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11-16-2011, 11:13 PM   #16
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thanks all for great replies......and i will also throw in few links - opinions of sigma from 2 canon 85L users:
Sigma 85mm f1.4 vs Canon 85mm f1.2L II Darwin Wiggett
My Sigma 85 f/1.4 vs. Canon 85L Review | Philadelphia Wedding Photographers | Modern Weddings and Portraits

11-16-2011, 11:16 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Thanks for the link, a good interesting read!
I know this site - many great comparative reviews. I recall that they called Pentax A85 the only lens which could match the performance of Canon and even best it. Pity they didn't make tests for more Pentax lenses there....
11-16-2011, 11:19 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
Sigma 30/1.4 + Sigma 85/1.4
or
Pentax FA 43/1.9 + Pentax DA 70/2.4
Just to make it more interesting, there are other options:

Samyang 35/1.4 and Samyang 85/1.4

Pentax FA 31/1.8 and Pentax FA 77/1.8

Voigtlander Ultron 40 and Lanthar 90 - okay, these are discontinued in K mount, but you can still find old stock

Your Pentax pair is clearly the nicest for size and for showing off to Canikon folks
11-17-2011, 10:51 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Just to make it more interesting, there are other options:

Samyang 35/1.4 and Samyang 85/1.4

Pentax FA 31/1.8 and Pentax FA 77/1.8

Voigtlander Ultron 40 and Lanthar 90 - okay, these are discontinued in K mount, but you can still find old stock

Your Pentax pair is clearly the nicest for size and for showing off to Canikon folks
too many choices are killing me so i didn't take Samyangs in consideration for manual focusing, Voigtlanders for same reason plus they are slow lenses....and FA limiteds. hmm this would be quite a blasphemy, but I had all three and wasn't impressed with FA77, FA31 is fine, but expensive...so i decided to go with FA 43 and DA70 instead I'm very satisfied with this combo, it is just that Sigmas 30 + 85 really made me thinking

11-17-2011, 11:43 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
too many choices are killing me so i didn't take Samyangs in consideration for manual focusing, Voigtlanders for same reason plus they are slow lenses....and FA limiteds. hmm this would be quite a blasphemy, but I had all three and wasn't impressed with FA77, FA31 is fine, but expensive...so i decided to go with FA 43 and DA70 instead I'm very satisfied with this combo, it is just that Sigmas 30 + 85 really made me thinking
You may not have had a good copy of the 77. That happened to me. My first one (MIJ, btw) didn't blow my skirt up, but I tried another one (AIV) and I totally "get it" now. Sample variation is an unfortunate reality among the FA Ltds.
11-17-2011, 01:29 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
too many choices are killing me so i didn't take Samyangs in consideration for manual focusing, Voigtlanders for same reason plus they are slow lenses....and FA limiteds. hmm this would be quite a blasphemy, but I had all three and wasn't impressed with FA77, FA31 is fine, but expensive...so i decided to go with FA 43 and DA70 instead I'm very satisfied with this combo, it is just that Sigmas 30 + 85 really made me thinking
Well, since you mentioned the Voigtlanders are slow - they are indeed the slowest, but they are not much slower than your current combo (the Ultron is f/2 which isn't bad next to the DA 43 1.9). There is a smaller difference between your combo and the Voigtlanders than between your combo and the Samyang/Sigma combos. If speed is an important point, then you should move away from the Limiteds.

The biggest issue in this comparison is that there is quite a difference in FOV between 30mm and 43mm. So what you choose there should be driven by what focal length you prefer. The 40mm focal length doesn't inspire me much - it's ok, but just that. Even 30mm is not really my cup. If I would get a two lens combo it would be a 24 and a 58. I find a 58 lens to be more versatile on APS than an 85 and the 24 would provide a nice field of view for street photography.
11-19-2011, 02:41 AM   #22
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Come on, you are comparing apples and oranges. Two f/1.4 lenses to two lenses build for minimum footprint.
Do you need f1.4 go Sigma, do you want small lenses go Pentax. Both Sigma lenses will feel quite large on a Pentax camera (without booster).

The middle way would be a FA 1.8/31 and a FA 1.8/77 mm. Both are small, offer a fairly large opening of f/1.8, both lenses go along rather well with Pentax bodies. The FA lenses feel better than any Sigma lens!
11-19-2011, 04:16 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Come on, you are comparing apples and oranges. Two f/1.4 lenses to two lenses build for minimum footprint.
Do you need f1.4 go Sigma, do you want small lenses go Pentax. Both Sigma lenses will feel quite large on a Pentax camera (without booster).

The middle way would be a FA 1.8/31 and a FA 1.8/77 mm. Both are small, offer a fairly large opening of f/1.8, both lenses go along rather well with Pentax bodies. The FA lenses feel better than any Sigma lens!
The 31 Ltd is small ?

11-19-2011, 09:44 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
I'd choose the 30/1.4 + 85/1.4 everyday of the week
I would avoid them every day of the week. The way they render highlight bokeh isn't nearly appealing as their pentax counterparts, and that's important when using glass at these fast speeds.

Just me though. I'd go with the FA 31/1.8 ltd and the FA* 85/1.4.
11-19-2011, 10:29 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
The 31 Ltd is small ?
In the grand scheme? Yes. I have always found it funny when folks complain about how large it is. Perhaps we are so spoiled with the rest of our limiteds that we sometimes lose perspective.
11-19-2011, 11:53 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
I would avoid them every day of the week. The way they render highlight bokeh isn't nearly appealing as their pentax counterparts, and that's important when using glass at these fast speeds.

Just me though. I'd go with the FA 31/1.8 ltd and the FA* 85/1.4.
Can't find any with bright lights at the moment but these are typical :

Sigma 30/1.4




CZ 85/1.4



11-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
I would avoid them every day of the week. The way they render highlight bokeh isn't nearly appealing as their pentax counterparts, and that's important when using glass at these fast speeds.
Can you point to any example images to show the difference in highlight bokeh between the Pentax 77mm and the Sigma 85mm?

I've been considering both lenses, and I've currently settled on the Sigma 85mm due to (1) the 2/3 stop advantage, (2) silent and fast HSM, and (3) the much-better vignetting control. The 4x longer warranty of the Sigma and the free lens-to-body calibration service (if necessary, although most of the professional reviews I've read have said their 85mm was accurate) don't hurt either.

Of course the Pentax has the advantage of being smaller, but that comes at the cost of a slower max aperture and increased vignetting.
11-19-2011, 12:38 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Can you point to any example images to show the difference in highlight bokeh between the Pentax 77mm and the Sigma 85mm?

I've been considering both lenses, and I've currently settled on the Sigma 85mm due to (1) the 2/3 stop advantage, (2) silent and fast HSM, and (3) the much-better vignetting control. The 4x longer warranty of the Sigma and the free lens-to-body calibration service (if necessary, although most of the professional reviews I've read have said their 85mm was accurate) don't hurt either.

Of course the Pentax has the advantage of being smaller, but that comes at the cost of a slower max aperture and increased vignetting.
I walked in to buy the 77 Ltd yesterday ..... and walked out again without buying it after seeing this (this is a heavy crop, this guy was in the foreground with the main subject about a metre behind him), the 77 is very sharp but has a relatively slow AF .... but it was the PF that killed it for me, admittedly high contrast settings but every shot showed visible PF. I'll look forward to seeing a comparison between the Sigma 85 and Zeiss 85/1.4 .... since the Sigma seems able to top both the Canon L glass and equal Nikon's best it must be the forerunner. Now which should I buy, the VL 125 APO Lanthar or the Sigma 85 ..... hmmm.
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11-19-2011, 03:24 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
I would avoid them every day of the week. The way they render highlight bokeh isn't nearly appealing as their pentax counterparts, and that's important when using glass at these fast speeds.

Just me though. I'd go with the FA 31/1.8 ltd and the FA* 85/1.4.
I dont know what you were reading but I read the OP was asking between the
Sig30+85 or 43+70.

When did the 31 and FA* come into the equation?

The FA*85 was going to be my next buy but now that the sigma 85 has been out for a while and now seeing what its capable of, I think it has bested the FA* even in the highlight bokeh department
11-19-2011, 03:45 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
The FA*85 was going to be my next buy but now that the sigma 85 has been out for a while and now seeing what its capable of, I think it has bested the FA* even in the highlight bokeh department
I'm kind of in the same boat. I initially wanted the Pentax 77, but after reading and viewing everything I can about the two lenses, I'm more convinced than ever that the Sigma 85 is for me. Yeah, the smaller size and the unique style of the 77 is tempting, but the Sigma seems to be a lens with few weaknesses.

And I think the greater consistency of exposure across the frame (ie less vignetting) for the Sigma 85 should be more emphasized than it is. There are reasons Sigma designed the lens with such large elements, at the expense of size, weight and materials cost. One of the important advantages of this design is less darkening as you move away from the center of the image.

In terms of vignetting, I've been spoiled for a long time by my Tamron 28-75mm. Now that I have the Sigma 30mm 1.4, I've discovered what it's like to have serious vignetting be a factor in your workflow. So while the center of the image on the 30mm is exposed at 1.4, the edges can be quite a bit darker. Yeah, on some pictures the effect is desirable, but a lot of times it just gets in the way. And it's true that it's usually correctable in post-processing, but that involves lifting the shadows, and all of the negative side-effects that go along with that. When you're already working in low light at a high ISO, lifting the shadows isn't always pretty.
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