Sunday, February 25, 2007

By popular demand: Pentax DA 70mm Limited compared to FA 77mm

Back in October 2006, I had the opportunity to try the newly introduced DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited "Pancake" lens along with the legendary FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited. I posted some sample images from both lenses in the Pentax SLR forum at DPreview.

The images were lost when I switched to another ISP. Upon request, I decided to repost them with the (edited) comments I wrote about these two fine lenses.

  • The DA 70 is way smaller and lighter than the FA 77. It totally deserves the pancake appellation.
  • The DA 70 is a tiny bit sharper wide open than the FA 77 at f/2.5.
  • There is some purple fringing with the FA 77, none with the DA 70.
  • AF is very fast and quiet with the DA 70, fast (but noisy) with the FA 77.
  • The FOV difference between 70mm and 77mm is more important that I was expecting.
  • Stopped at f/2.4, the FA 77 seems to expose about 1/3 stop faster than the DA 70 set to the same aperture and the DOF is narrower, which makes me think that the DA 70 is closer to f/2.8 than the claimed f/2.4 wide open.
  • As for bokeh, I will let you judge. The topic is just too suggestive and too controversial.

Pictures were taken with K100D (raw), processed with Adobe ACR. No other adjustments then resizing for the web.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mskad,
Great homepage.
You write :
“Pictures were taken with K100D (raw), processed with Adobe ACR. No other adjustments then resizing for the web.”

Does that mean that the pictures look so nice, just straight out of the camera in RAW mode, and then just converted to JEPG ?

(Makes some of the rest of us that might normally would go for JPEG, wanna try out the RAW.)

Thanks for your efforts and work.

sam_ven said...

Sorry to ask, but what program-CS2 plugin do you use to create the frames on your photos?
I have to say that your frames are just as beautiful as your photos!


mskad said...

Sune: strait from raw. You should definitively use raw. Forget jpeg.

Sam: framing is done with absolute sharpening web script (adobe CS/CS2 script that you can find here:

GTOli, Oliver M. said...

Hello MSKAD.

Wich lens do you prefer??

mskad said...

Oliver, I would recommend... both lenses ;-)

Seriously, the DA 70mm fits very nicely the K100D and the FA 77mm the K10D. You can't be wrong with either.

OK, I personally prefer the FA 77mm, but it's totally irrational.

Guy said...

I remember seeing these pictures which helped me decide to buy the DA70 for its compactness. It looked to me that the 70 was quite the equal of the 77. Now your post on the 43 makes me think -I have all three pancakes but haven't used my 40mm much.

I just ordered a Tamron 25-75 so I will compare it to the 70 and 40.

LDevil said...

Guy, can you post result of comparison Tamron 28-75/2.8 vs 70/2.4?

roentarre said...

Incredible images and great post here!