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09-25-2009, 10:56 AM   #16
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True, although you'd need longer distance to subject to get the same compostion; not sure there's a net win here.

Anyhow, when you start getting into such specific cases of individual situtions where a 70/2.4 doens't cut it, all that does for me is emphasize just how many other situations it *does* work well for. And it also gets me thinking about how else I could cover those situations where the 70/2.4 doesn't cut it. Eg, head & torse with really shallow DOF: no reason a $25 M50/1.7 couldn't cover that. Or if you want something longer on occasion, a $100 M100/2.8, $200 M85/2, or a more expensive 90-100mm macro if you can't live without AF.

I guess if I thought an 85/1.8 were just so perfect that it would eliminate the need for any other portrait lens, that would be one thing, but it wouldn't really be that for me, and I don't even do portraits. So given that it pretty much still leaves you wanting something shorter, as well as sometimes something longer, and most people wouldn't realistically wouldn't be using it wider than f/2.4 "most" of the time for portraits anyhow, it just doesn't strike me as that great a loss; either way you nedd two or three lenses to get the job done.

Not that it wouldn't a nice option to have an AF85/1.8 be available as one option, though. But I can totally see why there is more call for the cheap fast normal.

09-25-2009, 12:48 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
True, although you'd need longer distance to subject to get the same compostion; not sure there's a net win here.

Anyhow, when you start getting into such specific cases of individual situtions where a 70/2.4 doens't cut it, all that does for me is emphasize just how many other situations it *does* work well for. And it also gets me thinking about how else I could cover those situations where the 70/2.4 doesn't cut it. Eg, head & torse with really shallow DOF: no reason a $25 M50/1.7 couldn't cover that. Or if you want something longer on occasion, a $100 M100/2.8, $200 M85/2, or a more expensive 90-100mm macro if you can't live without AF.

I guess if I thought an 85/1.8 were just so perfect that it would eliminate the need for any other portrait lens, that would be one thing, but it wouldn't really be that for me, and I don't even do portraits. So given that it pretty much still leaves you wanting something shorter, as well as sometimes something longer, and most people wouldn't realistically wouldn't be using it wider than f/2.4 "most" of the time for portraits anyhow, it just doesn't strike me as that great a loss; either way you nedd two or three lenses to get the job done.

Not that it wouldn't a nice option to have an AF85/1.8 be available as one option, though. But I can totally see why there is more call for the cheap fast normal.
I agree with everything you said. And I still want a cheap, fast DA 85mm
09-25-2009, 12:50 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
If Pentax made a DA 85 f/2 with a bit less PF than the M 85 f/2, while retaining The M 85's mind-blowing IQ, I'd get a Pentax tattoo on my friggin forehead. And yes, I'd buy the lens too.
Lol
I know you like your M85.
And I keep kicking myself for not having the guts to spend 109 when I had the chance to buy M85/2 in very good condition, when I did have the chance. I even put the lens on my camera but was in rush and didn't really give it a chance to impress me.
Supid!

BR
Peter
09-25-2009, 01:15 PM   #19
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Consider then the Tamron 90/2.8 Di macro.
Cheap - yes.
Good quality image - yes.
Not fast enough for you? It probably will be OK most of the time for portraiture - the longer you go, the thinner the DoF will be at the same aperture (sorry if this is something you already know).
My point is, there is something available that would probably suit you.

09-25-2009, 01:37 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Consider then the Tamron 90/2.8 Di macro.
Cheap - yes.
Good quality image - yes.
Not fast enough for you? It probably will be OK most of the time for portraiture - the longer you go, the thinner the DoF will be at the same aperture (sorry if this is something you already know).
My point is, there is something available that would probably suit you.
Yes, that's probably the biggest contender for me. Especially since it's also a 1:1 macro, which is nice, obviously. The Vivitar 85mm f1.4 is also intriguing.
09-25-2009, 01:40 PM   #21
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Of course, the 2 stop advantage of the Vivitar is a big plus - just depends if you'll shoot a lot wider than f/4, which would tip you towards the Vivitar.

I wouldn't be as confident using the Tamron wide open as I would the Vivitar at f/2.8...
09-25-2009, 02:14 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Of course, the 2 stop advantage of the Vivitar is a big plus - just depends if you'll shoot a lot wider than f/4, which would tip you towards the Vivitar.

I wouldn't be as confident using the Tamron wide open as I would the Vivitar at f/2.8...
Good point, but I'm a bit sceptical of the performance of the vivitar wide open. I find my fa 50 has very low contrast at f1.4. The vivitar is just $350, that's $1000 less than Sony's 85mm!
09-25-2009, 02:36 PM   #23
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though it is nice to have an 85mm option, the normal lenses 50 and 55 pretty much can cover the situation due to the crop value on APS-C dslrs. the 70 and 77 alone can cover the medium end telephoto or if you need a longer fl, the Tammy 90 and 100 and 135mm lenses would get you the needed results for headshots. considering the sharpness and IQ produced by these lenses + the fact that we have great PP softwares for enhancing the results, a simple cropping would do the job just as well. an 85mm though would simply be a panacea for LBA.

09-25-2009, 03:03 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by EricT Quote
Good point, but I'm a bit sceptical of the performance of the vivitar wide open. I find my fa 50 has very low contrast at f1.4. The vivitar is just $350, that's $1000 less than Sony's 85mm!
I've done some research into the 85mm f1.4 lens you refer to, and though I don't have it, I'm still considering it, and for what it is, it is pretty good actually from what I've read and based on the sample photos I've seen. Keep in mind that it is manual focus, not auto focus, probably made in Korea, which all contribute to it's low price.

And it's not a "Vivitar" is not so much a "Vivitar" in the classic sense - the name is now little more than a branding label (Syntax-Brillian bought the company in 2006, then before going bankrupt in 2008 sold the name and IP to Sakar International). All Vivitar/Samyang/Opteka/Bower/Rokinon/Polar/Sakar 85mm f1.4 lenses are the same internal optics, and only have minor cosmetic external differences at best. The K-mount versions all have the "A" aperture setting (though they're often listed with photos of the lens in other mounts that lack this). Sometimes they have different accessories (hood included or not, etc.) Price varies from $250-$350. But optically, they're all the same.

Here are all the reviews of it I've found (not just the K-mount version):

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/46479-review-s...erical-if.html

Vivitar Series 1 85mm f/1.4 Lens

Nikkor_Polar_Review (JSVFOTO)

Samyang 85 mm f/1.4 Aspherical IF review - Introduction - Lenstip.com

Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Review (Nikon) | Sam Dobson Photography
09-25-2009, 06:57 PM   #25
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The problem is that Pentax wouldn't make enough of any of the lenses mentioned in this thread for them to be cheap lenses. People don't understand that part of the reason why a 600 mm f5.6 lens is super expensive is not just the cost of the glass, but also the fact that comparitively few people will buy it. In the same way, most people aren't going to buy a new auto focus 85mm f1.8 (with an MSRP of 800 dollars) or, for that matter a 200 mm f2 (Canon's sells for around 5000 dollars). Nikon and Canon can sell theirs for cheaper because they have so many users...

Last edited by Rondec; 09-26-2009 at 04:40 AM.
09-25-2009, 08:21 PM   #26
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Shorter - but a great alternative...

I've had my eye on this lens for a while. On APS-C it hits the sweet spot for portraiture, at least in my opinion. Worth a look...

Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II - Test Report / Review
09-26-2009, 12:10 AM   #27
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Great, thanks! I've read most of those, but there were a few new to me. I agree with what one of the reviewers said, that this would make a great lens for video.
10-03-2009, 03:49 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by EricT Quote
Which auto-focus, fast(f<=2) and cheap(<$400) second-hand lenses around 85mm are you referring to?
For normal, you have the Sigma 30mm f1.4 for $400, and the Pentax 35mm f2 can still be found relatively cheap.
85mm was a portrait length on 35mm film cameras. With Pentax DSLRs any 50mm will do the same job. These are readily available second-hand since they were standard issue with many film SLRs.

As for a cheap 35mm F2? If you know of a cheap one - tell me!
Here is one on ebay and it isn't cheap!

btw- I was referring to genuine Pentax lenses - not sigma or other aftermarket lenses.
10-03-2009, 07:56 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by EricT Quote
I agree with everything you said. And I still want a cheap, fast DA 85mm
Fast and cheap do not come together, unless ...you go for old and discontinued. Look to e-bay but even there 85/f1.8 doesn't come really cheap.
10-04-2009, 12:19 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spock Quote
85mm was a portrait length on 35mm film cameras. With Pentax DSLRs any 50mm will do the same job. These are readily available second-hand since they were standard issue with many film SLRs.

As for a cheap 35mm F2? If you know of a cheap one - tell me!
Here is one on ebay and it isn't cheap!

btw- I was referring to genuine Pentax lenses - not sigma or other aftermarket lenses.
Well, I was talking about a fast 85mm, I already have the FA 50mm. Sure, it's useful as a portrait lens, but an 85mm would be great as well. And not just as a portrait lens, but as a general short telephoto for low-light situations.

As for a cheap 35mm, there is one in the marketplace at $360 right now:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographers-marketplace/73819-sale-pent...5mm-f-2-a.html
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