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Old Apr 12, 2007, 9:55 AM   #1
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again here to bother

I'm wondering which is a good portrait lens for pentax.
I know that for Canon and Nikon the 85mm prime lens is considered ideal, but i can't find this kind of focal length for Pentax, expecially for used manual lenses.

So which lens do u use for portraits? At this point the best i have is the sigma 70-300 apo, since i like its bokeh, and as soon as i go to NY i'll get the 50mm fa 1.4 i got from B&H, but i was wondering if it's worth getting one of those cheap 135mm 2.5 or 3.5 that are always on ebay, or if it's too long for portraits. Main subject will always be my 15 months daughter, or maybe my wife sometime.

Lando
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 10:06 AM   #2
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Here is a photo done with the sigma 70-300, of my daughter Keila.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 10:42 AM   #3
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I don't do much portrait photography, but I always have liked using something around 100mm. I have a sears 135mm 2.8 that I bought years ago. It was a nice lens for portraits on my film Ricoh, but I haven't had much of a need for it yet on my K10D.

I'll see if I can get my girlfriend to let me take some pictures of her with it that I can post here.

Paul
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 10:57 AM   #4
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I don't do much either, but I've recently been asked to do some newborn photos so I'm interested in this thread to see what people say. For the newbornshots I've been thinking about getting the FA 43 Limited.

These are a couple of FA 50 1.4 examples. Pretty much what I use now and I've been happy with the results.

Lando, that is a great shot of your daughter. I've got the Tamron 70-300 but I am really liking the results that Sigma lens gives.

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Old Apr 12, 2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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Another FA 50 1.4 example.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 11:02 AM   #6
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i got the 50mm too, expecially for low light without flash, but i'm thinking that maybe it's too short, and forces me to stay too close to my daughter and makes her react less naturally.

I'd really like to see some portratis with the 135mm.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 11:19 AM   #7
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IMHO, 135 is too long for portraits with the crop factor. Othersmight tell you it's fine, I think it just depends on how much room you have to work with. I've got the M 135 3.5 and I never reach for it. I like the lens, but I often find myself reaching for something that can cover 50-90 for portraits. When I use the 70-300,I'd say 90%of my portraits are under 100mm.

People seem to like the FA 77 Limited, and if I could afford one I'd add it to my camera bag also. I picked up a Tamron 90 Di 2.8 and have found that to benearly perfect for portraits when I have the room. Best thing about the 90 is that it's a 1:1 macro lens also and serves multiple purposes for me, plus the 90mm with the 1.5 crop factor = 135mm.




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Old Apr 12, 2007, 1:07 PM   #8
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Hi Lando,

I ws going to suggest a 100mm macro, but Ishino beat me to it. If AF or AF speed might be important for your portraits, then these might not be the best choice as they are usually pretty slow focusing when used as a tele. If MF is okay, then there are a lot of choices -- from what I've seen, there aren't any really bad 1:1 macro lenses.

The benefit is that you also get the 1:1 macro caoability, and since they focus continuously at any distance from 1:1 to infinity, you get everything in between. The crop factor gives you a 150mm Eq, a bit longer than the traditional portrait FLs, but I personally like the longer working distance.

Unless you've got a pile of cash, the Pentax 85s (with the exception of the 85/2.8 soft focus, and that one isn't really cheap either) will probably be too expensive as well as too hard to find (they are for me!). I had a chance (I actually had it in my hand) at a mint A* 85/1.4 and passed (sadly!) because at about $1000 usd, I wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost.

The 85/2.8 soft lenses are interesting lenses though -- very soft and "glowing" wide open, sharper as it's stopped down -- and very sharp, IIRC, past f8, but too much of a specialty lens for me.

Personally, I think that the new DA* 50-135/2.8 will be a perfect lens for candid portraits, significantly smaller and lighter than the traditional very heavy, huge and intimidating 70/80-200/2.8s, and, if it performs up to expectations, it should be sharp, relatively easy to handle, and fast focusing. I, for one, am saving my money. . .

Scott
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 12:16 AM   #9
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Define portrait.... at what range???

In FF/35mm 70-85mm might be protrait but not on a crop camera.... then those are MED Tele. 105-125mm.... you'd need to be like 15 ft away or more.

Actually for not on top of/close range a 50mm (effective 75mm 35mm format norm) is a good portrait lens on a crop camera...
Also some good cheap options out there in 50mm prime.... and for portraits (vs candid) MF is not a big issue, and likely more accurate with shallow DOF.
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 2:37 PM   #10
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Keep in mind that the only thing which affects perspective is distance from subject. And what makes an ideal portrait lens is one that allows you to get far enough away from your subject to avoid distorted perspective. But not so long that you would have to be in the next room.

Most of the time this will mean a short telephoto in the 40-80mm range (or about 60-120mm EFL), with longer lengths used more for head and shoulders type shots. But, your 15 month old daughter is obviously a smaller subject than your wife. So you might find a longer length like 135mm EFL useful there. But with a 135mm lens, 200mm EFL, you might have to be 8 feet away even for baby pictures. That might be useable if you have enough room, but might also be limiting. Still, as an inexpensive addition to the 50mm it might not be bad to have.
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