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03-26-2007, 06:19 AM   #1
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What are you using for portrait work?

Looking for a good, mid-range prime lens, or combo (i.e. 28-70 F/2.8) to use for portrait type work. I've got to take some photos for an upcoming Easter event and would like to see what everyone else is using.

03-26-2007, 06:23 AM   #2
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I switch back and forth between my Tamron 28-75mm and my Sigma 105mm.
Don't you have the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8? That would be a great portrait lens as you get all focal lengths between 70 and 200, giving you quite a bit of flexibility. Or is that too big to haul around all the time?

Other popular choices include the Limited 77mm f/1.8 and the FA 50mm f/1.4.

If you search here, there's a big post with lots of examples with different lenses.
03-26-2007, 06:39 AM   #3
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Naw - I've got the 100-300 F/4. I thought about useing it while mounted on the tri-pod but looking for something smaller for hand-held. How do you like the Tamron 28-75 and the Sigma 105? I'm thinking about the Sigma 105 or 70 as well as the 28-70 F/2.8
03-26-2007, 06:44 AM   #4
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I've been very happy with both the Tamron and the Sigma. Only problem is having to switch lenses. Now if they made a 28-105mm f/2.8, that would rock!

They are both very sharp (with an edge to the Sigma) and have great contrast/color/etc... I almost never use my 18-55mm kit lens anymore, and my 50mm f/1.4 comes out only when I need f/2.0 or f/1.4 (very rarely as I do alot of external flash work)

Yeah, I would think the 100-300 f/4 would not be good in this situation; I believe that one is quite a bit bigger than the 70-200mm.

I would recommend you get the Tamron 28-75mm for the "normal" range and then the 105mm for a bit more telephoto (and macro is a nice added bonus!). Don't get the 28-75mm and the 70mm as you'd be duplicating the 70mm. If Pentax had a readily available 135mm prime, that would be good too! Sigma makes a 150mm Macro, but it is not available for Pentax :-(

Any other questions, ask away! I'm sitting at home waiting for the guy to come and fix a chip on my windshield :-0

03-26-2007, 09:21 AM   #5
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I just picked up a Pentax SMC M 50mm 1.4 lens and I think it is a great portrait lens.
I realize a zoom would be more convenient, but I just walk up closer or get back further to make up for it.

here is an example:

03-26-2007, 11:21 AM   #6
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Randy that is a stellar portrait!

NaCl(great use of the light)H2O
03-26-2007, 11:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Randy that is a stellar portrait!

NaCl(great use of the light)H2O
thank you very much!

window light is like magic

cheers

randy
03-26-2007, 02:15 PM   #8
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Any one of Pentax's fast 50's would do the trick -- a very shallow DOF can really make a portrait pop. My personal portrait lens of choice is a Super Takumar 50/1.4, but that's only until I can get my hands on an FA 50/1.4 -- the combination of razor-thin DOF, manual focus, and bad eyes usually results in 10 out of focus images for every good one I shoot. Autofocus would be much more efficient for me. Here's one I took for Pentax Day yesterday using the Takumar:


Last edited by Finn; 10-05-2007 at 05:39 AM.
03-26-2007, 03:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
Any one of Pentax's fast 50's would do the trick -- a very shallow DOF can really make a portrait pop. My personal portrait lens of choice is a Super Takumar 50/1.4, but that's only until I can get my hands on an FA 50/1.4 -- the combination of razor-thin DOF, manual focus, and bad eyes usually results in 10 out of focus images for every good one I shoot. Autofocus would be much more efficient for me. Here's one I took for Pentax Day yesterday using the Takumar:
that is so cute!

I am in the same boat as you as far as my eyes goes..... I have been using the "green light" indicator in the view finder to tell me if I am in focus.... batting over 90% accurate focus..... combine that with the green button on the K10 to set the exposure and life is much easier when I have a manual focus lens.... if it wasn't for these feature, manual lens would be impossible for me to use.
an auto focus 50 1.4 would rock, though!!

cheers

randy
03-26-2007, 04:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLThorne Quote
Looking for a good, mid-range prime lens, or combo (i.e. 28-70 F/2.8) to use for portrait type work. I've got to take some photos for an upcoming Easter event and would like to see what everyone else is using.
For family group shots I usually use my Pentax DA 16-45mm f4 and it is a solid and reliable performer. The new DA* 16-50mm f2.8 would be a good choice if it is available in time. I want the option to go wider than 28mm. For indoor use I sometimes add a AF-360FGZ flash and bounce off the ceiling for consistent results. It's not fine art but gives pretty good results for family snapshots. The worst is on-camera flash-ugh!

For real portrait use my first choice is my Pentax FA 77mm f1.8 Limited. With the right light (not flash) and the right background, it can give fantastic results. I would probably go with the DA 70mm Limited for use with a digital camera, as the 77mm focal length is a bit long with the 18x24mm sensor. I also like the Quick-shift focus feature of the DA lenses.

I have also used my Pentax SMC-A 28mm f2 for available light shots close-up, and various 50mm lenses. They work fine as well.

In my opinion, what makes better family and portrait shots is careful attention to the background and lighting. Even with the background blurred and out of focus, you need to think about the light and patterns.
03-26-2007, 04:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
Any one of Pentax's fast 50's would do the trick -- a very shallow DOF can really make a portrait pop. My personal portrait lens of choice is a Super Takumar 50/1.4, but that's only until I can get my hands on an FA 50/1.4 -- the combination of razor-thin DOF, manual focus, and bad eyes usually results in 10 out of focus images for every good one I shoot. Autofocus would be much more efficient for me. Here's one I took for Pentax Day yesterday using the Takumar:
so what was the subject to lens distance, and I assume that you were at 1.4?
03-26-2007, 04:49 PM   #12
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Beautiful Image

QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote
I just picked up a Pentax SMC M 50mm 1.4 lens and I think it is a great portrait lens.
I realize a zoom would be more convenient, but I just walk up closer or get back further to make up for it.

here is an example:

That is a beautiful image SlipChuck...Bravo!

Ben
03-26-2007, 06:31 PM   #13
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Three-quarter or full body, an A 50mm f/1.4. Headshots, candids, etc, FA 77mm f/1.8.

And sometimes for some full-body shots standing up or small groups I use a FA 31mm f/1.8.
03-26-2007, 06:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jnorth Quote
so what was the subject to lens distance, and I assume that you were at 1.4?
Actually, the image was taken at f/1.7 (or whatever the 1/2 stop is between 1.4 and 2), mostly because I find the lens overexposes wide open, and I didn't feel like messing with the EV. I used natural light coming through a south-facing window, and I was about 2ft away from the little guy (my 4 month old son).
03-26-2007, 07:22 PM   #15
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For close ups, I usually have my Vivitar S1 28-90.

For candids, I like to use a 135 or 200 prime. You are far away enough that they don't quite notice you and you can still fill the frame quite nicely.
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