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07-03-2007, 06:53 PM   #1
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Lens suggestion for kid's indoor portraits

I have Pentax K100D with the basic gear with Kit's len + DA 50-200 without a flash. I narrow down few choices for my 3rd lens which I plan to use for indoor portraits with my kids.

And my choices are below, I want to solicit opinions on the following or perhaps other lens around $300 for consideration

1. Pentax SMC FA35 f/2
2. Pentax SMC FA50 f/1.4
3. Sigma 17-70

I know many people like 50 f/1.4 but I am concerned on the longer focal length. So far I like both the basic kit's lens and DA 50-200 but for indoor, I get soft and high iso 800 pictures such as the following. I could have tried lower iso and more windows natural lighting to get sharper pictures, suggestions and techniques are welcome on getting the most from the $60 Kit's lens on taking pictures of my kids for indoor.







Many thanks,
Hin

07-03-2007, 09:26 PM   #2
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Do you have the exif data from these photos? The photos you have here don't have it attached.
07-03-2007, 11:20 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alvin Quote
Do you have the exif data from these photos? The photos you have here don't have it attached.
#1
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 38 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Exposure Bias: 0/10 EV
exif link: Flickr: More detail about IMGP0405

#2
Exposure: 0.04 sec (1/25)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 31 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0/10 EV
exif link: Flickr: More detail about IMGP0409

#3
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Exposure Bias: 0/10 EV
exif: Flickr: More detail about IMGP0413

Thanks,
Hin
07-03-2007, 11:43 PM   #4
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Hmm, in 1st and 2nd photos there's clear front focus. Look at boy's hends, they are tack sharp.

My choice for my daughter portraits was FA 50mm f1.4. Amazing lens, focal length is very good for portraits.

07-04-2007, 12:01 AM   #5
and
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I agree it can look like front focus. But with that shutter time then unless the kid is stitting very still its just as likely that that is happening as well.

As for lens, Id recommend the 35. The 50 is, as you say, too long. The 35 is a fantastic lens imo.

That, or, get a flash, bounce it, and continue to use your existing lens.

Remember if you use the FA 50 at f1.4 then you will get faster shutter speeds, but also very shallow DOF, you may not always want that, and if you dont then you need to stop it down, which means those shutter speeds will be going down as well.

Using the flash well is not an easy thing though. Flash it straight on and youve just runined your photo (unless its just a little fill for outdoors). The k100d doesnt have wireless trigger capability so you have to use bouncing, which can give great results. or get an off shoe sync cord.
07-04-2007, 05:01 AM   #6
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All 3 lenses you mention are very good quality. If you want a prime and are unsure of the FL to get, look at the exif on the photos you have taken, that you want to use the prime for. Look at the FL you use most often, and buy a lens around that FL.

I second getting a flash. Something like the Pentax 360, or the Sigma DG500 (either version). Used with something like the Lumiquest Pocket Bouncer LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer , they give out a nice soft light.
07-04-2007, 06:26 AM   #7
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I agree with the other about the front focus - it looks consistent through all three exposures. You might have to have your cam checked with the lens.

As for your question about the other lenses, I'd go with the 35. The 50 is a bit long and you can't really shoot across a table. I use my kit lens or the SMC 28/3.5 to get shots similar to yours. I'm considering a DA40/2.8 for my next purchase - it's a great lens if you're considering something in between the 35 and 50.
07-04-2007, 10:01 AM   #8
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Thank you

Thanks again for all the feedback, suggestions and pointers.

Front focusing is not something that I thought about as I usually get pretty sharp pictures outdoor. Looking closer at the exifs, all three are in long shutter speed but I think I have SR turned on. I use center focus and I usually aim at the eyes or the face. Front focusing is something that I need to look into as I recall getting soft pictures indoor on static objects with the kit's lens

Thanks,
Hin

07-04-2007, 11:29 AM   #9
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The FA 50mm works well for me indoors. If we're sitting at a large dining room table, I can easily shoot the people sitting across from me. The f/1.4 aperture is nice, but it's pretty narrow so you have to focus carefully or just take a billion shots and hope for the best.

The focus indicator should give you an idea of where the camera is auto-focusing by flashing a red light. Just make sure that it's flashing where you actually want it to focus.
07-04-2007, 02:52 PM   #10
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Usually I would suggest the 1.4/50, but as your exifs show, you tend to need a little bit wider, so go for the 2/35! It is a wonderful lens, and both lenses together are my "kit" mostly used these days. The 17-70 might be a good zoom, but it is much slower and anyway cannot beat a very good prime, which both Pentax lenses are.

regards
Ben
07-04-2007, 03:30 PM   #11
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If you want to save a bit of cash, go with older manual lenses if the portraits are posed ones, where you can take a bit of extra time to focus.
manual lenses are dead easy to use with the K10D and likely just as easy with the K100.
I used a SMC M 50 1.4 and got great results... but is a tad long for some shots (only if you go full body shots)
the SMC M 28 2.8 and the SMC M 50 1.4 would likely cover most of your needs.
I have the 17-70 and it is a great lens but I prefer the creamy blur of the SMC M 50 better.

good luck with your purchase

cheers

randy
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