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05-03-2018, 10:03 AM   #1
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35mm & 85mm Primes

Hello all!

I'm looking for an inexpensive prime lens (or lenses, perhaps) for portrait work. Looking at the FF to crop conversion (I have a K-3), it looks like a 35mm, a 50 / 55mm, and a 70 - 90mm are all good prime ranges for portraits.

I have two Takumars - 50 and 55 - which are excellent. So, I need to round out with a wider lens and one that's the equivalent of 135mm (which is apparently a good focal range for prime portraits). Any thoughts / advice? I think I'm looking under $100 here.

05-03-2018, 10:09 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Hello all!

I'm looking for an inexpensive prime lens (or lenses, perhaps) for portrait work. Looking at the FF to crop conversion (I have a K-3), it looks like a 35mm, a 50 / 55mm, and a 70 - 90mm are all good prime ranges for portraits.

I have two Takumars - 50 and 55 - which are excellent. So, I need to round out with a wider lens and one that's the equivalent of 135mm (which is apparently a good focal range for prime portraits). Any thoughts / advice? I think I'm looking under $100 here.
does your budget allow renting ?

if so, I recommend renting some lenses in your target range and doing your own testing

then you can decide what you are looking for and start hunting

I have used Lensrentals.com with success

https://www.lensrentals.com/

there are other companies I believe

I think you will find you can eliminate the 35mm lenses for portraits
05-03-2018, 10:23 AM   #3
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I don't know about the longer lens, but you would be hard pressed to beat the DA-L 35mm 2.4 which is rated at 9.20 and currently has a price of $147 at B&H. The lens review section has 130 user reviews with plenty of example photos.
05-03-2018, 10:49 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
I don't know about the longer lens, but you would be hard pressed to beat the DA-L 35mm 2.4 which is rated at 9.20 and currently has a price of $147 at B&H. The lens review section has 130 user reviews with plenty of example photos.
That lens may actually be too sharp for most portraits. I saw a 85mm Manual focus Rokinon in the forums for sale at a very reasonable price. I was interested in it but don't need it other than LBA trying to get me!

05-03-2018, 10:59 AM   #5
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the OP, if interested in " experienced " lenses, should check out what is in the market place ( " buy/sell " )

I saw several possibilities

____________________

this chart shows the different " field of views " based on the focal length of the lens:

FOV Tables: Field-of-view of lenses by focal length

column 2 is the one for the Pentax style crop sensor

as I recall the old rule of thumb for portrait lenses used in the film days ( think full frame sensor ) was a focal length greater than 50mm up to short telephotos 100 mm or so
05-03-2018, 11:00 AM   #6
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If you want cheap around 85mm the rokinon is probably your best bet but you could chance a Jupiter 9 85 2. This lens is supposed to have alot of sample variation. The 35 2 and 40 xs are wide not too much more if you shop around. Dont know about older wides but check the lens reviews.
05-03-2018, 11:05 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Hello all!

I'm looking for an inexpensive prime lens (or lenses, perhaps) for portrait work. Looking at the FF to crop conversion (I have a K-3), it looks like a 35mm, a 50 / 55mm, and a 70 - 90mm are all good prime ranges for portraits.

I have two Takumars - 50 and 55 - which are excellent. So, I need to round out with a wider lens and one that's the equivalent of 135mm (which is apparently a good focal range for prime portraits). Any thoughts / advice? I think I'm looking under $100 here.
The A35-105 seems to be ideal for you. Unless you need a lens with large aperture for your portrait shots.

Seb
05-03-2018, 11:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
the OP, if interested in " experienced " lenses, should check out what is in the market place ( " buy/sell " )

I saw several possibilities

____________________

this chart shows the different " field of views " based on the focal length of the lens:

FOV Tables: Field-of-view of lenses by focal length

column 2 is the one for the Pentax style crop sensor

as I recall the old rule of thumb for portrait lenses used in the film days ( think full frame sensor ) was a focal length greater than 50mm up to short telephotos 100 mm or so
I like mmcalc.com. Seems to indicate that a 90mm is the equivalent of 135mm, so I'm looking at anywhere in that range, I suppose.

---------- Post added 05-03-18 at 11:07 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
The A35-105 seems to be ideal for you. Unless you need a lens with large aperture for your portrait shots.

Seb
Seb,

I have several zooms - I like the primes I use, and wanted to try longer primes on portraits.

The zoom which has proven the best is my Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 60-300.

05-03-2018, 11:08 AM   #9
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DA35 and FA77 is what you need sounds like. And once you own them you probably won't feel the need to upgrade atleast the FA77.
05-03-2018, 11:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Seb,

I have several zooms - I like the primes I use, and wanted to try longer primes on portraits.
I prefer primes too, however they are not as inexpensive. For less than $300 you have the Samyang/Rokinon 85 new, the Sigma 70 macro or the Pentax M85/2 used to choose from.

Seb
05-03-2018, 11:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Hello all!

I'm looking for an inexpensive prime lens (or lenses, perhaps) for portrait work. Looking at the FF to crop conversion (I have a K-3), it looks like a 35mm, a 50 / 55mm, and a 70 - 90mm are all good prime ranges for portraits.

I have two Takumars - 50 and 55 - which are excellent. So, I need to round out with a wider lens and one that's the equivalent of 135mm (which is apparently a good focal range for prime portraits). Any thoughts / advice? I think I'm looking under $100 here.
good and under $100 might be mutually exclusive. since you are considering portraits, many people want to have as fast a lens as possible, and this is what drives the price up.

as an example, i have an SMC Takumar 35/2 which i got for a steal at $70 about 8 years ago, 35mm lenses are relatively inexpensive, but look at the other side, i paid again what i considered a bargain ($200) for a super tak 85/1.9. if you want a really good and really fast 85mm the best bet is the samyang 85/14 which new when i got it in 2011 was about $350 US. it is in some ways better than the 1960's-1970's takumars because of the modern coatings.

the only thing i have that is close in the 85mm range that i got cheap is a 90mm tamron adaptall F2.5 macro, but there is something loose int he mount / lens barrel connection that causes a 1 stop aperture change when i change the direction of the focusing ring, i just have not bothered to fix it
05-03-2018, 12:09 PM   #12
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Any of the Pentax 100mm non-macro f2.8 lenses would work well. The macros will as well but they are either a bit slow (f4) or a bit pricey compared to the budget stated for the macro f/2.8 ones. The budget will limit options but if you look hard you can find something - maybe M42 if you have the adapter. The 105 f/2.8 Super Tak is a nice m42 option.
05-03-2018, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Hello all!

I'm looking for an inexpensive prime lens (or lenses, perhaps) for portrait work. Looking at the FF to crop conversion (I have a K-3), it looks like a 35mm, a 50 / 55mm, and a 70 - 90mm are all good prime ranges for portraits.

I have two Takumars - 50 and 55 - which are excellent. So, I need to round out with a wider lens and one that's the equivalent of 135mm (which is apparently a good focal range for prime portraits). Any thoughts / advice? I think I'm looking under $100 here.
If these portraits are going to make you money I would rather you invest in an FA77. Samyangs are notorious on quality and hard to manual focus and can be frustrating for pro work... if MF is a non-issue then make sure you get a good copy of Samyang 85. But after dealing with non-pentax primes.. I have just come to a conclusion that it is mostly not worth spending on the non branded lenses especially on the 35mm since the DA35 is cheap and still available.
On additional thoughts be patient, save up and get the FA77 you won't regret it a bit. I read and understand your $100 budget.. but put that towards FA77 or get DA35 for now.. there is also a non macro Pentax M-100/f2.8 which should come for cheap if you just look on fleabay. An excellent portrait lens that may fit your budget.
05-03-2018, 12:40 PM   #14
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Some particular focal lengths are expensive. Like 35mm - the DA 35/2.4 is a great deal, but an M35/2.8 is not that cheap for a lens that might develop a slow aperture. If you can move to 28mm, the price is better and there are more choices. The same problem at 85mm, except it's worse because many alternative lenses are desirable macros.

I'd look at the DA 35/2.4 pretty hard. There should be plenty of sample shots and choice between new and used. Based on how I use my FA 35/2, it should be pretty good.

I like the suggestion of the Takumar 105mm f2.8. An M100/2.8 is an alternative. These lenses fluctuate in price - I sold an SMC Takumar 105 for $175 once, but bought one for $35. If you want a macro too, it's easier. The Tamron 90/2.5 52B or BB Adaptall 2 works pretty well for portraits and 1:2 macros. You have to get the mount too.
05-03-2018, 12:49 PM   #15
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I owned a Tamron 52B (or 52BB), an inexpensive and fast lens (90mm F2.5), very interesting for portraits and able to reach 1:2.
The Pentax 85mm F2 (I owned one too) is also to consider, it delivers good portraits when focused properly.

Most of my current lenses are too sharp for portrait: Tamron 272E (90/2.8 macro), FA 77/1.8, Vivitar 135/2.8 CF, Panagor 90/2.8 macro, but using photoshop it is easy to decrease sharpness...

Last edited by tryphon4; 05-03-2018 at 12:54 PM.
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