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04-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #1
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Which Wide Angle Portrait Lens Would You Choose?


I bought my K10D to start taking portraits of my 3 young children. I recently got a FA 77 1.8 lens for Christmas with all the portrait lights. I think I need a wide angle portrait lens to capture full body shots with not alot of room to shoot.

Is there a great wide angle portrait lens out there. I want to be able to use it indoors and outside.

I absolutely love my FA 77 because of the blurred background and how it brings out the kids.

My goal someday is to be able to take professional portraits of children, but I think I am very long way off.

In addition to my 77, I have an 18-55 and a 50-200...Any advice is greatly appreciated.

04-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
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FA 31/1.8 limited.
04-14-2011, 02:15 PM   #3
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if you have a very limited budget, you can try either the A28mm f2.8 or the Tamron adaptall 28mm f2.5.

If you have the budget, the 31 f1.8 is great
04-14-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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You can use your 18-55 at various focal lengths to get an idea of which one would suit you. Then you can investigate further.

04-14-2011, 02:32 PM   #5
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I kinda like what I've seen of the new Pentax 35 for this, it's not truly wide, but that can be a bit tricky for portraits, anyway.

Chasing young kids around in informal settings is the kind of thing I actually like a zoom for, though, if there's enough light. Kind of the best kid shots, I think, you get when you kind of go a little ways away from the parents, (Or in your case, other parent or any point of interest) and just let the kid run around: they'll tend to run between the folks, funny lady with the camera, and whatever else catches their attention out there, and you get shots aplenty, especially in a pretty setting. They'll pretty invariably settle down/get a little bored and then you might get some sort of calmer shots.

Zooms are good for this, cause you can frame up pretty quickly, and playful works. If some of the skills aren't second nature, you may miss a bunch, but you'll probably get something good with all this automation. Just keep shooting.

(And if you're outside, there's really nothing wrong with that kit lens for the job. A little longer might be nice, but it's more than wide enough. And come to think of it, the quick-shift focusing could be a real asset there. )

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 04-14-2011 at 02:48 PM.
04-14-2011, 02:51 PM   #6
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15Ltd! I have shown these portraits already, but I like them

04-14-2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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I agree with SpecialK to test it with your kit lens.

And yes, FA31Ltd would be my first thought to match the FA77Ltd; and DA(L)35/2.4 if you want to keep it a bit cheaper.

But again, test it out with the kit lens; focal lengths to check are basically those that are available in the Pentax line up as primes (21mm, 31mm, 35mm, 40mm, 43mm, 50mm, 55mm) or in the Sigma line up as primes (not that familiar with them)
04-14-2011, 03:42 PM   #8
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Thank you

Thanks so much for the great responses. I think I know what I'll be asking the hubby for my birthday....hopefully he'll think $1K for the 31 ltd is an investment in my future shots!!!

04-14-2011, 04:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dynnel Quote
Thanks so much for the great responses. I think I know what I'll be asking the hubby for my birthday....hopefully he'll think $1K for the 31 ltd is an investment in my future shots!!!
does he have a credit card? he might be able to afford $200 per month for 5 months.
04-14-2011, 05:35 PM   #10
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I was going to suggest the FA31 too.

But if that's too rich then perhaps the DA21. I've used the DA21 a lot for taking pics of kids in their environment. The great thing about the DA21 is the size, light weight and the typical DA ltd contrasty look, the bad thing about that lens is f3.2 which combined with the focal length gives very limited ability to blur the background.

Personally I think the FA31 is worth the extra $$$ for what you get. The IQ is stunning, and blur is smooth as silk, and the sharpness is fantastic even wide open.
04-14-2011, 11:00 PM   #11
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1st choice would be FA31
2nd choice would be Sigma 30 f/1.4

maybe FA43 but may not be wide enough for you.
04-15-2011, 05:22 AM   #12
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I'll also recommend the kit lens. If you *must* spend money, get an affordable camera body with better high-ISO capability, a Kx or Kr. Those would be a good combination for shooting dynamic situations (kids dashing about).

I'll re-tell a story of my dad. He shot us dynamic youngsters using a TLR camera -- first with a 75/4.5 lens, later with a 75/3.5 -- using ASA-100 Verichrome Pan film, and very rarely with flash. (Flashbulbs cost money, back in those pre-strobe days.) His trick? Well, lots of practice and experience, of course, but also some basic child training. We'd be dashing about, and Dad would say HEY, and we'd stop momentarily, and he'd shoot, and then the dynamism would resume.

So my sisters and I, and our friends, were trained to the camera. I guess that's an example of social engineering, eh?
04-15-2011, 08:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
We'd be dashing about, and Dad would say HEY, ........
And WE would all run like hell........

04-15-2011, 08:48 PM   #14
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Consider the Pentax FA 35mm f/2.0. MUCH less money than the FA 31mm, and really very good.
04-15-2011, 11:25 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
1st choice would be FA31
2nd choice would be Sigma 30 f/1.4

maybe FA43 but may not be wide enough for you.
Exactly as stated above.

The 31 Ltd is a superb, but very expensive, lense and has achieved almost a mythical, cult following !

The Sigma 30/1.4 is even better in low light (though a little softer - which is fine for portraits - 'cut your throat' sharp by f2.8) and even though the corners are a little softer than the 31 - again this isn't an issue for a portrait lense - it's just over 1/3 of the price ! For your intended use it sounds perfect.

I have the 43 Ltd and find this is another excellent lense for almost everything. Many say a fraction too long for indoor portraiture but that's not been my experience at all.

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