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06-21-2012, 05:35 AM   #1
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Pentax DA* 200mm or Sigma 85?

Hey guys! I Just recently rented a DA* 200mm from Borrowlenses.com (GREAT site, awesome service!), and I absolutely love the DA* 200mm. I am generally into portraiture photography, but I have been getting a lot of very pleasing wildlife and "Macro" photos as well! Here is a link to the shoot I just did entirely with the DA* 200mm : Of the water | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Every photo of that girl on my photostream is the DA*. They came out so clear and high resolution, and the color was amazing!

On to the issue though: Deciding between the DA* 200mm and the Sigma 85. I have wanted to buy the sigma for a while, but I am unsure because of the sharpness. The lens just seems waaay too sharp to take portraits of someone! I do a lot of facial touch-ups in PS, so I feel like it would only make my job more stressful. The DA* has a different feel, and it is a durable, long lasting, reliable lens!

Let me know what you think!

06-21-2012, 05:56 AM   #2
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They are quite different lenses, so I wouldn't say it is a straight forward answer. I would personally lean toward the sigma 70-200 from a quality zoom stand point, but I don't shoot portraits. The sigma will give you some extra flexibility in lower light and DOF control. And another thing is you can reduce sharpness and detail but you can only pull so much from a shot that is lacking.

Then working against the 85 is that it isn't WR, and has (***apparently***) had some QC issues so make sure you get a good copy and warranty.
06-21-2012, 06:12 AM - 1 Like   #3
hcc
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As said, these are very different lenses for different purposes. The Sigma 85mm has a focal length most suitable for portrait. The lens is heavy but it is well regarded. The DA*200mm is well cnsidered also but it is a tele. Most useful for sports IMHO. I considered myself the DA*200mm but I felt that it was LBA. I chose at the end the FA*300mm f4.5 for the longer reach.

I think that the 85mm focal length will be more useful than 200mm. As such I would consider the Sigma 85mm, also there are a number of worthwhile alternatives IMHO incl. FA77mm f1.8, Robinon/Vivitar 85mm f1.4 (MF), DA-FA100 f2.8WR and even Carl Zeiss 85mm f1.4 (MF).

If you are into portraiture, you want a fast lens and the FA77mm, Vivitar 85mm and Sigma 85m are the best choice. The Vivitar 85mm is the cheapest and MF, while the FA77mm is the lightest AF (and would be my prefered choice).

Hope that the comment may help.

Last edited by hcc; 06-21-2012 at 09:45 AM.
06-21-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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Last year I was doing some shooting with my beloved FA*85 and accidentaly I met there a lady with DA*200. I proposed her to swap our lenses for a few minutes and I believe we sort of fell in love with each others lens.

I believe it is only about which to acquire as first. Both are worth having and shooting with (assuming the Sigma 85 as almost as good as FA*85).

BTW I really like the pictures on your flickr, my fav form the DA*200 series is "discovery".


Last edited by elho_cid; 06-21-2012 at 08:13 AM.
06-22-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
MJL
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My preference:

Tight head shot or outdoor - 200mm
Chest up or indoor tight space- 85mm
07-25-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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Hey! Sorry I have not replied in a while! Most of my shoots are outdoors, I feel like this lens has been awesome! I am thinking about getting the 200mm. I just did a review on it, it is just a fantastic lens!
Here is a set from flickr that I made from just some of the photos I have taken while it is still being rented by me.
Pentax DA* 200mm F/2.8 - a set on Flickr
07-25-2012, 11:49 AM   #7
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I'm surprised to think that the DA*200mm is good for your portrait photography, but you are afraid that the Sigma 85 will be too sharp...
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