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04-22-2007, 08:03 PM   #1
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Is this Lens Superb or just rare...

Hey, I was perusing ebay today and came across this auction. Is this pentax 85mm 1.4 lens intensely rare or really really good, or both. It sold for over 1100.00 bucks. I was an early bidder on this lens. It quickly got out of my price range...

Pentax 85mm auction link.

04-22-2007, 08:31 PM   #2
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Bit of both I think. Star lens after all.
04-22-2007, 08:37 PM   #3
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"This is a heavy duty lens" they say... Whatever that means.

I know it is heavy; I have owned it and finally replaced it with the FA77 which close to be as good but a lot easier to use. Cheaper as well, and it comes with warranty and even outside of the USA...

The A* 85/1.4 is somewhat rare but not impossible to get hold of - they are for sale every so often at eBay. It has very high resolution (higher than the FA77) but a little low contrast at large openings. Good bokeh but a lot of CA.

If you really need a f/1.4 moderate tele lens you also have an option in the FA*85/1.4. It's of another optical construction and the results also differs somewhat.

You can read more in depth about these lenses here:
Two Brothers and a Cousin - the A* 85/1.4, FA 77, and FA* 85/1.4: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

04-22-2007, 09:24 PM   #4
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Supposedly this lens really is that good (I have heard many people claim that it is one of the best lenses that Pentax ever built) - It has been going for $800-$1200 for about the last 5 years or so. The example in the link that you posted actually looks like it is in really nice shape compared to most of the other A* 85/1.4s that I have seen on Ebay....probably why it went for over $1100. I have been looking for one for quite awhile, but I think the chances of this lens moving back into an affordable price range are slim and none.

04-22-2007, 09:49 PM   #5
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$1100 is a bit high for the A*- I've seen 4 on eBay this year go for under one thousand. Optically it's superb- actually almost identical to the FA 77mm limited.

The FA* 85mm has an entirely different optical construction that is said to be even better. I can second that

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