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05-07-2011, 01:41 AM   #16
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I will suggest FA77 over 70. DA70 is too slow at f2.4, and you likely to miss FA77 rendering. In case you don't like, you can sell Fa77 easily since there are a lots of buyers.

You might want to also consider Fa50 as well.

05-07-2011, 02:00 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
You would find it difficult to tell differences in results between the two.
Shoot them both yesterday. They both are sharp, but 77 gives better skin tones. The 70 is too contrast for portrait shooting, I prefer 77 without a doubt (and it's about all these DA ltds, that are simply overpriced).
05-07-2011, 04:33 AM   #18
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The FA77 is sharper than the DA70 at all apertures (except at the edges of the frame), but the advantage is too small to matter. The FA77 is faster, supports full-frame cameras and has an aperture ring. They are both much the same size once you add a hood to the DA70. Both show the famous purple fringing but CA on the DA70 is worse, as is distortion. Again, both measures are small, but if you were making a choice based on lab tests the superior lens is obvious.

However the main reason to buy the FA77 is for the lovely colour tones and unsurpassed rendering.

Unless you are using these for landscapes or some other application where edge-to-edge sharpness is the main criteria (if you are, then I suggest there are other, more appropriate lenses), there is no question as to the ultimate lens.

I have a thousand examples in my Flickr stream or peruse the FA Limited thread here on the forums.
05-07-2011, 05:29 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
If the OP is willing to consider other lenses besides the 70/77/100, I would also recommend taking a look at the DA*50-135; it's one of the best portrait zooms out there (IMO).
I second the * 50-135!
Having owned it in the past, I sold it thinking we'd be better off with an 85* alternative(amidst others). But the gist of it is, that we've never gotten past the *50-135.
It was such a versatile lens for portrait shooting that I don't think it can ever be replaced.

05-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Can you say what makes you go for the 70 in place of the 77?
I don't see much difference between the two in the studio, the 70 is just a little shorter (my room is only so large) and it seems to AF better than the 77.
I've never had any problems with the 77, it has always been an absolutely stellar lens for me, but the 70 seems to suit my needs better.
05-07-2011, 12:21 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I don't see much difference between the two in the studio
LOL
In studio you wouldn't see any significant difference with good zoom too, when good studio light.
05-07-2011, 02:26 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
The FA77 is sharper than the DA70 at all apertures (except at the edges of the frame), but the advantage is too small to matter. The FA77 is faster, supports full-frame cameras and has an aperture ring. They are both much the same size once you add a hood to the DA70. Both show the famous purple fringing but CA on the DA70 is worse, as is distortion. Again, both measures are small, but if you were making a choice based on lab tests the superior lens is obvious.
Those are good point, but they don't tell the whole story:

- DA70 might be similar size with hood, but it's still 1/2 the weight, and of course the FA77 with hood is bigger still, although since it retracts, that's only an "issue" on the camera, not in the bag. But the removability of the DA70 hood turns into a plus, as it works quite well on other lenses too, and unlike built in hoods can be used in conjunction with a thick filter like the Raynox 150/250.

- FA77 might be full frame compatible, but if you're not interested in FF - as probably 90% of photographers aren't - that just makes it unnecessarily expensive. Similar, saying it has an aperture ring means nothing to me - it's not one can actually use the aperture ring normally on the only cameras I'm likely to ever own.

- DA70 has quick shift, which I use each and every day many times. Far, far, far more important to me than FF capability which at best I might maybe use at some point in the the distant future if I should ever change my mind about that. And in that distant future, I won't be wanting a 77mm portrait lens - I know my 50 sits practically unused right now.

- DA70 is significantly cheaper

I'm not saying the DA70 is the technically *better* lens, or the better choice for everyone, but I am saying the choice really is more subjective than you make it out to be. You chose to emphasize the qualities where the FA77 excels, but I have listed some other areas in which the DA70 does. So it all about personal preference - which of the various factors one weighs as most important. I weigh quick shift as about 1000 times more important than FF capability; I rate the 2X difference in weight as not quite as worth the the 2/3 stop difference in speed, but I rate the superior corner performance of the DA70 as slightly more important (slightly less unimportant would be more accurate) than the superior CA performance of the FA77. That's much more a wash than it would to someone who values FF over quick shift, speed over weight, or CA performance over corner performance.
05-07-2011, 02:29 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
DA70 is too slow at f2.4
"Too slow"? What kind of lights are you shooting with where that 2/3 stop matters? DOF at f/2.4 is already on the too-shallow side, althoguh I would say if your main purpose is creative art photography as opposed to portraits per se, the difference in speed might matter more. But to my mind, that's what cheap fast 50's are for. Not of much interest to me as a focal length for portraits, but fine for creative use.

05-07-2011, 03:54 PM   #24
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Thanks Wheatfield - yep, makes sense.
I agree with Marc in saying that f/2.4 is more than enough depth of field for *most* portraiture, and the DA 70 is certainly useable wide open. Also bear in mind that absolute depth of field is thinner at f/2.4 with a 70mm lens compared to that of a 50mm lens at the same aperture.
05-07-2011, 06:35 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
DA70 might be similar size with hood, but it's still 1/2 the weight
We are talking about 130g which is a non-issue for me. Some might argue that this means the FA77 is better balanced on the camera. If we were debating 400g versus 800g that would be a different matter.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
FA77 might be full frame compatible, but if you're not interested in FF - as probably 90% of photographers aren't - that just makes it unnecessarily expensive.
There is not now, nor has there ever been, evidence that this lens is more expensive because it is full-frame.

I recognise that the number of people who care about film might be small. But if a developing digital photographer decides to get into 35mm it's nice to know their investment in such lenses means they can start off with the very best optics.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
DA70 has quick shift, which I use each and every day many times.
I thought I'd like this feature but didn't, mostly because manual focusing with such a narrow ring, small throw, and ill-damped movement is a pain. I also prefer more positive control over when the camera motor will take over focusing. I find the AF/MF switch well designed for this purpose. Focusing with the FA77 is not as nice as with a Takumar, Zeiss or Leica (being auto-focus it cannot be) but it has a decent focus ring at least.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
DA70 is significantly cheaper
This extrinsic factor is completely irrelevant here since the OP expressed his interest in the FA77... presumably he has the budget. I wish all the FA Limiteds were cheap as peanuts, but excellence has its price. And in fact the FA77 does not command much more than the DA70 on the used market, which is where I bought mine.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'm not saying the DA70 is the technically *better* lens, or the better choice for everyone, but I am saying the choice really is more subjective than you make it out to be.
I duly recognise that everyone has different priorities. But I certainly don't feel the need to state this truism every single time I make known my point of view! If you wish to rate Quick Shift Focus as more important than the FA Limited rendering, you are free to do so. As I am free to find that priority rather bizarre when one can simply put any lens into manual focus mode.

To summarise the lens advantages - omitting none that might matter to someone.

DA70 f/2.4 Limited:
  • Quick Shift Focus
  • Super Protect coating
  • insanely small and light
  • better border sharpness
  • cheaper

FA77 f/1.8 Limited:
  • 35mm film compatible with aperture ring
  • fixed rear-element extension (FREE) design
  • ghostless coating
  • available in silver (chrome) or black
  • small and light
  • superior centre sharpness
  • faster maximum aperture
  • one-fifth the distortion
  • one-half the CA
  • double-width focus ring for ease of MF
  • renders like a God -- thanks Jun Hirakawa!
  • is doubly lucky ("77")
05-07-2011, 06:38 PM   #26
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I wish I could buy everyone an FA77.

Just as I wish there was someone out there buying everyone an APO Summicron-R 90mm f/2 ASPH.

05-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #27
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I realize that this would not be considered a practical solution for everyone, but ideally the best way to decide between the 70 and the 77 would be to buy them both (or rent them) and shoot the same things with both of them. They definitely have a different style and this is the single greatest differential between them. Choose the one who's style suits you. For me, that is far and away the 77. Anybody, using any brand, can buy a lens that will render like the 70. The same can't be said about the 77. But I also realize that not everyone appreciates that.
05-07-2011, 07:39 PM   #28
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What settles such a decision for me is whether there is a preference for the microcontrast and rendition unique to the FA ltds, the need for wider aperture than f/2.4 or a more solid build in the physical lens. Everything else is minutia. If you want those benefits, you just have to put the money into getting the 77 - after all, you pay for the lens once, and it's yours for good.

Last edited by Ash; 05-08-2011 at 03:31 AM.
05-07-2011, 08:18 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
DA70 f/2.4 Limited:
Quick Shift Focus
Super Protect coating
insanely small and light
better border sharpness
cheaper

FA77 f/1.8 Limited:
35mm film compatible with aperture ring
fixed rear-element extension (FREE) design
ghostless coating
available in silver (chrome) or black
small and light
superior centre sharpness
faster maximum aperture
one-fifth the distortion
one-half the CA
double-width focus ring for ease of MF
renders like a God -- thanks Jun Hirakawa!
is doubly lucky ("77")
Some comments on your list:

1) The FA 77 shows much more CA in high-contrast situations than the DA 70. It's sometimes incredibly irritating.

2) The FA 77 also flares up more than the DA 70 on a digital camera - regardless of the "ghostless" coatings.

3) 1/5th the distortion? no.


--


Really, the lens only makes sense if you need that extra-fast aperture. And it also likely costs so much more due to it being full frame (more glass). That's one of the advantages to ASP-C... cheaper lenses...
05-07-2011, 08:35 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Really, the lens only makes sense if you need that extra-fast aperture.

Or, again, if you prefer the rendering.
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