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04-05-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
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For Portraits: Sigma 85mm 1.4 or Pentax 50-135mm f2.8?

Which would you prefer and why? Anyone own both to give some pros and cons?

04-05-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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the 50-135mm is the perfect lens for portraits it seems. The focal lengths it covers are exactly what I use in primes so it would be a no-brainer for me if money was no issue

Eventually when I do run into that kind of cash, I will probably end up getting the sigma before the pentax though, but thats just because I hate portraiture and love primes
04-06-2011, 01:32 AM   #3
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DA*50-135 for AF as main lens.
I have also K50f1.2, K85f1.8 and K135f2.5 for portraiture.

Last edited by hoanpham; 04-06-2011 at 04:35 AM.
04-06-2011, 09:30 AM   #4
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The flexibility the zoom offers is nice to have. I loved the 50-135 when I used it and it will likely be my next purchase, regardless of the expense (and money is an issue, the 50-135 is simply worth it). The silent focusing coupled with it's immaculate rendering, all in a relatively lightweight package makes it very hard to beat. (I mean lightweight in comparison to a 70-200 which tends to be another choice of portrait shooters)

04-06-2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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I absolutely loved my 50-135 until it was dropped and may it RIP. It just renders images amazingly sharp corner to corner, great bokeh, and the versatility of 50mm to 135mm was nice. It's my go to lens if I'm using off camera flashes. The ability to zoom to 135mm and focus on exactly what you want and then reframe the photo was priceless. It's definitely worth the $. If I didn't have my 50mm 1.4 and 16-45, plus a slew of mf primes, I'd save up for it again but its k5 time
04-06-2011, 03:43 PM   #6
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Sigma 50-150mm HSM
04-07-2011, 06:06 AM   #7
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I'd say the 50-135. It will give you much more versatility, and after a while you may fall in love with a particular 'portraiture' focal length in that range. Which is when you dig into your pockets and buy a prime!
04-07-2011, 06:08 AM   #8
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Ever the picky contrarian, I'll suggest BOTH, and then ask: What do you mean by 'portrait'? Formal, spontaneous, studio, stealthy, street snaps, ID-card shots, what? Headshots, head & shoulders, 3/4, full-body, what? As with the 'best' macro lens, the 'best' portrait lens depends on what and how you shoot. And note that in controlled studio settings, AF and ever auto-aperture aren't needed. For most portraits, I use an M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 that cost eight bucks shipped. For thin-DOF facials, I like my Jupiter-11 or Nikkor 85/2. Whatever works, eh?

04-07-2011, 07:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Ever the picky contrarian, I'll suggest BOTH, and then ask: What do you mean by 'portrait'? Formal, spontaneous, studio, stealthy, street snaps, ID-card shots, what? Headshots, head & shoulders, 3/4, full-body, what? As with the 'best' macro lens, the 'best' portrait lens depends on what and how you shoot. And note that in controlled studio settings, AF and ever auto-aperture aren't needed. For most portraits, I use an M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 that cost eight bucks shipped. For thin-DOF facials, I like my Jupiter-11 or Nikkor 85/2. Whatever works, eh?
And what an asset us picky, contrary types are too :-) So I agree completely...almost...what type of portrait? I don't agree with the get both part though at this point.
I started working with a pro hair and makup artist last fall, building a new portfolio for him and myself and also have gotten a couple of other portrait shoots recently. At first I took an extra bag of lenses, but ended up using the VL 58mm. The 2nd shoot I started with the VL 58mm, then switched to the 50-135 and never went back. All the other shoots were done with the 50-135 except for full-length shots for which I ended up preferring the 16-50.
So I ended up using what is my basic kit, fast 50; 16-50; 50-135 so far (and a bag of flashes, slaves, stands and reflectors)
I really want the FA77, but I don't really need it because the 50-135 is so sweet.

GL
04-07-2011, 10:27 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your input. I will probably get the 50-135mm but I'm afraid of the SDM failure. Is it highly recommended to get an extended warranty on it? How much does it cost to fix the SDM failure if I don't get the warranty.
04-07-2011, 10:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
Thanks everyone for your input. I will probably get the 50-135mm but I'm afraid of the SDM failure. Is it highly recommended to get an extended warranty on it? How much does it cost to fix the SDM failure if I don't get the warranty.
From what other people have reported recently, it's on the order of $190-200 to replace an SDM motor outside the warranty period (in the US anyway).

Whether or not to buy the extended warranty or not should depend on how much the warranty costs, how long it covers you, and what you think the likelihood of a failure is between the end of the regular warranty and the end of the extended warranty. I generally don't buy extended warranties, but if having one gives you better piece of mind when buying a new DA* lens, then it might very well be worth it the cost.
04-07-2011, 10:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by crossover37 Quote
Is it highly recommended to get an extended warranty on it?
The only lens I ever bought extended warranty on. [Well, its my only SDM lens!!] I got a Mack warranty: It was about 40 bucks for 5 years. I can't vouch for Mack warranties one way or the other.

Here is a thread on mack warranties though:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/131551-mack-ex...arranties.html
04-07-2011, 11:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
The only lens I ever bought extended warranty on. [Well, its my only SDM lens!!] I got a Mack warranty: It was about 40 bucks for 5 years. I can't vouch for Mack warranties one way or the other.
$40 for 5 years certainly sounds quite reasonable
04-27-2011, 08:58 PM   #14
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It of course depends on the type of portraits you intend to shoot but assuming that 85mm fits, I'd get the Sigma 85/1.4. It is smaller than the 50-135 and gives you a range of f/1.4-f/2.8 to play with that you don't get from the 50-135. Also, at f/2.8 it will smoke the zoom's IQ. Some may say that portraits don't need to be tack sharp but I disagree. You can (partially) brush in softness in PP when the lens has rendered too sharp an image, but the reverse doesn't work.
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