Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-03-2019, 06:09 PM - 3 Likes   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1,570
Love / Hate with the HD D FA50/1.4

I'm a fan, don't mistake the title but I'm finding I'm hating it for portraiture, it just resolves too much detail even at f/1.4! Case in point, we had a couple of models in my local photoclub last Tuesday, a 60 something gentleman and a 20 something woman. Now either he had a seriously close shave that afternoon that distorted the result but I can make out more hairs on her face

I have seen that the 'experts' on the interweb demand more and more sharpness across the frame but if this carries on I can see Pentax dusting off the designs for the 85 Soft series and creating a whole new lens design dynamic.

I'd expect this and want this from a macro but a standard lens?

03-03-2019, 06:19 PM   #2
arnold's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,870
There are times we don't want to see unattractive details. Use a soft none directional light and a wide lens opening. In severe cases, put on a filter that can diffuse the light (Vaseline trick).
03-03-2019, 06:20 PM   #3
ZombieArmy's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,414
Just shoot with the trusty Tak 50 1.4
03-03-2019, 06:32 PM - 1 Like   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
clackers's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 14,567
Smear vaseline on the front element - case closed!

03-03-2019, 06:49 PM - 4 Likes   #5
Paul the Sunman's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,007
It's easy to apply softening in post processing, either selectively or globally. Much harder to (reliably) go the other way.
03-03-2019, 09:11 PM   #6

Join Date: May 2016
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,493
Retouch artists probably rejoice seeing such problems
03-03-2019, 10:27 PM   #7
Paul the Sunman's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,007
I'm absolutely in love with the DFA*50! I guess I'm just a warts-and-all kinda guy.
03-03-2019, 10:58 PM   #8

Join Date: Oct 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,113
Love/hate is good. I have DA*55 and it is more gentle on portraits, just because. But It would be great to have love/hate relationship with DFA*50/1,4..

03-03-2019, 11:45 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,489
Just de-focus it by a millimetre. Problem solved

But seriously, starting with sharp is a good place to be. B&W make a 72mm soft focus filter. Cinematographers used to stretch a stocking over the lens hood.
03-04-2019, 12:57 AM - 1 Like   #10
Medex's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 515
As already said: vaseline on front element protective filter, stockings, soft focus lens or filter. I personally use soft focus DIY lenses or diminish High frequency layer opacity in post-processing. Soft focus lens has less contrast but beautiful softness
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
03-04-2019, 01:31 AM   #11
Senior Member

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 181
I've still got some soft focus filters that I occasionally used back in my film days when I shot more portraits and used the mighty FA* 85mm F1.4. I used to sometimes deliberately over-expose shots as well, as that helped smoothing skin tone - especially in B&W.

I haven't done much portraiture with the FA* 85mm F1.4 and my K1 since I got the latter, but suspect I might need to dust down the soft-focus filters.
03-04-2019, 02:02 AM   #12

Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 795
If it's too sharp use photoshop to blur it. You can always blur things, but you can't get back the details from a soft image.
For me it's only a few seconds to do it in lightroom with the brush tool.
03-04-2019, 02:19 AM   #13
Veteran Member

Join Date: Mar 2013
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 375
QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Smear vaseline on the front element - case closed!
You can smear vaseline on the back element too ...!
03-04-2019, 02:32 AM - 1 Like   #14
Junior Member

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Norrköping
Posts: 27
Lets put an end to this smear campaign on HD fa 50/1.4. Leave its front element clear to look out to its bright future on the horizon.
03-04-2019, 03:01 AM   #15
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Berlin
Posts: 296
There is a process in photoshop to apply slight gaussian blur to areas of the face that don't need to be sharp, I think it can be done in about 5 minutes or less per photo once you get the hang of it.

I would say it's basically a requirement when using an ultra sharp lens if you want the subjects to feel good about the photos, unless they have flawless skin to start or they know how to do make up very well/you're working with a make up artist.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lens, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: DA and HD DA Primes: DA 50 1.8, DA XS 40mm, HD DA 35mm, DA 21mm, HD DA 15mm Amarony Sold Items 8 02-20-2019 06:21 AM
HD 20-40 or HD 21 & HD 35 macro BarryE Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 33 09-03-2017 06:05 AM
Macro If you hate Macro - U will hate these old4570 Post Your Photos! 15 11-29-2014 06:47 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:02 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]