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10-09-2009, 02:42 PM   #1
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Aggression or admiration towards the 3rd-party 85mm 1.4?

I made some research regarding this lens last night. they called it by various names like Samyang, Rokinon, Polar, Vivitar, Bower, etc...

it generated some interests in me since I was looking for a much shorter telephoto than my FA100/2.8 which is a great telephoto lens for portraiture especially if used wide open and I love it's rendering very much but found it a bit too long and quite slow for lowlights. due to the absence or rarity and cost of the Pentax 85's, I looked for other alternatives. such alternatives includes the DA70 and FA77 where both are outstanding lenses but are quite pricey for me. I do find the price of the 3rd-party 85mm very attractive. you got get 2 copies for the price of the DA70 and 3 copies for the FA77. not to mention that it is a 1/2 faster and 1 1/2 faster than both lenses at f1.4. what I seem to like about the 85mm lens is it's usability at 1.4 and rendering which is as creamy and nice as that of the FA100 in some way but I give the 85 more edge on the OOF field and lowlight performance. I found the images truly amazing basing from what I initially saw eventhough I haven't really tested it yet personally. I just can't seem to understand why there are people who seem to put this lens down while I see it to be really nice. a lot of inconclusive and somehow biased remarks are given to it and preference over the other 85s' such as the 1.8's and 1.4's of the big two. while a few people acknowledge it's advantages over those in terms of sharpness and rendering. I'm very much familiar with the Nikon and Canon 85s 1.8 sharpness and liked them. but I would disagree with some of the fanboys comments that those two are sharper than the 3rd-party 85. I do give credit to where it's due and I don't see any point of not liking that lens just because it ain't a prime brand. though the results speaks otherwise.

the only cons that I see about the 3rd-party 85 are it's lack of AF function or focus-confirm chip which could had been very helpful for a catch-in-focus shooting which could had been cool considering shooting at a fast rate. but anyway, this does validate my purchase of a Katz-Eye for the K-7. I could only imagine or salivate on how this lens would perform on that camera. or does anyone here would be willing to post some pictures taken from it?

as for me,I'm considering a future purchase of this lens and I'm looking on getting the Rokinon version.

P.S. I believe this lens' results are better cropped on the K-7 rather than putting on a TC.


Last edited by Pentaxor; 10-09-2009 at 03:06 PM.
10-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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From what I've read, it seems that the 85mm Samyang is relatively sharp wide open (sharper than other 85mm lenses), but doesn't get as sharp as others when stopped down. If you like to shoot wide open, or at around f/2, it's a great lens. I saw terrific photos taken with the Samyang and Nikon D700. Great performance even on full frame. http://forum.manualfocus.org/viewtopic.php?id=14608
10-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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Catch focus should work if it's a K mount and it grounds all the contacts. It does on my Opteka 500mm mirror which is a T mount lens. I cleaned all the paint off the surface of the lens mount. You can also put a strip of tin foil between the lens and camera body but thats a kind of pain unless you don't change lenses often.
10-10-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
it generated some interests in me since I was looking for a much shorter telephoto than my FA100/2.8 which is a great telephoto lens for portraiture especially if used wide open and I love it's rendering very much but found it a bit too long and quite slow for lowlights. due to the absence or rarity and cost of the Pentax 85's, I looked for other alternatives.
BTW, the M85/2 isn't that hard to find (at least one on Ebay right now), and is cheaper (and a *lot* smaller) than the 85/1.4's.

But people do seem to generally like these 85/1.4's a lot - not trying to talk you out of that at all.

As mentioned by others, focus confirm works with all K-mount lenses, these included, and the 85/1.4's also support full auto-exposure. All you're giving up is AF. And really, DOF is so shallow at 85/1.4 that you can't really depend on AF to place the focus zone *exactly* where you want it anyhow.

10-10-2009, 11:29 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
BTW, the M85/2 isn't that hard to find (at least one on Ebay right now), and is cheaper (and a *lot* smaller) than the 85/1.4's.

But people do seem to generally like these 85/1.4's a lot - not trying to talk you out of that at all.

As mentioned by others, focus confirm works with all K-mount lenses, these included, and the 85/1.4's also support full auto-exposure. All you're giving up is AF. And really, DOF is so shallow at 85/1.4 that you can't really depend on AF to place the focus zone *exactly* where you want it anyhow.
thank you for this additional and very helpful info Marc. I now believe that focus confirm is a problem to other mounts. thank goodness that it is available and works for the K-mount. that would be a big help. the reason that I mention this and a concern is because of the lack of proper info about the 85mm lens. some sellers say that it is autofocus which really surprised me but held back to investigate further inorder to make sure that it ain't a false marketing trap. auto-exposure is another big + to it even more.

I didn't find anything that you said was up on eBay right now, not unless the one up for bid which I suspect would increase in price once the bid final day of bidding arrives. besides, an extra stop advantage of the 85 1.4 is really very hard to resist, especially with that price. do you have one Marc?

I don't mind the lack of AF feature since I'll be ordering a Katz-Eye for the K-7 soon and once it becomes available here. nor Am I considering an AF TC for it, since that would clearly nullify the aperture advantage. besides, catch-in focus is working, right?
10-11-2009, 01:23 PM   #6
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Make sure you are not confusing IF with AF (Internal Focus vs. Auto Focus) the Samyang 85 is an internal focus lens, the length does not increase with focus distance.

Lenstip had a very thorough review of this lens and while it does get sharper from wide open to about f8 after that it is softer. Also on their test sharper doesn't mean that it is as sharp as the Pentax or other major brand 85mm.

I agree with Marc about the auto focus at 1.4 the depth of field may only be a few inches, very little for the AF to lock onto.

Catch in focus works with this lens without worrying about "chips", auto focus or any other missing features.

I use my Opteka with two K20d's one with a Nikon K-3 screen and the other with a Canon Ec-B screen, both make focusing wide open easier, you should not have any issues focusing with a Katz-Eye screen.

Last edited by WheresWaldo; 10-11-2009 at 02:05 PM.
10-11-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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these have been posted before

All done with my vivitar series 1 85mm F1.4 (AKA samyang)




100% crop at F2.5
10-11-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
some sellers say that it is autofocus which really surprised me but held back to investigate further inorder to make sure that it ain't a false marketing trap.
Definitely not AF; avoid any seller who claims it is. It may well be, as another poster mentioned, internal focus - but that's still manual.

QuoteQuote:
I didn't find anything that you said was up on eBay right now, not unless the one up for bid which I suspect would increase in price once the bid final day of bidding arrives.
I was referring to this one:

PENTAX SMC-M M 85MM F2.0 PORTRAIT LENS - eBay (item 110442998495 end time Oct-13-09 19:15:00 PDT)

Sure, the price will go up. They generally sell for around $200-$250, but I've seen them go for a little less as well as a little more.

QuoteQuote:
do you have one Marc?
I don't have either of these. The 85/1.4 is too large to interest me, and for my purposes, DOF would be so shallow at f/1.4 I know I'd never use it there. but the 85/2 is something Ive had my eye on for a while. I shouldn't need it since getting the 70/2.4 - between it and the M100/2.8, I'm really well set for that focal length range - but that doens't stop me from continuing to think about it.

QuoteQuote:
besides, catch-in focus is working, right?
Yes, that should work too.

10-11-2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Definitely not AF; avoid any seller who claims it is. It may well be, as another poster mentioned, internal focus - but that's still manual.



I was referring to this one:

PENTAX SMC-M M 85MM F2.0 PORTRAIT LENS - eBay (item 110442998495 end time Oct-13-09 19:15:00 PDT)

Sure, the price will go up. They generally sell for around $200-$250, but I've seen them go for a little less as well as a little more.



I don't have either of these. The 85/1.4 is too large to interest me, and for my purposes, DOF would be so shallow at f/1.4 I know I'd never use it there. but the 85/2 is something Ive had my eye on for a while. I shouldn't need it since getting the 70/2.4 - between it and the M100/2.8, I'm really well set for that focal length range - but that doens't stop me from continuing to think about it.



Yes, that should work too.
I see. thanks Marc. I just really got interested in it because I saw how usable it was at 1.4, not to mention how well it performed compared to the Canikon counterparts (1.4 and 1.8). I had held an 85/1.8 Nikon and saw how sharp it was. much to my surprise that the Samyang beat it at 1.8. also the thing that is different with the Samyang and Nikon is the Bokeh difference. of course, the 1.8 is autofocus, but the additional 200-250 price difference is not worth the function, especially if the other one is faster, sharper and has better bokeh rendering (subjective) for isolating subjects (images). the Samyang is sold for around 250-300 bucks, btw. yeah, I know it's a Nikkor lens but I'm just making a lens comparison that I had tried already since I haven't held a Pentax 85 yet. I also believe that the price of the Pentax 85 A* and FA* which are around 1,000 bucks (700 more than the Samyang) are just not worth it especially when I saw the comparative results coming from the Samyang 85 and a Pentax FA 85 posted by another forum member.

and besides, I won't have a problem shooting and focusing faster since you said that catch-in-focus works on that particular lens. let alone that I'll be replacing my focusing screen anytime sooner.

with regards to the M85/2 price, if it is being sold at 200 or 250, I think it would be best to go for the 1.4 since there is almost no price difference at all, unless of course you are vying for the Pentax brand.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 10-11-2009 at 04:59 PM.
10-11-2009, 04:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
....

I was referring to this one:

PENTAX SMC-M M 85MM F2.0 PORTRAIT LENS - eBay (item 110442998495 end time Oct-13-09 19:15:00 PDT)

Sure, the price will go up. They generally sell for around $200-$250, but I've seen them go for a little less as well as a little more.
.....
I wouldn't mind one of those either....
10-11-2009, 10:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I made some research regarding this lens last night. they called it by various names like Samyang, Rokinon, Polar, Vivitar, Bower, etc...

it generated some interests in me since I was looking for a much shorter telephoto than my FA100/2.8 which is a great telephoto lens for portraiture especially if used wide open and I love it's rendering very much but found it a bit too long and quite slow for lowlights. due to the absence or rarity and cost of the Pentax 85's, I looked for other alternatives. such alternatives includes the DA70 and FA77 where both are outstanding lenses but are quite pricey for me. I do find the price of the 3rd-party 85mm very attractive. you got get 2 copies for the price of the DA70 and 3 copies for the FA77. not to mention that it is a 1/2 faster and 1 1/2 faster than both lenses at f1.4. what I seem to like about the 85mm lens is it's usability at 1.4 and rendering which is as creamy and nice as that of the FA100 in some way but I give the 85 more edge on the OOF field and lowlight performance. I found the images truly amazing basing from what I initially saw eventhough I haven't really tested it yet personally. I just can't seem to understand why there are people who seem to put this lens down while I see it to be really nice. a lot of inconclusive and somehow biased remarks are given to it and preference over the other 85s' such as the 1.8's and 1.4's of the big two. while a few people acknowledge it's advantages over those in terms of sharpness and rendering. I'm very much familiar with the Nikon and Canon 85s 1.8 sharpness and liked them. but I would disagree with some of the fanboys comments that those two are sharper than the 3rd-party 85. I do give credit to where it's due and I don't see any point of not liking that lens just because it ain't a prime brand. though the results speaks otherwise.

the only cons that I see about the 3rd-party 85 are it's lack of AF function or focus-confirm chip which could had been very helpful for a catch-in-focus shooting which could had been cool considering shooting at a fast rate. but anyway, this does validate my purchase of a Katz-Eye for the K-7. I could only imagine or salivate on how this lens would perform on that camera. or does anyone here would be willing to post some pictures taken from it?

as for me,I'm considering a future purchase of this lens and I'm looking on getting the Rokinon version.

P.S. I believe this lens' results are better cropped on the K-7 rather than putting on a TC.
There's a recent thread about this lens on dpreview. The quality wide-open looks excellent to me.
10-11-2009, 10:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
with regards to the M85/2 price, if it is being sold at 200 or 250, I think it would be best to go for the 1.4 since there is almost no price difference at all, unless of course you are vying for the Pentax brand.
Like I said, for me it's all about size & weight. An 85/1.4 is just huge compared to the M85/2. But if you're not concerned about that, I agree the 85/1.4 makes a ton of sense.
10-12-2009, 05:14 PM   #13
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I have said this beofre but worth repeating, I am yet to see a single image from there 85/1,4's over th ewpast 12 months that say BUY me ... they all scream .... GET A 77 INSTEAD.
10-12-2009, 10:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I have said this beofre but worth repeating, I am yet to see a single image from there 85/1,4's over th ewpast 12 months that say BUY me ... they all scream .... GET A 77 INSTEAD.
I believe I don't get what you mean by that. but as much as I had found and gathered from my research, there isn't a single one who complained about the 85/1.4 nor being sold at the marketplace at a consistent basis. the only complaints that I read from are coming from fanboys who never really held the lens.

given the IQ performance, speed and price of the 85 over the 77, the 85 would be the more logical choice, no matter how nice the 77 is. you just can't beat the 250 dollar price tag that comes along with great IQ performance. unless the 77 is being sold at 400 bucks (which I believe would never happen), well that would had been more interesting. the price of the 77 is keeping some people off from getting one pronto. I wouldn't be surprised if the 85 would outsell the 77 in the long run.
10-12-2009, 11:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
...
I was referring to this one:

PENTAX SMC-M M 85MM F2.0 PORTRAIT LENS - eBay (item 110442998495 end time Oct-13-09 19:15:00 PDT)

Sure, the price will go up. They generally sell for around $200-$250, but I've seen them go for a little less as well as a little more.

... the 85/2 is something Ive had my eye on for a while. I shouldn't need it since getting the 70/2.4 - between it and the M100/2.8, I'm really well set for that focal length range - but that doens't stop me from continuing to think about it.
.


Marc,

Imagine my torment in late 2007 and early 2008 when I'd go into a local camera store every few weeks to 'browse', and have to stare at (and handle) a near-mint M 85 f/2, sitting there unsold at $340 (IIRC). It just seemed to have such solidity for a relatively small telephoto, I could tell there were thick elements inside, and that SMC coating seemed to glow a certain delicious, deep, blue-purple tint...

The one day I walked in and it was marked down to a more reasonable amount, so it became mine.



There - lens porn for 'ya. Now bid on an M 85 f/2!

M 85 f/2 wide-open, followed by crop:




To the OP - I bought a Vivitar 85 1.4, but the aperture was stuck wide-open, so it went back. I've since read about a lot of problems with that very thing, so if you get one, make sure it's easily returnable. But a good one seems pretty tasty. Although not in the same league as the M 85 f/2.

.

Last edited by jsherman999; 10-12-2009 at 11:15 PM.
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