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10-22-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
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Pentax 77mm vs other portrait lenses?

Hey everyone! I just recently rented a Pentax 77mm to see how amazing it is before I decide what lens to buy next. At a lens maximum price of $800, is there a better lens to invest in for a portrait business? Just wondering, and here are some samples I have done so far:

I have to say, this is probably the most beautiful lens I have used. The build quality is amazing, and I would be interested in something of good quality as well!

10-22-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Do a search about the K85 1.8 for a comparison(I have both)
10-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #3
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I am impressed with 77mm when I got it. To top it.... FA*85.
or the Zeiss 85 (I don't have but samples are great).
10-22-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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I'm a big fan of my Sigma 85mm f/1.4 -- its a bit long on APS-C but renders great

10-22-2012, 05:48 PM   #5

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The DA*50-135/2.8 is actually quite good for portraits too - you can get away with using only it all day, and later when you look at the photos, you'll won't catch yourself noticing the difference and saying "oh, no, I wish I'd used a prime for that shot!"

Nevertheless, the FA77 is more beautiful in its rendering - possibly even slightly more than the FA*85/1.4 I have now. The K50/1.2, DA*55/1.4, and A50/1.2 (probably in that order, at least for me) are considerations too - all can yield quite beautiful images.
10-22-2012, 05:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the suggestions guys! I am very interested in the FA* 85mm 1.4, buy I am interested in a new lens, and sadly my budget maxes out at $800....
10-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #7
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Does the lens have to auto focus? There is Samyang et al who have 85mm f1.4 lenses for Pentax. I have a Voigtlander Nokton 58mmf1.4 and it performs beautifully, manual focus only.
10-22-2012, 06:39 PM   #8

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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
I am very interested in the FA* 85mm 1.4, buy I am interested in a new lens, and sadly my budget maxes out at $800....
Don't be too sad about this. I think I could go back to the FA77 and be very happy with it. In fact, the guy I sold my FA77 to was coming back from a Pentax *85/1.4 (I think his was the A version). It's amazing how small and light the FA77 is in comparison, and it even has a built-in hood! It performs great wide-open, whereas the FA*85 is good wide-open, but is better stopped down to f/1.6 or f/1.8.

10-22-2012, 07:16 PM   #9
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I've been researching this as well. Check out:




You can see IQ tests between the top performers. I just purchased a Rokinon 85. If it turns out to be too big, I'll trade it for an FA77. Of course I'm also hoping a DFA77 is released within the next two years (with a FF system). If that happens, many of the FA77's faults could be mute (purple fringing, no WR, quick-shift). That said, I wouldn't count on it - get an FA77 now if you want to go that route.

Edit: BTW, your first shot is monumental - quite impressive!
10-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #10
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Wow all those shots are just brilliant. Wow!
10-22-2012, 10:00 PM   #11
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I have the 77 limited. Its probably not as good as the FA* 85, but I haven't seen any pictures that make me think the FA 77 is anything other than slightly worse. In my experience, it is an almost perfect portrait lens. I also think the working distance with the FA 77 is better than the FA* 85. If I were making the decision again, I'd still choose a new FA 77 over a used, more expensive FA* 85.
10-23-2012, 01:02 AM   #12
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If you are OK with MF, the Samyang/Rokinon/Polar/Bowers 85/1.4 is a remarkably nice lens.

I've got both Rokinon 85/1.4 and FA 77/1.8. While the latter is a gem and incredibly small, I think the former is less temperamental. I still have to explore them both a lot more but there is no doubt that the Rokinon's rendering is excellent.

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