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05-22-2012, 03:38 AM   #1
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Pentax FA 77 for streets/ travel (?)

I know, it's a portrait lens, but I like the focal range for streets (and travel). I have the Rokinon 85/1.4--a superb lens, manual focus isn't a problem with trap focus, but it's heavy. If the Rokinon were 250 grams lighter, it would be perfect for me. When travelling I may walk for 10 hours to visit a new city: the Rokinon is just too heavy to lug around for a day.

Before the price increase I would have got the DA70 (I didn't have the money a few months ago...) Now it seems to make more sense to get the FA77. However, the AF does not excel, I hear. Do you think FA77's AF is ok (even if not ideal) for streets? How does it compare to FA50/1.4 in this respect? (A comparison would be useful, because I had the FA50.) Your answers are greatly apprecoated!


Last edited by causey; 05-22-2012 at 03:52 AM.
05-22-2012, 04:11 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
I know, it's a portrait lens, but I like the focal range for streets (and travel). I have the Rokinon 85/1.4--a superb lens, manual focus isn't a problem with trap focus, but it's heavy. If the Rokinon were 250 grams lighter, it would be perfect for me. When travelling I may walk for 10 hours to visit a new city: the Rokinon is just too heavy to lug around for a day.

Before the price increase I would have got the DA70 (I didn't have the money a few months ago...) Now it seems to make more sense to get the FA77. However, the AF does not excel, I hear. Do you think FA77's AF is ok (even if not ideal) for streets? How does it compare to FA50/1.4 in this respect? (A comparison would be useful, because I had the FA50.) Your answers are greatly apprecoated!
I would say for streets you could get by as it has a little bit of reach to get those candit shots without getting in their face. but I think for travel it might be a little bit restrictive as its reach makes scenes difficult. AF is not bad IMO, it just isn't quite the same league as the DA, as it is a bit slower and is rather noisy. I would suggest if you can test it somewhere first you'll get a better idea on its abilities and limitations in the way you shoot.

Just my 2 cents anyway
05-22-2012, 04:18 AM   #3
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Try a 2nd hand DA70mm. It's AF is much faster
05-22-2012, 04:19 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chaos_Realm Quote
I think for travel it might be a little bit restrictive as its reach makes scenes difficult.
Thank you.
I wasn't thinking of having the FA 77 as my only travel lens. I would pair it with a combination of 14mm, 28mm, 40mm (14+ 40+77 or 28+40+77). And this would be my kit for cities; for nature I'd also take my JC Penney 135mm.

05-22-2012, 06:58 AM   #5
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I just bought one, I think it would be fine for street, but the AF can hunt so you may want to go MF for some shots where the AF might get confused. Or if you dont need f1.8 go for the 70.

That said I am in love, this lens is absolute magic and likely worth the extra effort
05-22-2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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For streets - I prefer FA43 or DA40. or even FA24.

FA77 is too long and not very fast.
05-22-2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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Hi Causey,
I have the 77 limited and it is a great lens. It can be used portraits, landscapes and whatever else you can think of I. It focuses quick enough in good light and hunts a little in low light but still very usable. However, if you still want the 70 mm f/2.4 limited lens you can buy it new on E-bay from the New York City based Photo (it is a block away from Adorama) Tristate camera, video and computers store for $549.00 and free shipping in the U.S. I bought a Sigma 610 super flash from them and they shipped it to me quickly with no problems.
05-22-2012, 07:48 AM   #8
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Sorry I don't know how to do the link to the site. There are 4 left at that price at the moment.

05-22-2012, 07:52 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by V'cuz Quote
Sorry I don't know how to do the link to the site. There are 4 left at that price at the moment.
I've found it--thank you. Still, I'd go for the FA 77 now. I like its rendering better, and if it's AF is fast enough in good light and ok-ish in low light, there's no problem... Anyone who can compare FA77's af to FA50's af?
05-22-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
For streets - I prefer FA43 or DA40. or even FA24.

FA77 is too long and not very fast.
As I said, it would be part of a 3 lens combo. Sometimes FL longer than 50mm is very useful; e.g., when people in a Eastern European or South American marketplace. I prefer not to get too close to the subjects; many are camera shy.
05-22-2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
Thank you.
I wasn't thinking of having the FA 77 as my only travel lens. I would pair it with a combination of 14mm, 28mm, 40mm (14+ 40+77 or 28+40+77). And this would be my kit for cities; for nature I'd also take my JC Penney 135mm.
Oh sorry causey, I didn't realise it was you. I responded from an Iphone and had zoomed in to far to notice and there for assumed it was a "my first prime kinda thread"

QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
As I said, it would be part of a 3 lens combo. Sometimes FL longer than 50mm is very useful; e.g., when people in a Eastern European or South American marketplace. I prefer not to get too close to the subjects; many are camera shy.
I think you might even want to consider taking the 135mm for this kinda stuff as well. Although it will be a bit of personal preference, I felt I was just on the fringe of getting to close comfort distance with the 77 at the markets. Here is a couple of examples from a recent market I went to. The DA 70mm might have been a little more useful here as I needed to pre-focus to get the shot off a bit quicker but wasn't able to (no quick shift). Although I assume the markets you will be heading to might be a little more packed and allow you to get closer without being noticed.
05-22-2012, 07:18 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
As I said, it would be part of a 3 lens combo. Sometimes FL longer than 50mm is very useful; e.g., when people in a Eastern European or South American marketplace. I prefer not to get too close to the subjects; many are camera shy.
I have frequently used the 77 in these situations in South African and the Caribbean.

I would hate to get pounded like a sack of corn . . . The sun was nearly straight up and harsh around noon.








I have even backed it up with my Sigma 105 EX DG in the past but now I have the D FA 100 WR in that roll.

Last edited by Blue; 05-22-2012 at 07:35 PM.
05-22-2012, 07:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chaos_Realm Quote
I think you might even want to consider taking the 135mm for this kinda stuff as well. Although it will be a bit of personal preference, I felt I was just on the fringe of getting to close comfort distance with the 77 at the markets. Here is a couple of examples from a recent market I went to. The DA 70mm might have been a little more useful here as I needed to pre-focus to get the shot off a bit quicker but wasn't able to (no quick shift). Although I assume the markets you will be heading to might be a little more packed and allow you to get closer without being noticed.
That set of 3 pics is stunning. It shows FA77's magic. I guess I'll have to look more for FA77 pics in the FA ltd. thread. But your pics definitely make me want it.
05-22-2012, 07:29 PM   #14
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It is always good for street portraits . . .





05-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #15
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I've found the AF on the 77ltd to be adequate, but certainly on the slow side.
If its already in the ball park of focus, its fine.
Otherwise, it seems to suffer from inertia and spins up a bit slow.
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