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05-11-2011, 02:32 AM   #1
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FA* 85 vs A* 85

Hi,
My friend is offering me these two lens FA*85 and A*85 with the same price. Do you have any idea which is good to me?
Currently I am using MZ-3, PZ-1P and LX with FA31, FA43, FA77.

Many thanks!

05-11-2011, 03:03 AM   #2
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Optically the A* is better.
05-11-2011, 03:31 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Optically the A* is better.
But... it also has more PF than the FA*. It would be truer to say that the A* is a more allround lens than the FA*, the FA* is definitely optimized for portrait distances.
05-11-2011, 05:57 AM   #4
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FA is also AF where the A isn't. Not sure if that is a big deal or not for you, but something to consider.

05-11-2011, 07:23 AM   #5
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the FA77 f/1.8 and the A*85mm f/1.4 are optically identical - though the FA77 has been slightly tweaked due to the use of lead free glass. The FA*85mm f/1.4 performs better at closer focus distances, at further distances it isn't so great - but it wipes the floor with the canon EF85mm f/1.2L I own. The corners on the FA*85mm are extremely sharp from f/2.8 onwards the Canon 85mm f/1.2L can't compete even when stopped down to f/11. I'm very curious as to how the newer Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G compares to the Pentax FA* lens
05-11-2011, 07:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
the FA77 f/1.8 and the A*85mm f/1.4 are optically identical - though the FA77 has been slightly tweaked due to the use of lead free glass. The FA*85mm f/1.4 performs better at closer focus distances, at further distances it isn't so great - but it wipes the floor with the canon EF85mm f/1.2L I own. The corners on the FA*85mm are extremely sharp from f/2.8 onwards the Canon 85mm f/1.2L can't compete even when stopped down to f/11. I'm very curious as to how the newer Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G compares to the Pentax FA* lens
Now that's interesting...
05-11-2011, 07:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
the FA77 f/1.8 and the A*85mm f/1.4 are optically identical - though the FA77 has been slightly tweaked due to the use of lead free glass. The FA*85mm f/1.4 performs better at closer focus distances, at further distances it isn't so great - but it wipes the floor with the canon EF85mm f/1.2L I own. The corners on the FA*85mm are extremely sharp from f/2.8 onwards the Canon 85mm f/1.2L can't compete even when stopped down to f/11. I'm very curious as to how the newer Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G compares to the Pentax FA* lens
IMO it's way too sharp from f2 when shooting girls.
And IMO each one of 77, A* 85 and FA* 85 is better portrait lens than canon 85L 1.2
05-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Emacs Quote
IMO each one of 77, A* 85 and FA* 85 is better portrait lens than canon 85L 1.2
I wouldn't go that far, excluding the differences in size and lens speed the FA77 and 85mm f/1.2 have a lot in common, including their tendency to fringe highlights with vibrant purple. As we speak i'm probably going to cop a ton of flak from any roaming canonites on this forum for saying a canon L is optically no better than a lens only worth a fraction of the cost of owning the canon 85mm f/1.2. For the record: these days I use a Leica Summilux-R 80mm f/1.4 on my 1DSMKIII and I have to say the FA*85mm f/1.4 is just as good as the Leica lens - the pentax is more flare tolerant though.


Last edited by Digitalis; 05-11-2011 at 08:13 AM.
05-11-2011, 08:32 AM   #9
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Responses....

QuoteOriginally posted by adamyau Quote
Hi,
My friend is offering me these two lens FA*85 and A*85 with the same price. Do you have any idea which is good to me?
Currently I am using MZ-3, PZ-1P and LX with FA31, FA43, FA77.

Many thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Optically the A* is better.
Yeah, you're right this lens sucks....



You should see it full size...

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
But... it also has more PF than the FA*. It would be truer to say that the A* is a more allround lens than the FA*, the FA* is definitely optimized for portrait distances.
It is so wonderful for portraits it'll make you cry...



QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
the FA77 f/1.8 and the A*85mm f/1.4 are optically identical - though the FA77 has been slightly tweaked due to the use of lead free glass. The FA*85mm f/1.4 performs better at closer focus distances, at further distances it isn't so great - but it wipes the floor with the canon EF85mm f/1.2L I own. The corners on the FA*85mm are extremely sharp from f/2.8 onwards the Canon 85mm f/1.2L can't compete even when stopped down to f/11. I'm very curious as to how the newer Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G compares to the Pentax FA* lens
It is one of the greatest lenses ever, from 20' on in.



Cheers,
Cameron
05-11-2011, 08:43 AM   #10
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Wow!! Great deal.
Get the FA* 85 and introduce your friend to me.

No, get the A* 85 as it is more rare. Then sell it at higher price, use that money to buy the FA* 85 and treat your friend to a nice dinner.

Lee
05-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #11
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The FA* 85 is my personal favorite lens, and have found it to be a solid performer for all types of shots, but especially close-ups. It's bokeh is truly wonderful.

The A* is based on the FA77 (well, the other way around, but same thing ), so it would be a bit redundant to get it. Also, the MF and screw-in hood make it not as easy to handle.

Adam
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05-11-2011, 07:52 PM   #12
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Actually my friend is not selling both lens. He just let me choose one and he will keep the one left. AF is not a big deal to me because I use LX a lot and the MZ-3/PZ-1P just for backup or for my wife.

Cambo: Your photo made me much harder to choose either one Both are superb.

In fact I like the A* more.
05-12-2011, 07:38 AM   #13
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Have you tried manual focus? if that is not a problem then A* is the one you want --- it is highly regards as the 'sharpest' Pentax lens, and is very rare.

I have found that through live view, manual focus is much easier, and A lens is easier than M-, K- lens as you don't need to hit the green button.

I have the FA 85*, it is really good, and brighter than the 77mm through view finder. I think if you have the goal to own both of them, get the A* first as it is hard to find, especially a nice copy.

Good luck and either decision won't be wrong.

Lee
05-12-2011, 07:52 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
I have the FA 85*, it is really good, and brighter than the 77mm through view finder
when using the standard focus screen there really isn't much difference in brightness between an f/2.8 lens and an f/1.2 so saying there is a difference in brightness between f/1.4 and f/1.8 is complete BS
05-12-2011, 10:34 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
when using the standard focus screen there really isn't much difference in brightness between an f/2.8 lens and an f/1.2 so saying there is a difference in brightness between f/1.4 and f/1.8 is complete BS
+1 to this. Somehow people keep raving about how bright the viewfinder gets with f1.4s etc...but as you say, with stock screen (or Nikon made K3 for that matter) there isn't really difference in anything below f2.8
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