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12-21-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
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85mm standoff

I'm looking for an 85mm lens to add to my K mount collection. I have a 77, but for my style of shooting I prefer a little more reach. I find with my DA*50-135 most of shooting happens in the 70-90mm (APSC format) zone, so to have a pair of primes would be great, especially if I can use these primes on my LX.

Therefore I'm trying to choose between these lenses..


M 85mm f2.0
pros: smallest 85mm available, cheapest 85mm for K mount
cons: not the sharpest, contrast suffers up to 2.8, hard to find, f2.0, stop down metering

A* 85mm f1.4
pros: f1.4 aperture, very sharp, great contrast, no stop down metering
cons: larger lens, expensive, rare

FA* 85mm f1.4
pros: best 85mm available for Pentax, autofocus
cons: expensive, rare, large, heavy

Sigma 85mm f1.4
pros: still in production, easy to find, sub $1000 price tag, very sharp, great contrast
cons: no aperture ring (cannot use on my LX), large, heavy


What I'm curious is....everyone states these 85mm lenses (other than the M 2.0) is they are large and heavy. Well obviously... but does anyone have an image comparing the M 50 2.0, A or FA f1.4 and a DA*55mm for example? just so I can see what kind of size we are looking at? From the images I've seen of the FA 85mm f1.4 mounted on a K7 it looks similar in size to the DA*55mm f1.4.... I'm sure it's heavier, but am I right in thinking the amount of volume this lens takes up?

At the end of the day I want the best balance of size, weight, and use on my LX. The M 2.0 seems to be that.

12-21-2013, 02:52 PM   #2
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I have only had my M85/2 for a few months, but I really like it so far. F/2 isn't super sharp and suffers from pretty bad purple fringing. But stop it down a touch and the fringing diminishes and it gets super sharp. This is all in my novice (journeyman?) opinion, as it relates to my copy. Will try to find the time to post some photos--relatives staying at the house...
12-21-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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why not Samyang 85mm f1.4? cheap, sharp, great bokeh.
12-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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I'll agree with that last one.. Samyang/Bower/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 is a full frame lens on a crop sensor - and very solid.

It has a 'A' setting on the aperture ring (which I 'just' learned how to properly use). The focus ring = heavy but smooth - great for video.
It's also very inexpensive - $250 for a new one.

Its not the lightest lens in the world (part metal), but is probably smaller than the FA* 85.

12-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #5
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You aren't considering the K85/1.8? I have this lens, it is gorgeous. I can't post any examples right now as I am away from home for a couple of weeks.
12-21-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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I have yet to get my hands on one, but the Pentax fast 85's all have 67mm filter diameters, so they are certainly a little bigger, and no doubt heavier, than the DA*55.
I very nearly pulled the trigger on a mint A*85 a few days ago....
12-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #7
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If you can find the K85mm f1.8 it is an excellent lens, especially for portraits. It is fairly well built, all metal, but I don't find it very heavy. It certainly is a good match for the LX, but I also find it very useful on digital cameras.
12-21-2013, 03:11 PM   #8
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how about this photo here Luke

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/46479-revie...tml#post455068

12-21-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
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Here are two additional suggestions.The Tak is a bit larger (not much) than the Contax Zeiss, the CZ is slightly smaller, liter, not quite as fast. They are both great to use.

12-21-2013, 03:31 PM   #10
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The price of the SuperTak (on Pentax Forums) shows that its roughly the same as the Rokinon f/1.4 - and it has the A setting.
Tests and reviews for the lens Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Nikon - DxOMark
Rokinon.com | Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical Lens for Pentax DSLR Cameras - 85mm f/.4 Portrait

Its $249 at B&H
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/769398-REG/Rokinon_85M_P_85mm_f_1_4_Aspherical_Lens.html
12-21-2013, 03:35 PM   #11
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Ask gofour3 (Phil) about the K85/1.8 - he's the K series expert here and can supply images for you. I have the 105 instead for money and relative availability reasons - fine lens, decent for portraits in a large space, but on APSc it is really a short tele.
12-21-2013, 03:35 PM   #12
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perfect thanks! It's not that much bigger than I thought.... smaller than my Nikon 85mm f1.8 G for sure, or at least on par, so not a big deal to me. Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by gylfimag Quote
If you can find the K85mm f1.8 it is an excellent lens, especially for portraits. It is fairly well built, all metal, but I don't find it very heavy. It certainly is a good match for the LX, but I also find it very useful on digital cameras.
QuoteOriginally posted by Dr Orloff Quote
You aren't considering the K85/1.8? I have this lens, it is gorgeous. I can't post any examples right now as I am away from home for a couple of weeks.
Forgot about the K 85/1.8, will keep my eyes out for that one too.


QuoteOriginally posted by formercanuck Quote
I'll agree with that last one.. Samyang/Bower/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 is a full frame lens on a crop sensor - and very solid.

It has a 'A' setting on the aperture ring (which I 'just' learned how to properly use). The focus ring = heavy but smooth - great for video.
It's also very inexpensive - $250 for a new one.

Its not the lightest lens in the world (part metal), but is probably smaller than the FA* 85.
I've heard these are good, I'll give them a look too.
12-21-2013, 04:53 PM   #13
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Here's a link to a flickr set I just created. A few size comparison pics that you were curious about just now taken with my cell phone, along with a couple sample shots taken with the M85/2. Headshot needs a little tweaking. The bench shot was f/2, the others may have been f/2.8 or something.

Pentax-M 85/2 Comparo - a set on Flickr
12-21-2013, 05:12 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by filoxophy Quote
Here's a link to a flickr set I just created. A few size comparison pics that you were curious about just now taken with my cell phone, along with a couple sample shots taken with the M85/2. Headshot needs a little tweaking. The bench shot was f/2, the others may have been f/2.8 or something.

Pentax-M 85/2 Comparo - a set on Flickr
thanks for doing this! that 85 f2 is tiny compared to your typical 85mm lens. I think I may have to get one for the size alone if I can find one at the right price.
12-21-2013, 05:27 PM   #15
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Yes, price considerations disqualified all but the Samyang and the M85/2 for me, and size concerns led me away from the Samyang.

Funny to me that you are looking for a replacement for your 77/1.8--I consider my M85/2 to be a poor man's 77! Want to trade?

My only true optical quibble regarding the M85/2 is the purple fringing. Other than that, going from A/DA glass to pre-A glass can just trip me up operationally. I have no problem stopping down with the green button with my style of photography, but going back and forth between M lenses and auto-aperture lenses in one outing can disrupt my flow. YMMV.
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