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01-31-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
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FA 77/1.8 or DA 70/2.4?

I want a fast lens to shoot my sons' 4/5th grade basketball games. That's my immediate need...although long term this lens will probably be used for candid portraits.

Would anyone recommend one of these lenses over the other? Does one have faster AF? Do people think one of these lenses is better than the other?

I will be using it on either my K20D or K5 bodies. Thanks.

01-31-2012, 07:44 PM   #2
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Depends on what you like in a lens. Both have creamy bokeh, are impressively sharp on stopping down, and are good for portraits. The DA 70 is quick to focus, but not particularly good to manual focus. The FA 77 has a different characteristic wide open up to f/4 than it does further stopped down (kind of dreamy look vs sharpness machine).

Do you have/have you owned any other limited lenses before? What's your current favorite lens?
01-31-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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i have used both, my opinion is the da70 is better value and u wont be dissapointed with it at all. i certainly miss mine which i sold off.

fa 77 however seems to have creamier bokeh, but a lot more CA so be careful, and is a lot more expensive.

AF I believe is better on the DA70 (plus it has quick shift).
01-31-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Both great lenses, not sure I'd recommend either for your use. I'd personally go with something with a bit more reach. If you have that kind of money to spend, I'd go with a sigma or tamron 70-200 f 2.8. If size is a big concern and those are too big, and you have to choose between them, I'd say the 77 f1.8, highly regarded, faster and a touch more reach.

01-31-2012, 07:52 PM   #5
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DA 70 is the faster auto focus lens, although the FA 77 isn't bad. For sporting events, I would prefer the DA, if portraiture is the main goal, the FA 77 stands above with the wider aperture, nicer bokeh and ability to isolate subjects better. Not that the DA 70 is bad -- it has very smooth bokeh itself, it is just that the FA 77 is pretty amazing in that respect.
01-31-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
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If you have the money you should go for the 77 ltd. It is definitely in a class all by itself. I have never tried the 70, so cannot offer any comparison. I have heard of a few forum members who prefer the 70 over the 77 because of the crop factor in APSC making the 77 too long indoors.
01-31-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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Great advice and opinions so far thanks! For basketball, I will be shooting exclusively wide open....fast AF is very important.

In a perfect world, I would love to have a 35mm - 250mm zoom at a fixed f2.8!

I could shoot from the baseline most of the time....35 - 50mm range is great for when the plays are right near the baseline....50 - 100mm range is perfect from the 3pt line to foul line...and 200-250mm range is perfect for action down on the other side of the court. OK..I can stop dreaming now.
01-31-2012, 08:23 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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Previously I would have guessed the 70 , but having read the words of the designer, Jun designed this lens at 77mm because 77 is a lucky number in Japan. He also said, although I can't be sure the translation was exact , that this series of lenses was not designed to do well in MTF scales.

The abstract from Jun Hirakawa's technical report...

QuoteQuote:
Abstract;This paper introduces features the titled lenses on the following items: 1) Standard and middle range telephoto lenses for a 35 mm single-lens reflex cameras sold by Pentax, 2) design concept and performance; unique expression with high quality picture, 3) exterior; machined aluminum body to provide high grade sense, 4) focal length; 43 mm (diagonal length of 35 mm size film) and 77 mm (lucky number among 70-80 mm), respectively, 5) both AF and MF operation possible, 6) helicoid screw at focus part provides torque feeling, 7) realization of smooth AF operation by a little reduced gear ratio of drive unit and 8) lens aberration compensation; priority to practical photographs expression than numerical evaluation.
In other words Hirakawa didn't give a crap about MTF... he just wanted good pictures.

01-31-2012, 08:27 PM   #9
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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.
01-31-2012, 08:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wilson1802 Quote
In a perfect world, I would love to have a 35mm - 250mm zoom at a fixed f2.8!

I could shoot from the baseline most of the time....35 - 50mm range is great for when the plays are right near the baseline....50 - 100mm range is perfect from the 3pt line to foul line...and 200-250mm range is perfect for action down on the other side of the court.
Of course, you would need a wheelbarrow to carry that 35-250/2.8, and a 20lb tripod to support it.

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.
01-31-2012, 08:51 PM   #11
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I've shot both basketball and volley ball with a 55 1.8 on full frame. Gym shooting really does like F-stops 2 or under, the narrow depth of field produces some really fine bokeh. It really helps to go put a tape mark on the floor and just manual focus on that area, then release the shutter when anyone steps on jumps over your tape. On an APS-c camera, a 50mm is also a pretty good portrait lens as well. I was shooting for yearbooks, so it didn't matter who I got, I guess if you're looking for shots of a specific kid, you might have to go with a zoom. To bad you can't rent a few to try out.

With the 55 , I just camped out opposite the referee under the net in volleyball, or just behind a little to the right or left of the basket, not more than three feet back from the baseline in basketball. Just pretend like you belong there. Nobody ever complains. They think you're important.
01-31-2012, 09:26 PM   #12
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Can't comment on those two lenses but I can say that I switched to my FA50/1.4 for 4th-5th grade basketball because, even with my K-x, I NEEDED faster than 3.5 and most of my shots are in the <2.8 range. The 50 is fine for under the basket shots and a few out to the free throw line but further than that its just a room shot. I'd go for the fastest lens you can comfortably afford. Good luck.
01-31-2012, 09:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wilson1802 Quote
I want a fast lens to shoot my sons' 4/5th grade basketball games. That's my immediate need...although long term this lens will probably be used for candid portraits.

Would anyone recommend one of these lenses over the other? Does one have faster AF? Do people think one of these lenses is better than the other?

I will be using it on either my K20D or K5 bodies. Thanks.
The DA 70/2.4 mated to the K5 will work well in a gym setting. The DA 70s wide dynamic range really makes the DA 70 shine. It is also a great portrait lens as well. No bad choice here either way. I have used this combination and it works
well in gym conditions with high school basketball and these guys move a lot faster than 4/5th graders.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 02-01-2012 at 06:30 AM.
01-31-2012, 09:53 PM   #14
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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.
01-31-2012, 10:31 PM   #15
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i've owned both at the same time and the DA70 focuses faster. it also has quickshift which might be great for basketball shooting when players quickly move in and out of the plane of focus.

That said, i much prefer the bokeh of the 77 and especially for head/shoulders portraits, the shallow DOF is so much nicer, IMO!
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