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12-21-2013, 09:59 AM   #1
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What is your take on the Da 70 vs Fa77 or the upstart Samyang 85?

I am looking for a good reliable lens for portraits, and thinking among these three, I can get a new Samyang cheap here, smc 70's will only get cheaper now after the release of the HD version and well then the mighty 77...What is your preference, experience, fav?

12-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #2
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I have both the the 70 mm and the 77mm limited lenses and have owned the Samyang 85 mm F1.4 lenses. Out of those 3 lenses I prefer the 77 limited, followed by the 70 mm then the Samyang 85 mm. I like the 77 best because it has great color rendition, very good sharpness wide open and even better stopped down, great bokeh, versatile (can also be used for landscapes) , and compact for its focal length. The Samyang has the second best bokeh out of this group IMHO.
12-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #3
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Actually, Im not sure the SMC 70mm will get much cheaper.. it will quickly disappear from stores, and then the used market will do who knows what!
In regards to the 85mm Samyang.. I handled one in a store and.. well, the focus ring was slightly stiff (also read many online posts about this, some state it was uncomfortable stiff, others dont mind). I decided to get a DFA 100mm instead, as a tele lens, doubling as portrait lens. And the 100mm is true macro and WR. It is a little slow, though. (f2.8 as well as AF). It is too bad that Pentax doesnt make a fast 85mm lens atm.. the DFA 100mm is very sharp, but its not very "artistic" regarding the bokeh and rendering.
Dont have the 70mm or 77mm.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 12-21-2013 at 10:30 AM.
12-21-2013, 10:37 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
. It is too bad that Pentax doesnt make a fast 85mm lens atm..[/SIZE]
Pentax doesn't, but Sigma makes the most awesome 85mm f/1.4

Also, I find the color rendition of D FA 100mm macro to be absolutely fantastic (superior to 70mm) and the bokeh to be very good.

12-21-2013, 11:45 AM   #5
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77mm is probably the top lens I've ever used. I love that thing, I can't leave home without it, my mind actually has started framing shots with that lens in mind. It's so great. The bokeh, contrast, color rendering, details, it's perfect. Best lens I've ever used from Nikon, Pentax, or Sigma.

I've used the 70 Limited and found I liked the 77 more, only downfall in this case of the 77 vs the 70 is that the 77 is more prone to purple fringing.

You can't get a new Pentax 85mm, but for a similar price to the 77 you can find both FA, M, and A versions if you look hard enough. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I think an M 85mm f2.0 is in my future in the new year.
12-21-2013, 12:41 PM   #6
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I shoot and love the DA 70, I see a lot of caparisons with it and the 77 with both lenses coming out on top on different reviews. Most people seem to lean to the 77, but where I am the 77 was not to be had for less than $1100 and the 70 was $560 (before the HDs came out) so almost twice the price for the 77. The reality to me was that whatever hairs you split with the lenses, I could get the 70 and also something like a 40mm limited or even a 15mm limited if on sale. Until I see a comparison of exactly why the 77 is worth having over another limited, for me the 70 was the way to go. Also considering that putting aside which one is better, they are both top rated lenses and the 70 can produce top level quality shots. If money is not a concern or if where you are the two lenses are close in price, I would be tempted by the 77, but if the prices are as they are for me… well a 70 and a 15 together sounds a lot more fun. Just in my opinion.
Also I agree about considering the D FA 100mmwr macro, I also own this lens and it doubles as a fantastic portrait lens. If I feel like I want total light compactness the 70 is on my camera, if I need to be outdoors with the weather The 100 takes its place. Both really really good for portraits.
12-21-2013, 01:27 PM   #7
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I see this question every few months.. For what you are asking, the FA77 is your lens. I thought I could get by with the DA70 and liked it but once I tried the 77 was hooked. IMO, the FA77 is the best lens Pentax makes for K mount.
...what's a samyang??
12-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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Samyang = Korean lens maker - manual fixed primes.
They go under Samyang/Bower/Rokinon and I think another name or two Samyang Optics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I received the Rokinon variant of the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 - its a nice lens (my first manual) - a little on the heavy side (focus ring = heavy yet smooth).
I like the lens, but haven't tried any others for comparison. Price = very good. On places like B&H - they sell all 3 at different prices - $249 for the Rokinon

12-21-2013, 07:26 PM   #9
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I've got the 70mm...really like it, very sharp. Haven't tried the 77 mm or the Samyang.
12-22-2013, 06:56 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by formercanuck Quote
Samyang = Korean lens maker - manual fixed primes.
They go under Samyang/Bower/Rokinon and I think another name or two Samyang Optics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I received the Rokinon variant of the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 - its a nice lens (my first manual) - a little on the heavy side (focus ring = heavy yet smooth).
I like the lens, but haven't tried any others for comparison. Price = very good. On places like B&H - they sell all 3 at different prices - $249 for the Rokinon
you know I was trying to be funny right? I guess I missed the mark.
12-23-2013, 02:46 PM   #11
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Hmm...some good takes here, it is not an easy choice to make! Leaning 77 at the moment though....
12-23-2013, 10:27 PM   #12
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I have all three lenses. I must say I really like the DA 70 for its small size and great IQ. The Samyang's bokeh beats even the FA, and it has none of the FA's purple fringing.

If you can wait a day or two I'll post some comparative images.
12-24-2013, 12:10 AM   #13
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I to own al three Pentax lenses. The Da 70, the Fa 77 limited and the 100 macro. lenses are like sex. Once you try it you never go back. Once you handle and use a "Limited" lens, you realize what quality means both in construction and image capability. It is hard at least for me to describe your pics with the 77. They snap. Beautiful bokeh, beautiful colour and razor sharp images. The DA 70 is no sloutch but I personally prefer the 77 Limited. I have recently (within the last week) seen the DA 70mm for less than $400.00 and the 77 Limited for $825.00 and the FA 100mm also less than $400.00. All were on ebay. Can't offer any comments on the Samyang, allthough, remember: You get what you pay for. Good Luck

Michael J.
12-24-2013, 04:32 AM   #14
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I used to own the DA 70 limited and now own the FA 77. Pros for the FA 77 are better bokeh, larger maximum aperture, warmer colors. Cons would be larger size, slower auto focus, and no quick shift. The DA 70 has nice bokeh, but not at the level of the 77, quicker auto focus, and quick shift. They are both really sharp, even wide open, although the FA 77 needs to be stopped down some before the borders get sharp. I ended up getting the FA 77 and selling the DA 70 because I am a sucker for large aperture lenses and there are some folks on the FA limited club who take phenomenal portraits with it. That said, it is a little long for a lot of situations and I often end up leaving it home in favor of the DA *55.

The Samyang/Bower 85mm is a lens that I haven't used but does seem to be sharp wide open. The issue for me is that manual focus is not my cup of tea, particularly not with really wide aperture lenses with narrow depth of field.
12-24-2013, 05:03 AM   #15
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I splashed out on the FA77 early in my digital renaissance. I later bought a DA70 for comparison, but there was no comparison. Not that it wasn't good, it just wasn't totally awesome like the FA77.

For what it can do it is still remarkably small. It handles like a jewel. Nothing compares. Buy it.
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