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05-03-2009, 06:45 PM   #1
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Info. on 77mm Ltd. (Compared to 70mm & then 31mm)

So, I generally shoot landscapes and my 24-60mm sigma ex dg lens gives good results. (since i began using MF more often, haha!)

I also do some photography of surfing and for that generally use my cheap 70-300mm tamron lens. Its pictures are actually pretty OK, good for the price. When photographing the surfers, I can use focal lengths from 70mm all the way up to 250, or occasionally 300.

When indoors such as at a concert I end up using either the sigma or a Pentax 50mm f/1.7 lens. Its a solid lens, but an awkward (not ideal) focal length.

I am looking to add to my setup of Tamron and Sigma zoom lenses with a high quality prime. It appears the 77mm is ~570 (used) to 625 (new)... While the 70mm pancake is $480. I was wondering what people who have used both think of each of these lenses. People rave that the 77mm is every bit the 31mm lens. Others say performance isn't as good until its stopped down to f/4... Border performance isn't as good. I hear from some that the 70 is "Great" but others say its just a solid lens and that the 77mm is amazing.

I was also looking for a comparison between the 31mm and 77mm limited lenses for image quality. On the site they seem to indicate that the 31mm has better image quality. In particular that the borders of the 77mm are not as sharp. But the site most likely only tests one lens and I wanted to hear from real pentax users.

(Note if this has been done in another thread, let me know. I searched, did not find)

05-03-2009, 10:40 PM   #2
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I am not sure if comparisons on the 2 limiteds (77 & 31) have had threads on this forum... regarding reviews, if you take a look at the Lens Review on the 77limited here than you will see it is highly spoken of on this site.

Pentax Lens Review Database - 77mm F1.8 Limited

to me it actually gets a better write up than the 31 limited in the same section


05-04-2009, 08:26 AM   #3
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there are plenty of DA70 vs FA77 comparisons here and on dpreview. try a google search with or if you want to use it for action photos, i would highly suggest the DA70 because it focuses a lot faster and it also has the Quick Shift which allows you to adjust it without changing the body to MF. the FA77 is slow to focus.

you won't find any direct FA31 to FA77 comparisons, doesn't really make much sense to compare different focal lengths like that. you should try another search of FA35 vs DA35 vs FA31 and you can see the different results.
05-04-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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For concert shots, I wouldn't say there is a *huge* difference between 50mm and 70mm. Some, to be sure, but nothing you coudn't make up for by taking a step or two forward and/or cropping a little.

If you're looking for something to do closeups, you really want something in the 100-135 range.

05-04-2009, 05:51 PM   #5
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I have both the 31 and the 77. They are both fantastic lenses! I went for the 77 over the 70 because of the extra speed as I take many low light shots and the chance that some day I may go with FF if it ever becomes a viable option. (I do wonder though when I hear that the 70 has quicker AF, if I should have gone that route?)
With regards to comparing the two, I find them very similar with the only real difference being the focal length. In my case I use the 77 more often for that same reason. I'd would say without question, make your choice based on the focal length.
Good luck. No bad decisions here. Some day you'll likely own all of them!
05-05-2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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Much depends on the kind of shots you want to get and the light that's available. I don't know how well a lens at f2.8 would work, if it does a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 would give you more reach and flexibility. I know you said you wanted a prime, but you could replace the Tamron zoom with it too, if you didn't mind the weight.

If you need f1.8 or thereabouts, deciding between the two you mention would be a matter of choosing the focal length, both are sharp. My copy of the 77 is sharp wide open, so I find its a superb portrait lens, but I mostly use the Sigma for events.

Another option could be the Sigma 30mm f1.4, its borders are not sharp but f1.4 lets in a lot of light and its bokeh looks pretty good.

A monopod, if its practical to use, would also help in low light.

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