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09-22-2017, 06:53 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by donlass Quote
Do these lenses require K mount adapters?
QuoteOriginally posted by JimBrennan Quote
No they were made with Pentax mounts.
The Zeiss Z-series and Voigtlander SL/SLII lenses are both fairly recent vintage and have been made in a number of mounts including Pentax K. Prices are high, but so is performance and build quality.


Steve

09-22-2017, 07:47 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That may be why the OP is looking into the Pentax-M 85/2. That would be my choice if I didn't already own the FA 77/1.8. I also own the LZOS MC Jupiter-9 85/2, but while it is competent, I consider it a specialty lens and a little cumbersome to use without auto aperture actuation.


Steve
I might actually look into 77 1.8 since you said it can be had for under 600$, it's pretty reasonable for such a legendary lens.
09-23-2017, 01:34 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by awscreo Quote
I might actually look into 77 1.8 since you said it can be had for under 600$, it's pretty reasonable for such a legendary lens.
It was a special situation (long story related to failure of Ritz Camera some years ago), but such things do happen and my lens was sold by an authorized Pentax dealer with full warranty. I used it as an example of how the price ranges of premium and consumer-grade product often overlap and that the Sony lens is priced as a premium product. Current street price of the FA 77/1.8 is just under $800 USD in the U.S. If Pentax were to offer a D FA 85/1.8 at $600, I would consider it to be an expensive lens.


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09-23-2017, 09:06 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It was a special situation (long story related to failure of Ritz Camera some years ago), but such things do happen and my lens was sold by an authorized Pentax dealer with full warranty. I used it as an example of how the price ranges of premium and consumer-grade product often overlap and that the Sony lens is priced as a premium product. Current street price of the FA 77/1.8 is just under $800 USD in the U.S. If Pentax were to offer a D FA 85/1.8 at $600, I would consider it to be an expensive lens.


Steve
I think it'd still appeal to a lot of people, even if it wasn't the cheapest out of entry level fast portrait primes (between all systems). The Sony one seems like a very nice lens, and since most of their glass is fairly expensive, I guess in their world it's affordable

09-25-2017, 12:49 AM - 5 Likes   #50
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IMHO, often, discussion on such lenses are also clouded by the cost and technical aspect of these lenses with less said about the pictorial/usage aspect of them.

Very often, claims about bokeh are just @wide open and very near focus distances.
In many cases, the bokeh will look nice and smooth in the above situation.
But sometimes we need to ask ourselves if this is the only real world use case the lens will operate in.

What about a full body portrait? (will the bokeh hold up?)
Half body shots?
Portability (eg. carry loads of other stuff for the kids; already heavy bag for 1 week trek and villagers portraits in Burma? etc)

This is my personal experience with a lot of the lenses.

FA*85/1.4
A very good lens with a rather good bokeh over most use cases.
Near or further focus distance and bkgnd, the bokeh is generally pleasing. (not all lenses can claim that)
Sharpness is good enough in all cases imo.
Its not a small lens (those new Sigma's are worse), but not something I'd carry on a photo trip.
Its a lens that I'd certainly bring for very specific portrait sessions.







M85/2
On paper, its easy to ding this lens.
CA prone (esp wide open), not the sharpest of the 85mm options.
Get one and use it, and its got more of a story to tell.
Almost as small as a 50mm, meaning its highly portable, a very bold drawing style and what I'd call 'rich' colors/contrasts.
Also, a bokeh thats generally ok in many use situations.
f2 or often at f2.8 may seem a flaw, but often, the DOF is enough (esp on FF)





K85/1.8
Actually the claim to fame is more that its uncommon and sharper in the central area at wide apertures. (also less CA than most fast 85)
IMO, this has become passed on to become a claim that its the better lens of the 85mm 'PERIOD'
There is more of a 'swirl' in the bokeh on FF (not really a bad thing depending on tastes)
Rendering near is also what I feel is more standard, unlike the style on the M85.
A good lens if one values central sharpness from f1.8, little CA and a less edgier rendering.
Its also starting to get big as a lens, though still a good size.






Jupiter 9
Another lens that one will reject if only based on paper merits.
Poor flare resistance, not sharp off center, large copy variations, f2 and not faster.
In use, this is a gem.

I feel that the Sonnars are better in the bokeh once they are stopped down 1 stop with the longer Sonnars getting away with it a bit more (eg. 100mm, 105mm, 135mm )
Stopped down f2.8, the J9 has a wonderful even bokeh in most situations.
Centrally sharp to make the subject stand out with that bit of vignette to focus on the central subject even more.

A nice 85mm to get if one can get a good copy at a reasonable price commensurate to other 85mm f1.8/f2.
This is not an all rounder lens as its not critically sharp at the edges stopped down for landscape work.





---------- Post added 09-25-2017 at 03:54 PM ----------

FA77ltd
Too much fuss over why not to get one.
As small as a 50mm, as sharp as one too wide open and stopped down.
Rich colors and contrasts.
Comes with AF too and readily available.






In summary, all options are rather good.
Best if you have more than one.

Last edited by pinholecam; 09-25-2017 at 05:24 AM.
09-25-2017, 03:01 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
IMHO, often, discussion on such lenses are also clouded by the cost and technical aspect of these lenses with less said about the pictorial/usage aspect of them.
Thanks pinholecam for pointing this out. Thats why we do not shoot test charts all the time.
I have a crush for the M85 because it took me quite a while to learn how to use it.

Seb
09-25-2017, 10:11 AM   #52
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pinholecam, those are some awesome shots, and I really like how much subject separation / 3D pop is going on with most of those images. I'm much more interested in the M 85mm than before.
09-25-2017, 11:22 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
The K-version is probably better than the M-version:
SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8 Reviews - K Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Or the s-m-c Takumar version: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar/Auto-Takumar 85mm F1.8 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database (not the auto-takumar it for some reason shares a topic with...)
I would take the reviews (and the averaged vote) with a grain of salt.
I've seen some very poor lenses get a 9 or a 10!
I love focal lengths in the 80/90mm range, especially on film or digital full frame, and I own/owned most of the lenses mentioned in this thread, plus a couple more.
Never tried the 1.8/85mm series K, nor the optically identical SMC Takumar, but short time ago I purchased the older Auto Takumar with "cocking ring": different optical formula, very well built, but definitely softer than more modern objectives. It's a nice M42 vintage portrait lens, nothing more... and of course I agree with your criticism: it should have its own review page!
I owned the 85mm series M at the time of the LX, and sold it quite soon, to buy the A Star 1.4/85mm with electric contacts.
The M was a perfect example of the entire line. Small, good image quality, still well made... a fine, very portable lens.
The A Star is superior in many ways, with its OOF rendition and nice bokeh, but it's also not the kind of lens you'd bring with you all the times. It's a huge lump of glass and metal! Price and availability could also discourage most people, not sure I'd buy it at the current prices
The Samyang shares with the A* ease of use and speed. The presence of electric contacts allows for easy fill-in flash using P-TTL.
I own the first version, which is supposedly a little less sharp, though it should also show less fringing.
Price vs performance, it's probably the best compromise... that is, if you don't request top mechanical build, or an inconspicuous, easy to transport objective
All my Samyang lenses are among the best primes I own, considering their respective focal/speed. The 85mm is as good as the others, IMHO.
I don't fully understand why it doesn't enjoy the level of consideration it deserves. Maybe we are all a bit snobbish, but we should better wake up to the new reality: "korean lens=bad lens" is an equation that doesn't apply anymore.
I confess I'm not using my Samyang 1.4/85mm very much. I'm shooting mostly full frame now (Pentax K-1), and I use the lenses in this focal range mostly for portraits. Both the A* and the Samyang are too sharp, even wide open. If I still had the Pentax-M it would be too sharp as well, and it wouldn't allow to throw a background out of focus the same way a faster lens does. The advantage in size would be secondary, I use big fast primes and my bag is huge...
My current favorite for sharp-ish portraiture is a Leitz Canada Summicron 2/90mm, used on focusing helicoid for Viso, mounted on a leitaxed Viso-to-R adapter. When I prefer a softer rendition, so I go for a 100mm triplet. My two favorites:
Steinheil Cassarit 3.5/100mm (still cheap, tiny, but needs a M42 adapter... so away with the tiny screw and spring, now the adapter is firmly screwed to the lens)
Meyer Trioplan 2.8/100mm (beautiful softness, bubble bokeh, but it doesn't come cheap!; I chose to go for the N version, which comes only in Exakta mount, and have it adapted to PK)
Of the many 85mm in M42 mount, one is still available on Ebay in new/like new conditions. It's the Helios 40 1.5/85mm.
Some say it's great, others say it's rubbish.
I think it's a matter of expectations, not sample variation
If you browse the internet looking for pictures made with this lens, you can get an idea...
I own the old "silver" version. Bought it in amazing conditions, with the M39 to M42 adapter, and adjusted for perfect infinity focus.
It is huge, and heavy! And too nice for its age (1961), to be considered a "user lens". It never leaves home for too long
Though I like to travel with vintage primes, I just don't think the Helios 40 is made for it.
Right now I'm thousands Km away from home, and as I had in mind to take plenty of portraits, I brought with me the Summicron, the Trioplan, the tiny Cassarit, and a Soligor (Tokina made) 2/135mm.

Never owned, or tried, the 77mm Limited.
I'd be very happy to test it, at least once, but I don't think it will happen anytime soon. I didn't buy the lens when it was sold in the USA for cheaper than current 2nd hand adjudication prices, and now it's probably too late. Can't justify the expense. Of course many forum users would not agree, but we all know that the definition of "value" is very, very personal

Cheers






09-25-2017, 11:44 AM   #54
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I wonder, would getting a samyang 135 2 instead of 85 1.4 make sense? People say it's very sharp and more modern optical design. Would I get comparable background separation with f2 vs 1.4 given the longer focal length?
09-25-2017, 01:54 PM - 1 Like   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
But sometimes we need to ask ourselves if this is the only real world use case the lens will operate in.
Thanks for reminding us of this very important fact.

QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Jupiter 9
Another lens that one will reject if only based on paper merits.
Poor flare resistance, not sharp off center, large copy variations, f2 and not faster.
In use, this is a gem.

I feel that the Sonnars are better in the bokeh once they are stopped down 1 stop with the longer Sonnars getting away with it a bit more (eg. 100mm, 105mm, 135mm )
Stopped down f2.8, the J9 has a wonderful even bokeh in most situations.
Centrally sharp to make the subject stand out with that bit of vignette to focus on the central subject even more.

A nice 85mm to get if one can get a good copy at a reasonable price commensurate to other 85mm f1.8/f2.
This is not an all rounder lens as its not critically sharp at the edges stopped down for landscape work.
My M42 Jupiter-9 (I also have one in Contax/Kiev mount) is a multi-coated version of recent manufacture and is on my list of "will never sell" lenses. I did not bring it into this discussion thread because it is sort of cumbersome in use and as you noted, sort of special purpose. My avatar photo was taken with the J-9...



And I have used it on 35mm film with good success too. Mine has pretty good edge sharpness.



...and the bokeh is uniformly good even stopped down a bit (I do most of my work with this lens at f/4 and f/5.6).




QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
FA77ltd
Too much fuss over why not to get one.
As small as a 50mm, as sharp as one too wide open and stopped down.
Rich colors and contrasts.
Comes with AF too and readily available.
If one has the opportunity to purchase the FA 77/1.8 at a price that is manageable, but all means do so.


Steve
09-26-2017, 04:53 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
IMHO, often, discussion on such lenses are also clouded by the cost and technical aspect of these lenses with less said about the pictorial/usage aspect of them.

Very often, claims about bokeh are just @wide open and very near focus distances.
In many cases, the bokeh will look nice and smooth in the above situation.
But sometimes we need to ask ourselves if this is the only real world use case the lens will operate in.

What about a full body portrait? (will the bokeh hold up?)
Half body shots?
Portability (eg. carry loads of other stuff for the kids; already heavy bag for 1 week trek and villagers portraits in Burma? etc)

This is my personal experience with a lot of the lenses.

FA*85/1.4
A very good lens with a rather good bokeh over most use cases.
Near or further focus distance and bkgnd, the bokeh is generally pleasing. (not all lenses can claim that)
Sharpness is good enough in all cases imo.
Its not a small lens (those new Sigma's are worse), but not something I'd carry on a photo trip.
Its a lens that I'd certainly bring for very specific portrait sessions.







M85/2
On paper, its easy to ding this lens.
CA prone (esp wide open), not the sharpest of the 85mm options.
Get one and use it, and its got more of a story to tell.
Almost as small as a 50mm, meaning its highly portable, a very bold drawing style and what I'd call 'rich' colors/contrasts.
Also, a bokeh thats generally ok in many use situations.
f2 or often at f2.8 may seem a flaw, but often, the DOF is enough (esp on FF)





K85/1.8
Actually the claim to fame is more that its uncommon and sharper in the central area at wide apertures. (also less CA than most fast 85)
IMO, this has become passed on to become a claim that its the better lens of the 85mm 'PERIOD'
There is more of a 'swirl' in the bokeh on FF (not really a bad thing depending on tastes)
Rendering near is also what I feel is more standard, unlike the style on the M85.
A good lens if one values central sharpness from f1.8, little CA and a less edgier rendering.
Its also starting to get big as a lens, though still a good size.






Jupiter 9
Another lens that one will reject if only based on paper merits.
Poor flare resistance, not sharp off center, large copy variations, f2 and not faster.
In use, this is a gem.

I feel that the Sonnars are better in the bokeh once they are stopped down 1 stop with the longer Sonnars getting away with it a bit more (eg. 100mm, 105mm, 135mm )
Stopped down f2.8, the J9 has a wonderful even bokeh in most situations.
Centrally sharp to make the subject stand out with that bit of vignette to focus on the central subject even more.

A nice 85mm to get if one can get a good copy at a reasonable price commensurate to other 85mm f1.8/f2.
This is not an all rounder lens as its not critically sharp at the edges stopped down for landscape work.





---------- Post added 09-25-2017 at 03:54 PM ----------

FA77ltd
Too much fuss over why not to get one.
As small as a 50mm, as sharp as one too wide open and stopped down.
Rich colors and contrasts.
Comes with AF too and readily available.






In summary, all options are rather good.
Best if you have more than one.
I often have a lot of difficulty interpreting posted photos, what I see not matching the descriptions. In the photos above it appears to me that the last two with the FA77 are less sharp than the others. Is this a result of my aging eyes or ??. By reputation shouldn't the FA77 be as sharp or sharper than the other lenses?

Beautiful photos - even a landscapist like me can enjoy these!
09-26-2017, 05:06 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
I often have a lot of difficulty interpreting posted photos, what I see not matching the descriptions. In the photos above it appears to me that the last two with the FA77 are less sharp than the others. Is this a result of my aging eyes or ??. By reputation shouldn't the FA77 be as sharp or sharper than the other lenses?
But the pictures and their situations taken by all those lenses are different, Wanderer.

Check here if you want to see attempts to subjectively score the FA77's sharpness:

SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Objective measurement of a single specimen is here:

Pentax SMC-FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis
09-26-2017, 04:41 PM - 2 Likes   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
By reputation shouldn't the FA77 be as sharp or sharper than the other lenses?
I pondered this statement for awhile, particularly in consideration of the nature of mythic pixie dust. My FA 77/1.8 is the most expensive lens on my shelf, though I am not sure it is the sharpest. It definitely has a bounty of pixie dust, but I am not confident that it has the most of that substance either. For many subjects, my Helios 44M 58/2 will match it grain for grain of the pixies precious output.

I have a handful of lenses that generally shine regardless of the subject and light. The FA 77/1.8 is one of them. The others are my Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 (C), Pentax-M 50/1.7, and Pentax-FA 35/2. Adding a variance for subject matter and the KMZ MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Fisheye also counts. I can recommend any member of that list with only the minor reservation that the Zenitar will probably have to be adjusted for infinity focus.

All that being said, for a given subject, there is a bit of overlap in terms of suitability to task. For example, one of the below was taken with the FA 77/1.8 and was explored in Flickr. The other was taken with the LZOS MC Jupiter-9 85/2 and while it was not explored, I consider it to be a credible bit of camera p0rn. Both have about 10,000 views, more or less.









Addendum: There is only one lens in my kit that could have taken the photo below...that is the FA 77/1.8, due to the simple combination of performance, focal length, and features.






Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-26-2017 at 04:49 PM.
09-26-2017, 06:45 PM - 2 Likes   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
I often have a lot of difficulty interpreting posted photos, what I see not matching the descriptions. In the photos above it appears to me that the last two with the FA77 are less sharp than the others. Is this a result of my aging eyes or ??. By reputation shouldn't the FA77 be as sharp or sharper than the other lenses?

Beautiful photos - even a landscapist like me can enjoy these!

If I'd put my finger on it, its the usual few factors.
Focus and subject movement, since the 1st shot was a candid and apparent sharpness due to less contrast in the processing for the 2nd shot.

The FA77ltd is certainly one of the sharpest lenses, performing rather like the older 50mm (ie. FA50/1.4), being centrally very sharp from wide open, and sharpens up nicely all thru to the edges stopped down from f4 onwards.

FA77ltd again..



09-26-2017, 09:06 PM   #60
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Thanks for the clarifications. I've never doubted the FA77 is a great lens (wish I had one), just wan't sure what I was seeing.
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