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03-10-2014, 10:17 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
It can also be softish when not needed!
That is something the person behind the camera controls... Unless he/she is oblivious.


QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The DA*55 (as well as a few other DA lenses) is FF compatible: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31629-da-le...ts-thread.html
Yeah, some have low standards.

03-10-2014, 11:06 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Why no love for the FA 50 1.4? Its reputation is much worse then it actually is. Comes from people using it without hood and without calibration I guess. Yes, it's hard to find a good copy, and some calibration to the camera might be needed. And using a lens hood definitely is a good idea with this one. (Although imho, a hood should used with all lenses.) But once you find a good one you'll have the fastest Pentax lens for cheap. The autofocus is very fast too. Can be softish when needed (portraits) and when stopped down pretty sharp as well. Very versatile I would say. And the FA 50 is FF compatible of course, the DA's and DA*'s aren't. I'm not holding my breath for a Pentax FF though, but it rocks on the A7r.
I'm with you. I picked up an FA50/1.4 on eBay a few months ago, added one of those collapsible Pentax hoods, and it's doing a fantastic job. I didn't even bother calibrating it.

Edit: (Oh jeez, forgot to throw in my two cents.) That being said, when I used to do headshots and portraiture with my old Nikon D50 and the AF-D 50/1.4, it was the perfect focal length for me. I got many fabulous shots from it. I've tried doing a little wider and, really, the only thing that perturbed me was my usual involvement of shadows from being so close.
03-10-2014, 11:15 AM - 1 Like   #33
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I just don't shoot portraits under 55.. don't like the perspective or distortion.. 70-77mm APS-c or 85-110 mm FF, is what I prefer.
But for environmental portraits you might have to go a bit wider. 40 is good.

For a portrait I wouldn't go wider than 40, for a candid I'll use anything, even the 10-17 fisheye.

I always wonder if people in these threads differentiate between candid images of people and portraits...
A portrait is often taken in a studio and is more formal. Candids are the images you take all the time without setting anything up, just on the go, environmental portraits are formal but taken in the environment that helps define the character of the person by showing some definitive part of their environment.

If you don't have room to back up and use a longer lens,plus control your lighting, you don't have control of you environment and I'd argue the picture isn't really about the person, but about the limits of the space it was taken in. I'd argue, it isn't really a portrait.

Last edited by normhead; 03-10-2014 at 11:22 AM.
03-10-2014, 11:28 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Yeah, some have low standards.
I suggest you inform yourself and check out a few pictures taken with the DA* 55 1.4, DA 35 2.4, DA 40 2.8 and DA 50 1.8 - just to mention a few - on full frame, before making a snarky comment like this.

03-10-2014, 11:35 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
For a portrait I wouldn't go wider than 40, for a candid I'll use anything, even the 10-17 fisheye.

I always wonder if people in these threads differentiate between candid images of people and portraits...
x2

Sometimes I LIKE the perspective shift w/ stuff wider than 50, not often. Which is why I stuck with 50. I didn't have much of a choice, though, as the only other lens I had for my Nikon at the time was the DX 18-70, which was a pile of sh*t for a lens. How Nikon got away with that lens I'll never know. I was like 19 when I bought it, though, so it was a cheap NEW lens I could hopefully PS the hell out of to make look good. I was only semi-successful. But I digress...
03-10-2014, 12:16 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I just don't shoot portraits under 55.. don't like the perspective or distortion.. 70-77mm APS-c or 85-110 mm FF, is what I prefer.
But for environmental portraits you might have to go a bit wider. 40 is good.

For a portrait I wouldn't go wider than 40, for a candid I'll use anything, even the 10-17 fisheye.

I always wonder if people in these threads differentiate between candid images of people and portraits...
A portrait is often taken in a studio and is more formal. Candids are the images you take all the time without setting anything up, just on the go, environmental portraits are formal but taken in the environment that helps define the character of the person by showing some definitive part of their environment.

If you don't have room to back up and use a longer lens,plus control your lighting, you don't have control of you environment and I'd argue the picture isn't really about the person, but about the limits of the space it was taken in. I'd argue, it isn't really a portrait.
I agree with Normhead's comments on this one.

I recently shot portraits for 8 actors/playwrights in a local theater festival. They were shot against a black stage background with lots of room for me to backup-etc. I used a DA 50-135. The shots i took ranged from 63 to 123 with my APS K3. Shot at different times which may account for my differing FL.

Part of it has to do with how comfortable you are with the client and vice versa at short distances. The longer FL, you can stand back and not impinge on anyone's spatial comfort level. Also, the longer FL gives a shorter DOF at the same distance than a smaller FL.

IMO, its generally better to have the subject smaller in the frame to enlarge their image slightly during subsequent processing. Its not as easy to reduce the size of the subject in the frame afterwards.

So i would recommend the DA 70mm lens for general portraits. And i've used a 35mm lens for a few environmental portraits. So before you put a lot of money into a lens, i'd recommend you use a zoom lens for some friends portraits and see what FL you are most comfortable at.
03-10-2014, 12:59 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I suggest you inform yourself and check out a few pictures taken with the DA* 55 1.4, DA 35 2.4, DA 40 2.8 and DA 50 1.8 - just to mention a few - on full frame, before making a snarky comment like this.
My DA* 55 didn't perform very well on FF. It was the very best crop 55 I've every owned though. But on FF the borders were soft, vignetted and the corners were dark.

Moreover, do you realise the OP mentioned multiple times he's not interested in the DA* 55?
03-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I suggest you inform yourself and check out a few pictures taken with the DA* 55 1.4, DA 35 2.4, DA 40 2.8 and DA 50 1.8 - just to mention a few - on full frame, before making a snarky comment like this.
Did you care to post or link to some of those pictures, or is this one of those "go search the internet for a good 55mm portrait " kind of things, where you tell him to do it to keep him busy for a week or two?

03-10-2014, 02:14 PM   #39
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Sigma 50 mm f1.4 EX DG

Runs about $400-450 new and $350-400 used and is very competitive with the Pentax DA* 55, just a good bit heavier and no WR.
03-10-2014, 02:38 PM   #40
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@clavius - my comment wasn't directed towards the OP, I was quoting your "some people have low standards" putdown of those who said that some DA lenses perform well on full frame..
I do apologize for saying your opinion was probably uninformed - though having seen so many great shots made with DA lenses on FF, it was the first thing that popped in my head...

@normhead - Well, it's been discussed quite a bit on this forum, in several threads... though I guess the thread that was already pointed out is a bit long.

Anyway, a quick flickr search brought me some DA 35 2.4 pictures from an MZ-3 camera, Fujifilm 100:









This is the DA 50 1.8 on expired film, with a P30T camera (from the reviews page of this forum SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Reviews - DA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database - there's a brick shot there too if anyone's interested...):



DA* 55 1.4 on Kodak Ektar (no camera mentioned...)



I'm sure these photographers had very low standards... well, the guy with expired film probably did, for that particular set of shots...

---------- Post added 03-10-14 at 05:47 PM ----------

The DA 35 seems particularly popular for film/full frame. Which is little wonder, as it was the first cheap DA lens, and 35mm is very popular among film shooters.

Here are more pictures made with the "Plastic Fantastic" on film: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/196639-da35-f2-4-plastic-f...ml#post2693044 - this post and scroll down for many more pictures on Reala.

Samples of the others (50 1.8, DA* 55 1.4, DA 40 Limited, DA*300, etc) are a bit harder to find, but I've seen them around, and they can be just as good as the ones seen here.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 03-10-2014 at 03:34 PM.
03-10-2014, 04:28 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
That is something the person behind the camera controls... Unless he/she is oblivious.
But wouldn't you rather be able to choose to have a sharp image at f1.6 or f1.7? This isn't an option on the F/FA 50s. Isn't that what you liked about the DA*55?


I appreciate inexpensive lenses that are "pretty good" to excellent, and expensive lenses that are excellent. But it's hard to stomach medium priced lenses that are "pretty good." It just seems like a waste of money.
03-10-2014, 05:59 PM - 2 Likes   #42
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Thanks for the images, but, I don't see a portrait...
Now here, here are some portraits....
Yousuf Karsh Images - Bing Images
03-10-2014, 06:10 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Thanks for the images, but, I don't see a portrait...
Now here, here are some portraits....
Yousuf Karsh Images - Bing Images
...very nice! Thanks for posting...
03-10-2014, 06:10 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Thanks for the images, but, I don't see a portrait...
Now here, here are some portraits....
Yousuf Karsh Images - Bing Images
Well, you know what these lenses look like - I assume. So I was proving that they work on film - which was what you had questioned. For portraits, flickr is your friend. Type the name of the lens + the word portrait, and you'll get a lot of results… and just like the different types of film, they will look a bit different depending on what sensor was used on digital…

And that link was very useful indeed, thanks though probably no Pentax lens in that group.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 03-10-2014 at 06:16 PM.
03-10-2014, 06:32 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Well, you know what these lenses look like - I assume. So I was proving that they work on film - which was what you had questioned. For portraits, flickr is your friend. Type the name of the lens + the word portrait, and you'll get a lot of results… and just like the different types of film, they will look a bit different depending on what sensor was used on digital…

And that link was very useful indeed, thanks though probably no Pentax lens in that group.
Karsh and Avedon were my idols back in my 8x10 portrait days at Ryerson Politech.
avedon portraits - Bing Images

Avedon and Karsh both shot 8x10 film.

Karsh was a portrait studio artist, Avedon would shoot anyone he thought was interesting sometimes right on the street, although if you sought him out, it was $2000 a session, no retakes, back in the 80s and 90s.

Last edited by normhead; 03-10-2014 at 06:41 PM.
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