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08-01-2009, 06:11 PM   #46
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Really?

As far as I know, the DA*55 is a portrait lens.

How often do you shoot portraiture in a T-storm?


QuoteOriginally posted by melander Quote
Thats true, but WHY would anyone buy a DA* lens if you dont need the weather sealing? Ye I know, there is that LBA factor. But seriusly, the DA* are for those that go outside.


08-01-2009, 06:14 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by cousinsane Quote
Really?

As far as I know, the DA*55 is a portrait lens.

How often do you shoot portraiture in a T-storm?


There's no such thing a a "portrait lens". It is just a fast lens with a certain angle of view; ie short telephoto. Short telephotos are used for anything.....
08-01-2009, 06:25 PM   #48
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No such thing as a "portrait lens"?

I find that statement so ridiculous I am not gonna bother arguing with you.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
There's no such thing a a "portrait lens". It is just a fast lens with a certain angle of view; ie short telephoto. Short telephotos are used for anything.....
08-01-2009, 06:59 PM   #49
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Pal is right. Any focal lengths can be used for portrait, but there is no such thing as "portrait only" lens. By saying the DA*55 is a portrait lens, it implies that particular lens was not suitable for anything else. The classic 85mm for 135 can be used for portrait as well as landscape and many other subjects. The modern Japanese have been successfully photographing portraits with a wide range of focal lengths and those styles have been quite popular in Asia. The old school view on short tele only portrait is pretty outdated by now.

08-01-2009, 07:07 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Extremely disagree here. There isn't a whole lot of difference between the 75mm equivalent of the 50mm and the 82.5mm equivalent of the 55. I used to use the FA 85mm for all my portraits and the one thing I quipped about was I wanted to get in closer, hence a longer lens. But wait, the 50mm on the APS sensor of the K20d allows me to get in closer for a tighter headshot than even having a 100mm on film.

The 50mm focal lengths on the Pentax DSLR's is just fine, and the 55mm is in not a significant difference. They just decided to make a new 55 instead of a 50, and I doubt it had anything to do with them considering any substantial benefit to portraitists. There's no way I would be any better served with the 55 than a 50. Those 7.5 extra mm's is miniscule.
Disagree if you like, I wasn't comfortable with the working distance of the FA50/1.4 in the studio, but I am (just barely) comfortable with the 55. It could be a bit longer, but we take what we are given.
The 50 is definitely too short.
08-01-2009, 07:08 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
They have the same optical design so performance will be, or should be identical. The MTF difference at photodo is likely due to sample variation.
FA 50mm/1.4: 7 elements in 6 groups. DA* 55mm/1.4: 8 elements in 7 groups. Source: Pentax Normal Prime Lenses

I'm no expert on optics, but I think that means they have different optical designs.
08-01-2009, 08:19 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by cousinsane Quote
Really?

As far as I know, the DA*55 is a portrait lens.

How often do you shoot portraiture in a T-storm?
My camera bags are full of portrait lenses, from 24mm (at the wide end of a Sigma 24 - 70 f2.8) all the way up to a 300mm f4 prime.
My favorites being a K-mount 55mm f1.8, and a Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 200mm F2.8.

I have multi purposes for most lenses in my collection, or they just stay at home gathering dust.
08-01-2009, 08:31 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
Well, difference of opinion is what makes the world go round. I have been using my 16-50 for portrait work and switching to the 50-135 to get a bit longer ...would dearly love a fast 55 prime for this purpose; have not had one since I abandoned Canon. And actually the 55 is closer to an 85mm (55 X 1.54 = 84.7), which is the focal length I used back in my F1 days (that I traded to an LX). Always liked the rendition of head and shoulder available light shots with that lens.
The 55 is closer in theory to 85mm, but it does not exactly behave like one. Read on ...

QuoteOriginally posted by AM2 Quote
... I'm also in the camp that simply doesn't buy the idea that the 55/1.4 is the APS-C equivalent of the 85/1.4. The magnification is not the same, the field curvature values are not the same, the blur is not the same. If I want the same sized frame as 35mm fullframe gives with an 85mm, I'll take a few steps back, but a 55 is a 55 and an 85 is an 85mm!
Exactly. The 50mm actually performs better as a headshots portrait lens on a DSLR than my FA 85mm did on film, simply for the fact it can closer focus and crop tighter. And that's even at the 50's film equivalent of only 75mm.

QuoteOriginally posted by Caat Quote
They have the same optical design so performance will be, or should be identical. The MTF difference at photodo is likely due to sample variation.
Absolutely not true. Close, yes, identical, NO. There are other elements that go into a lens, such as the back inner coatings and depth/ length/size of the filter ring area and rear element area, and additional "innards" that can affect flare and light entering those exact same elements. Hard to explain, but look inside the front and rear elements of the FA and F 50's and you will see what I am talking about. The different outer components of the F and FA also have different insides that you don't see.

For whatever reason, the F series has always come out slightly better in tests than their "near identical" replacement FA's. Both on photodo, other review sites I have seen, and from personal reviews, which there are even some here on this site.

The F 50 1.4 got a 4.6 rating on photodo vs. the FA's 4.2
The 135mm F got a 3.5 vs. the FA's 3.2
The 100mm 2.8 F macro got a 4.3 vs. the FA's 3.9

This is not just differing samples, and the 50mm F's rating of 4.6 on photodo is one of their highest ratings of any lens they've tested (only a Canon and a Contax scored higher), and I doubt even the best FA 50mm sample could achieve that.

QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
FA 50mm/1.4: 7 elements in 6 groups. DA* 55mm/1.4: 8 elements in 7 groups. Source: Pentax Normal Prime Lenses

I'm no expert on optics, but I think that means they have different optical designs.
He was talking about the F 50 f1.4vs. the FA 50 f/1.4.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Disagree if you like, I wasn't comfortable with the working distance of the FA50/1.4 in the studio, but I am (just barely) comfortable with the 55. It could be a bit longer, but we take what we are given.
The 50 is definitely too short.
Too short? It crops a tighter head shot than my FA 85mm did on film. Not sure why you can't get portraits with it in a studio??

08-01-2009, 09:31 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by melander Quote
To be able to go out in rain, snow, sand, etc
I do not see any rain, snow or sandstorm in your picture...
08-01-2009, 10:02 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by AM2 Quote
Haven't yet had to need to take F1.4 portraits while standing in the pouring cold rain.
You need to go to more "wet t-shirt" competitions.

QuoteOriginally posted by AM2 Quote
I'm also in the camp that simply doesn't buy the idea that the 55/1.4 is the APS-C equivalent of the 85/1.4.
A 55/1.4 is exactly equivalent to a 82.5/2.1.
To obtain the same FOV one has to use different distances and this changes the DOF but if you compensate by changing the aperture correspondingly, the resulting image will be exactly equivalent. This is not a matter of believing.
08-01-2009, 10:51 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Pal is right. Any focal lengths can be used for portrait, but there is no such thing as "portrait only" lens. By saying the DA*55 is a portrait lens, it implies that particular lens was not suitable for anything else. The classic 85mm for 135 can be used for portrait as well as landscape and many other subjects. The modern Japanese have been successfully photographing portraits with a wide range of focal lengths and those styles have been quite popular in Asia. The old school view on short tele only portrait is pretty outdated by now.
I agree that short telephoto lenses have applications other than just as a portrait lens ...but a couple of caveats: First the use of a large aperture makes this lens particularly suited for available light photography and second, the focal length produces a very pleasing perspective of head and shoulder portraits. Longer lenses tend to compress features and shorter lenses stretch them. As I suggested in an earlier post, the effect may be subtle, but noticeable.

Given this, I think it is quite appropriate for Pentax to label this lens as a portrait lens, and while it may have other uses, many who acquire it will use it exclusivly for that purpose. I likely will ...my DA* 50-135 or macro lenses would be called into service for most other uses.
08-02-2009, 03:46 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
I do not see any rain, snow or sandstorm in your picture...
Excuse me? Do you actualy dubt that I use my camera / Lenses in harch conditions?? I guess someone ran out of arguments.
Tho, sandstorms are not that usual here in sweden

Picture I posed with camera in the sand was a real life example. I was out with my kayak and didnt realy have anywhere else to place my camera than in the sand. It was windy, 8-10m/s and you can call it a mini sandstorm for the camera.

And i dont see my DA*55 as a portrait lens. I have used it as an alround lens. You can take portraits with any lens, just as you can take landscape shots with any lens etc etc.
08-02-2009, 08:21 AM   #58
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Well, if you bought an expensive short-tele portrait lens as general purpose lens. Good for you.

I am sure the F1.4 aperture will come in handy when you take low light hand held landscape shots
08-02-2009, 08:35 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote



Too short? It crops a tighter head shot than my FA 85mm did on film. Not sure why you can't get portraits with it in a studio??
Working distance is not the same as reproduction ratio.
The 50mm lens puts me closer to the subject than I like, the 55 puts me just on the cusp of being to close.
i tend to shoot at or close to wide open with a lot of my portraiture, so the increased open aperture performance of the DA* makes the lens much more usable to me.
Out of the studio, the increased open aperture performance of the DA* is also an advantage when controlling depth of field.
08-02-2009, 08:52 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Working distance is not the same as reproduction ratio.
The 50mm lens puts me closer to the subject than I like, the 55 puts me just on the cusp of being to close.
i tend to shoot at or close to wide open with a lot of my portraiture, so the increased open aperture performance of the DA* makes the lens much more usable to me.
Out of the studio, the increased open aperture performance of the DA* is also an advantage when controlling depth of field.
Well, I still have my 85 if I want to get further away from a subject, but since when is getting too close to a model a bad thing. The difference in closeness you'd get from the 50 to the 55 isn't very much.

I can't imagine what you shoot wide open, but I've used my 85 1.4 for 1,000's of portraits over the years and I believe the only time I ever shot it at f1.4 was when I first got it and was testing it. F2 is the largest aperture I'd ever consider shooting a person, as less than that, the depth of field is just too small. I would also never shoot at f2 if the person wasn't facing straight on to the lens. I always like to get both eyes in focus in my shots.

An f2.8 lens people can be concerned about sharpness wide open, but I think arguing about 1.4's being sharp wide open is being a little picky, as how many shots does one really ever take at that aperture? I think if you were called upon to do a paid model shoot and you shot stuff at 1.4, you wouldn't be asked back.
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