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04-25-2017, 10:50 AM   #1
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Bokeh and Pentax K3

What would be the best lens to purchase to get the most pleasing bokeh for portraits with the Pentax K3. I have a 16-85mm Pentax lens and a very inexpensive 50 mm f1.8 lens. I can get a little bokeh with the 16 -85 if I stand far from the subject and shoot at 85mm. I have difficulty producing a nice bokeh with the 50 mm lens on my K3. I've had better bokeh with the 50 mm on my Pentax Kr. Could be user error. Any suggestions about camera settings or other lenses.


Really trying to decide if I should invest in the Pentax K1 with the 24mm-70mm lens or just buy a nicer lens for my Pentax K3.


Please advise and send picture file samples.


Thank you.

04-25-2017, 10:56 AM - 1 Like   #2
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If the 50mm isn't doing it for you, it sounds like you just need a longer lens. The FA 77mm would be a great contender, IMO.

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04-25-2017, 11:00 AM - 3 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by giselag Quote
I've had better bokeh with the 50 mm on my Pentax Kr.
Odd that different cameras should give different bokeh with the same lens...
04-25-2017, 11:54 AM   #4
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I'm satisfied with the bokeh on the 50mm f1.8. I've had the K-70 for two weeks and just received the 50mm when I took the picture.
Molly by Keld Henningsen - Photo 192047771 / 500px
The background might not be the most exciting :-)


Last edited by DrawsACircle; 04-25-2017 at 12:02 PM.
04-25-2017, 12:04 PM   #5
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Care to post some pictures to illustrate what you're talking about? Different cameras with the same sensor size should be irrelevant here unless maybe you're using different settings on them which result in much different apertures. I'd expect your 50mm to give some satisfying bokeh at its wider aperture settings, especially as you shoot closer to your subjects so as to throw the backgrounds further out of focus. Longer/better primes (like the 77 as mentioned by Adam) might be the ticket, but it's also good to find out whether you're getting the potential out of the equipment you have now.
04-25-2017, 05:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sluggo Quote
Different cameras with the same sensor size should be irrelevant here unless maybe you're using different settings on them which result in much different apertures.
That's my current thought. I've seen no difference in bokeh between any of my Pentax APS-C cameras where the lens and the aperture on that lens were the same. On the other hand, My K-3 is worlds above my K-r in terms of resolution and dynamic range. Perhaps this is giving an impression of differing bokeh?
04-25-2017, 08:49 PM - 6 Likes   #7
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These aren't directly comparable, but atleast you can have something to look at I shoot using K-3 II:

DA 50mm f1.8 @ f1.8


Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f1.4 @ f1.4



70mm Ltd f2.4 @ f2.4


Sigma 85mm f1.4 @ f1.8


Sigma 70-200 f2.8 @ 170mm f2.8

Last edited by Zafar Iqbal; 04-25-2017 at 09:00 PM.
04-25-2017, 10:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
These aren't directly comparable, but atleast you can have something to look at I shoot using K-3 II:
be careful ! we have some badass here gorgeous photos Zafar ^^

04-25-2017, 11:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
These aren't directly comparable, but atleast you can have something to look at I shoot using K-3 II:
Lovely shots..

QuoteOriginally posted by giselag Quote
Really trying to decide if I should invest in the Pentax K1 with the 24mm-70mm lens or just buy a nicer lens for my Pentax K3.
a nicer lens for your k3 would be the cheaper option ofcourse. A k3 will not get you that razor thin bokeh a FF can. However, the shots above show very nice bokeh is possible and with some technique you can get the most out of it. As Adam points out, the FA77 is a great contender and FF compatible. So is the da70, m85 f2,..
People - christophe gryspeert
04-26-2017, 12:33 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by giselag Quote
I've had better bokeh with the 50 mm on my Pentax Kr. Could be user error.
I think so.

For the blurriest bokeh, you want the longest lens with the widest aperture, and you want the subject to be very close and the background very far.

For nice shape to the bokeh, you want a large number of rounded aperture blades, like the nine in the DA*55 or FA 77 Ltd.
04-26-2017, 02:00 AM   #11
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Let's get this straight. Bokeh is a lens property. Different crop cameras will NOT produce different bokeh with the same lens taking images with the same settings from the same place.

From the many images I have seen from the DA50/1.8, it has quite pleasing OoF rendering. If the original poster is yet to get equivalent results from the K-3 as were achieved with the K-r, then better technique is required.
04-26-2017, 04:15 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Let's get this straight. Bokeh is a lens property. Different crop cameras will NOT produce different bokeh with the same lens taking images with the same settings from the same place.
Thank you. That was also my first reaction. Same lens, same aperture, same registration distance equals same result, only cropped.
04-27-2017, 12:34 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the information, opinions and photo examples. Sounds like I need to get out there and do more shots and work on my technique.


I am considering adding a new lens for my K3 or a going full frame with the K1, though.


Thanks again.
04-30-2017, 03:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
These aren't directly comparable, but atleast you can have something to look at I shoot using K-3 II:

DA 50mm f1.8 @ f1.8


Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f1.4 @ f1.4



70mm Ltd f2.4 @ f2.4


Sigma 85mm f1.4 @ f1.8


Sigma 70-200 f2.8 @ 170mm f2.8

Is your sigma f1.4 85mm full frame lens or crop sensor lens?
04-30-2017, 04:20 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by redcat Quote
be careful ! we have some badass here gorgeous photos Zafar ^^
QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
Lovely shots..
Thanks

QuoteOriginally posted by giselag Quote
Is your sigma f1.4 85mm full frame lens or crop sensor lens?
It's full-frame. You could use it on K-3, and keep it if for K-1 if you later decide to upgrade the camera body.
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