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12-04-2012, 12:25 AM   #1
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FA 77mm Limited Japan vs Vietnam?

Other than the fact that one is made in Japan and one was outsourced and assembled in Vietnam what is the big difference between the two?

Can anyone explain the difference?

Obviously in cases of outsourcing quality often suffers. (I know, I lived/worked in/dealt with this stuff for a very long time as part of work)

Is it really that big of a deal or no?

I have read a number of threads on the DA70 Limited vs the FA77 limited and after considering all factors I think the 77mm will be a better choice for my tastes. Maybe.

I let one go for about $560 the other day (mint MIJ FA77) because I wasn't sure what I wanted. I can still pick up a DA70 for $550 brand new in the box. Choices choices. Both have things I like about them so I am still uncertain about what to do.


Last edited by alamo5000; 12-04-2012 at 12:35 AM.
12-04-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
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See this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/160609-aiv-rea...-than-mij.html

There isn't really any practical difference, some people just prefer the MIJ label.

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12-04-2012, 01:02 AM   #3
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OK well that settles that. Good enough for me... I like the 70mm because its smaller, lighter, and cheaper. I can pick one up NIB for $550. I also read the AF is faster but that is not a major concern of mine.

I like the FA model because its faster (f1.8) and I can shoot wide open and still get sharp pictures. My entire point in going through this prime kick is for IQ. The 77 has a little more reach which to me is a good thing and the 70mm seems like it gets a little soft wide open. I experienced that with other lenses and I don't like it.

I have the starting of my first ever AF prime kit in the mail...I just need to finish it off (for now) with the 70 or 77mm. The question is, is it worth an extra $200 bucks for the FA over the DA?

My prime kit (excluding all my manual focus lenses) will be 15mm limited, 40mm DA, and 70 or 77.... undecided on the latter of the two...I might fill in blanks there in between but thats my starting point.

I really don't know what to get in between those two. Small and light would be awesome for travel. I could romp around the world with 3 lenses and thats it but I am simply confused.

On the manual primes I do have I rarely shoot wide open merely because the DOF gets so thin at f1.4 that its not entirely practical so I am up in the air on this one. Odds are I might be stopping down anyway...but if the 77 has mojo on it I might look for a good clean used copy. Otherwise I can order the 70mm DA limited tomorrow.


****hair pulling out****
12-04-2012, 03:35 AM   #4
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Hi Alamo, IMHO I don't think you should wait to buy the FA, go an get the DA 70. As we know from professionals here in the forum, the DA 70 isn't precisely "soft" even wide open (see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography-industry/203220-james...rs-bazaar.html ). For my last trip I left all the zooms at home an just went in with the DA 15, FA 35 and DA 70 and I was very pleased with that choice. The DA 70 is a marvel.

12-04-2012, 03:44 AM   #5
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I have both.
Although the DA70 is excellent I have it up for sale; you'd have to kill me to get the FA77.
12-04-2012, 04:10 AM   #6
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So much depends on what you are shooting. I have owned the DA 70 and currently own the FA 77. The FA 77 has slightly warmer colors, better bokeh, wider aperture. On the other hand it is bigger, slower to focus (and lacks quick shift capability), and much more prone to purple fringing.

Honestly, the focal length is the biggest reason that I don't use the FA 77 more. It is just pretty long for APS-C cameras, where as the 55mm focal length feels about perfect. If you like the 77mm focal length, than go ahead and get one, but if you take photos inside a lot, it may seem pretty long to you when you are shooting.
12-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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OK I bit the bullet and went ahead and got the DA 70mm.

Here is my reasoning... When I really think about it having a small lens is good.

Really and truly the f1.8 sounds great, but in many instances I don't find myself shooting wide open anyway. I do shoot wide open with some zooms that I have and they are f2.8 constant and so far there has been no major issues or hassles with that. The 70mm is 1/2 a stop faster than those so I am golden there.

Usually I am stopping down anyway if for no other reason to alter my DOF. Its nice to have the f1.4 lens like my 50mm one, but in reality the 1/4 of an inch DOF makes it difficult to use if you are not careful. So far to me the super thin DOF stuff has only been a novelty.

The 77mm is really only 1 and 1/2 stops faster. f1.8, f2.0, then there is the 70mm at f2.4. As I said before I shoot with my zooms at f2.8 in low light and it works fine.

Final kicker... the 70 is on sale for for $235 cheaper than the 77mm and $150 off the normal price.

I have a bunch of manual lenses that I don't use that much merely because its more hassle to use so they stay in the bag. I have tested things out with them but I simply don't use them for shooting that much. Odds are I am going to lighten my load a bit and make my bag lighter and have lenses that I will actually put to use.

My new prime lens line up will soon be 15mm limited, DA40mm, and the DA70mm (all three on the way) and of course my DA fisheye zoom which I like too.

This is going to be my first real foray into the world of primes to be honest. As I have learned more about photography my wants and tastes are evolving. We will see how it goes.

If I like the prime world I will expand with more good lenses. I chose everything I chose (of the three primes) because they are all supposed to be sharp and are collectively and individually highly rated by the forum.

I am hoping having AF prime lenses will be as fun as it seems. Its all trial and error here...and worst case scenario I got every last thing on sale.

Last edited by alamo5000; 12-04-2012 at 02:24 PM.
12-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #8
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Congrats on the DA 70 mm. You can't go wrong with either the 70 or 77. I used to have the 77 and now looking at the 70 mm. Smaller, lighter and faster AF is what I am after. The 77 is twice the weight of the 70 mm. Also FWIW, the 77 is actually less than a stop faster than the 70 mm.

12-04-2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
Congrats on the DA 70 mm. You can't go wrong with either the 70 or 77. I used to have the 77 and now looking at the 70 mm. Smaller, lighter and faster AF is what I am after. The 77 is twice the weight of the 70 mm. Also FWIW, the 77 is actually less than a stop faster than the 70 mm.
Can I ask a question?

What does FWIW mean?

Yeah I am going to go give the primes a try. I have been practicing a lot with zooms. I have only been in photography for 6 months so my learning and tastes and wants are all evolving.

I have 3 prime lenses on the way... I am excited to try them all. If I like them I might add to the collection.

How can it be less than a stop faster? Explain so I can learn something
12-04-2012, 06:38 PM   #10
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ive owned both and they are both great choices!
12-04-2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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FWIW = for what it's worth
12-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
So much depends on what you are shooting. I have owned the DA 70 and currently own the FA 77. The FA 77 has slightly warmer colors, better bokeh, wider aperture. On the other hand it is bigger, slower to focus (and lacks quick shift capability), and much more prone to purple fringing.

Honestly, the focal length is the biggest reason that I don't use the FA 77 more. It is just pretty long for APS-C cameras, where as the 55mm focal length feels about perfect. If you like the 77mm focal length, than go ahead and get one, but if you take photos inside a lot, it may seem pretty long to you when you are shooting.
Yes, focal length little long for inside. I keep trying to "zoom" myself back far enough to get more than a head shot, and find that I already have my back against the wall and cannot zoom any more. I have the 43mm limited too, and wind up taking it more than the 77.
12-04-2012, 07:11 PM   #13
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Actually I might be using the 70mm more outside. When I am outside traveling around for work I find scenes that are really great but might need to be isolated from outside 'interference' such as power lines or whatever...I might use it indoors too but who knows. I am keeping my options open.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/207384-landscape-daybreak-windmills.html


I might do portraits and all that too... but who knows. I am still learning all this stuff.
12-05-2012, 02:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
How can it be less than a stop faster? Explain so I can learn something
One stop faster means double the amount of light.
But apertures are measured as a fraction of the focal length,
referring to the diameter of the hole.
So to double the amount of light, or double the area of the hole,
you need to multiply the diameter by about 1.4,
since 1.4 x 1.4 comes out around 2.

The FA 77 is f/1.8, so one stop slower
would be 1.8 x 1.4, or 2.5,
which is a little slower than the DA 70 at f/2.4.
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