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12-03-2011, 12:58 PM   #1
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The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 doesn't seem to get much love?

Hello Everyone,
I notice that amoung Pentax Forum folk that the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens doesn't seem to be that popular. I am wondering is it because of the Pentax 77mm f/1.8 lens even though the Sigma according to Photozone has better resolution at the wider F stops until about F/5.6 . It also focuses faster that the 77mm. It is recommended by this site. Is the problem that it is more expensive then the 77? Is it the rendering? The bokeh? Is it that people here know that Pentax is coming out with a AF 85mm F/1.4 next year ? What gives??

12-03-2011, 01:08 PM   #2
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It's big and expensive and most Pentax folk don't like that. Also, it doesn't have the fancy "Limited" badge in its name

As far as I know Pentax doesn't have any plans of releasing one, though.

I'm sure you've already seen our review, which basically states that the IQ is just about the same as that of the FA* 85mm.

Adam
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12-03-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Fast 85 is an interesting category, not least because while it is a classic for full frame it is a rather different perspective on APS-C. And because it is all about portraiture, desirable qualities are more subjective. Full-frame Pentax glass such as the aforementioned 77 limited and the legendary (I shy away from that adjective when talking lenses, but here it really applies) A* 85 is going to be hard to compete with, and the Sigma is in a similar price range (just saw a copy of the A* go for US$1125 on the Bay yesterday).
12-03-2011, 01:17 PM   #4
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Yes Adam, I read the review but a used FA 85mm f/1.4 can cost more than the Sigma new but I guess it is not readily seen as a option.

12-03-2011, 03:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by V'cuz Quote
Hello Everyone,
I notice that amoung Pentax Forum folk that the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens doesn't seem to be that popular.
You're right, it's something that I have noticed around here but I've had mine for about 8 months now, and I'm loving it. Interestingly enough, the lens gets quite a bit of love over at POTN, even compared to the 85/1.2L.

QuoteOriginally posted by V'cuz Quote
I am wondering is it because of the Pentax 77mm f/1.8 lens even though the Sigma according to Photozone has better resolution at the wider F stops until about F/5.6 . It also focuses faster that the 77mm. It is recommended by this site. Is the problem that it is more expensive then the 77? Is it the rendering? The bokeh? Is it that people here know that Pentax is coming out with a AF 85mm F/1.4 next year ? What gives??
Personally, I never even seriously considered the 77/1.8, because for me, the 85/1.4 is in another league:
- the focal length is similar enough
- the 77 is only f/1.8, the sigma f/1.4; 2/3 of a stop difference and negligible to some, but something that I care about
- HSM vs screw driven, HSM wins hands down (also why I didn't look at the screw driven FA*)
- size of the Sigma 85/1.4: non issue to me. I'm used to shooting 2x body+grip+flash combinations anyway, and the Sigma 85/1.4 balances really well with body+grip
- the Sigma being more expensive just meant saving up and controlling other expenses; easier for some than others *shrugs*
- the Sigma does sometimes produce onion-ring bokeh, but I don't mind it either

Anyway, those are some of the reasons why I personally chose the Sigma. It's not the right lens for everyone, but it suits my needs fine. And if it's a lens that suits your needs, why bother worrying about what others think?

QuoteOriginally posted by V'cuz Quote
Is it that people here know that Pentax is coming out with a AF 85mm F/1.4 next year ?
Adam above mentions that Pentax doesn't seem to have any plans to release one, but if they do, and the AF is screw drive or SDM in it's current implementation, I'd personally stay well clear. Just my thoughts
12-03-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by V'cuz Quote
I am wondering is it because of the Pentax 77mm f/1.8 lens even though the Sigma according to Photozone has better resolution at the wider F stops until about F/5.6
Where are you getting this information? Photozone havent tested the Sigma 85mm in Pentax mount, so how can you it has better resolution? (tests results are not comparable across the different systems! )

Im consideriding getting the Sigma over the FA*. From the pictures Ive seen coming from the Sigma 85mm I think it has bested the FA*.

Plus another huge selling point, is that it has circular aperture blades (FA* does not) which give much nicer Bokeh highlights when stopping down.
12-03-2011, 05:00 PM   #7
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From what I can see, there are a few problems with expensive Sigma lenses. First is the resale values, which really depreciate steeply mostly due to inferior built quality. Those in business know Sigma is never great on built quality no matter how they are dressed up. Also, if I were to spend 1k on this Sigma, I would rather spend a little extra for an used FA* or ZK 85, or just get the cheaper DA70 or FA77. To be honest, I once owned the FA*85 which was cool to have, but the 77 is much more joyful to use due to its size & weight. Another thing is there is no Pentax FF for the 85mm. If Pentax would ever make a FF with another 85mm, I much prefer 85/2 which is awesome on built quality and even wide open sharpness than 1.4 for practical reason.
12-03-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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Because why shoot the same lens that anybody and everybody can shoot? We get to shoot the FA77 and I, for one, couldn't be more pleased with it. It has never once failed to deliver for me in a portrait situation (about the only thing I ever use it for). Will it PF sometimes? Apparently, but it hasn't ever happened to me yet. But then I don't torture test my lenses looking for such things. With the 77, I shoot people and pets (mostly people). I consider it to be an unfair advantage for me as the portraits I take for my clients have a natural warmth and depth to them that I don't have to work for in post and that my clients really seem to love. They think it's the camera (don't they always). I always just say, "that's one reason I use Pentax." I pity the fool that tries to swap my 77 for a Sigma 85, and I like Sigmas.

12-03-2011, 10:48 PM   #9
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On my last lens buying spree I almost bought a Sigma 85. Sort of wish I had. I have never really considered the 77 Limited since I have a 70 Limited. I can't justify the price for something so close to a lens I already have. With unlimited funds, I'd own it in a second, but when LBA hits the "I only want superior glass" phase, you gotta pace yourself.
12-03-2011, 11:13 PM   #10
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As with all of the FA Limiteds, it's the rendering, not just resolution, that makes Pentaxians prefer them over other lenses. Oh, and the Sigma is a monster, which is frowned upon in Pentaxland. But I'm sure that the Sigma is an excellent lens, so if it suits your needs, don't hesitate to get it.

Rob
12-03-2011, 11:35 PM   #11
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Investing in sigma is a not-so-good case. I have bad experience, price drop, hard too sell, build quality, optical quality.
Currently have fa85, k85/1.8, m85/2 and fa77. Sigma is tempted with low cost but i stay away. Planar 85/1.4 too, less than half what i paid for the fa85, but it's not easy to beat the FAs.
12-04-2011, 04:43 AM   #12
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I think it is just because it is a newer lens. Basically been out in K mount for a year or so. As to whether I would pick it over the FA 77, its hard to say. The difference between f1.8 and f1.4 isn't that much and if you are shooting on APS-C 85 might be a little bit long.

The negative comments about Sigma's builds don't seem to be true of their higher end lenses any more in my opinion. Lower end stuff they sell is pretty cheaply made and not particularly durable.

Last edited by Rondec; 12-05-2011 at 04:32 AM.
12-05-2011, 01:05 AM   #13
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because it is not a Pentax. all you need is a Pentax name on it and surely it will get popular in no time.
12-05-2011, 01:06 AM   #14
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btw, the Sigma is an awesome lens. I would had purchased it if didn't came a year late.
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