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01-08-2014, 02:58 PM   #1
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Which lens do I need? Please help!

Hi,
I'm a portrait photographer doing everything from fashion to beauty close ups to weddings and pet portraits. I have recently recieved a grant from the princes trust to put towards my photography business and I want to purchase new lenses. I'm torn between the Pentax 100mm and the Tamron 90mm. I was leaning towards the Pentax because my tamron zoom lens doesn't have great autofocus (i have to use fine tune AF on my K-5) especially when shooting full length portraits. However after reading reviews I'm not sure which way to lean.

I have a Pentax-a 50mm which I love but I wanted to get the AF version but once more I'm unsure as to whether I ought to get the 35mm/30mm lens...

Any help or comment would be much appreciated! Especially links to examples. I've read a few reviews but it's jumbled my brain even more!

01-08-2014, 02:59 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by CharisVega Quote
Hi,
I'm a portrait photographer doing everything from fashion to beauty close ups to weddings and pet portraits. I have recently recieved a grant from the princes trust to put towards my photography business and I want to purchase new lenses. I'm torn between the Pentax 100mm and the Tamron 90mm. I was leaning towards the Pentax because my tamron zoom lens doesn't have great autofocus (i have to use fine tune AF on my K-5) especially when shooting full length portraits. However after reading reviews I'm not sure which way to lean.

I have a Pentax-a 50mm which I love but I wanted to get the AF version but once more I'm unsure as to whether I ought to get the 35mm/30mm lens...

Any help or comment would be much appreciated! Especially links to examples. I've read a few reviews but it's jumbled my brain even more!
For portraits? Get the DA* 55mm if you're fine with the focal length, or the Sigma 85mm if you need more reach. The Sigma 35mm F1.4 art is also great for close-up portraiture.

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01-08-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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Generally a portrait lens is a bit faster, like the Samyang 85mm. Both of those macro lenses are very good though, you wouldn't go wrong with either... but they are a bit slow for indoor shooting.
01-08-2014, 03:04 PM   #4
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Macro lenses don't always make for good photos. Women especially don't always like sharp pictures of themselves, and macro lenses are the sharpest around. However, if you don't mind the post processing time, those are both good choices. Now having said that - its easier to remove sharpness from a very sharp picture than it is to add it back in to a soft picture.

I'd also throw in the Pentax FA 77 Limited into the mix. It's a superb lens - probably the best one Pentax still makes, in my opinion. Or of course, I'd be remiss in mentioning the use of any of the FA Limited series lenses They are much beloved on these forums, and for good reason! You could get a complete portrait kit with the FA 31, FA 43 and FA 77

01-08-2014, 03:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
Macro lenses don't always make for good photos. Women especially don't always like sharp pictures of themselves, and macro lenses are the sharpest around. However, if you don't mind the post processing time, those are both good choices.

I'd also throw in the Pentax FA 77 Limited into the mix. It's a superb lens - probably the best one Pentax still makes, in my opinion. Or of course, I'd be remiss in mentioning the use of any of the FA Limited series lenses They are much beloved on these forums, and for good reason! You could get a complete portrait kit with the FA 31, FA 43 and FA 77
Sharpness isn't a problem it is exactly what I need in fact My frustration has been in high end beauty shoots i haven't had the clarity I wanted. I was thinknig of the 77mm actually- you've brought it back into the mix
01-08-2014, 03:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by CharisVega Quote
Sharpness isn't a problem it is exactly what I need in fact My frustration has been in high end beauty shoots i haven't had the clarity I wanted. I was thinknig of the 77mm actually- you've brought it back into the mix
This one time, I got a hold of a Tamron 90 Macro, and it made me really excited.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/223359-let-...-90-macro.html



But for portraits the 77 is probably the best. Something about pixie dust . . .
01-08-2014, 03:17 PM   #7
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The 100mm WR macro is a very sharp lens and it produces smooth bokeh, and true 1:1 macro (for those breathtaking shots of the rings or what have you). But its AF is not super fast, at least in my experience. This goes for most macro lenses, at least ones without a focus limiter.
Personally, I find a 30-35mm focal length to be (too) wide for portraits. These lenses have a wide angle perspective compression and some even show distortion, which might not be flattering (my DA 35mm f2.4 makes people's faces a little rounder at close distances, and these days people generally want to look thin). But it might work out for group shots or portraits where you have the whole person or the couple together. Be careful with the Sigma 30mm f1.4 -if I remember correctly, it can exhibit triangular bokeh! Some people like it, but some don't.
When it comes to portraits, people often mention the DA* 55mm and FA 77mm, since these lenses were made for portraiture, so they have good skin tone rendering and shallow DoF with beautiful bokeh. But I think most wedding photographers prefer a zoom lens, like the DA* 50-135mm, because you usually don't have the time to switch lenses.
01-08-2014, 03:20 PM   #8
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The Tamron 90 does have a focus limiter, if you are worried about that. You can limit it to just macro range or non macro range.

01-08-2014, 03:37 PM   #9
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I'm sorely tempted by the Tamron...
01-08-2014, 03:47 PM   #10
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Hey if you have a case of LBA, why not get both? I have both and would trade neither lens away ever.
01-08-2014, 03:53 PM   #11
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For portraits I used to use DA 50/1.8, Sigma 105/2.8 and especially DA*200 - after school | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
01-08-2014, 04:02 PM   #12
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Personally, I find the DA*55 f1.4 to be the best for portraiture but the DA*50-135 f2.8 get's it done equally as well.
01-08-2014, 04:24 PM   #13
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I think the macros are a bit too long unless you can always control distance to subject (not always possible at weddings). The 50-135 is very good for portraits and the zoom gives you flexibility. However the 77 would be my choice for the extra speed and the touch of magic.
01-08-2014, 06:50 PM   #14
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Not sure why you need AF for portraits, since normally your subject is not moving and you have time to adjust. If not, you can find a Rokinon 85 f1.4 from time to time in the Marketplace for about $210. Even new they are not much more. I'm tempted to get one though I have a DA 70 Limited and a Tamron 90, and I'm not a manual- focuser :-)
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