Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-30-2007, 10:59 AM   #1
Pentaxian
hinman's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fremont, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,427
Portraits lens for K100D

While I am looking for a portrait lens such as FA 50 f/1.4 or FA 35 f/2.0, I am trying out DA 50-200 for indoor without flash.

Looking for Portraits lens
Hin's Tech Corner: Pentax Protrait Lens

I wish I have an external light to help with the shadow detail in these shots. And I have two days to decide on FA 50 f/1.4 before the $25 rebate run out on 7/31. And I need input for what is more important for indoor portraits such as the following:

What is more important:
  • Better lens such as FA 50 f/1.4 or FA 35 f/2.0
  • External flash light with bounce and swivel

#1


#2



#3


#4


#5


#6


#7


07-30-2007, 11:18 AM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Barbados
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 270
Don't go below 50mm to avoid distortion.

Any 50mm is fine. The 100mm 2.8 DFA Macro lens is also good.

If you are willing to get something more expensive, the 77mm 1.8 limited is excellent.
07-30-2007, 02:13 PM   #3
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
I'd pretty much agree with anomaly. But I think the 100mm+ range is a bit too long/tight for most portrait work. The 50mm and 77mm are probably the best. With the sharpness, good colour rendition and speed these are tough to beat. Speaking of speed they offer the advantage of being very good in low light so you can take advantage of natural lighting conditions in many circumstances.

Another strong contender is the 43mm Ltd. Maybe a tad to wide for some situations but produces a wonderful image and is also very fast. I personally wouldn't consider anything shorter than the 43mm for this type of shooting.

The flash issue has a wide variety of choice and opinion. I shoot with an Af400T (older TTL) and an AF540FGZ. With the 540 I use one of Gary Fong's 'Lightsphere' diffusers. Check the web site for a demo: DOMES It's a bit pricey compared to the typical push on diffusers but worth every cent when you see the results. Smooth and even lighting and most of the time you would never know a flash was even used (which is the whole point). I still like the AF400 though and with it's variable power levels I am happy with the results. It takes a substantial learning/practice curve with a digital camera but worth the time.

I've heard the Sigma EL500 Super is also a great choice. Some report it to be easier to use and of course at about half the price of a 540 it makes getting a good flash possible. There have been some reports of reliability issues mentioned here but I don't think that's too widespread.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 07-30-2007 at 02:19 PM.
07-30-2007, 07:21 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 531
QuoteOriginally posted by anomaly Quote
Don't go below 50mm to avoid distortion.
Anomaly, distortion, or more accurately perspective exaggeration, has nothing to do with the focal length of your lens. It is only function of the distance to the subject. Try to shoot a "nose portrait" at 0.3m (1ft) with a 75mm lens (I am referring to 35mm equivalent, so this would be a 50mm lens on an APS-C digital camera), and you will get the same "big nose" silly effect than when using a 28mm lens at the same distance. The only difference is that you will of course get a much wider angle of coverage by using a 28mm lens.

If you want to avoid perspective exaggeration, you have to shoot at 1.5m (5ft) or more from your subject. It is obvious that you won't get a mug shot with a 20mm lens at this distance. But you can get some nice "environmental portraits" with a wide angle from moderate distance. So, the focal length of the lens to use is related to the kind of portrait you are looking after: shorter focal length for wider FOV and longer focal length for tighter FOV, the golden rule being not to shoot closer than 1.5m.

Cheers,

Abbazz

07-31-2007, 06:54 PM   #5
Pentaxian
hinman's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fremont, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,427
Original Poster
Thanks to eveyone for the feedbacks. I have ordered the FA 50 f/1.4 today and I would venture into an external flash next. Peter, thanks for pointer on flash, just one dump question, does the older TTL work in K100D? How bad it is to get an TTL flash with swivel and bounce for the K100D, the 540 is currently out of my budget. Any recommned to go after a reasonable flash around $100 would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Hin
07-31-2007, 07:24 PM   #6
Veteran Member
FotoPete's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,710
Don't go PTTL flashes. Way too expensive and they are delicate. Any tilt swivel auto thrisytor will do just fine.

Just make sure to make yourself a bounce card with some velcro or use a diffuser cup and you'll be taking great portraits in no time!
07-31-2007, 07:42 PM   #7
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Thanks to eveyone for the feedbacks. I have ordered the FA 50 f/1.4 today and I would venture into an external flash next. Peter, thanks for pointer on flash, just one dump question, does the older TTL work in K100D? How bad it is to get an TTL flash with swivel and bounce for the K100D, the 540 is currently out of my budget. Any recommned to go after a reasonable flash around $100 would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Hin
I tried the AF280T which I had from the film days and was never able to get it to fire properly in any mode including manual. So having an AF400T (not the AF400FTZ version) that was the next one to test. I've used it successfully on both the K110D (same basic camera as yours) and the K10D. You should be able to get a used AF400T with 4p cable for around $150 or less. They were $500 new. The other flash i have heard is very good is the Vivitar 285. I've never used one but the posts and results I've seen are great.

With all these TTL flashes you are using them totally in Manual Mode. The TTL system does not work with the P-TTL, K series cameras. But it's not hard to get used to adjusting the camera and flash to the given situation. Both the 285 and the 400 have a lot of variability and latitude in the power output so they can work well in almost any situation. Get a decent bounce card or diffuser for the head and you should have no issue with either. When there are no consistent white ceilings to bounce off, I use one of those cheap inflatable diffusers for the 400. The head is sort of large and I haven't found a better choice yet.
07-31-2007, 07:49 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 441
No TTL Support in K100D

QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Peter, thanks for pointer on flash, just one dump question, does the older TTL work in K100D? How bad it is to get an TTL flash with swivel and bounce for the K100D, the 540 is currently out of my budget. Any recommned to go after a reasonable flash around $100 would be greatly appreciated.
You can use a simple white reflector for fill light with indoor portraits using window light. It will look more normal than fill flash and it is easier to see the effect. An inexpensive solution that works. It sure beats setting off an obnoxious flash in the kids' faces.

If you want through-the-lens flash metering (and I strongly suggest that you do), then you need P-TTL. The K100D does NOT support TTL metering, so you would be stuck falling back on "auto" with a TTL flash. If you want a flash, I'd suggest saving your money until you can afford a Pentax AF-360FGZ (around $200). It has tilt (but no swivel) and supports a lot of useful features including P-TTL, wireless sync, EV compensation, etc. Get an off-camera cord and you can aim it exactly where you want it (even without swivel).

07-31-2007, 08:19 PM   #9
Pentaxian
hinman's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fremont, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,427
Original Poster
Thanks Gary for the valuable input. It makes sense to wait to get the right equipment. Sometimes, it is always tempting to go cheap and later find out that I actually spend more on the unnecessary. Your idea of reflector interests me and I will look into that. And thank you for the TTL metering pointer on K100D.
07-31-2007, 10:23 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 441
QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Thanks Gary for the valuable input.
Happy to help. My kids hate the flash so I try to avoid it whenever possible.

When I do use flash with people, I try to bounce it off the ceiling or wall, and use the little catchlight card built into the AF-360FGZ. I usually get good exposures and I've never had any problems whatsoever with P-TTL. I also like the 360 for close-up work, and TTL or P-TTL is essential for accurate flash exposures in close-up work.
08-02-2007, 07:19 PM   #11
Pentaxian
hinman's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fremont, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,427
Original Poster
I wonder if somebody can help me with external flash alternative for K100D. I raise these questions in dpreview pentax slr forum and I like to post my flash question here and I am thankful for all the help from you all

quote dpreview question:
-----
thread:
Re: Looking for a K100D portrait lens: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

John, I will update you once I have the lens. And you may find valuable informations on this thread that discuss what is more important for indoor portraits -- a FA 50 mm f/1.4 or an external bounced flash. I think the discussion has merits in going for both for various reasons. A worth reading for me:
fast prime vs swivel & bounced external flash
Flash or Fast Prime 1st for indoor portaits?: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Kid's portraits with DA 50-200
Kid Portraits with DA 50-200: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

And I am looking for alternative flash to 540 though I am pulling my hairs as what can work in going cheap such as

Thyristor Twin Flash (pttl unlikely, I have no idea, it claims K100D compatible in ebay with no mentioning on TTL or PTTL, I am lost)
$60
Thyristor Twin Flash for Pentax K10D K110D K100D *ist - (item 170135099349 end time Aug-03-07 21:30:15 PDT)


Kid Portraits with DA 50-200: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

PTTL flash not Pentax brand
$115
DEDICATED AUTO PTTL FLASH FOR K110 K100 PENTAX CAMERAS - (item 200134619559 end time Aug-03-07 17:05:07 PDT)

Thanks,
Hin
----
end quote dpreview question
08-02-2007, 07:30 PM   #12
Veteran Member
FotoPete's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,710
The Thyristor is compatible with any dslr. All you really need is the central sync pin which it has. The rest of the info you dial into the back and its on flash sensor will calculate when to cut power during the shot.
08-02-2007, 07:48 PM   #13
Pentaxian
hinman's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fremont, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,427
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
The Thyristor is compatible with any dslr. All you really need is the central sync pin which it has. The rest of the info you dial into the back and its on flash sensor will calculate when to cut power during the shot.
Much thanks to your quick reply. If I only use the Thristor for bounce flash for indoor, it sounds like an extraordinary deal for me. Not that I would use it often as I try to avoid flash as much as possible but there are occasions that the flash can offer great help to the slow lens that I have the kit's lens and the DA 50-200. By the way, I find the DA 50-200 working extraordinary well for me in the 50-90 range when I took pictures of my kids in well lit indoor. With the added flash, lot more can be done with the two inexpensive combo lens. This is GREAT.

Thanks again,
Hin
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
f/1.4, f/2.0, fa, flash, k-mount, lens, light, pentax lens, portraits, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best Zoom lens for portraits HoBykoYan Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 05-08-2010 11:26 AM
K100D vs K200D for low light indoor portraits Pierrot Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 04-02-2008 08:25 AM
Lens Suggestion for Wedding/Portraits? synnyster Pentax DSLR Discussion 13 09-05-2007 03:58 PM
Macro lens for portraits Mr CJ Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 05-03-2007 06:10 PM
Portraits 50-200mm DA lens Nancy Post Your Photos! 3 04-11-2007 09:23 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:27 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top