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02-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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SMC DA 55 mm F/1.4 SDM vs 70 mm limited

I just bought a Pentax K5iis a few weeks ago and have not been able to find a direct comparison on the 55mm SDM and the 70mm. I was looking for a prime portrait lens and was wondering from those folks which might have both which one they prefer and why. Any limitations on using either for landscape pics as well.


02-22-2014, 05:13 PM   #2
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IMO, the 70 is sharper than the 55 and had much better resistance against flaring and CA. The 55 had better bokeh and i liked how the skintones came out from the 55 as well. Basically, the 70 was the technically "better" lens, but the 55 was better at making people look good
02-22-2014, 05:21 PM   #3
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I don't have direct comparison, as I sold my DA 70 awhile back and bought the FA 77. I think the DA *55 is sharper (at comparative apertures), bokeh is pretty similar (although DA *55 gets really kind of weird wide open), DA 55 is a stop and a half faster, DA 70 is smaller and quite a bit faster auto focusing.

Depending on what you are shooting, I would choose the DA 55.

(both shot with DA *55)
02-22-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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I think its hard to compare them. They are very different focal lengths and also apertures. F1.4 lenses are meant to be give you the flexibility of wide aperture. I sure hope you use it mostly wide open at F1.4 or F1.8. Otherwise there are better options out there that are cheaper and smaller/lighter. The goal of the 70 is compactness. As far as landscape goes, prob the 50 would better as its wider however most landscape lens tend to be in the 10-40mm lens. Not that you wouldnt be able to shoot landscape however often in landscape shots the ground in front of the photography leads the viewers eyes into the shot and it creates stronger compositions. This will be harder to achieve with 55 or 70mm. If you are stuck deciding between the two, ask yourself. Do you want something compact or you are fine with something big and heavy. Do you need WR or not? If you lean towards the 70, why not take it a step further and get the 77mm? Much better lens in my opinion.

02-22-2014, 06:43 PM   #5
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IMO - They are not even comparible, bringing different things to the table

DA*55 - slower silent focus, weather sealed, gigantic hood, ƒ1.4 fast aperture, robust ABS DA* construction standard pinch front cover, 58mm filter thread - FoV equivalent to 82mm on film.

DA 70 - fast but noisey screw drive, diminutive size, tiny hood, 49m filter thread - limited metal construction with patented stupid front cover - FoV equivalent to 105mm

I love my limiteds, but they are not weather sealed, nor are they silent, nor are they "fast aperture"

Table top portrait:

a recent landscape - some significant processing (its HDR afterall)

handheld night photography

Another portrait

I have a few with the DA 70 too, but I dont own the lens so I dont have much to share...

This one through a plate window

02-23-2014, 03:26 AM   #6
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The essential points have been well detailed here. Both are awesome lenses, for different reasons already mentioned. I have both, having first bought the 70mm specifically for my portrait work, and then the 55mm when I found the 70mm too long for my way of working. For portraits I like to have closer contact to my subjects than the 70mm allows for. Aside from this, the 'bonus' I've found in the 55mm is a certain 'creaminess' I find attractive in its rendering... if you know what I mean... ;-)

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