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03-31-2014, 07:48 PM   #1
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D FA 50mm Macro Questions

My favorite type of photography is shooting macro but Im also looking in to shooting portraits. Will using the D FA Macro lens provide any challenges in doing so? To be clear I dont currently own this lens, but am planning on purchasing it.

03-31-2014, 07:57 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Purevulcan Quote
My favorite type of photography is shooting macro but Im also looking in to shooting portraits. Will using the D FA Macro lens provide any challenges in doing so? To be clear I dont currently own this lens, but am planning on purchasing it.
IMHO yes it would provide challenges for portraiture, for two reasons:
1. the AF is slower and there is an increased risk of hunting due to the long throw and no AF limiter
2. the maximum aperture is F2.8, which restricts the ability to really blur the background

But with that said, it will certainly get the job done if needed.

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03-31-2014, 08:20 PM   #3
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Maybe?

Hello Purevulcan, welcome to the Forum!
Yes, as Adam said, it won't be problem free for portraiture and has some limitations as a true macro, also.
50mm is not the optimum focal range for macro, it's usually closer to 100mm. That's why you see so many 70mm, 90mm, 100mm, 105mm, etc.
It allows a more comfortable working distance, adds a good tele-isolation look with the soft out-of-focus background and doesn't scare nervous critters like butterflies, away as easily. Saves on your back and legs while working, too, since you don't have to 'hover' for a tight shot.
Although some will disagree, I also like the 100mm range for portraits too, more like 70-100mm, not higher though. You'll hear that it's too long because of the crop factor; Try viewing some photos taken with each length to judge for yourself.
Overall, I believe you'll be happier with a Sigma 70mm, Pentax 100mm, Tamron 90mm, Macro lens for a single two-purpose lens. The extreme sharpness in 'head' shots can easily be modified in processing, if wanted for softer look.
JMO,
Ron
04-01-2014, 01:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello Purevulcan, welcome to the Forum!
Yes, as Adam said, it won't be problem free for portraiture and has some limitations as a true macro, also.
50mm is not the optimum focal range for macro, it's usually closer to 100mm. That's why you see so many 70mm, 90mm, 100mm, 105mm, etc.
It allows a more comfortable working distance, adds a good tele-isolation look with the soft out-of-focus background and doesn't scare nervous critters like butterflies, away as easily. Saves on your back and legs while working, too, since you don't have to 'hover' for a tight shot.
Although some will disagree, I also like the 100mm range for portraits too, more like 70-100mm, not higher though. You'll hear that it's too long because of the crop factor; Try viewing some photos taken with each length to judge for yourself.
Overall, I believe you'll be happier with a Sigma 70mm, Pentax 100mm, Tamron 90mm, Macro lens for a single two-purpose lens. The extreme sharpness in 'head' shots can easily be modified in processing, if wanted for softer look.
JMO,
Ron
I was looking into the sigma 70mm and saw someone said that the aperture actually got smaller as the lens focused down to 1:1 is this true, and if so is that a normal thing for macro lenses to do and does it effect performance?

04-01-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Purevulcan Quote
I was looking into the sigma 70mm and saw someone said that the aperture actually got smaller as the lens focused down to 1:1 is this true, and if so is that a normal thing for macro lenses to do and does it effect performance?
Maybe they meant effective f-stop. If so that's normal for it to go down as the magnification goes up and it becomes very noticeable as you approach macro magnifications. See Macro Camera Lenses

The cameras automated exposure system will compensate for this, but It's something to be aware of if you're relying on an external meter (such as with manual external flashes).
04-01-2014, 03:00 PM   #6
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Its not the perfect lens for portraiture, but it is doable.
The reasons why DFA 50mm might not be good for portraiture is that its a macro lens. This means it is very sharp (unflattering) and doesn't have a lot of "character" (like the DA* 55mm, which was made for portraits and has flattering colour rendering, bokeh, etc.). f2.8 is another limitation, but since its a macro lens you can compensate by moving closer. Since it is macro, it means its AF isn't super fast, but you can try with MF. Its not a bad lens, its just a lens for rather specific usage. So, again, portraits with the DFA 50mm are possible, but its not the "ideal" lens many of us would choose for that task. But its a great lens, I really doubt you would regret buying it. The DFA 100mm is also a great lens and might be more practical for portraits, while retaining 1:1 macro. Almost all macro lenses are very sharp and have great IQ, almost like a microscope or something
04-02-2014, 02:40 AM   #7
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At first I chose to buy the DFA50 for this reason as you said, a macro and portrait lens.
Even though it was a great lens for both jobs, it lacks what others stated,
So, I ended up buying the DA 50 f/1.8 for portraits and a used M 100mm macro lens for macro works(even though it's 1:2 macro and not 1:1), and both together cost me less than the DFA50 alone.
Even I think buying used you can buy the Tamron 90 macro and DA 50 for the same price as DFA50.

But wait, you said macro, what kind of macro? if it's food, flower, other things which won't be scared away, then I say DFA50 is the perfect macro lens. but if it's bugs! then it's not.

At the end of the day, if you insist to have a lens for both works, It will do the job very well! as I shot several insects with the DFA50! but it is so much easier to get the job done with a longer lens.
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