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06-22-2008, 07:46 PM   #1
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why no affordable 85mm f/1.8?

Looking over the Pentax lens lineup and comparing it with Nikon and Canon lenses, I wish there was a sub-$400 85mm f/1.8 prime lens. Both Nikon and Canon have an excellent lens like this: affordable, fast, lightweight with great image quality. Just the kind of thing I would buy in an instant.

The Pentax 77mm lens is great, of course, but I just can't justify spending $700 for it. The 70mm pancake is also nice, but I don't agree with spending $500 for a lens that is one stop slower than the competitions' lens in that category (I don't care too much about the small size).

So why can't Hoya/Pentax bless us with a 85mm f/1.8 lens?

06-22-2008, 07:48 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jms698 Quote
So why can't Hoya/Pentax bless us with a 85mm f/1.8 lens?
it's coming, the DA* 55 1.4 should fulfill that role. when exactly? who knows. not sure if it will be under $400 tho.
06-22-2008, 08:24 PM   #3
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Well Pentax used to have the SMC K 85mm f/1.8 many, many years back. And then there was the so-so SMC M 85mm f/2. Don't know if they will resurrect these old lens designs and re-introduce a modern versions of it. Also I'm not sure the yet to be announced DA*55 f/1.4 will quite fit the bill.
06-22-2008, 08:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jms698 Quote
Looking over the Pentax lens lineup and comparing it with Nikon and Canon lenses, I wish there was a sub-$400 85mm f/1.8 prime lens. Both Nikon and Canon have an excellent lens like this: affordable, fast, lightweight with great image quality. Just the kind of thing I would buy in an instant.

The Pentax 77mm lens is great, of course, but I just can't justify spending $700 for it. The 70mm pancake is also nice, but I don't agree with spending $500 for a lens that is one stop slower than the competitions' lens in that category (I don't care too much about the small size).

So why can't Hoya/Pentax bless us with a 85mm f/1.8 lens?
indeed, my dilemma as well:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/30261-portraits.html

06-22-2008, 08:29 PM   #5
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IMO this is Pentax's biggest issue in their lens line up. People like to brag about how good Pentax's primes are, and that may be true, but not all of us that like to use primes want to scour ebay and used departments for affordable primes. And by affordable I mean sub $400. Nikons 35, 50, and 85mm are all under $400, and Canon has multiple versions in each focal length to suit your budget. The only sub $400 primes Pentax currently offer are the FA 50m and the DA 40mm. I'm hoping the DA*55mm will be around $300; but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
06-22-2008, 08:34 PM   #6
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I was amazed how the canon 85/1.2 looks.. Wow. I wish pentax had such a lens
06-22-2008, 08:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pasipasi Quote
I was amazed how the canon 85/1.2 looks.. Wow. I wish pentax had such a lens
It is a cool lens (hell, all the L lenses are for that matter), but I'd rather have a Canon 85mm f1.8 USM clone in the Pentax line up simply due to price and size. That 85mm f 1.2 is a monster in both size and price...but it takes some beautiful freaking pics.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM Lens Review
06-22-2008, 08:50 PM   #8
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Well I agree, it's too pricey. But like the review says, it's an attractive lens

I've only bought one lens as new.. the FA 50/1.4. Others have been used, mostly M series. I know a guy who has the Pentax-A* 85/1.4 and he's asking 800€ for it . A rare lens, I wish there was a more affordable option.

06-22-2008, 09:07 PM   #9
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What I want is for Pentax to issue a fast 135mm prime...because in Pentax world that's a 90mm prime

Yeah, Pentax have decided to stay with the field of view of 35mm film, so their fast 85mm prime is, as others have noted, the upcoming DA* 55mm f/1.4 (84.2mm-equiv.). However, although I like 50mm for portraits on an APS-C sensor, I like 85mm a whole lot more, which is 130.1mm-equiv.

Also, 85mm is not the only portrait focal length in the 35mm film world! Many photographers used 105mm or 120mm or 135mm, or even 150mm! And Pentax offered primes in all those lengths, with the fastest being the (F)A* 85mm f/1.4 and the A* 135mm f/1.8. It is this last lens that I want them to reissue for their cropped sensors. So please Pentax, pretty please, with a frickin cherry on top, gimme an 85mm/90mm f/1.8 that doesn't cost $700 or have purple fringing!

And this is a lens that 3rd parties are unlikely to provide...

PS: I'm really curious about this DA* 55mm because, apart from SDM, I wonder what it's going to deliver that's going to be so much better than the FA 50mm... If it costs $500, and it wouldn't surprise me if it did, are people going to pay $300 more just for SDM...? However, if they price it at $300, then they will sell 'em like fireworks on the 4th of July.

Last edited by Miserere; 06-22-2008 at 09:13 PM.
06-22-2008, 09:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
it's coming, the DA* 55 1.4 should fulfill that role. when exactly? who knows. not sure if it will be under $400 tho.
Umm, in what world does a 55m lens do the same thing as an 85mm lens?
06-22-2008, 09:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Umm, in what world does a 55m lens do the same thing as an 85mm lens?
In a world where they replace full frame focal lengths with focal lengths that give an equivalent field of view on their crop cameras.
Same reason the 50-135/2.8 is just fine taking the job the 70-200/2.8 did on a film camera.
Same reason the 16-50/2.8 does the same job a 28-70/2.8 on a film camera did.
And so on.

Let me guess, you are being critical/funny again? ;P
06-22-2008, 09:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pasipasi Quote
I was amazed how the canon 85/1.2 looks.. Wow. I wish pentax had such a lens
Seriously, you will be even more amazed by the images it produces. But if you're financially disadvantaged, forget it.
06-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #13
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This whole issue of prime lenses is coming full circle.
A long, long time ago people bought prime lenses because zooms then were expensive and didn't offer very good performance. Over the years, manufacturers have improved zoom lens peformance and along the way churned out average performing zooms at affordable prices. The trade off is convenience vs optical performance.

Is it any wonder prime lens sales have dwindled. Obviously the newer crop of camera users are only now starting to discover the benefits and capabilities of primes (in the light of better digital sensors) as most have not cut their teeth with fixed focal length lenses in the past. Hopefully there will be a renaissance in this segment.

Pentax sorely needs to bring out some of the prime lens designs of the past but I'm unsure it might be financially viable given that most people still have a zoom lens mentality. Better to get people to fork out money for something like a DA*50-135 than to bring out an 85mm, a 100mm, a 120mm and a 135mm. More SKUs inventory wise, and less individual sales per focal length don't make economic sense.
06-23-2008, 01:48 AM   #14
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Why go new when you can use all the old equipment that a lot of the Nikon and Canon users can't.

I have a very beautiful Super Takumar 85mm f/1.9 and it takes some amazing images ... all metal ... all glass ... lovely construction ... awesome lens ... and affordable too when compared to newer 85mm's
06-23-2008, 06:55 AM   #15
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To begin with, it was an expensive lens. On top of that it has a "cult" following. I also wonder if the Canon people are adapting it to their cameras like they are the 200mm A* macro.
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