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11-26-2009, 09:10 AM   #1
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Need some help choosing a lens (or lenses)

I took a break from photography for the past year or so, but the impending arrival of our first child and a new dog has inspired me to take it up again. I sold all of my camera gear before my "break" to pay off some debts, so I'm starting from scratch this time.

I used to be into street, travel, fine art/conceptual photography as well, but these days I don't have the time for that. Most of what I'll shoot will be indoor (and to a lesser extent outdoor) portraiture of my dog and kid, as well as some general, all-around family stuff. I much prefer primes to zooms, although I wouldn't mind having a zoom in the 28-75 range (EFL) for flexibility.

I've chosen the K-x kit with 18-55. Now I just need to figure out which prime to start with. My ideal choice would be the 43/1.9. I had that lens on a K10D before and I absolutely loved it. The focal length was perfect for me and the results were magical. It was my most-used lens by far. Unfortunately, I can't afford it right now.

I've considered the 40/2.8, but I think it's not fast enough. I'll be doing a lot of work indoors, as I mentioned. My last camera was a Canon 5D and I had a 50/1.4 with it, so I got a bit spoiled by the low-light capability and found myself taking advantage of it frequently (since I'm too lazy to bother with flash).

The 35/2 would be an excellent choice, but it's shorter than I'd like for portraiture. If it could be paired with a 70/2.4, that would be a great combo but buying both at the same time exceeds my budget.

That brings me to the 50/1.4. It's cheap, and a great lens by most reviews. But I wonder about the focal length for indoor portraiture. Seems like it might be too long in some cases and not long enough in others. I know the 43 seemed like a perfect all-around single prime, so I'm worried that the 50 might be too long.

For those of you who own a 50, do you find it useful for indoor portraiture? Am I missing any other possibilities here?

11-26-2009, 09:15 AM   #2
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why not 50mm A or M

I shoot a lot of pictures indoors. I love to use my 50mm M f1.4 and A f1.2 (much bigger). But I have not had a lot of good results with my 50mm F f1.7 ( a great lens) on my K10D indoors. Kids move around too much. It is hard to use AF. I strongly encourage you to use a manual lens. It takes a little bit time to get used to. But they are cheap and optically fantastic.
11-26-2009, 09:45 AM   #3
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Hmmm. I enjoy MF with static subjects but can't get the hang of it with fast-moving kids or animals. I think I'd like to stick with AF for now.
11-26-2009, 10:22 PM   #4
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I have both the FA 50 And the FA 35. If I had to choose, I would pick the 35.
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11-26-2009, 10:38 PM   #5
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The 50/1.4 is fine. To me it's a great focal length for use indoors to capture more head/shoulders type shots (and that of your dog too...)

Some of the best shots of my kids are taken with this lens, although I do notice a difference in brightness and contrast using the 77 ltd. Nevertheless, with a little PP work, all your fast fifty shots would come out just fine. I highly recommend the FA 50, given its creative versatility but I grant the FA 35 its due respect. I'd still pick the FA 50 for its full extra stop of speed...
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