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10-20-2018, 02:22 PM   #1
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Lens characteristics question

Looking for guidance ...

I love the results I get with DA 35 Ltd. when it comes to objects, flowers, insects, etc.

But when it comes to people, the results never seem to match the results I get with the FA 50 1.4, the new 55-300 PLM, or even an old manual Pentax 50 mm 1.7

It’s hard for me to put my finger on the difference. As everyone knows, the 35 Ltd. is amazingly sharp and the colors are great. But even when I search that lens on Flickr, for example, I see relatively few portraits. Why?

I would love a slightly wider lens for taking shots of family, kids, etc. but I don’t know enough to know why the characteristic (and that may not be the right word, but I don’t know how else to say it) of the 35 Ltd. just doesn’t seem right. Would I get similar results from other, wider Pentax primes?

Thanks for sharing your wisdom. (I shoot with a K-70, by the way).

10-20-2018, 02:26 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Sometimes, corner-to-corner sharpness isn't what you want- especially when the DoF isn't as shallow. Those faster 50's also help isolate the subject better due to the tighter field of view and wider aperture.

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10-20-2018, 02:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam. And the wider lenses (21 mm for ex.) mostly have narrower aperture (3.2)?

For portraits, Would I expect to see much difference in the plastic 35 mm due to its 2.4 vs. 2.8 on the Ltd. or is that not enough of a difference in aperture?
10-20-2018, 03:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
Thanks Adam. And the wider lenses (21 mm for ex.) mostly have narrower aperture (3.2)?

For portraits, Would I expect to see much difference in the plastic 35 mm due to its 2.4 vs. 2.8 on the Ltd. or is that not enough of a difference in aperture?
I hope Adam won't mind me jumping in here...

You'll barely see any difference between f/2.4 and f/2.8 at 35mm. It's there, but quite insignificant.

I shoot with a Sigma 30 f/1.4 sometimes, and wide open it's capable of fairly shallow depth of field at very close shooting distances...

10-20-2018, 04:21 PM   #5
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I disagree. I love my DA35 Limited for environmental portraits. IĎve shot it wide open and got nice results. I also love my DA21 Limited for the same purpose but from closer up since itís wider in its angle of view. I also love the rendering of that one wide open.

QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
Looking for guidance ...

I love the results I get with DA 35 Ltd. when it comes to objects, flowers, insects, etc.

But when it comes to people, the results never seem to match the results I get with the FA 50 1.4, the new 55-300 PLM, or even an old manual Pentax 50 mm 1.7

Itís hard for me to put my finger on the difference. As everyone knows, the 35 Ltd. is amazingly sharp and the colors are great. But even when I search that lens on Flickr, for example, I see relatively few portraits. Why?

I would love a slightly wider lens for taking shots of family, kids, etc. but I donít know enough to know why the characteristic (and that may not be the right word, but I donít know how else to say it) of the 35 Ltd. just doesnít seem right. Would I get similar results from other, wider Pentax primes?

Thanks for sharing your wisdom. (I shoot with a K-70, by the way).
10-20-2018, 04:23 PM - 1 Like   #6
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If you want wider but you also want shallower you can try the FA 35 - you can also try the Limited FA 43. The Limited FA 31 is another choice albeit very expensive. Lastly the limited DA 40 is a nice lens with a little less wide open options than the above:

I have some shots to share:

FA 35 (Self Portrait wide open f/2 so fine focus may be lacking and lighting was intentionally dramatic):


FA 31 (wide open f/1.8 and CROPPED):


DA 40 (also wide open f/2.8)
10-20-2018, 04:31 PM   #7
Des
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QuoteOriginally posted by anselesn Quote
I would love a slightly wider lens for taking shots of family, kids, etc. but I don’t know enough to know why the characteristic (and that may not be the right word, but I don’t know how else to say it) of the 35 Ltd. just doesn’t seem right. Would I get similar results from other, wider Pentax primes?
No doubt you'll get suggestions for 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, 30mm, 31mm and other 35mm primes, or maybe a constant f2.8 zoom (DA*16-50, Tamron 17-50, Sigma 17-50 etc). But don't discount the DA 20-40 f2.8-4 Ltd. I really like it for portraits. It's not as sharp as a macro of course, but more flattering. There isn't a lot of distortion, even at 20mm. The colours and general rendering are just beautiful - in the Limited style. Not super fast, but f2.8 at the wide end is good. I'm no expert, but for group portraits it may be a struggle to get more than one face in focus at wide apertures anyway, so f3.5 or f4 at the longer end might be sufficient.
10-20-2018, 04:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
No doubt you'll get suggestions for 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, 30mm, 31mm and other 35mm primes, or maybe a constant f2.8 zoom (DA*16-50, Tamron 17-50, Sigma 17-50 etc). But don't discount the DA 20-40 f2.8-4 Ltd. I really like it for portraits. It's not as sharp as a macro of course, but more flattering. There isn't a lot of distortion, even at 20mm. The colours and general rendering are just beautiful - in the Limited style. Not super fast, but f2.8 at the wide end is good. I'm no expert, but for group portraits it may be a struggle to get more than one face in focus at wide apertures anyway, so f3.5 or f4 at the longer end might be sufficient.
That's an excellent point. I have a DA 20-40 and I'm not sure if I have any portraits to show from it.

10-21-2018, 02:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
That's an excellent point. I have a DA 20-40 and I'm not sure if I have any portraits to show from it.
The ones I have are family ones - I can't post them.
10-21-2018, 06:07 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the very helpful input. I have much to learn. Which is better than having much to buy (though I have that, too ).
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