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03-05-2015, 06:53 PM   #1
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Portrait lens

I am going to try some portrait work soon so i start looking for a new lens.I have Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 on my mind but i am not sure it's the best choice.I am looking for best image quality i can get without spending another $1000.I don't mind manual focus, the other lens I already have and want to try is M 50mm f/1.7 Is it good idea to use these lenses with k5II for portraits??Any help will be highly appreciated.

03-05-2015, 07:08 PM   #2
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Either of those will work. I would not get another lens until you determine what those don't do.
03-05-2015, 07:08 PM   #3
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The nifty 50 hasn't really let me down
03-05-2015, 07:18 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Hello! It would be helpful to know what sort of lenses you currently use, so that we could decide what it is you want to improve on. What do you use for portraits now/why isn't it quite what you want?

Coming from a kit lens, the DA 50mm - which can be had for not much over $100 - was very impressive to me, and worked great for portraits! I then purchased a Bower (same as the Samyang) 85mm f/1.4. Was again very impressed! Before you get this lens though, understand that with the f/1.4 / manual focus combination, hitting focus can be pretty tough! It's great when you're spot on, but sometimes when reviewing photos in post (or zooming in on the review screen) it can be pretty sad to notice that a great photo has a particularly distracting off-focus. I have seen two copies of this lens, my current copy is very nice, but the second one I used would purple/green fringe at any given chance! I'm fortunate that my copy doesn't fringe nearly as easily (though it definitely is prone to fringing).

Moving towards more expensive lenses, I think the FA 77 Limited f/1.8 is a favorite among many. Definitely a good investment! With the Full-Frame in the upcoming future, some people are wanting to get rid of their DA lenses. If the Full-Frame isn't of particular interest to you, a DA 70 Limited f/2.4 may be worth a look! On a crop sensor it is viewed by some as right up there with the FA 77mm!

In zoom territory, the DA* 50-135 f/2.8 would be a recommendation of mine! I had seen them selling for near the $1000 mark on the forums, but the announcement of the FF has gotten a lot of people excited to sell theirs. I got one for just over $500 a few days ago and am really liking it! I had been mostly interested in primes, and due to the prior pricing of this lens I hadn't looked its way too much... I'm really glad I did though! It's very impressive, and not as heavy as one would think. :-)

Wrapping up, I think on a budget the DA 50mm f/1.8 would be a great choice! You may already have this lens or better lenses and are looking for something else though. If interested in the FF, I'd recommend the FA (or F) 50mm f/1.4 (I've heard great things about the F and FA f/1.7 also but haven't been able to try one out)! The Rokinon 85mm is a great piece of glass, but unless you are able to take your time to ensure focus, it might cause frustration (though, the dollar to value ratio is pretty great I think). With a bit more investment, there are the 70mm or 77mm, and If you want the flexibility of a zoom, the DA* 50-135 would be my recommendation!

Best of luck to you! I've found that with a bit of research and thought ahead, there aren't many "wrong" choices. :-)

-Quintin

03-05-2015, 07:54 PM   #5
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If this can help my current lenses are M 50mm f/1.7 M 28mm f/3.5 A* 200mm f/2.8 and F* 300mm f/4.5 I didn't do any portraits yet.I would like to stick to primes i think.
03-05-2015, 07:58 PM   #6
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The Rokinon 85mm is a wonderful traditional portrait lens, John,

But you're spoiled for choice in K-mount - the glass others have mentioned - DA*50-135, FA77, DA70, DA50 and others - are great too.

Just pick a price.

As always, your skills are what completes the job.
03-05-2015, 08:13 PM   #7
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Okay, great - looks like you have some nice longer lenses there! Honestly, I would ask a friend or family member to sit and let you take a few photos with your M 50 f/1.7! The 85mm is a good portrait range, yes, but I find 50mm to be very versatile and provide some excellent portraits (and my experience mostly comes from a plastic DA 50mm! :-) ). If you find that the 50mm has you too far away for your style of portraits, then the 85mm would be a good lens to consider! If you find that the manual focus gets you down in general for portraits, then stay away from the Rokinon 85mm for now. If that were the case, the DA or FA 50mm's would be great options. The DA 50 f/1.8 may not have "the absolute best IQ" but, I honestly was so impressed with it after the kit lens that I convinced several of my other photographer friends to buy themselves a 50mm prime (CanikonSony) with the guarantee that I'd pay them full price for it and resell it myself if they were disappointed! A couple finally got primes and now love them! That's the impression that the cheap little lens made on me, so I think it is quite respectable in quality. If you want something better, I'm sure the FA or F equivalents may have slightly better technical IQ...

I think there's a lot you can learn right now about portraits with your current 50mm! From it you should get some great photos as well as realize how important AF is to you in this situation! Also, you can learn that maybe you'd prefer a different focal length! I've read that many people like 35mm as a focal length on crop sensors for portraits - personally I can tell you that I am not that way. I love the 50, 70, 77, 85 ranges for seated portraits! Outdoors etc, that may go a bit longer, and if group/family portraits, perhaps a bit wider to 35mm would suit my tastes. I am quite a beginner, but would highly advise you to start your journey with your 50mm! :-) You will learn about what you like as well as what you wish you had! :-)

Hope I wasn't too redundant here... Have fun! :-)

-Quintin
03-05-2015, 08:33 PM   #8
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Thank you all for getting back to me so quickly.I think I'll try with my 50 and see what I can get .DA 50 is pretty affordable Maybe it's not a bad idea to buy one and compare manual/auto focus for portraits.You guys know better.I think like clackers said skills is what I need most at this point.

03-05-2015, 09:17 PM   #9
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Even the 200 can be used if you have the working distance and you are comfortable working that far away from your subject.

50 is a good place to start however.
03-05-2015, 09:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Even the 200 can be used if you have the working distance and you are comfortable working that far away from your subject.
...and want to give your subject the impression they smell bad.
03-06-2015, 12:51 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aikilink Quote
a DA 70 Limited f/2.4 may be worth a look!
I just read in one of your answers (OP..) that you might be thinking of buying a da50 for use of AF.
If so, i'd suggest to rather save up for a 2nd hand da70. very nice lens on apsc & relative affordable, and especially: an additional focal beyond what you already have!

Personally i find 50 a bit too short. With the da70, i can still keep a comfortable distance if i want something rather up close to the subject.

All this said though: i'd first go with the advice of others: try the 50 you have now and focus on lighting your subject & stuff like that..
03-06-2015, 11:50 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
...and want to give your subject the impression they smell bad.
LOL - amen. You and I have had this discussion before "your Eye of Sauron anecdote" still makes me chuckle.
I'm not suggesting the 200 is the best option - but it isn't crazy to try for a learning experience.
03-06-2015, 12:13 PM   #13
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I'm guessing auto focus isn't key, since you have been using manual focus lenses. I guess the key is to figure out what focal length you want. Traditionally, something in the 70-200 mm full frame focal length would be what you use (that would be 50-135 on crop cameras). There are tons of lenses in that range.

My personal favorite (prime) is the DA *55, followed by the FA 77 limited, but those are going to be quite a bit more expensive than the Samyang 85mm f1.4 (which is a really nice lens if you can deal with manual focus).
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