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09-02-2009, 02:47 PM   #1
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portrait lens?

what mm is good for portrait lens? is it lower or the higher mms?
cause i want to get filters and stuff and i want to the the right mm for future : /
thank you : )

09-02-2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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Hi there.
I assume you're new at this so please excuse me if you know already...

If you have a Pentax dSLR, you'd be looking at a range of 20-100mm or so. It all depends on the style of portraiture you'd like to photograph. Smaller focal lengths mean a wide angle for full-body or interesting perspective shots - a 35mm or so is a good focal length for this. Larger focal lengths are used for head and shoulders shots - a 70-100mm lens can do this well.

If you have one particular style of portraiture in mind, then it would be best to stick with a prime (fixed-focal length) lens rather than a zoom lens. Pentax lenses in these ranges include the FA 50 f/1.4, an excellent and cost-effective starting point, the DA 40 f/2.8 lens as well as the DA 70 f/2.4

Check here for more information:
Pentax Lens Review Database - DA Series Primes

Hope this helps.
09-02-2009, 03:12 PM   #3
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answers to this question will be as diverse as universe...
generaly speaking you can get good portrait with just about any lens, if you know what you're doing. That being said, there is a mainstream. For the classic head and shoulders photography, many would swear by 85mm in film days, and a lot would swear by lenses in 70 - 135 mm radius (I'd even say majority would swear in that segment). Converted to APSC FOV (read as xx divided by 1.5 (know as the crop factor)) holy grail is 55 and the majority radius 50-90. In that segment you have a lot of good and great lenses. To name a few from Pentax stable: FA50/1.4, DA*55/1.4, DA70/2.4, FA77/1.9, FA*85/1.4...
the list could go on and on especialy if you would considering MF lenses and 3rd party lenses.
Lately for semi serious/serious portraits DA*50-135 seems to be the do it all lens, but many say that some primes do have that bit of an magic dust (and faster f stop) advantage.
From my own experience, 50mm is good but at times I wish I had a prime just a tad longer, and 50-135 is really a great lens. And for all body I really like using DA40.
That all being said, it all depends on what kind of portraits you want to take and what kind of working distance do you feel comfortable with...
I'll let more experienced people from here give you more advice.

09-02-2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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I'd suggest searching this forum - the subject is discussed about weekly. Given that the mocst common range to to be looking at is 50-100 (for a DSLR), the most common lenses recommended are the DA*50-135, FA50, DA*55, DA70, Sigma 70mm macro, FA77, any of a zillion manual focus 85's (Pentax and other brands), the Tamron 90mm macro, and the D-FA100 macro.

09-02-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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as others have mentioned just about any lens can and has been used for portraits, but here is a little guidance.

wide angle lenses offer different perspective than telephoto lenses, and also cause very interesting distortion of facial features, or other body parts, due to this perspective. some times this can be interesting or fun, other times it can exagerate features that are not always flattering to the subject.

Telephoto lenses on the otherhand, compress features, and are considered usually flattering to the subject.

When picking a lens, there are a few things to consider, aside from distortion, specifically,

- for portraits you may want to be able to isolate the subject from background, this requires very shallow depth of field hence large apertures, the best portrait lenses may be as fast as F1.4 just for this purpose. These lenses may also be "soft" wide open, hiding some minor imperfections in the subject,

- You also need to consider the space you have available, since some long lenses would require huge distances between you and the subject.

in the end it is a trade off. no one lens will be perfect. even betweene forum members there is a lot of debate.

A good starting place might be a 50mmF1.4, because you can get a manual focus one very cheaply and it will let you experiment quite a bit with different effects, while not breaking the bank.
09-02-2009, 04:23 PM   #6
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Read up on the Tamron 28-75mm. It's a fabulous lens for shooting people and has constant f2.8 across the range. Very much worth the few hundred dollars it costs.

09-02-2009, 04:47 PM   #7
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I agree the 28-75 is a fantastic zoom for portraits of different types.
It's also good as a walkaround general purpose lens - if you're so inclined.
Otherwise, if just for one type of portrait - a prime lens of your selected focal length would be in order.
09-02-2009, 06:29 PM   #8
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thank you all for helping out
sorry about not checking the older threads, this has been alot of help thank you.


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