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09-16-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
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FA* 28-70/2.8 vs FA 28-70/4 vs FA 28-80

I tried a google search, and didn't find anything that helped with the question.

The FA* 28-70/2.8 is spoken of as a legendary lens and commands high prices. The FA 28-70/4 is described as an OK lens that gets the job done, but doesn't spark any excitement. If that is real, then how come the lens reviews here show such an insignificant difference (8.45 vs 8.37)? Is it that people expect the FA* to walk on water and hold it to an unachievable standard vs. a cheap lens that does a good job and gets extra points for being a bargain?

It seems like a nice alternative to the FA 28-80/3.5-5.6 as a basic carry lens, since the FA 28-70/4 scores considerably higher than it (8.37 vs 6.36). Is there anyone here who has used all three? As nice as another f2.8 zoom would be, I don't think I would get the full benefit of the extra cost (DA* 50-135/2.8 is my most used lens)

Thanks in advance

09-16-2012, 12:29 PM   #2
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I've used all 3. The 28-80 is terrible, so basically anything will be better than it. If you want a premium lens, go for the FA*, otherwise the normal FA version will still be a nice upgrade.

Adam
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09-16-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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@eastman I haven't shot with the FA* or FA, however here is my opinion of the rankings. Because the one is cheaper, it will get higher rankings because the value proposition is probably better, however I have little doubt that the FA* is superior glass.
09-16-2012, 01:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
@eastman I haven't shot with the FA* or FA, however here is my opinion of the rankings. Because the one is cheaper, it will get higher rankings because the value proposition is probably better, however I have little doubt that the FA* is superior glass.
I agree that it is very likely the case. Just seemed a little odd considering the level of praise of the FA* 28-70/2.8. In comparison, my current two most frequently used lenses are the DA* 50-135 (avg 9.26) and DA* 16-50 (avg 8.38).

Adam's post convinces me that the FA 28-70/4 will be a huge step up from the 28-80 for a relatively small amount of money.

09-16-2012, 01:49 PM   #5
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Should've tossed in the F 28-80, rather than the FA. Least then the competition might not of bludgeoned it to death in the first round.
09-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by eastman Quote
I agree that it is very likely the case. Just seemed a little odd considering the level of praise of the FA* 28-70/2.8. In comparison, my current two most frequently used lenses are the DA* 50-135 (avg 9.26) and DA* 16-50 (avg 8.38).

Adam's post convinces me that the FA 28-70/4 will be a huge step up from the 28-80 for a relatively small amount of money.
If you know and value the DA 16-50, you will LOVE the FA* 28-70. It is at least as good and better in some respects, beginning with better reliability...

Ben
09-16-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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I may just be unlucky, but I just recently acquired my second copy of the 28-70/4 after I gave away the first copy because it had some haze and performed poorly, and now my second copy, which is clean, performs no better than the first and IMO is worse than the FA 28-80 I own.
I don't think the 28-80 is a great lens by any stretch, but I think it's better than it often gets credit for.
I'm not sure about the 28-70/4, I would love to get a copy that's as good as the reviews suggest.
I've never used the FA* so I can't comment.
As previous posters have said, the PF Review rating are quite subjective and I think that the ratings are based a lot on whether the reviewer feels they got their moneys worth so to say
I gave the 28-80 an 8 because, for $30, what can you really complain about.
09-16-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
If you know and value the DA 16-50, you will LOVE the FA* 28-70. It is at least as good and better in some respects, beginning with better reliability...

Ben
I once had the FA* 28-70/2.8. It was the least reliable lens I've ever had....

09-16-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eulogy Quote
Should've tossed in the F 28-80, rather than the FA. Least then the competition might not of bludgeoned it to death in the first round.
That is what it is competing against for a spot in my lens collection.

I bought the FA 28-80 (demo unit at a camera store, cost about $50), then a few weeks later bought the DA* 16-50 to get a much better lens. At the time, my only autofocus lenses were the FA-J 18-35 (*istD kit lens) and a pair of Tammys (28-105 and 28-200).
09-16-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
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Would you consider third party lenses. The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 AF XR Di LD Macro SP has a very good rep. Whenever I looked at lenses in this range this lens was always mentioned as a very good alternative to Pentax. Look for yourself in the third lens reviews section.
09-17-2012, 08:37 AM   #11
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Mine's been bulletproof for 15+ years....

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
I once had the FA* 28-70/2.8. It was the least reliable lens I've ever had....
my most used lens. Big, heavy, intimidating, but fabulous.


Cheers,
Cameron
09-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
I once had the FA* 28-70/2.8. It was the least reliable lens I've ever had....

Sounds like you got the bad copy. I just need to make sure if I ever buy one, that I don't get THAT one.
09-17-2012, 08:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I'm not sure about the 28-70/4, I would love to get a copy that's as good as the reviews suggest. I've never used the FA* so I can't comment.
I'm pretty sure it was one of those copies where the rear elements started ungluing themselves....

But as far as I have used it (sold it after I got an FA 28-105 PZ), it's a GREAT lens especially for portraits. Not much of a help indoors, but still useful. Zoom it to 70, stop it down to f5.6, and foot-zoom the rest. I can attest to the reviews of the FA 28-70 f4. It's just that the FL is not that practical on APS-C.

To the OP, if you can get one, have one just make sure there are no visible signs of "haze" when you shoot though, as that indicated a problem with the rear elements... otherwise, like someone suggested before me, the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 is a good steal too.
09-17-2012, 09:31 PM   #14
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you may notice there was a guy with a fake moniker, "oswego-otter" who left a "1" rating for the FA* 28-70/2.8 just to sandbag the average. He even admitted doing so in his review. Interestingly, that same guy also reviewed the DA 55-300 and gave it a perfect 10.
Where is the justice? moderators??

Last edited by mikeSF; 09-17-2012 at 09:57 PM.
09-17-2012, 09:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
you may notice there was a guy with a fake moniker who left a "1" rating for the FA* 28-70/2.8 just to sandbag the average. He even admitted doing so. Interestingly, that same guy also reviewed the DA 55-300 and gave it a perfect 10.
Where is the justice? moderators??
Yeah, it's hard enough to put a lot of weight in the ratings due to a random group of rankers with different expectations and backgrounds. It's even more difficult to use an avg rating with only 11 ratings due to small sample size. it's pretty obvious that one of the ratings for the FA* does not belong - one 1 rating, two 8 ratings, four 9 ratings and four 10 ratings.

I've always thought that the average lens rating should have a slightly more complex formula that reduces the effects that the highest/lowest ratings.
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