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04-10-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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Pentax-M 85/2 vs. Pentax-M 100/2.8

Looking for a very small portrait lens for the LX. The 85 sells for three times the amount of the 100--I wonder if it's really that much better.

I'm aware the Pentax-A 85 is the legendary one, but it's larger and much, much, much more expensive.

04-10-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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I can't speak to the M 85/2 but I found the M 100/2.8 to be an exceptional portrait lens on film. It produced most of my favourite shots of my children. I sold it when I got the A 100/2,8 macro so I can't testify to its abilities on digital. However, if it performs the way the rest of my M series lenses do I think you will be pleased.

Tom G
04-10-2009, 03:41 PM   #3
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Excellent--you can probably tell I'm already leaning toward the 100. This would mostly be for film.

There's apparently an A (non-macro) version that is basically identical...wouldn't mind that one, either, esp. if I was going to use it on digital.
04-10-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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smc PENTAX-M 1:2.8 100mm

QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I can't speak to the M 85/2 but I found the M 100/2.8 to be an exceptional portrait lens on film. It produced most of my favourite shots of my children. I sold it when I got the A 100/2,8 macro so I can't testify to its abilities on digital. However, if it performs the way the rest of my M series lenses do I think you will be pleased.

Tom G
QuoteOriginally posted by mabelsound Quote
Excellent--you can probably tell I'm already leaning toward the 100. This would mostly be for film.

There's apparently an A (non-macro) version that is basically identical...wouldn't mind that one, either, esp. if I was going to use it on digital.
Well. I can't claim to be good and this isn't an example of skin tone, but here are my first couple attempts with an M100/2.8 i got from a Forum member last month.

Gallery on pbase

f/5.6 K10D Green Button metering in EXIF




f/11 K10D Green button metering in EXIF




Last edited by monochrome; 04-10-2009 at 04:51 PM.
04-10-2009, 04:47 PM   #5
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I like the 85 f2

I've got an 85/2, and a M 100 f4 macro. I think the deal with the 85 is really the rendering and bokeh you'll get with this lens. I think the 100 is a fine lens and similar in many respects to the 85. But the 85 can be *just* sharp enough to make folks look great but not TOO sharp. And the background looks wonderfully smooth and buttery. My 100 was designed to be longer tele and a macro, and it serves that purpose perfectly... but the images lack *something* a certain tonality that the 85 does so well. Maybe the 2.8 version of the lens can come closer than my Macro.

Is it worth a bunch of extra moolah? I do, but that's me. I can really see the difference between these two lenses.

germar


both are M 85 f2 First is wide open, the second is 2.8



04-10-2009, 04:54 PM   #6
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You can't go wrong with either of those. They are both quite sharp wide open, but at f/2 the 85 suffers from quite a bit of PF at high contrast borders, although it is mostly gone by f/2.8 so comparing the two I don't think it makes the 85 worse. If I could choose between the 2 (without bringing price into the mix), I would get the M85/2 (that's currently what I kept...I had both). It just has a nice character about it and has the extra stop of speed and DoF control that can be really handy for portraits. Of course, I'm not sure that it's worth the extra price to you...that's your call. You'll be happy with either one.

-Jim
04-10-2009, 05:32 PM   #7
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I was going to mention something about aperture blades and OOF highlights, but B. Dimitrov's site says they both have 6 blades (The M 50mm 1.4 and M 135mm 3.5 have 8)

If you're going to stop the 85 down to 2.8 for sharpness, you'll see hexagons with little 'thorns' for OOF light sources, but wide open it makes no difference. All this talk of PF is mostly moot for the LX, anyhow.
04-10-2009, 06:02 PM   #8
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Excellent, thanks all. I should clarify I don't necessarily intend to shoot portraits. I am just interested in a small prime of around this focal length, for general use.

04-10-2009, 06:53 PM   #9
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.

Foe a long time I owned both, now I only own the M 85 f/2. Both are truly great primes, among the best you can get for K-mount.

The M 85 is one of my all-time favorites. The M 100 2.8 is also one of my favorite M's.

The M 85 is fully usable wide-open as far as sharpness and contrast goes, but does show some PF at that aperture. Beyond that, I find it near-perfect.

As has been said, can't really go wrong with either.


.
04-10-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
The M 85 is one of my all-time favorites. The M 100 2.8 is also one of my favorite M's..
Those pics are all marvelous, thanks a lot. The one of the kid with the earring and dog is a fantastic shot.
04-12-2009, 11:53 AM   #11
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The eye of the beholder

The majority of reviews I read for the M85/2 are not nearly so positive as what has been written here.

But there's hope!

FWIW I owned the "legendary" K85/1.8 but was a little disappointed. I think my current M100/2.8 is noticeably better.
Likewise when I shot Nikon I preferred the poorly-regarded AI85/2 Nikkor to my also "legendary" AI105/2.5!

So much for legends...

Chris
04-12-2009, 12:29 PM   #12
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Besides, you can get an M100/2.8 and a K20D for price of a K85/1.8.
04-12-2009, 05:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The majority of reviews I read for the M85/2 are not nearly so positive as what has been written here.

Chris
My first impression of the M85/2 wasn't very good really. Initially I just saw the pretty bad CA when shooting wide open and dismissed it as a mediocre lens. After a while I decided to give it a second shot, and at that point I was also better at nailing Manual Focus. I begun to realize the potential of the little lens. I swear it is one of the sharpest lenses that I own wide open at f/2 (tested against my fast 50's, various 135's, etc). I have an SMC Tak 85/1.8 (same as the K85/1.8), and I'll admit that the 85/1.8 produces more technically pleasing images (mainly just from the bokeh rendering), but my version of the M85/2 is sharper at f/2 and the rendering has a neat quality about it that makes it unique.

Also, my impressions from the M100/2.8 were always positive. Very sharp straight from f/2.8 and I didn't notice any bad qualities such as CA in my images. I have since let my version of the M100/2.8 go but I hope to one day own the equivalent A version of the lens which is pretty much identical but with the "A" setting.

-Jim
04-12-2009, 05:13 PM   #14
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I have the 100mm 2.8, it's a great lens for telephoto portrait, fast and sharp at wide open, bokeh is good, but not great. I like it better than the 100mm f4 Macro, the f4 macro is not fast enough. I never use the 85mm, but from people's pictures, I think the 85m and 77mm are the best lenses for portrait. Both are super sharp, and great bokeh. But both are way out of my budget. So from my 2cents, 100mm is good, but i don't think it's better than 85mm or 77mm.

Below are some pics i took today. All at f2.8 convert from Raw.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
*ist DL  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
*ist DL  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
*ist DL  Photo 

Last edited by winglik; 04-12-2009 at 05:25 PM.
04-12-2009, 05:52 PM   #15
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One interesting difference between the (optically identical) "M" and "A" versions of the 100/2.8 - the "A" has a built-in hood but the "M" does not. Had I realized this before, I might have held out for the "A" verison myself. Although realistically, I use it primarily in dark indoor environments when a hood just isn't very necessary, and the M version is somewhat lighter and a lot easier to find and correspondingly less expensive, so maybe it's just as well.

One observation about the 85/2 - most of the bad press it got came from people using it on film; most of the subsequent revival of interest has come from people using it on digital. Makes me wonder if most of the stuff folks used to complain about is pushed further to sides - or complete out - of the frame on APS-C.

Anyhow, on film, I'd go for the 100 no question, as that would be a more useful FOV for me. But that would of course also depend on what other lenses I already had.
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