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07-14-2010, 06:33 PM   #16
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When it comes to portraits, the best $45 I spent was on an M42 adapter for Pentax and a 1970's Russian Helios-44 58mm f/2 manual lens! It just kills when the kid is stationary for a while, and those are the most "restful" portraits IMHO!

The real secret to owning a Pentax DSLR is mounting those forgotten treasures of old lenses and finding out that they are now image-stabilized and your AF light/beep goes off when you nail it and even with manual aperture (set that custom function!) the camera produces predictable and delicious results for portraits!

07-15-2010, 02:15 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by utahdl Quote
New to the forum as well as photography. Recently purchased a pentax kx with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses. Have been taking tons of pictures, mostly of my daughter and am feeling that a different lens would be more appropriate for my needs, Im thinking of a portrait lens. Because I just got the camera I dont want to spend to much more money on a lens. Does anyone have a suggestion on a lens taht would be more appropriate for my needs on a limited budget, no more than $300. Willing to by used.
Thanks.
if you are looking for an AF lens, then you're best bet would be a Tamron 90/2.8 is sold just about at $300. or the Pentax 50/2.8 or Sigma 50/2.8. these are great AF lenses that would serve you well.


if you want to explore the beauty of manual focus lenses, some of which are dirt cheap and can be acquired from $10 - $250, there is a wide selection of these lenses.

for a novice, an M50/2 would be enough for portraiture. although I would highly recommended the following lenses for portraiture that would suit your needs and budget.

28/3.5 - $150. excellent lens but quite rare to find.
35/2 - $50-$100. excellent lens
50/1.7 - $100. excellent lens
55/1.8 - $80. excellent lens and highly recommended.

I personally endorse these lenses basing on your budget and focal length preference. it's up to you which focal length of those 4 manual focus lenses would fit in perfectly well.

if think that AF would mean the world to you, then the AF 50mm 2.8 macros would be the best choice.
07-20-2010, 03:55 PM   #18
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I have many many lenses, and very few of them are autofocus, and not many are even zooms. With manual lenses, I often use Catch-In-Focus, the poor hominid's autofocus. CIF with a fast manual lens can do wonders in moderate light. And great screwmount M42 manual lenses can be bought for pennies, almost.

Any of the many Fast Fifty's are excellent portrait lenses. Manual 50/2's and 55/2's are common and cheap, as is the amazing Helios-44 58/2. Faster 50/1.7's and 55/1.8's abound also. How cheap? US$10-50 usually. An f/1.4 is faster but costs more. As for an f/1.2, well, don't ask...

Of course, any lens can be used for portraits. But fast lenses (f/2 or better) in the 50-100mm range are popular, especially 85mm glass, as are f/2.8 macro lenses in the 90-105mm range. Fast lenses let you control depth-of-field (DOF) for softer, flattering portraits. Macro lenses often have exceptionally smooth optics.

Again, manual lenses usually cost MUCH less than autofocus glass; my Jupiter-9 85/2 cost US$70, my Nikkor 85/2 was US$9, my Vivitar 90/2.8 macro was US$3 (but I got lucky), and my Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8 was US$27. Those, and even the Helios-44, are all excellent for not-too-close candid shots. For even a bit more distance, the market is flooded with excellent cheap 135/2.8's and faster. Few are bad.

Each lens is a distinct tool with a distinct character. This drives obsessive lens acquisition, LBA (Lens-Buying Addiction). Watch out.
04-01-2011, 05:14 PM   #19
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Hey Utahdl,

I too am a newbie and just got my K-x about two mths ago. I went ahead and got a 50mm 1.4 Asahi Pentax lens manual focus (used lens). Should be a hundred bucks and should fit fine with your camera. The manual focus is a learning experience and depth of field can be tight even shooting stopped down(small aperture.....I think that is the correct expression?).

However the portraits are absolutely brilliant. Shoots beautifully even in very low light and makes me look much better than I am. I don't even want to shoot with the kit 18-55m anymore...lol. But I do of course....to learn about the lens and the camera.
If you can find a Asahi Super Takumar 50mm f1.4.....that should be even cheaper.

However realize that I too am a beginner and you should thoroughly research any new purchase.

Best of luck and happy shooting!

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