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05-13-2011, 09:44 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Shoot with the 77mm for a while. See how that effects your use of the 50mm.

05-14-2011, 12:50 PM   #17
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QuoteQuote:
On one hand, FA43 on APS-C is too long to be considered normal and not long enough (in my opinion) to be a good portrait lens. Plus, bokeh is a little harsh for portrait.
Nonsense. I bought the FA43 primarily for portraits and could hardly be more pleased. Virtually any focal length works for portraits, if you know how to use it to best advantage. The overall rendering and lovely bokeh of the FA43 make it an excellent choice for portraits. It may not be best suited for tight head shots, but for almost anything else, it is just lovely.

Rob

FA43, f3.2, ISO800, K-7

Last edited by robgo2; 05-14-2011 at 01:13 PM.
05-14-2011, 01:03 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
lovely bokeh
only true at close focus. this lens trades bokeh for sharpness, which is not a bad thing... but the 50 makes for a better portrait lens IMHO.

77 beats both (headshots or full-body).
05-14-2011, 01:36 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
only true at close focus. this lens trades bokeh for sharpness, which is not a bad thing... but the 50 makes for a better portrait lens IMHO.

77 beats both (headshots or full-body).
I don't know what you expect of bokeh. In this next shot, for instance, could the out of focus areas be any more buttery smooth, could the tonal rendering be any more exquisite? And just remember that you are viewing a crappy web jpeg. The original is much more pleasing. I also don't get the business about close focus. Most portraits are taken from fairly close range, unless one is using a long telephoto lens or shooting a large group.

I also own the FA77, which I adore, but I find the FA43 to be better for the kind of portraits that I like to take, which usually include some of the surrounding environment. I tend to avoid tight composition, but that is just a matter of personal style.

Rob

FA43, f2.8, ISO 640, K-7



Last edited by robgo2; 05-14-2011 at 03:11 PM.
05-14-2011, 11:24 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
don't know what you expect of bokeh. In this next shot, for instance, could the out of focus areas be any more buttery smooth, could the tonal rendering be any more exquisite?
I guess I'm trying to say that the OP won't see a major improvement for this particular type of photography. The 50 1.4 is amazing at f2 w.r.t. sharpness and bokeh, all those nice things. Also, the 43 can produce some busy bokeh if given a challenging background.
05-15-2011, 12:24 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Nonsense. I bought the FA43 primarily for portraits and could hardly be more pleased. Virtually any focal length works for portraits, if you know how to use it to best advantage. The overall rendering and lovely bokeh of the FA43 make it an excellent choice for portraits. It may not be best suited for tight head shots, but for almost anything else, it is just lovely.

Rob

FA43, f3.2, ISO800, K-7

Well, now, that's a two-shot, isn't it? A classic head and shoulders portrait will look right more often with a longer focal length [about 50mm to 80mm on aps-c]. Sure, if you pull back, 43mm works. If you pull back far enough, 21mm could make a successful portrait. Call me old-fashioned, but though smooth bokeh can be nice, I consider what is in focus to be more important than what is out of focus in almost all images. When a person's nose is rendered beak-like, I change to a longer lens.
05-15-2011, 12:30 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I don't know what you expect of bokeh. In this next shot, for instance, could the out of focus areas be any more buttery smooth, could the tonal rendering be any more exquisite? And just remember that you are viewing a crappy web jpeg. The original is much more pleasing. I also don't get the business about close focus. Most portraits are taken from fairly close range, unless one is using a long telephoto lens or shooting a large group.

I also own the FA77, which I adore, but I find the FA43 to be better for the kind of portraits that I like to take, which usually include some of the surrounding environment. I tend to avoid tight composition, but that is just a matter of personal style.

Rob

FA43, f2.8, ISO 640, K-7
This image is a good example of perspective distortion. The huge mouth on the kid can be cute in a humorous way, but it is not what most people consider a flattering perspective.

You are correct about personal style. If you shoot more environmental portraits, a wider lens is appropriate.
05-15-2011, 12:45 AM   #23
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The 43 excel's pretty much at everything, its a very general purpose lens. I use the 43 alot for portraits(not as much as the 77) depending of the scene of course and what kind of shot im trying to acheive-

All 43-












Do I need to post more?

05-15-2011, 12:58 AM   #24
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I have grappled with these two before as well.
A number of past threads has gone through this previously, and I shared my perspective there as well.
I had the 50/1.4 and argued and resisted the FA 43 for years. The FA 50 was doing it for me, and I couldn't have thought a slower lens would be any better than I'd had it with my fast fifty.
I asserted this until I brought myself to just buy an FA 43 to see what the hype was about.

The results from my FA 43 were simply breathtaking. They had so much more vibrancy, 3D rendition and microcontrast than I'd seen in my FA 50 images that I kept the FA 50 for only another two weeks. It was an easy decision for me.

I'm like Simon, I look at what it produces for me.
e.g. with no colour manipulations or sharpening:

Last edited by Ash; 05-15-2011 at 01:35 AM.
05-15-2011, 09:32 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
This image is a good example of perspective distortion. The huge mouth on the kid can be cute in a humorous way, but it is not what most people consider a flattering perspective.

You are correct about personal style. If you shoot more environmental portraits, a wider lens is appropriate.
I think that you missed the point of my posting that particular photo. It was to demonstrate the beautiful bokeh produced by the FA43, which I think is undeniable, except by some people who have fixed ideas about what proper bokeh is. In general, it's not a good idea to stick a camera right in someone's face, which is what creates the distortion, but any focal length can be used very effectively. An overemphasis on "correct" focal length is confining.

To make my point, here are two portraits taken with the FA31. Some might say that it is too short for portraiture, but I disagree.

Rob

FA31, f2.8, ISO 100, K10D


FA31, f2.2, ISO 400, K10D
05-15-2011, 09:52 AM   #26
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Thank you everyone. I've seen enough good images here to warrant me getting one to try and compare the two for myself
05-15-2011, 10:03 AM   #27
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QuoteQuote:
The results from my FA 43 were simply breathtaking. They had so much more vibrancy, 3D rendition and microcontrast than I'd seen in my FA 50 images that I kept the FA 50 for only another two weeks. It was an easy decision for me.
I had the same immediate reaction to the FA43, although I was not comparing it to the 50/1.4. I also have the FA31 and FA77, but I think that the FA43 may be the star of the series. People gripe about the unusual focal length, but one gets accustomed to it rather quickly. It just requires a slight adjustment in artistic vision.

Rob
05-15-2011, 10:07 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I had the same immediate reaction to the FA43, although I was not comparing it to the 50/1.4. I also have the FA31 and FA77, but I think that the FA43 may be the star of the series. People gripe about the unusual focal length, but one gets accustomed to it rather quickly. It just requires a slight adjustment in artistic vision.

Rob
For me it's a plus. There is nothing a 50 can give me that I can't get from the 43. It's so sharp and the bokeh so good that you can easily crop away any excess, however you can't crop a 50 to the 43 FL.
05-15-2011, 11:33 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgmankos Quote
Thank you everyone. I've seen enough good images here to warrant me getting one to try and compare the two for myself
Yes, trying both is the best way. I had contemplated the same question for almost two years, having the whole bunch of Pentax's fast fities. I recently added the 43mm and it is just a wonderful lens. It is different lens and won't replace my 50s, not the least, because they are nearly one f-stop faster. Also, for portraits I prefer the longer fl. But though 43mm is a bit long to be called a "standard" fl on APS-C, it pretty much serves the purpose for me.

One thing I really like about the 43mm is, that it gives you all the virtues of a excellent lens in a very small package. Combined with the small K-r, it is my preferred lens for walking without a photographic goal, "just in case" I find something worth a click.

Ben
05-15-2011, 02:31 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I think that you missed the point of my posting that particular photo. It was to demonstrate the beautiful bokeh produced by the FA43, which I think is undeniable, except by some people who have fixed ideas about what proper bokeh is. In general, it's not a good idea to stick a camera right in someone's face, which is what creates the distortion, but any focal length can be used very effectively. An overemphasis on "correct" focal length is confining.

To make my point, here are two portraits taken with the FA31. Some might say that it is too short for portraiture, but I disagree.

Rob

FA31, f2.8, ISO 100, K10D

They are quite good photos, but, yes, I think a longer lens would have been easier on his facial features. On FA43 bokeh, I am not criticizing it, but the two images you posted have one color, low contrast backgrounds - not a tough test for bokeh performance. How does the lens do with more difficult situations, say, bright sky broken by naked tree branches, or something similar?
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