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12-05-2011, 05:22 AM   #1
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Would you give up DA70/2.4 for K85/1.8?

here's the deal: mint K85/1.8 vs DA70 Limited, which I have. I'm personally very happy with DA70, it is very very good optically, just sometimes I miss a longer reach. I had very good experience with almost all K series lenses I ever tried and 85/1.8 is one of the most regarded.

so for me DA70 wins for AF, compact and lightweight body, better communication with K-5 in regards to exposure setting, access to all shooting modes (although mostly i shoot in AV or M)
for K85 there is advantage in longer reach (85mm), possibility to go for f1.8, fullframe compatibility, aperture ring (allow use on MX), lower price, probably better build quality

but how about optical quality of those two - have anybody experienced both lenses?

12-05-2011, 05:32 AM   #2
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I think you should keep the DA70. Save money to get an 85 later. There are several 85 other from pentax that can be used.
I don't have DA70, but FA77, K85/1.8, M85/2, FA85/1.4.

AF in the FAs is good on the K5, and they must stay. Low light focus of the FA85/1.4 is just awesome.
The K85/1.8 is in my MF kit, but also the FA85/1.4. I also have Tamron AF 90/2.8 macro served as dual purpose.
12-05-2011, 05:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
I think you should keep the DA70. Save money to get an 85 later. There are several 85 other from pentax that can be used.
I don't have DA70, but FA77, K85/1.8, M85/2, FA85/1.4.

AF in the FAs is good on the K5, and they must stay. Low light focus of the FA85/1.4 is just awesome.
The K85/1.8 is in my MF kit, but also the FA85/1.4. I also have Tamron AF 90/2.8 macro served as dual purpose.
Hi, thanks for advice. AF is handy, but not essential for me. Reviews on K85 suggested that lens is bright and easy to manual focus correctly. I'm more worried about uneven exposure with K lenses, though. Some underexpose wide open and overexpose when stopped down and vice versa. That doesn't happen with DA70, exposure is pretty even at all F stops.
12-05-2011, 06:05 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Playing Devil's advocate, I'd say that the K85/1.8 is worth serious consideration, depending on what you're shooting. They are both excellent but are very different lenses to use. I have a K85/1.8 and also a DA70. The main advantage of the DA70 is the AF, which is very quick. For shooting moving subjects (such as my children), this is great for getting shots I would miss with the K85. However, the K85 is faster, has bokeh that I prefer, slightly more reach and is a pleasure to use given the time to focus and meter properly (not that the DA70 is bad in any of these ways). Also, it would be much easier to get another DA70 if you miss yours than to find a mint, reasonably priced K85 if you decide you'd like one at a later date.

12-05-2011, 06:07 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
I think you should keep the DA70. Save money to get an 85 later. There are several 85 other from pentax that can be used.
I don't have DA70, but FA77, K85/1.8, M85/2, FA85/1.4.

AF in the FAs is good on the K5, and they must stay. Low light focus of the FA85/1.4 is just awesome.
The K85/1.8 is in my MF kit, but also the FA85/1.4. I also have Tamron AF 90/2.8 macro served as dual purpose.
Oh I see that you have FA77 and K85....how those two lenses compare in your opinion?
12-05-2011, 06:12 AM   #6
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Of all the DAs I've had (21, 35, 70), I thought that DA70 stood out in terms of image quality. Still, I did away with it, because I do not like the color cast of the DA series in general: like many other contemporary, digital lenses, they show an over-saturation that to me looks like hunting for a cheap, spectacular effect. In that respect, the K85 and A*85 that I now have are much more natural to my taste. (By the way, the A*85 is as spectacular as they always say.)

At the same time, having at least one AF lens for portrait work is not a bad idea. If you are happy with the AF performance of DA70 (I wasn't particularly impressed, but it could be my camera), then I would suggest keeping DA70 and saving for a manual 85. If you find yourself constantly switching to manual on DA70 anyway, then I would suggest going over to K85.
12-05-2011, 06:13 AM   #7
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There several under exposure lenses wide open, but not the K85/1.8. I think only few of them in K mount, but many in M42 mount, at least based on the lenses I have.
The K85/1.8 is much more easy to manual focus than any pentax 50mm.
I also prefer step down to f2 for razor sharp instead of using M85/2 wide open.
Rending of bokeh might be too blur at f1.8 and f2 that the photo won't create the desired 3D effect looks.
My choice within portrait distance is therefore f4 or f5.6, and imply that M85/2 can also be used, and razor sharp as well.

I used to hunt my kids, so AF is a must.
12-05-2011, 06:44 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I guess one question you would need to ask yourself is what do you intend to use the 85mm lens for?

Althouth I don't own either lens I do own 2 other 85mm lenses, a super takumar 85mmF1.9 and vivitar (samyang) 85mmF1.4, as well as a lot of other K series MF lenses so I can comment on pros and cons pretty well

With the K85F1.8 you get a really good portrait lens, and you gain more creative control due to the slightly longer focal length over your present 70mm lens, this combined with a 1/2 stoip faster lens, gives you a significantly reduced Depth of field at maximum aperture. This is good if you intend to use it artistically, but much more difficult to use because exact focus now is more critical than before.

The other thing to consider is that the increased magnification (from focal length) means for the same image size you need to be 20% further back. If you are shooting in a studio, this can be a limitation, outside not so much.

You also need to consider what you give up. The K85 does not have aperture contacts, so you are only shooting in manual mode, you give up all other exposure modes, AND flash is now somewhat limited (if shooting with other than an *istDxx. The onboard flash will only work at 100% power and P-TTL flash is not supported AT ALL.

You mention metering, this is somewhat cmaera dependant, but from my experience, the only really good camera relitive to metering with K series lenses is the origonal *istD, I have plotted the performance of the *istD, K10D, and K7D using my 50mm F1.4 as well as several modified versions of the K10D (using *istD screen as well as split image screen) to show people what to expect. You would need to consider carefully metering with the K85 as it is not simply a grab and shoot lens. No K mount lens is.

If you want the focal length, i.e. 85 mm, and can live with the short comings, go for it, as others have mentioned, the DA70 is a current lens, you can always get another, the K85 is a highly sought after lens, and they do not appear all that often. I bought the samyang 85F1.4 because I gave up on waiting for the K85 to appear in the market.

12-05-2011, 07:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You also need to consider what you give up
Very good summary.

I am from film shooter, stay with all manual, even flash. True that K85/1.8 (and several other Tak85) are hard to find. So if the price is correct for you, just grab it.
Among all manual lenses, the K85/1.8 is my most used in this focal. I found incorrect metering might be annoying some time, but not when I stay in Manual mode - guess i get used to it.

The CZ Planar 85/1.4 has focus shift, so does the Samyang.

70mm is too short for me to frame within a desired distance, even 75mm is too short. 85mm is about perfect.
12-05-2011, 07:58 AM   #10
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I can't speak for the DA70 but I can for the FA77 and the K85/1.8. I'm from the film era so manual focus isn't an issue for me, and neither is auto aperture. I use the K85 most of the time and don't have an issue with exposure.

I prefer the look of the photos from the K85 and that is consistent against most of my lenses, especially the DA* zooms. Feedback on the photos from family and friends seems to confirm that. I have most of the 85s that Pentax made and the 1.8 (and it's Tak counterpart) stands out above the others, at least for me.
12-05-2011, 11:38 AM   #11
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to the OP, both lenses seem to have little overlap, IMO. Did you say what you are looking to shoot? I use many an MF lens but if there are moving kids, quick grabs, street shooting, events,etc to be had, I am going to need AF, particularly when using wider apertures. If you have time to really set up the shot, sitting portraits, close up bokeh, artsy stuff, i'd go for the 85mm in as heartbeat. The best of both worlds, imo is the FA77, but i know that is more expensive. good luck with the decision!!
12-05-2011, 11:39 AM   #12
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Thanks all for your helpful advices.....I'm very inclined to go for K85. Initially i got DA70 when I gave up hoping for a reasonably priced K85 and I love the lens, but I'd love to get a slightly longer reach. Generally I intend to use K85 as a general walkaround lens some street photos, some outdoor portraits but also for landscape work, as I like the compression of perspective which telephotos deliver.
Ideally I would keep both, shoot and then decide, but at the moment my budget is limited, so I need to sell DA70 (or M*300) to get K85. And since I have experienced that K85 doesn't appear very often and rarely at a good price, I have to solve this dilemma quickly.
12-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
Thanks all for your helpful advices.....I'm very inclined to go for K85. Initially i got DA70 when I gave up hoping for a reasonably priced K85 and I love the lens, but I'd love to get a slightly longer reach. Generally I intend to use K85 as a general walkaround lens some street photos, some outdoor portraits but also for landscape work, as I like the compression of perspective which telephotos deliver.
Ideally I would keep both, shoot and then decide, but at the moment my budget is limited, so I need to sell DA70 (or M*300) to get K85. And since I have experienced that K85 doesn't appear very often and rarely at a good price, I have to solve this dilemma quickly.
The DA70 is and will be available for some time. The K85 is somewhat rare in comparison. If you can adequately focus the K85 go for it. You can always pick up another DA70 at some later time.
12-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
Very good summary.
The CZ Planar 85/1.4 has focus shift, so does the Samyang.
I assume you mean b this that the internal focusing results in loss of focal length at close focus?
12-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #15
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oh btw. anybody knows how K85 performs when focused at infinity? Somewhere I read that FA77 is better at infinity focus, while they're moreless equal at close distances.
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