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08-06-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
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I think I am going to buy a portrait lense..

I already own a plethora of old primes. Takumar 1.4/50mm, SMC 2.8/28mm, and the Takumar 1.8/55mm.

I have had a lot of fun playing with the lenses and learning about photography by limiting myself to manual lens manipulation. However, Im going to be a new dad next month and I want something to take portraits of my daughter and our family..

My first issue is that I immediately find myself gravitating to the SMC 2.8/28mm lens for indoor shots because the crop on the 50mm lenses is just way too extreme, I cant get far enough away from my subjects. But that lens really limits what i can do with my focal depth and light transmittance so obviously id rather be using one of my bigger pieces of glass.

I think that an APSC 50mm lens may be perfect for me, something like the SMCP-FA 50 mm F/1.4 ???

I also want a modern lens to take some of the burden away, I just want to be able to take good spontaneous photos of my family; Auto-focus will really help with that. As for other features, i don't really know what is there and what is absent through the various generations of 50mm primes.


Can anyone give me some wisdom on this?

08-06-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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Get the Pentax F 50mm 1,7. It's a great, sharp lens and you can get it used for a reasonable price.
08-06-2013, 02:15 PM   #3
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Is cost an issue? If not - get the DA*55 F1.4. It is sharper than the FA 50 F1.4 and better microcontrast/colour rendition.
If you have a budget, the FA 50 F1.4 is very good, but maybe the FA 50 F1.7 would perform well enough.

I prefer the DA*55 F1.4, or the Sigma 50 F1.4. They are astoundingly sharp at F1.4-2, and I can always soften the image in post processing if I need to.
08-06-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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Price is defiantly and issue. I could possibly swing the Sigma at about $400 but that's the absolute top of my budget.

For anyone in a similar situation. When you head to the park with the family what lenses do you pack?

08-06-2013, 02:30 PM   #5
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Then look for the FA 50 F1.7. Or even the new DA 50 f1.8
08-06-2013, 02:34 PM   #6
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I think 50mm will be the right focal length. It's good for portraits but you also can use it for general shots, if you have some distance to your subject.
08-06-2013, 02:42 PM   #7
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I have 50mm lenses, the DA*55, the Voigtlander 58mm, a Vivitar 85mm, and I've also used to have the DA70. Of all of these on my APS-c sensor, the 55 to 58mm lenses have given me the best portraits IMHO. 50mm is too short 70 and up is too long. I think an old 55mm lens might be better than a 50 if price is an issue.
08-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmbaile2 Quote
crop on the 50mm lenses is just way too extreme,
QuoteOriginally posted by dmbaile2 Quote
I think that an APSC 50mm lens may be perfect for me,
You probably already know this but from the comments above it seems you believe there is a difference between film 50mm and APS-C 50mm. There isn't. An APS-C 50mm is exactly the same focal length as your older Takumar f/1.4. My apologizes if you already knew all this and I just read it wrong, just did not want you working under a misapprehension.

08-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
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I was under the impression that the APSC sensor crop gave me an effective focal length of about 1.5 X 50mm = 75mm, and that a lens manufactured for an APSC sensor will not have a crop factor giving me an effective focal length of 50mm.

Is this not correct?
08-06-2013, 03:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmbaile2 Quote
I was under the impression that the APSC sensor crop gave me an effective focal length of about 1.5 X 50mm = 75mm, and that a lens manufactured for an APSC sensor will not have a crop factor giving me an effective focal length of 50mm. Is this not correct?
Nope. 50mm is 50mm, makes no difference whether it is designed for FF or APS-C. Now a lens designed for APS-C MAY not work on FF because the image circle is smaller, but the focal length is the same.
08-06-2013, 03:31 PM   #11
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@dmbaile2
@jatrax

I guess you are both right.

The focal length of a lens is the same, whatever sized sensor you are using.
But you should not mix up focal length with angle of view (AOV).

Many people do (also in this forum), and it is often difficult to find out whether it is wrong understanding, or just mixing up expressions.
08-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
For anyone in a similar situation. When you head to the park with the family what lenses do you pack?
When heading out to the park, 99% of the time, I have my 50 F1.4 lens on the camera, but indoors I find that kind of limiting. So I use a Tamron 18 - 50 2.8 lens indoors a lot. Although I really wanted the Pentax 16 - 50 2.8, but really couldn't swing that chunk of change at the time. someday I will upgrade to that lens though. It looks like you prefer a prime, so I'm not sure if that helps at all. But my experience with the 50 is a Love it, but it doesn't always work for me inside.
08-06-2013, 04:04 PM   #13
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So the angle of view would be wider on a 50mm lens manufactured for APSC right? Versus a 50mm lens made for 35mm film but used with an APSC sensor?
08-06-2013, 04:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
@dmbaile2
@jatrax

I guess you are both right.

The focal length of a lens is the same, whatever sized sensor you are using.
But you should not mix up focal length with angle of view (AOV).

Many people do (also in this forum), and it is often difficult to find out whether it is wrong understanding, or just mixing up expressions.
The OP stated "effective focal length" which I took to mean he was referring to the angle of view. I agree this whole topic is confusing when different terms are used. I just wanted to make sure he understood that the "effective focal length", "angle of view" or whatever it is called is the same on a given sensor no matter whether it is a modern DA lens designed for APS-C or a Takumar designed for film. Unless you use different formats or have used film in the past, the whole discussion (IMHO) is mute. If you are trying to get the same 'look' you had on FF film then yes you have to adjust for the crop factor. But buying a DA 50mm will not give you anything different then the Takumar 50mm within the parameters of the OP's question.

I know lot's of folks are very passionate about this subject and I am not the one to ask for detailed technical explanations. I just wanted the OP to not make a mistake on a lens purchase.
08-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmbaile2 Quote
So the angle of view would be wider on a 50mm lens manufactured for APSC right? I think that's what i meant.
No. 50mm is 50mm as long as you use it on the same sensor. 50mm is a physical property of the lens. How it will look on a given sensor has nothing to do with whether it was designed for FF, APS-C or m4/3. Any 50mm will have the same 'angle of view' as any other 50mm lens on the same sensor.
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