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FA 77/1.8 - A Ridiculous Redundancy
Posted By: Sailor, 03-13-2014, 07:57 PM

As soon as the DA 70 Limited was introduced several years ago, I bought one and have thoroughly enjoyed it ever since. However, after my wife handed me an FA 31 Limited (which I adore like my first Mustang in 1964) on Christmas morning, I started to mull the idea of an FA 77 - something I require about as much as I need a lacrosse rule book. So, when B&H offered the 77 for about 800 smackers last week, I found myself ordering one . UPS delivered it last evening and now I report my experience after a whole 24 hours of ownership.

In general, I'm positive. I have little interest in "testing" lenses, but I did compare the sharpness of the the 77 and my 70 by mimicking the qualitative technique employed by PF in its evaluation of the two lenses (I used a flat, membrane microwave keypad rather than a focusing chart as a target). My observations mirror those of PF; the 77 is slightly but noticeably sharper down to about f/4, although "real world" difference under most circumstances is debatable. Also, I'm finding that the blurred, out-of-focus areas of photos shot with the 77 are more homogenous and delineate the in-focus subject with greater clarity - to me, a bit more satisfying. Finally, AF feels quicker and more resolute with the 77, especially in low light. On the other hand, the 77 is twice as heavy as a 70, and I dislike weight in lenses as much as I hate it in sports cars. Even so, based on my very limited experience (no pun intended) with my FA 77, I think it is - save for my FA 31 - probably the best AF lens I own (including my 5 DA Limited primes). The lens is, at the very least, the optical equivalent of my 70 and offers the modest advantages of somewhat higher speed, marginally longer reach and, as I mentioned, snappier AF. My only misgivings: I'm not quite seeing that ephemeral and undefinable "magic" with the 77 that I picked up in the first 5 frames shot with my 31 - but hell, that's all mystical mumbo jumbo, anyway .

Below are seven photos I took with the 77 this warm, sunny afternoon. None are keepers, but they represent the kind of photography I do 60 - 80% of the time. I'm keeping the 77, but my DA 70 (along with my other DA Limiteds) won't be retired; it'll come into action when I travel or when I need to lug my kit around for several hours.

Jer


Power Pole for Bob (f/8, 1/180):



Tanks (f/8, 1/500):



My Little Hot Rod (f/8, 1/180):



Park Pavilion (f/8, 1/250):



Brutally-Cropped Egret (f/8, 1/250):



Botanical Arch (f/5.6, 1/250):



Magnolia Leaf (f/2, 1/1500):


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03-14-2014, 04:41 PM   #16
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I sent your image to a buddy that works for SCE "electric company" and waiting for him to check what the pole covering is. Jer, have you noticed it on any other poles in your neighborhood?

03-14-2014, 04:50 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
Perhaps Bob can explain what this netting wrapped around the pole is all about. Never seen this before
I helped put up a lot of poles in Ohio, mostly phone but some shared phone/power, and I've never seen that mesh used before.
03-14-2014, 04:52 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob Harris Quote
I sent your image to a buddy that works for SCE "electric company" and waiting for him to check what the pole covering is. Jer, have you noticed it on any other poles in your neighborhood?
QuoteOriginally posted by OnTheWeb Quote
I helped put up a lot of poles in Ohio, mostly phone but some shared phone/power, and I've never seen that mesh used before.
Bob and OTW - as I mentioned above, I've never noticed anything like this before and at first thought what I was seeing was corruption of the file.


Jer
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