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11-10-2012, 12:51 AM   #1
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Questions on lens set

I'm a new portrait photographer, working on building my lens set up. I'm currently using the k-r but once I have my lenses will be looking at the k30 unless something awesome and affordable for me pops up.
So, you know I have the kit lens, I also have a film era 50 mm f2, now I thought at first it was the 1:1.2 but its just the 1:2. I think I'm looking at
50mm f 1.7
35mm 2.4 AL
43mm fa 1.9
85mm 1.4 Rokinon

Do I have anything redundant on my list? I shoot babies, kids, families, maternity and engagement sessions now, I'd like to do boudior at some point and love to do birth photography. I've heard good things about the 77mm, is it better than what I'm considering? I dislike zoom lenses.

11-10-2012, 02:15 AM   #2
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I think your list should be something like this (what I'd do): 35/2.4, then Tamron 17-50 to replace your kit lens, then Samyang (or Rokinon, whatever is sold over there) 85/1.4, then new camera, then replace 50/2.
11-10-2012, 03:26 AM   #3
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IMO, the 35, 43 and 50 are all too close to each other. Is there any particular reason you dislike zooms (measure-bating doesn't count as a reason btw )?For portrait work, you really only need 2 lenses: a wide and a tele.

What I'd recommend for people starting out would be a solid budget kit:
Kit lens as your wide-normal (best lens IMO for flash/daytime shooting)
Rokinon 85mm as a tele
Maybe a sigma 30 if you find yourself needing something fast and wide-ish

The k-30 would be a sweet, but I gotta throw a vote for the k-5 if you know how to take advantage of the 14-bit RAW for on-location work. If you want to shoot professionally at some point, you really should shoot with dual-bodies, partly for redundant backup, partly for not having to switch lenses so you can work faster.

In the end though, the best lens for you will occur to you as you shoot more and learn more about your style. The kit lens and a cheap 50 is a great place to start, I say you really should just stick with that for a while until you find the difference between lenses you'd want and lenses you need. My own experience is that lenses come and go as what you shoot changes. I've gone through my fair share of lenses and had the luxury of owning a huge kit of lenses at every focal length at one point, I've found that keeping things simple with your glass lets you focus more on what in front of your camera rather than what's on it. As it is now, I've got an UWA for about 20% of shots, I've come back to the kit lens for around 50% of shots and I've got a canon FF body for shallow DoF and around 30% of shots.

hope this helps and best of luck!
11-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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My kit has no truly fast glass, but like adpo I prefer larger steps: 15, 24, 40 and 70 work well for me. The 30, 50 and 85 would be fine for my shooting if speed were vital, but I prefer compact to superfast.

11-10-2012, 12:29 PM   #5
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I had only included the 43mm since I'd heard good things about it. I think I'd be good with the 35, 50 and 85.
I feel like I do better with my composition when I move instead of having the camera move. But of course who knows, my style will likely change and evolve and I may love zoom at some point.
I'll look more into the K5, thanks for the thought!
What is the 14bit RAW? I shoot RAW only now but I don't know what that means.
11-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by April.H Quote
What is the 14bit RAW? I shoot RAW only now but I don't know what that means.
It gives you finer gradations than the 12 bit RAW, especially noticeable in shadow detail:

14-bit Raw Versus 12-bit Raw: Further Analysis and Comparison - Photo Tips @ Earthbound Light
11-14-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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IMO:
1. keep the kit lens;
2. get the F50.1,7;
3. get the Rokinon 1.8.
11-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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I would just use the tamron 28-75 F2.8 personly

11-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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It looks like prime lenses give you sharper images, so I don't know that I want zoom lenses. I have the 50 1.7 on hold, I'm not thrilled with my kit lens, it's not fast enough for little kids who I shoot often. But it works fine for adults. The 50 f2 works great for newborns and I'll keep working with it for adults. I think the 85 1.4 will be my next purchase.
11-14-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by April.H Quote
It looks like prime lenses give you sharper images, so I don't know that I want zoom lenses
First, for portraits you rarely want the sharpest lens. You want shallow DOF, creamy bokeh, fast AF (if you use AF) and a focal length you are comfortable using.

I would personally avoid getting a 35, 43 AND 50. Go with one "normal" focal length (one among the three you listed, or the DA40) and get a 70, 77 or even 100mm if you have some space to work) and that,s it.

Second, zooms can be plenty good, if you go with high quality zooms. If you don't need a wide angle for casual shooting, the Tamron 28-75 is indeed an excellent choice, that could very well replace several primes.

When shooting portraits, I almost always go for the F50 f1,7, I really like the results it delivers. Otherwise, I use my Sigma 17-70 in the 35mm or 70 mm range. Rarely I use my 100mm, it's just too sharp.
11-14-2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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I'm doing something wrong then. I'm not always happy with the sharpness of my work. Some of my images are too fuzzy to use, even with af. My last ones were not making me happy at all and I can't imagine accidentally shooting in JPEG instead of RAW made that much of a difference. I don't know if I'm expecting too much, need significant work on what I'm doing, or what. I do know what you're saying, I love the bokeh on my images and on other people's images. I have a really hard time with shallow DOF on my 50 f2, I need to stop it down instead of shooting wide open even though when I do nail the focus it's amazing. You can see what I'm talking about here if you want: Flickr: Aprilh3's Photostream
11-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
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You don't need the 50 if you get the 43. I'd recommend the FA* 24, FA 43 Limited and the FA 77 Limited. If you get the 85 you won't need the 77. Taking a look at your photos gives me the impression you'd like the results from the 43 and 77, but take a look here for more examples: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/59538-fa-limited-club.html
11-14-2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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This was shot with a 12 milion pixel camera and an old F4-5.6 zoom. Sharp enough for anyone I should think. The tamrons are a lot sharper. If you want primes thats fair enough but no need to worry about zoom quality.

11-14-2012, 04:47 PM   #14
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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?
11-14-2012, 05:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by April.H Quote
I dislike zoom lenses.
I'm not quite sure why anyone here is telling you to get zooms. Maybe they missed this part of your first post.

I very rarely use any of my zooms, if ever it's the FA* 80-200. I have a few for convenience when I'm feeling lazy, but for every subject I prefer primes.
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