Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-09-2008, 10:35 AM   #1
Junior Member




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 43
Lens

With all of the lens out there --- how do we know about them all. What is considered a good lens-- a bad lens-- a prime -- a limited.

How do we know what to get??? All my lens work pretty good. But, you know I thought that I could see fine til I found out I needed glasses.

I just ordered a K20D -- now I'm broke! What kind of len do I need to get the best portraits from my K20D???

06-09-2008, 11:02 AM   #2
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nowhere, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 654
QuoteOriginally posted by Rene` Quote
With all of the lens out there --- how do we know about them all. What is considered a good lens-- a bad lens-- a prime -- a limited.

How do we know what to get??? All my lens work pretty good. But, you know I thought that I could see fine til I found out I needed glasses.

I just ordered a K20D -- now I'm broke! What kind of len do I need to get the best portraits from my K20D???
Big studio? Small studio? Indoors? Outdoors? Dark enviroment? Light enviroment? Sharp enough to ruin the photo with all skin problems? Soft enough to hide skin problems? Smooth Bokeh? Light bokeh? Hard bokeh? Expensive? Cheap? Auto Focus? Manual Focus? Facial portraits? Half body portraits? Whole body portraits? Group portraits? And so on.

Define your needs.
06-09-2008, 12:16 PM   #3
Veteran Member
jsherman999's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,228
QuoteOriginally posted by Rene` Quote
With all of the lens out there --- how do we know about them all. What is considered a good lens-- a bad lens-- a prime -- a limited.

How do we know what to get??? All my lens work pretty good. But, you know I thought that I could see fine til I found out I needed glasses.

I just ordered a K20D -- now I'm broke! What kind of len do I need to get the best portraits from my K20D???

Start with the FA 50 1.4. If you're too broke for that still after the k20D purchase, start with an M 50 1.4 (~$40 to 75), get comfortable with manual focus, and start making images that will blow your socks off compared to the zooms you have in your sig, IMHO)

Have fun.



.
06-09-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
Veteran Member
vizjerei's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,418
Well if you are low in cash then FA50/1.4 is a good choice or else try the FA35/2

06-09-2008, 04:41 PM   #5
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,108
QuoteOriginally posted by Rene` Quote
With all of the lens out there --- how do we know about them all. What is considered a good lens-- a bad lens-- a prime -- a limited.

How do we know what to get??? All my lens work pretty good. But, you know I thought that I could see fine til I found out I needed glasses.

I just ordered a K20D -- now I'm broke! What kind of len do I need to get the best portraits from my K20D???
I really think people spend way too much time obsessing over good lenses vs. bad lenses. I get a kick out of the whole IQ thing that gets batted around here like as if it means something.
Here's a little hint, coming from someone with close to 4 decades of shooting experience with film formats ranging from 35mm to 4x5 sheet film: You can get a good picture from just about any lens on the market, and frankly, you can always find a way to take the best equipment available and churn out absolute crap.
It's just the way it is.
I've seen people beak off about lenses that I know are excellent, and then find out later that they were trying to shoot handheld at too slow a shutter speed, or they complain about purple fringing by shooting into an unphotographable scene, and then say some other lens is better because they haven't been able to repeat the problem yet.

Now, if you want a nice portrait lens for your K20, get a 50mm lens. It doesn't matter what it's maximum aperture is, or if it is a K-mount or a screw mount. If you want ease of operation, get something with an A position, if you don't mind stop down metering, then get a K or an M. Even an M50mm f/2 (probably the least regarded of the Pentax 50s) is going to give perfectly acceptable portraits.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 06-09-2008 at 04:59 PM.
06-09-2008, 06:09 PM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Perth Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 293
I agree. Good portraits are about the subject, facial expressions, angles of light hitting the face, relationships with backgrounds, the pose etc. My best portrait shots by far were from a K100D with an SMC-A f2 50mm lens that cost about $50.
06-10-2008, 01:32 AM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nowhere, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 654
Im a bit shocked that everyone recommends 50mm . I prefer 80-135 myself
06-10-2008, 02:23 AM   #8
Veteran Member
gkopeliadis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ATHENS, GREECE
Posts: 311
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I really think people spend way too much time obsessing over good lenses vs. bad lenses.
Although I agree that you can shoot bad photographs with the best equipment and –sometimes- good photographs with mediocre equipment, I must say that there really are big visible differences between good and bad lenses.
All things being equal, an appropriate good lens could make the difference

06-10-2008, 03:04 AM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ste-Anne des Plaines, Qc., Canada
Posts: 2,014
[QUOTE=Zewrak;264628]Im a bit shocked that everyone recommends 50mm . I prefer 80-135 myself [/QUOTE
80 to 85mm was the choice of "portaitist" in the world of 35mm cam. That makes it about 55mm on APS-C sized sensors. It doesn't mean the job can't be done with longer or shorter focal lenght. Whatever lens work for you is the lens to use. But a 50 to 55mm lens is a very good starting point to experiment, and, like the O.P. asked, it won't break the bank and give very good results.
06-10-2008, 04:50 AM   #10
Junior Member




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 43
Original Poster
Thank you all for your feedback. I really do appreciate it. I am amazed at how much there is to learn.

I still don't understand how people are supposed to know the difference between "prime" --- good --- and crap.
06-10-2008, 10:07 AM   #11
Senior Member
Groundloop's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 236
[QUOTE=flyer;264669]
QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
Im a bit shocked that everyone recommends 50mm . I prefer 80-135 myself [/QUOTE
80 to 85mm was the choice of "portaitist" in the world of 35mm cam. That makes it about 55mm on APS-C sized sensors. It doesn't mean the job can't be done with longer or shorter focal lenght. Whatever lens work for you is the lens to use. But a 50 to 55mm lens is a very good starting point to experiment, and, like the O.P. asked, it won't break the bank and give very good results.
I'll agree part of the way here. Because of the crop factor, a 55mm lens on an APS-C sized sensor has the equivalent field of view of an 80-85mm lens on 35mm film/FF sensor. That doesn't mean they're equivalent in all other aspects, like compression/expansion, depth of field etc, that give a particular focal length a particular "look".

QuoteOriginally posted by Rene` Quote
Thank you all for your feedback. I really do appreciate it. I am amazed at how much there is to learn.

I still don't understand how people are supposed to know the difference between "prime" --- good --- and crap.
When discussing photographic/cinematographic lenses, "prime" just means fixed focal length. That is, not a zoom.

As for good and crap, if the photographer does everything right, and doesn't expect the equipment to break the laws of physics (which a lot of photo industry marketing seems to indicate the equipment can do), then a "good" lens will result in a pleasing image with no significant optical flaws, and a "crap" lens won't.

Maybe.

But if your particular photographic vision leans toward early 20th century pictorialism, the last thing you'd probably want to shoot with would be a 31 Limited, a lens that many claim is one of the best, if not the best lens Pentax has ever made. There's no perfect lens. Just different tools for different jobs. And luckily, truly abysmal lenses are pretty hard to find. New lenses, barring manufacturing defects, are pretty uniformly good, and a lot of lousy old lenses have likely made it to a landfill rather than the used department of your local camera shop, eBay or Craigslist.
06-10-2008, 10:48 AM   #12
Veteran Member
rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
QuoteOriginally posted by gkopeliadis Quote
Although I agree that you can shoot bad photographs with the best equipment and –sometimes- good photographs with mediocre equipment, I must say that there really are big visible differences between good and bad lenses. All things being equal, an appropriate good lens could make the difference
Yep. I don't buy this whole "get whatever lens you like it's the photographer only..." train of thought. Truth is, it is the photographer plus the camera. Sure a photog can get good shots with a crap lens. And idiots will shoot with the lens cap on with the best lens going. But those are edge cases that don't tell the true story.

Have you ever tried to screw in a screw with a bad screwdriver? I'm sure it's ok for one or two. Have you ever tried to screw in 1000 screws with a bad screwdriver? I imagine you wished you had a better tool.

Same with lenses. Over 1000 shots you will see the difference in quality (if this matters to you) between the kit lens and something more expensive. If you are just doing snapshots then why have an SLR at all?

The differences are not subjective -- they are real. Which is why I recommend to anyone to immediately replace the kit lens (not bad in its way) with something like a fast 50, as recommended here. The faster aperture alone will get you into areas of photography that are very special. Or, if you want a portrait lens you need never blame for bad images, simply buy the FA77 Limited and be done.

This links to all my photos with that lens:

06-10-2008, 11:12 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,713
Just the 18 - 55mm kit lens will work for portraits, although it won't be the best.

It was all that I used until I got a now obsolete Sigma 28 - 84 f3.4 - 4.5, which was 100 x better. I took this lens out for the first time in 6 months or so last week, and it still does a sweet job

Then I got an old K-mount 55mm f1.8. I still use this lens for my some of my portrait work.

I haven't used it yet, but I also added a old screwmount 50mm f1.4 to my collection last week. Which I know will be perfect for them as well.

I have around $70.00 invested in all these lenses put together. (not counting the 18 - 55, which came with my camera) So you really don't have to break the bank for some decent quality glass.
Just do a little research, like your doing and you'll get what's right for you.
06-10-2008, 11:15 AM   #14
Moderator
Tom S.'s Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: S.E. Michigan
Photos: Albums
Posts: 4,239
Since you are broke, why not just use your 28-80 set to around 60?
06-10-2008, 12:17 PM   #15
Igilligan
Guest




They all work pretty good for portrait shots IMO

Just get what ever your budget originally allows and shoot it a ton... You will learn so much about what that lens can do in different conditions and learn what you need in your next portrait lens...

Most of these shots were from my first few days with these lenses... you will get better results once you use your lens more...
My addiction to steel and glass keeps me buying new ones before I ever get the best out of the last one... do as I say, not as I do!

P.S. I would love to have your Sigma EX 70- 200 /2.8 as a head and shoulders portrait lens... have you tried it yet?

Now if you are talking portrait studio work, then ignore all of the above... I am a face snapper


18-55 KIT



DA 50-200



$40 S-M-C Takumar 50-1.4



$139 tamron 70-300



$200 FA 50 1.4


And a couple from my fave $349 Tamron 28-75 2.8



$225 used DA 40 ltd

Last edited by Igilligan; 06-10-2008 at 01:38 PM.
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!
k-mount, lens, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:56 AM. | 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