Very useful lens

Started May 8, 2016 | User reviews
Michael Foster - Blackpool New Member • Posts: 1
Very useful lens
1

I don't intend to start trying to say anything much in this review of a technical nature as the main review is fair on this aspect of the lens. This is more about how it is to use.

First things first, for a telephoto lens this is quite small and light. 
Build quality is superb. All metal construction and nice touches like the built in lens hood and the baize-lined metal lens cap set its stall out as a product that is going to last.
Let's get the main drawback out of the way. This lens is noisy in autofocus. It's one of those that works from the screw drive in the camera body and it's quite slow as a result. I also needed to calibrate it for full accuracy on my K5II.
Now for the good stuff! It's an amazing lens to use. Because it is so light and unobtrusive you can get some delightful candid pics because your subject is unaware of just how tight in you can crop. On a APS-C sensor the cropped characteristics mean it's shooting more like a 120mm lens on 35mm. The speed of the lens means lifting your subject out of a cluttered background is an option and the blur is buttery smooth. Even wide open the lens is capable of some very sharp images and at f/4 and above it's incredible. There is some vignetting wide open but I like it. I think in the digital era we kind of obsess about eradicating things we used to love as characteristics of lenses. 
Where this lens excels is in portraits. The superbly bright image you get in the viewfinder and the tight depth of field makes manual focussing easy, should you choose to go down this route. The results in terms of delivered contrast and tones are excellent.

f/2.8 at 1/180s ISO-800 under natural light.

As you can see from the included picture, the bokeh is buttery smooth with f/2.8 delivering sharpness and clarity. The skin tones are wonderful and it gives very pastel qualities to the greens and magentas in the image.
I can't stop using it for people pictures.

This picture was just me mucking about with the cat at f/1.8. I was using his eyes as my intended sharp point. The smooth nature of the blur in foreground and background is immediately apparent. Also, the sharpness even wide open is impressive.

I am very pleased that I bought this lens. If noisy and slightly slow autofocus is a game changing issue for you, avoid this. If build quality and character is more up your street this is well worth a punt.

Pentax smc FA 77mm 1.8 Limited
Telephoto prime lens • Pentax KAF • 27980
Michael Foster - Blackpool's score
4.5
Average community score
4.8
Pentax K-5 Pentax smc FA 77mm 1.8 Limited
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