Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-06-2015, 09:08 AM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: May 2014
Location: Minnesota
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,378
Pentax 50mm f1.8 for portraits

Is the Pentax 50mm f1.8 ($139) good for portraits or just OK for portraits and I should set my eyes on the 55mm f 1.4 ?

01-06-2015, 09:13 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
enoeske's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Surprise, Az
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,039
QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Is the Pentax 50mm f1.8 ($139) good for portraits or just OK for portraits and I should set my eyes on the 55mm f 1.4 ?
Its fine for portraits. I like a longer lens for tighter headshots as I find the 50 a little too short for that. It creates a little perspective distortion since you have to get in a little too close. I like my 85mm for portraiture. But the 50 will work fine for non-professional work.
01-06-2015, 09:30 AM - 2 Likes   #3
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,183
QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Is the Pentax 50mm f1.8 ($139) good for portraits or just OK for portraits and I should set my eyes on the 55mm f 1.4 ?
its good, but its not good-good. I mean, its very good for $139. And it is better than.. you know, lenses of focal length and aperture that is not good for portraits. Basically, its the best new K-mount portrait lens you can get in that price range. You can go ahead and save up for a DA 70mm ltd, DA* 55mm ltd, or FA 77mm ltd, which will be sharper and more contrasty, with better overall construction, than the DA 50mm. DA* 55mm is f1.4 and 5mm more telephoto, so it will have "more bokeh", and it renders very nice skin tines. Plus, its WR and has SDM. You get what you pay for! In the case of DA 35mm and DA 50mm, you get a lot for your money, but obviously it won't beat $500 or $1600 portraiture lenses. It will be much better than the kit lenses, though! Big difference there. And it will be much better than an inappropriate lens, like DA 14mm (this one would make faces look very much like caricatures, very dramatic. Can look interesting, but is not what you want for most portraits)

Of course, keep in mind a lot depends on the photographer's skill, light conditions, and model. Anyway, go and buy the DA 50mm f1.8, you can sell it when you outgrow it. It probably won't lose much value. You can buy used, as long as you don't get a damaged copy. It is a swell choice for portraiture, a good focal length and aperture. It won't make faces look round and squished, it will let you blur out the background. Perfect place to begin. And it can be used for many other types of photo, very versatile.

tl;dr: DA 50mm f1.8 for portraiture is good. But if you want to take pro-tier photos, with studio lights and models, then get the DA* 55mm. Or FA 77mm ltd.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 01-06-2015 at 09:52 AM.
01-06-2015, 09:30 AM   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 397
as long as you get the right DoF and focus good, the k3 has plenty of crop range for me for head shots with the 50 f/1.8, but like he pointed out, I also do non-pro work

01-06-2015, 09:53 AM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jimr-pdx's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: 1hr north of PDX
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,683
I'd say focal length is much more important than 1.4 vs 1.8 as very few portraits will be shot wide open. Doing so creates the classic shot with eyes in focus but nose or ears outside the focal plane, which can be fun but not ideal.

Duncan's nose, 50mm @ f/2
01-06-2015, 09:56 AM - 1 Like   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
6BQ5's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Nevada, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,323
I think every focal length is good for portraits. The big question is what kind of portraits do you want to make? What sort of style are you going after? Something long like 100+ mm will have a shallower DoF and will require you to have some significant working distance. The 50mm you mention will require you to get closer. You'll have to shoot with a wider aperture to blur out the background if that's what you're looking for. Personally, I would use something like f/3.2-4.5 on a 50mm. Center sharpness should be plentiful and hopefully that will blur the background enough for you to have subject isolation.

I love taking informal portraits of my family and I've done it with every focal length from 35mm to 135mm. The results won't rival what a professional can do in the studio with controlled lighting but I'm happy with them.
01-06-2015, 10:33 AM - 2 Likes   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
enoeske's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Surprise, Az
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,039
I've always liked this series showing the same framing for a portrait, but using different focal lengths. You can see the 50mm is just a bit distorted. The 70mm looks better and 100> look relatively the same.

Shooting a wider shot, like half body or full body, the 50mm would work great. Its just the closer head shots that its too wide for.

01-06-2015, 10:39 AM   #8
Veteran Member
Flugelbinder's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Toronto - missing the ocean
Posts: 466
It's a subject for a lot of discussion...
Some amazing photographers use a 35mm for portrait work...
I personally like a longer FL. There's no distortion (as the above post clearly shows) and, if one's not working in a studio, the compression will help immensely with subject isolation.

01-06-2015, 11:29 AM - 3 Likes   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2013
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 140
I've taken portraits with lenses from 8mm on my K5iis to 165mm on my 6x7. You can take a portrait with ANY LENS as long as you use the "proper" perspective. Get the 50mm and learn with it.

Knowing HOW to make a portrait is much much much more important than WHAT you take the portrait with.
01-06-2015, 11:34 AM   #10
Veteran Member
Flugelbinder's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Toronto - missing the ocean
Posts: 466
QuoteOriginally posted by Drake Avenue Quote
I've taken portraits with lenses from 8mm on my K5iis to 165mm on my 6x7. You can take a portrait with ANY LENS as long as you use the "proper" perspective. Get the 50mm and learn with it.

Knowing HOW to make a portrait is much much much more important than WHAT you take the portrait with.
Absolutely!
01-06-2015, 01:05 PM   #11
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Pasadena, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,125
I think it is very good, especially for wider portraits. I shot a wedding using almost solely DA50 and for the kind of portraits where you have two people it worked very well. The operation is a bit annoying as it is quite loud. If you are serious about portraits though, I would probably go for something longer, like a sigma 85mm F1.4, Rokinon, or maybe tamron 90mm F2.8 macro.
01-06-2015, 01:26 PM   #12
Veteran Member
Flugelbinder's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Toronto - missing the ocean
Posts: 466
QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
...I shot a wedding using almost solely DA50...
I shot a wedding with only a 35...

Last edited by Flugelbinder; 01-06-2015 at 05:25 PM.
01-06-2015, 01:48 PM - 1 Like   #13
Veteran Member
manntax's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,973
QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
I've always liked this series showing the same framing for a portrait, but using different focal lengths. You can see the 50mm is just a bit distorted. The 70mm looks better and 100> look relatively the same. Shooting a wider shot, like half body or full body, the 50mm would work great. Its just the closer head shots that its too wide for.
nice table - thanks for sharing !

Assuming these were shot with full frame I would say the 100mm , 135mm and 200mm looks just about best from all. Below that model's face is visibly distorted, above that I can see that model is putting some weight :P... sooo - translating to crop cameras it makes sense to use 65-70mm , 85mm , 100mm , 120mm or 135mm lens for portraits that makes the model looks good and add not visible distortion.
Of course one can take good looking portraits with just about any lens - all depends on the point of perspective and I recall some good shots with 24mm even - not to mention 50mm prime.
01-06-2015, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #14
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 19,143
QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
I've always liked this series showing the same framing for a portrait, but using different focal lengths. You can see the 50mm is just a bit distorted. The 70mm looks better and 100> look relatively the same.

Shooting a wider shot, like half body or full body, the 50mm would work great. Its just the closer head shots that its too wide for.
I guess I would agree, but I am not a big fan of tight head shots anyway, except for passport photos. If you back up a little bit and get a little environment in the photo, the distortion disappears with these shorter focal lengths.

This was shot with the DA *55 and I don't really see distortion in it.



I guess with regard to the 50mm f1.8, if you get a lens hood with it and do a little post processing, I think it would work well as a start. The biggest differences between it and more expensive lenses will be in rendering out of focus areas and also maybe some in smoothness of transition areas of focus. But everything I've seen shows it's a nice little lens.
01-06-2015, 02:11 PM   #15
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,623
QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
its good, but its not good-good. I mean, its very good for $139. And it is better than..
Let us be honest. You get what you pay for with lenses. The DA50mm f1.8 is possibly an exception as it is reported to be very good for its price. Often nicknamed 'plastic fantastic'.

If you really, seriously want a top notch portrait lens, you need to consider top-notch lenses like DA*55mm, FA77mm Ltd. With these lenses, you pay for outstanding IQ.

My 5 cents...
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
135mm, 21mm, 50mm, f1.8, k-mount, pentax, pentax 50mm f1.8, pentax lens, portraits, post, shots, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax 50mm F1.8 for 55$ bmw_328ci Pentax Price Watch 12 12-08-2014 02:20 PM
Pentax Webstore: $119 for 50mm F1.8 rrstuff Pentax Price Watch 25 12-01-2014 05:56 PM
Going for 85mm f1.4 or 135mm f1.8 for portraits? minahasa Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 19 08-17-2013 12:17 AM
DA 50mm F1.8 vs. SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.4 ahw Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 08-03-2013 01:56 PM
77mm f1.8 or Sigma 85mm f1.4 for outdoor portraits? crossover37 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 60 05-12-2011 11:04 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:25 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top