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04-15-2012, 03:56 AM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
A good choice while you decide is a 70-150 zoom. I don't "do" portraits but I really like images from my Rikenon, especially for the money. The SMC-M 75-150 also gets good reviews. A prime will do better work and be faster, but until you know your preferred portrait FL a talented bargain zoom will tide you over, and help you find your 'sweet spot'.

But if you can budget a 50-135, by all means!
Thanks. If I like this M 50mm I got I may look for some more M series lenses. I'll look up the Rikenons in the reviews section as well

04-15-2012, 07:09 AM   #92
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The so called best lens for portraiture would depend upon a few things.

For myself it would first depend upon optical quality or general quality of the image; yet it is still dependent upon what type of "room" one would need for just one subject or a variety of subjects. A zoom lens is great for a range of focal lengths but the optical quality and apperature range suffer significantly; but you can't beat a zoom lens for convenience.

I prefer to stay at a fixed focal length range; and given my personal experience with the Pentax line here are a few of my personal favorites...


For zoom lens'...

Pentax DA 50-135mm f2.8 That aperature for that range of zoom is difficult to beat; and it's quite impressive (for a zoom) optically.

Pentax 60-250mm f4.0 Optically one of the best zoom lens with a Pentax label, but at a cost. The aperature could have been better; then there's also the considerable size and weight of this lens. For most people it's just too large to be an everyday lens - or a lens for proplonged shooting. -And to think that some people (eerrr myself) also need a 5k Bowflex after using a lens such as this?? BTW for portraiture oe is very unlikely to use much of that zoom range.


These manual focus lens are very well worth looking into... Unfortunately both are manual focus; which some people do not like - I actually prefer it.

Zeiss 50mm f2.0

Zeiss 85mm f1.4 I've never seen any lens on a pentax camera to this quality. It's evn worth it to borrow this lens or so see if it's available to rent
04-22-2012, 11:35 AM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
The so called best lens for portraiture would depend upon a few things.

For myself it would first depend upon optical quality or general quality of the image; yet it is still dependent upon what type of "room" one would need for just one subject or a variety of subjects. A zoom lens is great for a range of focal lengths but the optical quality and apperature range suffer significantly; but you can't beat a zoom lens for convenience.

I prefer to stay at a fixed focal length range; and given my personal experience with the Pentax line here are a few of my personal favorites...


For zoom lens'...

Pentax DA 50-135mm f2.8 That aperature for that range of zoom is difficult to beat; and it's quite impressive (for a zoom) optically.

Pentax 60-250mm f4.0 Optically one of the best zoom lens with a Pentax label, but at a cost. The aperature could have been better; then there's also the considerable size and weight of this lens. For most people it's just too large to be an everyday lens - or a lens for proplonged shooting. -And to think that some people (eerrr myself) also need a 5k Bowflex after using a lens such as this?? BTW for portraiture oe is very unlikely to use much of that zoom range.


These manual focus lens are very well worth looking into... Unfortunately both are manual focus; which some people do not like - I actually prefer it.

Zeiss 50mm f2.0

Zeiss 85mm f1.4 I've never seen any lens on a pentax camera to this quality. It's even worth it to borrow this lens or so see if it's available to rent
Thanks very much; I was under the impression that Zeiss did not make a K-mount lens. I don't why I was thinking that-I was assuming people were using adapters. But I see in the lens reviews here that they made a ZK mount. And, I would assume you are referring to this lens (?); Carl Zeiss 85mm F1.4 Planar ZK T* Lens Reviews - Carl Zeiss Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

If this manual lens works well for me, I will probably want to collect more of them. Not sure yet how good I will be at using manual lenses.
04-22-2012, 01:24 PM - 1 Like   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Pentax DA 50-135mm f2.8 That aperature for that range of zoom is difficult to beat; and it's quite impressive (for a zoom) optically.

Pentax 60-250mm f4.0 Optically one of the best zoom lens with a Pentax label, but at a cost...

Zeiss 50mm f2.0

Zeiss 85mm f1.4 I've never seen any lens on a pentax camera to this quality. It's evn worth it to borrow this lens or so see if it's available to rent
I sometimes mention that my favorite people-shooting zoom is an old M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 that cost me US$8 shipped, and that its modern counterpart is the DA*50-135/2.8... at 100x the price. Ouch. I'm finding my new-to-me PK-A Vivitar-Komine Series 1 v3 70-210/2.8-4 (US$35 shipped) is quite good for formal and informal H&S and headshots -- don't know how it compares to the DA*60-250/4. And good glass between 50-90mm are great tools, from my K50/1.2 and SuperTak 55/1.8 to the Jupiter-9 85/2 and Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro.

But I still find that 1) IMHO the best combo for H&S and near headshots for facial modeling is around 75-80-85-90mm f/3.5, and 2) I get edge-to-edge razor-sharp images from cheap Industar-58 and Vivitar-LU 75/3.5 enlarger lenses (ELs). The I-58 is a monstrous thing in a black trumpet (subjects sometimes look nervous) set for a fixed-focus of 1.5m. I put the little Viv on a focusing helicoid for more flexibility. I also use ELs and projector lenses of 60mm and 90mm to good effect. All these are cheap, ELs are sharp, and projector lenses have character.

QuoteOriginally posted by Drom Quote
If this manual lens works well for me, I will probably want to collect more of them. Not sure yet how good I will be at using manual lenses.
I grew up in photography before AF existed. I started shooting around 1957. My first AF cam was around 1997. Manual focus ain't no big thang. AF *is* real handy in dynamic situations, but much portraiture (except stealthy street-shots) just doesn't require it. Especially with ultra-thin-DOF portraiture, an AF system may focus on a point that isn't where *you* want the focus to be. When I use a 75/1.2 or 82/1.4 optic, I need better control than AF provides. (I get those by putting a good screw-on Sony 1.5x TC atop my K50/1.2 or Tomioka 55/1.4. For AF, it rides my FA50/1.4 for 75/1.4.)

Yes, suberb images can be shot with costly glass (AF or MF). Can also be shot with good cheap glass and a bit of practice. But hay, it's only money.

04-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #95
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For me, the best focal length for head shots is somewhere between 35mm and 135mm on APS-C. Which one it is, very much depends on the subject and what I am trying to achieve. Long-ish faces with long noses tend to look best at the long end of this range, because the perspective compression mitigates these features that might be perceived as unflattering. Conversely, more round-ish faces often benefit from using a lens at the 35mm end of the range. For the average face, I usually settle for something between 50 and 85mm.

Last edited by Ikarus; 04-22-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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