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01-03-2009, 07:25 AM   #31
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If you can overlook the "warranty" issue thing for a moment you might also consider the M series 50mm f4 macro. This is a real sleeper in the M series offerings which can serve as a portrait as well as a macro lens. The A series 50mm 2.8 might also serve. As far as warranty goes my M 50mm f4 has worked just fine for 25 years with no problems.


Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 01-03-2009 at 01:27 PM. Reason: typo
01-03-2009, 10:07 AM   #32
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I actually favor the 85mm length (in full frame) for, well, nearly everything, actually, but also for portraits. Conventional wisdom is that 105ish is best for head-shots, 85ish is best for busts and head-and-shoulders.

When I got my K20 I immediately snapped up the FA 50 1.4: you can use that and by the time you crop to a standard size, you're *pretty* close to a full frame 85 on film, and the fact it's a little more flexible when it's your only prime lens is not a downside in my book. So it doesn't seem a bad choice for portraits.

Still, I eye the Nokton 58 1.4 and wait to see what Pentax's new 55 will be, with great interest. Those add up to about an 85 on cropped sensors, and that's kind of how I see.

Which is quirky, perhaps, to some, but don't feel obligated to go very long. There are *abundant* and *very good* 50's and 55s that make for nice short portrait lenses on a DSLR. (And that's not to say the 77 isn't a beautiful lens in its own right in all respects: I do want one eventually, but mostly for film.)

As working distances go, don't rely on the focal length of the lens to force you there. Find where the comfy space is, just on the human interactions are, (and then, usually, get a bit closer, if you're like a lot of beginning photographers: as portraiture goes, there's kind of a fuzzy wall between 'voyeurism' and 'In someone's face,' and somewhere in there is usually a good place to stand for good portraits. I like to try to make that space as deep as possible: you want to interact with your subject, but also not be interacting with the faces people put up when they are putting on a show.

Actually, it's usually more of a problem for beginning photographers that they *stand off too much,* and *don't* get close enough. (also don't learn to help people be comfy *with* you being that close) But.

In this regard, it's not about the lens so much as about the human interaction in portraiture. If you have to crop a little later to get the best out of your subject by standing back a bit, do it.

Also, frankly, often on the Net, you hear a lot about people wanting to drop into photography and set up shop *doing portraits.* For this, being picky about the lens isn't really what you want to be thinking about. People skills and lighting. If you can't have the lighting, more people skills to get them where the good natural lighting is.

To get doing it, also *play.* Sit people you know, and kind of know, then people they know. Pay attention, too. To what you do, what reactions you get, and learn to observe how to carry a mood through. I do a lot of stand-up comedy, myself: I think that might have started with filling in in other people's studio setups: best thing to do with kids, especially, when you don't know where something is, I'd do bad Columbo impressions while actually trying to sort out my behind from my elbow about 'OK, wait a minute, where's the film' (They say kids are hardest to work with, but if there's a child in the situation, I can get away with *anything.* What the adults there don't know, is that the most of the performance is for *them*. )

It also applies for other moods, but I like goofing around.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 01-03-2009 at 10:40 AM.
01-03-2009, 10:41 AM   #33
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Ratmagiclady! i've learnt so much from your replay. thanks. I think too that the 50mm (which will be 76mm approx. with my k200d) will be great for me. 200$ is also great price.
when i get the lens, i'll try to find the "fuzzy wall" you talked about. i think i understood.

Thanks very much every one, i'll return with pictures.
01-03-2009, 12:32 PM   #34
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Yay. I'm glad that was helpful. The way I see it is, if you start with one of these lenses, well, you may well end up wanting to go a bit longer: many do. But you'll know why, and the expense won't bother you so much, cause you'll know what you want and why. And if you end up liking the 'short portrait' fields of view as I do, it's a candy store out there.

And I think, for the money, an FA 50 is a great lens to learn on and something that'll have you on your way to knowing what *you* really want when the time comes. Whatever happens, it's no waste of money, I think, even if you decide you do want tighter, you can learn from this tool, and it'll always be handy to have later.

01-03-2009, 12:53 PM   #35
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yes, i agree with you.
in the near future i'll buy the DA55-300. i read it is a great lens. so then i'll have the kit lens, FA50 1.4, and the 55-300.

Looks like a perfect set for my K200D.
Thanks again Ratmagiclady
01-03-2009, 02:26 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
That 85mm f/2 kinda has me intrigued....
Yes, this is a nice lens, if you are prepared to work manually (no A, no AF). Its best advantage (in my easy) is, that it is quite small and lightweight - as most M-lenses. It is ideal for portays, if you prefer the narrower angle it gives on the digital cameras.

01-03-2009, 02:50 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Idanz0r Quote
does the 50mm has the "artsy" thingy ?
I loves the FA 50 AND DA 40 Ltd AND M 85 F/2 for people and things on my K20D. Each requires a thoughtful approach and a willing subject. This forum offers tons of excellent examples to mimic. With a little practice, you will be on top of the learning curve and happy with either lens (or all). 2 cent$... cheers...
01-03-2009, 05:45 PM   #38
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Not sure where any kind of 55-300 enters into this discussion, mind you. That's a 'soccer mom' lens. (maybe a 'hockey mom' one, but even worse in that application: you might feel cool, but you won't hit a darn thing with it.) Nothing to do with portraits.

(Of course, if you'd also like to shoot some of your kids' sports, there's plenty of advice, too, and some good lenses for that. Just it's a pet peeve of mine when sellers try to say that kind of thing's for 'portraits', though. )

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 01-03-2009 at 06:32 PM.
01-03-2009, 06:51 PM   #39
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In agreement with Buddha and Mike, I love the Tamron 28-75/2.8 and picked mine up for well under $300 in the marketplace here. I have the Pentax 50/1.4 and tend to just use it when light is really dim. I also have the Tamrom 90/2.8 which is a lovely and tack-sharp lens as well, but usually a little too long for me for most of my close-quarters portrait situations.
01-04-2009, 03:03 PM   #40
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I've got my eye on one of those Tammies, myself, keep hoping a local store will have one to pick up and look at. Don't suppose anyone's seen a photo of one on a K10d or K20d?

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