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07-12-2008, 10:24 AM   #1
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Question about 70, 77 limiteds and the 50 1.4...

Hi Folks

I'm very interested in picking up a DA70, or a FA77 lens for portrait work. I think I'm leaning a touch more towards the 70 for the quick-shift focusing and the much faster auto-focus (I tried both in store today and the 77 is significantly slower at AF). However, both of these lenses in Canada fall within the $700-$800 new category.

I have a Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro - which is great for portrait work, however AF is dreadfully slow. For $700 though...I'm willing to use what I have.

I had another idea though that I thought I'd pose....what about the FA50 f1.4 with a 1.4 TC? Does anyone use this combo for portrait work? How do you find it speed wise, IQ wise, etc. This would likely be a cheaper option that has great quality and quick AF speed.

Thoughts??

Thanks in advance
c[_]

07-12-2008, 01:38 PM   #2
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Are you sure you're looking in the right places? I think most places ought to be selling the DA70 for no more than 600, and closer to 500. Try Aden Camera or Downtown Camera (out of Toronto), maybe Henrys if they'll price match since I guarantee they won't be cheaper than the other two.
07-12-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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Henry's prices today in Cambridge, Ontario Canada.

DA 70 $599 + tax = ~$675
FA 77 $699 + tax = ~ $790

c[_]
07-12-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
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oh, including GST and PST

if you're willing to buy online, there's a well-known Alberta shop (camera canada?) that probably has it cheaper and would save you the PST), and on ebay, prodigital2000 operates just outside of Waterloo and their prices are usually a bit lower too.

Since you have a good 70mm lens already, you might not want to buy another unless the slow AF is really causing trouble. Any body K100D or newer focuses much faster than the DS or DL if you're using one of those.

The FA50 is not a particularly fast focuser, and adding a TC won't make it any better.

07-12-2008, 03:01 PM   #5
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Prodigital's prices are quite good...I've bought from them before. If I do purchase I will likely go through them.

The 70mm I do have is quite good (almost scary sharp), however it is slow to focus..., but not bad outdoors. It's really a combination of slow focusing and bulkiness for the Sigma 70mm. The images though are very, very good.

Adding a TC to the 50 is another option, but as you've noted...it would make it even slower. That's what I'm trying to avoid.

I think I might just stick with what I have. It works well (I use the macro feature quite often too...so it's a dual purpose lens)....and save my pennies.

Thanks for the help!

c[_]
07-12-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
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I can't solve the price questions for you, but I'll put in a word for the 70 - it's instant portrait, instant product shot territory with one. Seems it's optimized for just that sort of shooting.
07-12-2008, 03:21 PM   #7
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Aden Camera on Yonge between College and Dundas (there's two stores on the same block. Has 77 for 620+tax and the 70 for $530 +tax.

I bought a FA 43 there last week, and at the time they had the FA77 in store, but I'd call first.

They seemed OK, let me try on and shoot with the lenses.

They weren't any more knowledgeable than Henry's or Vistek about Pentax, but didn't sigh, groan, roll their eyses and act put out upon for wanting to actually look and handle something like at Henry's. But Henry's now has the new DA 17-70 zoom in stock.

They weren't as friendly as Downtown Camera, but Downtown Camera only had a few lenses for Pentax at the time.

Or give me disgusted look when I mentioned Pentax like at Vistek, at which time they were "too busy to help me right now" but not before mentioning I should try a Nikon D300.

I really liked the FA50 (although not as much as my M 50 1.4) for portraits, at a working distance that got about 3/4 to full body, which is my preferred working distance giving me the perspective I like for my own work.

So in this Focal Length range, I preferred the M 50 1.4 over the FA50 1.4 which I liked more than the DA40. (although I liked the DA40 outdoors more than the FA50, but then I got the DA35 macro and liked that more than the DA40)

But the new FA43 replaces the FA50 and the DA35 Macro replaces the DA40.

I prefer the FA77 for tighter (which is mostly what I do) portraits. I think it does a real nice job with skintones, my opinion is that the color of the FA77 is a bit more accurate and natural and makes portrait work a bit easier. I found that the DA70 is punchier and more saturated, which I love for everything else except portraits. Except maybe for some fashion work where the emphasis is the clothes. Outdoors for scenic stuff, I prefer the DA70, much less PF, and more vibrant, and I also prefer the DA70 over the FA77 in product-style shots where the image might be a bit contrasty or there is black/white type or lines (as I get some CA in those cases) which I didn't with the DA70. After I finish up getting some wide angle stuff and the FA31, I'll definitely be buying another DA70.
07-12-2008, 03:38 PM   #8
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The only advantage of the 77 is the ~.5 stop increase in maximum aperture. The 50/1.4 will end up as a 70mm f/2 lens with lower ovrall sharpness than the 70 or 77 lenses. Stay with primes if you can.

07-12-2008, 03:54 PM   #9
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Good advice and info folks.

I tried both the 70 and 77 today in store for about an hour against my 70 Sigma macro. The salesperson was versed on the limited lenses and was very helpful.

I think I'll shy away from the 50 with TC. I too had a M f1.7 and liked it, but I need the option of AF when taking candid photos of children (what me and my wife are in p/t business for).

The more I read about the 70 and the 77 the more torn between them I am.....arrrrggggg. I wish they were both $250 so that I could get both of them.

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07-12-2008, 04:10 PM   #10
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If it were me doing candids of the kids, I'd pick the DA70. Not a whole bunch slower in speed than the FA77, slightly faster focus, maybe a bit better contrast and color when the lighting is bad and the shot is rushed. You won't have to worry about the PF or CA. I think the DA70 focuses a bit quicker than the FA50, not sure. Plus it has the quick-shift, so you can prepare a shot and adjust, especially if there's a staircase or plant in the focus path. The 70 will give you some room to get in for a tighter shot with the little kids as well.
07-12-2008, 04:52 PM   #11
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Just to make things a bit easier for you, I have tried the FA 50 with the Tamron 1.4x TC (one of the better TCs out there), and found that it's not really usable wide open. In fact, it doesn't become usable until you stop it down one full stop, so you effectively end up with a 70mm f/2.8...which is what your Sigma is It might focus quicker than your Sigma, but probably isn't ideal.

If you didn't need autofocus, I'd tell you to get a Jupiter-9 85mm f/2. It's very usable at f/2, and plenty sharp by f/2.8. But if you're going to focus manuall, you can do that with your Sigma.

Do you need something faster than f/2.8? If not, then let me throw you a curveball: Have you considered getting a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8? I've heard a number of people say they ditched their 70/77/85mm primes since getting this lens. For a fast zoom, it's not even that big or heavy. And at around $375 new, it's a steal too.
07-12-2008, 04:54 PM   #12
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That's where I'm leaning Brian. The faster AF (it was quite noticable b/w the lenses I looked at today) is the most important. It's too bad the DA70 wasn't a DA80 f1.8. I like a touch more room on the long end for candids ~75mm, over the 68mm of the DA70.

You don't happen to have another 70 that you'd like to sell

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07-12-2008, 04:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
Just to make things a bit easier for you, I have tried the FA 50 with the Tamron 1.4x TC (one of the better TCs out there), and found that it's not really usable wide open. In fact, it doesn't become usable until you stop it down one full stop, so you effectively end up with a 70mm f/2.8...which is what your Sigma is It might focus quicker than your Sigma, but probably isn't ideal.

If you didn't need autofocus, I'd tell you to get a Jupiter-9 85mm f/2. It's very usable at f/2, and plenty sharp by f/2.8. But if you're going to focus manuall, you can do that with your Sigma.

Do you need something faster than f/2.8? If not, then let me throw you a curveball: Have you considered getting a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8? I've heard a number of people say they ditched their 70/77/85mm primes since getting this lens. For a fast zoom, it's not even that big or heavy. And at around $375 new, it's a steal too.
I have the Tamron 28-75mm already....it's a great lens. It stays on my main body full time, with my back-up body sharing my primes. My wife prefers to use the Tammy - she shoots a fair bit wider than I do, but I like the look of the images that have been taken on the primes. When I use the Tammy I almost always keep the lens glued to 75mm.

Great suggestion though!
07-12-2008, 05:06 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
That's where I'm leaning Brian. The faster AF (it was quite noticable b/w the lenses I looked at today) is the most important. It's too bad the DA70 wasn't a DA80 f1.8. I like a touch more room on the long end for candids ~75mm, over the 68mm of the DA70.

You don't happen to have another 70 that you'd like to sell

c[_]
No, Sorry... Once I satisfy my FA limited lust, (I can't have only 2 of the 3) then I get a wide-angle walk around zoom, then cap off that combo with a Tamron 70-200 when it comes out, then I'll reacquire the DA70, and pickup a DA21 to complete my DA limiteds, then I'll take a deep breath, and start off on the DA* primes - 300, then the 55 and maybe the 30 will be out then, and who knows, by the time that's all taken care of, just maybe the DA*60-250 will be out.

(hey at least I kinda have a plan, sort of, barring a new full-frame model which will then require a different plan)
07-12-2008, 05:16 PM   #15
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lol...your plan is much lengthier than my plan.

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