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01-24-2011, 04:41 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
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.



Back when I was in school, they taught retouching, and you couldn't graduate unless you could do it.
I would tend to agree with this. it is more challenging to sharpen images rather than to soften them up. one of the biggest drawbacks of sharpening images are the artifacts and showing any IQ degradation more obvious.

01-24-2011, 05:49 PM   #32
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A shot taken a few days ago.

K-5 DFA 100mm f/2.8 Macro WR
01-24-2011, 06:58 PM   #33
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As others have mentioned, there is no such thing as a lens that is too sharp. If you don't want that kind of detail, it takes just a few seconds to obliterate it in post-processing (just turn up NR to max and voila, all fine detail gone).

It is impossible to go the other direction and recreate detail that was lost in the first place.
01-24-2011, 07:30 PM   #34
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I am thinking of getting the 100mm macro for portraits too, since I can also use it as a 1:1 macro. I currently use the 55-300, the m 50 f1.7 and even the 16-45 f4 for portraits and they are just fine (it all depends on your working distance) but I love sharpness so I want the 100mm macro. You can easily clean any unwanted sharpness, I totally agree with the above comment by Cannikin. Any idea if the optical properties are much better than its Samsung clone?

Anyway, here's a portrait of my girlfriend with the 16-45 + K5, f4 at 16mm + a bit of PP. Not a fantastic bokeh but hey...still looks good I think:



01-24-2011, 07:34 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by G-Diesel Quote
I am thinking of getting the 100mm macro for portraits too, since I can also use it as a 1:1 macro. I currently use the 55-300, the m 50 f1.7 and even the 16-45 f4 for portraits and they are just fine (it all depends on your working distance) but I love sharpness so I want the 100mm macro. You can easily clean any unwanted sharpness, I totally agree with the above comment by Cannikin. Any idea if the optical properties are much better than its Samsung clone?

Anyway, here's a portrait of my girlfriend with the 16-45 + K5, f4 at 16mm + a bit of PP. Not a fantastic bokeh but hey...still looks good I think:
which samsung clone?
01-24-2011, 07:45 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
which samsung clone?
There was a Samsung clone of the D FA 100 macro. (non-WR)
01-24-2011, 07:58 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I wasn't aware of that. btw, the link doesn't seem to work.
01-24-2011, 08:08 PM   #38
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saw it. it does look like the DFA 100 as far as build goes. I don't think it would be much different optically.

01-24-2011, 09:22 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cannikin Quote
As others have mentioned, there is no such thing as a lens that is too sharp. If you don't want that kind of detail, it takes just a few seconds to obliterate it in post-processing (just turn up NR to max and voila, all fine detail gone).
What do you use for that? If you turn the NR to max in Lightroom, the results are hideous -- people look like they're covered in wax or something. It seems to me NR is best for reducing noise, not softening detail. It adds its own artifacts. In lightroom I sometimes turn down the clarity slider to soften peoples' faces, but that isn't ideal either. Actually I don't understand why Lightroom doesn't have a "soft focus" effect built in.
01-24-2011, 09:52 PM   #40
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I think there is some confusion between sharpness and smoothness. The DFA 100 is very sharp, but the colors and transitions are very smooth. Some lenses, such as the DFA 100, simply give much better flesh tones. The less one has to do in PP the better.
By the way Deisel, that's an excellent portrait and shows what one can do by manipulating distance from the subject and distance of the background--even at f-4.
01-25-2011, 12:04 AM   #41
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Regarding the best FL for portrait work, it rather depends on what you call a "portrait", but for tightly cropped head-and-shoulders shots, the most realistic perspective was (in the days of 35mm film) reckoned to be 75-80mm. Much shorter than this would accentuate facial features, and longer would flatten them.

This link has been posted before, but illustrates beautifully what happens for different FLs:

Stephen Eastwood|Beauty and Fashion Photographer | Tutorials

Note that these examples were for 35mm film, so for APS-C, you would need to divide by 1.5.

How close you want to get to your subject will have a bearing on the chosen FL, but for the best perspective, you must resign yourself to getting quite close (4-5 feet, say).

Alternatively, you may want a more loosely cropped shot, in which case you will perhaps be better off with shorter FLs than "optimum". An example of this would be G-Diesel's shot (above), shot at 16mm (which certainly isn't a normally prescribed FL for "portraits"!).
01-25-2011, 12:20 AM   #42
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I don't really understand this flattening effect for long telephotos. I don't see it in the linked shots there either....
01-25-2011, 12:36 AM   #43
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In my opinion, subject distance is all important for a portrait, and that depends on who the picture is for. For me, I like a photo which replicates how I see the people I am taking a photo of: at around 1m distance. This makes my M 85mm on the long side on my SLR, for me. Like the photo of the baby further up the thread, a normal lens can work well. I have had some lovely shots of my wife and baby with a 40mm on the 35mm SLR, just because the shot was taken in landscape. I've actually started going wider and using a 35mm. I've taken some fantastic portraits for mates, where the background can be seen but is thrown out of focus, by using an old Oly Mju 35/2.8. On the other hand, the 100/135 and even 200 see duties for portraits. You can't have too many lenses!

For what its worth, I'd get the DA70 along with an old manual focus 100mm macro.
01-25-2011, 12:46 AM   #44
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It seems to me that "flattening" and it's opposite "protruding" (?) is entirely a question of distance between camera and subject, period. Crop a wide angle shot and you get a flattened perspective. Get in close with a longer lens, and there'll be just as much perspective distortion as you would have with a wider lens, only at higher magnification. We associate longer lenses with flatter perspective, because people use them to shoot from a distance, but the longer FL isn't causing the flattening. So if I want to fill the frame with someone's face, without cropping, it's best to use a longer lens to avoid making them look goofy, but only because it lets me get further away.

Subjectively I think there may be a mass culture bias toward seeing some "flattening" as flattering, caused by immersion in fashion and glamor shots. I think the look is a bit alienating and impersonal, at least with photos of people that I actually know.
01-25-2011, 12:48 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by sewebster Quote
I don't really understand this flattening effect for long telephotos. I don't see it in the linked shots there either....
Its down to subject distance and the ratio of sizes of features, with nearer things seeming bigger. This effect is less pronounced the further you are away from something as the angle subtended by each part of, say a person, becomes more similar. The tele lens just effectively crops to the centre part of a wide angle FOV. The image is identical, just cropped. Perspective is down to distance, not length of lens.

To see perspective as the camera sees it, you need to shut one eye, and then move forwards and backwards from the thing you are photographing. Due to two eyes giving two different viewpoints, you have to shut one eye to stop the brain from providing a mental correction to "distortion" as a result of persepective.
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