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11-13-2012, 07:21 PM   #31
HSV
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
My standard 'walk around lens' is the DFA100mm macro. I've come to love the focal length for just about anything. I do find the autofocus to be hit and miss for stuff at a distance though. If it hits it, it's extremely fast but if it misses and goes hunting it can take ages to finish (I use a k100d), so I generally just stick to manual. f/2.8 will do a decent job indoors as well.



The skin can become pore-city when subject to the obscene sharpness a macro lens brings to the party. Even on the smooth skin of a child, every little bit of dirt, sand, food, and other gross stuff they like to keep on their faces will pop into existence. This isn't to say it can't be used for portraits, they can do a fine job, it's just something to be aware of that you may have to do more retouching to make things flattering. Real life is actually pretty gross and a good sharp lens will exemplify this. A macro set at f/8 is not something you should aim at a girl you like.
Oh my god...that is exactly what I like to do, point the Tamron 90 at ladies. Seriously!

This topic is very interesting. Just thinking, it tends to make beautiful ladies more beautiful...and not so beautiful ones, well, even less beautiful.

My most popular camera with the ladies is the Fuji s6500d which I modified for full spectrum. The IR contamination removes all the blemishes, birth marks, age spots, whatever...it's an instant celebrity photoshop.

Well going back to topic, I have a small portrait assignment in next week. I was thinking of taking my sharpest lenses (Tokina 80-200 ATX for outdoors, FA77, DA35, FA43 for indoors) to do this.

In light of what has been discussed here, which is interesting, I'm going to try to experiment with other options. Just curious to know, which LTD lenses would fit this "portrait sharpness" criteria?

Somebody has already posted about the DA70...what are the options for shorter FL?

11-13-2012, 09:29 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by HSV Quote
...Somebody has already posted about the DA70...what are the options for shorter FL?
The FA43 might be OK.

You asked about limiteds and the natural suggestion is the DA* 55mm f1.4. It is supposed to be the APS-C answer to the FA85. I think it's actually good that not everyone is in love with this lens. As this thread demonstrates, we all don't look for the same thing. But I haven't used it myself. Voigtlander 58mm f1.4, maybe?

For the cheap end, I really like the Takumar 55mm formula for portraits. You can get it for almost nothing if it's a Super-Takumar 55mm f2, but it's still cheap as the SMC Pentax 55mm f1.8. The maximum aperture difference is immaterial for portrait use in my opinion, and the optical formula is the same. If manual focus and some extra steps for metering are OK, it's definitely worth trying.

I have not liked the 50/1.4s as much without being able to say why, but they are right there between 43 and 77.
11-14-2012, 04:18 AM   #33
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Macro lenses are sharp, no doubt - but the Tamron is hardly the standard by which sharpness is measured. I have had a Sigma 105mm macro, and I used it wide open for some portraits of my family etc and it blew me away. The Tamron is noticeably not as good... and then there are other, faster lenses that are just as sharp.
To me, macros and telephotos are the only primes that should be f2.8 or slower - all other shorter primes should be faster. F1.4... f1.8, f2.0... that sort of thing. Use one of the good fast ones, and you'll see the step up they have over the Tamron.
11-14-2012, 05:13 AM   #34
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Show Me The Money!

To answer the OP's title question;
In addition to weight, size, long focus throw and the possibility of being TOO sharp (or unflattering) for portrait work, there's the elephant in the room. Money.
Very few of us have unlimited funds to support our hobby, and we must (try to) spend it where it will do the most good and be the most useful.
Here are a few comparison prices, taken from the Pentax Forum lens review, in USD;

DA 35mm f2.4 $187.
DA 35mm f2.8 Ltd Macro $479.

FA* 200mm f2.8 ED IF $660.
FA 200mm f4.0 ED IF Macro $2,262.

A 100mm f2.8 $220.
A 100mm f2.8 Macro $600.

A 200mm f4.0 $124.
A* 200mm f4.0 Macro $1,274.

Now, I enjoy Macro photography as much as anyone and wouldn't be without at least one dedicated Macro lens in my collection. But I've never considered any Macro lens, regardless of speed or focal length, as an ideal walk-around lens.
Say I decide to take a "street" kit of a few prime lenses, with one body, on an outing. One lens would be a short telephoto.
Here's a size comparison. On the left, my $300, nearly irreplaceable, Bokina, the Vivitar Series 1 90mm f2.5, weighing in at 17.5 ounces, without converter.
On the right, the SMC Pentax M 100mm f2.8, price about $125-150, weighing 8.2 ounces. Not too hard to find, either.
Unless I KNOW I'll be shooting Macro, I'll take the "M" 100mm.
JMO
Ron

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11-14-2012, 01:11 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
Having that close of a minimum focusing distance makes for a longer focus throw and thus slower AF.

Sometimes you want a fast aperture for low light, blurred background, or both, and macro lenses tend to have not the fastest max apertures.
Since when? Almost all macros are f3.5 or faster andpretty much all of them have awesome bokeh.
11-14-2012, 02:02 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Thats fine if you don't want a faster lens (and the lens has a focus limiter for faster focus). For example a f1.4 versus a f2.8, means you can get a much narrower depth of field (at normal not macro distances to the subject) which is great for more creative photography. I understand with the design of macro lenses they have practical limits on maximum aperture but I'm sure others will be able to comment further on that.
The aperture isn't as much of an argument with some focal lengths. For example, the D FA 100/2.8 WR and many other tele macro have comparable apertures to similar tele. Also, the DA 35mm/2.8 LTD macro compared to the DA 40/2.8 LTD (or XS version) or DA 35/2.4. The argument does hold up when comparing the D FA 50/2.8 to the FA 50/1.4.
11-14-2012, 02:05 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by gooseta Quote
Since when? Almost all macros are f3.5 or faster andpretty much all of them have awesome bokeh.
One example is the Sigma 70 EX Macro 2.8. It exhibits very nice bokeh and it also has a focus limiter for faster AF. In addition to being a very sharp macro lens, it is also a very nice portrait lens. Of course, it is larger than non-macro 70s, but it really is a great lens for the money.
11-14-2012, 02:05 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The aperture isn't as much of an argument with some focal lengths. For example, the D FA 100/2.8 WR and many other tele macro have comparable apertures to similar tele. Also, the DA 35mm/2.8 LTD macro compared to the DA 40/2.8 LTD (or XS version) or DA 35/2.4. The argument does hold up when comparing the D FA 50/2.8 to the FA 50/1.4.
Pretty much this - I don't have any issue thinking to use the Tamron 90 for my long telephoto... except I have the Tamron 70-200 and you'll have to pry that from my cold dead fingers first.

For 50mm, a 1.4 is just so useful indoors that I can't imagine trying to use the 50 2.8 macro. 2 stops of light is pretty crucial when taking pictures of running kids inside.

11-14-2012, 06:25 PM   #39
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I wish that subjects being overly sharp was one of my problems
so, we pay all the extra money to the the extra details from a k5IIs only to limit the outcome to a less then razor sharp lens?
just another question to ponder

thanks

randy
11-15-2012, 07:41 PM   #40
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Thanks everyone so far for their input it's been very interesting!!

Randy
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