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06-23-2014, 05:12 AM   #1
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New Photographer & DA70

Hello,
I am new to this forum and a relatively new photographer. I particularly love macro, but recently bought the Pentax DA70 lens. I know it is great for portrait photography but I seldom have the opportunity to do portrait photographs. Please help me to learn the best use of this lens with suggestions and ideas. Thanks so much. Shelly Rosenberg

06-23-2014, 05:55 AM   #2
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If you are new to photography, don't worry about the lens as much as getting the basics right. This book really helped me, it is also available in many libraries:
Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera: Bryan Peterson: 0884798534707: Amazon.com: Books


The DA 70 is not a macro lens, in fact it wont focus if you get too close to the subject. DA 35 limited is a macro lens as are many others.
06-23-2014, 06:29 AM   #3
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The DA 70 is great for middle distance shots as well as portraits. The f/2.4 open aperture can also give one pretty good dim light performance. And even without close focus, this lens will produce good flower shots, with great color. Indoors, I find it too long for anything but head and shoulders shots.
06-23-2014, 07:51 AM   #4
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Though I love my DA 70mm to pieces, I think that if you really enjoy macro shooting, you should seriously consider trading/selling it for either DA 35 macro or DFA 100 WR. Those are outstanding lenses that also do macro. Sharpness and color are similar to DA 70.

06-23-2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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How Far?

Hello Shelly, welcome to the Forum!
Although I don't own the DA70 Ltd, I do have several zooms that cover that length, and primes of 50mm, 55mm, 85mm and 100mm. Looking through my photo catalog for photos taken at (around) that focal length, I found street candids, classic car shots (most while the car was moving), many stage performance shots (music performance, mainly) both indoor and outdoors, photos of children, dogs, motorcycles, interesting buildings from a distance, sections of landscape and scenic, low-light and available light, still life, informal portraits, non-professional sports like soccer, baseball, kayaking, skateboarding, tennis, and biking.
Generally, lenses aren't designed for a specific subject or purpose, they're used for a certain distance or viewpoint. A few exceptions would be macro lenses and tilt/shift P/C lenses.
But, for example, you could use a 35mm lens for a full-length photo of a couple, then the 70mm for a closer head-and-shoulders shot. Also, being a short telephoto lens, the 70mm (at wide aperture) would isolate the subject while softening the background, making a pleasing blur of unnecessary detail.
Shooting primes instead of zooms takes a bit of practice and imagination. Decide what you want IN the scene, and what you want OUT. Then, the lens needed will be obvious. Or, as the expression goes, 'zoom with your feet!'
Ron
06-23-2014, 08:47 AM   #6
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Hey, welcome!
The DA 70mm is a well liked, compact, high quality lens. You can take portraits (Av mode, lowest f-number), flower photos (manual focus, come very close to the flowers), some landscapes (of faraway things, buildings and peaks), animals if you can get close enough, etc. Abstract photos, narratives, journalism/reporting could work, but those really depend on the photographer. Basically, the lens can be used in many ways. Macro is not its strength. For macro, it is best to use a "macro" fixed focal length lens. Pentax right now produces three: Pentax DA 35mm f2.8 limited macro, DFA 50mm f2.8 macro, and DFA 100mm f2.8 macro. All of these allow 1:1 magnification and are very good lenses overall. The main difference is the working distance due to different focal lengths. With 35mm you have to be very very close to the subject for 1:1 magnification (only a couple cm in front of the lens), while you have some more distance if you use the 100mm. You can also use some accessories to make the DA 70mm limited more of a "macro" lens, like the Raynox macro filter or extension tubes. If you want to see how much of a closeup the DA 70mm can give you, just switch camera to MF and twist the focus ring to the nearest distance. Now simply go towards/away from a subject (like a coin) until it gets in focus. Is this enough of a closeup or do you really need more? There are quite a few threads about macro techniques and tools. Sigma also makes some nice macro lenses for Pentax (one in 105mm, and one in 70mm, but this one is a little harder to find), and Tamron makes a great 90mm macro (a bit cheaper, but still good image quality).

But! How can you use your 70mm was the question. A good way to start is by getting experience with it, trying different things. I would highly suggest you look around this forum for some projects and contests.
Project 52
Single in [month]
Monthly photo contest
Forum for Weekly challenges
Pentax DA 70mm: lens reviews (some photos here), sample photo gallery (to see what others have done with this lens. Note that there are two versions of the 70mm ltd, the SMC and the newer HD)

Just take it easy, get inspired
06-23-2014, 09:33 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ShellyRosenberg Quote
Hello,
I am new to this forum and a relatively new photographer.
Welcome!

Pentax has many special things going for it,
and this forum is one of them.
QuoteOriginally posted by ShellyRosenberg Quote
I particularly love macro, but recently bought the Pentax DA70 lens.
That's a great lens, one of my favorites.
A delicate rendering to it, not harsh at all.

As other posters have mentioned,
the DA 70 only focuses down to 10 times its focal length,
which is pretty standard, but not getting into the macro range.

However, there is a new extension tube on the market
which _may_ work well with the DA 70 to get you closer.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/16-pentax-news-rumors/264093-new-auto-ext...ml#post2831184
People are just beginning to try it out,
so you might want to wait and see what their verdict is.
06-23-2014, 10:10 AM   #8
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Sounds like you should sell the DA 70 and get a Sigma 70 macro...you can futz around with all kinds of set ups, or just get a lens designed to do what you want. I really like the Sigma for portraits as well.

Portrait..




Macro...






What's not to like... oh it's pretty heavy... but apart from that, very sharp, great bokeh, and a great focal length for portraits.

06-23-2014, 11:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ShellyRosenberg Quote
recently bought the Pentax DA70 lens
Welcome to the forum, great lens you've bought there, just get out and start using it and enjoy.

---------- Post added 23rd Jun 2014 at 07:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Sigma for portraits as well
That's a great massage on the t shirt Tess.

But unfortunately I know quite a few.
06-24-2014, 04:21 AM   #10
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Thank you - and correction

Thank you all for the great responses. I think I misrepresented my intentions in my original post. I love macro but want to branch out to other things. And I do have the DA35 Macro lens. At present it is my favorite. I will attach a few recent photos. And I understand how the DA70 will not focus closeup. I have tried it and see the difference clearly. When I first joined the Nashville Photography club I took a 14 week course given by one of the members. I learned a lot - the basics and more. Now I am trying to put all that into practice. I also spend much time at my computer in Lightroom and other programs doing post processing. I love that.
Again, I thank you all for the ideas about my DA70 and will work on perfecting my skills with it. I think I will just go out with that lens and no other lens. I only have one camera body! (Poor me.)
Shelly
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