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03-07-2009, 12:34 PM   #1
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Help me to get a M portrait lens.

Post your portrait photos with a M lens and help me decide wich one. I've seen many with good prices but i just want one to work outdoor and with the speed capable to isolate the background. Thank's in advance.

03-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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M 50mm 1.7 + hood because outside you will get sometimes light in your baby without it.

Good shooting,
03-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #3
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Here you go ---> My Favorite M portrait lens!
03-07-2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by vitalsax Quote
Post your portrait photos with a M lens and help me decide wich one. I've seen many with good prices but i just want one to work outdoor and with the speed capable to isolate the background. Thank's in advance.
I'm not a portrait guy normally, but I thought I'd at least make sure you knew your options here. First step is to figure out what focal length you want. Then it might be relevant to ask yourself what maximum aperture you'll need. Also, if you really mean the "M" series in particular, or just manual focus in general - and whether non-Pentax lenses would be under consideration. Also whether exposure automation ("A" series) is worth the extra cost, and whether you'd be OK with screwmount as opposed to K. Then of course there is the whole subjective element of how much you like the images. Then figure out how much you're willing to spend.

Within the "M" series specifically, there are basically 3 "obvious" candidates depending on the focal length you are looking for: the M100/2.8, the M85/2, or one of the various M50's (f/2, f/1.7, f/1.4). There are "A" versions of the 100 and the 50's that could be worth the extra expense. And there are other 85's from earlier and later series.

I have a 50 (A50/1.7) and the M100/2.8, which make a nice pair - the 50 for wider views and/or closer working distances, the 100 for tighter views and/or longer working distances. The two together run under $200, which is to say, somewhat less than the cost of an 85.

As I said, I'm not really a portrait shooter, but here's a quick snap in an indoor auditorium with the M100/2.8 wide open at f/2.8. At this focal length and aperture, it's pretty easy to separate the subject from the background. But it's a normally a pretty tight view at that focal length:

I don't have anything handy worthy showing for the 50, but I'm sure others will cover those options well. They probably the most popular choice, because they are so easily available and so cheap and so good.

03-07-2009, 03:52 PM   #5
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Are you talking film or digital, because what is suitable for portrait will differ?
On film the M choises would be M85/2 (the lens in jsherman999's thread), M100/2.8 and M135/3.5 (well, there is an M120 also, but I've never seen in other than on picture). I have the younger brother of the M100/2.8 (the A100/2.8 with identical optics byt the A contacts), which was my first Pentax tele. Good alround short tele. Bashed by people saying that the K105/2.8 is better optically, but the M/A100/2.8 is more compact. Same goes with the M135/3.5, not the best Pentax 135, but far from the worst and smalish. A lot of quality per pound. I'd love to have the Pentax M85/2. It is usually listed as the worst Pentax 85, but it is only because the others (f1.8 and 1.4 are sooo goood). But the M85/2 is really compact (smaller and lighter than the FA77 ltd). If it was made today it would be called a M85/2 ltd for sure. It would fit nicely in my pocket. It's on my shopping list.

If you shoot digital all of a suddenly the 50's are worth considering (and the M135 may be too long) for portraits. The M50/2, M50/1.7, M50/1.4. Don't know about the f2, but the f1.7 and f1.4 are excellent normal lenses that now work fine as short portrait lenses on digital. The f1.7 does not cost much and is realy a lot of quality for the money.

I'll see if I can dig up some portraits, but I tend to use the FA50/1.4, A*85, A*135 or DA*50-135 for portraits. The M lenses still get used when I get in the mode for film and street shooting. Oh yes, I have some portraits with the A100/2.8 on flickr (same as the M100/2.8) and A50/1.7 (same optics as the M50/1.7).

A50/1.7 at f2.8 on the K20D:

A100/2.8 at f2.8

If you don't exclude lenses from the K generation, consider also the 55/1.8 and 55/2.0 (basically same lens down to the last gram but in budget version). They go for almost nothing, and are a little bit softer than the 50mm lenses, with a warm tone that suits portraits well (on digital).
03-07-2009, 08:10 PM   #6
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SMC Pentax-M 50mm f1.7. Fitted onto a K110D. Wide open:

03-07-2009, 08:30 PM   #7
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smc Pentax-M 200 f/4

maybe too tight for portrait, and you need around 2 meter from subject.

i think 135 will just fine..


i have a m 50 1.7 too, this one from old archive
03-09-2009, 10:02 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the nice pics and tips


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