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08-19-2013, 05:35 PM   #1
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My next lens (or two)

Hey folks,

I am looking at getting another lens, specifically a prime for indoor portraits. Im pretty set on a 35mm, but I don't know which one I should go for.

I am interested in the 35mm Limited Macro, but I had some questions. First, would it do everything the DA 35mm would do, just better? Does the Macro ability of the lens take away from its performance for standard photos? I am not big into macro, but I don't mind fooling around with the odd flower on a day out shooting, so it would be nice to have a the macro ability as I won't likely (for a long time, anyway) buy a dedicated macro lens. But, my priority is great low light and indoor shots, so if there is another lens that will do this better Id rather forgo the macro.

If this makes any sense at all Id appreciate feedback. You guys rock.

08-19-2013, 05:40 PM   #2
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For macro, the 35mm is a bit close to the subject, so you might have shadows, or no room for off-camera flash, etc.

35 is on the short end of the typical focal length range for portraits, at least head-and-shoulders type.

The DA 35 seems like a good performer, but I'd get a hood for it as well.
08-19-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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the DA35 is a solid lens, but if you're going to be using it for portraits, maybe you should look into the sigma 30mm for the f/1.4
08-19-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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Mm, I am just worried the 30mm would be too wide for portraits.

08-19-2013, 06:03 PM   #5
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IMO, the difference between 35mm and 30mm isn't all that big, you'll hardly notice the difference in perspective distortion
08-19-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
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Fa35 f/2.0 is an excellent performer for indoor use!
08-19-2013, 06:05 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Soybomb Quote
Hey folks,

I am looking at getting another lens, specifically a prime for indoor portraits. Im pretty set on a 35mm, but I don't know which one I should go for.

I am interested in the 35mm Limited Macro, but I had some questions. First, would it do everything the DA 35mm would do, just better? Does the Macro ability of the lens take away from its performance for standard photos? I am not big into macro, but I don't mind fooling around with the odd flower on a day out shooting, so it would be nice to have a the macro ability as I won't likely (for a long time, anyway) buy a dedicated macro lens. But, my priority is great low light and indoor shots, so if there is another lens that will do this better Id rather forgo the macro.

If this makes any sense at all Id appreciate feedback. You guys rock.
Actually for portraits in side you will need a lens somewhere between 50mm and 85mm in focal length. This corresponds to the 85mm to 135mm typically used for portraits using a 35mm film camera.

Shorter than 50mm focal length lenses can be used but they tend to distort the person's features because you have to get close to the subject for the head and shoulders to fill the frame.

Longer than 85mm focal length lenses can also be used but they tens to flatten a person's features because you are father away from the subject for the head and shoulder to till the frame.

You will also be looking for a lens with a large maximum aperture. Something like f1.4, 1.7 or 2.0 . You can use this aperture to provide a shallow depth of field in the photo or to cope with the low indoor light allowing a faster shutter speed.

If you are looking for a low cost lens, you could look for for an SMC Pentax-A 50mm f1.4, 1.7, or 2.0 . This lens would be manual focus. If you wanted auto focus you could buy a Pentax-F or -FA 50mm f1.4 or 1.7. If you wanted Pentax's latest portrait lens then go for the smc Pentax-DA* 55mm f1.4 .

Regards

Chris
08-19-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice guys, I'll look into some 50s.

08-19-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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Indoors, 50 can be a tad tight and sometimes all you can grab is a close-up of a face. What sort of portraits are you aiming for?
08-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #10
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If 35 is too wide and 50 is too tight, then it is clear that the FA 43 is the lens you want!
08-19-2013, 07:31 PM   #11
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In primes I would also almost look at a DA 40xs or LTD in addition to that 50, or, if you have the cash for it, possibly the FA 43 LTD.
08-19-2013, 08:05 PM   #12
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If you are going for a prime in this range then go fast, at least f/2 or faster. Otherwise you may as well get a f/2.8 zoom.
08-19-2013, 08:56 PM   #13
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I have the Pentax-FA 35mm f2.0, and really see no problem at all with facial features distorting. If it's the lens on the camera, I'll take a portrait with it. If the original poster has the kit lens he can check this out himself, and decide who to believe.

The FA is fast but not really worth the premium over its modern cousin, the DA 35mm f2.4.

The DA 35mm f2.8 Limited has build quality, nine aperture blades and that macro feature going for it. It is a very nice lens. I really doubt I would use the macro feature. The autofocus speed is slower because of the macro feature. You get quick-shift as a bonus. I think I would get this if I had or wanted other limiteds.

I really like 50-55mm for portraits, just because that field of view, distance to subject and lens quality works well for me. They are also plentiful and available with any feature you want, at prices from $10 on up.
08-19-2013, 09:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by yorik Quote
If 35 is too wide and 50 is too tight, then it is clear that the FA 43 is the lens you want!
I will be brave enough and suggest that 35 is to wide and the 50 is either Ok or also to wide. I would put the the 43 in the to wide basket. I think pentax promotes its DA* 55 as a portrait lens. I have used my Sigma 70mm macro and found that a good focal length for what I do but the lens is far to sharp doing portraits for my liking (sharp enough to pickup head lice and every imperfection).
08-19-2013, 09:58 PM   #15
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Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens, sharp wide open, close focus (can do pseudo-macro shots, just needs cropping), great for low-light, quiet and decisive auto focus. You didn't mention price, size or weight so if it is not a concern, this thing is amazing. and it looks good.

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