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11-14-2012, 05:53 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by April.H Quote
More looking and trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing, or at least trying to do. What I'm reading says that you don't really want a wide angle lens for portraits because they cause distortion. SO, I don't need the 35mm. I should be perfectly fine with the 50 1.7 and the 85mm 1.4. I'd rather put money towards a better camera than lenses that won't be what I need, kwim?
A 35 will work great for portraits without any distortion. I've used the DA 15 for portraits when I specifically want distortion in the portrait, as well as stepping back a bit to avoid it. I don't have a 35, but would love to try the FA 31 one day. Here's some examples.

DA 15





FA*24


Here's one at 25mm



FA 43







Last edited by builttospill; 11-14-2012 at 06:01 PM.
11-14-2012, 05:56 PM   #17
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i've taken my less than 9 months old baby pictures using tamron 28-75 for the last 4 months. It's fast and sharp for me. I can't use the flash at the moment. Therefore my normal zoom can't do the work. And the manual prime will only work when the baby is sleeping. I'd second the idea to a good quality zoom to cover more primes unless you'd like to get more artistic shot.
11-14-2012, 06:09 PM   #18
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I like to get the more artistic shot, that's what I like! At this point I'm just stumped. 50's and 85's seem to be the recommend lenses from everyone, but I've seen 35, 100, 44, 77 and I don't understand what, why or how come. I've been researching, watching videos, reading reviews and I don't know what else I need to do to figure out what to do!
11-14-2012, 07:01 PM   #19
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Okay, sorry for jumping ahead. Let's start with the basics:

- What's your budget for lenses?
- Do you prefer AF or MF lenses?
- What focal lengths do you prefer? If you don't know this put your kit lens on the camera for a day and take a bunch of pictures of subjects you enjoy. At the end of the day take a look at what focal length you used most. If you find 55mm was too short in a lot of shots, then take a look at the DA 70, FA 77 or an 85mm and pick one. If you find a lot of pictures were taken around 30-35mm then look at the FA 31, DA 35 2.4 or DA 35 Limited. If you really enjoy taking photos between 21 and 28mm research the DA 21, FA* 24 or FA 28. If there's lots of photos between 40 and 50mm, then decide between the DA 40, FA 43, 50/1.7, FA 50/1.4 or DA 50 1.8.

You're lucky to have so many options. Don't be overwhelmed by the choices. Just take a look at your shooting preferences and then pick which lens you like. The lens review sections here should help once you narrow the focal lengths down. Pentax FA Prime Lenses - Reviews and Specifications and Pentax DA Prime Lenses - Reviews and Specifications.

11-14-2012, 11:15 PM   #20
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My budget for lenses is under $400 per lens, preferably under $300 and I'm not opposed to used by any means. I looked at my kit lens, I shoot at 55mm and 35mm and in between those two. I never shoot toward 18mm.
I have no preference on AF or MF, except that I realize that each one has it's place and benefits as well as negatives. I'm not fast enough for moving children with MF but for adults and babies it's great.
11-15-2012, 06:03 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by April.H Quote
I'd rather put money towards a better camera than lenses that won't be what I need
Camera instead of lenses you won't use, fine. Camera instead of lenses, I think not. You're almost always better off improving your lenses than improving your camera. Except when the camera is actually limiting you (high ISO, burst mode, etc).

QuoteOriginally posted by April.H Quote
At this point I'm just stumped. 50's and 85's seem to be the recommend lenses from everyone, but I've seen 35, 100, 44, 77 and I don't understand what, why or how come.
I think, from reading your posts, that you are putting too much importance on the focal lengths, and on making the "right choices". All the lenses mentionned in the thread will give you great results when used properly. I personally believe that for a primes portrait setup, there are two things mandatory:

1-a really fast lens for shallow DOF (a 50, most likely, or a 43)

2-a fast short tele (anything among 70, 77, 85, even 100 will do)

The rest is a personnal choice. Answer a few questions and the choices will make thenselves:

Do you prefer AF?
Do you prefer the smallest lenses available?
Do you put much importance on shallow DOF?
Do you plan on using your lenses for other situations? (macro, for instance?)

You already mentionned your budget, that will drive the choice too.

Last, you mentionned that wide will distort your images. That's true, but a 35mm lens is not really wide, so if you like that focal length, you could go for it. Wide means 21, 28, when talking about portraits. I can confirm that, as much as I love my 21, it's not good for portraits.

Also, at some point, it's better to just improve your technique, experiment and learn, than to focus on gear. you could decide to go with just a 50 and work from there. After a while, you'll no if you want wider or more tele, but you'll be sure the 50 will always serve you well. (50, or 43, or 40... whatever)
11-15-2012, 11:32 AM   #22
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I don't really intend to buy a new camera for at least year or so. I have the K-r I like it, it does what I want. I'm not sure how much difference the 16mp compares to a 12mp on print size since I printed a 20x30 and it looks great. I've read heavy usage can mean you need to replace your camera, so I'll be saving for that.

I just have limited funds so I don't want to spend money on something that won't be beneficial kwim? Working on my technique and getting my skills refined, learning new ones is very important. My lighting and posing have improved exponentially in the 5 months I've been doing this. I'll be working to continue to grow my talent in order to grow my business!
11-15-2012, 12:40 PM   #23
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One thing about the 50/1.7 lenses is their bokeh can look a bit busy. That's why I went for an FA 50/1.4 instead.

Since you're sticking to a limited budget you might as well look at what specific things you'd like to accomplish and hopefully match the lens to that purpose.

For indoor portraits, I have good luck with my 50/1.4. You don't have to back up too far away from your subject, it's sharp but not so sharp as to highlight every pore, and generally just makes for nice portraits.

For outdoor portraits where you've got more room to work, you can use a longer lens to create particularly shallow depth of field. This is where you'd use something in like the 70-100mm range.

Here's a shot I took of my grandparents a couple weeks ago with the 50/1.4 at f/2.2 which is my favorite aperture for this lens. My grandpa is 88 and grandma 89 so plenty of surface details on their faces, but this, to my eye, is still a flattering picture.



11-15-2012, 12:58 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by April.H Quote
I don't really intend to buy a new camera for at least year or so. I have the K-r I like it, it does what I want. I'm not sure how much difference the 16mp compares to a 12mp on print size since I printed a 20x30 and it looks great. I've read heavy usage can mean you need to replace your camera, so I'll be saving for that.

I just have limited funds so I don't want to spend money on something that won't be beneficial kwim? Working on my technique and getting my skills refined, learning new ones is very important. My lighting and posing have improved exponentially in the 5 months I've been doing this. I'll be working to continue to grow my talent in order to grow my business!
If the camera does what you need then work on lenses. My K10D from 2006 does most of what I need and Pentax hasn't brought out something newer to catch my interest yet. Many of my 10mp photos from my K10d have been printed on interstate billboards and looked great, so you're right - 16mp isn't going to make much difference. Pentax builds durable cameras, so depending on your definition of heavy use you shouldn't have to worry about a replacement for a long time. If heavy use includes rough handling of your camera then it's smart to plan for a replacement. I've babied my cameras and equipment, even though my K10Ds have taken tens of thousands of photos, I expect them to keep taking many more. The shutters are rated for 100,000 photos so you shouldn't worry if you take care of your stuff.

You're also welcome to post photos here on the forums for critique to help you improve if you'd like.
11-15-2012, 01:15 PM   #25
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From what I can tell from your posts, it actually sounds like you have everything you need to get started: a body and a 50mm. Seriously, unless you have a specific reason to buy any other lens, just stick to that and you should be set
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