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07-15-2015, 03:08 PM   #16
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The M85/2 is very nice and very portable.
That portability just means I bring it along more often.
Its main weakness is CA.

Downside to using a macro lens is the long focus throw, so thats something to consider.

If you want Pentax, and AF, then the DFA 100 macro is one of the best options (rounded aperture too)
The thing is whether you can live with 150mm eq and working distance on apsc

Tamron 90mm, a bit like the DFA100 (in working distance), but near an 85mm too.
As sharp (some say sharper).


I see that you mention a non-WR 100 macro for sale.
I'd just get it instead.

07-15-2015, 03:40 PM   #17
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I'm a little confused why the DA 70 is all but lost in this conversation.
07-15-2015, 04:34 PM   #18
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A second hand DA70 would do nicely and be so Pentax.

I quite enjoy my K85 1.8 so the M would give a similar experience I guess...... I feel like I'm "crafting" a special photo when I use it..... rather then "bam it's done" with my FA77 (which has it's place of course).

I sold my 90 Tamron, it did the job well, but gave me no joy/pleasure in usage.
07-15-2015, 05:18 PM   #19
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I don't know what your price range is. My favorite two lenses for this purpose are the DA *55 and the DA *50-135. The zoom doesn't seem too pricey used, although neither one is cheap. I do own the FA 77, but for what it is worth, I think most of the lenses you are looking at are a little too long for a crop camera. The FA 77 is really nice if you have space to work, but you have to stand a good way back and something in the 50-55 range seems to work better.

07-15-2015, 05:24 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venom3300 Quote
I'm a little confused why the DA 70 is all but lost in this conversation.
Well funny you say that, I just found a guy down the road selling a DA 70 for €300. Gulp.

Last edited by plooksta; 07-15-2015 at 05:42 PM.
07-15-2015, 11:42 PM   #21
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I own a copy of the smc-M 100/2.8, which might deserve your scrutiny beside the 85/2. A pinch slower and larger, quite talented and no macro "surcharge" My copy was well under $100.
07-16-2015, 05:24 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by plooksta Quote
Well funny you say that, I just found a guy down the road selling a DA 70 for €300
I don't know the going price for that lens in Euros, but it sounds pretty good.

As for me, for someone interested in portraits, not macro, the 70 is probably the best choice.

Heck, I don't need it but I still want it...
07-16-2015, 12:23 PM   #23
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*50-135 2.8 is a hands down winner for me.

Randy

07-16-2015, 03:12 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
*50-135 2.8 is a hands down winner for me.

Randy

Oh no, another one! The scores on photo zone look pretty impressive for this one. Very good next to the 70. But quite a bit dearer too. Shame that lens is just a tiny bit too short for sports and action. I'm also generally looking at the Tamron 70-200, which would be a bit weird to lug around for portraits, and then I've discovered the lovely Samyang 14 and the 15 DA limited and the amazing Sigma 18-35/1.8, and the Pentax 16-45 looks like a good general lens. And I want a 50/1.4, and a 24/2. Too many choices, not enough cash! I want them all, but I reckon if I shop around I could maybe get two of them.

Last edited by plooksta; 07-16-2015 at 03:23 PM.
07-17-2015, 06:10 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by plooksta Quote
Too many choices, not enough cash! I want them all, but I reckon if I shop around I could maybe get two of them.
Welcome to the club!
I do have DA 70mm ltd, and it's an amazing lens, I love it so much. However, sometimes it's not enough FL for portraits, imo.
If you ok with manual focus, there are plenty of cheap solutions to start "best portrait lens on budget" journey.
So far my favorite are:

Helios lens, I have two of 58mm. If you find cheap helios 85mm, just grab it.
I don't have 85mm because I think it's overpriced even being a good lens, so I prefer to buy Samyang 85mm for the portion of price instead.

Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 (love/hate, but when it's love, the pictures have that special character, and it's great lens for b/w, imo)

Pentax M 75-150mm f4. That lens is so dimensional, and produces pretty good portraits. Ones I've been shooting a friend of mine with both DA70mm ltd, and M 75-150mm, and was surprised how similar results I got with both.

Pentax M 100mm f4 macro. I personally prefer this one more for portraits than Tamron 90mm (I love creamy bokeh of M100mm, and the lens character as I call it). Tamron, on my taste, is too sharp for portraits, but it's great macro/portrait for budget and for anything else.

Vivitar 135mm f3.5 is very good portrait lens, imo. I don't have f2.8 to compare, but I think that f3.5 is underrated one. My copy slightly is not as sharp wide open as SuperTak 135mm f3.5 I had, but I decided to sell SuperTak and keep Vivitar. Again, it's a matter of preferences.

That list is endless. Happy brainstorming!
07-17-2015, 07:17 AM   #26
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I have the Samyang 85mm and its an amazing lens, even with its flaws.

My copy tends to bog up when you're shooting in subfreezing temps (ie, it overexposes - badly), and Samyang's QC department has some obvious issues. My copy focuses way, WAY pasty infinity which makes shooting distant objects at low apertures tricky. Its also huge. If size is important at all, be aware that the Sammy 85mm is big and heavy. I have big vintage telephoto zooms that weight less than the Samyang does.

The 85mm is the slightly smaller lens in this shot. The small lens is a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4, just to get an idea of the size difference.


That said, the IQ of the shots (for the price of the lens) are stellar. Wide open its a bit meh simply because your depth of field is so sliver thin at f/1.4 that everything just gets a vague mushiness about it because its falling outside the focus plane. Its probably my second-favorite MF lens that I own behind the Samyang 35mm.
07-17-2015, 08:27 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Pentax M 100mm f4 macro. I personally prefer this one more for portraits than Tamron 90mm (I love creamy bokeh of M100mm, and the lens character as I call it). Tamron, on my taste, is too sharp for portraits, but it's great macro/portrait for budget and for anything else.
I like my M100 macro as well, I use it more than my M85/2. Easy to focus due to the long macro focus throw. But the M85 gives nice rendering when you learn it.

Seb
07-19-2015, 04:55 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Helios lens, I have two of 58mm. If you find cheap helios 85mm, just grab it.
I don't have 85mm because I think it's overpriced even being a good lens, so I prefer to buy Samyang 85mm for the portion of price instead.

Is that the Helios 58/2 you are recommending? Or the 85?
07-19-2015, 05:23 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by plooksta Quote
Is that the Helios 58/2 you are recommending? Or the 85?
Both, but if you find 85mm cheap.
Helios 58mm is cheap in general, either M42, or K mount, and it can be very nice portrait lens. Do you homework, search lens groups on flickr, and lens clubs here. You will see what those lenses are capable of.
07-20-2015, 01:20 AM   #30
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I definitely rate the 70mm Limited. I was snapping away (i.e. not the official photographer) at a friends wedding the other day and it produces great shots. The size is a definite plus as well - very portable and much less intimidating than a massive dark eye staring from the camera. Prime is a little more fussy to use at a wedding but for general portraiture it was excellent. The only limitation is that it could have been slightly faster for the indoor dancing and could've kept me ISO 1600 and below, but had to make the jump to 3200 to hold people still enough. Can't show any of the true portrait photos as I don't know that my friends would want their wedding all over the internet, but this was conveniently anonymous. Motion blur intentional! I've also appended a couple of portraits of the newly-married couple's cats taken with the 70mm (again, indoors and fairly dark) which shows a little of the depth of field/bokeh.


Swirl by Callan S, ISO3200 on Flickr




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