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01-31-2012, 11:51 PM   #16
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FA77 is faster, has slightly better bokeh and more shallow DOF
DA70 manages CA much better, is half the price, smaller, faster AF lens and sharper across the frame
if i had to choose - I'd take DA70 again...
but also consider DA*50-135 or Sigma 50-150.....

02-01-2012, 12:24 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
DA 70mm would be my choice for value. Excellent lens and reasonably fast at F/2.4. If speed and sharpness are more important then the Sigma 85mm F/1.4 would be my choice.
Personally for low light I don't find 2.4/2.8 anywhere near fast enough. It has to be under 2.0, the f1.8/f1.9 Ltds scrape in but the Sigma 85/1.4 you mentioned is a stellar fast lens and I would imagine superb for indoor court sports if shooting around 1.8 and maybe with CIF (I use the Zeiss 85/1.4 in exactly that setting for low light outdoors).

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Based on your description, I'd recommend the DA*50-135 or Sigma 50-150 over a 70-200 - sounds like the 50-70 will come in handy, and you can always crop hpshots taken at the long end.
The 50-135 is a relatively slow focussing lens. Having the 50-150/2.8 I can say it is superb (super sharp and fast HSM focussing) for outdoor sports (I've used it for paid shoots for Rugby, Golf and X Games), I'm just not sure how good it would be indoors. You can easily crop shots from this lens ... I've wonderful keepers (for the clients) cropped from 30-40 yds away.
02-01-2012, 06:41 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Let's see her 1, 1.4, 2. 2.8 , So two stops (four times as much light using a with a 1.4 lens, twice as much light with a lens around F2. I would suspect that using the faster lenses would aid the auto-focus system, but really I have no experience with that to back that up. I just know that my F4 60-250 loses the ability to focus long before my 50 1.7 does on a K20D The auto- focus system works with the widest possible aperture. Should this be a consideration? Or is 2.8 or 2.4 good enough? From Tom G's post , it sounds like it is.. just wondering if anyone else has a thought, like someone who actually owns the lenses and possibly a K20D , which I believe the OP mentioned he might use.
I can't speak to the K20 but I do own a K10. The DA 70 and K10 combo is practically useless for basketball/volleyball in a gym. The light is generally too dim. I have found anything beyond ISO 400 is just too noisy IMO with the K10. Unfortunately you need way more than ISO 400 to freeze the action in these sports no matter what lens you may be using. The K5s dynamic range and improved AF makes the difference here. The extra stop of the FA77 would not make much of a difference with the K10 or I suspect the K20 when shooting sports in a gym.

Tom G
02-01-2012, 08:44 AM   #19
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QuoteQuote:
i've owned both at the same time and the DA70 focuses faster.
That woud also jive with what the designer said...
QuoteQuote:
7) realization of smooth AF operation by a little reduced gear ratio of drive unit
He reduced the gear ratio to achieve smoother operation... always a trade off in the engineering world.

02-01-2012, 10:08 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Personally for low light I don't find 2.4/2.8 anywhere near fast enough. It has to be under 2.0
The difference is less than one stop. You can of course get the exact same shutter speed with either f/1.8 or f/2.4, it's just a question of how you want to pay for it. At f/2.4, you pay for it with increased noise (less than a full stop's worth) over what you would get shooting at f/1.8. At f/1.8, you pay for it with shallower DOF than you'd have at f/2.4. Either way, it's not a huge deal - again, less a full stop. But generally for a bill like that, I'd rather pay for it in noise, as I'm not likely to notice the difference except when viewing at 100% on my monitor, whereas the difference in DOF is likely to be noticeable even at web resolution. Of course, in situations where I *want* the shallower DOF, that's all well and good, but I find that's almost never the case shooting telephoto in low light. And to the extent it might be true for certain types of shots - portraits, et - it's going to be almost never true for sports. Shallow DOF will not be your friend.
02-01-2012, 10:11 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I have found anything beyond ISO 400 is just too noisy IMO with the K10
Too noisy for printing and marketing a full size poster, *perhaps*, but the chances of anyone noticing the difference between 400 and 800 in shots of a high school sporting event published on the web or at typical print sizes is practically non-existent. Even ISO 1600 would not raise an eyebrow among 99.9% of the viewers of such an image.
02-01-2012, 10:55 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Too noisy for printing and marketing a full size poster, *perhaps*, but the chances of anyone noticing the difference between 400 and 800 in shots of a high school sporting event published on the web or at typical print sizes is practically non-existent. Even ISO 1600 would not raise an eyebrow among 99.9% of the viewers of such an image.
It may be a personal thing with me Marc but here is my reasoning for seldom using the K10 beyond ISO 400. I do a lot of birding and tend to crop the images quite a bit. I use a 400mm lens and the depth of field (DOF) with this optic is razor thin. To get reasonable DOF I have to use ISO beyond 400. When I do this, combined with the crop, you really do notice the image degrading. Problem solved with the K5.

As for shooting in the gym again I found the K10 to be wanting. To get resonable depth of field and freeze the action I had to use higher ISOs. Most gyms are quite dim and it is not uncommon to need ISOs of 1600 and higher to freeze the play and get satifactory DOF. Players be it volleyball or basketball are not stationary targets. I just never liked the results I got for indoor sports with the K10.

I know you successfully shoot concerts on a regular basis. The K10 was just fine for events such as this. There is a big difference between shooting sports and concerts. Musicians don't move around a lot and this gives you a little more leeway with shutter speeds and ISO.

As far as indoor shooting of sports with the K10 I don't bother anymore as the K5 does the job a whole lot better.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 02-01-2012 at 11:05 AM.
02-01-2012, 11:15 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That woud also jive with what the designer said...


He reduced the gear ratio to achieve smoother operation... always a trade off in the engineering world.
right, i like to use manual focus often and a wider focus ring with longer throw is always better than the "quick AF" type rings that are sometimes too imprecise to nail the focus by hand. definitely a tradeoff..

02-01-2012, 11:26 AM   #24
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QuoteQuote:
The difference is less than one stop.
Depends of whether 2.4 or 2.8. ... 2.8 to 1.8 is more than one stop, and 2.4 to 1.8 is close to one stop. ( Twice the light). 2.4 compared to 1.4 is a stop and a half. It may not be important, but lets not understate things to make a point, 1.4 to 2.8 is two stops. (4 times the light).

I don't know if it will make a difference, but it's something I wouldn't take anyone's word on without seeing a field test. And I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone else do different. There are just so many possibilities like in low light it could be anything from slower less accurate focusing to not focusing at all. I'm usually the one skoffing at the need for really fast lenses, but the experience I've had shooting in gyms suggests you can't have too fast... but you can have too slow, and as long as you aren't relegated to the stands.. you don't need too long. You see those photographers at professional sports events with the expensive long 2.8 lenses, but those venues are lit for TV. The light in a high school or elementary gym is a fraction of that. If your one stop comes down to the difference between shooting at 1/100 or 1/60, that can be huge in terms of motion blur. One stop isn't at all important,until you need it. Then there isn't a thing you can do to get it. Shooting with a DA* 60-150 @F4, I'm really aware of this.
02-01-2012, 12:33 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Depends of whether 2.4 or 2.8. ... 2.8 to 1.8 is more than one stop, and 2.4 to 1.8 is close to one stop. ( Twice the light). 2.4 compared to 1.4 is a stop and a half. It may not be important, but lets not understate things to make a point, 1.4 to 2.8 is two stops. (4 times the light).

I don't know if it will make a difference, but it's something I wouldn't take anyone's word on without seeing a field test. And I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone else do different. There are just so many possibilities like in low light it could be anything from slower less accurate focusing to not focusing at all. I'm usually the one skoffing at the need for really fast lenses, but the experience I've had shooting in gyms suggests you can't have too fast... but you can have too slow, and as long as you aren't relegated to the stands.. you don't need too long. You see those photographers at professional sports events with the expensive long 2.8 lenses, but those venues are lit for TV. The light in a high school or elementary gym is a fraction of that. If your one stop comes down to the difference between shooting at 1/100 or 1/60, that can be huge in terms of motion blur. One stop isn't at all important,until you need it. Then there isn't a thing you can do to get it. Shooting with a DA* 60-150 @F4, I'm really aware of this.
Obviously there are two issues -- shutter speed and ability of auto focus system to keep up with the action. In this case there is a trade off between the two, but I personally would push my iso to 6400 or even 12,800 and keep shooting at f2.8. At the same time, there are lenses that just struggle to keep up from an auto focus standpoint -- DA *50-135 is one of them. I think the FA 77 probably would struggle a bit too.
02-01-2012, 12:51 PM   #26
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I am on the same dilemma too. I sold my Sigma 70-200mm. It is great lens, however it is way too heavy and I did not use 200mm too much. Now i am on the way to make a decision. Should I buy a new 70mm f/2.4 or pay a bit more for used 77mm. So hard to decide. AF speed is important to me.
02-01-2012, 01:43 PM   #27
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QuoteQuote:
but I personally would push my iso to 6400 or even 12,800 and keep shooting at f2.8
I'm not sure, someone can correct me if I'm wrong... but I am guessing it's the amount of light hitting the sensor that helps the auto-focus, not the ASA you're set at.

It sounds like the 77 would be a great portrait or landscape lens, maybe not fast enough for sports...

Of course the elephant in the room is the Sigma 85 mm 1.4. If I was actually buying a lens for sports, still doing yearbooks, I'd just just walk into the office and say.."this is what I need". Two stops faster than 2.8. You can't tell me that wouldn't make a difference. Even if you shoot at 2 or 2.8, you still have the light to keep your auto-focus working at optimum performance levels.

At Henrys Sigma 85 1.4 $1,229
Pentax FA 77mm 1.8 $1,049 Ltd
Pantax DA 70mm 2.4 $599

The first rule of F stops... as the F number gets lower, the price gets higher... but at $180 difference the Sigma almost looks like a steal. Of course, I'm guessing the 77 would give you a more pleasing result for anything but sports, especially portraits or landscapes, but until someone tells me it's true, I'm just guessing. It also has an HSM motor ei, faster and quieter.

Sigma 85 1.4
02-01-2012, 02:12 PM   #28
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I am sure anyone who has bought the DA70 does it knowing that the FA77 is always lurking and is an amazing lens. That said, and not having owned the FA77, I've owned the DA70 since 2008 (just checked), and it was, and still is, one of my absolute favorite lenses.

So small and light, fast AF, and the rendering, sharpness and colors are just incredible. I've used it plenty outdoors where is does such a good job capturing the shot. And I just used it at my son's 7th birthday party, in a strangely lit indoor gym type of place, and with its reach, it was able to capture some great shots of the kids playing sports, and the sharpness and overall shots came out excellent despite the tough conditions.
02-01-2012, 05:14 PM   #29
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I'd call the FA 77 a perfect 10 lens. It's really quite good at everything. However, I think it might be too short for basketball. I think I would prefer a 100mm or 135mm lens.
02-01-2012, 05:34 PM   #30
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After some terrific photos I got with my FA77 last month it was beginning to edge out my DA70 as my favourite portrait lens.

After this morning I'm ready to throw it against a wall.

The AF inconsistancy of the FA77 lens drives me insane, the DA70 is bang on every time but the FA77 is flakey. When it nails it it's heaven, but it simply cannot be trusted in a "got to get the shot" situation like I was in this morning.

Simply the difference in IQ between the 2 when both nail focus is miniscule, but the IQ difference between a BF/FF shot, and one spot on, is massive. This is what really matters, as a BF/FF shot is completely unusable. If my DA70 had an aperture ring I would ditch the FA77 in a second, but it doesn't, so I can't.

Last edited by twitch; 02-01-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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