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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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02-20-2010, 07:27 AM   #61
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If my budget is limited, and I want that awesome bokeh, can't I get that beautiful 3D image from a 50mm f1.4 for much less than the 77mm ltd and just crop my KX's 12mp image if I want it to look tighter? Seems like higher res sensors kind of negate the need to get in super tight. Staying further back would negate the facial distortion issues associated with shorter FLs. I'm trying to find a good portrait lens for singles and maybe two or three people and it seems like the 77 would limit that, whereas the 50 gives more flexibility with my subjects.


Last edited by bng4bk; 02-20-2010 at 07:29 AM. Reason: spelling
02-20-2010, 10:04 AM   #62
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If your budget is REALLY limited and you don't mind manual focus (better for adults than kids) then consider an M42 adapter and a Helios 44-2. We're talking around $60 for the adapter and lens!
02-20-2010, 05:09 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by bng4bk Quote
If my budget is limited, and I want that awesome bokeh, can't I get that beautiful 3D image from a 50mm f1.4 for much less than the 77mm ltd and just crop my KX's 12mp image if I want it to look tighter?
Those of us who've spent a bunch of money on longer lenses don't like hearing that, but you are of course correct. You'll lose some resolution, but realistically you'll still be fine for most purposes. But whatever "pixie dust" the 77 has, the 50 won't suddenly acquire it.
03-05-2010, 12:30 AM   #64
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Im very happy to say i have an FA77 on its way to me now!

anyone have an opinion on the DA50-135 for fashion/portraits?

im thinking about picking up the DFA 100mm WR macro and the 50-135
is there too much overlap there?

Ive heard so much good stuff about them both... I was thinking along the lines of using the 50F1.4, 77 and 100 for more staged shots, and the 50-135 for actiony fashion type things with moving targets where i might want to adjust the frame when a prime might not do.

thoughts/advice anyone?
apart from the fact that only 2 months back in the SLR world and i have a feverish LBA and a near maxed out credit card...

03-13-2010, 11:13 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by JayR Quote
anyone have an opinion on the DA50-135 for fashion/portraits?
You may want to check out these links on PPG if not already...

Photos on PPG taken using the 50-135 lens:
PENTAX Photo Gallery

PENTAX Photo Gallery

As you can see, the second link is mostly portrait/fashion by Eric, of which some were taken using the 50-135; they should give you an idea of the lens' capabilities.
11-04-2010, 04:43 PM   #66
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Realistically, I think the 50-135 DA* is going to be the portraiture workhorse with all the bokeh and sharpness one would ever need. What it does not have is:

-That extra stop (which is not so important in the realm of digital, but it can be nice to have nonetheless.

-A nice compact size!!!

Sure, the FA 77 will have nicer bokeh than the DA* AT 77mm, but with the DA you can just zoom in and step back and obliterate the background much more easily than with the 77 - because as you open up your aperture you might introduce fringing or undesirable blur on your subject's face.

In the end though, I think the FA 77 is likely a lot more fun to use... so that should be your deciding factor. The DA* is like holding a weapon, the FA77 more like a fashion accessory. Are you in this for fun, or do you have fun playing with serious equipment? Are you getting paid, or is this a hobby? Portraiture would likely be easiest with the DA*, but I, for one, would prefer the tiny and cute lens, which makes photography so much more enjoyable.

Now if you are REALLY thinking along the "fun" line, I would go for the DA 70. The IQ difference between the 70 and 77 exists, but if this is just for fun, know that either will take great pictures, and you can save a few bucks while you are at it. Plus, the DA 70 is just that much easier to travel with. Just a thought.
11-04-2010, 04:56 PM   #67
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Another vote for the FA77. It jumps ahead of my DA70 (fave for landscape and high detail tele) because of the pixie dust and it is brilliant on every Pentax I own, film or digital (well, not the 645).
11-04-2010, 08:42 PM   #68
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I voted for the FA77, its easly my fav lens. And there is a good reason why it's best portrait pentax lens in production, after all it specifically designed for portrait's and accurately reproduces the tones, colors and texture of the subject's skin, as well as assuring an excellent rendering of highlight and out of focus bokeh, and with its fixed rear-element extension (F.R.E.E.) design its amazing at long range shooting tele too.

The DA* 50-135 would probably be next, anoother amazing lens. But I as well as others would find the f/2.8 max aperture too slow and wouldnt cut it since its just over a full stop slower.


Get any lens other than the FA77 for portraits and you will always be thinking about the fa77.

Get the fa77, and be done.


Last edited by TOUGEFC; 11-04-2010 at 10:10 PM.
11-04-2010, 10:07 PM   #69
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Off course FA77mm but FA50mm is no slouch either - got some beautiful portraits and I do use it at 1.4 despite of having FA77mm.

Although DA70mm is good, I wouldn't buy it except for the size reason. It's f2.4 and only tad faster (just half stop) than DA 50-135 or Sigma 50-150mm and personally later would be the better choice.

Never considered FA100mm for the same reason and for Macro capabilities, Tamron 90mm likely surpasses it.
11-05-2010, 06:48 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by bng4bk Quote
If my budget is limited, and I want that awesome bokeh, can't I get that beautiful 3D image from a 50mm f1.4 for much less than the 77mm ltd and just crop my KX's 12mp image if I want it to look tighter? Seems like higher res sensors kind of negate the need to get in super tight. Staying further back would negate the facial distortion issues associated with shorter FLs. I'm trying to find a good portrait lens for singles and maybe two or three people and it seems like the 77 would limit that, whereas the 50 gives more flexibility with my subjects.
For looser portraits, the 50 should be fine. Cropping is a great tool and only problematic when you are printing massive copies of your photo. All in all, your question is a little misleading. You should ask yourself whether you NEED the best portrait lens in production. The 50 you already have has lots of potential. I've seen folks on here take stunning portraits with manual focus 50's from the 70s! (Pentax AND off-brand).

Unless you have money to burn, I would say don't spend money unless you see a need. The 50 you have is well regarded by all sorts, and is very sharp at f2. Also, consider that the functional focal length of 75mm is not too far off of the classic portrait length of 85mm, while the 70-77 brings you into 100+ territory. Now the 100 range is useful for all sorts of portraits, sure, but it's not like the 50 is that far off either!

I take back my suggestion for the DA 70. Enjoy THINKING about these lenses as we all do, but be happy in the knowledge that you have very good gear and don't need to spend money to take good photos, because you can always just become a better photographer .
11-05-2010, 07:01 AM   #71
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I like my two 50 mm's :
  • DA 50MM F 1.4 'Normal'
  • DA 50MM Macro F 2.8

Both are very sharp for portraits of people. I also find both are excellent for vintage car shots, late in the day. The 50mm F 1.4 has a 'creamy' characteristic to it's photo's.
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