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01-21-2010, 05:14 AM   #1
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Best studio portrait zoom?

Hello everyone, my question is quite simple but after reading tons of forums and threads on various lenses I still got no answer.
I have a small home studio for portrait ( children, maternity and some beauty shots) I've been using FA 50 1.4 on k200d so far and although I'm quite happy with IQ it is not as versatile as it should be. My studio size needs something between 24-90 range. There is a few lenses that cover this range or close to it like T 28-75 or S 24-70 or FA* 28-70 but the question is which lens would you suggest for my needs. Maybe I missed some other cool lenses that could be useful. I need to buy sth asap and any advice is welcome. The budget isn't really the case as long as I'm 100 % happy with my zoom. Cheers

01-21-2010, 09:30 AM   #2
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small DOF (bit aperture), get the FA*28-70.
If you're at f/8 like most studio work, you can get the less expensive Tamron 28-75
01-21-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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If you have plenty of moving space, and can spend some money, I would highly recommend a prime - FA 77mm. I was wary of this when I bought this (not for quality, but the usage). I find that I have this a lot when I am shooting portraits. The image quality is stunning.

Besides, for portraits, you would want something that is 50mm or longer. I would also recommend Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, which is a great all-round lens. While I haven't used it, DA* 50-135mm also comes highly recommended for portrait work.
01-21-2010, 01:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replies, I considered T 28-75 because both light and range will suit me in my studio work (apertures 8-16 most of the time). Unfortunatelly I read so many unflattering reviews that I really don't know if it's worth taking a risk.
50-135 is on my list but for the moment it's a bit to long for my space but I'm getting it sooner or later. 24-100 is roughly what I really need.
Has anybody got any experience with Tamron in studio environment? Is BF/FF always an issue?

01-21-2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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The Tamron tends to have variation from lens to lens. I have a copy now and the focus seems spot on in all the tests I've done.
01-21-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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I own k200d body so there is no chance for any BF/FF adjustments
01-21-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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Normally I'd suggest the 16-50, but given your studio size, you may as well go with the Tamron 28-75 or even FA* 28-70 if you can find one. There's nothing like them in a Pentax mount that'll come close to their performance in studio.
01-21-2010, 01:50 PM   #8
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Without wanting to sound daft, but with studio work, you will probably work at a constant aperture of f/8 to f/11 (depending on the flexibility of your lighting...

So... even your 18-55 kit lens will be pretty sharp under these conditions. Obviously, you're looking for a differenciator, so I'll second the need for a fast zoom like the FA*28-70 as the brighter viewfinder will be handy if you're lighting with strobes. The * lenses are supposed to be good with skin tones, so that's another big plus.

01-21-2010, 02:03 PM   #9
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Keyser I totally agree with you that kit is sharp enough at 8-11 however it lacks those extra 15-20mm that come handy in portrait. Besides fast and accurate AF is a must when shooting tods, bright lens is also useful when you decide to shoot with modeling light only and width is handy for small families.
I think that Tamron 28-75 is the best option for me and I saw many brilliant studio shots with it. However I am not too good buying and returning stuff and dealing with angry shop assistants if I get a lens that does not fullfill my expectations. Life is tough enough...
01-21-2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by muhozol Quote
50-135 is on my list but for the moment it's a bit to long for my space but I'm getting it sooner or later. 24-100 is roughly what I really need.
Has anybody got any experience with Tamron in studio environment? Is BF/FF always an issue?
I had a small studio too but became limited with the space and the requrements of my portrait lens. With the renovation of my house I had a large 6m x 12m studio built just to suit my 50-135 and my studio set! A case of the tail wagging the dog, I guess.

BTW I have the tammy too. The flexibility (not to mention the sweet tone and colour rendition) offered by the 50-135 wins hands down, every time.
01-21-2010, 03:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by muhozol Quote
Thanks for your replies, I considered T 28-75 because both light and range will suit me in my studio work (apertures 8-16 most of the time). Unfortunatelly I read so many unflattering reviews that I really don't know if it's worth taking a risk.
I'm probably one of the reviews you read. BF/FF issues on 3 separate copies at f/2.8. That's why I recommended only at typical studio f/8 use

The sharpness was excellent at f/5.6 and up...surprisingly more so than my sigma 17-70 stopped down to f/8...
01-21-2010, 04:14 PM   #12
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Did you think about the Sigma 17-70. It's not 2.8 on the entire range, but it is a really nice lens for the price. And it focuses faster than Pentax lenses. I traded mine for a DA*16-50, and I sometime miss the extra 20mm.
01-21-2010, 05:11 PM   #13
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I haven't used the Tamron 28-75, but I know people who love it and use it on Nikon mount for portraits and the results are rather impressive.
01-21-2010, 06:30 PM   #14
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Flyer I've considered Sigma as well but rather longer ones like 24-70 or 28-70.
Pity there's no decent (not discontinued) Pentax AF zoom to cover range I need. Does anybody know any websites where I can check lenses' performance in studio conditions?
Especially those recommended above. Cheers
01-21-2010, 07:27 PM   #15
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how about the Pentax DA 17-70mm? That would be perfect for studios work.
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