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11-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
Any zoom suggestions while we are on the topic?
Two of the better-regarded zooms have already been mentioned in this thread: the Tamron 28-75mm and the Pentax 50-135mm. I can't think of any other zooms I would recommend before those two for portraits. The Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 is very good, if you're wanting something wide, and the 70-200mm f2.8 lenses are also pretty nice, if you don't mind the size and weight. The Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 would also be a very good choice, but has been discontinued and is very hard to find on the used market.

11-25-2011, 07:26 PM   #17
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Well, from what I have seen, the Tamron 17-50 is sharper than the 28-75, but I guess you never know until you try for yourself!
The 70-200 sounds like a great idea, but it is a little out of my price range. (and at my age, extra money is hard to come by)
11-25-2011, 07:37 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
Well, from what I have seen, the Tamron 17-50 is sharper than the 28-75, but I guess you never know until you try for yourself!
There might be some variation by copy, but I briefly owned both the Tamron 17-50mm and 28-75mm at the same time, and found them to be very close on sharpness...probably too close to call. They were both very sharp. But I'm definitely more comfortable with the 28-75mm focal length than I am the 17-50mm length.

I recently bought the aforementioned Simga 30mm 1.4, and am still trying to get used to that focal length. So far I'm finding it slightly awkward, but I've still gotten some pictures I'm very happy with, and that I simply would not have been able to get with any of my other lenses. The 50mm 1.7, on the other hand, is very easy for me to use. It's just too bad that it's not autofocus, but the Catch-In-Focus feature on my K-x works great with it.
11-25-2011, 09:17 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Sharpness isn't everything, especially in a portrait lens.

That said, Photozone's resolution tests of the Samyang 85/1.4 and Zeiss Z 85/1.4
on a full frame Canon (the only body where they have tests of both lenses)
do show a consistent superior resolution for the Zeiss,
even though it was tested in a Nikon mount being used on an adapter.

It may be that the Samyang is more contrasty fully open,
although that is less relevant on digital.
And it may be sharper wide open than an older Contax-mount Zeiss.
You are absolutely right of course ..... for portraits sharpness is not everything, but then if you are shooting at 1.4 you are focusing on a feature not a face as most will be OOF anyway. And it also happens to be that the most famous portrait lenses also happen to be some of the sharpest. An interesting list of Portrait lenses can be found here (unfortunately I seem not to have bookmarked the link to the Samyang testing, though it is mentioned in this link, but you could well be right and the tests were against the CZ version - which I have) : Portrait lenses compared: from 75 to 105mm

11-25-2011, 09:54 PM   #20
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My vote would be for the DA 70mm f/2.4.

It is cheaper and more consistent than the FA 77.
It also has great colors and contrast.
Plus, it's small, easy to carry, and not intrusive.
11-26-2011, 12:15 AM   #21
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Well, I am really considering getting the sigma 30mm.
Would it be unnecessary to get the 43mm? I was considering getting it ASAP, but I feel that it is too close to 50mm...
11-26-2011, 12:44 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
Well, I am really considering getting the sigma 30mm.
Would it be unnecessary to get the 43mm? I was considering getting it ASAP, but I feel that it is too close to 50mm...
I have both and the 30/1.4 gets more use (often for the 1.4) as I find 30mm more useful than 43mm for walking around. There is no denying the overall better quality of the 43 Ltd though.
11-26-2011, 12:51 AM   #23
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I also have both, the 30mm focal lenght is more useful than 43mm which is kind of in no-mans land on aps-c.

11-26-2011, 01:10 AM   #24
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For zoom any 24/28-70/80 @ f2.8 would make good all in one portrait lens. I have FA*28-70 at the moment and while big, heavy and above 55mm not the sharpest, I still think it's the best zoom I've used. The contrast/colour rendering is stunning! Also DA*50-135 would be a nice portrait zoom.
As for 43, I love the FOV and contrary to Simon I find it more useful than 30-35 range. I have sold 3 diferent copies of 43ltd but it looks like I'll be getting (yet) another one
Personally I can't find much use for 30/31mm. 35mm is better but the real thing is 24mm with 28 coming close 2nd!
11-26-2011, 09:51 AM   #25
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I am with axl, I I like the 40-43mm FOV a lot. It is easier to squeeze in 2 people or a little background than I found with a 50mm. And 24-28mm is very nice for walking around pictures, as well as indoor shots of groups, etc. I have not used the Sigma 30mm, but I like the Sigma 28/1.8 paired with an FA 43. If you really want to fill the frame with someone's head and shoulders, though you have to be close enough with the 28mm that you start getting some wide angle effects on their face. If the goal is a lens for pictures of people's faces, I would stay at or above 35mm or so. Of course I am sure there are a million counter examples to my limited experience. :-)
11-26-2011, 10:45 AM   #26
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As always, we (me too!) trot out our favorite lenses. Maybe someone mentions that ultra-sharpness isn't alway desirable for portraiture -- but of course it's easy to soften digital images in PP. Maybe someone mentions that AF is handy for snapshots but isn't necessary for formal studio shooting. Some push for ultra-fast lenses, which certainly help with some shoots, and which can always be stopped down for thicker DOF (ie for getting more than just a single eyeball in focus).

And I'll be annoying and ask again, "What d'ya mean by 'portrait'?" A portrait is a portrayal of character -- treating the subject as a persona and not just a thing. Many floral and animal shots are portraits. Architectural shots can be portraits. There's more to portraiture than human headshots. Surveillance-style photos aren't really portraits, nor are stealthy street shots. Portraits need not even include faces -- some famous portraits contain only hands or feet or back-views or whatever. And meaningful portraits can be shot with anything from an ultrawide to a long-tele, depending on what the photographer wants to portray.

So, what d'ya mean by 'portrait'? Different chunks of people require distant focal lengths and shooting distances. We base that relative to a camera's 'normal' focal length, which for our APS-C cams is around 28-30mm. That's good for full-body shots. For 3/4 or 1/2 body shots, use a lens about 1.5x normal, say 40-45mm. For head+shoulder shots, go to 2-2.5x normal, say 60-75mm. For facials|headshots, go 3-5x normal, in the 85-135mm range depending on your comfortable working distance. And to be interesting, ignore all the above.
11-26-2011, 01:46 PM   #27
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I'm sorta leaning to the 43mm again.... I can't make up my mind!!!
11-26-2011, 01:52 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
I just recently got a K-5, and it is amazing! I also ordered an m 50mm 1.7, so I am in need of another portrait lens! Many people reffered me to the Tamon 28-75, and I have looked through THOUSANDS of photos from that lens, but I still have not seen a photo with decent IQ. Any suggestions for another lens with a similar price range would be great! Or if you could try to convince me the Tamron is worthy, that would be helpful as well!
My thoughts are that the FA 77mm f/1.8 (Ltd) is a very good portrait lens, maybe the best. Also the DA70 f/2.4 is another (Ltd) that does well when used for portraits.
11-26-2011, 02:19 PM   #29
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I'm surprised you're not into the Tammy 28-75.

Putting portraiture aside (for arguments' sake), I think it's one of the top 5 zoom lenses out there for Pentax DSLRs when it comes to price, IQ, and versatility/range.

I don't own one, and there are very few zooms I would consider owning in the first place--but that Tammy is one of them.

I am amazed by the outstanding shots I've seen done with it.
11-26-2011, 03:20 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
I'm sorta leaning to the 43mm again.... I can't make up my mind!!!
really great lens with perfect color rendering
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