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11-16-2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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DA 70mm rivals?

Hello,

I've been offered quite a good deal on a DA 70 and I am really considering jumping on it - even though I should not .

I like the K55 for portraits, except for stopped down bokeh. It's also fustrating to work with in fast moving environments. However, I am wondering if I should wait on the "portrait length" and buy something else in the long term.

Options - FA 77 - I think that this thing is priced out of my league.
DFA 100 - WR, macro added to the set up.
???

Any opinions on what I should do? Granted the DA 70 offer I have been given is less than half of either of those lenses (less than the review average, too).

Do you think it's a good deal? Would I be satisfied for portraiture? Or do you think I should stick with the K55? Or wait for one of these other ones?

11-16-2010, 12:47 PM   #2
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The DA 70/2.4 is a very good lens and will certainly be far less frustrating than the K 55 which is an f 1.8 as I recall. I think the DA 70 is a great portrait lens. There are several threads comparing the FA 77/1.8 and the DA 70/2.4. Both are comparable with the nod going to the 77 for better bokeh along with a much higher price tag. Hans Schiroff’s review of the DA 70 is found below

Pentax SMC-DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited - Review / Test Report

The Pentax SMC DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited is a great lens with no really significant technical weakness. The resolution characteristic is generally excellent regardless of the (tested) aperture setting and the resolution distribution is much more harmonic compared to the SMC FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited although it sacrifices a tiny bit of peak performance. The vignetting is slightly more pronounced than desirable at f/2.4 but not really an issue beyond. Neither distortions nor CAs are field-relevant. You may be able to spot some traces of purple fringing. An interesting aspect of a large aperture tele lens is quality of the bokeh (the out-of-focus blur). Similar to its alcoholic counterpart it is a matter of taste to some degree - I'd say it is very good but not excellent. Here and there some of the out-of-focus halos seem to be a bit hard edged. The degree of background/foreground blur is also a bit limited by the comparatively small max. aperture (for a moderate tele lens). Typical for all Pentax Limited lenses the build quality is excellent and it is a joy to use such a high quality lens in the field. The price (around 500€/US$) is quite fair in relation to what you get here. Now is it a "better" lens than the FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited ? I'd be hard pressed to provided a real guidance here. Technically the DA 70mm is a bit better (more even resolution, less purple fringing) whereas the FA 77mm has a slight edge regarding the bokeh due to its larger max. aperture. Fortunately the choice is yours and not mine ... :-)

According to this review it is pretty much a tossup. If you don’t need the extra speed, or want to use the lens on a film camera, the DA 70/2.4 is a much better buy. You won’t regret it.

Tom G
11-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
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Thank you so much.

Should I "jump on this deal" considering it is about 400? I feel like I am getting a bargain, but if it is not REALLY that good a deal, I can wait too...
11-16-2010, 01:38 PM   #4
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That sounds like a pretty darn good deal to me.

If the lens is in good condition -- and it better be, for anything north of $100 in my opinion -- remember that you can probably resell it for that amount or a little bit more, if it turns out not to a good fit for you.

But I suspect you'll like it!

11-16-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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The DA70 is a great lens, the FA77 is a rockstar (higher highs but tempremental). I have the 15/21/40 & 70 and although I think the DA70 is the best of all these in IQ (and that's saying something), I probably use it a bit less than my other limiteds because I also own the DA*50-135.

What I'm saying is yes, the DA70 is fantastic for portriats, however the only lenses worth buying are ones that will spend time on your camera, so if you take portraits and find yourself not that happy using your 80-200, then I think you'll get your moneys worth from the DA70. You certainly wont be disappointed with the performance of it.
11-16-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
not that happy using your 80-200
To say the least . The lens is fun to fool around with, but it's just not a portrait lens . If you think the 70 is better than the 40 I am SOLD - because the 40 blows me away.
11-16-2010, 03:20 PM   #7
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I really like the DA 70. It is my favorite portrait lens (followed by the DA *50-135). Very sharp, even wide open. Has a touch of vignetting wide open that often actually enhances portraits and very smooth bokeh.

The FA 77 is probably better, a little slower to auto focus, a little heavier... Basically all the differences between the DA 40 and the FA 43 apply to the differences between the DA 70 and the FA 77. If you have the funds sitting around, the FA 77 is a good investment, but I am very happy with the DA 70.

As to why I like the DA 70 better than the 50-135, it really comes down to size. People seem to tense up when you wave the DA * lens around, whereas they remain relaxed with the DA 70.
11-16-2010, 03:24 PM   #8
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The Sigma 70 f2.8 Macro may be another contender.

11-16-2010, 03:39 PM   #9
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What about the Macro 100 2.8? WR or not, it looks like it could also be a nice portrait lens... although it might be pretty harsh w.r.t. bokeh?
11-16-2010, 03:41 PM   #10
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The 100WR makes a nice portrait lens. Even better, IMO, is the FA100/macro, although you lose the WR and rounded blades.
11-16-2010, 04:12 PM   #11
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if the DA70 is sold for $400, I believe you are better off with a used FA77 which are now sold at $650 on average.

contenders on such focal length portraiture are the Sigma 70 macro and FA100/2.8 macro. both lenses render differently so it's more of a toss-up I should say. sharpness and contrast, I would go for the Sigma, bokeh and colors for the Pentax. both lenses don't display any harsh bokeh.

another lens to watch out for is the Sigma 85. however, this would cost more money than the other two. the only logic for getting this lens if you need the additional two stops for portrait rendering.
11-16-2010, 04:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
if the DA70 is sold for $400, I believe you are better off with a used FA77 which are now sold at $650 on average.
While I think the DA 70 is a very good deal, maybe it makes sense to invest in the FA 77 for the bokeh. I think I need to really take a breather and skip out on this one... there are too many choices to be made, and not so much in the way of urgent need.

Otherwise, if I went for the macro, it would be a macro I don't have, as well as a nice portrait lens.

One question - why is the FA 100 Macro better than the DFA 100 WR Macro? I don't really care about the aperture ring, and WR would be nice... do they render similarly?
11-16-2010, 04:22 PM   #13
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if you have the money get the fa77 no doubt, if you cant afford it just get the da70 and you will be very happy but you will always be thinking bout the fa77.
11-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote

One question - why is the FA 100 Macro better than the DFA 100 WR Macro? I don't really care about the aperture ring, and WR would be nice... do they render similarly?
It's not that one is better than the other, but they do render a little differently. Even though I slightly prefer the rendering/colors of the FA100, I also have the 100WR as it's smaller/lighter, has quick-shift focusing and is WR. That said, I'm trying to decide which to keep as I really don't *need* both
11-16-2010, 04:30 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
if you have the money get the fa77 no doubt, if you cant afford it just get the da70 and you will be very happy but you will always be thinking bout the fa77.
To be honest I am not so sure about that... I don't spend much time thinking about the A 50mm 1.2, or the FA 43, or the 28mm 2.0. I think in the end, the quality of my photographs are limited more by me than my gear. The FA 77 looks nice, but I am equally temped by a 100mm macro or something else that I could use for portraits, but would give my kit more flexibility. In that sense, the money saved on purchasing the DA 70 would be helpful for another purchase. I suppose I am wondering about the other *completely different* options - the 100 macro, the sigma 85 is a good suggestion, things like that.

I must say, the DA 40 as ignited a rather intense fire inside my belly. I'm very tempted by these DA limiteds... and the speed of the DA 40 is really a moot point for me, I like bokeh, but I don't like super-thin DOF.

All in all, I am bamboozled.
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