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04-16-2018, 03:30 PM   #1
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FA *85 or FA 77 Limited?

Hi, I could use some perspectives/opinions.

I have an FA*85 and an FA 77 LTD. I know the right answer is both, and this is not a bad problem to have......

But if you had these two lenses and could only keep one, which would you keep and why?

Appreciate your thoughts, thanks.


04-16-2018, 03:33 PM   #2
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Keep the one you like best. If you don't know, then perhaps both should go. (Sorry, could not resist!)


(...or neither...)
04-16-2018, 03:33 PM   #3
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I would probably keep the 85 if it's in great working condition. The 77 can be purchased at any time (for now) new or used. The 85 will only become harder to come by.

Of course, I have the 77 and not the 85, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
04-16-2018, 03:42 PM   #4
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In the time you have owned both, how many shots have you taken with each? That may answer your question.

04-16-2018, 03:47 PM   #5

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I second @twilhelm
04-16-2018, 03:57 PM   #6
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Where do you want use the lens? Do you want it to use or as a collectors item?

The 85mm is rare and would be had to replace if it was damaged or stolen. It stands out and is big.

The 77mm is smaller and can be replaced if damaged.

If I had an 85mm, I might be worried to take it on trips. But then again I have the FA 80-200 f2.8 and the 24mm f2, I do love the way they look, just not the kind of lens I can replace, they usually stay close to home.
04-16-2018, 04:02 PM   #7
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A D FA★ 85mm f1.4 is on the road map for 2019:
2018 Pentax K-Mount Lens Roadmap - CP+ 2018 |

This may change the status of the legendary FA*85mm f1.4.

Personally I have the FA77mm Ltd and I was pondering to get a FA*85mm. I will wait for the D-FA*85mm.

My 5 cents.
04-16-2018, 04:04 PM   #8
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My 2 cents. I love my FA 77. I owned the A* 85 which is the sibling/cousin of the FA 77. I sold the A* to buy the FA 77 and other items.

The FA* 85 is what @LeRolls prefers for his beauty shots. He has used both and can offer a perspective on what he values over the FA 77.

04-16-2018, 04:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
My 2 cents. I love my FA 77. I owned the A* 85 which is the sibling/cousin of the FA 77. I sold the A* to buy the FA 77 and other items.

The FA* 85 is what @LeRolls prefers for his beauty shots. He has used both and can offer a perspective on what he values over the FA 77.
Yes, I own both and love both but hardly use the 77 anymore except on certain jobs where the smaller weight and size is nice. For my K-1 I find the focus to be more accurate with the 85 (more keepers when shooting with a shallow depth of field). I also prefer the bokeh and the overall rendering from the 85. When shooting between f1.4-2.5 the way it handles skin is more pleasing to my eyes than the 77 from f1.8-2.5. Helps cut down on my editing time.

I partially held on to the 77 in hopes that Pentax would eventually try their hand at a mirrorless FF. Having a smaller body with that lens would be a killer combo for portraits on the go. I am interested in the new 85 they are working on but I will still hold onto my current FA 85 as a backup or in the event that I actually don't like the new version as much.
04-16-2018, 04:35 PM   #10

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The 85 is a fantastic lens but I find that it's a bit softer wide open than the 77. That makes it perfect for portraits but a bit less ideal as a general lens. I also find the 77 complements the KP a lot better in my lighter APS-C kit bag where I would probably not want to carry my 85.

I'm looking to sell my 85 with the knowledge that I won't be able to match the IQ with the 77. That's my input on the matter - if you're a serious photographer then you can make use of the 85. If not, the 77 is in my opinion a better general purpose lens.
04-16-2018, 05:57 PM   #11
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I recently purchased the 77 and love it, I don’t have the 85 so here is my solution. Send yours to me and let me test it for the next few years so I can give you an informed opinion.
Seriously, like others are saying, keep the 85 because it’s rare and would be hard to replace. The 77s are still available.
04-16-2018, 06:11 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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I have both (and it's going to stay that way!), but if I had to let one go it would be the FA*85

It's much bigger and heavier, and the hood is huge and clunky. Sure, it's half a stop faster, and maybe has a bit more magic, but there's not much in it. I don't make a living out of this game, so the extra 5% is not a deal breaker.

When it comes to packing for a day's photography, the FA77 finds its way into the bag every time.
04-16-2018, 06:47 PM   #13

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It does, as always, depend on what uses you have in mind. The FA* 85 might perhaps be better for doing portraits under controlled conditions with your K-1, while the FA 77mm LTD can be a better candidate for doing portraits with an APS-C body, as well as useful for other applications, as Sandy has indicated. I shoot with APS-C bodies- the KP, K-5 IIs, and K-S2, and also occasional film use. For me, the FA 77 LTD has been a very useful, very versatile, and very unique little gem. And its bokeh is wonderful. Nothing else quite like it is offered by anyone else.
04-16-2018, 07:02 PM   #14
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my two cents - I love both. they both take sharp pics with pixie dust, even both wide open. Like everyone says, the 77 is smaller and most likely to be packed. I owned the 77 before the 85, and I basically obtained the 85 because I know they are a rarer item, and I got it at a good price/condition. If I had not bought the 85, I would be more than happy with my portraits with the 77, and vice versa, if I owned the 85 before the 77. I'm not sure the price difference means better performance, for me its more of a collector issue. If you can get a great deal on the fa 85, I wouldn't hesitate to get that because its just more rare.
04-17-2018, 03:42 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Hi everyone, just wanted to say thank you for the real thoughtful posts.....

Now I think I'll exercise my decision-making's called inertia

I probably don't use either as much as I should. But since @LeRolls weighed in on this thread, I have to give him some props. His portraits with the FA*85 are testament to the lens (and its handler).

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