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04-18-2010, 04:14 AM   #1
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FA50mm/1.4 - Aperture of choice

Recently started shooting with FA50mm/1.4, just wondering what the aperture of choice for headshot & portraits for other fellow photographers using the same lens.

Yusuf

04-18-2010, 04:42 AM   #2
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I like f/2 for shallow dof with this lens, but will range it between f/2-f/4

I shoot almost exclusively wide open to f/4 on all my lenses though...

c[_]
04-18-2010, 04:45 AM   #3
emr
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Well, the center resolution is at its best around f/4 and border resolution around f/5.6. Then you naturally have to decide how shallow a DOF you want. I have the lens but haven't really shot that many portraits with it. My guess is that the DOF at f/2.8 or f/4 might be OK. But others with more experience will probably give you different views on this.



Pentax SMC-FA 50mm f/1.4 - Review / Lab Test Report
04-18-2010, 05:33 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Recently started shooting with FA50mm/1.4, just wondering what the aperture of choice for headshot & portraits for other fellow photographers using the same lens.
Don't worry about it, just shoot. Pick an ISO you're comfortable with, a sufficient speed, and shoot. Many portrait photographers like the soft look, so don't over-light the subject. Experiment on friends, see what works for you.

My experience: Long ago in the US Army, I worked as a photographer. Some of the work involved official portraits in color and greyscale, to be circulated to various publications. On my own, I shot informal portraits of troops and their mates. I used various 135 (full-frame and half-frame) and 120 (medium-format) cameras. I almost always used a 75mm lens on the FF and MF cams, and the equivalent 50mm on the HF (the same as our APS-C dSLRs).

For women and couples, I usually shot the lenses wide open. That was f/2.8 on the larger formats, and f/1.8 on the smaller. These people wanted the softer look, but not too soft. Male soldiers by themselves did NOT want a soft look. They wanted to display every crease, scar, pockmark etc. So I would stop-down to f/8 or f/11 and use higher-contrast films and filters, and shoot close and keep the background distant.

And sometimes I used orthochromatic B&W films and filters, which do not see and record yellow and orange and red, similar to the emulsions of early films, such as in the period of the US Civil War in the 1860's. Full-body shots of armed troops in uniform in the woods; shallow depth of field, with faces and weapons in focus and everything else indistinct. The effect: these are ancient, timeless warriors. You can gain this effect by shooting grayscale with a light blue or cyan filter.

Your choices of exposure, aperture, tonality, contrast, sharpness, distance, will emphasize different kinds of character. Depending on what you or your subjects want, you have a wide range of controls. And of course, lighting is vital. What is the best aperture? It depends on what you want and what else you do.


Last edited by RioRico; 04-18-2010 at 05:42 AM.
04-18-2010, 05:44 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
For women and couples, I usually shot the lenses wide open. That was f/2.8 on the larger formats, and f/1.8 on the smaller. These people wanted the softer look, but not too soft. Male soldiers by themselves did NOT want a soft look. They wanted to display every crease, scar, pockmark etc......
Awesome! very useful tip. Thanks for sharing.

Specific to this lens, I am not very pleased with the sharpness below 2.8 but color rendition is simply superb. So would be really looking for more views on how best people are using this lens. Any samples will also be appreciated.
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