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05-09-2011, 06:25 AM   #61
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The FA77 performs excellent wide open in my experience, yeah it does have some PF in high contrast situations but its pretty easy to remove in post and most of the time you dont even notice it unless your pixel peeping anyway.

05-09-2011, 06:49 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
This is just so not true.
There is no "simple fact" at play here.
The FA Limiteds were designed for a different era, when a lens had to cover a 45mm or so image circle.
The DA Limiteds are designed for the APs-C format, and only need to cover ~35mm of image circle, and with the slightly smaller maximum aperture, it's no surprise the 70 is slightly smaller than the 77.
I repeat, it's very strange someone is trying to argue with this simple fact, just like you )
DA Ltds are no match to FA ones )
05-09-2011, 08:44 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Emacs Quote
DA Ltds are no match to FA ones
This is a little dogmatic. I would agree with you if you were comparing the 21 to the 31, or (more appropriately) the 40 to the 43. But the 70 and 77 are very close *on digital*. The DA 70 is easily the best of the DA limiteds (in my book).

77 makes sense if:

1) You want f1.8.
2) You shoot film.
05-09-2011, 11:32 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
While first hand experience is invaluable I'm not convinced that one cannot form opinions about lenses without owning them.

I knew pretty much nothing about lenses, let alone of the legendary status of the FA 31/1.8, when I noticed an image made with the latter that stood out. Simply by looking at it, I knew that this was a special lens. I checked which lens it was and only then started reading about the FA 31/1.8.

Same with the FA 77/1.8. No one needed to tell me that this is an out of the ordinary lens. You can tell simply by looking at images made with it. Incidentally, Keitha McCall (massively talented forum member) got into the Pentax system because of one image made with the FA 77/1.8 she had seen. If it hadn't been for the image, she would have gone Canikon. Could the DA 70/2.4 have had that effect? I doubt it.

Of course a lot depends on what the photographer did with the subject, lighting, etc. but overall you get a feel for how a lens renders simply by looking at the results of other people.

If you or anyone else feels that the DA 70/2.4 is just as good, that's fine with me. I personally see differences that would be more than worth the difference in price.

P.S.: You shouldn't really hold a FA 77 hostage you don't love. I'm offering it a good home where it will be cherished and used.
this is true in general. I for one don't lust the FA31 because of it's existing legendary status, but because of the images I have seen with it. not necessarily images shot by a great photographer to show what it could do, but able to see it's character in ordinary shots.

05-09-2011, 11:36 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
77 makes sense if:

1) You want f1.8.
2) You shoot film.

why is that so?
05-09-2011, 11:41 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
77 makes sense if:

1) You want f1.8.
2) You shoot film.
QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
why is that so?
It's not so.

I'm sure there are still people that would prefer the FA77 over the DA70 even if they never shot film and both lenses had a maximum aperture of f/2.4.

That said, is there any way for this "debate" to stop? Some people perfer the 77, some people prefer the 70. Isn't it nice that we have options so that each individual can decide which lens is best suited for their needs? Am I just being naive with that thought?
05-09-2011, 12:15 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
It's not so.
Or is it?

Have you compared the 70 and the 77 at f2.4?

Were they markedly different?

The debate aspect of this looks like the following:

1) People who have owned both and have decided that they liked the features of the 77 (f1.8, full frame), or prefer the cost savings and features of the DA 70 (faster AF, quickshift). Most of these people agree that other than ultra-low DOF, there is not much difference between these lenses that can't be compensated for in post.

2) People who own one or the other. Most DA 70 - only owners say "I like the DA 70". Most FA 77-only owners are incredibly vocal about why *their* FA 77 is better than *your* DA 70, and most importantly, say quote equal parts fact and fiction on the matter.

But don't listen to me... listen to Wheatfield and Marc. They know their stuff better than 98% of the members on this board.

Also re-read this article, often quoted by FA LTD fans. sm-02-05-02

Look carefully...

"Each optical house may be a stately shadow of its former self in the minds of 35mm photographers today, and lens quality may not matter any more anyway — Canon and Nikon are awfully darned good, and nobody makes any dogs, and it's all going digital anyway."

The point is that even Mr. Johnson agrees that while the FA ltds are killer on film, these gains will largely be lost on a digital camera (hence why the DA 70 can go pretty much toe to toe with it for a fraction of the cost).

These arguments will continue as long as people treat lenses like artifacts with magical powers, instead of glass with refractive properties.
05-09-2011, 12:42 PM   #68
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I'm not sure what gains that are lost specifically on using the FA77 on APS-C other than DOF. although FOV is also lost, but when it comes to portrait and other purpose that doesn't need significant FOV, it is negligible. besides a 7mm difference at the short telephoto range isn't much of a factor. setting aside features, the difference would then lie on the rendering of the lens, rather than aperture speed or DOF. this is the same as comparing a 35mm to the DA40 to the FA43 and saying that these lenses aren't that different with each other with respect to similar aperture speed.

not bashing the DA70. it's a great lens, but it would be funny to equate it with a totally different lens. just sayin.

05-09-2011, 01:04 PM   #69
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I think they key is that the FA and DA *do not* render very differently in many peoples eyes, in ways that cannot be changed with post-processing (e.g., colour).

Bokeh comparisons are *very* similar, both lenses are incredibly sharp, etc.

Plus, the FA 77 *does* produce a lot more lateral CA and PF on digital than it does film...

The idea is this: put the FA 77 on film, and it blows away a *lot* of lenses, significantly. However I don't think it would be accurate to say that the FA 77 *blows away* the DA 70 on ASP-C.
05-09-2011, 01:49 PM   #70
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for the common consumer market (non-photographic type or simply candid shooters), lenses don't look that different nor would it warrant them to purchase a $500 or $800 prime over a $200 dollar zoom or $600 high-end zoom with pp consideration . however, how many of those majority spend real time post-process work?

since we are now shifted to pp, it also opens up a new debate on trying to warrant a DA70 over zooms. again, sharpness, contrast, colour can be tweaked. so this debate is pretty much put a stale on the old discussion. PP pretty much destroyed the discussion about lens characteristic which was the original intention of the thread.
05-09-2011, 02:12 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
for the common consumer market (non-photographic type or simply candid shooters), lenses don't look that different nor would it warrant them to purchase a $500 or $800 prime over a $200 dollar zoom or $600 high-end zoom with pp consideration . however, how many of those majority spend real time post-process work?

since we are now shifted to pp, it also opens up a new debate on trying to warrant a DA70 over zooms. again, sharpness, contrast, colour can be tweaked. so this debate is pretty much put a stale on the old discussion. PP pretty much destroyed the discussion about lens characteristic which was the original intention of the thread.
BTW, FA Ltd doesn't neet much PP in general, unlike any DA
05-09-2011, 02:15 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
But don't listen to me... listen to Wheatfield and Marc. They know their stuff better than 98% of the members on this board.
Even people who are knowledgeable in certain aspects of an area can get it wrong for other aspects of the same area. It is never a good idea to rely on authority. If someone prefers the rendering of one lens, they should go for it, rather than listening to some proclaimed authority.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
"Each optical house may be a stately shadow of its former self in the minds of 35mm photographers today, and lens quality may not matter any more anyway — Canon and Nikon are awfully darned good, and nobody makes any dogs, and it's all going digital anyway."
This is a perfect example for quoting out of context.

Directly before the paragraph you quoted, Mike Johnston writes
"A nearly ideal short tele, the 77mm Limited is superb — contrasty, excellent for portraits wide open, with a truly beautiful, delicate bokeh that compliments the almost 3-D vividness of the in-focus image. Tops in its class? There are certainly a lot of great short teles out there. But I can't name an AF SLR short tele I'd put above it."
And then within the same paragraph you quoted from directly before the passage you quote he writes
"Granted, three lenses doth not a legend create. But if you're wondering which autofocus lenses are ne plus ultra, I submit that little has changed since the days of Kennedy and Kent State, Barbie and the Beatles, when "the Pentax" was the best-selling SLR there was and Zeiss was the world's most prestigious cameramaker. "
Directly after the passage you quote he writes
"But when it comes to the best autofocus lenses in the world, whether for a viewfinder camera or SLRs, it's still Zeiss and Pentax, baby, same as the old days."
Conclusion: Mike Johnston says the exact opposite what you were suggesting he said.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
These arguments will continue as long as people treat lenses like artifacts with magical powers, instead of glass with refractive properties.
That's absolutely not the point. Rather, the arguments will continue as long as some people care for subtle differences that make a big difference to them while others are not that fussed about differences at that level.

Our forum Pentax Pro benjikan shots with the Pentax 16-45 zoom. He says it's a great lens. He also says that the kit lens (18-55) is an "excellent" lens and that he'd use it for paid shots stopped down a bit. And he's right; for certain studio shoots the kit lens is all you need. I can fully see that Wheatfield doesn't need a FA 77/1.8 in the studio when he has a DA 70/2.4. But this doesn't mean that people interested in available light photography with emotional impact are not better off with a lens that renders differently.

BTW, it doesn't render differently because pixies have been dancing on it, leaving the precious "magical dust" behind. It has a different optical formula and there is a white paper by Jun Hirakawa that goes a little bit into the design goals of the FA 77/1.8. To me it is obvious that everyone who refers to "pixie dust" or "magical powers" uses that as a shortcut to talk about some rendering properties that are a) appealing but b) not easy to describe, and maybe even c) not easy to recreate.

Even the great Jun Hirakawa didn't deliver on the DA* 55/1.4, AFAIC. Yes, it is an improvement over the FA 50/1.4 in terms of sharpness wide open and in the corners. But does it have great bokeh? Is it in the same league as the FA Ltds. regarding adding something special look to your image? I personally don't think so.

It may not be possible anymore nowadays to launch a product lens like the FA 77/1.8 with its obvious flaws anymore. Everyone expects great measurement results and a lens with such PF and non-flat field of curvature would probably not fare well in reviews (Photozone gives it 3 out of 5 stars for optical performance..., not exactly advertising for a lens with such a price tag). But I'm pretty sure that the obvious flaws of the FA 77/1.8 and its appealing rendering go hand in hand. For me, while I pixel peep from time to time to see whether I've got my focus right, etc., ultimately the whole image and its emotional impact counts. Personally, I find that the FA 77/1.8 wows me a lot more on that level than the DA 70/2.4.

Last edited by Class A; 05-09-2011 at 02:22 PM.
05-09-2011, 02:27 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
PP pretty much destroyed the discussion about lens characteristic which was the original intention of the thread.
PP can address mundane things like sharpness, vignetting, CA, etc.

With PP at today's level, you cannot recreate the focus to OOF transitions of a great lens, its ability to make the subject pop against the background, etc.

You might be able, with a lot of work, to doctor an image from a so-so lens to look like it has been shot with a much better lens. But it would involve intricate, hand-made masking, local contrast adjustments, etc. You might just as well take up digital painting rather than photography then.

If you have a Photoshop action that turns the DA 40 into the FA 31 then you could earn a lot of money with it.
05-09-2011, 03:15 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
PP can address mundane things like sharpness, vignetting, CA, etc.

With PP at today's level, you cannot recreate the focus to OOF transitions of a great lens, its ability to make the subject pop against the background, etc.

You might be able, with a lot of work, to doctor an image from a so-so lens to look like it has been shot with a much better lens. But it would involve intricate, hand-made masking, local contrast adjustments, etc. You might just as well take up digital painting rather than photography then.

If you have a Photoshop action that turns the DA 40 into the FA 31 then you could earn a lot of money with it.
that is exactly the point that I was referring to. I mean how much time does a common person (general consumer in general or yet an enthusiast) willing to spend doing intricate PP workflow? although pp nowadays makes it easier to choose by offerin default settings, I would think that those who really want to make the best out of the image would still tweak the image as far as his standards are met. I'm in agreement with the premise that digital painting would be more appropriate in this regard. but it can still be extremely useful in conjunction with someone who does photography. although I'm not really that glad to see some images overdone on purpose.
05-09-2011, 03:25 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
I agree. The FA77 does indeed exhibit a lot of purple fringing. I have also found the longitudinal chromatic aberration quite annoying at times (those green fringes can certainly be ugly).


I don't want to nitpick but going from F/1.7 to F/2.4 is closer to one full stop...
Yes, I noticed a lot more green fringing too. I was wrong about the 2/3's stop diff, it's 1/2 + 1/3 which is 0.83 stops, lets call it one . I find the extra stop very very useful. Originally I was going to sell the DA70 on buying the FA77, but now I'm not so sure as for backlit scenes the DA70 is much better, and the DA70 will fit in my pocket (minus hood) whereas the FA77 doesn't.

Maybe I'll take some more side by side shots with the DA70 and FA77 and post them here, see if we can see that pixie dust
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