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05-06-2011, 05:32 PM   #1
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I'm in a dilema re portrait lens for K20

I'm looking for a portrait lens to do some model shoots in near future. Main use would be close up head shots or head and shoulders with some full length body shots. I am torn between the FA 77m f1.8 Ltd, Da 70mm f2.4 and FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR. I've read how 'magic' the 77mm lens is and how sharp the DA 70mm is. How does the 77mm AF speed compare to the Da 70mm? I have read coflicting reports on which is faster. The 100mm macro was a late entry but has the additional macro versatility. Is the 77mm truly that good and worth the extra cash?

05-06-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bessa66 Quote
I'm looking for a portrait lens to do some model shoots in near future. Main use would be close up head shots or head and shoulders with some full length body shots. I am torn between the FA 77m f1.8 Ltd, Da 70mm f2.4 and FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR. I've read how 'magic' the 77mm lens is and how sharp the DA 70mm is. How does the 77mm AF speed compare to the Da 70mm? I have read coflicting reports on which is faster. The 100mm macro was a late entry but has the additional macro versatility. Is the 77mm truly that good and worth the extra cash?
You can't go wrong with any of those three options (DA70, FA77, 100WR) as a portrait lens. All of them may be a tad long for full body shots, unless you have a decent amount of room to work with. In terms of AF speed, the DA70 is the fastest, followed by the FA77 and then the 100WR. That said, for portraits/model shoots, I can't imagine the AF speed of any of these options would be an issue.
05-06-2011, 05:44 PM   #3
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The DA 70 and FA 77 are both simply excellent lenses. You would find it difficult to tell differences in results between the two. Focusing speed will be slightly faster with the DA 70, but it would be more dependent on ambient (modelling) light on the subject more than anything else. You would still be hard pressed getting enough space indoors (unless you have a warehouse) to get a full-body shot with a 70/77mm lens. You may need two lenses - a great reason to get an FA 31 or DA 40
05-06-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Have you considered the DA*55mm f/1.4? It was designed to be a portrait lens in the Pentax line up.

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is also an excellent choice.

Both the 55mm Pentax and the 50mm Sigma will have faster AF and aperture that what you have listed.

Pentax 43mm Ltd is excellent as well.

05-06-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The DA 70 and FA 77 are both simply excellent lenses. You would find it difficult to tell differences in results between the two. Focusing speed will be slightly faster with the DA 70, but it would be more dependent on ambient (modelling) light on the subject more than anything else. You would still be hard pressed getting enough space indoors (unless you have a warehouse) to get a full-body shot with a 70/77mm lens. You may need two lenses - a great reason to get an FA 31 or DA 40
This is very good advice. The DOF control of the 77 is nice, but you will need a huge studio space to do full-body with the 77. You might want to consider the 70 + 40 , or at least have some access to a lens in the 35mm-50mm range for the full body stuff. If you already have a wider lens, then pick the 77 or 70 based on your need for lens speed (aperture).. I doubt you will notice much difference in AF speed with studio light.
05-06-2011, 05:53 PM   #6
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If the OP is willing to consider other lenses besides the 70/77/100, I would also recommend taking a look at the DA*50-135; it's one of the best portrait zooms out there (IMO).
05-06-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
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There are many wonderful lenses for portraits including that old favourite, the fast fifty.

But that said...

QuoteOriginally posted by bessa66 Quote
Is the 77mm truly that good and worth the extra cash?
Yes.
05-06-2011, 07:03 PM   #8
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I have both the 70 and 77. Sadly, the 77 has sat almost unused since I bought the 70.

05-06-2011, 07:09 PM   #9
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I should have mentioned that I own the 40mm and it is great for the longer shots.
At $200+ cheaper than the 77mm the 70mm looks like being the pick. Thanks for the advice.
05-06-2011, 08:59 PM   #10
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I just went through this decision process (for a K20D as well) as I seem to be doing a lot more portraits, though I finally limited my choices to the Tamron 28-75 and the DA 70.

In many ways I wanted to go with the Tamron; relatively fast at 2.8, the range would handle full body to head shots, and I had used it before on a borrowed Canon. I knew it was a good lens.

But in the end I couldn't resist the allure of the 70 Ltd. The magic of the Ltd series, the small pancake design ... that damn DA Ltd lens club thread ...

I don't even know how to really use it yet, and the images are blowing me away. No regrets here.
05-06-2011, 09:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I have both the 70 and 77. Sadly, the 77 has sat almost unused since I bought the 70.
Can you say what makes you go for the 70 in place of the 77?
05-06-2011, 09:39 PM   #12
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I would take the 70 over the 77 as well. For my use I would go with the:

85mm Sigma F/1.4
70mm DA Pentax
50mm Sigma F/1.4

The difference between f/1.8 and f/2.4 is pretty nominal and the edge to edge sharpness, size, & cost make the DA 70 more appealing.
05-06-2011, 09:44 PM   #13
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I have the 40 and 70 and they are both nice portrait lenses. However, I'll throw another option into the discussion (just to confuse the topic a little more ). How about the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro? Great macro lens, and a wonderful portrait lens (maybe even too sharp). About the same price as the DA40.

05-07-2011, 12:24 AM   #14
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well, you need some room if you are considering a 70mm and above. for close-ups and head+shoulder it would be fine though. let's say room isn't an issue, I would either get an FA77 or Sigma 85.
05-07-2011, 01:35 AM   #15
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Any of those will be fine, however they will be too tight for full body shots in a studio enviroment unless you have ALOT of room.

I have the 77 and it is my go to lens for portraits unless i have no room for full bodys, out in the open I even use it for groups shots (small groups mind you),
it is specifically designed for portraits and accurately reproduces the tones, colors and texture of skin, and can be very sharp or soft if you know how to use it
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