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Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax

You Pay: $269.00
Product Highlights
  • Aspherical

The Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Lens is a special effort in the independent lens manufacturer world, being a popular focal length for serious portraiture combined with an extra large f/1.4 maximum aperture.  Most independent manufacturer lenses are either zooms or very short or long focal length fixed lenses.  This lens is appropriate for Pentax "full frame" film cameras in addition to their current 15 x 22mm "APS-C" style digital SLR cameras, and presents no limitations to the camera operation beyond the manual focusing-it is for all practical purposes a "KA" style mount, and communicates the lens' aperture to the camera body.  This lens is precision manufactured in South Korea.

With a 35mm equivalent focal length of ~127mm and that f/1.4 aperture, this Bower 85mm lens opens up photographic opportunities you'll never get with your zoom.  Capture close portraits of singers on dark stages with only spotlights on their faces, and those background lights will be soft cascades of low-contrast coloring.  With the big f/1.4 opening, you'll have enough light to stop subject motion.  Or try it in brighter conditions at fast shutter speeds and low ISOs to make great shots of people in front of blooming trees, with background flowers almost looking like paintings.  It isn't easy nailing manual focus at f/1.4-2.0 (nor for that matter is it easy for an AF system), but you'll get better with practice, and soon be making many snaps that stand out in a crowd.

This lens was truly created with large-aperture shooting in mind.  Though a fine performer with plenty of contrast and resolution at f/5.6-f/11 apertures, it is at its best shooting between f/1.4-2.8, where it presents a high-peak-resolution focus point surrounded by lower resolution/contrast out-of-focus areas.  Rather than just sharpness all around, for many pictures it is this stark drop off in resolution and contrast that effectively draws a viewer's eye towards a subject.

Bright f/1.4 aperture
Aspherical lens element provides high quality images
Fully multicoated optics
Ideal portrait lens
Low weight relative to many 85mm f/1.4 lenses
Smooth helicoid manual focus action
Internal focusing means that lens length remains constant during focusing (lens front also does not rotate)
Made in South Korea
Performance
Focal Length 85mm
Aperture Maximum: f/1.4
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Pentax K
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Pentax Digital (APS-C)
Angle of View 28.3°
APS-C Picture Angle: 19.1°
Minimum Focus Distance 3.28' (1 m)
Magnification Not Specified By Manufacturer
Maximum Reproduction Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
Elements/Groups 9/7
Diaphragm Blades Not Specified By Manufacturer
Features
Image Stabilization No
Autofocus No
Tripod Collar No
Environmental
Physical
Filter Thread 72 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.0 x 3.75" (76.20 x 95.25 mm)
Weight 1.15 lb (.52 kg)
Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax
  • Front & Rear Lens Caps
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Pouch
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Bower85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax
     
    4.8

    (based on 9 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (7)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Nice bokeh (4)
    • Strong construction (4)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Low light (4)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Photo enthusiast (3)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (5)

      Reviewed by 9 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-9

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      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      super

      By Michel

      from lac st jean ,canada

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

      tanks

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Astounded

      By mosfet32

      from Boston, NY

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Night Photography
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

        I am a prosumer photographer with a Pentx K5-IIs. I had an old manual 50mm F1.4 lens that I used for low light or extreme bokeh shots. It was time to upgrade. I purchased a Sigma 50mm F1.4 AF, but was not happy with its AF consistence or color quality, so I returned it. I decided to take a chance on this MF Auto Aperture Samyang (bower) lens. I want it primarily for portraits, low light, and bokeh. IT IS AWESOME. Optical quality is spectacular. Razor sharp and minimal CA, vignetting, etc. I have no problem getting sharp focus even at 1.4. At 2.8 this lens blows away every other lens in my bag. Focus ring is smooth. Quality is solid feeling. Don't be afraid!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Feels great

        By Fotograf Geissler

        from Ontario

        Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

        It's a heavy lens, but I like the solid feel. Not plasticky at all. The focus ring has a large sway which makes it easier to focus (manual focus only) very accurately. I use this on a Pentax K3 which has an in-focus indicator through the viewfinder, aside from focus peaking on the LCD screen. I don't find manual focus a difficulty - often quicker with some practice. (Especially if you grew up in the film era!). Very sharp and with the crop sensor any edge distortions are minimized.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Amazing value for money

        By Kiwi Jono

        from Christchurch, New Zealand

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good in low light
        • Low CA
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Nice Feel To Focus
        • Sharp
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • 1m Closest Focus
        • Manual Focus
        • Sometimes Purple Fringing

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Portrait
        • Shallow Depth Photography

        Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

        I got this lens for general shallow depth of field and also low light photography so I was looking for a lens that was usable wide open at f1.4.

        The Bower (Samyang) 85mm delivers good sharpness images (frame center) wide open at f1.4 and so is exactly what I was looking for. Also stopped down to f5.6 it is very sharp across the frame with useful

        Its not a perfect lens (very few are). If you don't like manual focus this lens is not for you. If you are looking for a lens with close focus it is also not for you. If you need a lens that is sharp corner to corner wide open (something thats rare for f1.4 lenses) it may not be for you. Also in high contrast conditions you may see some purple fringing (sometime I can see quite a bit).

        But for me I gave it 5 stars because it meets my requirements and is amazing value for money.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Unbelievable For The Price

        By Nick

        from Nova Scotia, Canada

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

              This lens is increadible for the price. You can pay twice, even three times the amount for a 70-80mm portrait lens. I was apprehensive at first to buy a brand of lens that I had never really heard of but if you google the lens model it seems to be quite a hidden gem.
              Taking pictures wide open there is a tiny bit of edge distortion and as stated by someone else, due to the lens being fully manual, the depth of field, when wide open, is very shallow. You have to use a tripod to get a focused shot. I found that my breathing altered the focusing when wide open!!
              The best selling point of this lens (excluding price) is the quality of bokeh, for the price you will not get bokeh so smooth.

              What a revelation!!!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              I like this lens.

              By Chuck

              from Dawson, PA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Video

              Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

              After switching to a digital I got used to the auto focus very quickly. For fast moving Grand kids this lens is a bit tougher to work with. It takes a very good picture, however, and I am glad I bought it. The resolution is excellent and once I got up to speed on the exposure settings I am getting good pictures.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Solid, High-Quality Lens

              By Jim the Astronomer

              from Edgewater, MD

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attractive design
              • Durable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Macro Photography
                • Night Photography
                • Star fields with tripod

                Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

                Smooth focusing, bright lens, edge-to-edge sharpness

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Solid portrait lens with wide aperture

                By The Presbyteer

                from Lincoln Nebraska

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Features
                • price
                • Quality

                Cons

                • My poor skill

                Best Uses

                • Indoor poor light

                Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

                This lens has a solid feel; I'm glad I found it. I have occasion to shoot indoor candids, such as church suppers, seminars, and programs. The f/1.4 on this lens lets me get decent shots in poor lighting without flash. The 85mm focal length lets me stand away from the subject a bit, so I'm not intruding. The one thing to remember is that this is manual focus and at 1.4, you've got a shallow depth of field. My skill here is "emerging" and I get a number of shots that don't work. But hey, that's why I have a 4Gb card -- shoot 100, keep 10.

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                (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Solid serious lens

                By Alex Eggorov

                from Boulder, CO

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax:

                Good resolution, smooth bokeh, contrast and color representation is great, excelent price

                Share this review

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