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06-12-2010, 01:55 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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FA* 85mm F1.4 and DA* 55mm F1.4 portraits

I believe I was asked to take some comparative shots with both the DA* and the FA*. Well, not really as those different focal lengths cannot be compared unless I shoot on film also (I won't), but I hope the viewers will be happy with the results below.

Today was a good day for portraits in available light. I have used both lenses extensively and at the end of the day I could not name a favorite: both lenses are top quality products, and both definitely deserve the Star designation.

I have also included the direct links to the pictures in case the picture viewer for wide pictures screws up things (you'll want to view them at 100% and not resized).

(And no, I won't measurebate the lenses; the worst thing I could do is to take pictures of newspapers or test patterns. Because I usually don't take pictures of test patterns; do you?











06-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #2
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Peter, look, I couldn't believe how terrible the FA*85/1.4 is. I'm so sorry for you that I'm willing to reliefe you from it buying this ugly lens.

Pm me with the details so I can end your pain!

06-12-2010, 02:05 PM   #3
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DA 55 looks better
06-12-2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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Both seem to be exceptional tools, hard to say which looks better, but this is my fav shot:

06-12-2010, 03:55 PM   #5
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FA*85/1.4... they look really special.


06-12-2010, 09:58 PM   #6
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I concur with the others. the shots taken with the FA*85 aren't better. you need to get rid of that lens immediately. unless you post more and much better photos and prove us wrong.
06-12-2010, 11:47 PM   #7
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Love the comparative photos. Thanks and +rep.

I have both these lenses, but if I didn't I'd be looking long and hard at them now.
06-13-2010, 01:23 AM   #8
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thanks for doing this Peter.
Of course rep added.... I have just purchased the DA*... I'm not even dreaming of the FA* but I'd settle down for 77ltd
I'm bit sad I have to sell my K50/1.2 now but judging by my first days and your shots with the DA*, it's going to be worth it!

06-13-2010, 02:33 PM   #9
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Can you hold off with the pictures from the FA* for a week or so? I just listed mine in the marketplace and don't need reminders of it's portrait prowess
06-13-2010, 07:58 PM   #10

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Great work and great shots! Thanks for sharing.

They all look good and rather similar for all the shots and either lens would be a great choice.

However, #4 vs #10 wins me over for the FA85 though. Slightly better subject isolation probably due to the focal length and less busy background for shots showing more than neck to head.
06-14-2010, 12:04 AM   #11
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Original Poster
Thanks for the comments, everyone! I really appreciate it.

I would like to remind you all that I'm still using the DA* and the FA* on the APS-C format. It would seem that the FA* has an edge now (because of nicer background separation) but when a FF Pentax ever emerges I would guess that the FA* would give the same bokeh as the DA* 55.

Nevertheless, at this moment I also prefer the FA* for several reasons. For starters it focuses much faster than the DA*, and I like the heft (don't rule out the bling-bling factor )

However... the DA* 55 is definitely growing on me. I won't rule it out! It definitely has its place in my line-up, and it seems that I also like it for head & shoulders portraits.
06-14-2010, 05:49 AM   #12
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Love the photos. Favorite is number 3, but like number 9 a lot to -- eyes just really pop in both! Great photos, Peter. The FA 85 is definitely out of my price range, but maybe at some point I'll happen on a good deal for the DA *55...
06-14-2010, 06:02 AM   #13
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Thanks! Of course there's also the Sigma 85/1.4 which will be available soon, although I'm not sure how well it would perform. From what I heard it will be super sharp, but to me it should not be the #1 reason why one would buy a fast ~85mm lens.
06-14-2010, 06:31 AM   #14
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Add two more lenses to my LBA list.

Nice work.

Tom G
06-14-2010, 10:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Add two more lenses to my LBA list.

Nice work.

Tom G
Just add an 83mm to your list like I did. Then on the rare occasion you actually find one, you can categorize the prices in the 3 ranges:


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