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11-25-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
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Portrait lens help!

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!

11-25-2011, 11:54 AM   #2
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Any of the FA Limiteds make great portrait lenses. If you're looking for something in the same price range as the Tamron, take a look at the FA 43 or a used FA 77 Limited. Here's where you can see samples from each: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/59538-fa-limited-club.html.

You didn't mention if you're looking for a zoom or a prime lens though. Also, what focal length, wider than your 50 or longer? AF or MF?
11-25-2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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Well, currently all I have is a 50mm and a 135mm, so either in between there, or wider than a 50mm.
I'm on a budget of less thank $600
11-25-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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The M 50 1.7 is quite a good portrait lens on APS-C. Try it out before deciding whether you need another lens for portraiture.

11-25-2011, 12:38 PM   #5
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You are not averse to MF so the Samyang 85/1.4 is a very highly rated lens for what it is. Wide open it is sharper than any other 85 on the market whether they be Canon/Nikon/Zeiss or even the fantastic Pentax FA 85/1.4 or whatever. Softens in comparison to those stellar lenses when stopped down but is never less than amazing value for money and a superb portrait lens.
11-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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Samyang 85/1.4 can be an option if you need in between

Sigma 30/1.4 should be in the price range if you want to go wider.

And there should be plenty of choice in the 'old stuff' like 85mm screwmounts or M28/2
11-25-2011, 12:51 PM   #7
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The DA 70mm f/2.4 is nice too, a little cheaper than the FA 77mm. But really, if in thousands of pictures with the Tamron 28-75 you haven't seen one picture with good IQ, I am not sure what to say. What is your benchmark? What lens do you think gives pictures with good IQ?
11-25-2011, 02:39 PM   #8
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If your subject is not moving around a lot you should be fine with a manual lens. The 50 M 1.7 is a perfect lens for portraits; you should be able to do the entire shoot with that one lens. However, the Sigma 30 1.4 rocks the portraits as well.

11-25-2011, 02:42 PM   #9
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I have the Pentax M-50mm 1.7, and have found it to be an excellent portrait lens. That being said, I also have the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and am a big fan of it, especially for portraits and for use in my home studio with strobes. What are the IQ problems you've noticed with the Tamron? Because I don't have too many complaints.

Here is a link to a thread with some of my favorite portrait shots from my 28-75mm:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/145599-tamron-...lots-pics.html
11-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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Here is some sigma 30 1.4





11-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #11
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Ever the contrarian, I'll say that my favorite zoom for portraiture is an old M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 that cost me US$8 shipped. My favorite fixed lenses for headshots include a Vivitar-LU 75/3.5 enlarger lens on tubes, a Jupiter-9 85/2, and a Vivitar (Komine) 90/2.8 macro lens.
11-25-2011, 03:00 PM   #12
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FA limiiteds are what you probably want, you can start with FA43 its under 600$ new.
I have A50 1.7 and its very good sharp lens but for portraits its slightly "flat" so better grab good old screwmount SMC 50 1.4
oh and if you havnt find good picture from tammy 28-75 forget about zooms
11-25-2011, 03:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
You are not averse to MF so the Samyang 85/1.4 is a very highly rated lens for what it is. Wide open it is sharper than any other 85 on the market whether they be Canon/Nikon/Zeiss or even the fantastic Pentax FA 85/1.4 or whatever..
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.
11-25-2011, 03:59 PM   #14
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This may be a radical suggestion, but you could possibly sell one or both your lenses and get my favorite APS-C portrait lens, the DA* 50-135 f/2.8. Maybe just sell the 135, keep your fast 50 and try to find a used 50-135, I've seen a few lately in the marketplace here. The reason I like it is you can use it from about 10 feet away for full length @ 50mm, or headshots @135mm, or you can get close and use it for headshots @ 50mm with a shallow DoF. It's very sharp at 2.8, as sharp as most primes. Of course the FA limiteds are also amazing, it's hard to go wrong there.
11-25-2011, 06:58 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions!
I'm not too sure I like the photos produced by the Tamron... It just doesn't seem as contrasty or sharp as I'd like.
As for the sigma 30mm: It seems like an amazing lens! I might just buy that! I feel like this the minimum focusing distance of the 50, it could compensate for a longer lens.
I LOVE the Pentax 43mm. I think I would get it before the sigma. They both are in a decent price range as well!
Any zoom suggestions while we are on the topic?
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