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01-05-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
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FA 31mm 1.8 or FA 77mm??

I've been looking into getting a new lens for quite awhile. After reading about the few I was interested in, it looks like I may have it narrowed down to 2. I do mainly portraits, pics of my kids etc. Right now my FA 50mm 1.4 pretty much lives on my camera (K20d). I love natural light, and back light. I also love snapping pics of my fast moving kiddos, so I would like a lens that has quick AF.

I'm sure lens choice is a pretty personal taste kind of thing, but I would love to hear from anyone who has used one or both lenses. Thanks everyone!

01-05-2011, 02:57 PM   #2
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I'm going to guess that the AF of either is going to be very similar to your FA 50. The snappy AF awards go to the DA limited lines, unfortunately.

These focal lengths are radically different. The 77mm is long, and very tight indoors. Due to it's length, bokeh is going to really stand out on the FA 77 at normal working distances, although the FA 31 has the best bokeh I have ever seen from a wide angle lens.

How often are these to be used on film? On digital, the 31 is going to be pretty much a "normal" fov, while the 77 will be a long portrait lens.

I suppose the question is... do you find the 50 too long, or too short, for your style of shooting? I would likely go for the 77 myself for portraits, but the 31 would be much preferable for full body shots and candids / environmental portraits.

If you can, try to compare the DA 70 to the FA 77. It's a very very good portrait lens (on digital only), and the AF is snappier with the DA. The FA 77 has the creamier bokeh, but the DA 70 is no slouch here either.

With the money saved vs. the FA 77... you could consider a second lens.
01-05-2011, 03:40 PM   #3
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From personal experience. Sell 50 and get both 31 + 77 or 43 + 77.
AF wise 31 is tad quicker but 77 seems sharper on longer distances. For portraits both are great, just different use really. Luckily choice is yours, I've made mine
01-05-2011, 03:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lightchaser Quote
I've been looking into getting a new lens for quite awhile. After reading about the few I was interested in, it looks like I may have it narrowed down to 2. I do mainly portraits, pics of my kids etc. Right now my FA 50mm 1.4 pretty much lives on my camera (K20d). I love natural light, and back light. I also love snapping pics of my fast moving kiddos, so I would like a lens that has quick AF.

I'm sure lens choice is a pretty personal taste kind of thing, but I would love to hear from anyone who has used one or both lenses. Thanks everyone!
From experience with the 50mm you should have an idea whether you need a longer or a shorter focal length the most; only you can decide.

Neither of the two FA Limited lenses have lightening fast AF - they are not any faster than your 50mm. Their lens barrels are made of metal and are heavier to move. For really fast AF you need a lens with internal focusing, so that could mean a zoom like the new DA 18-135, or the hard to find FA* 85/1.4, which is a top notch lens with internal focusing.

01-05-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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I have the 31 and 77, and have used neither with any regularity since getting the 70 and 35/2.8.
I think I used my 77 once in the past couple of years, the 70 is used pretty much daily.
I would definitely take the 70 over the 77.
The 31 is nice, the 35 is optically as good, half the size and adds macro focusing.
All this in a package that cost;s probably half what the 31 costs, and is only giving up a stop of speed.
Obviously if your intent is to shoot on film rather than APS-C digital, this post doesn't make a lot of sense, but you are shooting with a K20....
01-05-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
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WOW! This is some really great feedback! Perhaps it's back to the drawing board for me. That's what I love about this forum! I could not get this kind of information and feedback anywhere else! Thank you! I had thought of getting a nice zoom lens because I tend to shoot quite candidly, and I do like to be able to zoom in quickly when a nice moment happens between a parent and child (etc). But I've just heard that the primes are so much better. The DA 18-135 sounds interesting. I'll have to go give it a look.
01-05-2011, 04:39 PM   #7
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For kids in action I think a zoom is the way to go. Getting the best possible image quality is the lesser concern over being able to both frame the shot and focus fast.
01-05-2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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for portraits I'd get the 77ltd unless you plan on getting a giant 85/1.4 lens...

31Ltd is a bit weird for portraits...for full length, I'd suggest the 43 instead unless you want to go wide angle and do environmental stuff...

p.s., another alternative is the 50-135...great portrait lens...

01-05-2011, 10:31 PM   #9
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For flexible portraiture, consider the Tamron 28-75 f2.8.

Buy it new and prepare to send it in a few times if your copy seems soft. If you get a sharp one, it's one hell of a good deal.
01-05-2011, 11:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I have the 31 and 77, and have used neither with any regularity since getting the 70 and 35/2.8.
I think I used my 77 once in the past couple of years, the 70 is used pretty much daily.
I would definitely take the 70 over the 77.
Wheatfield: Could you please elaborate on why you prefer the 70 so much over the 77? Image quality? Bokeh? Size? Handling? AF speed? AF accuracy?

I do a lot of photography similar to the OP....lots of portraits and kid shots. I already have two nice zooms (Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8), and am thinking to add a prime to my kit.

I'm interested in all of the lenses mentioned above, but since I already have excellent f/2.8 lenses I figured to get something faster (such as the 77mm f/1.8) or something with macro ability (such as the 35mm).

I'm currently leaning towards the Pentax 77mm f/1.8 or the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 (Sigma is currently winning). Also considering the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro.
01-05-2011, 11:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
For flexible portraiture, consider the Tamron 28-75 f2.8.
I would second the suggestion for the Tamron 28-75mm if you do not already have that lens in your kit. Used copies can be had for around $300 - $350 on eBay, which is where I got mine. Wide enough for group shots at the wide end and perfect length for portrait work at the long end.

I have taken thousands of pictures with mine and absolutely LOVE it. Very sharp with beautiful bokeh and no vignetting problems. Also focuses very close for quasi-macro work. And I think it looks really cool on the camera.

Plus it would give you more time to suffer over your prime lens dilemma.
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