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05-20-2009, 12:42 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Er, that's rather a difficult proposition. I mean, if there was anything particularly nice about it I could notate each attribute. But if something is underwhelming? How can that be precisely described?

We can start with images posted in this thread, which are not sharp. In fact none of the images I have seen approach the FA lenses for sharpness, bokeh, colour rendition or anything else really. Neither is the build up to the same standard (by report). Neither does it have any special personality (like some Russian lenses) that someone might specifically use it for.

I'm not saying it's a crap lens. Perhaps it's good for the price. That's fair. But I see no reason to add it to my kit. Feel free to post an image that changes my mind. I always need another LBA excuse!
not sure what you mean by not sharp considering F2.5 at 100% crop shown below. Resizing to 25 % before uploading, as with previous images, I think makes a problem for assessing total sharpness.

Additionally, show me an FA 85mm F1.4 for $300???? You are comparing a lens that sells presently on e-bay for about $2300. even tne SMC-A 85mm F1.4 sells for about $1900.

Fine I accept the lens has some plastic parts. Even pentax uses plastic parts now in lenses, and if they built an FA 85 F1.4 today it would not be the same as the ones they built in the past, Live with it!

You are not impressed because a $300 lens is not as good as a $2300 lens, get over that too. In fact the $2300 lens should blow this away, considering the price. But in a price vs performance trade off, where does this sit. I think fairly high up on the list.

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Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 05-20-2009 at 12:53 PM.
05-20-2009, 01:27 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You are not impressed because a $300 lens is not as good as a $2300 lens, get over that too.
I was comparing the Vivitar 85 to the FA77. Please show me where you bought an FA77 for $2300 and I will laugh at you for being so stupid. I said the Vivitar might be good for the price and reserved judgement on that score. Perhaps your bias is so overwhelming it interferes with basic reading comprehension?

In any case please calm down and stop putting words into my mouth.
05-20-2009, 01:30 PM   #33
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On a more positive note, directed to the OP... if you only have $300 consider the smc Pentax 50/1.2. Incredibly IQ and fantastic build if you do not mind the whole manual thing.
05-20-2009, 01:47 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by mk07138 Quote
Thanks for the advice everyone. I appreciate the suggestions, the reason I wasn't considering the DA 70mm is because I kind of wanted to use the lens on my older film cameras as well as my K20d. Despite shooting mostly digital I still love to get out with my KX and my 6x7, so I had wanted a lens that could also be used on the KX.

I really like the look of the 77mm limited so that's probably where I'm going to head with this, though I wish it didn't cost so much haha.

I'm getting the 50-135 as an event lens. I do a lot of shooting for work that I think that lens would be perfect for. Out in canoes and working with kids where I'm not always that close to them but I'm not shooting from a mile away.
I'd say go for the 50-135 and the 77. The 70 is a great little package, but you can get very similar images out of the 50-135, and with the 77 you'd get something different.

Somebody on another thread a couple down ("70 vs. 77 wide open") was saying they got a brand new 77 on eBay from Prodigital 2000 by offering $525! That's $75 under asking... and a lot less than I paid :P Shipping is free too and there's an 8-yr warranty.

Now, that's just $175 more than that Vivitar. Still too much?

Link to the eBay auction if it isn't (4 still available):

Prodigital 2000 auction for FA 77

05-20-2009, 02:07 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I was comparing the Vivitar 85 to the FA77.
then you should specify not just say FA, but any way...
QuoteQuote:
Please show me where you bought an FA77 for $2300 and I will laugh at you for being so stupid.
never said I did, and never said I was comparing to an FA77 but explicitly stated 85mm F1.4 , if you want to compare with FA77 then look at $700-$800 but it is not an F1.4 lens
QuoteQuote:
I said the Vivitar might be good for the price and reserved judgement on that score. Perhaps your bias is so overwhelming it interferes with basic reading comprehension?
since you have demonstrated your inability to read clearly something as clear as FA 85mm F1.4, or A 85mm F1.5 and interpret it as FA77mm it is not me that has a problem with comprehension
QuoteQuote:
In any case please calm down and stop putting words into my mouth.
likewise

But let's get back to the OP.

he was specifically asking A) about an 85 vs 77, already has a 50mm F1.4, is concerned about cost to some extent, and is getting an 50-135 F2.8.

For me, he really wants the fastest lens he can get with very shallow DOF, if he is going to stop down substantially, then he is wasting his money on either the 85 or the 77 because he has that range covered with an F2.8 zoom.

I don't disagree the 77 is a better lens, but at more than double the price, for a shorter focal length (10% is not much but when you combine that with smaller apature it makes for a much smaller cheaper ) and slower lens will he have as much fun. For me the 85 is a fun lens.

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 05-20-2009 at 02:56 PM.
05-20-2009, 03:24 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
For me, he really wants the fastest lens he can get with very shallow DOF, if he is going to stop down substantially, then he is wasting his money on either the 85 or the 77 because he has that range covered with an F2.8 zoom.
The FA77 has other advantages over the zoom, not least of which are its size, weight and ultimate build quality. Plus you cannot discount the extra stop of speed, just as the 85mm gives another stop again. But any shot I have seen wide open from the 85 has been unusably soft, which basically brings it back into the same maximum aperture as the FA77. Otherwise I would have bought one.

I do not have both to compare side to side but have seen every image posted to these forums in the discussions of the Vivitar. Of course web images are difficult to compare, so I am not claiming anything scientific.

In fact, quite the opposite. IQ is a matter of opinion to a degree. For example, some like the Cosina 50/1.2. I bought one but cannot stand the look. Whereas my Pentax smc 50/1.2 produces an incredible aura wide open and rocks stopped down.

Good thing we have so many choices!

P.S. I do not discount the price difference, but think that buying a great lens once is worth buying several almost great lenses. I learned this the hard way.
05-20-2009, 03:33 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
The FA77 has other advantages over the zoom, not least of which are its size, weight and ultimate build quality. Plus you cannot discount the extra stop of speed, just as the 85mm gives another stop again. But any shot I have seen wide open from the 85 has been unusably soft, which basically brings it back into the same maximum aperture as the FA77. Otherwise I would have bought one.
I don't think yoou will dispute being a sharpness freek because you have said that yourself.

I guess the question perhaps is, would any image from any 85mm F1.4 be unreasonably soft wide open?

I know what you mean about the 50mm F1.2, it is soft also wide open, and I saw somewhere here a post complaining back focus when it really was an issue of just plain softness wide open.

I have only had the vivitar 3 weeks, and shot a few hundred shots with it. everything from portraits to flowers to using it with the 1.7x AF TC and the images have actually suprised me in terms of quality. Yes wide open it is a bit soft, and yes there is a little CA (but I'll bet there is in almost every lens if you look for it) but it also does sharpen up nicely when stopped down, and if you are looking for something soft from time to time, why not?
05-20-2009, 04:23 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote

I guess the question perhaps is, would any image from any 85mm F1.4 be unreasonably soft wide open?
My A*85/1.4 is quite sharp at f/1.4

QuoteQuote:
I know what you mean about the 50mm F1.2, it is soft also wide open, and I saw somewhere here a post complaining back focus when it really was an issue of just plain softness wide open.
The A50/1.2 combined with the really small viewfinder of a DSLR is not an easy lens to focus. Even with a full sized 35mm screen it can be a tough lens to get the focus right with.
However, wide open, it's a pretty dull knife.

05-20-2009, 06:00 PM   #39
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To be clear, I was not talking about the Pentax 85mm lenses but the Vivitar. The Pentax 85/1.4 I am not going to fault! Very similar to the FA77 overall, but slightly better bokeh.
05-20-2009, 07:52 PM   #40
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I solved the sharpness issue for myself by getting a 90mm macro and a Super-Takumar 85mm f1.9. Other possible combinations are an FA77 and the Sigma 70mm macro, same philosophy. I still prefer the Takumar for portraits, but if for some reason I need more sharpness and more in focus, I can use the macro. For travel you'd have to pick one.

The new Vivitar/Samyang/Opteka/Polar/whatever is intriguing, but try and find some manufacturer's information about it. The price still seems high to hope that it will work for you, while its costlier competition are at least known and often great.
05-21-2009, 05:30 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I solved the sharpness issue for myself by getting a 90mm macro and a Super-Takumar 85mm f1.9. Other possible combinations are an FA77 and the Sigma 70mm macro, same philosophy. I still prefer the Takumar for portraits, but if for some reason I need more sharpness and more in focus, I can use the macro. For travel you'd have to pick one.

The new Vivitar/Samyang/Opteka/Polar/whatever is intriguing, but try and find some manufacturer's information about it. The price still seems high to hope that it will work for you, while its costlier competition are at least known and often great.
try here.

http://www.syopt.co.kr/

http://vivitar.com/products/182/VIV-85MM%20Spec%20Sheet.jpeg

and price presently is 300-350 depending on where and what brand in NYC

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 05-21-2009 at 05:43 AM.
05-21-2009, 11:30 AM   #42
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After reading through everyone's responses I'm pretty sure I've figured out what I'm going to do.

As I said earlier I'm definitely getting the 50-135mm and I think I'm going to complement that with the 77mm Limited for now. The Vivitar 85mm is really intriguing to me and in the future I may get one as well but right now the known greatness of the 77mm is swaying me.

Lowell, you're pictures from the Vivitar are quite nice and your description of the lens as fun definitely has my creative interest piqued so I think what is going to end up happening is that several months from now I'll have an 85mm to go along with the 77mm I'm going to get now haha

Thanks for everyone's advice, Once I get the lens on a camera hopefully I'll be able to post up some good pictures that I can take with them.
05-21-2009, 12:02 PM   #43
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Just to throw it out there, I was just on EBay looking around and I saw an FA* 85mm f1.4 with a buy it now price of $1199.00. More than I can afford but it seems to be one of the lowest prices I've seen on that lens over there so I figured I would put it here in case anyone else was interested.
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