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09-02-2013, 07:46 AM   #16
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The goals are to:
  • Allow for adequate working distance to avoid distortion of facial features while also being compatible with available space in the studio.
  • Shallow enough DOF to minimize any background distractions
  • Relatively small size such as to not intimidate the model and make life easier on the photographer (purely optional)
To echo the sentiments above, I would suggest any of the available "fast 50s" for use on APS-C. Excellent choices are available both new and used and used ones are ridiculously cheap. Use the money you save to purchase a decent focus screen (essential with fast lenses) and lighting.

Steve

09-02-2013, 07:55 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by thornburg Quote
portrait |ˈpôrtrət, -ˌtrāt|
noun
1 a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, esp. one depicting only the face or head and shoulders.

The most common meaning of portrait IS a headshot.

This why you may sometimes hear "full body portrait" or "full length portrait"--if the word is used by itself, the general assumption is that we're talking about headshots.

.
That is a very narrow interpretation, essentially a stereotype. Among other things, there is a long tradition in photography of environmental portraiture, in which the subject is shown in context. I suggest that you have a look at Arnold Newman's work, which demonstrates an excellent range of environmental portraits as well as head shots: Arnold Newman's Incredible Artist Portraits (25 photos) - My Modern Metropolis. And, of course, there is the work of Annie Leibovitz.

Last edited by John Poirier; 09-02-2013 at 12:08 PM. Reason: spelling
09-02-2013, 08:10 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Poirier Quote
That is a very narrow interpretation, essentially a stereotype.
Indeed!!!


Steve
09-02-2013, 09:11 AM   #19
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I use the DA 70 which is fantastic.

09-02-2013, 11:21 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I would suggest any of the available "fast 50s" for use on APS-C. Excellent choices are available both new and used and used ones are ridiculously cheap. Use the money you save to purchase a decent focus screen (essential with fast lenses) and lighting.
Excellent advice.
09-02-2013, 11:58 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by wmf2012 Quote
I own DA*55 1.4 yes it is equal in term of focal length.... however i "feel" i have a bad copy because the lens is not perform well on my K5. My old 50mm M 1.4 outperform this * lens. even my cheap kit lens 18-55 WR somehow produce better IQ, wide open obviously not an apple to apple.
Just for reference - I have the DA55, M50/1.4, M50/1.7 and 18-55 (vers.1 and WR) - and the DA55's IQ is miles sharper than them all.

I find the sweet spot of DOF and bokeh is about f/2.4 btw.
09-09-2013, 08:17 AM   #22
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I don't understand why you want to shot portrait with 85mm at f1.4 or f1.2. Do you want use your images in your passport or driving license?
09-09-2013, 10:00 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by fanofcc Quote
I don't understand why you want to shot portrait with 85mm at f1.4 or f1.2. Do you want use your images in your passport or driving license?
Wait what??

09-09-2013, 10:50 AM   #24
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Among oldies there are the K85/1.8 or the M85/2 which are also good performers. The FA* beats them but they are more common and cheaper. So they can be a good portrait lens in terms of relative performance.
09-09-2013, 11:50 AM   #25
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A couple more of my experiences: I found the M85 tack sharp a stop or two down, but found the bokeh not that great there due to the 6 bladed aperture. Not that sharp wide-open, but better bokeh! Same sketch for the M and F50/1.7s. The M50/1.4 is great though - a touch soft wide-open, but razor sharp at f/2 and bokeh remains good.
09-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by wmf2012 Quote
I own DA*55 1.4 yes it is equal in term of focal length.... however i "feel" i have a bad copy because the lens is not perform well on my K5. My old 50mm M 1.4 outperform this * lens. even my cheap kit lens 18-55 WR somehow produce better IQ, wide open obviously not an apple to apple. The conclusion "become complicated" when this DA* lens produce outstanding IQ when i sold it to my friend using the same K5 like me.... my K5 is a bad copy?? i don't think so.
What kind of lighting were you using? My K-5 couldn't showed severe front focus in tungsten light. I believe some studio lighting is also problematic for some K-5's.
09-09-2013, 09:54 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
What kind of lighting were you using? My K-5 couldn't showed severe front focus in tungsten light. I believe some studio lighting is also problematic for some K-5's.
I use natural lighting, no flash, use daylight/cloudy/etc WB, ISO 100. Now I use the cheap kit 18-55 WR and very happy with this as produce sharp image.. i think somebody get bad copy of this lens while i get a good copy.

Honestly I don't know why Pentax can make a good and bad copy in their production line... where is the quality control??
Time to shift to other brand??
09-09-2013, 09:58 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by fanofcc Quote
I don't understand why you want to shot portrait with 85mm at f1.4 or f1.2. Do you want use your images in your passport or driving license?

I prefer to take pic in longer distance so it will not intimidate subject.

It is about your photographic style either you want to take pic closer or longer from subject.
09-10-2013, 04:13 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by wmf2012 Quote
I prefer to take pic in longer distance so it will not intimidate subject.

It is about your photographic style either you want to take pic closer or longer from subject.
Taking photos from a bit further away brings in other contenders. The A (and M) series 100mm f2.8 (non-macro version) produces beautiful portraits, it can't match the 85 1.4's for speed but personally I find that I often take portraits at between f2.4 and f3.5 usually produces the results I want. I know there will be many on this forum that have produced excellent shots at maximum aperture, but I rarely find the results that pleasing (particularly for portraits). Another possibility is to move to the 135's - the A, F and FA version are all f2.8 and produce some beautiful results!

Just a bit more to think about
09-10-2013, 04:44 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by wmf2012 Quote
I use natural lighting, no flash, use daylight/cloudy/etc WB, ISO 100. Now I use the cheap kit 18-55 WR and very happy with this as produce sharp image.. i think somebody get bad copy of this lens while i get a good copy.

Honestly I don't know why Pentax can make a good and bad copy in their production line... where is the quality control??
Time to shift to other brand??
All brands have their own issues with quality control. Wide apertures are tricky to deal with, that's why upper level bodies normally have the ability to calibrate for individual lenses. Did you try using the AF Adjust menu? Since your friend gets good results, it sounds like your camera and your DA*55 just did not match well.

Last edited by audiobomber; 09-10-2013 at 09:24 AM.
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