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07-22-2013, 01:24 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
How about a shoot-out on the same camera...? Anybody out there with an OM-D, a K to m4/3 adapter and both lenses?

One of things that has me toying with the idea of buying a m4/3 body is the possibility of using the 43 and 77 on said body.
I included that.

I really like using the Pentax M 135/3.5 with an adapter on m4/3 because it's tiny and has excellent image quality.

07-22-2013, 01:52 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
DFA 77mm Limited WR w/Quickshift.......................oooohhhh
I'm into my second month with a barely used FA 77 (from KEH - nice folks!) and it seems glued to my K-5. If it's not raining, I always start with it on no matter what other lenses I take along. Those mostly stay in the bag. If we had Quickshift AND WR, I could probably just WELD the 77 to the camera!
07-22-2013, 02:29 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
How about a shoot-out on the same camera...? Anybody out there with an OM-D, a K to m4/3 adapter and both lenses?
That would be the way to do it. The OM-D EM-5 appears to have a pretty weak AA filter. Raw images come out sharper in Lightroom than, say, with the K-5. A few weeks ago I was out shooting with the Olympus 12-50 on the EM-5 and the DA 15 Ltd on the K-5. When I got back I was surprised that I could not tell the difference in sharpness between the 12-50 images and the DA 15 images. Does this mean that the 12-50 zoom is as sharp as the DA 15? That strikes me as rather unlikely. The raw images of the OM-D EM-5, at default Lightroom settings, come out sharper than the raw files of the K-5.

In short, cross platform comparisons are deeply problematic, particularly when it comes to resolution. And another thing: the DA 15 images, irrepsective of resolution considerations, looked better than the 12-50 images. Better microcontrast, color rendition, and overall rendering.
07-22-2013, 02:43 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by br.davidson Quote
I included that.

I really like using the Pentax M 135/3.5 with an adapter on m4/3 because it's tiny and has excellent image quality.
Sorry - I missed that (skimmed the review, mea culpa).

Follow-up question: Is it possible that the manual focus of the 77 was less accurate than the autofocus of the 75?

Just to be clear, I am not trying to impugn your conclusions, I'm just trying to ferret out all possible explanations. (In fact, ultimate sharpness is not the most important thing to me in a lens, so I'm not out to defend the 77 - I'm just curious).


Last edited by yorik; 07-22-2013 at 02:50 PM. Reason: follow up question
07-22-2013, 03:10 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
Sorry - I missed that (skimmed the review, mea culpa).

Follow-up question: Is it possible that the manual focus of the 77 was less accurate than the autofocus of the 75?

Just to be clear, I am not trying to impugn your conclusions, I'm just trying to ferret out all possible explanations. (In fact, ultimate sharpness is not the most important thing to me in a lens, so I'm not out to defend the 77 - I'm just curious).
It's very likely that my manual focusing was less accurate. No focus peaking on the OMD, so I used the zoomed-in view. Also, I think it's hard to manually focus AF lenses.

The FA Limiteds aren't lacking in sharpness, so the existence of a sharper lens doesn't bother me all that much. The Achilles's heel of the Pentax 77 is purple fringing and the fringing on the Olympus was just as bad. Even in my real world shots (black birds on white rocks) the fringing at f/2 using the Olympus was pretty bad (but easy to fix in software). At f/4 both lenses are essentially perfect.
07-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
In short, cross platform comparisons are deeply problematic, particularly when it comes to resolution. And another thing: the DA 15 images, irrepsective of resolution considerations, looked better than the 12-50 images. Better microcontrast, color rendition, and overall rendering.
The 12-50 was sharper than I expected given its reputation, but it's a pretty dull lens. I think the DA 15 is the most exciting DA Limited and it would be hard to beat (it's not even worth comparing it with the Panasonic 14/2.5). I haven't tried the Olympus 12/2 yet, though...

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
The raw images of the OM-D EM-5, at default Lightroom settings, come out sharper than the raw files of the K-5.
Even my GF2 comes up with crazy sharp images. I attribute it to a combination of newer lens design, contrast-based autofocusing, lack of mirror vibration and default processing decisions by the manufacturers. Also, m4/3 sensors are a little noisier than their APS-C equivalents which can give the impression of sharpness in the right situation.
07-22-2013, 05:40 PM   #22
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The K-7 is a two-generations old design. Comparing a K-5 II or IIs would make a difference in sharpness and autofocus, the two things you've criticized about the FA 77.
07-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Thanks very much for doing this comparision. I'm looking at m43s & X mount cameras and the possibility of keeping my FA limiteds for use on those formats, so the comparison is an interesting one for me.

I've had a close look at the 2 photos with the Oly@1.8 and the FA77 mounted on the m43s camera @1.8. That at least takes extra variable of the different sensor out of the equation.

First thing I noticed were that the colours were quite different. I strongly preferred the FA77 colours. Compare the reds for example.

Second thing I noticed is that the 100% crop comparison is misleading for comparing sharpness. It’s very easy to see the problem in the full photos; the FA77 is focused on the nostrils/nose/lips area (see how much sharper that area is than in the Oly photo), while the Oly is focused on the eye. Comparing 100% crop of the eye from both photos then is flawed as it’s outside the DOF for the FA77.

My takeaway from those photos is that AF/usability aside, I prefer the IQ of the FA77 photos, especially the colours, and I don’t think it gives up anything in sharpness from the (albeit) limited evidence of these 2 photos.
I updated the post to reflect what you pointed out. Thanks for reading and for the feedback.

Based on real-world shooting (lots with the Pentax, just a little with the Oly), I think my conclusions from the blog post have remained the same. The Olympus is the technically better lens (barely) and will more reliably bring home the bacon, but the Pentax results are "prettier" for lack of a better term. Both lenses are far beyond "good enough" and it would be hard to complain about either one.

Also, if anyone is interested, here are some real-world shots from the Olympus: Florence Oregon Sea Lion Caves | Bryan Takes Pictures

07-24-2013, 08:55 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by br.davidson Quote
The Olympus is the technically better lens (barely) and will more reliably bring home the bacon, but the Pentax results are "prettier" for lack of a better term. Both lenses are far beyond "good enough" and it would be hard to complain about either one.Florence Oregon Sea Lion Caves | Bryan Takes Pictures
I have the FA77 and the FA43, bought in that order. I think that the FAs were never really designed or built to be technically perfect, but rather to render subtleties perfectly. And it has achieved that-perfectly.

Nevertheless, very good write up.

I have only one complaint: misleading title. Between the two, there's only one that can be confirmed a LEGEND. Maybe, in due time, that title will be proper and good. But not now. Not yet.

Last edited by drypenn; 07-24-2013 at 10:15 PM.
07-24-2013, 09:22 PM   #25
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I could put my fa77 on a Pen epl1. About to go interstate for a few days so you'll need to monitor this thread for a week or so before I can post samples. Can't compare to the Oly lens though. I also agree that comparisons should be done at low ISO. At high ISO, too many sensor/ processing variables come into play.
07-25-2013, 04:39 AM   #26
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Relevant to this discussion:

http://www.theatreofnoise.com/2013/06/tandoori-lens-summit-part-three-images.html?m=1
07-25-2013, 07:53 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
Thanks for sharing. You may have rekindled my desire for the FA 43...
07-25-2013, 09:29 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by br.davidson Quote
I updated the post to reflect what you pointed out. Thanks for reading and for the feedback.
It's good that the missed manual focus is being mentioned, but you also criticized sharpness and AF based on using the FA with a K-7. The 77mm significantly outresolves a K-7, what you're seeing is the result of a 14.6mp sensor and a not too subtle blur filter. The 77mm also outresolves the K-5 IIs, but at least the newest body has higher resolution, no AA filter and a new AF system. Shouldn't you also mention this in your review?
07-25-2013, 10:09 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
It's good that the missed manual focus is being mentioned, but you also criticized sharpness and AF based on using the FA with a K-7. The 77mm significantly outresolves a K-7, what you're seeing is the result of a 14.6mp sensor and a not too subtle blur filter. The 77mm also outresolves the K-5 IIs, but at least the newest body has higher resolution, no AA filter and a new AF system. Shouldn't you also mention this in your review?
The noisy screw-drive AF of the FA 77 will be just as noisy and screwy on the K-5 or even a K-3 in the future. I also said that the image quality is good enough that the noise doesn't bother me. I don't think I'm being misleading by not mentioning the K-5IIs in my review because I don't own one and haven't used one. My technique was sloppy enough that the images are nowhere near the resolution limit of either camera. My sharpness conclusion is based off of my real-world shooting with the two lenses and not just the test shots in the blorg post.

The only reason I chose a winner was for fun because I used the word "battle" in the title. Both lenses are so far beyond "good enough" in every way that I can't imagine a situation where I'd regret owning one or the other. If I ever buy the Olympus 75 (unlikely because it's big enough to defeat the purpose of m4/3), I'll set up a tripod and do comparisons at base ISO. Welcome to Photozone! or DxOMark - DxOMark by DxO Labs have much more rigorous analytical lens tests if that's what you are interested in.
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