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07-17-2009, 10:03 PM   #1
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Opinion needed

I've been using the SMCT 85/1.8 for a while. I like its output very much, but not having any sort of TTL flash metering is sort of not convenient.

Is it a good idea to sell it and go for either:

1. DA70
2. FA77
3. Vivitar/Samyang 85/1.4

I'm leaning towards #3, particularly because I think a very shallow DOF, needed for some portraits, is not easy to achieve on APS bodies without going for longer FL, which will create a flattened look - also I'm personally quite comfortable with the 85mm distance.

Am I mad to give up the SMCT 85/1.8 for a Korean 85/1.4? How about the other choices? The DA70 would provide the best working distance and distortion, but there are effects achievable on a 85/1.4 that are difficult on a 70/2.4 (even if I most probably don't need it often). Also, distortion on my FA50 seems insignificant enough, so for shorter distances the 50 can be used...

Another point of consideration is, I'll want to try to connect the 85/1.4 to a Vivitar 2xMFTC for a 170/2.8 macro with A mode, which I believe will be quite handy.

Opinions?

07-17-2009, 11:11 PM   #2
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I definitely wouldn't sell it and get the Samyang. Either of the other 2 would be great but they have different characteristics and you need to just research them and look at some images. As far as the metering, you do know about the green button?
07-18-2009, 12:00 AM   #3
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You've done the research.
I'm not sure you'll go wrong with any of those choices, though I'm not accustomed to the Samyang.
Though will you really need an aperture of <2.0 for your portraiture?
There are endless praise reports on the limited lenses, so have a look at all the portraiture captured with each of your choice lenses, and I'd say that's the best way to judge which one you'd be after.
07-18-2009, 12:02 AM   #4
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I also have the SMCT 85/1.8....I worry that you will not know what you have....... and kick yourself when it is gone. You can always buy a 77/70...but finding a good 85 is not as easy. The 77 is probably a better lens.....but for how much more?

07-18-2009, 07:46 AM   #5
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Interesting. After searching on this forum for a bit, I might agree...that if I go for some Samyang, it may break in a year, and I probably will miss the SMCT 85.

Also seen somewhere that I can short pins in order to enable PTTL. So I'll try that. Yes, I use the green button, but not having TTL flash metering is really tiresome. I cannot use auto flash because I very seldom, if ever, use direct flash.
07-19-2009, 02:50 AM   #6
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I definitely wouldn't give up the 85 F1.8. Never give up a fast pentax 85 is the rule I keep on hearing.

You can pick up the samyang for just over 250USD and use it in complement. Otherwise, I think that the 77 is worth a try and reasonable replacement.
07-19-2009, 05:52 AM   #7
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I have the Vivitar Series 1 85mm 1.4 version of the Samyang for a couple of months now and find it a wonderful lens,great IQ,bokeh and color.It is built reasonably well.Beware that quality control during assembly is not great and I had to return several till I got a keeper but found the trouble worth it.So if you go with the Samyang please inspect the lens well for blems such as problems I had,sticky aperture blades,coating blem or scratches and visible dust inside the lens.
The lens feels solid as per reviews and despite some negative reviews by some I have found this lens worthy IMO and for the price for a fast 85mm with A setting is just great.
I personally cannot comment on the 77 or the 70 as I have no experience with them except they are double or triple the money but they are Pentax and AF with known excellence by many here!

Here is a photo from just last week,very little PP and from about 1000+ feet,the original RAW file was amazingly sharp and much better than the other lenses I used that night.....

07-20-2009, 04:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfier:
Interesting. After searching on this forum for a bit, I might agree...that if I go for some Samyang, it may break in a year, and I probably will miss the SMCT 85.
You can also think about Zeiss... :ugh:

07-20-2009, 05:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfier Quote
I cannot use auto flash because I very seldom, if ever, use direct flash.
I use Takumar lenses and auto flash together with no problem....off-camera. What's so hard about it? The only real inconvenience is from having to manually shut down the Takumar to shooting aperture every shot, but that is something Takumar lovers just take for granted.

QuoteOriginally posted by Motorman Quote

Here is a photo from just last week....
For images over 800 pixels wide can you use the [imgwide] opening and closing tags instead of the [img] tags, please? Thank you.
07-20-2009, 05:21 AM   #10
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Consider using A mode

It is practical to make your camera think all lenses are A type.

Then the flash will work properly with all your non-A type lenses.

I've been using my K100D in this mode for months now and have had no problems & haven't seen a downside (except that the EXIF reports whatever f-stop you've set in the viewfinder, not what you've actually set on the lens.)



It is easy to do and easily reversed. Just remove the 5 screws holding the camera side of the lens mount, put metal foil over the A pin & replace the mount. There are no wires or fine adjustments to worry about.

After this, when using a preset lens, make sure the f-stop shown in the viewfinder is as low as it will go (this prevents the camera from trying to stop-down the lens during exposure; that's ok, because you've already stopped it down by hand.)

Dave in Iowa
07-20-2009, 05:43 AM   #11
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if you ever decide to give up the 85mm F1.8 call me

Seriously though, even with out TTL you can use a flash like the AF540FGZ in auto mode, but if you really want TTL, get an *istD.

one of the reasons I kept mine is TTL flash.

6MP is usyally good enough for most shots.

However, if you really want P-TTL flash, the samyang lens is not too bad.
07-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I use Takumar lenses and auto flash together with no problem....off-camera. What's so hard about it? The only real inconvenience is from having to manually shut down the Takumar to shooting aperture every shot, but that is something Takumar lovers just take for granted.
Did I ever say it's hard? [scratch head]. I just say it's inconvenient when I do bounce flash off the ceiling - because I often need to fire test shots and dial in an FEC, which I feel will be less necessary if I use an A lens instead.
07-20-2009, 01:47 PM   #13
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Too late, I decide to keep it

Might try the A pin hack though, and see if I can do it on the lens side without touching the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
if you ever decide to give up the 85mm F1.8 call me

Seriously though, even with out TTL you can use a flash like the AF540FGZ in auto mode, but if you really want TTL, get an *istD.

one of the reasons I kept mine is TTL flash.

6MP is usyally good enough for most shots.

However, if you really want P-TTL flash, the samyang lens is not too bad.
07-21-2009, 01:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfier Quote
Might try the A pin hack though, and see if I can do it on the lens side without touching the camera.
You can make a V shaped piece of aluminum foil, roll the tip of the V into a little ball, then use the blunt end of the V to hold the ball in position over the A contact on the camera as you mount the lens. That should work for testing purposes.

In my experience, removing the camera side mount is much easier.

Good luck,
Dave
07-21-2009, 02:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfier Quote
Might try the A pin hack though, and see if I can do it on the lens side without touching the camera.
You can make a V shaped piece of aluminum foil, roll the tip of the V into a little ball, then use the blunt end of the V to hold the ball in position over the A contact on the camera as you mount the lens. That should work for testing purposes.

You'll know it worked if you see "F2.8" or something like it in the viewfinder. Then turn the e-wheel until the F number is as low as it will go.

In my experience, removing the mount on the camera side is easier and not at all risky.

Good luck,
Dave
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