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09-17-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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Choose one lens for portrait, Pentax SMCP-FA 43 mm F/1.9 AF LMTD vs...

I plan on doing portrait shots on an upcoming event , i want to know wich lens do you thinck would be best suited for portrait? I plan on doing some half and some full body shots. Im looking for best overall shapness and detail is a must . Ive looked at alot of reviews and i have narroed it to ; PENTAX DA 50-135MM F2.8 vs Pentax SMCP-FA 43 mm F/1.9 AF LIMITED lens. I do own a Pentax 50mm FA 1.7 that i plan on using but id like to have other options as well. I own a Pentax k30 as camera and I have a pair of Alien Bees 400 for lighting. PLease let me know if you have any questions, thanks for the help.

09-17-2013, 12:30 PM   #2
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It really depends on how much space you have. It you can back out a lot, then the DA70 would be a great choice according to everyone who owns it. Since I shoot in tight spaces, I favoured the DA40 LTD instead of the F50 f1,7 that I owned for a long time. Optically, the 50 was great, no worries there. 40 gave me just a bit more leeway than 50.

Another option is to get a Tamron 28-75 f2,8, that's a great lens with good IQ and a flexible focal length range.

I wonder if the difference between 43 and 50 would be all that noticeable. 40 vs 50 is clearly visible, but 43, less so obviously.

In short, decide based on how much you can walk back.
09-17-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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My favorite portrait lenses would be the DA *50-135 and the DA *55. The 43 is a little on the short side to me for half body shots, but it has great rendering and is quite sharp.
09-17-2013, 02:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
My favorite portrait lenses would be the DA *50-135 and the DA *55. The 43 is a little on the short side to me for half body shots, but it has great rendering and is quite sharp.
I agree with this. You can shoot portraits all day with only the DA*50-135, and the results will never make you feel that you missed out on IQ by not changing lenses.

The DA*55 is in a class well above your FA50/1.7 (which I had).
The FA43 is still an excellent lens (also well above the FA50/1.7), as are the FA77 and FA*85.

09-17-2013, 02:55 PM   #5
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So it sounds like the all around winner would be the DA50-135 , thanks for the help guys. I tougth that my pictures were coming out great with the FA50 , i cant wait to see how the DA50-135 will perform.
09-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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Having both, I would choose the 50-135mm..specially when indoors and with a studio lights setup. The choice of using a zoom and a longer focal length is better with studio conditions...the luxury of "zooming with the feet" is much lesser when indoors and in a studio with equipment (light stands, backgrounds, furniture, doors, etc.) With flash, the extra stop of light of the f/1.9 vs f/2.8 doesn't make a difference since you'll be shooting stopped down with your AB 400's.

Just curious...in my opinion, the FA50 f/1.7 is the sharpest Pentax AF 50mm (without considering the DA*55). Is this true?

That I have tried, only the Sigma 50 f/1.4 is sharper (at equal apertures).
09-17-2013, 03:49 PM   #7
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I own both myself. Boy that's tough. Both lenses are fantastic and I enjoy using them both. The zoom would be less intrusive but alot more bulkier than the FA 43. I'd probably choose the zoom for an event because you can be out of the way and shoot at a longer focal length. For family events I usually go with the FA43 just because it's small and light.
09-17-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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I have never used a 50-135, but I don't think you can't beat the 43 for pictures of people. Although the 50/1.7s are no slouches either, so the 43 maybe not as much of an upgrade as the 50-135's reach.

09-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
I have never used a 50-135, but I don't think you can't beat the 43 for pictures of people. Although the 50/1.7s are no slouches either, so the 43 maybe not as much of an upgrade as the 50-135's reach.

Great point, id imagine that my 50mm would be close to the 43mm . I will be getting the 50-135 and maybe ill bite the bullet and get the 31 limited in the future.
09-17-2013, 08:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by HSV Quote
Having both, I would choose the 50-135mm..specially when indoors and with a studio lights setup. The choice of using a zoom and a longer focal length is better with studio conditions...the luxury of "zooming with the feet" is much lesser when indoors and in a studio with equipment (light stands, backgrounds, furniture, doors, etc.) With flash, the extra stop of light of the f/1.9 vs f/2.8 doesn't make a difference since you'll be shooting stopped down with your AB 400's.

Just curious...in my opinion, the FA50 f/1.7 is the sharpest Pentax AF 50mm (without considering the DA*55). Is this true?

That I have tried, only the Sigma 50 f/1.4 is sharper (at equal apertures).

I do beleive that the FA50 f.1.7is the sharpest lens in the FA line ,i almost got the 50f/1.4 but i read the the 1.7 was a bit sharper and im very happy with it.
09-17-2013, 11:50 PM   #11
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I have both those lenses and I would choose the DA*50-135 - the zoom gives some flexibility for positioning and the longer reach gives a more comfortable working distance to the subject. I would choose the 43 for more wider, environmental types of portraiture or where you know the subject and working closer comes more naturally, works well with kids. They are both great lenses.

The recent portrait shots here http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_orloff/with/9471619089/ were taken with the 50-135 at an event at the weekend, outside shots on a gloomy day. I was lazy and didn't set up my tripod, but I really should have as some of them are slightly off (not so evident at small sizes).
09-18-2013, 02:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr Orloff Quote
I have both those lenses and I would choose the DA*50-135 - the zoom gives some flexibility for positioning and the longer reach gives a more comfortable working distance to the subject. I would choose the 43 for more wider, environmental types of portraiture or where you know the subject and working closer comes more naturally, works well with kids. They are both great lenses.

The recent portrait shots here Flickr: Dr Orloff's Photostream were taken with the 50-135 at an event at the weekend, outside shots on a gloomy day. I was lazy and didn't set up my tripod, but I really should have as some of them are slightly off (not so evident at small sizes).

Those are some beautiful photos, i do like the tought of having that much flexability with my subject. Thanks for all the imput.
09-18-2013, 05:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by HSV Quote
Just curious...in my opinion, the FA50 f/1.7 is the sharpest Pentax AF 50mm (without considering the DA*55). Is this true?
The F50 f1,7 is sharper wide open than any other I've tested (M f2, Af1,4, FA f1,4). It also focuses really really fast. Beyond f2,8 they mostly even out (the f2 being slightly less shar).

None is as sharp across the frame as the DA40, however, and colours are not quite as pleasing.
09-18-2013, 10:15 AM   #14
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I think the 50-135 is a good decision. It's one lens for me that never fails to deliver. I can never get over the quality of the OOF areas - maybe that is helped by the 9 bladed aperture. I find the 43mm and 100mm wr are sharper, but only if you pixel peep. The zoom is as sharp as I think I'd ever need.

The 43mm to me is not too different than the FA 50 1.4 and and you already have the 50 1.7. To be fair, I haven't had many opportunities or variety of opportunities to really learn the 43mm, because it seems to excel in certain conditions, but is always good. I'd like to do as you say, get the 31mm to go with the 50-135. After years of getting used to APS-C I can say that is the ideal set up with focal length coverage and quality that I'll likely move for. I don't know why it took me so long to figure it out since that is roughly the equivalent to what I used for film. The 43 is so nice though, it would be sad to let it go. The small size and excellent construction quality are special.

Happy shooting with the 50-135 - I doubt you'll be disappointed.
09-18-2013, 12:16 PM   #15
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I had the 43 and loved it. the only negative I can think of is it doesn't focus very close so if you are doing some semi macro shots then it wouldn't be the lens for that
the 50-135 is a great choice especially couples shots

randy
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