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03-23-2010, 07:54 AM   #1
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Replacing a 85/1.4 with a 77mm Ltd?

The title may seem a bit confusing:
I own a beautiful Carl-Zeiss T*Planar 85/1.4 ZK lens which I use, not often enough, for portraiture and some outdoors activities. It is manual focus but that is not an issue.
I want to know what you folks out there use the 77mm Ltd for.
Would it be worth to "replace" an 85/1.4 with a 77mm Ltd? I say "replace" only because I have no intention of selling the Zeiss lens ....
Would the focal length difference (12mm) make a big impact on the possibilities?

Trying to figure out how the 77mm would compare to a 85mm.

JP

03-23-2010, 08:31 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
The title may seem a bit confusing:
I own a beautiful Carl-Zeiss T*Planar 85/1.4 ZK lens which I use, not often enough, for portraiture and some outdoors activities. It is manual focus but that is not an issue.
I want to know what you folks out there use the 77mm Ltd for.
Would it be worth to "replace" an 85/1.4 with a 77mm Ltd? I say "replace" only because I have no intention of selling the Zeiss lens ....
Would the focal length difference (12mm) make a big impact on the possibilities?

Trying to figure out how the 77mm would compare to a 85mm.

JP
Good news is, the difference is only 8mm

If manual focus isn't the issue, what is? Size? Minimum focusing distance? Aside from those things, it's hard to fault the Zeiss!

I primarily use the 77 ltd for portraits, and candids where I personally don't have the time or skill to focus manually. On the K7, the focus is very fast. I enjoy the lens a lot more on the K7 than I did on the K20.

The Zeiss 85 is hard to beat in IQ and bokeh, but the 77 has a different look to it (different colour and rendering), so I wouldn't worry about overlap. I say if you can find one at a good price, or even a bad one, get it!
03-23-2010, 08:39 AM   #3
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I use it for the same thing I would the 85mm. I gave up on the 85mm Pentax lenses because of the high prices the currently bring and went with the 77mm. As far as the Zeiss and the limited, one is mf and the other af. One is f1.4 and the other f1.8. Both are nicely built. If you plan on keeping the Zeiss, perhaps you should consider the DA 70mm ltd since that would give you 15mm difference in the 2 plus even more of a different "look."
03-23-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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I have FA*85, FA77Ltd and few other close to these lenses

I take my 77Ltd for trips where size is important but still I want to have real/excellent portrait lens. It works for me.

Burma few weeks ago.
Pentax PENTAX K20D,Pentax smc P-FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited
1/125s f/1.8 at 77.0mm iso200


Churchil in Canada last November.
Pentax PENTAX K200D,Pentax smc P-FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited
1/1600s f/2.0 at 77.0mm iso100


03-24-2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
Good news is, the difference is only 8mm

If manual focus isn't the issue, what is? Size? Minimum focusing distance? Aside from those things, it's hard to fault the Zeiss!

I primarily use the 77 ltd for portraits, and candids where I personally don't have the time or skill to focus manually. On the K7, the focus is very fast. I enjoy the lens a lot more on the K7 than I did on the K20.

The Zeiss 85 is hard to beat in IQ and bokeh, but the 77 has a different look to it (different colour and rendering), so I wouldn't worry about overlap. I say if you can find one at a good price, or even a bad one, get it!
Manual focusing is not a real issue with the Zeiss but it took me a long time to "get it right"; and I don't get it right 50% of the time (fully opened). After having switched from older manual lenses (back in the late 70's) to newer AF lenses (in the late 90's and to the present day), I am having a tough time to manually focus properly, however when I do get it right with this lens, the results are splendid.
It would be nice to be able to compare both lenses side by side; I don't know a soul nearby with a 77 Ltd.
The AF would certainly be welcome at times too!
Thanks for the reply.

JP
03-24-2010, 09:50 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I use it for the same thing I would the 85mm. I gave up on the 85mm Pentax lenses because of the high prices the currently bring and went with the 77mm. As far as the Zeiss and the limited, one is mf and the other af. One is f1.4 and the other f1.8. Both are nicely built. If you plan on keeping the Zeiss, perhaps you should consider the DA 70mm ltd since that would give you 15mm difference in the 2 plus even more of a different "look."
F 1.4 is very useful when I do inside shots. The AF would be nice but I think it is a matter of taking more pics using manual focusing, something I have sort of "lost" over the years.
Built: the Zeiss is one heavy and big lens but I actually like the feel of it.
The 15 mm difference might make a difference, but I am wondering about results when comparing, side by side, a 77mm Ltd vs. a 70mm Ltd.
03-24-2010, 09:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Piotr Quote
I have FA*85, FA77Ltd and few other close to these lenses

I take my 77Ltd for trips where size is important but still I want to have real/excellent portrait lens. It works for me.
Beside the size of the FA*85, would you take it as a travelling lens for the same purpose as the 77 Ltd

By the way, those are great photos you have here, taken with the 77 Ltd.

JP
03-24-2010, 10:03 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
F 1.4 is very useful when I do inside shots. The AF would be nice but I think it is a matter of taking more pics using manual focusing, something I have sort of "lost" over the years.
Built: the Zeiss is one heavy and big lens but I actually like the feel of it.
The 15 mm difference might make a difference, but I am wondering about results when comparing, side by side, a 77mm Ltd vs. a 70mm Ltd.
Comparing the 77mm and 70mm ltd lenses side by side is tough. It took me a while to pick between them. At the end of the day it came down to the fact that the prices had gone up on the 70mm substantially and the 77mm had the aperture ring. However, if I had the Zeiss 85mm or other mf like one of the Pentax or Voightlander, I would have gone with the 70mm ltd . . . maybe.

03-24-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Comparing the 77mm and 70mm ltd lenses side by side is tough. It took me a while to pick between them. At the end of the day it came down to the fact that the prices had gone up on the 70mm substantially and the 77mm had the aperture ring. However, if I had the Zeiss 85mm or other mf like one of the Pentax or Voightlander, I would have gone with the 70mm ltd . . . maybe.
I compared both for a week. I ultimately chose the 77 b/c I liked the bit of extra length for portraits and I enjoyed opening up to 1.8 every now and then. The 70 does AF faster and the 77 does give me more PF, but I thought the portraits I took with the 77 felt a little more special to me.
03-24-2010, 10:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Comparing the 77mm and 70mm ltd lenses side by side is tough. It took me a while to pick between them. At the end of the day it came down to the fact that the prices had gone up on the 70mm substantially and the 77mm had the aperture ring. However, if I had the Zeiss 85mm or other mf like one of the Pentax or Voightlander, I would have gone with the 70mm ltd . . . maybe.
So I assume that the IQ is very similar between the two lenses.
Your shots here show that the 77 Ltd has superb rendition.
If the DA 70 Ltd shows the same IQ, it really makes it tough to choose, except for the price.

I think you will appreciate the FA even more when Pentax sells you a nice FF camera body in the year 2025! .... just kidding ... but what I am saying is that a FA lens would probably be more my type of lens vs. a DA, just in case this ever happens;

JP
03-24-2010, 10:29 AM   #11
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If you go back and look at the history of the Asahi Optical/Pentax 85mm lenses, they have a comparison to the Zeiss.

Early Pentax Takumar Lenses

Then take a look at the formula and layout of the 77mm ltd in comparison to the A* 85mm which is mentioned in the above article.




A* 85mm f1.4




Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Planar





Then compare the DA 70mm ltd to the Zeiss 80mm f1.8 (both are 6/5)

DA 70mm ltd


Zeiss 80mm f1.8



These images are at Dimitrov Pentax Short Telephoto Prime Lenses or Early Pentax Takumar Lenses


Edit: The fact is, I don't think there are any of the lenses mentioned herein that I wouldn't like a lot on several levels.

Last edited by Blue; 03-24-2010 at 10:35 AM.
03-24-2010, 04:09 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Beside the size of the FA*85, would you take it as a travelling lens for the same purpose as the 77 Ltd

By the way, those are great photos you have here, taken with the 77 Ltd.

JP
for traveling - no, no because of size and because of value
for more comfortable situations I would always prefer FA*85 - just because it is superior to any other portrait lens around 85mm
03-24-2010, 05:01 PM   #13
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I have the 70, 77, M85/2 and A*85/1.4.
If I was to keep only one, it would be the 85/1.4. Since I go it, the other three see very little use.
From what I understand, the Zeiss is every bit the lens as the A*85/1.4, or perhaps a little better.
I wouldn't consider giving that one up quite honestly.
03-24-2010, 05:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
If you go back and look at the history of the Asahi Optical/Pentax 85mm lenses, they have a comparison to the Zeiss.

Early Pentax Takumar Lenses

Then take a look at the formula and layout of the 77mm ltd in comparison to the A* 85mm which is mentioned in the above article.




A* 85mm f1.4




Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Planar





Then compare the DA 70mm ltd to the Zeiss 80mm f1.8 (both are 6/5)

DA 70mm ltd


Zeiss 80mm f1.8



These images are at Dimitrov Pentax Short Telephoto Prime Lenses or Early Pentax Takumar Lenses


Edit: The fact is, I don't think there are any of the lenses mentioned herein that I wouldn't like a lot on several levels.
Ahh I see!
Interesting report and proofs therein that they all "behave" quite similarly.
My only question is now: do I really need a 77mm Ltd now that I have the 85/1.4?
Thank a bunch for the links!

JP
03-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I have the 70, 77, M85/2 and A*85/1.4.
If I was to keep only one, it would be the 85/1.4. Since I go it, the other three see very little use.
From what I understand, the Zeiss is every bit the lens as the A*85/1.4, or perhaps a little better.
I wouldn't consider giving that one up quite honestly.
As I mentioned earlier: I have yet to use this lens a lot more to appreciate its capabilities. This is a case of pure laziness from my part. I should just stuff it in the bag when I go out for a photo session, whether in nature or otherwise.
I guess I am getting used to those AF lenses for way to long now and that has made me lazy: much easier to let the camera focus rather than the "hard work" of manual focusing!
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