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02-02-2012, 03:24 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Emacs Quote
I would recommend you A* 85, which is really stellar performer, better than 77Ltd IMO, but it's MF
you do realise the FA77 and A*85mm f/1.4 are based on the same optical design?

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
All are not equal. The PF is partly or mostly caused by the purple component of LoCa. And yes, all fast lenses have it, but some excel at it - notably Pentax lenses. It is true since Takumars and until FAs. There are better lenses though - I never saw the same level of LoCA on Voigtlander lenses - they have some, but it is much better controlled - and I am not talking about the APO models - just regular Nokton models. I would expect the Samyang to have better control of CA as well - I only used it a bit, but from what I've seen, Samyang does a pretty good job controlling CA in their lenses. I would expect the Sigma to be better in this area too.
True, all lenses are not equal. However, I believe that PF is a separate aberration to LOCA - which occurs outside the immediate point of focus - purple fringing occurs at the point of focus. The reason why I believe this is because I have seen lenses that have essentially no LOCA suffer from purple fringing. As I recall a pentax lens that exhibits this best would be the Pentax FA*400mm f/5.6 - the original non-IS version of Canon EF 300mm f/4L and EF 200mm f/2.8L suffer from this as well - so I wouldn't go pointing fingers at pentax at being the only manufacturer that produces lenses that are susceptible to PF*. Zeiss,Nikon,Voigtlander,Leica and Canon have lenses above and below 100mm that are known suffer from it badly as well.

Your statement on the quality of Voigtlander lenses is questionable, even voigtlander have some decidedly underwhelming optics for SLRs in their bag: The voigtlander color-skopar 20mm f/3.5 ASPH springs to mind.But they also have produced the 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar lens which is arguably one of the best lenses I have ever owned.So I would say that Voigtlander is even more inconsistent with the optical quality of their lenses as pentax is - Voigtlander only has a handful of lenses currently made for SLR cameras. Pentax has made significantly more than that, and there are some unique and interesting lenses out there like the FA*200mm f/4 ED Macro, the FA*250-600mm f/5.6 ED, FA*85mm f/1.4, the Pentax 50mm f/1.2, the Pentax 67 55mm f/4, the 645 150mm f/2.8 and FA*300mm f/4 ED - and the FA*300mm f/2.8 ED for K mount cameras is every bit as good as contemporary and current 300mm f/2.8 lenses.

* if you want I can sent you a comprehensive list of lenses that suffer from purple fringing. But I admit doing so would be a bit pointless, as just about any lens when used in the right(or wrong) conditions can be made to do it.


Last edited by Digitalis; 02-02-2012 at 03:50 AM.
02-02-2012, 08:48 AM   #17
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Tennis

I have some tennis shots somewhere... I'll have to look for them... pre-focusing is key, the screw drive is too slow to keep up for sure.

-Dave

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
I'm not sure how well the FA would do for sports photography given that it has PF issues.

Use for portraiture is irrelevant as almost any lens that is long enough or wide enough can be used to get impressive portraits, if the photographer is skilled. If anyone has basketball shots taken with the FA77, it would be nice to see them - I don't recollect anyone posting such shots to demonstrate the capability of the FA 77 to be used in conditions with harsh lights. I've seen examples, however, where PF was demonstrated to occur under harsh light.

A perfect giveaway for lenses with CA problems is when people rave about them and then post B&W shots.
02-02-2012, 12:03 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
you do realise the FA77 and A*85mm f/1.4 are based on the same optical design?
I know they are similar, so they both bring that "pixie dust", but still they are not the same: A* 85 is sharper, it has 1.4, it has more glass, etc.
02-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #19
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size, the FA77.
IQ, I have preference on the 85mm.

that is why, I got this instead >>>

I love the FA77 and it is a stellar lens. but an 85/1.4 is an 85/1.4.

02-02-2012, 05:10 PM   #20
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Threads like this are why I love this forum.
02-02-2012, 07:59 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wilson1802 Quote
So, tonight, I would love to ask peoples opinion on whether they would recommend either the Sigma or Pentax...
I had to make the same decision.

I went for the FA Ltd 77/1.8 because
  • it has quite a bit more "pixie dust" (will make some of your images look magically gorgeous) than the Sigma 85/1.4.
  • it is considered to be one of the best AF lenses ever.
  • On an FF body, it will give a slightly more intimate look than an 85 (talking portraits here).
  • it is such a beauty itself. Gorgeous built with a built-in hood which is padded with felt, just like the lens cap (on the inside).
I respect Sigma's EX series a lot and have three Sigma lenses from that series. I'm sure the 85/1.4 is great, but I doubt it has the magic of the FA Ltd 77/1.8 (don't really know as I've never been able to shoot it. I'm judging the shots I see posted to the web).

For your particular purpose, sports, the Sigma's reach and HSM focusing will be big advantages. My decision was based on my main intended usage: portraiture.
02-02-2012, 08:14 PM   #22
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I'm not a believer of pixie dust, but I would buy the 77 1.8 even though it is smaller. Why? because if I wanted to be using Sigma/Tamron I should just have bought a Nikon instead of a Pentax, but thats more of some pseudo pride thing I have, in your case the longer reach and faster speed would be better so I would recommend the 85 1.4
02-02-2012, 09:06 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
I'm not a believer of pixie dust...
FWIW, "pixie dust" is a shortcut to refer to pleasing rendering. There is absolutely no doubt that the FA 77 Ltd 77/1.8 has a pleasing focus to OOF transition and great bokeh. "Pixie dust" as such does not exist, but the respective lens properties do.

QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
...if I wanted to be using Sigma/Tamron I should just have bought a Nikon instead of a Pentax, but thats more of some pseudo pride thing I have, ...
That just makes no sense to me at all.
  1. Some Sigma/Tamron lenses are no doubt better value for money then some Pentax lenses. No reason not to go for the great ergonomics of a Pentax body and still enjoy the best from Sigma and Tamron.
  2. If you feel that a Nikon body is better than a Pentax body why didn't you go for it?


02-02-2012, 09:19 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Awesome responses! Based on the comments over the past 2 nights helped me decide to purchase the Sigma 85mm f/1.4. I bought the lens today and will use it at my sons games this weekend! Can't wait to see what I can do with this lens.

Because its just an elementary school team...I have access to kneel just outside the baseline...so the short tele is perfect for frame filling acation shots. It's been a while since I've shot hoops...but nearly 20 years ago, I was the photographer for my college newspaper and I had access to the floor of the old Capitol Center in DC. Back then, everything was pre-focus on a spot and anticipate where the action would be take. The pace on the 4th graders are a bit slower, but so are my reflexes :-).

Thanks again....I'm glad I found this forum!
02-02-2012, 10:09 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
  1. Some Sigma/Tamron lenses are no doubt better value for money then some Pentax lenses. No reason not to go for the great ergonomics of a Pentax body and still enjoy the best from Sigma and Tamron.
  2. If you feel that a Nikon body is better than a Pentax body why didn't you go for it?
I agree, thats why I recommended the Sigma to the OP.

And since you asked... (this isnt a sad sob story even though it starts that way)
When I first started learning about photography and went camera shopping I found this forums and it had the most glowing reviews about how the limited lenses were the most awesome lenses ever and were cheap compared to L/Gold ring lenses -- theres less posts like those now which is good. And also there was that whole you buy pentax for the pentax glasses thing I read about. Silly me took people's word for it. I only learned later on about how slow they were and the only advantage was their tiny sizes (being young and all I dont mind big sizes and heavy weights). Although I must say it wasn't all that bad; the 15mm ltd is awesome and I absolutely love it, and more importantly I've grown to to appreciate the weather sealed lenses and cameras. So I'm sticking with Pentax merely for the WR since unlike the limiteds, there are no WR alternatives for similar prices. So it turns out I love my k-5 but not for the reasons I initially thought I would. And another reason is when I'm at my photography club being the only pentax user there, people always ask me why I bought a pentax, I have an excuse to say 'oh because they don't make this lense for canon/nikon' but if I had a sigma/tamron lens attached to it I wouldn't be able to say that and be forced to admit that I didn't do my research properly (hence the pride thing lol :P)

So yeah in short I bought the pentax body because I was misinformed, but I'm keeping my pentax body because another reason I didn't consider came up. And I don't buy third party lenses because I don't like to admit I was wrong.
02-03-2012, 01:40 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
However, I believe that PF is a separate aberration to LOCA - which occurs outside the immediate point of focus - purple fringing occurs at the point of focus.
AFAICT PF is not restricted in regard to focal plane - it is triggered by sharp transitions from shadow to light and can happen anywhere. And LoCA can look like PF sometimes, which is why I mentioned both. In the FA77 example that I remember seeing, the fringing was on the edge of a leg or arm that was backlit, so I am not sure if it was caused by PF or LoCA, but the end result was the same - an unpleasant purple fringe.

I used to think any purple fringe was PF, until I got the Cosina 55/1.2 and used it outdoors in strong sun. I got purple fringing everywhere, or so it seemed at first. On closer look, I realized it would only show up behind the focal plane and changed to green fringing in front - except the green fringing was less noticeable, while the purple one was jumping to my eyes. So now, I'm always trying to make the distinction. In the case of the FA77, I don't know for sure, but I would expect it has strong LoCA so it may behave like the Cosina.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
so I wouldn't go pointing fingers at pentax at being the only manufacturer that produces lenses that are susceptible to PF*.
I was talking specifically about LoCA with respect to Pentax, not PF.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Your statement on the quality of Voigtlander lenses is questionable, even voigtlander have some decidedly underwhelming optics for SLRs in their bag: The voigtlander color-skopar 20mm f/3.5 ASPH springs to mind.
Maybe, but my impression was formed initially from comparing normal lenses: Super Takumar (8 and 7 element versions), FA 50, Nokton 58, Nokton 25 MFT. (I know the 50s are not normal on APS-C, but they are all designed for FF). The Tak and FA have the worst LoCA, with the FA taking the crown. Other Pentax lenses that I used reinforced this observation.

In general, I don't mind LoCA, but it can be an issue in some lenses.
02-03-2012, 04:41 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
When I first started learning about photography and went camera shopping I found this forums and it had the most glowing reviews about how the limited lenses were the most awesome lenses ever and were cheap compared to L/Gold ring lenses..... Silly me took people's word for it. I only learned later on about how slow they were and the only advantage was their tiny sizes (being young and all I dont mind big sizes and heavy weights)
Ignorance is bliss; I wonder how many of these Pentax preachers have actually tried/used HSM/USM/SWM/etc lenses?

Of the 11 lenses I currently have, only 2 are Pentax, the rest are Sigmas and one Tamron: 10-17/3.5-4.5 because there's nothing else like it, and the 35/2.0, which I'd swap to a Sigma 30/1.4 in a heartbeat if only the Sigma version for K-mount had HSM. Pentax bodies on the other hand, are a different matter, and IMHO, the ergonomics are second to one...

And on topic, I'd suggest the 85/1.4 over the 77/1.8, based purely on my very positive experience with my 85/1.4.
02-03-2012, 06:09 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
And also there was that whole you buy pentax for the pentax glasses thing I read about.
I agree with you that some are a bit overenthusiastic about Pentax glass and recommend Pentax lenses even if there are better alternatives from other manufacturers.

I do not agree, however, that praise for the FA Ltd lenses amounts to misinformation. Their merit is not all confined to "small size". Have you tried the Ltds? They are not f/1.4 lenses but in the aperture range they cover they are truly remarkable.

Mike Johnston writes in his "The Best (Autofocus) Lenses Money Can Buy" column:
Yet the very best AF SLR lenses made today are the Pentax Limiteds.
Canon users mutilate FA 31/1.8 lenses so that they fit their cameras for a reason. Its bokeh is excellent -- quite unusual for a wide angle -- and it is very sharp wide open already. The FA 77/1.8 is outstanding as well. The 43/1.9 is different in that its bokeh is not always uncontentious, but it has its unique rendering qualities as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
And another reason is when I'm at my photography club being the only pentax user there, people always ask me why I bought a pentax, I have an excuse to say 'oh because they don't make this lense for canon/nikon' but if I had a sigma/tamron lens attached to it I wouldn't be able to say that and be forced to admit that I didn't do my research properly (hence the pride thing lol :P)
You have just admitted to the real story here and I do not see what is wrong with it.
  • You can still argue that Pentax bodies have excellent ergonomics and offer built-in image stabilisation (and are thus a better way of using a Sigma/Tamron lens than any other body).
  • It is simply not true that there isn't unique Pentax glass. Not all Pentax glass is fantastic, but there are Pentax lenses that other camera brand users modify to use them (even without AF).

Last edited by Class A; 02-03-2012 at 06:14 PM.
04-04-2013, 10:47 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wilson1802 Quote
Awesome responses! Based on the comments over the past 2 nights helped me decide to purchase the Sigma 85mm f/1.4. I bought the lens today and will use it at my sons games this weekend! Can't wait to see what I can do with this lens.
I know this thread is a bit old, but I'm curious how the Sigma 85mm worked out for you at your son's basketball games? I have a 10% eBay coupon that expires on the 6th, and I've long had my eye on the 85mm to use for my two daughters' ballet and gymnastics, so I'm very close to pulling the trigger (unless my LBA party-pooping wife smacks it down! I have a feeling that the 10% coupon won't impress her much...) So I'd love to hear your thoughts, or anybody else who uses their Sigma 85mm primarily for fast-paced indoor activities.
04-05-2013, 03:17 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wilson1802 Quote
I bought the lens today and will use it at my sons games this weekend!
Do remember to post a couple of images so we can all see how you got on with your new lens, good luck with the shoot.

Basketball is not the easiest of indoor sports to cover for sure.

I can remember a good few years back, I was asked to cover a wheelchair basket ball match at the paraplegic games here in the UK. It was a quarter final needle match match, between Eygpt and Israel, in those days the Middle East was pretty volatile and these lads could barely look at each other without growling. But being true professional sportsman, they got on with it.

It was one on the most demanding events for a photographer, as I can ever remember doing.

The only saving grace was, because of the two teams playing, the event was to be televised (it was never actually broadcast for some reason), so the TV crews turned up massive lighting arrays. Remember this was back in the days of film, Ilford XP1 exposed at 1600 ASA with my trusty LX's, no focus checking and histograms then.
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