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12-01-2015, 01:01 PM   #16
Des
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@Lighks, welcome to you as a new member of Pentax Forums. If there is something you don't understand here, don't be afraid to ask. You'll find people here are generous with help, whatever your level of knowledge or experience in photography.

12-01-2015, 05:54 PM   #17
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What are people's thoughts on the HD DA 40 limited vs the DA 50 as a portrait? I'm personally a little under-whelmed by the rendering of the 40...
12-01-2015, 08:57 PM   #18
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I had the 40 for a while and I also owned an F50 for a while (not quite the same, but close).

The 40 is very good (both were very good). I did notice some distortion with the 40, when photographing something like a building (not what you asked). I got some very nice photos of my son with it, but for casual shots, I found 2.8 it be limiting for me. The 50 was much more useful in that regard, because of the extra 1 1/3 stops (or whatever it is). Also, for people, generally more focal length is better.

I liked the rendering of both lenses. I'm considering picking up another F50, if I get a good chance. By all accounts here, the DA50 is quite good as well.
12-02-2015, 04:21 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
I've had both. I agree with @Adam and @Na Horuk.

The DA 35 can be used for portraits.


But 50 is generally a better FL for portraits.

The extra stop of aperture in the DA 50 f1.8 isn't very useful in portraiture (you don't generally use f1.8 for portraits) but it is great for subject isolation wiith other subjects. And I find the bokeh very pleasant. It's a great value lens.
I agree that you can take a portrait with a 30-ish mm lens, but I must confess that if you are taking a photo of an attractive girl and you get that close to her with your 35 and make her nose look extra big, she will be upset. To me, 30-ish mm lenses can do environmental portraits -- waist up or even whole body shots -- pretty easily, but if you get in where it is just head and shoulders, the lack of flattening of features is often not very flattering to subjects.

12-02-2015, 03:45 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I agree that you can take a portrait with a 30-ish mm lens, but I must confess that if you are taking a photo of an attractive girl and you get that close to her with your 35 and make her nose look extra big, she will be upset. To me, 30-ish mm lenses can do environmental portraits -- waist up or even whole body shots -- pretty easily, but if you get in where it is just head and shoulders, the lack of flattening of features is often not very flattering to subjects.
Quite true. I think the head-and-shoulders shot I posted taken with the 35 is OK but not very flattering (because the nose looks bigger). That's why most people prefer 50 or longer for these kinds of shots. The DA 50 is an excellent budget option for this. (@Rondec you have been very restrained in not bringing out your fine shots taken with the DA*55.)

There was a great thread some months back about different focal lengths for portraiture: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/285016-pent...portraits.html
[Warning: This thread and the many others about portraiture may generate envy, both for the gear and the attractive families and friends of other PF members.]
12-03-2015, 03:40 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Munki Quote
What are people's thoughts on the HD DA 40 limited vs the DA 50 as a portrait?
The 40mm is pretty good, sharp, decent bokeh, and nice contrasts. But for portraiture, you often want a lens with faster aperture and bigger focal length (55mm - 85mm, f1.4 - f2.0); sometimes even one that is less contrasty and sharp (so it doesn't show all the flaws on the subjects). So the DA 50mm is closer to the portraiture ideal than the DA 40mm.
That said, I think Benjamin Kanarek used the DA 40mm for his pro work (back when he was still using Pentax), where he took all kinds of fashion photos, photos of models for Harper's Bazaar. I'd say 40mm is good for flower photos, some landscapes (if FoV fits), environmental portraits if model is far enough. For face only portraits, I would recommend higher focal length. A fast 50 will have different rendering, different bokeh. Lenses like DA* 55mm f1.4 and FA 77mm ltd are practically made for portraits, and render skin tones nicely, have nice bokeh. Something like DFA 100mm macro might be too clinical, too sharp for flattering portraits. Character of the lens is important, definitely. In a pinch, the DA 40mm should be good enough
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