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09-04-2017, 02:03 PM   #1
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Which is the best Lens for Portraits Fotography


In a couple of weeks I have a portrait-shooting-weekend. The restriction is to work only with prime focus lenses. The Bodys I have available are K-1, K-3 & K-5iis

My problem is I have more as 2 dozen zoom lensen, but only 2 really new prime lenses (autofocus) and a couple of manuall lenses (A- & M- lenses, 40 years old )

What is the best lens?
- "SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR" for APS-C & FF
- "SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8" with an "HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter" only for APS-C

The first is a superb 100mm lens, the second will transfer to an 70mm lens with an Aperture of about 2.5. What would be your favourite combination?

I have also an "SMC Pentax-F 1.7x AF Adapter" but I really I have handling problems with the AutoFocus"

09-04-2017, 02:44 PM   #2
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Put the 100mm on the K-1 and the 50mm on the K-3 and have fun.
09-04-2017, 02:58 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Why do you need a 'new' prime lens? Many older primes can do a superb job. What older prime lenses do you have? How is your vision? Are you comfortable shooting manual focus?
09-04-2017, 03:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Put the 100mm on the K-1 and the 50mm on the K-3 and have fun.
Exactly what I'd do. Don't put the 1.4 on the 50.

09-04-2017, 03:08 PM   #5
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Jatrax's (and Norm's) advice is exactly what I was about to suggest. You can shoot the 100 macro wide open with impunity as it can be punishingly sharp stopped down. Forget the teleconverter.

I too would be interested in which older primes you have. Manual focus is not a great problem for posed portraits.
09-04-2017, 03:41 PM   #6

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Portraits is not my thing, but if I have to do it, I like what I have seen and test from 43, 55* and 100 wr.
09-04-2017, 03:45 PM   #7
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Just take a couple photos and see how it works There should be a difference in terms of bokeh, colours, DoF, and more importantly working distance and FoV..
Once you decide your favourite you can continue to develop your style with it. That is the path to becoming a good portrait photographer, and it will give you good ideas on what lenses to purchase next.
If you are serious about portraiture, you will eventually have to get something like DA* 55mm, FA 77mm ltd, or one of the 85mm or 135mm lenses (legacy, third party)
You can get Samyang 85mm used fairly cheap. Designed for portraiture. If you dont like it, you can sell it at a minimal loss
09-04-2017, 03:46 PM   #8
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Leave the teleconverter at home, Gerard, is my advice.

The 100 Macro will be great on the K-1, even if the focus hunts a bit.

09-04-2017, 04:11 PM   #9
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I use the DA 50 f1.8 on a K3 for portrait work. I find that to be a great setup for that work.
09-04-2017, 04:36 PM   #10
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I'd say take 100mm for the "head & shoulders" type of shots, and the 50mm for the 3/4 and half-length shots
09-04-2017, 05:55 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
Why do you need a 'new' prime lens? Many older primes can do a superb job. What older prime lenses do you have? How is your vision? Are you comfortable shooting manual focus?
You can literally make any old lens work for portraits, It just depends on your expectations!

I think personally I'd go with the 100mm, but that's me right now, in a weeks time I might go for the 50...

Edit: Nice to see another pentax owner from switzerland!
09-04-2017, 05:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The 100 Macro will be great on the K-1, even if the focus hunts a bit.
It's an ok lens for portraits. The bokeh at 2.8 is marvelous but....the focus. This is an issue because when that lens hunts DOES IT EVER HUNT.

I use the FA77 whenever possible:

And when I don't use that, I roll with the DA*55:
09-05-2017, 08:00 AM   #13
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Ideal lenses for portraits

Of the lens I own, there are three that I most prefer for portraiture on either the K-1 or the K-3: (1) 77 limited that my wife calls our magic lens, (2) Pentax-FA 85 f 1.4, which is actually my best lens for portraits, and the one my wife and daughters like to pose for, and (3) Rokinon 85mm f 1.4, which is a great lens to use to avoid scratching, dropping, or otherwise abusing the more expensive Pentax-FA 85 f 1.4. I also sometimes like to use a soft lens, Pentax-F 85mm f 2.8 soft. On the crop sensor K-3 camera, I also sometimes like to use a converted Canon lens, the Canon-FL 55mm f 1.2 for excellent separation, sharp image, and nice soft backgrounds. This lens is rather sharp, however, even at f 1.2, sometimes more revealing than one might wish unless makeup is well applied!

Last edited by ivanvernon; 09-05-2017 at 08:01 AM. Reason: Correct a typo.
09-05-2017, 08:07 AM   #14
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I would choose FA 77 on full frame, DA *55 on crop. If you had the funds, the DFA 70-200 is ideal.
09-05-2017, 08:10 AM   #15
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I can see the 70-200 being ideal for informal situations, but I'd also see the 77 as being the go to lens for a formal sit down portrait. But I own neither... what do you think?

As for the 77 vs 85 1.4 I'm just not getting a handle on that.If i were buying today for a portrait lens, for business use, I think I'd be looking at those two. But I'd be starting from a position of it being a complete saw off, and I have no idea what the deciding factor would be.

I'd probably be studying the forum for weeks making the decision.

But I'm pretty sure I'd be ending up with one of those two.

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