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12-18-2006, 10:20 PM   #1
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FA 77 limited or D FA 100 2.8 macro

I am a new member who joined because of how helpful I found this forum.
My camera bag was stolen 2weeks ago (*ist DS, tamron 28-75 Di, Sigma 70-300 apo macro, pentax 50 1.4 and 500 flash gun plus many other countless accessories) The upside was my wife took pity, and I just purchased the K10d (arrived last week) and I did not have my FA 28-70 f2.8 in the bag.
I am going to supplement the DA 50-200 f4-5.6 with a faster telephoto prime for portraits. Does anyone have experience with either, preferably both, the 77 and 100 macro. Given I will be using on the K10D the focal lengths will become 118 and 150. The 100 focuses more closely but is a little slower; half the time I will be using this lens handheld.
I found this great site which compares the two: http://www.pbase.com/alinla/sort_by_lenses
I have the 77 backordered but am debating canceling the order. I am torn by the 100's lower price, over 200$ difference. I doubt I would use the Macro feature much. Any additional advice or features to consider would be most welcome. I know there are decent 3rd party lenses in this range; but I want to stick with Pentax, in part to more easily use the SR feature on the K10D and minimize compatability issues.

12-18-2006, 10:33 PM   #2
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If you are not going to use the macro much, the 77mm is a better portrate lens IMO.. It is made for that purpose whereas the macro is obviously made for macro

In favour of the 77Ltd
- Better Bokeh from the 77 ltd
- Better Build (all metal)
- Better size
- Slightly faster (apeture)
12-19-2006, 06:42 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
If you are not going to use the macro much, the 77mm is a better portrate lens IMO.. It is made for that purpose whereas the macro is obviously made for macro

In favour of the 77Ltd
- Better Bokeh from the 77 ltd
- Better Build (all metal)
- Better size
- Slightly faster (apeture)
I appreciate your thoughts. I am not going to cancel the order. I'll evaluate the lens if it ever gets in stock. Pentax Imaging says it may be 4-5 weeks. I hope BH gets it in stock first as their price is much lower. Again, thanks for helping with my dilemna.
12-19-2006, 07:04 PM   #4
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Al's pbase site (sorted by lenses) is the inspiration for my own.
My Equipment Gallery, Idea Stolen From Alinla

And I too have the 77 Limited and 100 DFA Macro. I don't know exactly what you want from a 'portrait' lens, certainly both of these are great lenses (period) but the FA* 85/1.4 is undoubtedly known more for portraits than either. I'd also guess that many people would prefer the 50/1.4 or even 31/1.8 depending on the distance to subject and type of portrait.

A shot with the 77 Limited at f/8 with side-bounced flash:


Shot with the FA50/1.4 with available light:


Taken with the DFA100/2.8 Macro:

(You can also check out Unblemished for a very unconventional 'portrait' with the DFA100 Macro!)
--Sean

12-19-2006, 07:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
I am a new member who joined because of how helpful I found this forum.
My camera bag was stolen 2weeks ago (*ist DS, tamron 28-75 Di, Sigma 70-300 apo macro, pentax 50 1.4 and 500 flash gun plus many other countless accessories) The upside was my wife took pity, and I just purchased the K10d (arrived last week) and I did not have my FA 28-70 f2.8 in the bag.
I am going to supplement the DA 50-200 f4-5.6 with a faster telephoto prime for portraits. Does anyone have experience with either, preferably both, the 77 and 100 macro. Given I will be using on the K10D the focal lengths will become 118 and 150. The 100 focuses more closely but is a little slower; half the time I will be using this lens handheld.
I found this great site which compares the two: Sort by Lenses Photo Gallery by alinla at pbase.com
I have the 77 backordered but am debating canceling the order. I am torn by the 100's lower price, over 200$ difference. I doubt I would use the Macro feature much. Any additional advice or features to consider would be most welcome. I know there are decent 3rd party lenses in this range; but I want to stick with Pentax, in part to more easily use the SR feature on the K10D and minimize compatability issues.
have you considered the new sigma 70mm macro? It would be right around 105 mm, which is idea for portriature. It is very expensive, though (at least to me it is)
to me, the 150 focal length for portriature would be a little bit too close up.

good luck on your decision.
12-20-2006, 12:43 AM   #6
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I thought that *85/1.4 does have the problem of heavy purple fringeing and the circular harsh bokeh is considerably worse than fa 77 f1.8...

For the protrait, I really prefer fa77 over fa31. Fa 77 gives me the urge to take more protraits when it is attached to my k10d...

I would stick to fa 77 f1.8 and this lens is out of stock everywhere already except the ebay
12-20-2006, 04:15 AM   #7
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Few fa 77 ltd shots









12-20-2006, 06:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
I thought that *85/1.4 does have the problem of heavy purple fringeing and the circular harsh bokeh is considerably worse than fa 77 f1.8...

For the protrait, I really prefer fa77 over fa31. Fa 77 gives me the urge to take more protraits when it is attached to my k10d...

I would stick to fa 77 f1.8 and this lens is out of stock everywhere already except the ebay
Heck, no! Are you thinking of the A*85/1.4? From what I've seen, the FA*85/1.4 has the nicest bokeh of any Pentax lens. It probably suffers from PF but I don't own one to tell for sure. The worst part about the FA* 85/1.4 is that you can't find them!!

The 77 suffers from bright-rings, purple fringing, and axial color (longitudinal chromatic aberration, sometime called bokeh CA) - just like every other Pentax lens. It is a beautiful lens IMO, but is not perfect. From a pure rendering standpoint (ignoring build, flare control, size, etc.) I would put the 77 Limited behind my A50/1.2 and my screw mount 85/1.9, maybe even the Jupiter-9 85/2 - but only slightly.

12-20-2006, 06:57 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=carpents;11612]Al's pbase site (sorted by lenses) is the inspiration for my own.
My Equipment Gallery, Idea Stolen From Alinla

And I too have the 77 Limited and 100 DFA Macro. I don't know exactly what you want from a 'portrait' lens, certainly both of these are great lenses (period) but the FA* 85/1.4 is undoubtedly known more for portraits than either. I'd also guess that many people would prefer the 50/1.4 or even 31/1.8 depending on the distance to subject and type of portrait.

Wow! There is some great photographic talent lurking on this site! Thanks for the feedback and portrait shots. Clearly I need all 3: the 100, 77 and 50!
Most of my portraits are not done in a studio with controlled lighting and background. As a teacher and father I work with subjects who do not tolerate much sitting around. My portraits are often "photo-journalist" in that I have to take the photo as I stumble upon it. I have found most of my subjects react better if I am not sticking my camera close to their face. I am drawn the the 77 because most of the photos I have seen taken with it have a "subjective" depth and 3d element that I find compelling. I really like your portraits with the 77 and 100. I like getting in close, which is why I am considering the 100. But I suppose I could just as easily crop photos taken with the 77. My FA 50 was stolen; I loved the lens, but once I started using the Tamron 28-75DI I found myself using it less. Again thanks for all your comments; you have been very helpful.
PS: I enjoyed your galleray! Beautiful photographs!
12-20-2006, 07:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Al's pbase site (sorted by lenses) is the inspiration for my own.
My Equipment Gallery, Idea Stolen From Alinla

And I too have the 77 Limited and 100 DFA Macro. I don't know exactly what you want from a 'portrait' lens, certainly both of these are great lenses (period) but the FA* 85/1.4 is undoubtedly known more for portraits than either. I'd also guess that many people would prefer the 50/1.4 or even 31/1.8 depending on the distance to subject and type of portrait.
Wow! There is some great photographic talent lurking on this site! Thanks for the feedback and portrait shots. Clearly I need all 3: the 100, 77 and 50!
Most of my portraits are not done in a studio with controlled lighting and background. As a teacher and father I work with subjects who do not tolerate much sitting around. My portraits are often "photo-journalist" in that I have to take the photo as I stumble upon it. I have found most of my subjects react better if I am not sticking my camera close to their face. I am drawn the the 77 because most of the photos I have seen taken with it have a "subjective" depth and 3d element that I find compelling. I really like your portraits with the 77 and 100. I like getting in close, which is why I am considering the 100. But I suppose I could just as easily crop photos taken with the 77. My FA 50 was stolen; I loved the lens, but once I started using the Tamron 28-75DI I found myself using it less. Again thanks for all your comments; you have been very helpful.
PS: I enjoyed your galleray! Beautiful photographs!
Thank you very much.

You'll also notice that I owned (until last week) the Tamron 28-75/2.8. I honestly think that it compares to the 77 Limited in almost all regards, much in the same way it compares to the FA50. The primes are faster, obviously. If you're looking to get more candid-type of shots (portraits imply to me that you're more posed, 'real world' shots I would put more as candids) then you might do well to look at the 135s. The upcoming DA* 50-135 sounds like it fits your needs exactly.

For autofocus, the FA135 (although it is hard to find) is a great option, but if you're OK manually focusing I thin the A135/2.8 is a great option.
12-20-2006, 05:39 PM   #11
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I saw FA* 85 f1.4 on sale 3 times this year!

QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Heck, no! Are you thinking of the A*85/1.4? From what I've seen, the FA*85/1.4 has the nicest bokeh of any Pentax lens. It probably suffers from PF but I don't own one to tell for sure. The worst part about the FA* 85/1.4 is that you can't find them!!

The 77 suffers from bright-rings, purple fringing, and axial color (longitudinal chromatic aberration, sometime called bokeh CA) - just like every other Pentax lens. It is a beautiful lens IMO, but is not perfect. From a pure rendering standpoint (ignoring build, flare control, size, etc.) I would put the 77 Limited behind my A50/1.2 and my screw mount 85/1.9, maybe even the Jupiter-9 85/2 - but only slightly.
Sorry Sean, it was just a rumour I read or heard. Not exactly sure that was the case.

I had seen FA*85 listed 3 times for sure and I remembered one of the items was based in New York. The price went up to 1600 US dollars. Around September 2006. On ebay of course.

These bokeh CA of Fa77 were noted with strong highlights in the background and I always tried to avoid shots in these situations....

I would love to own A50/1.2 usually around 300 US dollars I guessed...

Fa*85 is surely a good lens and I bidded for 2 auctions on ebay this year but someone else is always richer...
12-20-2006, 06:28 PM   #12
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I have both the DFA100 macro and 77 Limited. They are probably my 2 most used lenses. I don't do lots of portraits. For portraits would rather have 77. It has a 3D look that is incredible. Have only one other lens that looks similar. The 31 Limited. The macro is incredible lens but doesn't look like the 77. It is better for macro. Shot the A 85 1.4 once on film (Pentax rep loaned it to me for a month) it was incredible too. Friend has the AF version it is a beautiful lens. He is considering buying the 77 too after seeing some of my enlargements. They have a different look (according to him).
For photo j style portraits the 1.8 aperture of the 77 is better than the 2.8 of the macro. Also allows throwing the background out of focus a little more. Would love to shoot the 50 1.2 once. Only have the A50 1.7.
thanks
barondla
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