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09-23-2008, 12:28 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
If you want a taste for the A*85 you might want to look into the FA77 LTD. It is no slouch either. The FA 43 LTD is also a great lens and not that much bigger than the 40 Pancake but with much better IQ.
Except that the FA77ltd is optically more close to the FA*85, while the A*85 is more close to the Zeiss Planar 85/1.4. So while the FA77ltd is certainly a good lens, it's not supposed to have the same bokeh as the A*85. I don't know from own experience, have not had a chance to compare them, but based on what I've read.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
Douglas that looks like a great lens shoot out.
Yes, have tried to arrange that shoot out since I got the DA*50-135, but my brother just became father, so it have not had top priority No promises on when I will have time to post it, but the goal is of course to put it on pentax forum.

09-24-2008, 07:43 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photomaximum Quote
The photo is not that great as a picture,
Allow me to wholeheartedly disagree, Max.

QuoteQuote:
...but the clarity, color, and sharpness of the slide is superb...
OK, here we do agree. And yes, those are some beautiful eyes.

The A* 85mm can be bought for around $800-1000 on eBay. I even saw one go for $650 a few months ago.
09-24-2008, 07:44 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Yes, have tried to arrange that shoot out since I got the DA*50-135, but my brother just became father, so it have not had top priority No promises on when I will have time to post it, but the goal is of course to put it on pentax forum.
I look forward to seeing the results, as I'm sure many others do also.
09-24-2008, 09:18 AM   #19
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Photomaximum,

I can totally relate to your regrets. My first pro kit for wildlife shooting was a smc A* 600 f5.6, a smcA* 300 f2.8, a smc A*50mm macro 2.8, a smc A* 100mm f2.8 macro a smc A 28 f2.8 and a smc A 70-200 f4.0 lens. I only paid $1900 for the 600mm at a local photo shop. AS the say about hind sight----

09-24-2008, 09:37 AM   #20
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I share your feelings. In my photography history, I've had several Pentax primes that no longer have, which sold or traded back then for newer glass. If I could get them back, for sure would.

M-50/1.4
M-50/1.7
M-50/4 macro
K-105/2.8
M-135/3.5
M-40/2.8 (the original pancake)
M-28/2.8

But there were also some glass that I do not regret getting rid of, because of lack of IQ:

FA 28-80/3.5-4.7 (the wobbly one)
FA 70-200/4-5.6 (good IQ but bad construction... too wobbly)
FA 28-200/3.8-5.6 (the tamron clone)
FA 80-320/4.5-5.6 (the marsmallow.... for softness)
FA 28-105/3.2-4.5 IF (SILVER). Too soft for my taste)
FA 28-70/4 AL (too soft...)

And of course, If I could get back (for collector purposes of course) my bodies:
K2DMD
K1000 (TWO OF THEM)
MX
ME SUPER
PZ10
PZ20
ZX5N


better stop.... I feel that too much water has flowed under this river, but fortunately, there is much more coming.

Robert B.
09-24-2008, 04:59 PM   #21
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Max,
I got your A 28/ 2.8 and I am not giving back....sorry....love that little lens...Wow what a nice collection of glass you had...a real Pentax all star collection...at least you got to play with them...some of us will never have that oppurtunity unless we win the lottery....Charlie
09-24-2008, 07:26 PM   #22
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Original Poster
Some interesting posts here. Its funny how photo gear goes in and out (and sometimes back in) style.

My current weapons are the Canon 5D, 16-35/2.8L Series II, 24/2.8, 100/2, 24-105/f4 L, 70-200/2.8L, and the 400/2.8L. I recently added the 45/2.8 Tilt-Shift lens which I really, really like.

How does this all stack up against my former Pentax gear? Hard to say, especially with the intervening years. Obviously all the Canon glass is auto focus while my former Pentax "A" series kit was all manual. But I have shot countless photos with both kits and have a basic "hunch" feeling of sorts. Greatly unscientific of course, but here goes...

The sharpest lens I have used is the *85/1.4 A series Pentax. No question. Its the one main Pentax lens I wish I had not parted with. The weight, balance and performance of the lens at f/2 was marvelous. Both 400's are great but I give the nod to the Canon for the auto focus and focus presets. Probably the sharpest mid range telephoto was the Pentax 200/2.8 ED but the Canon 70-200/2.8 is great for the range and auto focus. My favorite wide angle is the Canon 24/2.8 for its size, price, and sharpness. I manually focus all wide angles even if they are AF lenses. The Pentax 20/2.8 "A" was great as well. I like the range of the Canon 16-35/2.8 but the IQ is lacking.

Its hard to compare primes against zooms. I suddenly realized I have NEVER shot with a Pentax zoom. Of course zooms have come a long way since the late 1980's. Look at Robert's list of lenses he likes and the lenses he does not regret parting with: split right down the middle. Does this mean Pentax makes way better primes than zooms? I have no idea. To be honest I have never tried any of the new Pentax lenses.

I follow the Canon and Nikon online boards and everyone says the same thing: the cameras keep getting better and better. So much so that they are showing faults in the lenses. More serious shooters are searching for the better prime lenses to maximize image quality. When pushed for the best performance the zoom's IQ is becoming questionable.

Which brings this thread full circle: some of those * "A" series Pentax prime lenses are indeed some of the finest hunks of glass ever made...

Max
09-29-2008, 12:51 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Except that the FA77ltd is optically more close to the FA*85, while the A*85 is more close to the Zeiss Planar 85/1.4. .

No. It is the other way around. The 77 Limited is closer to the A* 85/1.4 lens. The FA* and the Limited is as far apart as two lenses covering the same focal lenght can possibly be. In fact, I would not recommend the FA* lens unless for prortraits.

09-29-2008, 02:23 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
No. It is the other way around. The 77 Limited is closer to the A* 85/1.4 lens. The FA* and the Limited is as far apart as two lenses covering the same focal lenght can possibly be. In fact, I would not recommend the FA* lens unless for prortraits.
You are right! I shouldn't have trusted my memory, suppose it is getting worse now after 40. Here is a good link. What I did remember firmly was that the A* and FA*85's are very different animals, but got the relationship to the 77 mixed up. So the FA77ltd should be an interesting option for someone not having the patience to find a A*85/1.4. What a pitty both are costly.

So both A*85/1.4 and 77ltd can both be considered grand children/cousins of the Zeiss Planar 85/1.4 (scroll down for optical diagram), right? And the FA*85 has a different optical solution (see first link), even if the front group(s) are roughly the same. Interestingly, the new DA*55/1.4 lens diagram appears to remind a bit about the A* but with two extra lenses in the middle and back groups, but the front lenses remind more of the FA* than the A*/ltd. But I've forgot too much optics to dare guess what it could mean. Let's see when this lens gets available and some reviews are published.
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