Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-04-2007, 06:21 PM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sudbury Ontario
Posts: 64
A good portrait lens?

I am in search for a lens for portraits. I currently have an Ist DS, so crop factor in there. I have a Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 and an old Pentax M 135 f/3.5 but I would like something in the middle for portraits. I don't want to spend more then $400-$500 CAD on it, but if necessary, I will.

I'm kind of stuck between an 85 or a 105. I was going to purchase the DA 50-135, but it's out of stock everywhere that I look and I can't get my hands on the Sigma 70-200, either.

Thanks.

09-04-2007, 06:40 PM   #2
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
You could consider the Tamron f2.8 90mm macro. It will fit your budget nicely and give you the bonus of a great 1:1 Macro lens. An excellent lens that is sharp and fast.

Personally on the APS-C sensor with the crop factor taken into consideration anything past 70mm is getting a little long. With a 90-105mm lens you will need to be a fair distance back from the subject unless you are only taking tight head shots.
09-04-2007, 07:29 PM   #3
Veteran Member
MJB DIGITAL's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,173
i was just looking at b&h and their site says it's in stock
09-04-2007, 08:00 PM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
You could consider the Tamron f2.8 90mm macro. It will fit your budget nicely and give you the bonus of a great 1:1 Macro lens. An excellent lens that is sharp and fast.

Personally on the APS-C sensor with the crop factor taken into consideration anything past 70mm is getting a little long. With a 90-105mm lens you will need to be a fair distance back from the subject unless you are only taking tight head shots.
Some day, maybe we'll be able to use those great 85s as originally designed and intended...oh wait, I'm dreaming!

To the OP: I now have a smattering of 85mm lenses, most M42 mount but I managed to sneak in an FA* 85/1.4. The FA* is the best lens I own, or have ever owned. It is a better lens overall than the Tamron 90 and Pentax D-FA 100/2.8 Macro, although of course those two are sharp as razor blades. If you apply to the Benjamin Kanarek school of portraits, you want sharp sharp SHARP! and then do magic in post-processing. I doubt seriously he shoots paid portraits at wider than f/5.6. For us amateurs, nothing beats the gorgeous blur of an 85mm at f/2. Unfortunately the FA* 85/1.4 has been going for over US$1,000.

I saw a Zeiss PK 85/1.4 on eBay today, also over US$1,000. I used a friend's ZF version of that lens and was impressed but it was not on par with the Pentax or Minolta 85/1.4 lenses.

I should also mention that the 77/1.8 Limited might fit the bill nicely. It is really a decent lens, one about which you won't read too many negatives. It is also much cheaper and has been showing up from time to time on the used market.

Good luck in your search.
--Sean

09-04-2007, 08:16 PM   #5
Forum Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sudbury Ontario
Posts: 64
Original Poster
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I do like the look of the 77mm but if I can find something that would do the job for a smaller budget, I'd prefer to go that route. I'm a student going through College so I don't have an endless amount of money trees in my backyard, yet(maybe I'll buy some on ebay?)

Would the 77mm 2.4 DA limited to do the trick? Slightly longer then the 71 and a slightly smaller f/stop.
09-04-2007, 08:58 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Myanmar
Posts: 510
QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
You could consider the Tamron f2.8 90mm macro. It will fit your budget nicely and give you the bonus of a great 1:1 Macro lens. An excellent lens that is sharp and fast.
The Tamron is a very sharp and versatile lens but portrait is not its forte as the bokeh is a little bit harsh and can be disturbing on some pictures. And I find the maximum aperture of f/2.8 a little bit too limiting for portrait.

If you want an AF lens, the 77/1.8 is a great lens, as mentioned by Sean. Of course, the FA* 85/1.4 is even better but so difficult to find and sooo expensive.

If you can do without AF, try to find an old 85/1.8 SMC Takumar or the Pentax K 85/1.8 (same optical formula). It will give you superb portraits and you should be able to buy one in good shape for much less than a 90/2.8 Tamron new.

Cheers!
09-04-2007, 09:02 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
If you can do without AF, try to find an old 85/1.8 SMC Takumar or the Pentax K 85/1.8 (same optical formula). It will give you superb portraits and you should be able to buy one in good shape for much less than a 90/2.8 Tamron new.
I was going to suggest this too, but the prices for both of these lenses has topped $400 recently!!
09-04-2007, 09:59 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 647
The smc PENTAX-A 1:1.4 50mm makes for a nice portrait lens on APS-C.

At the right place and time you can find them cheap. The M versions are even cheaper but the A versions are easier to deal with exposure wise. At least on the K10D.

There is also the smc PENTAX-M 1:2 85mm. This lens wide open has a razor thin depth of field. This can produce more flattering portraits.

09-05-2007, 02:52 AM   #9
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,952
The Super Takumar 105/2.8. Should run you about $60~$70. Add another $20 or so for an M42 adapter.
09-05-2007, 04:23 AM   #10
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
QuoteOriginally posted by Macneil Quote
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I do like the look of the 77mm but if I can find something that would do the job for a smaller budget, I'd prefer to go that route. I'm a student going through College so I don't have an endless amount of money trees in my backyard, yet(maybe I'll buy some on ebay?)

Would the 77mm 2.4 DA limited to do the trick? Slightly longer then the 71 and a slightly smaller f/stop.
I think you're getting the widest aperture and sizes confused.
1) SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited See the reviews on the forum lens data base: https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/showproduct.php?product=142&cat=34
2) SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited Reviewed here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/showproduct.php?product=191&cat=30

I would have suggested the 77mm Limited as the others have suggested but I thought you were looking for something longer for some reason. It would be a much better lens than the Tamron for this use. Everyone that has the mentioned 85's, love them. I'm very happy with the 77mm and many also like the 70mm Limited. They are both great lenses. The biggest difference is that the 77mm is larger (still a very small lens though) and it's faster. Due to the size you might find the 77mm easier to manually focus if the need arises. Of course the 70mm is less expensive and still a current model. You couldn't go wrong with either choice.

There was one other reason I bought the 77 over the 70. It's that it's a full frame lens (it was also designed for film and the larger size of that medium). Someday Pentax may go to a FF sensor, there's a ton of debate over that but it might happen. As history has shown, Pentax lenses can survive for decades. So if they ever go to a FF digital body then these lenses should still work. Of course they will also work on a film body which you may want to try sometime. This may not be a reason to make this choice but was just why I've tried to buy all my lenses as FA vs DA series.

I'd also agree with RIco. The FA 50mm f1.4 is a great lens and very fast, sharp with great bokeh. With the crop factor on mind the 50 will appear like a 75mm on the DSLR and it's about half the price of the 77mm.
09-05-2007, 04:59 AM   #11
Forum Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sudbury Ontario
Posts: 64
Original Poster
I've got a 50mm f/2 and it seems nice for portraits so far. If I'm about to go with a 70-77, I could just stick with my Sigma zoom...
09-05-2007, 08:05 AM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 647
The smc PENTAX-A/M/F/FA 1:1.4 50mm have 8 aperture blades which makes for better bokeh. They have more glass than the f2 version as well.

Last edited by Rico; 09-05-2007 at 08:38 PM.
09-05-2007, 05:13 PM   #13
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wolfville, NS
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 197
Well, I will say this one.

Helios-40-2 85mm F/1.5 M42 lens. With the Pentax adapter, its amazing. Soft wide open, and tack sharp by F/4. It works wonders for portraits, esp for kids or women.

Also, its $250... For a F/1.5 lens..
09-05-2007, 05:24 PM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by scribble Quote
Well, I will say this one.

Helios-40-2 85mm F/1.5 M42 lens. With the Pentax adapter, its amazing. Soft wide open, and tack sharp by F/4. It works wonders for portraits, esp for kids or women.

Also, its $250... For a F/1.5 lens..
scribble, I like you a lot.

The Helios-40 (all varieties) weigh a ton. I won't use it on the *ist D because it falls over like a brick.

But scribble is right - the Helios-40 is a great 85mm portrait lens. So, I might add, is the Jupiter-9. The Jup-9 is softer wide open at f/2 than the Helios-40 is at f/1.5 - makes for some dreamy effects.

Another viable 85mm option that is relatively inexpensive is the Super-Takumar 85/1.9. These were manufactured for a longer time than all the other Super-Takumars, so they are more common, and hence less expensive. If you're willing to forgo the SMC coating, this is a good option.
09-05-2007, 07:36 PM   #15
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Myanmar
Posts: 510
QuoteOriginally posted by Rico Quote
The smc PENTAX-A/M/F/FA 1:1.4 50mm have 8 aperture blades which makes for better bokeh wide open.
Sorry, I don't want to sound pedantic or to engage into hairsplitting controversy, but the number of blades of a lens has no importance when the lens is used wide open.

Cheers!

Abbazz
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!
k-mount, pentax lens, portraits, sigma, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wanted: Good value indoor portrait lens Black_ronin Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 30 10-27-2010 09:44 AM
People Is this portrait any good? clark Photo Critique 10 07-24-2010 04:06 PM
Good all-around portrait Lens ~$300? cputeq Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 22 04-26-2008 12:11 AM
Is zoom on 85-105 good for portrait? hinman Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 19 09-02-2007 02:42 AM
pentax need a cheap good portrait lens 85/1.8 xbadx Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11 06-26-2007 02:17 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:35 PM. | See also: NikonForums.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