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03-23-2011, 06:00 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
At f/1.4 you're not going to get many in-focus shots with moving targets, no matter how fast the AF is.
No, but my DA*55 does pretty well at f/2, which is where I shoot it 98% of the time, and where I'd likely shoot the Sigma, too. The Sigma wouldn't have to go far to AF faster than that lens, and from what I've read, it's a bit of a speed demon in that respect, as well.

03-23-2011, 07:50 PM   #62
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I find lenses like this very easy to focus, at least to do what the AF does. The FA77/1.8 is a joy to focus on older film bodies. A fast tele like this snaps into focus very well.

Ben is right, though, if you are shooting a moving subject with a tele at wide apertures, the point of focus will be hard to hold while the subject moves.
03-23-2011, 07:56 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
this was the main reason why I sold my Rokinon. not to mention I struggled with it manually and the 1m focusing didn't help much as well.
Just curious, but how did you struggle with it? It would seem to me that a lens that fast would focus easily. Admittedly, I've been shooting a lot of film lately, so maybe I'm spoiled by the finders.

I figure I've always got the FA77 if I need AF. Actually, given that I have the 77, there are probably a few lenses I need more than an 85/1.4 anyway.
03-23-2011, 09:09 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Just curious, but how did you struggle with it? It would seem to me that a lens that fast would focus easily. Admittedly, I've been shooting a lot of film lately, so maybe I'm spoiled by the finders.

I figure I've always got the FA77 if I need AF. Actually, given that I have the 77, there are probably a few lenses I need more than an 85/1.4 anyway.
well, the manual focusing wasn't smooth as I hoped it would be as far as my preference with smoothness goes. I felt it was quite some work fiddling the focus ring. honestly, I found the corresponding 85s' that I have, the J-9 and M85 easier and faster to nail. if it's worth the mention, I also have the A50/1.2 which is easy for me to operate. having handled FF, it is indeed easier to focus lenses on such format mainly due to the VF. another struggle I want to mention is the MFD. there were several instances that I missed some shots because the subjects were too close for the lens to focus. AF operation would certainly help a lot with action. I don't believe that AF is useless at wide open, although it would be difficult for it to nail focus, it would certainly be faster and the chances of success is better. much more so if stopped down to f1.8 or f2.

03-24-2011, 01:31 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Sample variation or different tastes?
I doubt it was sample variation, although it seems I have one of the better copies of FA*24 out there.
The Sigma was tad sharper, but colours were off by mile to my liking and contrast was low (-er when compared to the FA*)
Truth is, I did grow accustomed to the FA series colours. I did try all Pentax series and I haver to say the I liked the output of FA labeled lenses the best (hence my line up). M85 anf F50/1.7 would be tied second.

To the topic. Yes the Sigmna does seem to be a great lens but:
- on APSC it relates to roughly 125 f2 lens, good for long portrait lens but slightly odd ball IMO. It does make perfect sense on FF though
- the size of it, this is entirely down to personal choice but in my example, I rarely shoot longer than 50/55mm, 24-55 is my most favored range and to lug the brick of 85/1.4 around for the odd shot here or there is nonsense.

That's just my observations
03-24-2011, 05:53 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
well, the manual focusing wasn't smooth as I hoped it would be as far as my preference with smoothness goes. I felt it was quite some work fiddling the focus ring. honestly, I found the corresponding 85s' that I have, the J-9 and M85 easier and faster to nail. if it's worth the mention, I also have the A50/1.2 which is easy for me to operate. having handled FF, it is indeed easier to focus lenses on such format mainly due to the VF. another struggle I want to mention is the MFD. there were several instances that I missed some shots because the subjects were too close for the lens to focus. AF operation would certainly help a lot with action. I don't believe that AF is useless at wide open, although it would be difficult for it to nail focus, it would certainly be faster and the chances of success is better. much more so if stopped down to f1.8 or f2.
If the focus is not smooth or easy to use, that is an issue. I haven't used the Russian screw mount, and you lose a stop on it and the M85, but they may be even better deals for the money. The MFD on the Sigma, like the M85, is listed at 33.5 inches (.85m), and the Samyang is 1 meter. The six inches (15%) in MFD, alone, wouldn't seem to be a big selling point for a whole bunch more money, but we all have our requirements. Sigma Lens: Primes - Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM (Tested) - SLRgear.com! My biggest concern is the numer of times I would use F1.4.

Last edited by GeneV; 03-24-2011 at 06:13 AM.
03-24-2011, 06:13 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
To the topic. Yes the Sigmna does seem to be a great lens but:
- the size of it, this is entirely down to personal choice but in my example, I rarely shoot longer than 50/55mm, 24-55 is my most favored range and to lug the brick of 85/1.4 around for the odd shot here or there is nonsense.

That's just my observations
That occurs to me, as well. Like a great many other Sigma lenses, the 85/1.4 is about the same size as my Sigma 17-35 DG EX and uses a 77mm filter. That is on the fatter side of the lenses in my kit. The Pentax does better at 67mm, but it is still not exactly diminutive. Compared to the FA77 or M85, these lenses are huge. How often do I need that extra stop--or less than a stop in the case of the FA77? How often will these lenses end up in my bag for the $1,000 I'll spend?

If I regularly wheeled in a trunk of equipment to weddings I was paid to preserve, it might be worth it, but for those of us who don't, I'm not so sure.
03-24-2011, 07:00 AM   #68
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I'd been hankering after the Sigma, but for simple reasons of affordability I ordered the Samyang 85mm f/1.4. I've had it for two days now, and I am impressed by the performance (especially considering the price!). The Sigma would cost me around four times as much, but would give AF and a little bit of closer focus. I'm not sure it would be sharper wide-open.

I'm certainly finding that using a fast prime wide-open is great fun and allows me to find shots with differential focus that I would never have thought of.

I've only actually used the Samyang at f/1.4, it just seems to work well like that. It is plenty sharp enough wide-open but obviously needs a lot of care in composition to ensure that the intended areas are in focus. I find that although it needs to be done carefully manual focus is generally accurate - it does need practice and very accurate adjustment of the diopter adjustment before you start.

A test shot wide-open, first the whole picture carefully focussed on the barcode of the packet (K-5, ISO 80, tripod)



A 100% crop of just the packet:



03-24-2011, 10:49 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
If the focus is not smooth or easy to use, that is an issue. I haven't used the Russian screw mount, and you lose a stop on it and the M85, but they may be even better deals for the money. The MFD on the Sigma, like the M85, is listed at 33.5 inches (.85m), and the Samyang is 1 meter. The six inches (15%) in MFD, alone, wouldn't seem to be a big selling point for a whole bunch more money, but we all have our requirements. Sigma Lens: Primes - Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM (Tested) - SLRgear.com! My biggest concern is the numer of times I would use F1.4.
you'd be surprise that the 15cm gap does make a lot of difference. it's funny coz on those times that I need such mfd is I only needed just a few more turns on the focus ring. also, the J9 and M85 as you might noticed, have shorter MFD than the Rokinon.

I see your concern regarding using the lens at wide open to warrant such purchase. for me, I have to think hard what I would get in return. IQ, HSM, rounded aperture, DOF flexibility, AF, and MFD. the lenses that I own at those focal length miss the MFD, DOF flexibility and AF primarily, of which I am after. and if the manual focusing is smoother than the Rokinon, that would be great as well.
03-24-2011, 11:14 AM   #70
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We'll be doing a side-by-side comparison of the sigma and FA* 85 within a month or so- hopefully the sigma will set a new standard! Too bad it's not WR, though- that would really make it a killer lens!
03-24-2011, 11:23 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
you'd be surprise that the 15cm gap does make a lot of difference. it's funny coz on those times that I need such mfd is I only needed just a few more turns on the focus ring. also, the J9 and M85 as you might noticed, have shorter MFD than the Rokinon.
Wouldn't a set of extension tubes take care of any close-focus issues?
03-24-2011, 11:48 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
Wouldn't a set of extension tubes take care of any close-focus issues?
I've happily used the Samyang on a single short tube, being manual focus a basic tube suffices. Talking of focus, I find the action to be smooth and heavily damped, not very different to my 85mm Minolta Rokkor. It certainly feels different to an AF lens, but I do feel that it has a 'proper' focussing action.
03-24-2011, 12:05 PM   #73
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Thanks for giving us an example of your samyang! I've seen what that lens can do, and it's very fine piece of glass one should not underestimate!
03-24-2011, 12:56 PM   #74
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I think in this case I'd much rather buy a new lens than search out a used one and pay a premium for it.

However, the FA77 is a good alternative to the new Sigma and old Pentax if the extra bit of light gathering and range isn't a necessity.
03-24-2011, 01:18 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
Wouldn't a set of extension tubes take care of any close-focus issues?
of course. although such application is easier said than done in candid situations where the subject doesn't wait for you to install and remove the extension tube just to get the shot that you want. extension tube use is a convenience and also an inconvenience at the same time since you'd be losing middle ground and infinity focus and time as well. for still subjects, it is handy. but for candid, sports and walk-around, it is more of a problem.
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