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06-23-2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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A kick ass beauty lens?

I just switched from film to digi (yes, another late bloomer). I use to shoot with Mamiya RZ and used APO lenses for beauty/portrait work.

I was wondering what would be considered the best, fixed focal length beauty lens for the K20D system? I was looking at the Carl Zeiss Planar T and Distagon lenses on ebay..they are quite pricy.

Is there any older manual Pentax lens that would do the job just as well? I am looking for maximum sharpness and DOF.



06-23-2008, 09:53 PM   #2
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Well, for AF, the 77 f/1.8 ltd and DA 70 f/2.4 ltd are beautifully made and convert to a 105-114mm FOV on the K20 sensor. The latter is a bit faster and softer on the edges, perhaps with more pleasing bokeh. The 70 is fantastically sharp, great control of chromatic aberrations, and focuses faster.

Manual focus... any fast 50 (the f/1.4 variations seem to have more pleasing bokeh than the astronomically priced & rare f/1.2 variations), or perhaps the A* or FA* 85 f/1.4, though the latter can be found on ebay for over a grand. I've not heard too many glowing reviews of the 85 f/2, and am not familiar with the slower or soft focus versions.

With any manual focus lenses, only the A series will allow automatic metering, M or K series require you to enable aperture ring use in custom menu, and meter by stopping down the lens (green button). As no EV or f stop will appear in the viewfinder, you must compensate by chimping the histogram or remembering how many clicks of the control wheel make a stop.

I have the DA 70 and love it, it's my sharpest lens, the bokeh is great, f/2.4 is shallow enough for me, and the tiny size and fast AF mean it's always in my bag.
06-23-2008, 10:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by K20D Quote
I just switched from film to digi (yes, another late bloomer). I use to shoot with Mamiya RZ and used APO lenses for beauty/portrait work.

I was wondering what would be considered the best, fixed focal length beauty lens for the K20D system? I was looking at the Carl Zeiss Planar T and Distagon lenses on ebay..they are quite pricy.

Is there any older manual Pentax lens that would do the job just as well? I am looking for maximum sharpness and DOF.

If you are looking for something in a traditional portrait length, consider the Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4. It is quite a good lens. At some point in the (hopefully) near future, we should be seeing a Pentax 55mm f/1.4, which I anticipate will also be a very good traditional portrait lens.
Pretty much any Pentax 50mm lens will do well, the FA50mm f/1.4 is very good, relatively inexpensive and does the autofocus thing.
06-24-2008, 12:45 AM   #4
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2 questions:

What focal length are you looking at?
Are you looking for manual focus or AF?

Best you clear up the above before you commit to any expensive purchase.

06-24-2008, 12:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
2 questions:

What focal length are you looking at?
Are you looking for manual focus or AF?

Best you clear up the above before you commit to any expensive purchase.
Well the Zeiss he talks about are manual. So I assume thats what he is looking for, or don't mind atleast.
06-24-2008, 12:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by K20D Quote
I just switched from film to digi (yes, another late bloomer). I use to shoot with Mamiya RZ and used APO lenses for beauty/portrait work.

I was wondering what would be considered the best, fixed focal length beauty lens for the K20D system? I was looking at the Carl Zeiss Planar T and Distagon lenses on ebay..they are quite pricy.

Is there any older manual Pentax lens that would do the job just as well? I am looking for maximum sharpness and DOF.

That depends on the focal length you need. I would suggest 35mm equivalents to 28, 35, 50 and 70mm.

That might be the 16-45 or 16-50 zoom lenses or the 21, 31, 35 and 40 or 43mm limited lenses. If you want a 105mm focal length I would suggest the 70mm Ltd.

Ben
06-24-2008, 08:38 AM   #7
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What lenses did you use on RZ?

I used to use the 180 for portraits on my RB and RZ setups for the most part, also for some product shots. Loved that lens. If that's the lens you liked on your RZ, I'd strongly suggest the DA 70 ltd. It'll be about as close in focal length, working distance, and color and image quality to that particular lens, even more so than the FA 77 ltd. (I love the FA 77 and recently picked up a copy, but for the glamour and beauty portrait work I prefer the DA 70 Ltd, mostly because it does remind me the most of my RB and RZ shots, that I became so accustomed to, than other lenses I have tried on the Pentax)

2nd choice...The DA*50-135 is a really beautiful lens that is very very close to prime quality, actually very hard to tell the difference. matches very close to the DA limiteds in terms of color and contrast. I use this lens a lot now in the studio.

I also used to use the 90 and then the 110 for most general, normal and some product shots, for a replacement for that lens, I like either the DA 40 Ltd or the FA 43 Ltd. for shooting people, I'm also starting to like more and more the DA 35 Ltd Macro for a lot of the purposes I used to use my RB90 for, also in some full-length portrait and glamour work where I want a more vivid or sharper image, if in case, the emphasis is on the clothes or hairstyle.

I also used to have the 250 and the 65 on my RB and RZ.

Cheers
06-28-2008, 08:37 AM   #8
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Thanks guys! I am looking for a manual lens. The 50mm sounds about right but I would consider a macro as well. I used to use 210mm APO lens on my RZ for beauty and portrait work

So no experiences on those Carl Zeiss lenses then?


Last edited by K20D; 06-28-2008 at 08:45 AM.
06-28-2008, 08:50 AM   #9
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CZ is way too rich for my blood I'd love to test out one of their lenses one day, though.
06-28-2008, 09:04 AM   #10
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If you are after longer focal length lenses that produce locely sharpness and bokeh.

Super Takumar 85mm f/1.9 or faster
Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5 (the f/2.5 was known to be main soft and dull contrast colour as well).
06-28-2008, 09:22 AM   #11
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Many interesting lenses to consider there. I came across a discussion on this lens:

Voigtlander 125mm F2.5 Apo Lanthar

It seems to be very kick ass indeed. But do I need an adapter to use with K20D?

Seems these are quite rare to find on ebay..
06-28-2008, 10:04 AM   #12
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You should need an adapter.

Keep in mind that we're in different focal-length territory here with the K20D.

On the K20D, the APO-Lanthar will be the equivalent of a 187.5mm lens, which is getting rather longish for portrat work. Probably like shooting the Mamiya with a 300mm on it.

And you're subjects mightn't appreciate the resolving power of some of the sharper glass , especially on 14.6MP..."Hey, cool, I can see aaaalllll your pores with this thing..."

I don't do much...well, any...beauty work, but I can recommend the K f1.2 50mm...



NOTE: I practically stole that lens.

That's about as beautiful as it gets with me.
06-28-2008, 10:49 AM   #13
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Portraits are easily softened in post processing. You can't fake a good sharp lens though.

From what I've seen of the CZ lenses, they are beautiful, but you should try a few fast 50s initially. They are quite capable, inexpensive, plentiful.

Try the A series 1.4 and 1.7. If you like a softer look like lithos, pack a $40 A series 50mm 2.0. It's a sharp lens, but easier to control than the others. The 1.4 will net you the shallow depth of field many photographers love and the bokeh is pleasing. The 1.7 is a bit easier to focus & use, also quite sharp, slightly wider DOF and though consensus is otherwise, I like it best of the 3.
06-28-2008, 11:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by K20D Quote
Many interesting lenses to consider there. I came across a discussion on this lens:

Voigtlander 125mm F2.5 Apo Lanthar

It seems to be very kick ass indeed. But do I need an adapter to use with K20D?

Seems these are quite rare to find on ebay..
Hi - I have a copy of the 125 Lanthar. I just submitted two candids to the Pentax Photo Gallery (fingers are crossed) that I shot with that lens. You do not need any adapter, and will auto-aperture but require manual focus.

Previous poster was correct about it being a bit long-ish for standard studio portrait work. But -if you have the room to work, it won't dissapoint....

Cheers
06-28-2008, 12:11 PM   #15
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The K version SMC 55 1.8 Manual Focus Lens seems to be more likely what you are looking for. A very sharp lens, but holds color and has a nice film rendering.

KEH gets them in from time to time, not very expensive, nicer looking in my opinion for this type 0f work than the M series SMC-M 50 1.4 or SMC-M 50 1.7,which I have both. I use the 50 1.7 right now for this focal length. I mainly do headshots, so I use the DA 70 or the SMC-M 100 2.8 for those, but occasionally go for wider coverage with the 50 1.7.

Check out this thread, don't think there are any glam shots in this thread with this lens, but I had the opportunity to try it out for a weekend and it was real nice.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/29948-k-club.html


I haven't tried any of the Carl Zeiss lenses, but if you have the opportunity to try or rent one....

Last edited by augustmoon; 06-28-2008 at 12:12 PM. Reason: spelling
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