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11-22-2009, 11:18 PM   #16
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failed upload so I'll just post my own samples here.

1st pic: K-7 jpeg
2nd pic: post-processed DNG RAW jpeg

results are hmmmmmm...... what do you think?

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11-23-2009, 12:58 AM   #17
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thanks for the comments so far, everyone.

I really like the 135mm focal length on film, which is about a 85mm on digital. Of course, I guess my thinking is that if I can get decent head shots with the DA*55 F1.4, then there may be no need to get an 85mm. As I can create the isolation effect by dropping to 55mm, and then moving in to get a tighter crop if need be.

I'm planning on using the 85mm as a sort of 'telephoto' portion of my low light lenses. I like using my lenses for general everyday use (Flowers, landscapes, objects), but mainly would like to use them for portraits, weddings/engagements, events and photojournalism.

I really like the DA*50-135. Will most likely keep it as a weather-sealed zoom at F2.8 can be a nice thing to have on a rainy day shoot :P (among other advantages)

So far, it seems like the main benefits would be a longer working distance plus the isolation effect of being able to shoot at wider apertures. F2.8 and F1.4 seems to be worlds apart in terms of blurring and 'removing' the background.

As for the pics... mmmm.... creamy...
11-23-2009, 01:13 AM   #18
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The 85/1.4 is better for isolating the subject for head to waist portraits. The wider 55mm can be a bit more busy in the background. For head and shoulders shots, usually, there is litter difference.

I've found the 85mm a bit harder to use indoors, so its very much an outdoor portrait lens for me. The FA*85/1.4 is also quite large and heavy, and I find myself reaching for a M85/2 more often because of this.

It boils down to personal preference and willingness to carry the size and load. If you need the absolute best, no compromise, portrait lens, then, yes, the FA*85/1.4 is a good choice. If portability and versatility is an issue, than the 55mm is a better bet.
11-23-2009, 01:26 AM   #19
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I have a Vivitar Series 1 85mm F1.4. (Same lens as Samyang, rokonon, bowler, etc...)

As others have noted, the 85mm focal length is not suited to indoor shots, and is much better for outdoors where it is a pleasure to use.

The lens is suprisingly sharp even at F1.4 and can offer shots at wider apertures than the 50-135 with excellent quality.

As a result it gives you some additioanl options in shooting as well as lower light capabilities if you need them.

The lens is quite large however, about twice the volume of my supertakumar 85mm F1.9.

some on the forum have criticized the lens for lacking "punch" but I have found the lens to be everything I expected,

As to whether you "NEED" the 85 mm F1.4 only you can answer this. I find that while zooms are good all around lenses, primes are better when you need a little extra.

I have posted these shots before from the lens.

and a crop at 100% (note shot at F2.5)




11-23-2009, 01:29 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote


okay okay... time to talk some sense into me.

I already have the Sigma 30mm F1.4 for general use and the DA*55 F1.4 for portraits. My question is: Do I really need an 85mm F1.4 lens if my DA*55 already does the job for portraits? What benefit would I get from getting an 85mm F1.4?

I figure if my DA*50-135 already covers that focal length (Although at F2.8)... I'm only getting more depth of field?

Opinions greatly appreciated
You need EVERY single lens you can financially afford. Those you cannot financially afford.... you should go ahead and billmelater them. You need to buy lenses before you feed your children, as all of us have done at one point or another. Credit cards, personal loans, home equity loan, second mortgages, and there are many other forms of legal borrowing options where there is a will. You should keep buying until you simply have no idea how many lenses you have. There are so many that among those, there have to be one or two that you have never ever used, some never out of the box. Simply one of each and every model available in today's market place will just not be enough. Don't let things like budget, sensibility, or fear of complete financial ruin ever talk you out of buying that next one. You need to focus on the positives; think of all the Vietnamese children who carefully assemble your next FA limited(s) with pride and joy. Therefore, you should get A* 85 and 135, two of each, immediately for a start. Although I have to say that bokeh of DA*50-135 is rather exceptional, I think. Not the smoothest, but rather have just the right amount of roughness to my liking. I would be floored and impressed if someone can differentiate pictures shot by primes and 50-135 at any focal length(assuming not wide open). If you are that much of a freak of nature, please do not forget to donate your eyeballs for biomedical research!!!
11-23-2009, 02:49 AM   #21
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btw, the 85/1.4 that I have is really bright at wide open. even on a complete overcast day, it shows tremendous brightness. I had to increase the shutterspeed at 1/400 just to get the normal exposure all over the frame. but having said that, shooting at 1/160 or 1/200 on that day would look great. the nicely exposed subject would be further isolated against a bright OOF background, but this doesn't necessarily mean or show that the shot would look overexposed. it is just that the background is bright, not overexposed.
11-23-2009, 03:00 AM   #22
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It's not widely known yet, but I know how one could get an 85/1.5 lens for a little more than peanuts. The only drawback is that there's no diaphragm and that the lens is M42. So a dream for wide open shooters
11-23-2009, 07:18 PM   #23
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I've considered getting M42 lenses, but the issues of changing them on the fly and then having to change the adaptor too would leave me without a camera for a bit too long. Unless there's a technique that I don't know that can make M42 lenses easy to switch?

I've been doing some research and it looks like it comes down to preference and working length. with the 55mm F1.4 I can get some pretty blurred backgrounds. I'm thinking that with 85mm I could get even more blurred backgrounds without having to stop down at F1.4 (maybe something like F2 or so). is that correct?

11-23-2009, 09:40 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
I've considered getting M42 lenses, but the issues of changing them on the fly and then having to change the adaptor too would leave me without a camera for a bit too long. Unless there's a technique that I don't know that can make M42 lenses easy to switch?

I've been doing some research and it looks like it comes down to preference and working length. with the 55mm F1.4 I can get some pretty blurred backgrounds. I'm thinking that with 85mm I could get even more blurred backgrounds without having to stop down at F1.4 (maybe something like F2 or so). is that correct?
Using a like new Takumar is a joy and the results can be very rewarding. Some people mount a K adapter permanently onto the lens, but I hate to see a Takumar changed that way. One you get used to it, changing them is no big deal (but it will fee awkward for the first while.

If I had to choose to keep only one line of lens, it would be my Takumars. You can go out and by a DA any old time, but it takes some effort to find a LN Takumar.
11-23-2009, 10:11 PM   #25
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I just tried FA * 85 when I purchase FA 43.

It is so impressive.

The build quility is creditably great(heavy).

The photo is perfect at F1.4.

I try to photo a newspaper about 10 meter away from me and I can see the smooth edge on each of words!

It is great but expensive. At least to me...
11-23-2009, 11:58 PM   #26
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I have a ton of fast 50s, the FA 77/1.8 limited, and the Jupiter-9 85/2. Of the bunch, I find my Pentax-K 55/1.8 and Helios 44M 58/2 to be the easiest to use at portrait distance on APS-C. That being said, both the 77 and the 85 are also perfectly usable. Back in the day (here we go again...), the standard kit was a 28mm or 35mm wide angle, the 50mm "standard", and a 124mm or 135mm short telephoto. The 135 generally was expected to do double duty as a portrait lens and was often referred to as such.

Now, if you multiply
85 x 1.5 = 128mm
This gives the 85mm a little wider FOV on APS-C than the 135mm has on 35mm film. Translation: 85mm is a little on the long end, but still a reasonable focal length for portraits. The only hitch comes when working space is limited. The longer working distance also means that you are not in your models face and are also less likely to get in the way of your lighting.

So, do you need an 85? If you say so, I guess you do. If you don't like it, I can guarantee that you won't have trouble finding a buyer!

Steve
11-24-2009, 03:36 AM   #27
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I wonder why Peter/Asahiflex did not mention his excellent 85ish comparison, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/74626-poinless...ait-teles.html

Nubi, you must have some spare lenses in the cabinet .-) I for one do always carry my organ donor card with me.

Dugrant, you can make those M42 smoother to handle on K-mount. Just screw the adapter onto the lens without the spring mechanism and drill a hole into the lens back where the K-mount locking pin sits.
About the stopping down from 1.4 to f/2, yes that's a very viable way to get the good picture. Many people do not agree to this and think they always have to shoot wide open or way closed down - they miss a lot of beauty imo. You may also run into matte screen adjustment problems with such small DOF - hard to do for non-tinkererers but not impossible.

Stevebrot, well explained from a hands-on perspective and I really love the 135mm for outdoor stuff (my fave is the CZJ 3.5/135 Sonnar). One of the reasons for me to look for a small format DSLR. Still I found the 135mm usable on Pentax DSLRs in daylight plus shake reduction.

Georg (the other)

Last edited by georgweb; 11-24-2009 at 03:42 AM.
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