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08-08-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
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Lens for less than $1,000

Hey everyone! I am soon to recieve a pretty large ammount of money, and I would like to spend almost all of it on college, but I am taking out less than 1,000 dollars to go towards a great lens. I currently have a Pentax K-5, a Pentax M 50mm 1.7, and a Tamron 28-75. I am primarily working in the portraiture business, but I also do a lot of general photography. I recently rented a DA* 200mm 2.8 and it is by far my favorite out of all the lenses I have ever used! But I fear that a 200mm would leave me too restricted.

Here is a link to my photostream to get a general idea of what my work is like: Taylor | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


My portraits with the DA* 200mm were pretty great, but I want a different lens for portrait work. Preferably one with good resolution, sharpness and bokeh.

Thanks for the help!

08-08-2012, 09:32 AM   #2
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Once you start to use F/2.8 or faster glass, you never look back. Depth of Field as well as speed make all the difference.

For $1000 there are many choices but since you already have the Tamron 28-75, I would recommend the 70-200 f/2.8 as a great addition. With the money left over? Grab the DA35mm.
08-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
I recently rented a DA* 200mm 2.8 and it is by far my favorite out of all the lenses
QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
Preferably one with good resolution, sharpness and bokeh.

Add another $200 to it and get the Sigma 70~200 FLD OS - IQ and sharpness is on par with the *200 but gives you the flexibility of a zoom and the benefit of faster HSM focusing - resolution is also pretty high. Another suggestion would be the DA*50~135, all around fantastic piece of glass...
08-08-2012, 09:38 AM   #4
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Sigma 85 1.4! Or search for it second hand and add one FA 50 1.4, your portrait setup will be more complete .
PS For portraits and other shallow DOF work the Sigma 30 1.4 is much better choice over the FA35 and DA35.

08-08-2012, 09:39 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input, and so quickly! Should I try a Tamron 70-200 and then save up for a DA 15mm Ltd? I would prefer to somewhat "fill in the gap" in my wide angle lenses. If I were to get the Tamron, I could save maybe 100-200 more afterwards to get the DA 15mm. Does this sound like a good idea? I now feel like I should have gone for a 17-50.....
08-08-2012, 09:40 AM   #6
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I can put in a good word for the FA77 f/1.8 and DA*50-135 f/2.8.
08-08-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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LOL. The Sigma 85 f/1.4 and the DA15 are both on my short list!!
08-08-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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Haha that's great
so the Sigma 85 looks like a great lens for me to get, but also the sigma 50mm 1.4.... I wish I could have an infinite budget to blow on lenses so this would all be over with lol!

08-08-2012, 09:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nick52 Quote
save up for a DA 15mm Ltd? I would prefer to somewhat "fill in the gap" in my wide angle lenses.
If you enjoy shooting wide angle, the DA15 is definitely worth it! Could make for a good trick in the bag when doing environmental portraits.

Another wide angle option is the DA21. Forum member ming says the following about the lens:
QuoteOriginally posted by ming Quote
21mm ltd, my fav lens for portraiture...
Check out his portraits on the DA21 thread, they're pretty impressive.
08-08-2012, 09:56 AM   #10
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FA 50 1.4 is usable from 2.2, you can use it till you gain more money for 50 1.4 sigma which is perfectly usable from 1.4 both sigmas are great portrait lenses!
08-08-2012, 12:56 PM   #11
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K50/1.2, A50/1.2, Voigtlander Nokton 58mm/1.4, FA77/1.8, DA55/1.4, ZK85/1.4
08-08-2012, 01:21 PM   #12
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Given what you've said I'd recommend the DA*50-135 or if you want a prime the DA*55 or FA77.
08-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomTextura Quote
I can put in a good word for the FA77 f/1.8 and DA*50-135 f/2.8.
I agree - you can shoot portraits all day with the DA*50-135 and never feel like you've sacrificed IQ for using a zoom. But the speed and the backgrounds you'll get from the FA77 make it really versatile (the FA*85 can also take its place, but it's a little over your budget). The small size of the FA77 compared to an 85mm lens is also fantastic. It easily fits in your pocket, works great wide open, and sometimes is your only choice in lower light (such as with performers on a stage).

Looking at you photos, other serious considerations should include the DA*55, FA43, K50/1.2, and K200/2.5. The DA10-17, DA15, and FA20-35 could also potentially serve you well at the wide end. But I still think the FA77 and DA*50-135 are your top choices.


For example, last year at this beach shoot I had my full kit with me, but I never took the other lenses out of the bag. I kept the DA*50-135 on the camera the whole day, and I never regretted it. My shots are photos 5-12:

Photos - Creative Photography Group (Encinitas, CA) - Meetup
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