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06-28-2011, 07:42 PM   #1
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Decisions, decisions, decisions...

So I currently own a pentax 50mm 1.4 and although I like it, i don't love it.
I have pondered selling it to fund either a sigma 30 1.4 or sigma 50 1.4, I have read the reviews on both, and I'm still stuck. I want the 30 mm because I use my basement as a "studio" and I only have about 12' to work with, so the 30mm would give me more space, but I'm not sure it would be as flattering for portraits.
Any thoughts? Should I go sigma 50mm 30mm or just stick with the fa50 1.4?

06-28-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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A 30mm definitely would not be as flattering for head & shoulder shots.

Personally, I'd consider replacing the FA50 with a cheap MF version, and put the proceeds toward the 30 anyhow if you're attracted to that focal length for reasons other than portraits.
06-28-2011, 08:07 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
A 30mm definitely would not be as flattering for head & shoulder shots.

Personally, I'd consider replacing the FA50 with a cheap MF version, and put the proceeds toward the 30 anyhow if you're attracted to that focal length for reasons other than portraits.
Along those lines, you could sell the FA50/1.4 (~$260) and buy an M50/1.4 or A50/1.7 (~$100) and a DAL35/2.4 (~$160).
06-28-2011, 09:28 PM   #4
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I'm inclined to agree with dgaies, as it's very economical. Besides, I've seen some rather lack-luster reviews about the Sigma 30mm 1.4 when it comes to it's border and edge performance (to be fair, the center seems nothing short of astounding).

Do you need something especially fast like the 1.4 you already have?

06-29-2011, 03:17 AM   #5
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That is true. I am really not a huge fan of manual lenses though. I know its almost a sin to rely on AF all the time, but my eyes are so bad I need to do LV and zoom in pretty good to be able to tell if its in focus or not. I know the camera still has the assist, but I still miss alot of focus' on shots.
The 1.4 is not a complete necessity, but I do take alot of pictures in low light situations and the 1.4 would compensate alot where the K20d and K7 ISO drops the ball.

Here is a photo I took from my churches concerts in low light.
K20d (forget the lens)
ISO 3200
5.6
You can see the need for a faster lens in this situation.
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06-29-2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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Well, sure, you need faster than f/5.6. But I wouldn't think of f/1.4 as the ideal for pictures like the above. DOF is so thin as to be almost unusable. f/2 - f/2.8 tends to be the sweet spot. f/1.4 is more for cases where you specifically *want* very shallow DOF.

Also, relevant for portraits, AF isn't very reliable for portraits at f/1,4, either, because there is no easy way to control whether focus is on the eye or the nose (both would normally be in range of the same focus sensor).
06-29-2011, 02:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Well, sure, you need faster than f/5.6. But I wouldn't think of f/1.4 as the ideal for pictures like the above. DOF is so thin as to be almost unusable. f/2 - f/2.8 tends to be the sweet spot. f/1.4 is more for cases where you specifically *want* very shallow DOF.

Also, relevant for portraits, AF isn't very reliable for portraits at f/1,4, either, because there is no easy way to control whether focus is on the eye or the nose (both would normally be in range of the same focus sensor).
Thanks for the information. I think I just need to do some practice and reading. I usually do portraits at the 2-2.8 range. and I thought it rather silly to buy a 1.4 lens, and always have to use it at 2.8... why not just use my 17-50 2.8 then.

Example. Here is a picture I took of friends.
K7 - FA50 1.4 Metz 50
50mm F2 1/180 w/flash

To me, this is no where near tack sharp, nor is the bokeh what it seems it should be for f2.

In all honesty. It has to be something Im doing. Please clue me in a little
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06-29-2011, 06:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SlickYamaha Quote
Example. Here is a picture I took of friends.
K7 - FA50 1.4 Metz 50
50mm F2 1/180 w/flash
Focus adjustment is in order, should have been shot at f2.8, overexposure leads to a soft look.

Bokeh would be "appropriate" for f2 if you were closer to your subjects.

06-30-2011, 05:39 AM   #9
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sigma 30/1.4

well if you don't need very sharp corners and can live with wideangle perspective....sigma 30/1.4 would be i guess good choice. I haven't used it, but I have seen many flattering portraits taken with it. Going bit more expensive...fa43/1.9 is great at it, I have used it and can recommend it...but it comes with the high price
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