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01-08-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
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The Portrait Lens dilemma

I am looking for another portrait lens since my wife took my FA 50 1.4
I have thought of buying another FA 50 1.4 but I would not mind something a little wider.
I have a DA*50-135 2.8 and the DA 70 2.4 limited. I have a sigma 18-50 2.8 but need a better DOF. Any suggestions would be helpful.
The contenders
FA 43 1.9 $596
FA50 1.4 $359 (If only it were $200 again)
DA*55 1.4 $642 (The h20 resistance would be nice in the snow)
Sigma 50 1.4 $500
FA 35 2.0 $479
FA 31 1.8 I think I saw it somewhere for $870

01-08-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by montman Quote
I am looking for another portrait lens since my wife took my FA 50 1.4
I have thought of buying another FA 50 1.4 but I would not mind something a little wider.
I have a DA*50-135 2.8 and the DA 70 2.4 limited. I have a sigma 18-50 2.8 but need a better DOF. Any suggestions would be helpful.
The contenders
FA 43 1.9 $596
FA50 1.4 $359 (If only it were $200 again)
DA*55 1.4 $642 (The h20 resistance would be nice in the snow)
Sigma 50 1.4 $500
FA 35 2.0 $479
FA 31 1.8 I think I saw it somewhere for $870
I'm assuming that you and your wife didn't get a divorce and if so it was amicable, you can still borrow the FA 50 1.4 from her when necessary, I'd spread out the family lens cache to include the FA 43 1.9 $596.
01-08-2010, 04:45 PM   #3
Damn Brit
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You forgot the FA77 1.8.
01-08-2010, 05:05 PM   #4
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jimH-Yes we are still together I had a feeling someone was going to take it that way. True I think the best bet might be to spread the wealth I would hate to have two of the same lenses. The FA 43 1.9 is sure up there and I think the FA31 1.8 might be a bit to pricy.

Gary- The FA77 1.8 An amazing lens indeed. But I think I might try to go wider instead of longer.

01-08-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
Igilligan
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You left off the DA 40

QuoteOriginally posted by montman Quote
I am looking for another portrait lens since my wife took my FA 50 1.4
I have thought of buying another FA 50 1.4 but I would not mind something a little wider.
I have a DA*50-135 2.8 and the DA 70 2.4 limited. I have a sigma 18-50 2.8 but need a better DOF. Any suggestions would be helpful.
The contenders
FA 43 1.9 $596
FA50 1.4 $359 (If only it were $200 again)
DA*55 1.4 $642 (The h20 resistance would be nice in the snow)
Sigma 50 1.4 $500
FA 35 2.0 $479
FA 31 1.8 I think I saw it somewhere for $870
The DA 40 ltd is going for $339 right now from adorama and B&H
01-08-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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I notice there is no macro lens in your list of existing lenses. A macro lens will server multiple purposes.

May I suggest a 50mm F/2.8 macro lens. I've been using a Tamron 90mm F/2.8 macro for head shots and a Sigma 50mm F/2.8 macro if I need a wider lens.
01-08-2010, 05:20 PM   #7
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why not go old school and pick up an older SMC Manual focus.

the 85 F1.8, 105 F2.8, 120 F2.8 and 135 F2.5 all come to mind

Or, you could go for a vivitar (samyang et. al.)85mm F1.4 which comes in KA mount.
01-08-2010, 05:40 PM   #8
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Illiagan- the 40 is just at the right price but I don’t think 2.8 is going to be enough

Lowell- I tried to go old school with the SMC SMC Pentax-A 35mm F2 but the price is just too high for a manual lens.

SOoldBear- I don’t think the 2.8 is going to do it. If Tamron would ever come out with their 60mm 2.0 on the pentax mount then I might consider it.

01-08-2010, 06:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by montman Quote
Illiagan- the 40 is just at the right price but I don’t think 2.8 is going to be enough

Lowell- I tried to go old school with the SMC SMC Pentax-A 35mm F2 but the price is just too high for a manual lens.

SOoldBear- I don’t think the 2.8 is going to do it. If Tamron would ever come out with their 60mm 2.0 on the pentax mount then I might consider it.
Can you define what is high?

also, a 35mm would not normally qualify as portrait. You would want something that has a longer focal length for post portraits.
01-08-2010, 07:08 PM   #10
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43 then.......
01-08-2010, 07:28 PM   #11
Igilligan
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I misunderstood

When you said portrait lens I thought you meant portraits where you were controling the lighting. So a 2,8 lens would have worked better. If you are talking candid/casual snaportraits as I call them. The F2 and below is more usable.

I will say that at 2.8 he DA 40 is sharper than the FA 50 at 2.8.


But I failed to mention that for me the 35 and even 40 mm lenses are less than perfect for Head and Shoulder portraits as they tend to stretch the noses a bit.

My cosina 55 1.2 and Helios 58mm are at the short end for shooting close face shots as the perspective begins to flatten out a bit.

Probably one of the better AF lenses for head and shoulder shots I have ever used was the FA77. The sigma 70 macro is also a very good lens. And some swear by the DA 70.

If you could deal with MF the Helios, the Smc tak 55 1.8 or 50 1.4 and Jupiter 9 85mm, all can do some very nice work. But MF is something you love or don't... and I understand
01-08-2010, 08:05 PM   #12
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Just to Clarify

I have the Pentax DA* 50-135 2.8 and it is a good portrait lens


I have the Pentax 70 2.4 limited and it is a good portrait lens.


I also have the pentax 50mm f2 Another great portrait lens


I had the Pentax FA 50 1.4 but my wife took it. I am hesitant to get a duplicate lens
But I really like this one.


I have the Sigma 18-50 2.8 And it is an ok portrait lens


I shoot in some pretty small rooms so I am looking for a lens that will work good for portraits but a bit wider then the FA50.
01-08-2010, 08:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
You forgot the FA77 1.8.
Agree


cheers

Neil
01-09-2010, 02:45 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
I notice there is no macro lens in your list of existing lenses. A macro lens will server multiple purposes.

May I suggest a 50mm F/2.8 macro lens. I've been using a Tamron 90mm F/2.8 macro for head shots and a Sigma 50mm F/2.8 macro if I need a wider lens.
I have always thought that a Macro lens used at portrait distances has a color shift towards a brownish tint.

I always thought this was due to it being optimized for close focus distances.

That being said, I have seen a number of nice portraits made with them
01-09-2010, 03:07 PM   #15
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Hi montman,

I think the FA 43 Ltd would be a good choice for you and it meets all your requirement:

- It is faster than f/2.8
- It does not duplicate a focal length you already have in your prime lenses
- It is an excellent portrait lens
- It is a little bit wider than the FA 50/1.4

You may also consider the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 if you like manual focus. It seems it is also a great lens.

If you would like to go wider, you may take a look at the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. It seems to get mixed reviews (some really like it, others hate it !) mainly because it is quite soft in the corner at large aperture (from what I've read). This may not be a problem for portrait shots.
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