Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-14-2021, 03:35 PM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 43
Portrait Photography

Hey guys and gals
I need your help with lens and flash questions.
I own a Pentax K-3 and a AF-540FGZ flash. I have only shot landscapes in the past but would like to venture into portrait/group photography.
My thought is to use both, the AF-540 and another, yet to be determined flash off-camera.
Without breaking the bank, which portrait lens would be suitable?
Which flash would be recommended and which and how many triggers are needed and recommended?
I was looking into Cactus triggers but found out that they are discontinued and, here in Canada, rare to find and expensive.
What do you suggest?

02-14-2021, 03:55 PM   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2016
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,548
I take portraits at home, so this is probably the most basic setup but it may not apply outdoors. I use two manual flashes, one is triggered by the camera via a basic wireless trigger (mine are lightpix) and the second optically from the first. It's the most affordable setup except for having a pc sync cable run from the camera to a flash, I've tried it but it's a bit cumbersome. Especially if you use flash in a "studio" setting where the background is less important, I'd suggest you experiment with a zoom you may already have before getting a dedicated lens. Also consider a budget for light modifiers, they make a significant positive difference, even simple umbrellas. Manual flash made me learn how to dial in the light balance, you may achieve the same with automatic exposure but for me it wasn't worth the extra cost (overall my setup is $200).

QuoteOriginally posted by detlef Quote
how many triggers are needed
I've learned first to use one flash and then two I think I would know how to use a third, but I don't have the space for it; I use a window as the third light source sometimes. Starting with everything at the same time can be daunting.

Last edited by aaacb; 02-14-2021 at 04:03 PM.
02-14-2021, 04:03 PM - 1 Like   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
clackers's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 14,607
QuoteOriginally posted by detlef Quote
Hey guys and gals
I need your help with lens and flash questions.
I own a Pentax K-3 and a AF-540FGZ flash. I have only shot landscapes in the past but would like to venture into portrait/group photography.
My thought is to use both, the AF-540 and another, yet to be determined flash off-camera.
Without breaking the bank, which portrait lens would be suitable?
Which flash would be recommended and which and how many triggers are needed and recommended?
I was looking into Cactus triggers but found out that they are discontinued and, here in Canada, rare to find and expensive.
What do you suggest?
Great news, Detlef!

If you're doing studio photography, it is very similar to landscape. You're stopping down to f8, f11 so whatever lenses you're using will be fine.
02-14-2021, 04:40 PM   #4
Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
AlwaysAl's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: West GTA, Ontario, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 342
Strobepro Studio Lighting Photography Camera & Video Equipment Calgary
Here's a site link for a Canadian company that may provide some options to consider if setting up a studio. Locally, found a lot of studio strobe stuff for sale as people were moving into constant lighting to compliment video. If I was starting over, would probably take a more serious look at constant lighting...they/ve come down in price. One thing you need to keep an eye out for is a light meter. For me, this was the item that accelerated my learning curve. With respect to the trigger question, starting out you probably only need a sender and a receiver as most lights will trigger from each other via photocell. Hope this helps, there's a ot to consider. Al

02-14-2021, 07:40 PM - 1 Like   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
mattt's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Niagara
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,211
QuoteOriginally posted by detlef Quote
Hey guys and gals
I need your help with lens and flash questions.
I own a Pentax K-3 and a AF-540FGZ flash. I have only shot landscapes in the past but would like to venture into portrait/group photography.
My thought is to use both, the AF-540 and another, yet to be determined flash off-camera.
Without breaking the bank, which portrait lens would be suitable?
Which flash would be recommended and which and how many triggers are needed and recommended?
I was looking into Cactus triggers but found out that they are discontinued and, here in Canada, rare to find and expensive.
What do you suggest?
I shoot with Cactus V6 and AF 540 FGZ and AF 360 FGZ in a couple different modifiers. You can see what sort of trouble I get up to here. I have only recently heard of the Cactus situation which is too bad, I am very pleased with them. Looks like still listed on B&H. Godox appear to be the alternative I'd check out.
02-14-2021, 09:08 PM - 3 Likes   #6
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,723
I couldn't recommend this fellow's guide enough for great flash portrait photography:
Tangents - photography tutorials, reviews & workshops
02-14-2021, 10:02 PM - 3 Likes   #7
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 48
QuoteOriginally posted by detlef Quote
Hey guys and gals
I need your help with lens and flash questions.
I own a Pentax K-3 and a AF-540FGZ flash. I have only shot landscapes in the past but would like to venture into portrait/group photography.
My thought is to use both, the AF-540 and another, yet to be determined flash off-camera.
Without breaking the bank, which portrait lens would be suitable?
Which flash would be recommended and which and how many triggers are needed and recommended?
I was looking into Cactus triggers but found out that they are discontinued and, here in Canada, rare to find and expensive.
What do you suggest?
K-3 is fine, lens is more important. Need something longish. Your 540 is okay, just need to:
A. Get it off camera (Light stand, umbrella bracket & cold shoe or one of these and a trigger plus receiver

B. Second flash is optional but any manual flash with an optical trigger will fire from the other flash going off. You could use a reflector as a second light source.

More importantly, you need to know how to connect with folks, understand how they feel. and pose them.

And learn how to see if they are left or right.

And pose them

And light them: short light or broad light them? Low key or high key? Business? I'll skip loop, butterfly and rembrandt


Good gear matters. Understanding and empathy matter more. Can't buy those.
02-14-2021, 11:41 PM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Blenheim
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 711
I bought a used DA* 50-135 2.8 specifically for portraits, and I haven't been disappointed. A fast 50mm prime will do fine, and I've also taken some nice portraits with a 90mm Tamron macro lens, but 50-135 is a really convenient zoom range on an APS-C body for portraits. If you're doing mostly indoor portraits, you might want something a bit wider, but generally I'm happy with the DA* 50-135. If I do want something wider, I have an FA 35mm 2.0 prime that was fairly economical to buy.

For flashes, I have a couple of dirt cheap Yongnuo manual flash units and a hotshoe mounted trigger/remote control for them that lets me adjust zoom and power from the camera. They have built in receivers for the trigger, so it's a very economical setup. They can also be optically triggered if necessary.

02-15-2021, 08:51 AM   #9
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 48
QuoteOriginally posted by Kiwizinho Quote
I bought a used DA* 50-135 2.8 specifically for portraits, and I haven't been disappointed. A fast 50mm prime will do fine, and I've also taken some nice portraits with a 90mm Tamron macro lens, but 50-135 is a really convenient zoom range on an APS-C body for portraits. If you're doing mostly indoor portraits, you might want something a bit wider, but generally I'm happy with the DA* 50-135. If I do want something wider, I have an FA 35mm 2.0 prime that was fairly economical to buy.

For flashes, I have a couple of dirt cheap Yongnuo manual flash units and a hotshoe mounted trigger/remote control for them that lets me adjust zoom and power from the camera. They have built in receivers for the trigger, so it's a very economical setup. They can also be optically triggered if necessary.
Yes, the DA*50-135 is a great portrait lens! And the Yongnou manual flash units and remote are simple, robust and cheap.


And outdoors, on a light stand, the bare flash is very good for portability and tolerant of wind. Simply balance the flash with ambient


02-15-2021, 09:51 AM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 43
Original Poster
Thank you to all, you have given me a lot of suggestions. And probably a bit more to think about. You all have been very helpful
02-15-2021, 01:14 PM   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Goldsboro North Carolina
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,982
QuoteOriginally posted by Kiwizinho Quote
If you're doing mostly indoor portraits, you might want something a bit wider
An indoor studio might have limited camera-to-subject distance available due to the size of the room. Just be aware that you don't want to use a 'wide-angle' lens for portraits. You can get perspective distortion that will make people's noses look too big for their face. On an aps-c camera, somewhere in the range of 31mm to 35mm is probably as wide as you'll want to go, but longer is usually considered better for flattering portraits. Also, more distance between camera and subject will make some people feel more at ease.
02-16-2021, 08:23 PM   #12
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 43
Original Poster
Thanks, Apet-Sure. I already own the 35mm, and it's decent. But I am also eying the DA*50-135 to do double duty. By all accounts, it's a great performer. I am currently reviewing my financial options on that one. And a Godox TT350P is also on the horizon as a secondary off-camera flash.
I don't have a studio as such, and it's mostly friends and family. So it might be indoor or outdoor. I'm not a pro by any means, just trying to expand a bit.
That's why I'm so glad that this forum exists, a lot of good information
02-17-2021, 09:31 AM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 926
Hi detlef, I'm just down the road a bit in Brandon. Your K3 will fire the 540 off camera, then pick up used flashes at flea markets etc, if they don't have optical slaves you can buy little cubes that fire them for 10bucks or so. Mounting them is the next step, you can pick up used tri-pods or buy stands, then modifiers and brackets. All this adds up and flashes have limitations, so you might want to consider biting the bullet straight off and getting a studio kit, Henrys sell them.
02-17-2021, 06:51 PM   #14
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 43
Original Poster
Thanks, tuggie76. The 540 already had a few test-runs off-camera. And I already started a wish list and I have been browsing some sales columns here and online. And I am in no rush. But I am not ready for a studio kit just yet. But thanks for mentioning Henry's, maybe they have something matching my pocketbook.
02-17-2021, 07:42 PM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 926
QuoteOriginally posted by detlef Quote
Thanks, tuggie76. The 540 already had a few test-runs off-camera. And I already started a wish list and I have been browsing some sales columns here and online. And I am in no rush. But I am not ready for a studio kit just yet. But thanks for mentioning Henry's, maybe they have something matching my pocketbook.
Henry's may also rent some equipment.

Good luck.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
dslr, flash, k-3, k-3 iii, k3, lens, pentax k-3, portrait, triggers
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
i'm trying to proof that 6 mpx is enough for portrait photography lenn11 Pentax DSLR Discussion 48 04-13-2020 03:47 AM
Eliminate bright spots in portrait photography with flash? Huy Photographic Technique 10 03-12-2016 04:51 PM
Portrait photography general information and samples needed. jpzk Photographic Technique 24 08-21-2013 10:42 AM
Can you recommend a portrait photography book? bluebronco Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 9 09-20-2012 12:01 AM
People Portrait Photography Practice benny_h_z Post Your Photos! 2 10-23-2011 01:45 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:26 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top