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08-31-2009, 02:38 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheTenaciousOne Quote
Hmm, i read around on the forums that the 77mm isnt as great on the K-7 cause it was designed for film bodies.
Do many people here agree with that?
If you're looking at a used 77, it should hold its value pretty well--even better than the DA glass, if the forum marketplace is any indication.

It's possible I screwed myself by getting the 77 as my first pentax lens after the kit. Now every other lens has to measure up!

The 77 is my best performing lens on my K-7. It did take some time to get the proper focus adjustment, but once I did, it's perfect. I don't see any lost magic, and it's plenty sharp even before the 70 joins the party. The build is great--it feels great to use in manual focus mode too.

AF with the 77 is so much faster than it was on my K20, and very accurate. I'm sure the 70 is faster still on the K-7 (based on a quick (very quick!) comparison between the 40 and the 43), but I think it's less of an issue than on previous bodies.

I did have a 70 at one point, but did not like the physical feel of that lens in comparison--personal thing! I wanted to try it because of the quick shift, lower price and smaller size (and reportedly equal IQ), but didn't like its size and focus ring and shorter focus throw for when I wanted to use manual focus (another thing that may not be an issue for a lot of people). Still, the lens was very sharp and had a nice look to it of its own. It's also light beyond belief.

The DA 35 is a nice lens, like you've heard. I've owned it too, but I didn't like the focal length for macro, so I finally sold it. Still, it was fun while it lasted!

Good luck with your decision--hopefully you won't have to buy all three to make your decision!

08-31-2009, 03:34 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I will not bash you since the FA77 is indeed an autofocus version of the A*85. They both have 7 elements in 6 groups arranged exactly the same way, with 9 bladed aperture and FREE (Fixed Rear Element Extension) focusing. Unlike the FA*85, they are both designed to put the subject in the middle of the zone of focus, so as to maintain ultimate sharpness.

However, I disagree with the word "budget" since most would find the FA77 fairly expensive in the Pentax range. And it is certainly no budget build but a most excellent all-metal construction with smooth manual focusing and aperture dial. If you mean it is "affordable" then I would agree.

Well, you know, English is not my first language and perhaps I wanted to stir up a bit of debate. Actually, I don't think the A*85 is more affordable than the FA77. It appears to go for about the same price given a copy in good conditions.

In almost every way the Limited lens betters its predecessor. The FA77 is only 4.8cm long compared with 6.6cm, weighing a mere 270g versus 555g. This lens won't scare small children and there's no excuse not to have it in a handy bag or pocket. The A* with hood is not fitting in any pocket any time soon. Speaking of which, the snazzy built-in FA hood rocks!

I don't find the A*85 very big, but perhaps that's because I alternate with the A*135, which is 865g. I doubt you can build a 1.4 portrait lens much smaller.

The FA77 has better close focus, 70cm compared with 85cm. It takes less expensive 49mm filters, matching the rest of the range. And it comes in silver should you wish to match metal finish bodies.

I've always hated silver lenses...and all my bodies are black except the MZ-5. If I want close focus in this range, I'll bring the Tamron SP90/2.5. That is more than close focus.

In fact the only thing the A* has going for it is a faster aperture, but it's not even a full stop. At similar apertures the lenses test out to have similar sharpness, and both can suffer in the same way from CA.
I have handled the FA77 and have the A*85 in my bag, and I would choose the 85 over the 77 any day. Until you have used a portrait lens at 1.4 you may not realise that the difference between f1.4 and f1.8 is not always negligible. But I do have a soft spot for all A serie lenses (with exception of some truly budget versions) since that's the age when I came into Pentax.

But we could debate the difference between the 77 and the 85 for ever. You may understand me better if I say that they are close enough for me to think that I don't need the 77, while the 70 is that much smaller that it fills a different function. Much like why I don't have the DA40...because I have the M40.


Back to the OP's question. Even without the A*85 (or FA*85) in the game, if budget limits and prices makes it possible for him to get both the DA35+DA70, or only the FA77, I would say: go for the DA's. They are both fine lenses, and will together offer a larger versatility than just one lens. Currently I'm carrying the DA15+DA35+DA70 as my standard pocketable trio most of the time.
08-31-2009, 03:44 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Who said that? Aside from the fact that it lacks quick shift and I guess the new K-7 lens correction facility won't work with it, it's still a great lens by virtually all accounts.

However, nothing I've seen or experienced would suggest it's so much better than the DA70 to be worth getting only one great lens for the money instead of two (although you must be getting a heck of a deal on the 70 or 35 to be able to sfford both for the price of the 77). If you're absolutely obsessed with shooting f/2 and faster, OK, sure, but as someone who does an lot of low light shooting, I personally think apertures beyond f/2.8 are overrated. Others, of course, vehemently disagree, which is fine: it's all about personal preference. If you can't imagine not having the option of f/2 or slightly better, get the 77; otherwise, get the two just-as-great lenses for the price of one.
I think Nostatic said he didn't like the rendering on the K-7. Obviously this is subjective and he is entitled to his own opinion. I wish I had that lens...
08-31-2009, 04:19 PM   #19
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The 77 is awesome, but Nostatic and I have both noticed that the 77 renders a bit differently on the K7 versus the K10. I'm not sure if it's the change in sensor, or what, but he's noticed a difference and so have I. Not worse, not better, just different.

c[_]

08-31-2009, 05:34 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Until you have used a portrait lens at 1.4 you may not realise that the difference between f1.4 and f1.8 is not always negligible.
I have two different f/1.2 lenses for when I need real speed. But generally I'd be stopping down to f/2 to get some face in focus. A 2/3 stop difference is significant, I agree, but in practice not that usable at this aperture.

(I did not mean or take any offense by the way, just wanted to lay out the many virtues of the FA77.)
08-31-2009, 05:53 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
The 77 is awesome, but Nostatic and I have both noticed that the 77 renders a bit differently on the K7 versus the K10. I'm not sure if it's the change in sensor, or what, but he's noticed a difference and so have I. Not worse, not better, just different.

c[_]
coffee_IP: This is weird, but I believe you!

All of my lenses are different now, it's like starting over getting to know all of them. And this isn't something I expected or wanted, but in some cases they behave a bit better.

In my case, my 77 seems to have gotten better and my 31 worse. Ouch!
08-31-2009, 06:17 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
The 77 is awesome, but Nostatic and I have both noticed that the 77 renders a bit differently on the K7 versus the K10. I'm not sure if it's the change in sensor, or what, but he's noticed a difference and so have I. Not worse, not better, just different.
OK, without worrying about why that might be the case, I'll just observe that that's a far cry from saying it's not as good on the K-7 because it was designed for film.
08-31-2009, 07:44 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
although you must be getting a heck of a deal on the 70 or 35 to be able to sfford both for the price of the 77
You can get the DA70mm for $570 new in AUS which is almost half has much as the DA35mm. I was planning on searching on the marketplace for a decent second hand one with the exchange rate going so well and all =)

08-31-2009, 07:46 PM   #24
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Oh and cheers heaps for all the replies everyone.
Opinions seem to be going both ways so still confused =p
Think im leaning towards the 77mm if i can find a good deal within a month, then teh 35 and 70 if i get sick of searching
08-31-2009, 08:12 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I have two different f/1.2 lenses for when I need real speed. But generally I'd be stopping down to f/2 to get some face in focus. A 2/3 stop difference is significant, I agree, but in practice not that usable at this aperture.

Well, I still lack a f1.2 in Pentax mount. But as far as we talk Pentax original lenses there is nothing at f1.2 on classical portrait focal lengths...in the other hand APS-C turned the 50/1.2 into some sort of 75mm/1.2 equivalents. With bragin rights!

(I did not mean or take any offense by the way,

Me neither


just wanted to lay out the many virtues of the FA77.)
Given that they don't have any 85mm in production it is certainly good that they have the 77mm and the 70mm. In combination with they offer good choises between fast and compact. Then add the FA50, DA*55 and DFA100 and we can conclude that Pentax is well equiped with lenses in the portrait range. What I do miss, is probably something like a DA 90mm f2.5 limited , which should correspond to a fast and compact 135mm on film format. They could base it on the M85/2 since that is already an impressive compromise between quality and compact size. But now we are drifting away from the OPs question again (bad me).
08-31-2009, 08:20 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheTenaciousOne Quote
Oh and cheers heaps for all the replies everyone.
Opinions seem to be going both ways so still confused =p
Think im leaning towards the 77mm if i can find a good deal within a month, then teh 35 and 70 if i get sick of searching
I don't envy you. That is a tough decision. I was lucky because I switched to Pentax in part because I just loved everything about the 77 mm. The images, especially portraits, the fantastic build with the built in hood, as well as the sort of legendary status the lens has. Of course, the 35 mm didn't exist yet and I didn't know much about the 70 mm at the time. I later bought the 35 mm and love the combination of the 35/77. I like the size and weight of the lenses as they are similar.

The 35/70 combo would be great, too. The 70 v. 77 can be an endless exercise for many. I do believe that you can't go wrong with either lens.

I would say this: If your heart desires the 77 mm, and you get the 70 mm, you will always wonder - what if...

I suspect that you really want the 77 mm. I say this because if you were truly objective, than getting the 35/70 for close to the price of a 77 is a no brainer...

Good luck!
09-01-2009, 12:04 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
OK, without worrying about why that might be the case, I'll just observe that that's a far cry from saying it's not as good on the K-7 because it was designed for film.
Sorry Marc...I wouldn't know as I've never shot film Pentax (Minolta yes) so can't compare. I've shot the 77 on my K10's though tens of thousands of times and am quite familiar with how it renders and how to get the images to dance in Photoshop/LR to how I want.

The images from the 77 on my K7 look different and I don't know why. I'm not a measurbator or a pixel peeper so I can't explain exactly why it is different.

As I said before, it's not worse, it's not better, it's just different. That is all.

c[_]
09-01-2009, 12:06 PM   #28
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One thing we can conclude with great pleasure: Pentax has no lack of great portrait lenses!
09-01-2009, 12:09 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
coffee_IP: This is weird, but I believe you!

All of my lenses are different now, it's like starting over getting to know all of them. And this isn't something I expected or wanted, but in some cases they behave a bit better.

In my case, my 77 seems to have gotten better and my 31 worse. Ouch!
My FA50 has gone from a stellar performer on the K10 to flat out amazing on the K7. My sigma 70 has gone from near perfect to god like (it's scary good now).

I haven't shot my 10-17 enough to notice, nor my FA35, or Tamron 28-75. My hunch is that they will either be much better, or slightly different.

anyway...back to your regular programming.

c[_]
09-01-2009, 01:57 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
coffee_IP: This is weird, but I believe you!

All of my lenses are different now, it's like starting over getting to know all of them. And this isn't something I expected or wanted, but in some cases they behave a bit better.

In my case, my 77 seems to have gotten better and my 31 worse. Ouch!
I agree there, same has happened to me and I am glad I kept my GX20 as a second camera as I love the FA31.

My 2 x DA*'s have gone from stellar to amazing especailly low light and medium to high ISO, shot both mounted flash and non flash indoors the other day large room with statues and apart from some shadows on walls you could not tell the difference... very impressed.

I am now thinking of getting the DA 35 over the FA43 for this very reason alone.


Neil
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