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08-09-2016, 11:50 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Corrected, mate, my fault, not yours.



These are on the K-1.

On crop sensor, the DA*50-135 gets used instead of the Tammy.

I'll use primes when there is a lot of time to set up, but usually zooms to avoid 'missing the shot'.
QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Corrected, mate, my fault, not yours.
Lovely images!
Nice use of light with the Tamron.
The 77 image is really beautiful; unique rendering.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
On crop sensor, the DA*50-135 gets used instead of the Tammy.
I had considered this lens but was put off by the potential for SDM failure.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I'll use primes when there is a lot of time to set up, but usually zooms to avoid 'missing the shot'.
Do you specialize in a specific type of photography, out of curiosity?

Thanks!

08-09-2016, 11:55 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote
I see that you have both the K-1 and K-3. Are you a fan of the IQ and performance of the 77 on your K-3? Thanks!
If anything, I prefer the FoV on crop even better than on FF. I often make fairly tight head and shoulder portraits, so prefer to be not quite so in-your-face (literally) with my subject.





But step back a bit and it's still just fine



Mind you, it's pretty darn good on the K-1 too. I'll get a recent example up when I get home from work.
08-09-2016, 11:58 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
If anything, I prefer the FoV on crop even better than on FF. I often make fairly tight head and shoulder portraits, so prefer to be not quite so in-your-face (literally) with my subject.
Lovely! So much character. Many thanks for sharing.
08-10-2016, 12:08 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote
. . . I am definitely a fan of quality over quantity and I absolutely feel like I'm sacrificing image quality for the sake of range. I seriously considered the 50-135 but heard a ton of horror stories about SDM failure. Given how much I use my gear and given that my finances are somewhat limited, I opted not to take the risk. . . .
Don't worry about that -- often in the Marketplace, people list pre-broken 50-135's, often already converted to screwdrive! That makes the lens faster but noisier. Believe me, there's nothing slower at focusing than a perfectly working 50-135. Then if you decide you really like the lens, you can get an estimate to fix it and decide if it's worth it, or if you'd rather sell the lens (probably for close to what you paid for it, if it's still in similar condition) and get a new one.

08-10-2016, 12:13 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote


I had considered this lens but was put off by the potential for SDM failure.
The prices of the DA*50-135 are good because of this reputation, Jonny - I bought mine where it had failed, and converted it to screw drive for free. It ends up being a faster focussing lens, if noisier.

And the IQ is terrific. Rendering like the Limited primes.




QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote
Do you specialize in a specific type of photography, out of curiosity?

Thanks!
No, not really, I like to learn a bit of everything. Perhaps 'Travel' if I had to choose one.

My gallery is here, FWIW: clackers's Album: Samples - PentaxForums.com

Last edited by clackers; 08-10-2016 at 12:21 AM.
08-10-2016, 01:21 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote
Hey, all --

Yes, I know how to use the search feature. Yes, I have used the Google machine. No, I am not lazy. No, I am not trying to ask a redundant question.

I'm also aware that the Pentax 77 has achieved mythological status and, thus, asking for a comparison to a third-party manufacturer will be tantamount to blasphemy in some eyes.

I realize that this question has been asked before but the discussions are old(er) and I'm wondering if there's any new, relevant information.

Basically, I recently purchased some new gear that included a Tamron 70-200 2.8 -- was planning on mainly using this for portraits, mounted on a K-3 body. The lens itself is stellar, and the image quality is great, but only when I am able to nail focus. Between the weight and dimensions of the lens and the slight variability in autofocus accuracy, I'm finding that I don't have as many keepers as I would like. The photos that are good are really good, but don't necessarily have a ton of character. The dimensions are also intimidating for all but professional models.

I am capable, if not a solid photographer. I want a piece of glass that I can rely on to be consistent in the quality and caliber of imagery it produces. I am by no means flush with cash so I am somewhat nervous about such a large investment -- especially after my experience with the Tamron.

So, my plan is to return the Tamron and purchase either the Pentax 77 or Sigma 85. The main uses will be for portraits, lifestyle, and candid street photography. I'm starting to earn a living from portrait, family, and lifestyle work so I need a workhorse lens to support my growth as an artist and professional.

I know that the Sigma focuses faster, is sharper, and is better in low light. I also know that the Pentax tends toward creamier bokeh, has pixie dust potential, and has more character.

I guess I am looking for opinions from experienced photographers who have spent time with both lenses. The photo examples really don't say much as the images tend to be taken with different bodies, in different locations, with an array of lighting, in the hands of photographers ranging from amateur to pro. In other words, I can't discern a whole lot from looking at the photos other than the fact that these are both stellar pieces of glass. I will say, at least on the Flickr group, the 77 images tend to be more heavily processed which makes it harder to evaluate

I am open to any insight, suggestions, thoughts, ridicule, etc.

A friend of mine recently suggested I wait on the Sigma because it was recently announced that the current 85 1.4 is discontinued and will be replaced by an Art version at some point in the [potentially] near future. Given this, I considered going for the Pentax 77. If I am not impressed, the resale value is currently rock-solid -- I could always sell and fund the 85. Food for thought.

Anway. Sorry for the long-winded question. I suppose it's part question and part thinking out loud. Feel free to berate me if this post is in bad taste!

Thanks all!

Cheers,

-Jonny
You might want to step back and take fresh look at this without so much emphasis on gear. Your two K3 bodies are all you need and redundacy is key for a working photographer. First place I look for gear is used so KEH.com with their warranty, Roberts Camera, etc. My 9 year old Tamron 28-75/2.8 will handle most portrait & events but if I have room, my 7 year old, never broken, heavily used 50-135 is my preferred portrait lens. In small studios, my used Pentax 17-70/4 is a workhorse and is backup for the Tamron. Your lighting, posing, composition and client communication is far more important than the last tiny bit of difference in a lens.

You can pick up a 50-135 from Keh for $500. If it dies, flat fee repair is $235 which is what they charged me for a 645 FA 80-160. Stuff will break, get dropped or lost. You need to build that into you business plan.

You can see lots of portraits on my sites. If you shoot events, think about a DA 12-24
08-10-2016, 03:59 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote
Hey, all --

Yes, I know how to use the search feature. Yes, I have used the Google machine. No, I am not lazy. No, I am not trying to ask a redundant question.

I'm also aware that the Pentax 77 has achieved mythological status and, thus, asking for a comparison to a third-party manufacturer will be tantamount to blasphemy in some eyes.

I realize that this question has been asked before but the discussions are old(er) and I'm wondering if there's any new, relevant information.

Basically, I recently purchased some new gear that included a Tamron 70-200 2.8 -- was planning on mainly using this for portraits, mounted on a K-3 body. The lens itself is stellar, and the image quality is great, but only when I am able to nail focus. Between the weight and dimensions of the lens and the slight variability in autofocus accuracy, I'm finding that I don't have as many keepers as I would like. The photos that are good are really good, but don't necessarily have a ton of character. The dimensions are also intimidating for all but professional models.

I am capable, if not a solid photographer. I want a piece of glass that I can rely on to be consistent in the quality and caliber of imagery it produces. I am by no means flush with cash so I am somewhat nervous about such a large investment -- especially after my experience with the Tamron.

So, my plan is to return the Tamron and purchase either the Pentax 77 or Sigma 85. The main uses will be for portraits, lifestyle, and candid street photography. I'm starting to earn a living from portrait, family, and lifestyle work so I need a workhorse lens to support my growth as an artist and professional.

I know that the Sigma focuses faster, is sharper, and is better in low light. I also know that the Pentax tends toward creamier bokeh, has pixie dust potential, and has more character.

I guess I am looking for opinions from experienced photographers who have spent time with both lenses. The photo examples really don't say much as the images tend to be taken with different bodies, in different locations, with an array of lighting, in the hands of photographers ranging from amateur to pro. In other words, I can't discern a whole lot from looking at the photos other than the fact that these are both stellar pieces of glass. I will say, at least on the Flickr group, the 77 images tend to be more heavily processed which makes it harder to evaluate

I am open to any insight, suggestions, thoughts, ridicule, etc.

A friend of mine recently suggested I wait on the Sigma because it was recently announced that the current 85 1.4 is discontinued and will be replaced by an Art version at some point in the [potentially] near future. Given this, I considered going for the Pentax 77. If I am not impressed, the resale value is currently rock-solid -- I could always sell and fund the 85. Food for thought.

Anway. Sorry for the long-winded question. I suppose it's part question and part thinking out loud. Feel free to berate me if this post is in bad taste!

Thanks all!

Cheers,

-Jonny
I have the FA77. It is small and the image quality is amazing. I did have the Sigma 85 f1.4 in my Canon days. It is an equally capable lens but a lot bigger in size. If I had to chose one of the two today, I would stay with FA77.
08-10-2016, 09:24 AM   #23
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I'm going to go out on a limb and say you don't really need either of these lenses for portraits. Sure, they're both great, but you could do great work with all kinds of primes from 50mm to 100mm on APS-C. I've gotten some amazing shots from my 100mm DFA lens, and my 50mm plastic fantastic. Sure the 100 is a bit long but... it's totally usable if you have some space and is a great length for promoting background separation.

08-10-2016, 01:29 PM   #24
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Great points here

Bobbotron: Has a great point here. For portrait work the Sigma, Tammy and the 77ltd aren't your only options. There really are a bunch of them. The 50mm makes for a great option, especially on a cropped sensor.

Sorry, I have no comparison examples. Typically I select/carry one lens or another depending on what I'm doing. The Tammy is the biggest heaviest lens I own. So if I don't think I will need to be changing focal lengths alot.. it stays home. I use the Sigma a lot more. The Sigma still is a big lens, but the tammy is waaay bigger. My preference is a lighter kit, so I may take Bobbotron's advice as well and look at the nifty fifty as an alternate to the Sigma.
08-10-2016, 01:52 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by fredralphfred Quote
Don't worry about that -- often in the Marketplace, people list pre-broken 50-135's, often already converted to screwdrive! That makes the lens faster but noisier. Believe me, there's nothing slower at focusing than a perfectly working 50-135. Then if you decide you really like the lens, you can get an estimate to fix it and decide if it's worth it, or if you'd rather sell the lens (probably for close to what you paid for it, if it's still in similar condition) and get a new one.
Thanks for the heads up! When I return my Tamron, I'll be eligible for credit towards another lens but not cash-back. Because of that, right now I'm debating between a new copy of the 77 ltd or 50-135. Both are currently under $900. Do you know if there still seems to be the high potential for SDM failure for new models?

QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
You might want to step back and take fresh look at this without so much emphasis on gear.
Genuinely appreciate the insight and advice. I definitely have a tendency to get hung up on things like this; extremely analytical, almost to a fault. Putting a lot of time into my non-technical skills right now. I already have a pretty good following, simply through cultivating my social media presence. I'm in the process of utilizing that and other marketing endeavors to slowly make the shift to photography as my main source of income.

For me, it's a bit of challenge because I do a lot of fine art work as well; so I get reeled in by the idea of lens with superior character, rendering, etc. From a professional, utilitarian perspective, the 50-135 is the logical choice. However, from a romanticized point of view, I can't seem to escape the grasp of the 77. Haha. I'm weird and complex.

Where I am going with this is that your advice is relevant and timely.

Beautiful photographs, by the way.

QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
I have the FA77. It is small and the image quality is amazing. I did have the Sigma 85 f1.4 in my Canon days. It is an equally capable lens but a lot bigger in size. If I had to chose one of the two today, I would stay with FA77.
Appreciate you sharing your experience, thanks.

QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
'm going to go out on a limb and say you don't really need either of these lenses for portraits. Sure, they're both great, but you could do great work with all kinds of primes from 50mm to 100mm on APS-C. I've gotten some amazing shots from my 100mm DFA lens, and my 50mm plastic fantastic. Sure the 100 is a bit long but... it's totally usable if you have some space and is a great length for promoting background separation.
I agree. I don't NEED either of the lenses but I would really love to have a high quality lens dedicated specifically to portraits. Especially since it is shaping up to be the majority of my business. My personal projects also revolve around portrait-style work. Currently, I have a 35 2.4 and the 50 1.8 -- both produce really stellar images, especially for the price. However, I would like something that has better build quality and produces even better imagery. Especially in a longer focal length, to take advantage of FOV compression and whatnot. Maybe I'm splitting hairs or obsessing at this point. Thanks.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wildfire_ja Quote
Sorry, I have no comparison examples. Typically I select/carry one lens or another depending on what I'm doing. The Tammy is the biggest heaviest lens I own. So if I don't think I will need to be changing focal lengths alot.. it stays home. I use the Sigma a lot more. The Sigma still is a big lens, but the tammy is waaay bigger. My preference is a lighter kit, so I may take Bobbotron's advice as well and look at the nifty fifty as an alternate to the Sigma.
I like to travel light as well, when possible. I own the 50 and use it regularly. It's currently my go-to for portraiture and street photography. I definitely like the aesthetic of the longer focal length though -- compression and all -- given that the majority of my clients are female. Between a more flattering image, the background separation of a longer focal length goes a long way. Thank you!
08-10-2016, 11:34 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote
. . . a new copy of the . . . 50-135. Both are currently under $900. Do you know if there still seems to be the high potential for SDM failure for new models? . . .
No, unfortunately, I don't. I've heard from several people that SDM failure was supposed to be fixed in the newer models, so I basically bought mine on faith. However, I'm much more a duffer than a professional, so I can't say I've used it enough to know. Amazon thinks I've had it a little over a year. Unfortunately, I bought it gray market without realizing it, but the warranty would be up now anyway, so I guess it didn't matter.
QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote
. . . From a professional, utilitarian perspective, the 50-135 is the logical choice. However, from a romanticized point of view, I can't seem to escape the grasp of the 77. . . .
Yes, neither can I. I suspect that in the hands of someone like you, it could do magical things. I've got the 43, though (1st lens I bought after the kit) and I haven't found its magic . . . yet. These sites may help you make up your mind: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/59538-fa-limited-club.html (Not all from the 77 -- some from the 31 & 43); similar to the DA* club, where you can find many examples from a 50-135 at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/73997-da-club.html
QuoteOriginally posted by jonnycreative Quote
. . . I don't NEED either of the lenses but I would really love to have a high quality lens dedicated specifically to portraits. . .
Again, I'm not a professional (not really a good amateur) and I don't do many portraits, but portrait shoots I've seen seem to really use the range of the 50-135 (or 70-200 on FF). I'm not sure you couldn't easily justify having both a 50-135 and an FA77. I used to be concerned about the FA Limiteds sticking around, but with the recent introduction of a FF camera, the most I think Ricoh would do would be to HD them. (And hopefully NOT screw up the aperture blades like they did on the HD15 & HD21.)
08-12-2016, 02:14 AM - 1 Like   #27
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As promised, one with the FA77 on the K-1. Not a combination I have used much, but it seems to work OK.

08-14-2016, 10:32 AM - 1 Like   #28
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The FA77 is better for casual, unobtrusive shots, for a walkaround. It does fantastics portraits and fantastic landscapes but the compromize is a bit more on size/weight and style than absolute performance.

It is not that often that you'll find an overall better lens but I think some 85mm f/1.4 are of that category. Sharpness at wide apperture, more possibility with the f/1.4 and as a pro it is your problem if the lens is big and heavy.

When you'll be able to afford it for portraiture and events you'll want to complement it an FF and pro grade f./2.8 zooms to match to get also the polyvalence you need. f/2.8 is really mandatory on APSC and mean only f/4 on FF and when you really need it, that f/2.8 on FF match f/1.8 on APSC with the associated low light and shallow dof.
08-14-2016, 12:49 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
As promised, one with the FA77 on the K-1. Not a combination I have used much, but it seems to work OK.
Very nice!

QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
The FA77 is better for casual, unobtrusive shots, for a walkaround. It does fantastics portraits and fantastic landscapes but the compromize is a bit more on size/weight and style than absolute performance.
Thanks so much for the insight and input. Definitely solid points to consider.
08-14-2016, 06:19 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
When you'll be able to afford it for portraiture and events you'll want to complement it an FF and pro grade f./2.8 zooms to match to get also the polyvalence you need. f/2.8 is really mandatory on APSC and mean only f/4 on FF and when you really need it, that f/2.8 on FF match f/1.8 on APSC with the associated low light and shallow dof.

Polyvalance normally is a chemistry term and I have not seen it used in English for photographic reasons. What does it mean in this context?
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