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02-28-2012, 06:42 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I have the older but fabulous Contax Zeiss 85/1.4 (is this optically identical to the ZK ? I believe it is but may be wrong)
The Photozone test refers to "slight optical variations due to the different requirements."

02-28-2012, 06:47 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Byrd-2020 Quote
I own both the Zeiss 85mm f1.4 ZK and the Pentax 77mm f1.8 ltd.

The Zeiss 85mm is--though capable of truly spectacular images--a difficult lens to use (especially at close range). And this is because of 'focus shift'. The lens has a good deal of uncorrected spherical aberration (a design 'feature' according to Zeiss), and when stopped down the plane of sharp focus moves away from the camera a bit.

This is not an issue shooting wide-open. However, to get precise focus between f2 and f4 you really need to focus stopped down or with live view. (Increasing depth of field at f5.6 and beyond effectively hides this problem.)

I love my Zeiss 85mm. However, you should be aware that it is not a 'shoot from the hip' lens.
Once you know the lens, you can focus a little in front of where you really want
in order to handle the focus shift in the f/2 - f/4 range.
02-28-2012, 07:35 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
This is a very good post the OP should pay attention to.

I have the older but fabulous Contax Zeiss 85/1.4 (is this optically identical to the ZK ? I believe it is but may be wrong) and the Pentax 77 Ltd. They are, as Byrd says, completely different animals. I use the 77 Ltd a lot of the time and rarely the CZ .... but I still wouldn't sell it (and in perfect condition it only cost me ca. US$680 pus another $50 for the PK mount conversion) as it is unique. BTW CIF works wonderfully with those MF lenses.

I've tried the Sigma 85/1.4 vs the 77 Ltd. The Sigma is very sharp, very fast AF and a lovely (if heavier) lens, it has received superb reviews. However I found the CA is worse than on the 77 Ltd and the rendering is very different.

Rikenon / Bower (and under probably a dozen other names) 85/1.4 is amazing value for money .... but why buy this if you want the best/better and have the money for it ?

The Pentax A & FA lenses are waaay over-priced. Of course a lot of that has to do with their rarity (though there are plenty of the FA versions where I shop) and not just how very good they are.

For the OP. Sorry to say but those low-light photos you've posted wouldn't hold up in print, for me at least they wouldn't be worth it. Maybe the AF of the 77 Ltd would give you far more keepers ? Check out the FA Limited thread here on PF for hundreds of scorching shots from the 77 - the bokeh of which is just gorgeous BTW.

IMHO - get the 77 Ltd and the Sigma 30/1.4 (another superb low-light lens) !

Thanks for the extended info. The previous post you quoted was one I did pay direct attention too.

Yes, the low light photos are not good enough for print. The first pairing were the first ones I could find, and they are from my k1000D when I first started shooting digital. The second pairing were downloaded from Facebook as I can't seem to find the original RAW files, so they are compromised quite a bit. They are also a few years old and my skills have jumped quite a bit in the last year or so. I had an issue where my computer crashed, and my backup drive also got nuked.. so since then I now back everything up twice and still burn a dvd! I'm looking at expanding and getting the right lens for the right job... as well as getting rid of some LBA.

The 77 is for sure the one I'm leaning towards after a night of rolling around not sleeping. I'm at least 6 weeks out from buying and I'm already staying awake at night? I got a problem.

The Sigma 30/1.4 is not in a focal length I would use. I rarely find myself going below 50mm. And if I do it is usually with my Fisheye. My DA* 16-50 gets very little use month to month as I favor my DA Limited 40, M 50/1.7, and Tamron 90 Macro out of my kit. So I think upgrading my M 50 would be a better investment. Or the Limited FA 31.... I don't think I'd use it much, but the FA Limited thread is full of LBA!

Maybe these low light shots will be a bit better Taken with my DA 10-17 4.5 1/45sec and 1/10sec




Last edited by Wired; 02-28-2012 at 08:06 AM.
02-28-2012, 08:09 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Byrd-2020 Quote
I love my Zeiss 85mm. However, you should be aware that it is not a 'shoot from the hip' lens.
My experience with the ZK 85/1.4 suggests otherwise. Here is a casual example "shot from the hip."

Attached Images
 
02-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #20
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Ok. So I called up my local camera shop and ordered up the 77mm limited in black. I was going to go Silver, but decided that I didn't want it to stick out like a sore thumb on my black camera.. it would look great on my MX though!

I'm also going to give the 55mm 1.4mm SDM a go in the near future as well.

I should have a pretty awesome lineup of lenses once that is done.
02-29-2012, 11:59 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Ok. So I called up my local camera shop and ordered up the 77mm limited in black. I was going to go Silver, but decided that I didn't want it to stick out like a sore thumb on my black camera.. it would look great on my MX though!

I'm also going to give the 55mm 1.4mm SDM a go in the near future as well.

I should have a pretty awesome lineup of lenses once that is done.
Fantastic lens. I'm sure you won't be disappointed but look forward to hearing your impression and seeing shots posted in the FA Limited thread !
02-29-2012, 03:11 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Fantastic lens. I'm sure you won't be disappointed but look forward to hearing your impression and seeing shots posted in the FA Limited thread !
Thanks, you and Byrd helped me make the decision quite a bit easier. I was going to try at least the Zeiss in the 50mm 1.4 planar T, but decided that the DA* would be much less of a crapshoot.


I'm hoping to get my "travel" kit down to just the DA* 55mm, DA 40mm limited, FA 77mm limited, and my 70-30mm Sigma DG OS... if I keep the Sigma. I haven't used it since I bought it. :P
02-29-2012, 11:11 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
I'm hoping to get my "travel" kit down to just the DA* 55mm, DA 40mm limited, FA 77mm limited, and my 70-30mm Sigma DG OS
Are you going to add something wider than 40mm?

03-01-2012, 10:44 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Ok. So I called up my local camera shop and ordered up the 77mm limited in black. I was going to go Silver, but decided that I didn't want it to stick out like a sore thumb on my black camera.. it would look great on my MX though!

I'm also going to give the 55mm 1.4mm SDM a go in the near future as well.

I should have a pretty awesome lineup of lenses once that is done.
Good choice. You simply can't go wrong with the 77mm limited. The black will also look great on your MX.
03-02-2012, 09:27 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Are you going to add something wider than 40mm?
I never have a need to. Well I'll never say never.

I got a few lenses in my kit for sub 40. But they do not get the use my 50's do. M 28 2.8, DA*16-50, DA 10-17.

I just don't usually have a need to go wide angle. Usually only if I'm doing movies.
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