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04-13-2011, 08:21 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
are these the DA 70?
yes,
they are processed though

04-13-2011, 02:01 PM   #32
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DA70 before post processing:



After postprocessing to smooth out the skin using a high pass filter, reversing and painting back details around eyes, eyebrows, lips and ear jewellery (about an hours labour):

04-13-2011, 04:26 PM   #33
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I can see why the subject might prefer the "after", so good job there, but I personally prefer the "before". Probably a good thing I'm not trying to shoot portraits commercially...
04-13-2011, 04:53 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I can see why the subject might prefer the "after", so good job there, but I personally prefer the "before". Probably a good thing I'm not trying to shoot portraits commercially...
The subject was so distraught with the first shot, that I saw her trying to crudely blur out the imperfections. Being the kind and sensitive Dad that I try to be, I "helped" her out. I can confirm that she was much happier with the "after".

As an enthusiast photog, I too prefer the former, make no mistake, I consider the DA70 a great lens for most applications, its just not a "great" specialist portrait lens.

The deficiency, here is not technical, the DA70 is just brilliant technically. Its in how people perceive themselves - and stark reality is something most people cannot stomach. The object of a portrait, therefore, is to allow the subject to view herself as she perceives herself to be.

It is for that reason that I sought out the SMC 85/2.2 soft.

04-13-2011, 05:38 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
The subject was so distraught with the first shot, that I saw her trying to crudely blur out the imperfections. Being the kind and sensitive Dad that I try to be, I "helped" her out. I can confirm that she was much happier with the "after".

As an enthusiast photog, I too prefer the former, make no mistake, I consider the DA70 a great lens for most applications, its just not a "great" specialist portrait lens.

The deficiency, here is not technical, the DA70 is just brilliant technically. Its in how people perceive themselves - and stark reality is something most people cannot stomach. The object of a portrait, therefore, is to allow the subject to view herself as she perceives herself to be.

It is for that reason that I sought out the SMC 85/2.2 soft.
I think that's really sad, honestly. True, I'm sure, but sad. But I'm not really sure what you're saying about the DA70 or FA77. Are you saying the 77 isn't as sharp and therefore hides reality (instead of having to hide it in post processing.)
04-13-2011, 05:45 PM   #36
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How can you get eyes tack sharp with a soft focus lens? For portraits sure you want soft skins, but you want eyes sharp, and to some degree the mouth and nose sharpish. Really smoothing skins is a very easy fast job in PP.

By the way, the 77 is even sharper in the centre than the DA70, no one would describe either the DA70 or FA77 as soft.
04-13-2011, 06:36 PM   #37
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Justa:

It used to be that being able to focus the camera was one of the pillars that the rest of photography stood upon. Then came auto focus to make things "easier" and this skill seems to have become a black art. I have found auto focus to be a hindrance in many instances. Under some conditions the system can "wander" looking for the right focus and even on a center weighted focus mode, can decide to focus on something other than the subject. Yes, you can push down half way to hold the focus point, but move your finger a bit and the focus is no longer held!

Auto focus has its benefits, but learning to focus manually is not that hard. Someone can confirm on the Kx, but on the K7 that I use, the camera indicates when the camera is in focus with a "beep" and green focus confirmation in the viewfinder. This even works in low light. For critical focus, I usually confirm and adjust on the ground glass. It takes a little practice, but hey, you want to get paid like a professional, so develop the skills!

As for the 70 or 77, I too would love to have these as they offer extreme sharpness and wide maximum apertures, which gives a wider sharpness range through the f-stops (at least 3 or 4 stops). I opted for some faster zooms in the 30 to 70 range. Going to 100 or 135 would be even better. But I also opted for lenses that gave me wider apertures (to F3.5) and constant maximum apertures throughout the zoom range. This way I would not have to change exposures if I had to work wide open.

When you shoot portraits, you want to be able to shoot quickly. Subjects do not want to wait while you fiddle with the lights, background, exposure or focus. Manual focus let's you lock in to a distance over a number of shots, when Auto focus might be hunting on each shot. And it is true, after 2000 or so shots, you'll get good at it!

Regards,
04-13-2011, 06:52 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
Justa:

It used to be that being able to focus the camera was one of the pillars that the rest of photography stood upon. Then came auto focus to make things "easier" and this skill seems to have become a black art. I have found auto focus to be a hindrance in many instances. Under some conditions the system can "wander" looking for the right focus and even on a center weighted focus mode, can decide to focus on something other than the subject. Yes, you can push down half way to hold the focus point, but move your finger a bit and the focus is no longer held!

Auto focus has its benefits, but learning to focus manually is not that hard. Someone can confirm on the Kx, but on the K7 that I use, the camera indicates when the camera is in focus with a "beep" and green focus confirmation in the viewfinder. This even works in low light. For critical focus, I usually confirm and adjust on the ground glass. It takes a little practice, but hey, you want to get paid like a professional, so develop the skills!

As for the 70 or 77, I too would love to have these as they offer extreme sharpness and wide maximum apertures, which gives a wider sharpness range through the f-stops (at least 3 or 4 stops). I opted for some faster zooms in the 30 to 70 range. Going to 100 or 135 would be even better. But I also opted for lenses that gave me wider apertures (to F3.5) and constant maximum apertures throughout the zoom range. This way I would not have to change exposures if I had to work wide open.

When you shoot portraits, you want to be able to shoot quickly. Subjects do not want to wait while you fiddle with the lights, background, exposure or focus. Manual focus let's you lock in to a distance over a number of shots, when Auto focus might be hunting on each shot. And it is true, after 2000 or so shots, you'll get good at it!

Regards,
The k-x gives the confirmation but your post kind of confuses me. The point of autofocus from my perspective is just exactly for the reason you mention. "When you shoot portraits, you want to be able to shoot quickly. Subjects do not want to wait while you fiddle with the lights, background, exposure or focus." It is difficult for me to believe that AF is so bad that it can't focus quicker than I can for those natural unposed shots. Isn't that why cameras like the Nikon D300s with 51 AF points is something good? So it can track fast moving action (not trying to start camera wars, just making an observation.) If the AF is hunting that much I think something might be wrong, just my inexperienced thoughts on it.

I think if everyone were sitting still all the time I could use manual fine but I am concerned about the situation I mentioned. Since I have no experience though I don't know how much folks move around in a portrait shot.

I am working toward 2k shots though.

04-13-2011, 07:15 PM   #39
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As I have stated, auto focus has its uses. But before there was auto focus, photographers learned techniques to get the part of the image they wanted in focus quickly. I have found that what the camera chooses to be the best point to focus on may not be YOURS! Auto focus has to make assumptions, you make choices.

In portraits, you are generally not shooting fast moving objects (maybe an active 3 year old). Portraits are controlled, so, personally, using auto focus is not as necessary, if at all. Even shooting weddings, instant focus is not that necessary. Really what you may need is simple confidence focusing manually. So the best thing to get confidence is just to do it, force yourself. Just don't practice on the important work. You will learn zone focusing, creative use of depth of field, and other techniques that help you get on focus quickly.
04-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
Are you saying the 77 isn't as sharp and therefore hides reality (instead of having to hide it in post processing.)
I made no comparison to the FA77, I have never even held one in the hand, so I am not qualifeied to make a comparison. However, going by other people's posts, it appears to have one of the traits that is very desirable in a portrait lens, which is great centre sharpness wide open and softer corners (please note I said softer, not soft, before jumping down my throat).
04-13-2011, 08:15 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
How can you get eyes tack sharp with a soft focus lens?
Because it is not a soft focus lens, rather a "soft" lens. It can keep the centre tack sharp, and uses controlled spherical aberrations to induce softness in the corners radiating out from the centre by varying the aperture, i.e. the more it is opened up the softer the corners become and the less the area of center sharpness.
Look up Petzval portrait lens, same principle. http://www.ronreeder.com/files/9452/meandmypetzvals.pdf

Last edited by selar; 04-13-2011 at 08:34 PM.
04-14-2011, 04:42 AM   #42
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The DA 70 is a good portrait lens. Portraits will require some postprocessing to bring out the best in the subject, but it is a lot easier to soften things after the fact than it is to sharpen what is not there in the first place.

There are certain situations where the FA 77 would allow for better subject isolation from the back ground due to wider aperture, it is also a little sharper at similar apertures. Of all the decisions between FA and DA limited, I think the toughest one (money aside) is between the FA 77 and DA 70. They are pretty closely matched.
04-14-2011, 06:41 AM   #43
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I can't totally ratinalize it, but I own about a half dozen decent ways to get to the 70mm area, including both the DA70 and FA77. I tend to use the FA77 most for portraits. First, as someone pointed out above, it works well on every K mount camera made, including film. Second, the better subject isolation from a large aperture is there when I need it. Third, I just like the portraits I take better (the most nebulous but important factor).
04-14-2011, 06:57 AM   #44
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But is it worth having only this lens if you only plan on portraits and general pics but mainly for pro portraits? I know some have already answered but I am leaning towards selling my super taks and using saved money to get the lens. On the other hand I thought about saving my super taks and going with some nice slave lighting, umbrella, and radio triggers.
04-14-2011, 07:16 AM   #45
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You should keep all your lenses. You will miss them. Go and get lighting equipments - you need them either way, and they should be the first priority. Then save money doing portraits for others and get the DA70, then the FA77, then the A*85....

2 flashes, 2 light stands, 2 umbrellas, 2 gel sets, 1 reflectors, 1 clamp should be ok. Lenses are less important when you can't controll the lights.
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