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10-28-2013, 12:50 AM   #1
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Perfect portrait lens

Hello Guys

I do need your help.

With the upcoming K3 and the inner urge to buy something new and shiny i am looking for a new lens.

I would like to have the "perfect" lens for portraits and street photography

right now iam looking for the Zeiss 50/f1,4 (maybe the ZK 85mm/1,4 ).
Does anyone know a lens which is able to be of such a high qualitity?


I really would like to know if anyone can help me!

Regards

Mehlsack

10-28-2013, 12:52 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mehlsack Quote
Hello Guys

I do need your help.

With the upcoming K3 and the inner urge to buy something new and shiny i am looking for a new lens.

I would like to have the "perfect" lens for portraits and street photography

right now iam looking for the Zeiss 50/f1,4 (maybe the ZK 85mm/1,4 ).
Does anyone know a lens which is able to be of such a high qualitity?


I really would like to know if anyone can help me!

Regards

Mehlsack
The Zeiss 50 or the DA* 55mm should work wonders

Adam
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10-28-2013, 01:12 AM   #3
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is the DA 55 really that good?

The good thing about that is, that it would be splash resistent and more easy to optain
10-28-2013, 01:57 AM   #4
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Is AF important? Otherwise I would go with the Voigtländer 58mm f/1.4, though sadly, they don't make it anymore.

I've never tried the Pentax 55mm though, it might be just as good, and it has AF. Silent AF even.

10-28-2013, 02:05 AM   #5
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No, AF is not important, but what makes you prefer the Voigtländer over the Zeiss ?
10-28-2013, 03:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mehlsack Quote
No, AF is not important, but what makes you prefer the Voigtländer over the Zeiss ?
Mainly the focal length. 50->58 might not seem like much, but to me, it changes how I want to use a lens. Don't get me wrong, a 50 (and on fullframe, the 77) is very nice in some situations, for me it's mainly shooting small groups of people in social settings. But when it comes to pure portrait, 55-58 (or 85-ish on FF) just feels better.

Anyways, that's my opinion.
10-28-2013, 03:47 AM   #7
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DA*55 and FA77 are absolutely outstanding. If you think you need something "better" you're fooling yourself.
10-28-2013, 04:07 AM   #8
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maybe DA 70?

10-28-2013, 04:09 AM   #9
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Some feedback on Zeiss lenses

I don't know if I can help answer your question, but I have the ZK 1,4/85 as well as the ZK 2/50 and the ZK 2/35. I don't consider myself a street photographer, however I have taken all three lenses out taking photos 'on the streets' and can pass on some observations. I've not used the 1,4/50 though it may be comparable to the 85 in handling, which for me is the noticeable difference between the Zeiss Makro Planar and Planar lenses. I prefer the feel of the Makro Planar lenses, though I do adjust to the different feel of the Planar 85 when I'm using that so maybe it's not really an issue, just something I notice.

For photography on the streets, I much prefer the wider field of view of the 2/35. I like to use this lens wide open, and with the way this lens handles I don't find the manual focus a real problem. Autofocus would certainly improve things when something suddenly catches your eye, but the Makro Planar lenses I have all provide excellent feel when focussing. I am also more interested in going wider and using the 25/2,8 more often when out on the streets. If I could ever find a 21/2,8 even better.

The 1,4/85 has been particularly useful for night time shots of people. The extra speed in the lens means I can avoid pushing the ISO up, so anytime it's dark this is the lens that I would want to use. But the focal length has restrictions and this is where the suggestion of the 55/1.4 might be the best option to give you a wider FoV than the 85, the faster aperture and a sharp lens.

I think there is no perfect lens, but if you seek a single lens to do a couple of things, you will be seeking a lens that provides the best compromises based on what you seek. If you pick up any Zeiss lens, or good quality Pentax lens, you can make it do street and portraiture. You can't make a bad decision here, just one that will have specific strengths and weaknesses based on what you want.

You will notice I didn't mention portraiture. I've never done portraits but there's plenty of info out there and lots of experienced members on this site who can adress that. What I will suggest though, if you intend getting any manual focus lenses then keep your eye out for a focus screen better suited than that installed on the K3 IF the K3 and the K5 have the same type of screens. I can't comment on the K3 of course, but the K5 ees screen from focusing screen.com made a HUGE difference when manual focussing.

So, like I said I don't know that any of this answers your questions, but hopefully the experiences I've had will help and as the saying goes: 'A picture speaks a thousand words'. Accordingly, these links take you to the sets on my Flickr page using the three Zeiss lenses mentioned above so you can see how I've been using and not using them when compared to what you seek:

Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 ZK - a set on Flickr

Zeiss Makro Planar T* 2/50 Carl Zeiss Makro Planar T* 2/50 - a set on Flickr (I don't use this lens enough to show you what it can do but I find this focal length handy for adding the environment/context without losing too much detail when compared with a wider lens)

Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/85 Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 zk - a set on Flickr

I hope this helps mate, best of luck with your choice.


Tas
10-28-2013, 04:16 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
maybe DA 70?
Also excellent. The point is there are plenty of easily acquired lenses which are eminently suitable to portraiture, but which lens you use is only a small part of the art.
10-28-2013, 04:17 AM   #11
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just for something completely different, and as AF is not an issue, what about SMC 85mm f/1.9 screw mount? Buttery smooth in the hand, great rendering, and relatively cheap.
10-28-2013, 05:10 AM   #12
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The DA*55 is beauty, it performs well over my level and is stuck to one of my K-5's. Really good sharpness, wonderful colors and usable under almost all weather conditions. I was so close to get the Voigtländer 58mm though as it seems to be a remarkable lens and simply looks beautiful.
10-28-2013, 05:21 AM   #13
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Then there's the DA*50-135: pretty much a one stop shop unless you regularly want one eye in focus and the other not.
10-28-2013, 05:40 AM   #14
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With No AF, Best bang for the buck seems to be the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherical Lens for Pentax SY85M-P B&H Photo
10-28-2013, 06:46 AM   #15
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damn too much possible choices......

i tought using a good manuel lens would stop me from just doing so much snapshots, but forces me to work harder on the picture, hopefully improving my skills.
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