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04-30-2010, 08:18 AM   #1
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need a portrait lens for a K2000

Hey everyone, new guy here looking for some help.

Ive got a K2000 and Id like a portrait lens for it. I was wondering about a manual SMC 50mm 1.7 or thereabouts. I havent used one in years but it was decent back when I did. I see them on ebay all the time for $50 to $80 bucks and Im wondering if this would be a good, inexpensive lens for my K2000. Anyone have any good/better ideas for an inexpensive portrait lens? Thanks

04-30-2010, 09:03 AM   #2
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Any Pentax 50mm lens will make a good portrait lens for your DSLR.
Some are somewhat better than others, but they are all quite good to excellent.
04-30-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
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I agree with Wheatfield. I have a Pentax 50 mm (converts to about 70-75 mm on KM) DA F1.4 and find it excellent as a portrait lens.


Here's the reviews from this forum:

Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4

Last edited by lesmore49; 04-30-2010 at 03:05 PM.
04-30-2010, 05:00 PM   #4
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I agree with the above posts that the Pentax 50's are great lenses and that the 50mm focal length makes a nice short portrait lens given the sensor crop but there are a couple issues. First that 50/1.7 you're talking about is a pretty sharp lens and although you can soften things up a bit in PP it's not the best choice for the job. I use an old Sears 50/1.7 for portrait work because oppened up it is just soft enough for portraits. And if you want to get a lens on the cheap I got the sears for $10.
Secondly the traditional 80-135mm focal lengths used for portrait work worked well in the rendering of the shape of the human face (please don't ask me to explain , I'm not an optical engineer). This is not one of the attributes of a 50mm.
In my opinion the ideal portrait lens on a Pentax DSLR is in the 80- 100mm range but these tend to be pricey.
FWIW

04-30-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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Ken is right. Although the 50/1.7 is a great, sharp little lens, you don't want a lens that is too sharp for portrait work. You may find yourself spending a lot of time post processing. The images I have seen from the M & FA 50/1.7 lenses are no less than superb though.

With all that being said, it is easier to soften a sharp image than it is to sharpen a soft image.
04-30-2010, 08:14 PM   #6
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There have been several recent threads on the topic including https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/99780-next-lens-nifty-fifty.html. 50mm is regarded as the optimum focal length for portrait. Some might prefer 40mm, other 55 mm ...

A number of Pentaxian experiences have highlighted 4 prime lenses that can be recommended:
- the Pentax 50mm f1.7,
- the Pentax FA50mm f1.4,
- the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4, and
- the Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4.

All 4 lenses are available in Pentax mount. The Pentax 50mm f1.7 is an older MF lens, highly regarded' it can be purchased second hand at very reasonable prices; it is worth to consider for your small budget. The Pentax FA50mm f1.4 is a nice AF lens, reasonably priced and well regarded.. The Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4
is a MF lens with a super image quality and superb built quality; very well priced (same price as FA50mm), very solid and ideal for outdoor shooiting. The Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4 is a MF lens, that is the Rolls-Royce of the 50mm: expensive but the reference.

Based upon your budget, the 50mm f1.7 is possibly the best compromise/optimum.

Hope that the comments will help...
05-02-2010, 03:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for the information everyone, I really appreciate it. I pulled the trigger on a Asahi Pentax 1.7 50mm today. Hope it was a good purchased, we'll see when I get it. If not, I can always put it on the bay, right.

Now Im looking for a decent zoom. Something in the 300 range. Any opinions? Ive been scoping out the bay but not sure what to go towards and stay away from. I appreciate it.
05-02-2010, 03:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DuaneV Quote
Thanks for the information everyone, I really appreciate it. I pulled the trigger on a Asahi Pentax 1.7 50mm today. Hope it was a good purchased, we'll see when I get it. If not, I can always put it on the bay, right.

Now Im looking for a decent zoom. Something in the 300 range. Any opinions? Ive been scoping out the bay but not sure what to go towards and stay away from. I appreciate it.
Go to KEH.com and pay their price for what you want:

Over the last several months, it seems that KEH prices are killing what stuff is going for on eBay. Plus, they correctly rate their stuff and have a dependable return policy.

When it comes to lenses, I am about tell eBay sellers to kiss my a**. The selling prices have been RIDICULOUS!!!

Except for an 85 mm 1.9 or 1.8 Takumar, which I'm willing to sell my soul for.

BTW--what did you pay for the 50 1.7?


Last edited by Ira; 05-02-2010 at 03:30 PM.
05-02-2010, 03:31 PM   #9
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Another vote for 50s...
I have tried F50/1.7, K55/1.8 and K50/1.2...
out of these the 55/1.8 is my pick for indoors... I just got 85/2 which I have yet to try at portraits but it seem to have huge potential.
Would love to try Nokton 58/1.4 and 77ltd of course
IMO, you can't go wrong with any Pentax 50/1.4 or 1.7... any of those would make great starting point!
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