Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Input On The Samyang/Rokinon/Vivitar 85mm f/1.4

For a while now I've been researching for my next lens purchase for my K-30 for the purpose of Convention shooting. I'm leaning towards getting an Samyang/Rokinon/Vivitar 85mm f1.8 as its a bright portrait lens thats good value. But what's keeping me from pulling the trigger is the lack of autofocus.

I'm not unfamiliar with Manual lense, I own a 50mm from the film days that I use to experiment with; and I'm getting to grips with the K-30's Catch-in Focus setting. But would a fast, manual lens cope with a busy setting like a convention floor? Or is better to save up and buy the equivalent 85mm Sigma or even a short Tele instead?

In case someone brings it up, I have read up the few threads about suitable Convention lenses, and I'm not 100% sold on using wide angles in doors.

Thanks ahead of time for the advice!

02-17-2013, 07:08 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,957
Manual focus is fine for portraits but not for action (though it's certainly usable if you're willing to try).

If you're willing to pay the premium for AF, you won't regret getting the Sigma lens. However, the vivitar lens is an absolutely superb value otherwise, so it really depends on how much you need the AF. Both lenses are reviewed in-depth on our homepage.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

02-18-2013, 05:53 AM   #3
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,482
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Manual focus is fine for portraits but not for action..
I beg to disagree with Adam on that one. I shoot indoor sports (volleyball and basket ball), and I prefer to use MF. I use a CZ85mm f1.4 and I got some great short by pre-focusing the lens to a known distance and using Hi-continuous shooting. In addition, AF in indoor low light can be pretty slow and hopeless sometimes. Many reasons for wich I shoot indoor sports mostly MF.

My 5 cents...
02-18-2013, 06:55 AM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,615
I'll endorse what @hcc just said.
The old-fashioned way works fine,
just like it did in the previous millennium.

02-18-2013, 07:49 AM   #5
Pentaxian
jeffshaddix's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,371
QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I beg to disagree with Adam on that one. I shoot indoor sports (volleyball and basket ball), and I prefer to use MF. I use a CZ85mm f1.4 and I got some great short by pre-focusing the lens to a known distance and using Hi-continuous shooting. In addition, AF in indoor low light can be pretty slow and hopeless sometimes. Many reasons for wich I shoot indoor sports mostly MF.

My 5 cents...
I agree, but to Adam's credit, it takes a good deal of practice, so it's not for everyone. OP, if you're willing to put in the effort, you'll like the Samyang.
02-18-2013, 08:23 AM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Somewhere near the middle...
Posts: 269
I am with hcc on this too. Set your apperture, pre-focus, and fire away if you are happy with lighting (and ISO)...
02-18-2013, 09:08 AM   #7
Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: St. John's, NL
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 438
I have this lens and the images it takes are fantastic. The value of the f1.4 to manual focusing is great, as you get a very fine focal plane for manual focusing on the small DSLR viewfinder. I use 1 of 3 strategies at family gatherings:

1. shoot with flash at f4-f8.0 - results in stunningly sharp images almost every time.
2. shoot subjects at a distance (from the waist up) at f2 - f4 - Good low light capability while keeping high IQ, but at the expense of a number of shots out of focus
3. shoot subjects up close (head and shoulders) at f2.8 - f5.6 and a higher ISO - retain low light capability, slightly reduced IQ, still a number of shots out of focus

I'm just an amateur and even more so with manual focus, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I have success with the above. I rarely shoot this lens at apertures larger than f2, as I would rarely get correct focus. The only thing about this lens I don't like is the damping on the focus, which is much stiffer than the M50 f1.7 for example, its not difficult to use, just a little annoying. Otherwise, a great budget 85mm that takes great images.
02-18-2013, 04:11 PM   #8
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Original Poster
My prevailing concern I guess is I don't want to keep my subject waiting as I'm playing with my SLR settings to make up for an aperture ring and manual focus. It sounds as though I'll need to do a greater deal of test shots on the day to know our I'll need to set it up.

Since you touched on it, Gareth.Ig. Would an external flash help this lens in low light conditions?

02-18-2013, 05:02 PM   #9
Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: St. John's, NL
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 438
The lens is auto-aperture, so that shouldn't be a problem. Manual focus definitely requires fiddling around though.

Regarding an external flash, if I had to choose between a lens and an external flash, I would go with the flash - it makes all your lens better and its amazing how much sharper your photos will look when you are using a good flash.
02-18-2013, 05:24 PM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 4,989
Most "portrait lenses" have a pretty long throw, which is good for precision but not for speed. Manual focus can certainly be used for action, but some lenses are more appropriate than others. Don't have this lens but also have been thinking about it. How long is the focus throw? I have an old Takumar 85/1.9 and I certainly wouldn't want to use that for anything fast moving -- very long throw.
02-18-2013, 05:29 PM   #11
Site Supporter
robtcorl's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: St Louis, MO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,596
QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Most "portrait lenses" have a pretty long throw, which is good for precision but not for speed. Manual focus can certainly be used for action, but some lenses are more appropriate than others. Don't have this lens but also have been thinking about it. How long is the focus throw? I have an old Takumar 85/1.9 and I certainly wouldn't want to use that for anything fast moving -- very long throw.
Just checked mine, I'd guess about 165-170 degrees end to end.
02-20-2013, 05:56 AM   #12
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,312
When you consider focus throw, and shooting action with MF lenses there are a few things to consider.

First of all, your position, if you can be positioned that the action is moving across your field of view focus throw is removed from the equation because you are panning, if they are rushing towards you it is much harder to track , i agree MF can be difficult, but even then, divide the focus throw into sections. The range from MFD to let's say 20 feet is more than the distance from 20 feet to infinity. So when shooting action try not to work really close, which with an 85 should be good any way.

Second, per plan your shooting, when you take a shot don't just leave the lens where it is, but mentally think where the action is going and. Move the focus collar, even if you are not looking through the viewfinder to more or less track the action. Kind of a manual prefocus. Tis way you should be, with practice, close to correct focus all the time.

Third, focus on one subject, mentally at a time. No you can't just jump around swapping random shots, you need to concentrate on where the subject you want is going, and really anticipate the shots you take. This will allow you to get a lot more keepers with MF. Remember sports photographers have been doing this for years, long before both AF and digital, and the shots still came, it is possible, but it takes practice.

What I have outlined above will also improve the quality of your shots using an AF lens
02-20-2013, 03:55 PM   #13
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston
Posts: 14
Great lens but maybe not for this use

I'm using this lens (the vivitar, only because of a good deal) on a K-01 and have been very impressed. I posted three shots in this thread that demonstrate how well it works with this camera. These mostly look like very well lit shots, but the gym was quite dim. In fact the amplification that the K-01 does in live view allowed me to take shots where I wouldn't have been able to focus with a non-live view camera, and focus peaking helped a great deal. Add the scaling ISO and it works great. You might add a A50/1.7 to get a slightly wider view, that 85 comes out to a 127.5 which will keep you a good distance from the action. The third photo, the girl with the silly hat, was done standing about 10-15 feet away. At parties I've been using my 16-45. I havent been happy with the speed/ISO tradeoff, Id love to get the 17-50(?) 2.8 but it's a bit pricey for me. But in the party setting I find a zoom with a wide end very nice, and great for capturing the scenes and people. That makes me wonder if the 85 is too long. I took my 50 1.7 and the 16-45 to a recent show (mini maker faire) and found the 50 too close, that 75 effective gets a small part of a booth. The 16-45 while lower IQ (lens IQ and higher ISO due to it's speed) was great for the close-quarters work. So the 85 is a great lens, but maybe not for this use.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
convention, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Rokinon/Bell & Howell/Samyang 85mm 1.4 jasonfoxfire Sold Items 3 01-08-2013 04:11 PM
Is internal dust common in new Samyang/ Rokinon/Vivitar/Bower 85mm 1.4? causey Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 12-01-2012 01:05 PM
Samyang/Rokinon/Vivitar 85mm f/1.4 Sol Invictus Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 40 03-31-2012 12:28 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:45 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top