DFA 100 WR Macro Handson Review


fengwei

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#1
Just got this lens over the past weekend. What a beauty! I really love its metal barrel and beautiful finishing. Played it for half a day at the Zoo, didn't really take any macro but used it mostly for portraits. It's surprisingly good, one of the best portrait lenses for a macro from my experience.

Here are some hands-on feeling about this new macro lens:

1. The metal barrel design is exactly the same as FA Limiteds: smooth metal finishing, beautiful but attracting finger smudge and dusts pretty easily.
2. Focusing ring rotates during AF, just like the FA Limiteds, but has Quick Shift feature.
3. Focusing throw from minimum focus distance to infinity is about 150 to 160 degree, slightly less than a full round, same as the earlier non-WR DFA macro. But MF is so much smoother, it's almost like using a manual lens when turning the focusing ring, really love it!
4. There is no CLAMP switch to limited the AF range, not really a big deal I guess 'cause I never really used this switch when I had the FA and DFA 100 macro.
5. Aperture blades form a near round circle when set to wide aperture (wide open to somewhere near F4.5 or so), this might improve the bokeh, and my test does show more pleasing highlight bokeh than the non-WR DFA 100 macro.
6. There is no aperture ring, which is a good thing if the lens is only used on digital SLR
7. Weather Resistant barrel. I haven't really put this into full test, but this does make the lens feel more sturdy, and the extruded front barrel isn't as shaky as the non-WR one
8. Lens hood is narrower than the non WR one, and slightly better built. The old lens hood (for the non-WR DFA 100) can also be used on this new lens w/o any problem, but the new lens hood can't be used on the earlier DFA macro due to the thicker teeth on the new hood. 9. The new WR macro is slightly slimmer, feels heavier than the old DFA 100, but actually the old one is about 5 gram heavier on paper.
10. Optically the lens is pretty sharp even wide open. There is no focusing problem on my K7 (no need to adjust AF). It's also a very good portrait lens, produces smooth bokeh even at a distance.

I have yet tested it out for real macro work, will do so over the next weekend during our gathering, if got bugs to shoot there :)

Here is this beauty mounted on my beloved K7:

 

fengwei

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#2
The lens is really beautifully made:



Some comparison between the two DFA 100 macros:







 

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fengwei

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#3
Round aperture shape:



Does it make difference? You bet.

DFA100WR wide open:



DFA100 wide open:



DFA100WR at F4:



DFA100 at F4:

 

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fengwei

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#5
The earlier DFA100 has some CA problem, but seems the new WR one has the same problem too. Luckily when stopped down to F8, the CA can be very minimum:

DAF100WR wide open:


DFA100 wide open:


DFA100WR at F4:


DFA100 at F4:
 

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fengwei

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#7
It's pretty sharp not just at macro distance, but for a normal tele lens too:

Wide open:


100% crop:


Wide open:


100% crop:


Another wide open one:
 

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fengwei

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#8
At F4, the round aperture makes smooth bokeh even w/ messy highlight background like this one:



Or this one:



Some other random testing shots:





 

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fengwei

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#9
Didn't shoot many animals at the Zoo, here are two more quick snaps:



 

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fengwei

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#10
My kids just recovered from ChickenPox (yeah, both of them had it), we didn't let them play in the water, so I shot some other kids at the Kids World:









 

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fengwei

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#13
All photos were taken w/ AF. You can see I used it mostly as a normal tele lens, and it performed very well. I never really liked to use a macro lens for this kind of purpose (except the Tokina 90/2.5 ATX) due to the messy bokeh from them. But this lens is really a great mid-tele and portrait lens.

Although I haven't really put this one into macro work yet, but there is no bad macro lens, I'm not worried about its macro performance. Will report back when I got chance to test it out on some bugs :)
 

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sircam

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#15
Thanks for taking the trouble to post this for all of us to see. Great thread! Great hands on review from a real user in real world conditions!
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#18
Thanks for the review.
The lens looks very nice as well in terms of aesthetics.
I'm actually more interested in your camera strap :think: :)
 

pmchin

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Oct 5, 2008
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#19
Fw, thanks for the sharing!!

Wha ta great test!

I got a copy of non-WR version.
I am amazed from the sharpness and the nearly round bokeh especially at f4. :thumbsup:

Btw, I like your shoulder strap, looks classic, may I know how can I get it?:)
 

Jan 26, 2004
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#20
Swee and sweet!

Thanks for the review..

Maybe one day, I'll be able to afford this.
 

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