Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-11-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
Veteran Member
Todd Adamson's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 722
Good lens for large groups

Does anyone have any suggestions for a Pentax mount lens that's ideal for large groups? Something that's pretty flat-field, or close, and has good corner to corner sharpness at f/4 to f/5.6....

I don't shoot big groups that often, but when I do, I am often disappointed about sharpness of faces near the edges. Recently I acquired the Voigtlander 58 in F-mount and have used it for a couple of larger groups. It's almost exactly what I want, but the focal length feels a bit short to me on my D3. Probably about perfect on APS.

If I had to pick a lens for large groups today, I'd probably just go buy the 58 again in K-mount; but I'm wondering what the other possibilities are. I don't care about autofocus. I don't shoot large groups in small spaces, so I could probably go out to 80mm or so...and maybe down to 40. What about the FA 43? Did I just answer my own question?

11-11-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
Capslock118's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Haven, CT
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 173
Wouldn't a small MM be better? Since you don't care about AF I was going to suggestion the pentax-k 24mm f2.8 - or the 50mm 1.4...

but now I'm second guessing myself....i would just think an 80mm would make you have to stand really far away to get everyone...


also - a fun way to do it is to just shoot a couple photos from left to right and then stich them together...
11-11-2010, 03:29 PM   #3
Veteran Member
Todd Adamson's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 722
Original Poster
40 is about as wide as I would ever want to go. I prefer to have the heads in the front and back rows be the same sizes, LOL. Maybe I could go to 35, I dunno....I have the DA 35 Macro already.
11-11-2010, 03:49 PM   #4
Veteran Member
mtroute's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 532
well with post processing there is no need to worry about distortion. I have a sigma 10-20 and have had really good luck fixing distortion in Lightroom or Photoshop. Just a thought ( I am assuming you're shooting digital of course)


Last edited by mtroute; 11-11-2010 at 04:00 PM.
11-11-2010, 03:53 PM   #5
Veteran Member
jolepp's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,196
QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
40 is about as wide as I would ever want to go. I prefer to have the heads in the front and back rows be the same sizes, LOL. Maybe I could go to 35, I dunno....I have the DA 35 Macro already.
I was going to suggest a macro for corner to corner sharpness, but you beat to me it :-)
11-11-2010, 05:21 PM   #6
Site Supporter
GeneV's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,761
I recently took the group photo (150 people) for a dance camp, which I do every year. It is taken in a gym from the balcony and still needs a 21mm to get everyone in. I'd love to be able to take that shot with a "normal" lens and the heads all the same width, but I haven't figured out how, so far.
11-11-2010, 05:38 PM   #7
Inactive Account




Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,485
Any reason you cannot stand (or sit) your group so that you can take 2 photos and stitch them together?

11-11-2010, 05:57 PM   #8
Site Supporter
Ex Finn.'s Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Maryland.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,056
I was going to say DA 12-24.

11-11-2010, 05:59 PM   #9
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,043
Any 50mm K mount should work.
I believe (but could be wrong) that the slower 50mm lenses (f/1.8 and f/2) are flat field lenses, the f/1.4 and f/1.2 are curved field.
Of course I might have it backwards or just completely wrong....

However, a good way to shoot largish groups, if you can do it, is to have them posed in an arc so that the entire front row is about the same distance from the camera. This is the workaround for a curved field optic.
11-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 535
The most amazing lens I've used in almost 40 years is the DA 15mm Limited. I've used it for a couple of large groups and wouldn't want to use anything else. Even though it is wide, there is very little bending on the outside, and the detail beats anything I've ever used, including some Zeiss glass. It preforms best at f-11, so the DOF is very wide and every part of everyone is in focus with a detail that will go the size of the wall.
I don't post pics here, but if you will send me a PM, I'll email you a shot to show what this lens can do.
11-11-2010, 06:05 PM   #11
Veteran Member
alohadave's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Quincy, MA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,024
QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
40 is about as wide as I would ever want to go. I prefer to have the heads in the front and back rows be the same sizes, LOL. Maybe I could go to 35, I dunno....I have the DA 35 Macro already.
That's a question of camera-subject distance, not focal length. The farther you get from your group, the more the sizes of the heads are going to equalize. The closer you get, the larger the apparent size difference.
11-11-2010, 06:18 PM   #12
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,678
So large working distance (and sufficient lighting), you could get away with 20-30mm capturing groups of 100 or more people. The DA 21 and FA 31 come to mind. If you're able to fit everyone in the frame using a DA 35 macro or DA 40 or FA 43, even better - stopped down to f/5.6-8 all these lenses are stellar edge to edge.

Limited working distance, you may need 15-20mm, which for Pentax limits you to DA 15 ltd, DA* 16-50/DA 16-45 (cf. barrel distortion at 16-18mm), DA 12-24 (cf. wide angle distortion for portraits) or DA 14.

I have also done a large group photo for >150 young adults (rowdy bunch) with a DA 16-45 that needed a good 50m working distance at 16mm... but stopped down to f/5.6 the results were reasonably acceptable (each face was discernible in the image but not the sharpest though).
11-19-2010, 06:55 PM   #13
Veteran Member
Todd Adamson's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 722
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
That's a question of camera-subject distance, not focal length. The farther you get from your group, the more the sizes of the heads are going to equalize. The closer you get, the larger the apparent size difference.
Right, but those two things are not entirely separable when I'm trying to fill my frame.

Thanks for the responses, guys. I may be able to use my 35...but I am thinking I might "need" that 40 or 43, though.
11-19-2010, 07:02 PM   #14
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Any 50mm K mount should work.
I think this is a very solid suggestion. If this lens is strictly for large-group shots, I would go longer than 40 or 43 mm (esp. since you have a killer 35). The old 50 1.7's & 55 1.8's are pretty much steals.
11-22-2010, 03:57 PM   #15
Veteran Member
Todd Adamson's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 722
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think this is a very solid suggestion. If this lens is strictly for large-group shots, I would go longer than 40 or 43 mm (esp. since you have a killer 35). The old 50 1.7's & 55 1.8's are pretty much steals.
I've got an A series 50/1.7, so maybe I won't worry about the 40 or 43 for a bit. I also just ordered a ZK 35/2.
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!
corner, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, sharpness, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Photographing large groups (15+ people) strictlypentax Photographic Technique 32 06-04-2009 12:53 PM
Very good news: a large print order (literally!!!) - one stunned me!!?? Marc Langille Post Your Photos! 42 11-22-2008 01:03 PM
Proof that crappy lens + good light = good photos Finn Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 11-02-2007 11:19 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:32 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