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View Poll Results: Which portrait lens?
FA 50mm/1.4 4113.90%
DA 70mm/2.4 4515.25%
FA 77mm/1.8 Limited 19164.75%
D FA 100mm/2.8 Macro 186.10%
Voters: 295. You may not vote on this poll

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03-10-2009, 11:31 AM   #16
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I know that sharpness isn't ideal in all portrait settings, but it seems to me we can always remove some detail in post-processing. If you start with a soft image, you can't sharpen information that isn't there.

Also, I have to say I'm not a huge fan of the softened look to begin with. I think that style of portrait is losing popularity, and soft portraits even look a little bit dated now.

I guess I did overlook the DA 55 - but I probably should've explained I'm looking for something small and prime, with a 49mm filter to complete the long end on my (tentative) 15+35+? kit. Autofocus is also a must-have for me, as I need it frequently in wedding shoots.

Thanks for the great feedback already!

03-10-2009, 02:04 PM   #17
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I like my Pentax FA 77mm f/1.8 limited a lot. The DA 70mm f/2.4 is a great lens but I spend a bit more just to get the gain of aperture speed. I call 77mm limited insanely good in my blog when I first tried it and it has the best color and sharpness in my lens for portrait. And it is fast and I use it wide open at night event and I can count on it. I have the silver version. All test shots hand-held with K20D in jpg.


1/20 sec, f/3.5, 77mm, iso 200, 0 Ev
a bit blurry from user error



I find Nemo
with 77mm
1/100 sec, f/2.2, 77mm, iso 800, 0 Ev



wide open f/1.8
1/160 sec, f/1.8, 77mm, 400 iso, 0 Ev



very dark party
1/80 sec, f/1.8, 77mm, iso 800, 0 Ev, K20D




1/80 sec, f/1.8, 77mm, iso 400, 0 Ev




candid shot
1/10 sec, f/2.2, 77mm, iso 800, 0 Ev



Last edited by hinman; 03-10-2009 at 08:17 PM.
03-10-2009, 03:35 PM   #18
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I really shouldn't have voted since I have only used one of the candidate lenses and I'm really not very sophisticated about the finer points in any case but the 77mm is so amazingly good I couldn't resist.
03-10-2009, 09:24 PM   #19
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I'm pretty sure that the results here are skewed by a fair number of people who bought the FA77 at least in part because of full-frame coverage they're likely never to take advantage of.

Anyway, DA70 is also great, and I would also include FA43 among my go-to lenses for this purpose.

03-11-2009, 01:48 AM   #20
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I bought the FA77, which is my personal fav lens!
I haven't used any other portrait lens though, but I don't think you can go wrong with it. It has a wonderful bokeh and the color rendition is very nice.

One of the reasons that I choosed the FA77 over the DA70, is that I want to be able to use the lens on film.
03-11-2009, 03:36 AM   #21
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The FA 77 Ltd... I never thought I would like it *that* much. The rendering of colour, the sharpness and the 3d-feel of images is exceptional. It is hard to explain, but seeing is believing.

This thread turns out to be an LBA thread for (potential) owners of the FA 77 Limited. And rightly so.
03-11-2009, 03:57 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewG NY Quote
I'm pretty sure that the results here are skewed by a fair number of people who bought the FA77 at least in part because of full-frame coverage they're likely never to take advantage of.

Anyway, DA70 is also great, and I would also include FA43 among my go-to lenses for this purpose.
You may be right, but I'd hazard a guess that it's because it's compatible with film, is significantly faster, 7mm longer, and because of it's colour and 3D effects.

I would add several lenses to the given list, but of those provided the 77 is by far the best portrait lens.

c[_]
03-11-2009, 07:57 AM   #23
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I have the 77ltd and as much as I love its characteristics it's too long for a portrait lens for me.

The 31ltd with aps-c crop factor absolutely excels here, IMHO.

FA50 is great for close ups if background is controlled and won't induce purple fringing.

03-11-2009, 02:22 PM   #24
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Being a longer lens user , I use a lot of time FA135mm the F4 of which is already overly sharp


Here is an F4 shot







Daniel

Edited later: Oops lens no longer in production

Last edited by danielchtong; 03-11-2009 at 06:40 PM.
03-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #25
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Being a birdie shooter, longer lens does not intimidate me at all

DA200mm at 300mm in film gives you a very creamy bokeh even at F5.6






Here is what it can do at F2.8

















Even at F5.6 it still retains a creamy bokeh with full blown sharpness










I cannot say that these are the best portrait lenses.

Daniel

Last edited by danielchtong; 03-11-2009 at 05:50 PM.
03-11-2009, 06:31 PM   #26
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No clue how this voting thing works.
I only have F50mmF1.7 - poor man's 77mm then


























Edited later
Oops . I forgot this is for lens still in production
03-11-2009, 06:36 PM   #27
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F 50mm F1.7 is not in production. ;-)

I think the best portrait lens is whatever can do the job. My M 28 f/3.5 is proving to be just fine at portraits. It is every bit as sharp as my FA 50 f/1.4 but, again this is about lenses in production.

Last edited by ajuett; 03-11-2009 at 06:41 PM.
12-06-2009, 12:47 AM   #28
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I vote for the DA* 55mm 1.4 (:
12-06-2009, 06:24 PM   #29
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77Ltd w/o a doubt...I'm amazed how many more keepers I get out of it compared to the 50/1.4...
12-07-2009, 06:58 AM   #30
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Ok, so I don't have any of these lenses YET. Just purchased the 70mm expressly for portraits. The reason I voted was to make the point that it's not all about IQ. I love the 70mm because it is compact, making it much easier for candids. A big honkin' 70mm can put some subjects off. I have a 50mm 1.2 when I IQ matters the most.
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