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08-15-2007, 02:24 AM   #1
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Low light zoom lens for sharp portraits?

Is there such a thing as a zoom lens that's good for sharp portraits and also has a wide aperture (like 1.4, 2.0 or 2.8)?

08-15-2007, 03:13 AM   #2
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nothing wider than 2.8 for zoom (well i think some brand made f2.0 zooms)
I guess if you dont really need the flexibility of changing focal length much, you'd be much happier with a prime, and your wallet would be alot happier too..
08-15-2007, 04:13 AM   #3
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Thanks.

I actually prefer a zoom... I have been checking out the Sigma 17-70, and liked it, but need something more suitable for low light/indoor use.

The Sigma 30mm 1.4 is sharper, but not a zoom, and also lack some of the clarity of the 17-70.

Pentax 12-24 is brilliant, but a bit too expensive, and I need something in the 30-70mm area.

These are the ones I've checked out so far.
08-15-2007, 04:25 AM   #4
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Not in any order of preference

Pentax SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM
Pentax | SMCP-DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED SDM Lens | 21650 | B&H Photo

Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)
Tamron | 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di Autofocus Lens for | AF09P700 | B&H

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro
Sigma | 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro Lens for Pentax | 581109 | B&H

08-15-2007, 06:21 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
Not in any order of preference
But which would you go for, if you had to choose one lens for sharpness (and color accuracy), if you don't mind being asked a difficult question?
08-15-2007, 06:47 AM   #6
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DA*50-135/2,8 will be great portrait zoom lens!
08-15-2007, 06:56 AM   #7
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f/2.8 is the fastest aperture that you'll find in any kind of zoom for a Pentax mount.
08-15-2007, 07:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JAZZer Quote
DA*50-135/2,8 will be great portrait zoom lens!
Quoted for agreement, the 50-135 is a superb lens and albeit a bit more expensive than the other lenses listed above the optical quality is top notch. As mentioned earlier, you may want to look at investing in a prime rather than a zoom if portraits are your thing and you want solid IQ, fast aperture on a fairly tight budget.

-s

08-15-2007, 08:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dLight Quote
But which would you go for, if you had to choose one lens for sharpness (and color accuracy), if you don't mind being asked a difficult question?
Depends on focal range you want: I would give the nod to either the DA* 50-135 or the Tamron 28-75. I own both and they produce sharp portraits wide open. Based on my copy of the DA* 16-50 I do not recommend...very poor image quality at f2.8 but that may be a problem with back focussing on my copy. The FA 50 and FA 77 limited are also great portrait lenses when mounted on a DSLR, though they are not zooms.
I just reread your initial post in which you stated your required focal range: 30-70mm. In that case, I would highly recommend the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8; it is an awesome lense and does very well at 2.8.
08-15-2007, 09:16 AM   #10
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Decentering problems would be a better way of putting it. Btw, you should get an excahnge asap. All the stock's going to be flying off the shelf.

Anyhow a 135mm f2.8 prime will do just fine.
08-15-2007, 10:31 AM   #11
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For the range you posted... I'd recommend the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8, it's some great glass and isn't too pricey.
08-15-2007, 10:58 AM   #12
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I'd recommend the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8, it's some great glass and isn't too pricey
How does it compare with their 17-70 in terms of sharpness, color, contrast... anyone?
08-17-2007, 10:05 AM   #13
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You may be looking fore something that does not exist.

Many low light (i.e. fast) lenses are not as sharp wide open as they are when stopped down, even with fixed focal length lenses.

Additionally do you really want a sharp lens for portraits? it can be unflattering.
08-18-2007, 12:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Additionally do you really want a sharp lens for portraits? it can be unflattering.
I know, but I'm not a portrait photographer - I travel a bit and like to take pictures of people showing them 'as they are'...
08-18-2007, 12:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wethphotography Quote
I just reread your initial post in which you stated your required focal range: 30-70mm. In that case, I would highly recommend the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8; it is an awesome lense and does very well at 2.8.

I've been think seriously about the Tamron 28-75, and may buy it, unless I find a lens that alco can be used as an allround lens, which in my case means that it should start at 17-18 mm. The Sigma 17-70 does that, but it doesn't give me 2.8 lens throughout the whole zoom range.

The lens I'm looking for probably doesn't exists.

Last edited by dLight; 08-18-2007 at 01:37 AM.
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