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11-12-2008, 12:32 AM   #1
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FA*85/1.4 vs FA77/1.8 (photos)

As promised here, I did a quick comparison between these two lenses. All shots were taken handheld in JPG by K20D, AWB, no post processing except resize. A more scientific test should be done w/ a tripod and better lighting control, and in RAW. So we can't make conclusion about which lens is sharper than the other simply based on this test

Couldn't keep my daughter steady long enough for the test, I had to do it w/ my dad instead. Photos in replies. You can click on each photo to view the original one.

IQ wise I don't see much difference from the testing results. Probably because my eyes aren't well trained ...


Last edited by frank; 11-12-2008 at 12:40 AM.
11-12-2008, 12:33 AM   #2
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Indoor comparison:

FA85 @ F1.4:


FA85 @ F1.8:


FA77 @ F1.8:


FA85 @ F2:


FA77 @ F2:


FA85 @ F2.8:


FA77 @ F2.8:


FA85 @ F4:


FA77 @ F4:
11-12-2008, 12:33 AM   #3
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Outdoor comparison:

FA85 @ F1.4:


FA85 @ F1.8:


FA77 @ F1.8:


FA85 @ F2:


FA77 @ F2:


FA85 @ F2.8:


FA77 @ F2.8:


FA85 @ F4:


FA77 @ F4:


FA85 @ F5.6:


FA77 @ F5.6:
11-12-2008, 02:36 AM   #4
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Congrads on the lens, frank.

I can see sublte difference in background bokeh, 85/1.4 has less harsh edges but still has double lines along edges in the background. Spetacular highlights are more round than 77 bokeh.

I am a little amazed that this subject in your testing images has the same expression in every single shot. That is hard to do!

11-12-2008, 02:51 AM   #5
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Bro, your dad is very fit! Just like you.

I'd call this a tie between the two lenses.
Obviously the 85mm will have more of the background thrown OOF but it is really splitting hairs with the 77mm here.
BTW the colour rendition from FA lenses are just hard to beat.
Thanks for the nice test.
11-12-2008, 06:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Outdoor comparison:
Thanks, Frank! It's very useful test
11-12-2008, 06:47 AM   #7
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I like FA 85* much more Frank, if you will sell this lens - let me know
11-12-2008, 06:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
I am a little amazed that this subject in your testing images has the same expression in every single shot. That is hard to do!
I noticed the same thing

Thanks for the testing Frank. Although I will probably never have a chance to own the *85 I am looking to get the FA 77

11-12-2008, 07:01 AM   #9
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the bokeh on the FA 85 def looks better to me, less hard edges
thanks frank, your dad seems to be a very willing subject
11-12-2008, 07:25 AM   #10
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Very nice subjective comparison with controlled conditions. It's easy to pick out areas from each picture of what I like from each lens.

While you expect it at F1.4, I was surprised at the subtle differences in bokeh at comparable aperture from 1.8 and above. It's almost as if someone took a water brush in Photoshop and did a quick pass at smudging any of the higher contract edges in the background just in case they stood out too much.

Now if I could only do something about the *size* of the 85mm with its hood...
11-12-2008, 07:27 AM   #11
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I think the extra bokeh is from the longer focal length of the 85.
The 85 also looks warmer, but the 77 looks sharper to me until f/4 when they're about the same...

Thanks for taking the time to do this, Frank :-)
11-12-2008, 08:32 AM   #12
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Buy your dad a beer, Frank! I know had I asked my dad to do the same thing he would have obliged but would have sported a nastier facial expression

It's great to see a test like this, even if the lighting isn't as controlled as we might have liked. After scrolling up and down I would say the differences are minimal, and are not differences in quality, but in taste or preference. Reading the comments it's clear that some people lean towards one while others prefer the other.

Personally, I prefer the rendition of the 77 Ltd, as well as its bokeh. This is probably a good thing seeing as I just bought one

I haven't bothered looking at the larger sizes cos I doubt either of them is not sharp enough, so no reason to worry about that.

Bottom line that I get from all this: If money is not an issue and you don't need the extra 2/3 stop of the 85* for low-light shooting, then buy the one whose rendition matches your tastes better. Either one is a winner.

Again, thanks Frank!
11-12-2008, 08:46 AM   #13
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77ltd seems like a very good lens, I've seen a lot of pics from it and never seen anything that showed otherwise. 77 is probably a sweeter spot for portraiture on APS-C than 85 as well.

85 seems like a great lens, don't get to see as much of it, but this test gives a good feel.

Bokeh is softer and more plentiful on 85. Both lenses appear sharp, though the 85 appears so right from 1.4, thats the selling point on the 85s for me. While lots of lenses these days are sharp, being sharp with great bokeh too elevates things and 1.4 certainly helps out the bokeh, among other things.

One can get most of the way to a goal with a fraction of the cost. To go all the way, costs a lot more - the choice is there.
11-12-2008, 09:12 AM   #14
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Very interesting, the extra FL of the 85 is showing in the cleaner OOF areas, especially wide opoen where the extra half stop is showing.

The 77 displays a glow/shine faster than 2.8 that always turns me off, you need to tweak the mid levels wider than 2.8 I find.

Now at f/2.8 the tables turn IMHO. The 77 is showing much more "life" in the subjects face.
11-12-2008, 11:13 AM   #15
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Good test.

I would give the nod to the 85...
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