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02-08-2018, 09:11 PM   #16
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For portraits, get the FA 77mm , it is incredible on APS-C or full frame

02-08-2018, 10:16 PM   #17
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The 77 is a great choice for portraits, I used it for years for paid work. My lightweight walking kit is the DA 20-40 and FA 77.
02-09-2018, 01:49 AM   #18
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I'd say FA77 ltd, Sigma 85mm f1.4, FA*85 or wait for the new D FA*85.

Or try something "special" - Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 lens for M42 (known for its swirly bokeh).

Regards to Ústí!
02-09-2018, 02:54 AM   #19

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For portraits on APS-C I use the FA43ltd, DA*55, FA77ltd, and DA*50-135. You can't go wrong with either. My favorite and the most versatile is the FA43ltd.

02-09-2018, 03:39 AM   #20
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I'd look at the 50 1.8 & 35mm 2.4 - both are great lenses, and cheap also.
02-09-2018, 03:51 AM   #21
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The DA 70mm F2.4 Limited also shouldn't be overlooked as a portrait lens. It is nice and compact and renders very well.
02-09-2018, 03:59 AM   #22

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QuoteOriginally posted by sqrrl Quote
I'd look at the 50 1.8 & 35mm 2.4 - both are great lenses, and cheap also.
The DA35 F2.4 is not a good portrait lens, I have it. The DA50 is ok, but not in the same league with DA*55, FA ltds, DA*50-135. I sold it, when I got my F50 F1.7 and the FA43.
02-09-2018, 05:19 AM   #23
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First I would say for portrait lenses I would recommend the 77, 100 or 50-135.

Now you are saying that your coming to visit the states and that you want to purchase a portrait lens for the trip? Are you coming for business or pleasure? If your coming to see the states I personally think you need a good general purpose walk around lens rather than a portrait lens. The sigma 17-50 and Pentax 16-50 are good for this. But I find that there are many times that I’d like a bit more reach than the 50’s would provide.i also hate to change lenses when I am out and about. Personally I think the 18x135 or 16-85 would be better choices for your trip along with your 70-300.

Just my 2 cents

02-09-2018, 07:09 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by vlastaw Quote
Hi everyone,

I am visiting US in a couple of weeks and decided to spend up to a 1000 dollars on a lens or maybe two. My primary goal is to get better portrait lens, but I am uncertain and would welcome suggestions, what would make sense according to your experiences. One thing that I am sure of is that considering my other plans this is to be my last spending on a photo gear for at least a year.

Currently have K-70 &
SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM
Sigma 17-50mm f/2,8 EX DC OS HSM
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4,0-5,6 Di LD Macro

Actually the Pentax lens is to be delivered (new one) to me on Monday. I plan to compare it to the Sigma and eventually keep both or let one go. Unfortunately my piece of Sigma is missing focus (DoF on f/2.8) outside the scope of the camera compensation (+1 focuses too close and +2 is already too far), which for portraits with f/2.8 means that focusing on the subjects nose actually focuses the ear. That's the reason I want to try the Pentax and decide if the CA issue would be too much of a no go for me, or if I go with it in favor of (presumably) more precise AF. You can fix the CA in Lightroom, you don't fix focus. The Tamron is of course in use rarely, it's a cheap lens for holiday photos where tele is needed.

My favorites to buy are:
SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM - I am not sure about its benefits over my current lenses, especially with this close focal length.
Tamron AF SP 90mm f/2,8 Di Macro - Said to be a good portrait lens, but maybe too long already? Pro is the Macro, Con is the brand (don't want to spend money for something out of focus again).
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR - The same as with the Tamron 90. Even longer, but Pentax.
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art - A little short for portraits? Although produces wonderful images. But again, it's Sigma (focusing?). And of course price for this one is a bit higher.
Maybe some Pentax Limited prime?

I would be glad for your thoughts, opinions and experiences. Thanks!
FWIW, I would say sell the Sigma 17-50mm and consider the Pentax 50-135mm as well as one prime.
For Portraits, the Pentax FA 77mm is fabulous and/or pick up a Fast 50mm (F 50mm f1.7 used will be relatively inexpensive) if need be.
As I have not used the Pentax DA 55mm F1.4 I cannot render an opinion even though this one is on my to get list as well.
Please careful of LBA Syndrome as its hard to stop with just one .....
02-09-2018, 08:54 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
The DA 70mm F2.4 Limited also shouldn't be overlooked as a portrait lens. It is nice and compact and renders very well.
i was about to ask why no one recommended this lens. Sharp, modern, small, relatively affordable. The smaller max aperture should not be too much of a give up.
02-09-2018, 09:15 AM   #26
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There's a lot of good suggestions above. My vote would be for the DA*55 its a wonderful lens with wonderful rendering. I you are planning on being in NYC to visit B&H and or Adorama, check their websites for opening times and closures. Their store hours are NOT the same as other retail stores in the area and they have many more closings for religious reasons.
02-09-2018, 12:42 PM   #27
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Well if you do not mind a manual focus lens the Rokinon 85 F1.4 is Cheap around $260 and it works very well at least mine does.
02-09-2018, 04:12 PM   #28
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I'm going to suggest something else

there are companies in the US that rent photographic equipment

I have used - Rent Lenses and Cameras from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Leica, and more

and there is also

Rent professional cameras or camera lenses for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Leica and Pentax

there may be others

lensrental mails the equipment to you and you return it by mail

I suggest you contact them or borrowlenses and discuss what they might be able to do for you

perhaps they could mail the lenses to where you are going and you mail them back before you leave

you could rent one or more lenses, try them out, and then know what you want to purchase either here or when you get home

if you do rent lenses don't skimp, get the best insurance they offer

Last edited by aslyfox; 02-09-2018 at 04:28 PM.
02-11-2018, 02:54 PM   #29
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OK, thanks for your suggestions and opinions everyone

Seems like the DA* 55/1,4 and the FA 77/1,8 Ltd made it to the finals for me. But considering I can use the DA* 16-50 for 50-ish portraits, probably the 77 is to win this despite the price (I'm only a hobbyist, so it's not gonna pay for itself). Now let's hope there's going to be some deals in the coming weeks
02-16-2018, 08:14 PM   #30
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With an APS-C sensor, if I were in the States looking for a portrait lens I'd probably buy this: Excellent condition with light exterior/mount wear and optics free of scratches | eBay, and spend the other $940 on beer.

But that's just me.

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