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01-17-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
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Newbie could use help with finding a portrait lens.

Hey, I'm new to forums and am in need of help - I'm looking for a dedicated, inexpensive portrait lens for a K200D. My max price is about 300 - 400, since I'm a student and very poor but I want to invest in this hobby because I love taking photos, and I am really getting into portrait photography.

Advice would be much appreciated, thank you!


01-17-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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What lens are you using now?How do you hope to improve?
01-17-2013, 11:49 AM   #3
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the good old 50mm would work fine for most portraits.

For zooms you can look into the 24-70 f/2.8 zoom lenses, Sigma and Tamron have them new but they are slightly out of budget but maybe second hand?
01-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #4
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Pentax FA 50 F1.4 is probably as good as you'd need.

Or a DA 70 F2.4 on sale.

01-17-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
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Check out srsmicrosystems, they have some crazy prices for sigma lenses, but their pricing on pentax ones isn't bad either, you can have DA 70 Ltd for 400 pounds or FA 50/1,4 for 300. Sigma 70 macro is also very nicely priced and you can also do 1:1 macro along with portraits. If you like MF, you can go with Samyang 85 or any older lenses, check out lens reviews: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
01-17-2013, 12:33 PM   #6

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An A50/1.4 or 1.7.
01-17-2013, 01:00 PM   #7
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I personally like to go a little longer than 50mm for portraits, but they can get expensive. I'm not sure on pricing but the DA70 would get my vote if it fits within the budget. I'm sure the DA*55mm is probably too much, but its a beauty of a lens.

The FA50 1.4 would be third on my list out of the three listed.

Ultimatley my fav portrait lens is the 50-135 f2.8 DA*. But its price is way out of bounds of your budget right now :P but a used one may be closer?
01-17-2013, 01:50 PM   #8

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I think the DA*55 is your best overall choice here - not sure if you'll have to buy new or used, but I think it could just fit in the budget. You may have to buy from overseas - I don't know what fees/taxes you might face on a used one.

The K200D is a great camera that's worthy of a good lens. I could potentially suggest anything from a DA35/2.4 or FA43 to a K200/2.5. All could take great portraits. I think you should spend some time studying the various lenses on the PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model You can even filter out the results on the K200D or similar K10D. For example, do you want a sharp, wide aperture (DA*55), beautiful smooth backgrounds (K50/1.2), or Vivid colors (FA43)?

You can even go budget and get an M (or A) 50 plus an M (or A) 100/2.8.

01-17-2013, 01:53 PM   #9
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Try some of the older 135mm Full Manual lenses that are around some very good ones can be had for very little.

Check out the Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database and Pentax Lenses by Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, and more - Reviews and Specification Database - Pentax Lens Review Database

Personally I would go all manual for Portraits anyhow .
01-17-2013, 04:23 PM - 1 Like   #10
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What's wrong with what you've got now that makes you think a new lens would help? If anything, my vote goes to lighting gear over a new lens
01-18-2013, 04:53 AM   #11
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There's not much wrong with the 18-55 kit lens for portraits, assuming you're happy to get quite close to your subject - it'll give you the right sort of perspective (though make sure you're at the long end if it's a tightly framed head/shoulders shot), if that's what you're worried about. You mostly won't want or need anything faster (i.e. wider in aperture), or sharper, for that matter (it's usual to prefer a slightly "soft" image for portraits). I'd save your money if I were you - or as adpo says, spend it on lighting gear!
01-18-2013, 05:23 AM   #12
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For the price, it's pretty hard to beat the DA 35/2.4, but your budget allows for an FA 50/1.4, which is excellent to shoot at f/2 or f/2.8 or f/4.
01-18-2013, 06:11 AM   #13
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DA 35 is no go for me for portraits as it is too wide to shot head only - nose is slightly distorted
I think 50mm is minimum and sweet spot is in 70-100mm range, depending on the type of portrait (head only vs. whole body), I'm using voigtalnder 90mm for this kind of shots and I'm standing 3-4m from target

I think DA 70 ltd is the best choice in that price range when buying new lens
01-18-2013, 01:45 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by olipolhill Quote
My max price is about 300 - 400, since I'm a student and very poor
Clearly you're not very poor
01-18-2013, 01:51 PM   #15
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There is no such thing as the right lens for a portrait.

There's only those lenses you're comfortable with shooting portraits with.

THAT most often depends upon WHO you're making portraits of -- and that requires personal experience.

Ya gotta do your own homework. I've never made a 'portrait' I liked at 10mm or 300mm but there's always the chance . . . I'd recommend you start with something in the 18~135mm range and shoot a lot and find your own comfort zone. If that turns out to be prime, so be it.

In the mean time, there's a lot to be gained from a quality zoom. Two feet of background separation makes up for a LOT of F 1.2 bokeh (and cost) for the amateur photographer when you divide the cost of gear into the number of actual critical portraits made.



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