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04-01-2014, 11:38 AM   #1
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Selling my nikon stuff and going pentax and wondering what lens for portraiture.

I basically in inherited a Nikon N90S and several lenses years ago and I've been using it as my main 35mm film rig for portraiture. My favorite lens is the 85mm f1.8D by far, I just love the creamy bokeh. So I'm in the process of switching over to one camera system (in an attempt to save money in the long run and have all of my lenses interchangeable) and I've decided since I already have much more invested in Pentax that I will sell my Nikon and Minolta cameras and lenses. What pentax lens would be comparable to the 85mm f1.8D quality and price wise? I'm planning on purchasing a Tamron 90mm SP Macro f2.8 and from what I've read in the reviews that this is a great portrait lens along with having the ability to shoot macro. I'm wondering if that lens would have what it takes or should I start saving up now for a FA 77?

04-01-2014, 11:52 AM   #2
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If you want the same field of view on an APS-C as your old 85mm, you'll want something like the DA* 55mm f1.4, which gets rave reviews around here. Plenty of folks use it as a portraiture lens.
However, lots of folks use the FA 77mm as well, even though it is tighter.

I think you can't go wrong with either of them.
04-01-2014, 11:54 AM   #3
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buy a used 50-135 if you can for portraiture plus plus
04-01-2014, 11:59 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
If you want the same field of view on an APS-C as your old 85mm, you'll want something like the DA* 55mm f1.4, which gets rave reviews around here. Plenty of folks use it as a portraiture lens.
However, lots of folks use the FA 77mm as well, even though it is tighter.

I think you can't go wrong with either of them.
I have the DA 50 1.8 that I use on APS-C for portraiture since its about 75mm equiv. I'm looking for something to use on 35mm film. That's why I was thinking about the tamron 90 macro or FA 77. I'm buying the tamron anyway to replace a Nikon 105 macro I've already sold, just wondering if it could be used for portraiture or should I go ahead and start saving for the FA77 or is there something else more affordable.

Edit: and I'm looking for a lens with AF

04-01-2014, 12:42 PM   #5
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I have the FA 77 Limited, and can speak to its greatness as a portrait lens. From what I've seen, the DA 70 Limited is almost as good, perhaps not as contrasty and slightly lower resolution (though still fantastic - we are comparing one great lens with another here) with better controller aberrations and flare resistance. Neither is as good as FA* 85, though the FA 77 Limited is very close. I also have the Tamron 90. and I don't like its rendering as much for portraits. The FA 77 Limited gives a much richer contrast than the Tamron. I also prefer the 77's color rendering, though that is an opinion and you can also change that PP. I'd also say the macro lens is too sharp for portraits, but that can be fixed in post production.
04-01-2014, 12:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by GateCityRadio Quote
I have the DA 50 1.8 that I use on APS-C for portraiture since its about 75mm equiv. I'm looking for something to use on 35mm film. That's why I was thinking about the tamron 90 macro or FA 77. I'm buying the tamron anyway to replace a Nikon 105 macro I've already sold, just wondering if it could be used for portraiture or should I go ahead and start saving for the FA77 or is there something else more affordable.

Edit: and I'm looking for a lens with AF
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 is awesome, but it won't autofocus on film cameras unfortunately. So it looks like the 77mm would be the way to go.

But seeing that you already have the 85mm f1.8D, why switch if it's going to cost you more?

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04-01-2014, 01:35 PM   #7
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For AF the FA77 and FA*85 are about your only options. Fortunately, they're two of the best lenses Pentax has ever made. I had the FA77; now I have the FA*85. I've had no interest in trading it back for the FA77, although I loved the small size of that lens and the backgrounds may have even been slightly better, if viewed on their own. Either one is great; I'd lean toward the FA77 according to your stated priorities.

Sometimes I tease Adam about how he recommends the Sigma, yet owns the FA*85 himself and features it on his avatar. But I get the feeling he likes his FA*85 as much as I do, though they can be harder to come by.


If you can forgo the AF, the M or A 100/2.8 have some of the more beautiful backgrounds you've ever seen for a much lower price!
04-01-2014, 01:39 PM   #8
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Well, all of my digital work is Pentax and normally when I do a shoot I carry both my N90S and Pentax K200D. The idea was to cut down on the amount of lenses I have to carry to a shoot, plus it would be nice knowing I can use the lenses on both film and digital. I feel like in the long run it may save money. Say I want a 80-200 f2.8 lens for both systems....well now I have to pay double for two lenses where if I only shot pentax I could buy one lens and be done with it. Right now I feel like my lens collection is fragmented between two different lens mounts and it would be easier to stick to one.

04-01-2014, 02:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
From what I've seen, the DA 70 Limited is almost as good, perhaps not as contrasty and slightly lower resolution (though still fantastic - we are comparing one great lens with another here) with better controller aberrations and flare resistance.
The DA 70 is a great lens on APS-C,
but since it's designed for that format,
and has no aperture ring,
I wouldn't recommend it for use on film
(although it does seem to cover the bigger circle).

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
If you can forgo the AF, the M or A 100/2.8 have some of the more beautiful backgrounds you've ever seen for a much lower price!
+1. The M100/2.8 was my favorite lens for film use on my LX (and still gets used on digital APS-C).
04-01-2014, 02:24 PM   #10
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You're probably right that it will be better - especially since you have a 645 as well. But keep in mind that if you actually do need a new 70-200/2.8, it will cost you real money, whether it's a Nikon or the upcoming Pentax *70-200. Only 3rd-party will save you on the cost here (but I usually don't like to go that way).
04-01-2014, 03:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The DA 70 is a great lens on APS-C,
but since it's designed for that format,
and has no aperture ring,
I wouldn't recommend it for use on film
(although it does seem to cover the bigger circle).



+1. The M100/2.8 was my favorite lens for film use on my LX (and still gets used on digital APS-C).
I bought a MZ7 simply for the reason that my DA35 2.4 and DA70 Ltd did not work on it. They work just fine on the MZ7. As I paid on $50 for the camera and two zoom lenses it was a very cheap way to use the same lenses for film and digital
04-01-2014, 05:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
You're probably right that it will be better - especially since you have a 645 as well. But keep in mind that if you actually do need a new 70-200/2.8, it will cost you real money, whether it's a Nikon or the upcoming Pentax *70-200. Only 3rd-party will save you on the cost here (but I usually don't like to go that way).
I think I'm pretty much set for lenses on the 645, the 75 being the "normal" lens and the 150 being the short tele for portraits. I may get a wide angle in the future but right now the need isn't there.

I was actually considering the Tokina AT-X Pro 80-200, they can be had for $500-$600 used.

As far as DA lenses on film cameras, I have a zx-7 that I have used my DA 50 on with good results since the aperture can be controlled in body. I have been looking at the mz-s but I'm not sure if I can justify the cost considering I can almost get a K-5 for how much they are going for, plus I can't use the DA lenses on it.
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