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05-27-2020, 12:09 AM - 2 Likes   #31
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As a guy who shoots a lot of portraits with lots of cameras and lenses, my to go lens would be an 85mm lens, on a full frame. The second best lens for portraits for me is the 135mm lens. It's hard to shoot with an 135mm lens on small city streets, but when you have enough space to move, this focal range is very nice for portraits.

The 70-200mm f2.8 for me doesn't work for 2 reasons:
1. It's intimidating for models without shooting experience
2. It's too heavy

I would rather use a 70-200mm f4 for portraits than a 70-200mm f2.8 for outdoor shootings.

I will post some portraits once I will get back to a computer.

05-30-2020, 10:40 AM   #32
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OK after reading some posts here and based on my experiences here are some initial thoughts.


The 70-200 would be nice to have... but 'budget'. I had a 70-200 before when I was shooting crop and after a while on one of my trips I just boxed it up and sent it home. It's heavy and honestly didn't see much use, That said the one I did have had macro capability and that resulted in some of my favorite shots.


For portraits that 135 f1.8 is super sexy however I think a lot of other people think so too based on the lack of availability and price.


I have long wanted a 100 macro but to be honest I haven't shot macro in so long I don't know if it would ever see action and it's not really in line with the portrait theme.


All in all I am thinking the F 135 f2.8 could be an overall good option. I've had a few F series lenses and all have been fairly if not really good. Plus it has auto focus.


I am just thinking out loud here so to speak but we shall see.
05-30-2020, 12:12 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
OK after reading some posts here and based on my experiences here are some initial thoughts.


The 70-200 would be nice to have... but 'budget'. I had a 70-200 before when I was shooting crop and after a while on one of my trips I just boxed it up and sent it home. It's heavy and honestly didn't see much use, That said the one I did have had macro capability and that resulted in some of my favorite shots.


For portraits that 135 f1.8 is super sexy however I think a lot of other people think so too based on the lack of availability and price.


I have long wanted a 100 macro but to be honest I haven't shot macro in so long I don't know if it would ever see action and it's not really in line with the portrait theme.


All in all I am thinking the F 135 f2.8 could be an overall good option. I've had a few F series lenses and all have been fairly if not really good. Plus it has auto focus.


I am just thinking out loud here so to speak but we shall see.
If you can find them, look for the non macro lenses in the 100mm range. I have a K105/2.8 that is quite nice. I believe that they made an A100/2.8 non macro that would also be a good one to try.
I don't mind manual focus for portraits. Generally I nail my subjects to a chair so they stay put.
05-30-2020, 08:18 PM   #34
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In the SMCP (K) Series, the three “fast” short/medium telephotos - K85/1.8 | K105/2.8 | K120/2.8 - were marketed as portrait lenses. The K85/1.8 is the same formula as the S-M-C Takumar 85/1.8 which is highly regarded for portraits. While all three are quite sharp (for their era) the 8-blade K85/1.8 was specifically designed to soften the background and edges and promote the central subject..

If you can deal with manual focus lenses, on a K-1 these three are among my favorites.

05-30-2020, 09:18 PM   #35
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Forum member iheiramo has shared shots with his M-series 120mm f2.8 that makes me think it would work well as a portrait lens. The M 135mm f3.5 probably would as well but the 120mm shots that he has shared has me more interested in that lens were I in the market for such a thing.
05-31-2020, 03:48 AM   #36
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I have a Super-Takumar 120mm f2.8 that I prefer to the 135mm f3.5 for portraiture.
I don't find the difference in focal length all that significant most of the time, certainly not for outdoor portraiture where I can zoom with my feet.
I would buy the K-mount version if I found a good deal, but it's low on the priority list.
The 135mm f2.5 Multicoated Takumar (1st edition) is better than either, but a lot bigger.

I also have a Vivitar 135mm f2.8 close focusing lens that is decent, but the colors are very different from what I get from Pentax branded lenses, so I don't use it much.
And I've had a lot of weird, off-brand 135mm lenses over the years that have been various levels of quality. I've heard folks say there aren't many bad ones... I disagree

That said, I like the Pentax M135 f3.5 best of the 135s because of its size, and the improved coatings over the Takumars help.
It usually travels with me when I take film cameras...
I used to have the Takumar (Bayonet) 135mm f2.5, which flared more than I liked.
But I would like it to be autofocus...

Most of the time now, I'll use the Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f1.4 for intentional portraits. It's a bit dreamy wide open, but it's very good otherwise. I usually use it between f2.8 and f4.
If I'm feeling contrarian, the K45-124 f4 is a very good lens for portraits if you want more than just a head... (it doesn't focus very close without help)

I'll also second the suggestion that macro lenses can be good for portraiture.

But really, I think it is at least as much about the comfort you have working with your model and the space available.
I've seen really good portraits with all kinds of focal lengths, so it's going to come down to how you want to shoot.





-Eric
05-31-2020, 04:48 AM   #37
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As I was reading this, I kept thinking about the Pentax-D SMC FA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro. A few folks have mentioned it, one with disapproval, and I would echo what @Dan Rentea said about the big-A'd zoom lens: heavy and intimidating, and I would add, unwieldy in closed quarters. Minimum focus distance with the macro lens is about a foot, but there's no maximum - I've done microscopic pics of flowers and bugs, but also landscapes with that lens. The big advantage for what you're talking about, OP, is that you can get a bit farther back from your subject.

The big advantage in a 50mm is that you can get one that has twice the aperture (1.2 or 1.4, as opposed to 2.8), which I see as a plus if you're working with relaxed lighting conditions. The HD Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW is a brilliant lens, and ought to be considered, though you'll have to get closer obviously in order to achieve the same visual dimensions.

Also, several folks have mentioned an 85mm prime lens, such as the HD D FA★ 85mm F1.4; I don't have one of those, myself, but it seems as though it would represent the best compromise with respect to all the criteria mentioned: weight, distance from subject, intimidation factor, and light gathering. If I were a portrait guy, that would be a no-brainer for me.
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