Sep 7, 2020
HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW
When Pentax released the HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW in 2018, it heralded a new generation of lenses, aiming for the highest possible optical qualities, coupled with fast apertures, fast autofocus, weather sealing, and the level of crafstmanship associated with STAR lenses. When compared with both older Pentax 50mm lenses, and recent 50mm lenses from other manufacturers, the D FA* 50mm illustrated how good Pentax lenses can be.
In 2020, the company released a second prime following the same ethos: the HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW. Following the same guidelines as the 50mm, this new 85mm aims at being the pinnacle of portrait lenses on the K-mount.
With a large size, high weight, and even higher price, the 85mm is a lens without compromises. Expectations are as high as the price; nothing short of excellence will be acceptable. Moreover, the lens will compete against several other well-regarded Pentax lenses well suited for portraits, such as the FA 77mm Limited and the D FA* 70-200mm F2.8.
Can the D FA* 85mm meet these expectations? Is it really the new crown jewel of the K-mount? At the time of writing this review, users have given the 85mm a perfect 10 rating. How does this translate in the studio? Read on to learn more about how the 85mm stood up to our tests!
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