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11-29-2007, 08:04 AM   #1
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Need zoom for indoor portraits

I normally shoot with primes: DA21, FA43, FA77. I'm not giving these up, but now I have kids and I'm finding that I'd like the convenience of a zoom for indoor (and occasionally outdoor) portraits.

This is NOT a walkaround lens, so I'm not that concerned with size & weight. I've got the primes for that type of shooting. I'm looking for an ideal range of focal lengths for indoor portraiture. These are the lenses I'm considering, and my thoughts/comments on each:

Sigma 18-50 MACRO: I owned this for a few days and was extremely impressed by the IQ; I loved the close-focusing distance; often I found myself wanting more length on the tele end;

Sigma 24-70 MACRO: this seems like the ideal range (36-105 EFL) for indoor portraiture; however, I've seen very mixed reviews

Tamron 28-75: the IQ is apparently excellent, but 42mm just doesn't seem wide enough for indoor stuff; I had it in Canon mount back in the day, but ended up selling it because of the strange focal length range.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has these lenses, good or bad.

11-29-2007, 09:36 AM   #2
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You might want to consider the Sigma 17-70.
11-29-2007, 10:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
...... Tamron 28-75: the IQ is apparently excellent, but 42mm just doesn't seem wide enough for indoor stuff; I had it in Canon mount back in the day, but ended up selling it because of the strange focal length range.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has these lenses, good or bad.
My two cents - 28mm indoors, RESONABLE low light with enough room is wide enough. Where I got into trouble with that range was in a room full of people and not much wiggle room. The lens IMHO is exceptional quality

Because of this and other interests I went for the Pentax 12-24 as well. Lots of snaps with the 12-24 , not so many people / portrait shots, however Xmas is coming with the traditional family get together so I will have an opportunity there. The 12-24 is f4 so conisder that as well.

Not sure on the Sigma 17-70 but others seems to be very happy with it. I alos ues a 50 f1.7 a fanstatic portraint lens in low light - again given enough wiggle room.
11-29-2007, 10:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
You might want to consider the Sigma 17-70.
I had this lens in Canon mount, and liked it a lot as a walkaround. However, I'd like to stick with zooms with a constant f2.8 for more control of DOF - especially at the tele end where it counts.

11-29-2007, 11:22 AM   #5
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Doesnt sound like you want a portrait lens to me... For portrature the 50-135 should be perfect.

If you want wide angle as well and you only want one lens then one of the film wide-normal zooms you are listing could be interesting. Personally I would go for the Tamron in that case.
11-29-2007, 11:28 AM   #6
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The 50-135 is pretty long for an indoor lens. As it is, my 77 is almost too long is some cases. I keep backing up until I hit a wall, and then I can't go any further.
11-29-2007, 12:19 PM   #7
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I have to echo other people's comments, you are not really looking for a protrait lens, but an indoor general purpose lens, that you can use for snaps, group photos as well as some portraits.

What ever you call the lens, that is how I see a lot of people interpreting it. but any way lets look at the needs.

You want something wider than 28mm (I assume you mean actual focal length and that you are shooting digital since you compare 28 mm to 42mm).

I would think that for the type of shots you want, ranging from group shots of a few people sitting on a couch, to close up head shots, without too much distortion, you are looking for a lens in approximately the 16-18mm at the wide end, and perhaps up to 70 mm at the long end.

You say you want constant apature, therefore most likely an f/2.8

you have a few options such as a 16-50 Pentax and Tokina (I think) ,Tamron (17-50) Sigma (18-50),

sigma (24-60) or (24-70) but 24 might not be wide enough based upon your comments,

you may need to try one out and see what you think
11-29-2007, 12:24 PM   #8
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Tokina 16-50 and Tamron 17-50 are NOT available in Pentax mount. I think your only options are the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 or the Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8.

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