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06-28-2009, 06:39 AM   #1
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Pentax FA 85mm/2.8 Soft Focus Samples

Here are a few pictures taken today with a rather uncommon lens, the FA 85mm F/2.8 Soft Focus.















Hope you enjoy them.

Cheers!

Abbazz

06-28-2009, 06:58 AM   #2
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I did and they are quite dreamy looking. I've often wondered what this lens was like. is it sharper when stopped down or basically the same across the aperture range?

I have my version of this lens. A Tamron 28-75 f2.8 XR Di piece of crap that produces about the same type of image.
06-28-2009, 08:39 AM   #3
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Interesting effect... The pool shot with the reflections is great. Looks like the same (or almost the same) effect could be achieved reducing clarity in lightroom though.
06-28-2009, 09:13 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
Interesting effect... The pool shot with the reflections is great. Looks like the same (or almost the same) effect could be achieved reducing clarity in lightroom though.
That may be... but I've never seen anyone produce a soft focus effect that looked anywhere near this good with software

06-28-2009, 04:45 PM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I did and they are quite dreamy looking. I've often wondered what this lens was like. is it sharper when stopped down or basically the same across the aperture range?
Peter, the FA 85/2.8 is one of these soft focus lenses where you control the soft focus effect by adjusting the aperture. I prefer the other kind, where you adjust the soft focus effect by turning a dedicated ring, independently of the aperture setting, but these are very rare. The only one I have is the Tamron Adaptall 70-150/2.8 Soft Focus, a very good lens, but rather uncommon.

Cheers!

Abbazz
06-28-2009, 04:56 PM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
Interesting effect... The pool shot with the reflections is great. Looks like the same (or almost the same) effect could be achieved reducing clarity in lightroom though.
Even if you can achieve the same effect in Photoshop (which is not 100% sure, as stated by Kunik), having to run your pictures through Photoshop is a much clumsier workflow than having the right effect straight out of the box. Here's an analogy: I know that I can correct for chromatic aberrations in Photoshop, but I prefer to have lenses producing pictures exempt of these aberrations in the first place, rather than having to fiddle with the controls in Photoshop for every picture I make!

Cheers!

Abbazz
06-28-2009, 07:15 PM   #7
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Photo #1 is excellent.
Had a chance to get this lens awhile back but opted not to.
Guess I have to stick to the built-in soft focus filter on my camera.
06-28-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I have my version of this lens. A Tamron 28-75 f2.8 XR Di piece of crap that produces about the same type of image.
Is it broken somehow?
I would have thought in good condition this is a great lens?

06-29-2009, 04:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Is it broken somehow?
I would have thought in good condition this is a great lens?
I have had it for 1.5 years and the lens developed a serious case of fuzzy photos at any aperture. I sent it in for repair and they said it was wear and tear. Cost me $185.00 to get fixed. Then a month after getting it back it's the same. Going back to service again.

Sharp lens that is all plastic and just not the same quality as I would have hoped. All plastic inside. I used it a lot for work and it's just not built as well as Sigma EX's and Pentax lenses. Last one for me from Tamron.
06-29-2009, 06:39 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Then a month after getting it back it's the same. Going back to service again.
Sorry to hear about your trouble with that lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Last one for me from Tamron.
Hopefully the service will be able to do a proper repair or get you a new one. I've never read about such problems with a Tamron lens before and I would not have thought their lenses are not fit for professional work, but obviously you have had your (bad ) experience.
06-29-2009, 07:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
Here are a few pictures taken today with a rather uncommon lens, the FA 85mm F/2.8 Soft Focus.

Hope you enjoy them.

Cheers!

Abbazz
Interesting effect.
But I have to say that soft focus is not really my thing. If I would know you want such lens I would have shipped you my Hoya 135/2.8. Wide open images from it looked just about the same like those you posted

BR
Peter
06-29-2009, 07:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I have my version of this lens. A Tamron 28-75 f2.8 XR Di piece of crap that produces about the same type of image.
Sorry to hear that Peter. I haven't read much bad about that lens though if people complain about something with this one, it's the build quality. I even read that somebody once "melted" that lens in a car trunk... or was that you?
anyway, to Tamron's defence, my wife has had her 70-300 for over 2 years now and it's every bit as good (relative to the lens) as when we bought it...

BR
12-16-2009, 12:01 AM   #13
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One of these just showed up on eBay at a not-too-ridiculous price...

smc PENTAX FA 85mm f/2.8 Soft Exc+ - eBay (item 380188461785 end time Jan-14-10 19:00:34 PST)
12-16-2009, 12:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I have had it for 1.5 years and the lens developed a serious case of fuzzy photos at any aperture. I sent it in for repair and they said it was wear and tear. Cost me $185.00 to get fixed. Then a month after getting it back it's the same. Going back to service again.

Sharp lens that is all plastic and just not the same quality as I would have hoped. All plastic inside. I used it a lot for work and it's just not built as well as Sigma EX's and Pentax lenses. Last one for me from Tamron.
And which Sigma lens would be your alternative? The 17-70? I'v ebeen back and forth about which one to get, but youre making me think twice about the Tamron.
12-30-2009, 01:07 PM   #15
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Another image from the same lens

I bought the same lens this week, and here's my first good picture:


I think the advantages of this unusual lens are apparent for this type of "intimate" portrait when you compare the previous image to a similar photo taken with a sharp lens (a 40mm limited):


I'm really enjoying the lens, although I'm beginning to regret getting the 85mm rather than the 35mm. The reason is that telephoto lenses offer nice soft backgrounds naturally. It seems that wide angle shots with soft focus would be the most surprising. Does anyone have any photos taken with the 35mm soft focus lens?

Last edited by harmonica2; 06-13-2010 at 09:01 AM.
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