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12-27-2007, 10:37 PM   #1
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My Next Move

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to purchase some nicer lenses in the near future. So far, I only have the two kit lenses offered by Pentax: the DA 18-55mm f/3.5 and the DA 50-200mm f/4. These lenses are great for beginners, but now I'm ready to take the next step. I almost exclusively use my lenses for portrait/people photography. What would be the next step up from the kit lenses, without going overkill? I would like to keep my costs down while still preserving quality and speed. I'd also like to avoid third-party and MF lenses. Does anyone have a specific lens model in mind that would suit my needs? Will I be blown away by the quality difference between my new lens and my current kit lenses? I've never really used a high-quality lens before, so I don't know any different. With that being said, what makes a "high-quality" lens? Are the kit lenses worth keeping after I upgrade? You input is greatly appreciated.

Oh, I almost forgot. Is there a suggested focal length to use for my style of photography. I heard somewhere that it falls somewhere between 85mm and 100mm, but, then again, I see other photographers using focal lengths above and below this suggested range. Can anyone explain? Could it have to do with image distortion?

SORRY FOR SO MANY QUESTIONS! MY HEAD IS SPINNING WITH THOUGHTS.

12-27-2007, 10:52 PM   #2
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You would want something between 70-100mm. I would look into the DA Limited 70mm or the FA Limited 77mm. The latter is larger, heavier, faster, and also much more expensive than the first. Both of them have great optical quality.

By the way, how do you like your DA 50-200mm. I'm not much of a zoom person, but I would like one and am considering that one.
12-27-2007, 10:53 PM   #3
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Not image distortion ... Image perspective.
Perspective: Optical: Glossary: Learn: Digital Photography Review
You want to use the high range (100-125mm) if your subject has a long nose that you need to flaten as an example.

You might want to pick-up Peter Zack's Sigma EX 105 f2.8 1:1 Macro he needs to unload.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographer-s-marketplace/17141-fs-large...od-lenses.html
If I didn't just buy the Voigtlander, I'd consider it ... heck, LBA has me considering it anyway!
12-27-2007, 11:13 PM   #4
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Well on a cropped camera anything over 50 would be fine for portraits. Longer focal lengths help to flatten the image and avoid big noses. Pentax has 50, 70 and 77 which will all work for portraits. The limiteds have very nice build quality. The focal length you choose depends on your working distance and how much of your subject you include in the portraits.

12-27-2007, 11:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stafford588 Quote
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to purchase some nicer lenses in the near future. So far, I only have the two kit lenses offered by Pentax: the DA 18-55mm f/3.5 and the DA 50-200mm f/4. These lenses are great for beginners, but now I'm ready to take the next step. I almost exclusively use my lenses for portrait/people photography. What would be the next step up from the kit lenses, without going overkill? I would like to keep my costs down while still preserving quality and speed. I'd also like to avoid third-party and MF lenses. Does anyone have a specific lens model in mind that would suit my needs? Will I be blown away by the quality difference between my new lens and my current kit lenses? I've never really used a high-quality lens before, so I don't know any different. With that being said, what makes a "high-quality" lens? Are the kit lenses worth keeping after I upgrade? You input is greatly appreciated.

Oh, I almost forgot. Is there a suggested focal length to use for my style of photography. I heard somewhere that it falls somewhere between 85mm and 100mm, but, then again, I see other photographers using focal lengths above and below this suggested range. Can anyone explain? Could it have to do with image distortion?

SORRY FOR SO MANY QUESTIONS! MY HEAD IS SPINNING WITH THOUGHTS.
We all have heads spinning with the possibilities of the Pentax equipment (or anyone else's for that matter).

I have taken a couple of sample protraits with the DA* 50-135. This lens covers all the portrait focal lengths (35mm equivalent, 75 - 200), has a very nice look to the images, and is fast enough to use ambient lighting.
12-27-2007, 11:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tux08902 Quote
You would want something between 70-100mm. I would look into the DA Limited 70mm or the FA Limited 77mm. The latter is larger, heavier, faster, and also much more expensive than the first. Both of them have great optical quality.

By the way, how do you like your DA 50-200mm. I'm not much of a zoom person, but I would like one and am considering that one.
Thanks for the advice. I was considering those two lenses. For the price, the DA 50-200mm is a steal. It's a little on the slow side, but great for ideal conditions. Pentax's kit lenses are also surprisingly solid. I tend to have a lot of trouble in low-light conditions with camera shake, but that's simply because I've been using a K110D, which doesn't incorporate Pentax's Shake Reduction. I've recently upgraded to the K10D. In fact, I just ordered it yesterday through Buy Dig for $509.00! I couldn't believe my eyes. Shopzilla is my savior. Other dealers still have it selling for $999.00.
12-27-2007, 11:35 PM   #7
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p.s. Peter Zack has a 77mm Limited up for sale too... Now there's a lens I'm lusting after.
12-27-2007, 11:53 PM   #8
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My first suggestion is to use a program like ExposurePlot to have a look at the photos you've taken already, and to work out what focal lengths that you seem to be using most.

Once you know what focal length(s) you need, then that will help narrow your search for lenses.

12-28-2007, 06:19 AM   #9
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How about you go and spend some time with your two existing lenses to see what focal lengths you like? You may prefer the 50-200mm range, you may prefer the 18-55mm range, how could we possibly know?

I think a GREAT two lens "people/portaits" combo would be the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and the Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8. You'll have f/2.8 from 28-135mm and great image quality. Not quite as fast as getting a prime lens (such as the Limited 77mm) but much more versatile. I LOVE having the longer reach up to 135mm.
12-28-2007, 06:36 AM   #10
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Your post suggests you want to stay away froim third party lenses, so as a general lens that would cover the portrait lens as well as a lot of other things, I would suggest the 50-135 pentax F2.8 zoom.

If you find you want to control depth of field even more, then you are, as others have suggested, into the realm of fast prime lenses.

Although you specifically state you don't want third party lenses, you may also wish to look at the tamron 28-75 f2.8. It is highly rated by many here as well as being voted the lens of the year. I just got mine, and have not yet shot enough to give you my impressions although it seems to be well made, and work smoothly and focus quickly on the camera.
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