube channeland Radozhiva's group on Facebook и VK.

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Comments: 11, on the topic: Overview of the SMC PENTAX-DFA MACRO 1: 2.8 100mm WR

  • Michael

    Arkady, a typo: "and drops of moisture are not terrible for you."
    And why did you have a problem in refocusing on AF-S? There, too (like AF-A), the camera focused and turn wherever you want

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks. Fixed

  • Alexey

    It is strange to criticize MACRO optics for Focus Breathing. It should be so.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Ideally, which does not exist, it is better yet without it. It creates inconvenience in cropping. That is, you need to guess how the angle changes when you focus, after which you need to change the working distance in order to compose the frame according to the idea. This Pentax does not feel it that much, since the focusing time is quite long. But those macros that instantly focus, immediately make it clear that the frame is not the proportion that was supposed to be. Of course, you can get used to this, and of course I understand that the vast majority of Macrikas are exactly that way.
      By the way, it was because of this effect that zoom macros were designed at one time, but their creation turned out to be a very difficult task and in total I know only 1 more or less real zoom macros and a few more universal and telephoto lenses with macro function, but optically far from real macro lenses. Just zooming allows you to compensate for the change in angle during Focus Breathing, but this is already a useful feature for those who are crazy about macro.

      • Alexey

        All internal focus lenses have Focus Breathing, even 85 1.8 behaves this way. And for macro optics with a 1: 1 scale, this will be even more pronounced. This is not a bug, but a feature :) I have a Nikkor 105 2.8D micro, beautiful glass in everything, without visible aberrations, but the FR changes noticeably when zooming out, like the aperture, you just need to live with it :)

  • Onotole

    The word combination "telekinetic drill" leads only to this article :)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Must lead to a video in YouTube))

    • Arkady Shapoval

      At first I did not understand fixed.

  • Alexander

    Dear Arkady, thank you for your detailed review! I must dispute your statement: "With the hood installed, you will not be able to snap the front cover." I succeed: I extend the trunk and calmly put on (osh! Forgive ignorance!) The cover.
    Who is interested in an in-depth analysis of the optical characteristics of this Slack, you can go by reference:
    https://www.ephotozine.com/article/pentax-d-fa-100mm-f-2-8-macro-wr-lens-review-24103 .
    Almost all of the major Pentax lenses are detailed here:
    https://www.ephotozine.com/article/top-28-best-pentax-lenses-2018–25685 .

    • Arkady Shapoval

      fixed

  • Past Crocodile

    Well, I don’t know how in Ukraine, but in Russia it’s under $ 600) I looked specifically for this.
    What is the demand in the market - xs. The stabilizer is not bad. 2.8 too. When the demand for mirrors falls, in principle, they make them into the table. My old ƒɑ does not get worse with the release of subsequent ones. And in the price there is an abyss between them. In short, yes, takumaras are what will remain of the penta for all time. The rest is conditionally worse than that of competitors. Sorry. There will be no comeback.

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