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10-18-2019, 03:21 PM   #1
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77mm vs Sigma 85mm

So unfortunately we're lacking a lot of choice when it comes to options for auto-focus portrait lenses. I need to add a FF one to my kit at some point and it looks like the older Sigma, and the legendary 77 are pretty much my only choice.

Is there anyone who's had both and can offer an opinion on which they like better?

10-18-2019, 04:13 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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The Pentax FA* 85 1.4 is very good too. Its bokeh is more pleasing to me than that of the 77. I haven't tried the Sigma.

Last edited by sergysergy; 10-18-2019 at 04:52 PM.
10-18-2019, 04:25 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I don't have a Sigma 85mm but do have FA 77 (and Samyang 85 f1.4 too).

However there are a few discussions you might be able to draw on already like: Sigma 85mm f1.4 or FA 77mm f1.8 or just wait for DFA 85mm f1.4 - PentaxForums.com

I really liked the Samyang 85 but since having the FA 77 have not used the 85mm. It depends whats important to you. For me I like the FA 77 because:
1. I like the rendering / character
2. Its so small I can carry it everywhere!

The main downside for the FA77 from my perspective is that you do get some CA fringing nearer to wide open sometimes but find it easy to fix in post.
10-18-2019, 04:50 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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Will usually favour the 77 over the 85, for reasons of the 77 being small and light (and thus highly portable) and equally capable of capturing images that are great.

Have not used Sigma 85 before but do have experience with the FA*85.
Both are lenses with some amount of size and weight.

The super portability of the 77 is such that almost always find i go for the 77 instead of the 85.
(The built-in lens hood is great design).

Used them with film and both are great at capturing nice images.

10-18-2019, 04:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sergysergy Quote
The Pentax FA* 85 1.4 is very good too. It's bokeh is more pleasing to me than that of the 77. I haven't tried the Sigma.
Really? I think that one is not on the table for me as it's even more costly than the 77mm and I believe older so I assume it resolves less detail than the 77

---------- Post added 10-18-19 at 04:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
I don't have a Sigma 85mm but do have FA 77 (and Samyang 85 f1.4 too).

However there are a few discussions you might be able to draw on already like: Sigma 85mm f1.4 or FA 77mm f1.8 or just wait for DFA 85mm f1.4 - PentaxForums.com

I really liked the Samyang 85 but since having the FA 77 have not used the 85mm. It depends whats important to you. For me I like the FA 77 because:
1. I like the rendering / character
2. Its so small I can carry it everywhere!

The main downside for the FA77 from my perspective is that you do get some CA fringing nearer to wide open sometimes but find it easy to fix in post.
I also was looking at the Samyang as it looks like a ridiculous value, but I love using the face tracking for portraits; it nails focus. So I have to go for something with autofocus.
10-18-2019, 05:07 PM   #6
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I had the a* 85 1.4 and gave it up and replaced it with the fa77 on crop. I loved my A* but manual focus and weight/size made the change to the fa77 a good change for me.
10-18-2019, 05:39 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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The 77mm can sometimes be found for a bargain on this forum.
10-18-2019, 05:54 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Belnan Quote
The 77mm can sometimes be found for a bargain on this forum.
Kinda what I'm hoping for lol

10-18-2019, 06:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
Really? I think that one is not on the table for me as it's even more costly than the 77mm and I believe older so I assume it resolves less detail than the 77
Just because it is older doesn't mean it will necessarily not resolve well, I see them come up on the auction sites at reasonable prices, wonderful portrait lens and sharp on the K1

some samples here
Single Jun 19 SMC FA*85mm 1.4 IF | Flickr
10-18-2019, 06:40 PM   #10
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So my only concern with the 77mm is the entire point of FF portraiture is shallow DOF. So at 1.8 am I basically throwing that advantage out the window, or would you K1 77mm users say it's still a big jump from APS-c?
10-18-2019, 06:53 PM - 4 Likes   #11
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for viewing an example.

Image captured by FA77, on film cam Pentax MZ-S, with Kodak Portra160.

Cannot recall whether it was wide open or on f2.0 or f2.8.
(But anyway, just to give an idea, how things may look like, with the FA77, albeit this is on film, not on the K-1)
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10-18-2019, 07:57 PM   #12
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If you buy both used, and get them for good prices, you can sell along whichever you like less.
10-18-2019, 08:14 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
The entire point of FF portraiture is shallow DOF. So at 1.8 am I basically throwing that advantage out the window
That is not not the entire point full frame portraiture. Anyway, 77/1.8 on full frame is roughly equivalent to 50/1.2 on crop. That's pretty shallow. How much of the face do you want to be out of focus?
10-18-2019, 08:34 PM - 4 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
That is not not the entire point full frame portraiture. Anyway, 77/1.8 on full frame is roughly equivalent to 50/1.2 on crop. That's pretty shallow. How much of the face do you want to be out of focus?

rather embarrassingly, i do not have knowledge of these like what Sandy explained

i can only show examples (like the one a while ago).

But yeah, if 77/1.8 is similar to 50/1.2, that is quite something, already.

Here is another example.

FA77, wide open, on Pentax MZ-S, with Kodak Portra400.
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10-18-2019, 08:56 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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The 77 is a great lens because it's:
1) small
2) light weight
3) build quality
4) about 90% of the shots from the 77 I can't tell apart from 85mm



However, I pick up the sigma 85 over 77 for every event except for traveling.
It's better rendering. Better low light. Better subject seperation. Sharper. Better at fringing.

The 85 to my eyes is a far better lens when it comes to images. You will be happy with either though.


I am selling the sigma 85 though. Not because I don't love it. But because I'm switching the 85 to Sony for eye af and keeping the 77
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