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02-28-2012, 03:57 AM   #1
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New K5 - Lens Advice

Hi Guys

I wondered if I could ask for some advice:

I'm very excited today, annual bonus has just landed in the bank account and I'm just about to pop out and purchase a nice new K5 :-)

I've only recently started to take my photography more seriously and I'm currently studying Studio Photography part time at a local college. My main passion is family portraits and I've already done a couple of semi commercial shoots which I've been pleased with. I have some studio gear at home and it's this area that I want to concentrate on, but I also enjoy landscape and nature photography. (I've attached a few of the sorts of images I like taking below)

I currently have a K200D which is a great camera but looking forward to the improved features of the K5. My question is really about suggestions for Lenses, my budget is pretty limited so I'm looking to spend another 500-600 (up to about $1000) on top of the cost of the K5. I currently have the following:

SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7 50MM
Sigma DG 1:4-5.6 70-300mm
Sigma APO 1:5-6.3 170-500MM
SMC Pentax DA II 1:3.5 −5.6 18-55MM (K200D Kit Lens)

What I really want is something that's going to give me the versatility and image quality for studio and portrait images but I'm not sure wether to go down the 'Primes' route or stick with the versatility of smaller zoom lens etc.

I'd appreciate any advice you may have.

Thanks in advance.




Last edited by akirkby; 02-28-2012 at 10:17 AM.
02-28-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
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An 28-75/2.8 should fit your bill (e.g. Tamron 28-75/2.8 costs around US$500).
02-28-2012, 08:35 AM   #3
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I'd go wider.

If you can get the 21mm limited, i think it would be a good buy (it will be the next lens I get).
02-28-2012, 09:09 AM   #4
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I agree, I would get something wider. Since you already have a decent portrait lens (50mm 1.7), I would look for a better lens to replace your "kit" lens. Even my manual focus Pentax 28-80 KA mount seems better than my kit lens, and it is decades old. Still, my favorite lenses are primes and I would pick up a wide angle prime, something in the 21 range. Also, consider f-stop just as important as length. With a lens in the 1.4 to 2.8 you have much more control of depth of field than with something in the 3.5-5.6 range.

02-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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Wider for portraits? Or other studio work? Must be a very small studio

28-75 is considered to cover the useful portrait range (and that is what akirkby asked for). And it's versatile. Alternative (in Pentax) might be to add FA31Ltd (full body portrait) plus FA77Ltd or DA70Ltd (head shots) but that does not fit the finance.
02-28-2012, 12:27 PM   #6
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You seem to have all your focal lengths covered for portraiture, the 50mm being your workhorse. I would suggest the 35mm 2.4 as being very handy for family groups. Excellent (better than kit) image quality, and inexpensive as well. IMHO you could run a very successful portrait studio with just those two lenses -- the 50 & 35.
02-28-2012, 05:01 PM   #7
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Agree with the above, you seem to have a good range of focal lenghts covered there at 18-55 and 70-500. The gap between 55-70 is not really used very often so you won't need to fill that.

There are 3 ways I can think of to expand what you have:

1. You could go for more IQ in which case you would get a prime, Perhaps a DA70 Ltd, or DA35 F2.4 (and save money with this). You already have an M 50 which I believe has excellent IQ already so I think the 35 would be great and the DA70 for portrait.

2. You could get more wider lenses. Not normally used for portraits but can be used for "fun" portraits with the distortion effects from the compression. I would suggest a DA15Ltd or a DA12-24 if you can fit that into your budget.

3. Get the Tamron 90mm macro, exceedingly sharp, can be used as a portrait lens for very sharp photos, and can also be used for macro photography to try something new
02-28-2012, 11:56 PM   #8
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Wow... I got pretty similiar path K200d, some familiy shots, K5, thinking about photo academy, and some experiments with lens (see sig).

What I have came to:

1. If you want image quality - go for limiteds. Buy one (or borrow, any of them), and do not take it from camera for one week. During that time do some shooting. You will understand difference....

2. Do not experiment with older manual lenses - there is some more experience required in picking them, judging and finding the exact "thing" you were looking for. It is far better to save money and invest in something better. As a friend of mine said: If you save on buing items, you will pay twice. He was right. I do not say they are bad, but you do need some good "eye" for them.

3. Buy lenses only after missing some shots. I have sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro (3yrs), and after Gymnastics championships last weekend, I have decided that it is far to hard to get a decent picture. Soooo... waiting for bonus and looking for telephoto candidate (sigma 70-200 2.8??)


So taking into account your gear, I would start from FA77/DA70 or Samyang 85 (does some terrific "objects" pop-outs in portraits) and it costs pennies compared to other lenses... unfortunatelly - it is manual.

I would be very much hesitating with wider lenses for portraits, if only as said Verglace - for fun. The reason is here: Untitled Document

BTW - You forgot to post pictures.

02-29-2012, 10:53 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Thank guys, some great responses there and some interesting thoughts.

I like the idea of the Tamron 28-75/2.8, I've looked it up on the lens database here and seems to get a lot of praise.. Aside from the obvious advantage of the F2.8, what sort of improvement in IQ do you think this would be over the kit lens that comes with the K5? I do like the idea of the flexibility of this, I really like family photo shoots and very much prefer capturing kids in more natural poses so I encourage them to move around etc. This does make using my manual focus 50mm pretty impossible in those situations (at least at my skill level !) .

I do also like the idea of some decent primes, after all I guess that’s one of the great plus points of being a member of the Pentax club. The DA35 F2.4 looks like good value but would there be much point in getting that if I went down the Tamron 28-75/2.8 route, i.e. does it have much better IQ than the Tamron at 35mm?

This might be a dumb question but I'll ask anyway. If I got something like the DA70 Ltd would that give essentially similar FOV as my old 50mm manual since that was not designed for an APS-C sensor?

Really appreciate all the responses, this is a great site :-)

Will try and link pictures from the gallery this time.




02-29-2012, 11:06 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by akirkby Quote
If I got something like the DA70 Ltd would that give essentially similar FOV as my old 50mm manual since that was not designed for an APS-C sensor?
Whether the lens was designed for digital or not has no effect on field of view. Any two lenses of a given focal length will have the same FOV on a given sensor, regardless of when they were made.
02-29-2012, 11:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Whether the lens was designed for digital or not has no effect on field of view. Any two lenses of a given focal length will have the same FOV on a given sensor, regardless of when they were made.
Exactly right. Lenses neither shrink nor stretch when placed on different cameras. The camera's frame merely crops a different portion of the image-circle projected by the lens. A 50mm lens on a 135/FF camera has very close to the same FOV as a 75mm lens on a 135/HF or APS-C camera, but their other properties (perspective, DOF, etc) will vary depending on how they're used.

EDIT - CORRECTION: I meant, 50mm on APS-C has FOV like 75mm on 135/FF. If my head wasn't bolted on, it would fall off.

So I can put the same 100mm lens onto 6x7, 645, 135/FF, 135/HF | APS-C, m4/5 | 110, or any other camera. The projected image remains the same. How each camera crops and captures that image differs. The song lens remains the same.

Last edited by RioRico; 02-29-2012 at 04:00 PM.
02-29-2012, 12:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
A 50mm lens on a 135/FF camera has very close to the same FOV as a 75mm lens on a 135/HF or APS-C camera,
Uh, did you mean that the other way around? 50 on an APSC is roughly equal to a 75 on FF.
02-29-2012, 03:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Uh, did you mean that the other way around? 50 on an APSC is roughly equal to a 75 on FF.
Duh. [/me slaps head, brain falls out, no loss]

Last edited by RioRico; 02-29-2012 at 04:00 PM.
03-02-2012, 08:17 AM   #14
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I'd echo the above comments by sterretje

You'd actually want to go longer for portraits and studio work. My 70-200 is the workhorse in my studio/garage. It compresses the image to make it look appealing. Shooting wide gives the "bubble look" to the subject. In fact even the 28-75 (which I own) is always used at 75mm for the studio and I zoom with my feet. I'd never shoot, let's say a senior pic, at 28mm.

I offer THIS.
03-02-2012, 10:18 AM   #15
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For a portrait lens I would highly consider the 77 Limited. Check out the FA Limited Club thread for some truly impressive photos from this lens. I don't have one my self, but it may be next on my list after looking through that thread.
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