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10-29-2011, 11:00 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax FA 77 Limited vs Pentax DA* 55mm

Hello fellow Pentaxians,
I am open for any advices or discussions for Pentax FA 77 Limited vs Pentax DA* 55mm.
I currently use Pentax K5 and 31mm limited for daily shootings. I also have 77mm limited that I use for short tele and also some portrait shots.
I have used one of my friends DA*55mm and it gives out different pictures than 77limited.
It is much sharper and higher contrast than 77. Also it is WR.
Do you guys think DA* 55mm is better choice to have for K5 or should I stick with 77 limited?

Help me decide.

Thank you.

10-29-2011, 12:05 PM   #2
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Obviously you're looking at two entirely different focal lengths, but I wouldn't expect the 55 to outperform the 77 as both lenses are designed to deliver the absolute best iq.
10-29-2011, 01:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Obviously you're looking at two entirely different focal lengths, but I wouldn't expect the 55 to outperform the 77 as both lenses are designed to deliver the absolute best iq.
+1 with Adam.
The FA77mm Ltd is a legendary lens with oustanding IQ. You may prefer the focal length, WR and AF of the DA*55mm, but the IQ can hardly be better than the FA77mm. On the other hand, you may prefer the outputs of the DA*55mm but this is a personal opinion, not an objective assessment.

Food for thoughts....
10-29-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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These are two entirely different lenses, designed for the same usage using different mediums.

The FA77mm was, from its conception, a portrait lens for 35mm film cameras and therefore designed to give softer images and smoother bokeh when used wide open. Stopped down though, it makes a credible telephoto lens with good sharpness. On digital, it's field of view is 115.5 which is considered by some to be too long for portrait work.

The DA* 55mm was designed as the DSLR equivalent of the world renowned 85mm portrait lens, and by the same designer I believe. 55 x 1.5 = 82.5 (close enough).

10-29-2011, 06:59 PM   #5
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Oranges and orangutans; different tools for different purposes. For portraiture, the 55 is more for half-body or head+shoulder shots, the 77 is more for headshots. My favorite headshot setup is 75-85mm f/3.5 for best rounding of features in all formats from APS-C to 6x6cm. My favorite H&S setup is 50-60mm f/2 in miniature formats (APS-C and 135/FF) and 645, again for nice rounding. You probably need both. But that depends on your (and your subjects') comfort levels at various distances.
10-29-2011, 07:12 PM   #6
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What focal length do you prefer? Both give good results, but I personally prefer the 55mm focal length. There are those who like longer lenses and are happier with the 77. As far as rendering, I agree, DA 55 is a little sharper at similar focal lengths (particularly across the frame), tends to give more neutral colors, compared to a little warmer for the FA 77. Much of this can be altered in post processing as you desire and much comes down to what you like the best.
10-29-2011, 09:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by eleventhirteen83 Quote
I have used one of my friends DA*55mm and it gives out different pictures than 77limited.
It is much sharper and higher contrast than 77. Also it is WR.
Do you guys think DA* 55mm is better choice to have for K5 or should I stick with 77 limited?

Help me decide.
You used it, you should figure it out for your sitiuation - we can't.
10-29-2011, 10:49 PM   #8
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I have both, the DA*55 has outstanding IQ, its easily just as good as the 77


Last edited by TOUGEFC; 10-30-2011 at 12:53 AM.
10-30-2011, 02:00 AM   #9
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Original Poster
Thank you everyone for your valid inputs.
As you guys mentioned I really love my 77mm's IQ but think it is little too long for my taste.
But then again, I might just have to hold it for that future Pentax FF sensor

If I only can have both lenses....

P.S Everyone is so knowledgeable in this forum.
10-30-2011, 02:25 AM   #10
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If you can lower yourself to shoot old manual lenses, you might look for a SuperTak or Petri CC or Rikenon or Mamiya-Sekor 55/1.8, or a Tomioka 55/1.4 or Chinon 55/1.7. All these are superb M42 lenses -- the SuperTak and Petri and Rikenon are especially sharp. All my copies were very cheap. No, they aren't AF (so I use CIF) and they don't do macro (unless I slip tubes on them) but so what? I think the Petri will be my next LOTD (lens of the day). It cost me US$3 shipped. Woo woo.
10-30-2011, 02:56 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by eleventhirteen83 Quote
Thank you everyone for your valid inputs.
As you guys mentioned I really love my 77mm's IQ but think it is little too long for my taste.
But then again, I might just have to hold it for that future Pentax FF sensor

If I only can have both lenses....

P.S Everyone is so knowledgeable in this forum.
Dont be worried about needing the 77 for full frame, the rear element is huge on the DA*55 , if you saw it you would swear that its a full frame lens
Im sure ive read that people have used it on film with no problems.
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