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07-12-2013, 09:03 AM   #1
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Portrait Lens? Or maybe a teleconverter?

I am looking for a portrait lens of 85mm to 105mm range... There isn't much out there that's affordable, fast, non-zoom and autofocus... So my options seem to be Tamron 90mm Macro... or Bower, et.al 85mm f1.4 (but this is manual focus)... or maybe pairing up a 50mm f1.4 with a 2x converter which would still be a quick f2.8... any thoughts? any suggestions? I really want to stay with autofocus if possible, but if I were to go to one of the 85mm f1.4 choices I think to myself, self get a PKA mount tele... decisions, decisions!

07-12-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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About the teleconverter option - DON'T. I don't think there is a TC made that doesn't negatively impact image quality, and in many cases it is cheaper to buy the longer lens than it is to purchase a TC has minimal impact on IQ. With very few exceptions you will be better off to use the longest lens you have at hand, and then crop the image.

Back in the film days when I almost exclusively shot reversal (slide) film, I didn't have this option and used a TC when I really had to. Like most lens filters in the digital age, there is little use for a TC. ....but if you are as stubborn as most of us in this Forum, you will have to give it a try anyhow.
07-12-2013, 09:17 AM   #3
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Portraits are the easiest for manual focus as the subject is not moving and you can take your time. If that is truly the use for the lens, the Bower/Rokinon 85 is a good choice.

I also would not recommend a teleconverter.
07-12-2013, 09:31 AM   #4
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Agreed about the manual focus... doing portraits should be ok. BUT, now should I consider Pentax A lenses such as the low cost 135mm f2.8 A or even a Sigma 135mm f2.8 A? Or are the Bower/Rokinon lenses really that good? Obviously f1.4 would be awesome and 85mm is basically a 135mm (FOV)... But also bigger and heavier... And about a $100 (USD) more than one of the Pentax A's... OR maybe I am reading too much and just need to go out and get something!

07-12-2013, 09:59 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbmax Quote
Or are the Bower/Rokinon lenses really that good?
They're basically as good as Sigma and Pentax lenses, just manual focus.
Vivitar (Samyang) 85mm F1.4 - Review - PentaxForums.com

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07-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbmax Quote
should I consider Pentax A lenses such as the low cost 135mm f2.8 A
Depends on where you're going to be shooting: 135mm requires a fairly large working distance.
07-12-2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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i got alot of bad experience with teleconverter in alot of case it will compromise your image quality and you'll losing some stop of light because of it. i agree with manual focus lenses samyang 85mm F1.4 for $300, or some M42 lens like Jupiter-9 85mm F2 about $60, Pentax M 135mm F3.5 for $50. or Tamron 70-300 for $120 if you dont mind about F4.

i'm Carl Zeiss jena 135mm F3.5 and Pentax M 50 F1.4 for almost all my portrait work.
07-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ignmar Quote
i got alot of bad experience with teleconverter in alot of case it will compromise your image quality and you'll losing some stop of light because of it. i agree with manual focus lenses samyang 85mm F1.4 for $300, or some M42 lens like Jupiter-9 85mm F2 about $60, Pentax M 135mm F3.5 for $50. or Tamron 70-300 for $120 if you dont mind about F4.

i'm Carl Zeiss jena 135mm F3.5 and Pentax M 50 F1.4 for almost all my portrait work.
Good luck finding that Jupiter-9 85/2 at $60

07-12-2013, 10:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbmax Quote
I am looking for a portrait lens of 85mm to 105mm range... There isn't much out there that's affordable, fast, non-zoom and autofocus... So my options seem to be Tamron 90mm Macro... or Bower, et.al 85mm f1.4 (but this is manual focus)... or maybe pairing up a 50mm f1.4 with a 2x converter which would still be a quick f2.8... any thoughts? any suggestions? I really want to stay with autofocus if possible, but if I were to go to one of the 85mm f1.4 choices I think to myself, self get a PKA mount tele... decisions, decisions!
I honestly found 85mm lens on crop sensor really long. 85mm is great on FF though. Have you tried a 55/1.4? They are great on crop and gives you similar FOV than a 85mm as 55*1.5 = 82.5mm and they can be had for less than $50 (manual focus) easily.
07-12-2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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Well I have a 50mm f1.4A and a 28-70 f4 FA... I have (but selling) a 35-135 f3.5/4.5 F... so the range I want is the 85ish because that will give me a 135 on a crop body... but I was hoping to have a prime rather than a zoom mostly to get a faster f stop, and f2.8 would be fine for my needs...
07-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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I kinda agree with ducdao, although my lens of choice is the FA 50 1.7. A little wider than a 85 on FF, but not so much it makes a big difference, and a little slower than the 1.4 but it's a terrrific lens.
07-12-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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Also the DA 70/2.4 limited sometimes goes quite cheap on the used market.
07-12-2013, 01:18 PM   #13
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For portrait on APS-C I prefer my Helios 44K-4 (2.0/58, K mount). At F2.8, DOF is small enough, and center resolution is up to Pentax prime standards.

Border resolution at F <5.6 is probably a bit copy related (or so it seems), but with portraits mostly not so important.

Poorer border resolution may often be even an advantage.
The 44-K4 is a bit rarer than the other versions, but you should be able to get it for $60-80. I got mine mounted to a broken Zenit for much less.
07-12-2013, 03:07 PM   #14
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f/4 zooms can get the hob done too!
07-12-2013, 06:16 PM   #15
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The most affordable high resolution AF options I am aware of would be the Cosina/Pentax 100mm f/3.5 Macro (with matching diopter) which goes for $70-150, or the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX Macro which goes for $200-350.
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