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12-01-2009, 02:50 AM   #1
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Portrait lens ideas - sugestions please!

I was thinking about saving for the Samyang 85mm lens, but then this crazy idea came into my head. I've been slowly puting together a Mamiya 645 setup piece by piece. I was going to get the 80mm f2.8 lens, but what if I instead went with the 80mm f1.9, and then got a k mount adapter for it? If I'm a bit lucky it should come out to about the same amount of money as the samyang 85mm, and I would be able to use it for both systems.

Do you think I'm nuts? Do you think it's a good idea? I am aware that I will need to stop down meter with the Mamiya setup, but does anybody see any other problems?

Thanks for looking! -Steve

12-01-2009, 02:59 AM   #2
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as long as you can get the adapter and providinig you don't mind fully manual lens with no f stop indication in VF nor in EXIF, it's not a bad idea IMO
12-01-2009, 07:39 AM   #3
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I am starting to amass a collection of portrait lenses

Presently,
SMC 50mm F1.4 quite acceptable on DSLR as a portrait lens, F1.4 gives shallow DOF
Helios M44 58mm F2 - not used much yet can't advise
Vivitar 85mm F1.4 - in my mind an excellent lens for the price, and comes in KA mount so you can use all the exposure features of the DSLR
Super Takumar 85 mm F1.9 to me seems to be a good compromise and perhaps less expensive than the vivitar AKA samyang, bower et al. Not had enough time yet to know everything about it but it does show some longitudinal CA (not a bad thing in my mind)
SMC 105mm F2.8 A little soft wide open but very sharp at F5.6, can take pleasing portraits
SMC135 F2.5 Incredibly sharp overall,

Note the only problem with the 85mm and above is that they are really now limited on portraits to outdoor shooting (or perhaps head and shoulder shots), due to focal length and crop factor of DSLRs

Overall, if I take 3 on performance at this point out of my collection of primes, it would be my 50mmF1.4, the 85 mm F1.4 and the 135mm F2.5 depending on use / need for focal length.
12-01-2009, 01:14 PM   #4
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I should have been more clear. What I'm looking for is a "head and shoulders" lens, somewhere around 80-100mm.

12-01-2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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Any focal length can be a portrait lens depending on your taste. If you have the lighting right, lens quality these days are all pretty good. Almost too sharp and having same bokeh concerns as most of these lenses share the similar optical design.
12-01-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
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Stop down meter is no problem for portraits, esp. if you are an f/2.8 or wider aperture kind of shooter as you can just stop it down and leave it stopped down while shooting.

I don't think you're crazy, but it might be a big lens and not too comfortable to use for long sessions. That'd be subjective though...
12-01-2009, 08:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fixcinater Quote
Stop down meter is no problem for portraits, esp. if you are an f/2.8 or wider aperture kind of shooter as you can just stop it down and leave it stopped down while shooting.

I don't think you're crazy, but it might be a big lens and not too comfortable to use for long sessions. That'd be subjective though...
I'm more concerned about weight than size. It takes a 67mm filter, which if I remember correctly is about the same as the Samyang. If it was a 72 I'd be really worried!

EDIT: The Samyang takes a 72mm filter!
12-03-2009, 10:36 PM   #8
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I say go for it then. No reason to collect more lenses than you need, no matter what LBA sufferers may try to convince you of.

12-03-2009, 11:02 PM   #9
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I was thinking of getting the Samyang/Vivitar 85mm to go with my FA-50 since my other lenses (the 2 kits & Sigma UCII 70-210) don't really give me the crispness I'm looking for. I do have the M 40-80mm but with a 4ft minimum focus I feel like its more of an 18-50. Besides, with the M I cant do TTL wireless multi-flash setups. I have to go with my triggers, but I like the lens though I don't want to part with it as it can be a good portrait lens for me.


I guess dont forget the Tamron 90mm too.

Ugh, LBA!
12-04-2009, 04:13 AM   #10
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Not meaning to hijack this thread but has anyone compared the Pentax K55/1.8 to the Helios 44?

Which of these is the better lens for portraits?
12-04-2009, 04:44 AM   #11
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the Pentax 50mm f/1.2 is a very good portrait lens -especially the K series version; at f/2 the bokeh and the sharpness balance out to produce stunning images.
12-04-2009, 06:00 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Not meaning to hijack this thread but has anyone compared the Pentax K55/1.8 to the Helios 44?

Which of these is the better lens for portraits?
I own them both and both are extreme overachievers. As for which is best for portraits, maybe neither. Both are very sharp even wide open with the edge going to the K 55/1.8 for corner sharpness. The Helios, on the other hand has its special bokeh and with some models, an eight-bladed aperture.

Gus (igilligan) uses the Helios 44M for portraits and has gotten some very nice results. You might want to ping him.

Steve
12-04-2009, 06:24 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As for which is best for portraits, maybe neither.
You mean both are too sharp for portraits?
I wouldn't be concerned about this. Blurring in PP is easier than the reverse.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Gus (igilligan) uses the Helios 44M for portraits and has gotten some very nice results.
Yes, I know Gus' great portrait 44M shots. He is the one who wetted my appetite for this lens.
Thanks for the pointer, nevertheless!
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