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02-24-2014, 01:30 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
Think about it this way, on a crop censor, a 35mm lens doesn't give the perspective of a 52mm lens, it gives you the perspective of a 35mm lens with the edges cut out on all sides. To avoid perspective distortion, I'd still advise longer than 50mm. I have a Pentax K 55 that is quite spectacular. If you don't mind manual focus, they can be had at around $50 for the f/2 version.
That is only if you stay in the same position with a crop sensor camera, that you would with a FF camera. If you step back to get more of the scene in the picture with that 35mm lens, you are already changing the pespective, and lessening distortion. I'm not saying a 35mm on APS-C is exactly like a 53mm on FF - DOF changes - but it's not as bad as you are making it sound. In practice, I find it perfectly workable.

Having said that, the 50mm is a bit better for portraits, of course. But having the 35mm as an all arounder that does fine with portraits, is a good alternative for someone in a budget.

Oh and I just got that K 55 f2 for 24 bucks a couple weeks ago from KEH It is indeed a gorgeous lens, stunning even wide open. However if I'm chasing kids around, I'll still use the 35 2.4 with AF.

02-24-2014, 01:47 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by smileyz1gin Quote
I also have the 28-300 tamron lens.do you think that lens is okay with portraits and i'm just not working it right?
For portraits you want to switch camera to Av mode (on the top dial, or portrait mode, if it has that). For classic portraits people used lenses with focal length between 85mm and 135mm. If it is too wide, the lens makes people look "wider" (kind of like the fisheye effect, but more subtle). But since the camera has a crop sensor (literally its just smaller than a piece of film used to be), this turns to 55mm to 85mm. 50mm will also do fine, as long as you are not taking very close up portraits.
The other lens characteristic you want for portraits is a low f-number. (which is why you use Av mode, so you can quickly dial the f-number down) Low f-number means shallow DoF - big background blur. This is why a lens that is f1.8 is a good choice. This is where your Tamron lens probably cannot keep up with the DA 50mm f1.8. F1.8 also means lots of brightness, so its great for low light (helps with low light AF, and allows brighter-looking photos indoors)

Portraits with Tamron 28-300mm: You can try taking portraits with your Tamron and it will work, just won't have the same look. So.. zoom the Tamron to somewhere between 55mm and 135mm, set camera to Av mode, and choose the lowest f-number. The shutter speed should be around 1/(2*focal length). For example, 50mm lens should have a shutter speed of at least 1/100 (or faster, like 1/250, 1/500 ...). If the shutter speed is slow, then camera shake is more likely to show up in the photo and make it look blurred (unless you use a tripod - hands are just naturally a little shaky) ISO should be low as possible, but you should raise it to keep the shutter speed in acceptable range.
The in-camera SR (shake reduction) can help remove some blur that would be caused by slow shutter.

More concrete example: Zoom lens to 85mm, switch camera to Av mode, ISO 100 and F as low as possible. If the shutter speed slower than 1/160, turn ISO to 200 or higher. Now come close to the person, so their face almost fills the frame. Don't be afraid to crop out the top of their head, even as low as just above their eyebrows. Make sure the eyes are sharp, at least the eye closest to the lens. And now you have a great portrait! If you want sharper photo, with more contrasty colours and more background blur, try a lens like the DA 50mm f1.8.

50mm lenses are generally called a nifty-fifty, because they are relatively cheap but great quality. They are also a "middle range", so they can be used for a wide variety of subjects. This is why we are recommending it.
The DA 35mm f2.4 is also a great lens, but I wouldn't use it for a portrait, unless its a photo of a whole group, capturing their whole body.

Hope this helps, sorry for the long post. I underlined to help distinguish the paragraphs. Best is to just get out there and start doing tests! Either way, I really doubt you would regret buying the DA 50mm f1.8
02-24-2014, 05:03 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
For portraits you want to switch camera to Av mode (on the top dial, or portrait mode, if it has that). For classic portraits people used lenses with focal length between 85mm and 135mm. If it is too wide, the lens makes people look "wider" (kind of like the fisheye effect, but more subtle). But since the camera has a crop sensor (literally its just smaller than a piece of film used to be), this turns to 55mm to 85mm. 50mm will also do fine, as long as you are not taking very close up portraits.
The other lens characteristic you want for portraits is a low f-number. (which is why you use Av mode, so you can quickly dial the f-number down) Low f-number means shallow DoF - big background blur. This is why a lens that is f1.8 is a good choice. This is where your Tamron lens probably cannot keep up with the DA 50mm f1.8. F1.8 also means lots of brightness, so its great for low light (helps with low light AF, and allows brighter-looking photos indoors)

Portraits with Tamron 28-300mm: You can try taking portraits with your Tamron and it will work, just won't have the same look. So.. zoom the Tamron to somewhere between 55mm and 135mm, set camera to Av mode, and choose the lowest f-number. The shutter speed should be around 1/(2*focal length). For example, 50mm lens should have a shutter speed of at least 1/100 (or faster, like 1/250, 1/500 ...). If the shutter speed is slow, then camera shake is more likely to show up in the photo and make it look blurred (unless you use a tripod - hands are just naturally a little shaky) ISO should be low as possible, but you should raise it to keep the shutter speed in acceptable range.
The in-camera SR (shake reduction) can help remove some blur that would be caused by slow shutter.

More concrete example: Zoom lens to 85mm, switch camera to Av mode, ISO 100 and F as low as possible. If the shutter speed slower than 1/160, turn ISO to 200 or higher. Now come close to the person, so their face almost fills the frame. Don't be afraid to crop out the top of their head, even as low as just above their eyebrows. Make sure the eyes are sharp, at least the eye closest to the lens. And now you have a great portrait! If you want sharper photo, with more contrasty colours and more background blur, try a lens like the DA 50mm f1.8.

50mm lenses are generally called a nifty-fifty, because they are relatively cheap but great quality. They are also a "middle range", so they can be used for a wide variety of subjects. This is why we are recommending it.
The DA 35mm f2.4 is also a great lens, but I wouldn't use it for a portrait, unless its a photo of a whole group, capturing their whole body.

Hope this helps, sorry for the long post. I underlined to help distinguish the paragraphs. Best is to just get out there and start doing tests! Either way, I really doubt you would regret buying the DA 50mm f1.8
So if you were me would you just keep the Tamron for kids / family portraits or would you use the da 50mm more for that type of work? Thanks for all your help.
02-24-2014, 05:07 PM - 1 Like   #19
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I am the kind of person that likes fixed focal length lenses (aka prime lenses) because I need image quality more than the flexibility of a zoom. I would definitely use a DA 50mm f1.8, with the Tamron in a backpack nearby. But mostly I would choose that lens that gives me the photos that I want. If the Tamron satisfies you needs, no need to buy many other lenses. On the other hand, the DA 50mm f1.8 can be found for much under $182 (over here, if you order online with Pentax Forums code, you get benefits on the forum), which is a steal. Its image quality will be significantly better than the Tamron.

---------- Post added 25th Feb 2014 at 01:26 ----------

Here are some other resources:
User reviews of Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 (another thread here dedicated to DA 50mm f1.8, with photos - some highly processed, others straight out of camera)
User reviews of Tamron 28-300 f3.5-6.3
Sample photo gallery, where you can search for photos


Last edited by Na Horuk; 02-24-2014 at 05:29 PM.
02-24-2014, 07:31 PM   #20
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You can use the Tamron 28-300 you already have. I used a cheap Tamron 18-200 on a K-x for these:



If you want to go cheap and simple, I'd pick up a nice used copy of a Pentax-A 50mm/f1.7 for $60. The IQ is about the same as the DA 50/1.8 you're looking at, the main difference is it's manual focus. You can also use catch in focus to help you focus with it on headshots. For portraits, the lighting and setting are more important than which lens you use. Good luck!
02-25-2014, 09:41 PM - 1 Like   #21
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I have a tamron 28-75 f2.8. Its a great lens for indoor candids. Used its under 300. I would not recommend a manual lens for taking pictures of pets or kids. They move way too much.
02-26-2014, 08:32 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by y0chang Quote
I would not recommend a manual lens for taking pictures of pets or kids. They move way too much.
While I don't disagree with you - I do have an AF prime to chase my kids around, and for my wife to be able to use - I sometimes do welcome the challenge of using a manual lens. I end up with more duds than keepers, but it's good practice, and when I do nail the focus and composition, it's always a shot I am very proud of.
03-05-2014, 10:28 AM   #23
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Please consider saving a tad more money and get the Tamron 28-75 (even a used copy if money is tight) ... It has been my go to kid/family lens on my K100/K20/Kx for almost 10 years...

constant F2.8 which comes in handy indoors and in the kids classrooms. 50mm is a tad long indoors... and the zoom solves this problem.

I have the FA 50 1.4 and it seldom got used after I picked up the Tamron

Once you have this really nice zoom... you can pick up a m50-1.7 or a helios 44

03-05-2014, 11:27 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I'm pretty sure the Samang 85mm (as well as 15mm, 16mm, 24mm and 31mm) has an A button on the aperture ring, which means you can control the aperture via the camera. This also allows Av mode, P mode, etc. At least with my Samyang 14mm that's how it is.
Auto-aperture is not the same as AF (auto-focus)
I have the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4. Its a good lens. Not always easy to focus due to it being f/1.4 and a manual lens though.
03-05-2014, 11:54 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by y0chang Quote
I have a tamron 28-75 f2.8. Its a great lens for indoor candids. Used its under 300. I would not recommend a manual lens for taking pictures of pets or kids. They move way too much.
QuoteOriginally posted by Billy Joe Quote
Please consider saving a tad more money and get the Tamron 28-75 (even a used copy if money is tight) ... It has been my go to kid/family lens on my K100/K20/Kx for almost 10 years...

constant F2.8 which comes in handy indoors and in the kids classrooms. 50mm is a tad long indoors... and the zoom solves this problem.

I have the FA 50 1.4 and it seldom got used after I picked up the Tamron

Once you have this really nice zoom... you can pick up a m50-1.7 or a helios 44
I agree with the above suggestions. If your goal is to photograph young kids in the house and people at family gatherings rather than posed portraits, I would go with the Tammy zoom. I don't have the 28-75, but I do have the 17-50 f/2.8 and I almost always default to that for family stuff. After 1 year or so of using it you can sort all images by focal length and see what focal length you favored - that will help you narrow down the choices of primes - 35 vs. 50 vs. 70 etc. Of course the f1.8 (or 1.4) does give nice backgrounds, but the depth of field can be very shallow and if the subject is moving they will move out of focus (also if you have groups they will all have to be in the same focal plane). And on the Kx I feel like it will be even more difficult to focus (as opposed to the K5 or K3 (all 3 of which I have). Yes you will get some keepers, but you will also get a lot of trash.

I also tried the Samyang 85mm 1.4 but found it very difficult to achieve shots that were in focus that also had those creamy backgrounds when my young (non-stationary) son was the subject.

Lastly, practically speaking, family members and kids usually don't have the patience to sit still during a party so that you can try to use natural light and f/2.0 and try to nail focus. This past year I started using bounce or diffused flash for these types of shots. Everyone seemed less agitated and almost all the shots are keepers (as far as focus & exposure is concerned). This last bit of advice comes from the last 3 years of taking pics at holidays etc.
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