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01-20-2011, 03:58 PM - 1 Like   #16
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if you shoot with head and shoulder shots, you shouldn't worry about indoor working distance. the 77 gives you a bit of space and FOV, but when it comes to results, I prefer the 100mm more.

I have portrait telephoto lenses which are really nice and to each it's own. basically, my use is due to rendering preferences. my Sigma 70 is for sharp photos. Pentax FA100 for vividness. Vivitar S190/2.5 for soft transitional colors + sharpness combo. M85 general portraits and general use. Jupiter 9 for bokeh style and soft rendering.

out of topic, an F/FA135 is also a great portrait lens and has a very strong rendering which is very useful for longer/cropped images. I would say it's a longer version of the 100mm with slightly less macro image quality.


Last edited by Pentaxor; 01-20-2011 at 04:04 PM.
01-20-2011, 04:06 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
But here's a test: Borrow or rent something that covers 35-135mm. Use a live or dummy model and try some test shots at different FL's and distances. Remember that a shorter FL needs the background further away to keep it from intruding. Determine your comfort zone.
I should have mentioned in my original post that I have the DA55-300, admittedly I've mostly used it for wildlife and landscape. For portrait photography I've always relied on my FA50mm. It certainly couldn't hurt me to do some more testing at 100mm, but I can at least roughly visualize 100mm FOV(on APS-C).

I am interested to know more of how difficult the 100 WR is to manual focus at 2-3 meters, as I understand that most of the focus turn is devoted to the macro distances. I would hope to use this lens wide open with quick shift for precise focus.
01-20-2011, 08:04 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
The problem with the FA77 is that the border really suffers on digital until f4 and PF can be a surprise sometimes.
I had an fa77 for a while, and I would get strange colored outlines on peoples shoulders and so forth. And when I shot an ordinary outdoor picture with some bare trees against an overcast sky, while I expected some fringing, the PF was just grotesque; much worse than any other lens I've tried. Mine was also very flare prone outdoors. Even when I provided extra shading to compensate for the too-short-for digital hood, results outdoors were nowhere near as nice as indoors. I returned the lens ultimately because of a loose focusing ring. I wonder if quality control has slipped in the Vietnam assembly plant?

The DA 40 and FA 31 both hold up well to substantial cropping, if you don't mind losing megapixels.

If I weren't afraid of gambling with the SDM nightmare, I'd get a DA* 50-135 for portraits.
01-20-2011, 08:35 PM   #19
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I use my DFA 100 macro in MF all the time. The focus ring isn't as smooth as a Zeiss, or even some of the Limiteds, but it works for me.
I have other Limiteds that are actually too sharp for portraits, showing every pimple, blemish, bump and splotch. The 100mm is sharp as well, but it shots as if it has a built-in polorizer, so it renders more smoothly with great flesh tones. If you set the shot up properly, it give you creamy bokeh as well.
The DA 35mm Limited and FA 31, are too sharp for portraits.

01-20-2011, 08:36 PM   #20
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3 that I'm thinking about

1. Sigma APO 50-150mm F2.8 II EX DC HSM

2. Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG HSM II Macro Zoom

3. Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro

I'm wanting to do full portraits/some closeups both in & out doors.

Any input on these?
01-20-2011, 11:54 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
1. Sigma APO 50-150mm F2.8 II EX DC HSM

2. Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG HSM II Macro Zoom

3. Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD IF Macro

I'm wanting to do full portraits/some closeups both in & out doors.

Any input on these?

not sure about the tamron, but the sigma got compared to the canon's L 70-200 and it just wasn't on the same level (but that's kindda expected).

I'm not sure what kindda portrait you're looking to do, 70-200 is more of an out door kindda deal, I've seen some people use it and the result is quite good, at 200 you get a very thin DOF, plus outdoor lighting and scenery, it's quite nice.

Indoor all those lens would failed, my 50mm can take a shot of my shoulder and up sitting about 6-7ft away from me... that's not good lol. a 35mm is much more usable indoor, but most people want to get nice thin DOF, 35mm at f/2.8 is nothing compare to 200mm at f/2.8.

again it's just depend on you and your situation. Indoor, i think a fast 50m will work if you got about 10ft or so to work with, anything longer and you're asking for even more room, and think about it, the 50mm is probably the cheapest thing that will get you to f/1.4, the next thing up is an 85mm....
01-20-2011, 11:57 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
I use my DFA 100 macro in MF all the time. The focus ring isn't as smooth as a Zeiss, or even some of the Limiteds, but it works for me.
I have other Limiteds that are actually too sharp for portraits, showing every pimple, blemish, bump and splotch. The 100mm is sharp as well, but it shots as if it has a built-in polorizer, so it renders more smoothly with great flesh tones. If you set the shot up properly, it give you creamy bokeh as well.
The DA 35mm Limited and FA 31, are too sharp for portraits.
that's what i was thinking when i read the thread, macro lens are too sharp for portrait, it'll show everything (and let's face it, most human are pretty ugly IRL, we don't want to show that haha).

portrait i'd stick with a 50mm, i think on a crop sensor it's workable given a bit more room than on a FF. cheap fast sharp lens.
01-21-2011, 12:41 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by clockwork247 Quote
that's what i was thinking when i read the thread, macro lens are too sharp for portrait, it'll show everything (and let's face it, most human are pretty ugly IRL, we don't want to show that haha).

portrait i'd stick with a 50mm, i think on a crop sensor it's workable given a bit more room than on a FF. cheap fast sharp lens.
there are PP softwares that softens up the images for portraits. one is from imagenomic such as portraiture 2. honestly speaking, sharpness is not really the issue for macros but rather speed and DOF. having said that, in certain situations permit, f2.8 should be enough, although less flexible than what a fast lens could do. macro-wise, macros are the bomb.

01-21-2011, 12:29 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Actually, I believe there is a point where fast lenses loose the edge for portraits because the DOF becomes too narrow. F-2 or F2.8 seems a good compromise. Bokeh is not just about f-stops. For creamy bokeh, you can control a lot for portraits by choosing the pattern, color and distance of the background behind the subject. Filling with flash, especially in AV mode, also increases bokeh. Get the apature and subject distance just right, and you get what I call black bokeh.
01-21-2011, 01:12 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
Actually, I believe there is a point where fast lenses loose the edge for portraits because the DOF becomes too narrow. F-2 or F2.8 seems a good compromise. Bokeh is not just about f-stops. For creamy bokeh, you can control a lot for portraits by choosing the pattern, color and distance of the background behind the subject. Filling with flash, especially in AV mode, also increases bokeh. Get the apature and subject distance just right, and you get what I call black bokeh.
could be true for some, although that's exactly the point of owning fast lenses, inorder to get that certain DOF narrowness and subject isolation. of course this would require some skill to successfully isolate something with the right amount.

Yes, bokeh can be controlled with certain steps, although there is no denying that lenses display certain bokeh characteristics over the other. this can be instrumental in unavoidable circumstances.
01-21-2011, 01:26 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I guess that heavy flattening isn't distortion.. Ok so, what's your word for it?
Flattening the background of a portrait doesn't distort the subject of the portrait.

Or are you saying that 90s and 100s AREN'T good for portraits?

Huh???
01-21-2011, 02:47 PM   #27
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QuoteQuote:
Or are you saying that 90s and 100s AREN'T good for portraits?
I already answered that in this thread. Maybe a little review is in order. There's going to be a test at the end.

QuoteQuote:
Flattening the background of a portrait doesn't distort the subject of the portrait.
And you're sure about that? I'm not feeling like a long explanation right now, or posting examples.

Click here for more info.

Last edited by normhead; 01-23-2011 at 10:01 AM.
01-21-2011, 04:11 PM   #28
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I find comments that such and such a lens is too sharp for portraits frankly laughable. I want all my lenses to be uber sharp and contrasty because that's a better starting point than having to contend with a lens that can't deliver optimum sharpness straight from the camera.

That said, the Pentax DFA 100 whether in WR guise or not makes a great portrait lens. No facial distortions due to foreshortening, you just need to work out your distance to your subject.

DFA 100


DFA 100 WR
01-24-2011, 01:33 PM   #29
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I only have FA 100 f/2,8 macro , and so donīt know FA 77 and never had a 85. But personally , I fiind my FA 100 too sharp to use as a portrait lens , even I know such things depends a lot from personal taste. All small defects of the skin are visible.
In film cameras I used mostly K 135 f/2,5 for portraits .Nowadays on APS-c , mix of FA50 f/1,4 +a 50 f/1,7 , together with my trusty K 135 f/2,5
01-24-2011, 01:44 PM   #30
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QuoteQuote:
I fiind my FA 100 too sharp to use as a portrait lens
It's easier to take an image that's too sharp and blur it than it is to take a blurry image and sharpen it. I'm not sure how a lens can be "too sharp". The sharpest Pentax Lens I looked at specs for today, the 77mm LTD is incredibly sharp and yet it's sold exclusively as a portrait lens. Something doesn't compute. The resolution rating was rate at it's best F-stop was rated as 2300 out of 2350. You can't get much better. and considerabley sharper than the DA 100.

QuoteQuote:
All small defects of the skin are visible.
Back when I was in school, they taught retouching, and you couldn't graduate unless you could do it.
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