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10-26-2008, 08:12 AM   #16
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Manual focus lens for portrait:

1. Helios 40-2, 85mm /1.5
1. Carl Zeiss Planar 85mm /1.4
1. Takumar 85mm /1.8

by taste

10-26-2008, 09:02 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murphy2004 Quote
Can anyone suggest a very good portrait lens for use on the k20d. I would like great sharpness and bokeh and also a lens that wont break the bank.

Not sure if this lens exists but any advise please ?.

Jason
Lot's of great options mentioned already. I think the largest factors are probably desired focal range, speed, and price (and of course the quality of the pictures.)
The 77ltd has recieved amoung the most favorable feedback. It is quite fast (1.8), legendary results, great LTD build quality, but is not inexpensive.
The 70ltd has also received very good feed back. (See the current thread : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/40219-da-70mm-...le-images.html), is a little slower, great LTD quality, and is often a couple of hundred USD less than the 77ltd. (There is currently one in the Sales forum by a fellow Canadian of mine. I'm not sure how the Euro stacks up to the Cdn buck?) Assuming it's still for sale, it is at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographers-marketplace/39495-da-70mm-f...ited-lens.html
The FA50 is a different focal length, but is very fast, and is an extremely good value price wise.

For more info on the lenses, check out the lens reviews in this forum. Good luck!!!

Last edited by beaumont; 10-26-2008 at 09:15 AM.
10-26-2008, 09:06 AM   #18
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Would I be close to IQ as some of the forementioned primes if I was to get a Pentax 50-135mm ? This lens seems to be an excellent one looking at some of these forums. I know it isn't as fast but I'm not sure I would want/need faster and it would give me more focal length options.
10-26-2008, 09:21 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murphy2004 Quote
Would I be close to IQ as some of the forementioned primes if I was to get a Pentax 50-135mm ? This lens seems to be an excellent one looking at some of these forums. I know it isn't as fast but I'm not sure I would want/need faster and it would give me more focal length options.
Oh-oh, this is how the LBA starts....What happened to "not wanting to break the bank"? I was thinking along the same lines, check out: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/38709-77ltd-vs...-thoughts.html
Ultimately, I think the 50-135 is likely a lens that I will get some day. However the price and size are definate factors...
PS I also did an edit in my previous post with a link to the 70ltd that's for sale...

10-26-2008, 10:07 AM   #20
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Murphy I know you said you would like AF but for a Portrait lens the SMC-A 50 f1.4 is an excellent choice on APS-C. For formal portraits I do not see AF as essential. Especially while shooting at wider apertures. The A50 really shines between around f2.2 and f3.5 for isolating the subject. Great color and contrast. Excellent sharpness. It only gets better stopped down. An even cheaper alternative would be the M version you would just have to get used to manual exposure.

That being said the FA50 certainly might give you better peace of mind. If you want to save some money and hone your chops you cant go wrong with the A or M versions.
10-26-2008, 10:47 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murphy2004 Quote
Probably all of the above if possible, also getting some really good shots of the kids (5 months and 22 months).
Well...I'd suggest a solid zoom lens. Check the Tamron 28-75/2.8. It's full frame, AF, VERY highly reviewed, more than reasonable price and availability, and goes from a nice 28mm "full body portrait length" to 75mm which is great for subject isolation. I've been on forums a long time, and seen some wonderful results across the various brands. There's not much more you can ask for in a portrait lens.

Check the reviews for any mount, pentax or otherwise. I'll be straight up. Forget the manual focus and primes for getting shots of the kids. Try this lens first and if you need something more later you can upgrade to a prime or some MF takumars or something.

Cheers,
Damian
10-26-2008, 11:28 AM   #22
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I shoot mainly portraits and my favorite lens so far has been the FA 50mm 1.4. I also use the Sigma 24-70 2.8 zoom. It's a nice lens but it sometimes has trouble nailing the focus, at least on my K10D. I also bought the 40mm limited just this week and am liking it as well.
From what I've seen it my other post though I am wishing I had gone straight for the 70 limited instead.
For the price and the quality images it produces the FA 50m 1.4 can not be beat. I think it meets all of your needs you mentioned.
10-26-2008, 03:37 PM   #23
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I would suggest you first start with either:
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
FA50 f1.4

The other suggested lenses (other than the DA40) are expensive lenses to try to see if you like them. You will like both of the above lenses and will get good use out of them.

Good luck.

c[_]

10-26-2008, 06:00 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murphy2004 Quote
For the 1.5 factor would that be a better option than The 40mm "pancake" or the 50mm 1.4 ?
Since we're not talking about film cameras, let's not talking about what lenses would work best on them, but which would work best on the K20D.

40mm is definitely very short for a portrait lens on the K20D. If you wanted to fill the frame with head and shoulders, you'd be just a couple of feet away - close enough for perspective to be noticeably distorted (nose too big, etc). But it works fine for shots where you want to stand further away and also include more of the surroundings. 50mm is similar, but you get slightly less surroundings at a given distance. 70mm would let you stand further away and still get only the head and shoulders, but isn't so long that you couldn't also stand further back and get some surroundings. 100mm is about as long as you'd want to consider, and that would mostly be for full face or head and shoulders from a somewhat further distance than a 70mm.
10-26-2008, 06:46 PM   #25
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Murphy 2004,

You have a pm.
10-26-2008, 09:39 PM   #26
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My 2cents

My favorite portrait lens is the Tamron 28-75mm A very good lens and definately good on portraits. The abilitly to zoom thru the range at a constant 2.8 is very useful.

I have the FA 50 and the DA 40... and I will almost always use the tammy if I know I am shooting shots of the kids. I have a lot of very nice portrait shots with the 50mm lenses but for shear versitility, the 28-75 is the winner.


Now if you want a cheap MF portrait lens... I just got a Jupiter 9 85mm and I love it. Not for everyone with the MF, but I am very happy with its "look".



11-01-2008, 01:56 AM   #27
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Thanks for all the advise.

I have gone for the FA 50mm 1.4 lens. I think I will get a Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 in time as a general walkabout/shooting the kids lens.

I have just done some tests on the 50mm shooting newspaper on the wall ( I know this isn't real photography testing for the lens but I just wanted to get some idea of where the best sharpness in centre and corners cut in)

My findings were:

f1.4 soft centre/corner
f2.0 improvement centre/ soft corner
f2.8 very sharp centre/ softish corners
f4.0 sharp all over

Is this about right for this lens ?

Thanks for the advise.

ps. I know at a big aperture the corners wont really matter for most photos as they will be out of focus anyway but will the bokeh be affected with softness in the corners ? or am I being over worried ?

Thanks again
11-01-2008, 03:20 AM   #28
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What about the "won't break the bank" criterion?

Personally I was a big fan of my FA50/1.4.

Until I got a 77 ltd.
And a 35Ltd.

...

So in fact it is up to you. For younger kids (easier to approach) 50mm will be great.
11-01-2008, 03:40 AM   #29
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I reccommend the FA50 1.4. Most of your portraits will be indoors and under soft natural light for best results. My Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 has all the fine attributes of the FA 1.4 and can be found for half the price.
Took this last night of my latest grandson.
F 2.4, 1/30 and ISO 800 on a K20D with Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 handheld.
Ultrasharp is not good for portraits - who wants their pimples and wrinkles preserved for posterity

11-01-2008, 03:40 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murphy2004 Quote
f1.4 soft centre/corner
f2.0 improvement centre/ soft corner
f2.8 very sharp centre/ softish corners
f4.0 sharp all over

Is this about right for this lens ?

Thanks for the advise.

ps. I know at a big aperture the corners wont really matter for most photos as they will be out of focus anyway but will the bokeh be affected with softness in the corners ? or am I being over worried ?
Yes, that is normal behaviour of the FA50 (you may check Welcome to Photozone! for the numbers) . Don't worry, using eg F2.8 will give very nice results with just the right sharpness and workable DOF and nice bokeh.

You don't need extreme sharpness for portraits, don't be afraid to use F2.

Bokeh is not affected in a negative way by the softness of a lens in its corners.
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