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01-25-2011, 04:48 AM - 1 Like   #46
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Picture is worth a thousand words..

I'm a visual person. I can read all this stuff, but unless I see pictures to go along with it then I'm start to get lost. It's interesting that, for the most part, The Largest Pentax Camera & Photography Forum and Review Site - PentaxForums.com Home is about getting the best photo's. And things would be easier with say, a photo with a model. The shot is head to toe with about 3 ft space to each side. The info I would like to know about a shot like that is; Lens & how many feet you were away from the model. The rest of the info is good as well.. F/5.6, iso....

Just a thought.

01-25-2011, 08:32 AM   #47
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If this site would make it easier to upload pics directly from one's computer, you'd see a lot more examples. I can do that at pentaxworld.
01-25-2011, 06:32 PM   #48
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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?
Go for the Sigma 50-150mm HSM II. Lighter than the 70-200s; more practical FL range for portraiture, events and model shoots; improved color rendering from past Sigma models; fast, silent and durable focusing system and IMHO comparable to the DA* 50-135/2.8 at more than half the price (though not WR)...







01-25-2011, 07:44 PM   #49
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Those are creamy and she is dreamy.

01-25-2011, 09:18 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
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.
I was just throwing out NR as a "few second fix". Obviously it's far from ideal, but it does soften up the image even if you don't go to the extreme, just by fiddling with the slider.

For better results, you would want to use something like Gaussian blur in Photoshop.

If you really want to be meticulous and are doing commercial model photography, you would probably reach for the airbrush, no matter what lens you're using.

Last edited by Cannikin; 01-25-2011 at 09:33 PM.
01-26-2011, 07:29 AM   #51
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QuoteQuote:
I don't really understand this flattening effect for long telephotos. I don't see it in the linked shots there either.
The best thing to do is to take someone and take head shot with a 14mm or at least your kit lens at 18mm, with a little bit of space either side of their head. The take the longest lens you have, hopefully at least 200mm and walk back (don't try this in your front room) until the face fills about the same amount of space in the telephoto as it did in the fisheye.

Load both images in to photoshop, resize one so the chin to top of head is the same in both then import one into a new layer if the other and reduce the opacity until you can see both and detect differences. If you go back to the examples, you'll probably be able to see the differences. Once you've done it you can start playing the "what focal length lens did this photographer use?" game on every portrait you see.

At which point you'll be staring at a portrait of one of your friends hanging on your wall, and your wife will be saying "oh what a beautiful portrait Jane" and you'll mutter " 70-105 mm lens shot at approximatley f.4" and everyone will go "huh?"
01-26-2011, 07:43 AM   #52
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But quick story that really illustrates flattening.

Back in the old days guys would breadboard electronic circuits of things they wanted to produce. You'd then photograph the board with a really long lens, making it totally flat. Then you'd use a special material with a light sensitive copper material and basically print the circuit to a flat plastic surface. Drill your holes and add your electronic components and you have a printed circuit board of the thing you just bread boarded. I actually had to complete this process as a project. Just another one of those things from life before computers. Long lens pictures of circuit boards used in R&D facilities, and for small run items, even in the manufacture of electronic circuits.
01-26-2011, 11:39 AM   #53
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I've already stated my focal length dogma: use any lens for a portrait in the right circumstances, but for shots including faces, 75-100mm rulez! And some faces need flattening, so longer glass works also.

Now, to soft vs sharp. Yes, one can take the sharpest portrait possible and soften it in PP. But then we run into the holy war: get-it-right in-camera vs fix-it-in-PP. I'm on both sides there, as I try to shoot the best, and I shoop everything anyway. But depending on PP to soften portraits ignores many decades (centuries?) of portrait practice, as well as ignoring lens characteristics

Portrait practice: Painters generally don't paint photorealistic portraits. Those who do so may be derided for the ugliness of their work. Up yours, Lucien Freud! Yes, some portraits call for maximal detail. When I shot personal portraits of soldiers, guys wanted high-contrast high-res pictures showing every scar, crease, hair follicle, everything that said "I'm a deadly animal". But their ladies wanted romantic soft images.

Lens characteristics: Softer lenses have been and still are prized for portrait work. They have been a staple for nearly a century, not just due to wide-open softness (and stopped-down sharpness), but for how they render tones and textures. My Vivitar 90/2.8 macro and the various 90-110mm enlarger lenses I use on bellows are all exceedingly sharp, but I often prefer face shots from my Jupiter-9 or Nikkor 85/2's, or my Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8 or Enna Tele-Sandmar 100/4.5 because those all have noticeable individual characters. I haven't shot my newish Super-Tak 105/2.8 yet, so I don't know how it fits in there.

So, is it shoot sharp and soften it in PP, or shoot the way you want the portrait to look and tweak it in PP? Or both? The answer is: Do whatever you want. It don't worry me...

02-14-2011, 06:49 AM   #54
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Just bought it!

I just bought the D-FA 100mm Macro WR and It really does the job as a portrait lens. I prefer sharp results and they can easily be softened in PP. The opposite is neither as easy nor as natural.

Here is a portrait (my gf again) with it @ ISO 400 | F2.8 | 1/125:



This lens makes me crave for all the Limiteds and sell all my zooms. Keeper ratio is around 9 in 10.
02-16-2011, 05:45 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
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
I agree, O just bought this 100mm WR and for portraits, not what I usually do, it is a tremendous lens, and I love the Bokeh. Best lens I bought for quite some time.
02-16-2011, 06:42 AM   #56
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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....
Someone recently posted a better excerpt from the Eastwood site where the difference is much more apparent. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/133122-my-firs...ml#post1385357 In the photo with the shorter lens, the face is longer, and with the longer lens the face looks shorter (flatter) because of the perspective.

I like the perspective of the 77-85mm range for portraits, but like everything else, it is a matter of taste. 100mm is not out of the park. The perspective is really what makes "portrait" for me.

On film, I used to find my M100/4 macro a bit too harsh on many of my subjects (just right on others), but I don't know how I'd feel about that in the days of digital PP.
02-16-2011, 06:01 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Originally 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....
It's very easy to demonstrate this for yourself. Take your camera and a lens of any focal length (but easiest to use a rather wide one) hold it at arms length and photograph yourself. Then put the camera on a tripod 20 feet away, with the same lens and snap yourself again. Crop the second pic until your face is filling the frame to roughly the same amount as in the first pic. Compare the pics -- you'll see how much flatter (in this case obviously flatteringly so, since the arms length shot is far too close for anything but a deliberately distorted portrait) the second pic is.

Alternatively, take both shots at arms length, but change focal lengths. Simply using the kit zoom would be convenient. Then crop the wider of the two shots. They should show the same distorted effect on your features. You can infer from that, that had you put the longer focal length lens on the distant tripod shot, it would be giving you the flatter perspective.

That's a lovely shot with the 100. Personally, I prefer both eyes to be in focus though. 77 mm at 2.8 is about as long as I can get at f 2.8 and have a prayer of keeping both eyes in acceptable focus, if the head and shoulders are filling the frame and the person isn't staring straight ahead like a mugshot. For me 100 really is too long for portraits; if I had the money I'd get the 43mm ltd and simply crop as needed.
02-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
It's very easy to demonstrate this for yourself. Take your camera and a lens of any focal length (but easiest to use a rather wide one) hold it at arms length and photograph yourself. Then put the camera on a tripod 20 feet away, with the same lens and snap yourself again. Crop the second pic until your face is filling the frame to roughly the same amount as in the first pic. Compare the pics -- you'll see how much flatter (in this case obviously flatteringly so, since the arms length shot is far too close for anything but a deliberately distorted portrait) the second pic is.
Well, sure, I see the difference when you use a wide angle, but at basically 50 up there seems to be little or no difference. Look at all those photos in the other linked thread, they're practically all the same. And in the wide angle photos the woman has a different pose that exaggerates the effect.
02-17-2011, 01:31 PM   #59
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I'd like to revive this thread, primarily because I'm in the same situation as the OP. I'm looking for a portait lens and have also narrowed my choices to the FA 77 and D FA 100 WR.

I'm intrigued by the legendary status of the 77, as well as what people say is an indescribably element to it (pixie dust, etc.) that the ltd.'s (designed for digital and as a result tend to be more true to life and less "dreamy"). At least, this is what I've gathered from reading various threads on the 77.

However, I've also read next to nothing but solid praise regarding the 100 macro WR and started considering it more seriously. What in fact has tipped the balance for me to the 100 is that I find I shoot more portraits in that range than I do at 77mm with my 55-300 ED kit lens. The meta data on lightroom for my portraits range normally between 90 and 135 - sometimes even longer.

My ultimate question is: if I have little interest at this point in macro work (bugs, flowers, etc.) is it foolish to buy the 100 macro primarily for portraits. Or will the slow AF be a bother. A lot of my portraits are of my less than 1 yr old daughter and focus sometimes needs to be fast. Love my DA 40 for the fast AF.

On second thought, based on the above, does a 3rd option make more sense? The 50-135 seems great but too big and the SDM issue spooks me.

Thanks for reading. I always appreciate the feedback on this forum.
02-17-2011, 01:57 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Antifreez Quote
I'd like to revive this thread, primarily because I'm in the same situation as the OP. I'm looking for a portait lens and have also narrowed my choices to the FA 77 and D FA 100 WR.

I'm intrigued by the legendary status of the 77, as well as what people say is an indescribably element to it (pixie dust, etc.) that the ltd.'s (designed for digital and as a result tend to be more true to life and less "dreamy"). At least, this is what I've gathered from reading various threads on the 77.

However, I've also read next to nothing but solid praise regarding the 100 macro WR and started considering it more seriously. What in fact has tipped the balance for me to the 100 is that I find I shoot more portraits in that range than I do at 77mm with my 55-300 ED kit lens. The meta data on lightroom for my portraits range normally between 90 and 135 - sometimes even longer.

My ultimate question is: if I have little interest at this point in macro work (bugs, flowers, etc.) is it foolish to buy the 100 macro primarily for portraits. Or will the slow AF be a bother. A lot of my portraits are of my less than 1 yr old daughter and focus sometimes needs to be fast. Love my DA 40 for the fast AF.

On second thought, based on the above, does a 3rd option make more sense? The 50-135 seems great but too big and the SDM issue spooks me.

Thanks for reading. I always appreciate the feedback on this forum.
honestly speaking, you need to add some other parameters inorder to make it easy for you to decide. price-wise, the macro is significantly cheaper compared to the 77 as long as it's not the WR version, otherwise they are pretty close. secondly, focal range can work either way. for closer shots, the 77mm gives you more flexibility indoors however can be a tough focal length to use on something with significant distance (outdoors). size-wise, the 77 is much more portable and handy. rendering, the 77 is great for portraits but is a CA/PF monster, while the macro handles CA/PF very well.

as far as AF is concerned, do you really need something that is very fast? the FA77 is fast but not as fast as the DA40, the macro has decent fast AF.

again, there is no right or wrong answer but rather what you decide to be of priority or preference.
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