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03-22-2011, 09:55 PM   #31
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Very good point! I hadn't thought of it like that. Thank you Sigma. It was a long time coming.

03-23-2011, 01:29 AM - 1 Like   #32
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As an owner of the FA* 85/1.4 and the FA* 80-200, I'd like to chime in as well

Are the FA*'s overpriced? Yes, for sure. I probably would not have bought them if I did not have the funds. Do I like them to death? Yes, for sure!

It's hard to say if the Sigma 85/1.4 is better than the FA*. I do know that wide open, my FA* 85/1.4 is sharper than any FA 50/1.4 I've tried. So if the Sigma is even sharper: wow. But "sharper" is not the same as "better". I'd like to see which lens gives an overall more pleasing picture - at portrait distances. The FA* 85/1.4 is a specialty lens and it should be treated as such.

For a zoom, the FA* 80-200 is plain superb. Every time I show my shots to Nikon and Canon shooters, I receive comments about the smooth bokeh (which they consider smoother than the bokeh of their brand's equivalents, without the apparent double-lining or "nisen bokeh"). I used it extensively on my vacation to Italy and I'm still blown away when looking at the pictures.

I tried a few of my FA*'s and F*'s on fullframe (through an extension tube as to avoid mirror collision problems) and I must say that I still don't regret that I bought them.

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03-23-2011, 01:33 AM   #33
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The 3rd party options have always been a good option if money was tight.
Tamron 28-75/2.8, Tamron/Sigma 70-200/2.8, various macros, all give perhaps 90% of the performance for 70% of the price.
This does vary from lens to lens though.

FA*85 is about $1100-$1200, Sigma is about $1000 (in fact its only difference of $130 where I'm from)
Sigma is new with warranty for what its worth and plastic.
FA*85 is solid, very good performance that is hard to beat and SMC coating against flare and SMC colors/contrast. Not to mention its OOP status.
I won't bat an eyelid getting the Pentax over the Sigma for the price difference.

FA*80-200 vs Tamron 70-200 is another story for me altogether. Its almost twice the price of the Tamron and certainly for me the better build and SMC coating does not make up for the $600-$700 difference.
Same line of logic for the Tamron 28-75 vs FA*28-70

The Sigma 85mm looks nice, and perhaps its a challenger to the FA77ltd which is in production. But the 77ltd is finer built, SMC coated and small which is its ultimate strength imo. A smaller package that delivers 85mm 'like' performance, that easily gets taken out for a day out.


I can see those who believe (and the word is 'believe'), that original lenses offer a better deal continue buying Pentax lenses for what it is worth to them. Those who think otherwise will continue buying some 3rd party lenses.
An additional option perhaps, but not a game changer.
03-23-2011, 01:58 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
As an owner of the FA* 85/1.4 and the FA* 80-200, I'd like to chime in as well

Are the FA*'s overpriced? Yes, for sure. I probably would not have bought them if I did not have the funds. Do I like them to death? Yes, for sure!

It's hard to say if the Sigma 85/1.4 is better than the FA*. I do know that wide open, my FA* 85/1.4 is sharper than any FA 50/1.4 I've tried. So if the Sigma is even sharper: wow. But "sharper" is not the same as "better". I'd like to see which lens gives an overall more pleasing picture - at portrait distances. The FA* 85/1.4 is a specialty lens and it should be treated as such.

For a zoom, the FA* 80-200 is plain superb. Every time I show my shots to Nikon and Canon shooters, I receive comments about the smooth bokeh (which they consider smoother than the bokeh of their brand's equivalents, without the apparent double-lining or "nisen bokeh"). I used it extensively on my vacation to Italy and I'm still blown away when looking at the pictures.

I tried a few of my FA*'s and F*'s on fullframe (through an extension tube as to avoid mirror collision problems) and I must say that I still don't regret that I bought them.

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.
thanks for sharing the performance of you Fa*'s..they are quite something...every time Ive seen a special image ..its normally got a fa 85mm between it and the camera....you are very lucky indeed

03-23-2011, 04:09 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
From everything that I have seen, I would pick the Sigma EX DG 24mm f/1.8 over the FA* 24mm every time.
And you would make the wrong choice. I tried both and winner was clear despite 2x the price...
03-23-2011, 04:21 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
And you would make the wrong choice. I tried both and winner was clear despite 2x the price...
Sample variation or different tastes?
03-23-2011, 05:25 AM   #37
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Most modern lenses are well corrected and very sharp. To me the real issue is rendering i.e. if a lens "has it" - pixie dust or the like. This is mostly subjective, of course, however the community (this forum, among other) quite often converges in this matter.

Pixie dust distribution is not proportional to lens price.

If i would be the OP, i would try to compare the offerings in his target market from this perspective and make my choice from my subjective feelings towards the aesthetic and artistic value of images as rendered by the compared lenses. A useful source might be pbase.com and, to a lesser extend, pixel-peeper.com - next to renting lenses, of course.
03-23-2011, 06:13 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
Note that those are on the D700, but I've seen similar results from Pentax dSLRs using it.
Ben, terrific shots. I especially like seeing places and people I've seen first hand.

Are those crops? The overall effect of the small DOF on the larger sensor would, I think be very different.

03-23-2011, 08:14 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Ben, terrific shots. I especially like seeing places and people I've seen first hand.

Are those crops? The overall effect of the small DOF on the larger sensor would, I think be very different.
Mostly not crops. If so, they're very minor ones.

I can provide some 100% samples later if you like.

Also, I'm receiving my D300 today, so I can get some crop-sensor samples from the same lens and see what the DoF differences are like.
03-23-2011, 09:42 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
The 3rd party options have always been a good option if money was tight.
Tamron 28-75/2.8, Tamron/Sigma 70-200/2.8, various macros, all give perhaps 90% of the performance for 70% of the price.
This does vary from lens to lens though.

FA*85 is about $1100-$1200, Sigma is about $1000 (in fact its only difference of $130 where I'm from)
Sigma is new with warranty for what its worth and plastic.
FA*85 is solid, very good performance that is hard to beat and SMC coating against flare and SMC colors/contrast. Not to mention its OOP status.
I won't bat an eyelid getting the Pentax over the Sigma for the price difference.

FA*80-200 vs Tamron 70-200 is another story for me altogether. Its almost twice the price of the Tamron and certainly for me the better build and SMC coating does not make up for the $600-$700 difference.
Same line of logic for the Tamron 28-75 vs FA*28-70

The Sigma 85mm looks nice, and perhaps its a challenger to the FA77ltd which is in production. But the 77ltd is finer built, SMC coated and small which is its ultimate strength imo. A smaller package that delivers 85mm 'like' performance, that easily gets taken out for a day out.


I can see those who believe (and the word is 'believe'), that original lenses offer a better deal continue buying Pentax lenses for what it is worth to them. Those who think otherwise will continue buying some 3rd party lenses.
An additional option perhaps, but not a game changer.
We don't know that for certain unless we begin to get our own copy. although at Canikon land it seemed to have created a real stir much to the disgust of a few fanboys. "L" is not that as coveted anymore, the f1.8's are not that on par in terms of IQ. although the fast AF and cheap price would still attractive to those who are on a budget, much as we with the Samyang and cheap MF 85/f2 lenses. too bad we don't have a cheap AF 85, and the closest one we've got (FA77) cost near as much as the new Sigma, which is much to our dismay.

although I do have to argue about Pentax having SMC advantage and I don't believe that Sigma nor any modern lenses don't have their own SMC. I think it is a false belief to say that it is. colors may vary though and is indeed made Pentax lenses attractive, but not because they are the only ones that have it. the 77 is a great lens on it's own but is wary to use wide open under harsh conditions, considering it's already f1.8. at much wider aperture (f.1.4) and similar opening (1.8), the 77mm could not compete if one would point out the pf and ca it displays. this has somehow reminded me of the M85/2 blue-fringing glow problem as well, which can be a pain for colored images.
03-23-2011, 10:01 AM   #41
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Yes, thank you very much for sharing your FA pictures. Such is quite rare to come by. It would be nice to have a wide open face portrait with the 85. From what i've seen of the sigma 85, I still don't have any reason to think that the FA 85 would be sharper in the middle than the Sigma. It's too bad I can't just get both without breaking bank.
03-23-2011, 10:10 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Sigma is new with warranty for what its worth and plastic.
Plastic? Are you sure? Three months ago when I handled the Canon mount version of the lens it felt like metal with a smooth rubber coating to me (came across a as a more durable variant of their past EX body finishes).
03-23-2011, 10:34 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Quote Originally posted by StephenMerola [Quote
From everything that I have seen, I would pick the Sigma EX DG 24mm f/1.8 over the FA* 24mm every time.
And you would make the wrong choice. I tried both and winner was clear despite 2x the price...
[/quote]

Every time I compare the images between a sigma and a pentax smc, the pentax smc always strikes and clear winner. Color rending is fantastic, no post processing needed, especially taking photos in winter in the north.

Sigma is a cheaper option or not-existing option, but where there is a choice, I go with smc.
03-23-2011, 11:35 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
Every time I compare the images between a sigma and a pentax smc, the pentax smc always strikes and clear winner.
What's your comparison process?
03-23-2011, 11:52 AM   #45
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It's just my personal choice of color results.

I have a calibrated monitor, neutral everything in-camera, two K20d bodies, one with sigma lens, one with pentax lens, then shoot at the same location same time with same color temperature.

I currently have 7 sigma lenses that I keep; sold several of them earlier due to duplicates, but have 30+ pentax lenses. If you give me one single photo, I can't tell the different. Perhaps I trained my self to like color rending of smc better?
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