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11-05-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
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Which prime lenses would work well?

Hi everybody,
I have a question. I want to know what wide aperture prime lenses will work well for portraits and weddings? I already have the pentax 40mm and 70mm limited and the sigma 50mm f/1.4 lenses. A co worker told me it would be a good idea to have some large aperture lenses f/2.0 or wider to work better in low light situations. what do you guys think?

11-05-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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There are a many too choose from; it depends on your budget...

How do you like you Sigma 50mm? I have the 28 1.8 and love it!
11-05-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jusfun21 Quote
Hi everybody,
I have a question. I want to know what wide aperture prime lenses will work well for portraits and weddings? I already have the pentax 40mm and 70mm limited and the sigma 50mm f/1.4 lenses. A co worker told me it would be a good idea to have some large aperture lenses f/2.0 or wider to work better in low light situations. what do you guys think?
What kind of camera do you have? IMO, the low light capabilities of Kx, Kr and K5 more than compensate for a f2.8 vice a f2 lens. A lot of this fast lens talk originated back in film days when ASA speeds were not up to what digital is using today. Instead of a very expensive fast prime lens, seems to me you might want a group photo type of lens, perhaps a 12-24mm Pentax. One zoom and your primes won't make your bag too large. Or a DA 21 combined with your other primes. The reason i mentioned the zoom is that sometimes group photos are taken indoors and i would think the zoom will give you more flexibility than a fixed prime.

on the other hand, we all seem to seek more and more low light capability. your mileage may vary
11-05-2010, 02:17 PM   #4
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The Sigma you have is pretty much as fast as they get and should be good for portraits with APS-C, something like the Sigma 28 1.8 mentioned above would seem like a nice addition for indoor work for wider FOV.

11-05-2010, 02:22 PM   #5
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I just bought it (Sigma 50mm f/1.4). I am building my lens bag right now. In Janurary or early February, I will be buying a K-5 body.
11-05-2010, 02:27 PM   #6
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The order in which I would buy Pentax lenses for weddings if I had to start over would be
1. 16-50mm
2. 50-135mm
3. 43mm or 31mm (either would do but I prefer the 43mm)
4. 200mm F2.8

As it is this is basically what I bring to a wedding anyway. Wide apertures are primarily useful for DOF (isolation). So 100mm-135mm at F2.8 is wide enough to be nice for any portraits. And the 43mm is awesome at wide apertures (easily my favorite lens in 10years of wedding photography). 200mm is cool for big weddings in big spaces so you can get some intimate shots without getting right in anyones face. If 16mm is not wide enough to get everyone in a group photo I prefer going to a fisheye rather than a wide rectilinear lens like the 14mm

The darkest church I have shot in I could easily get a good exposure with 16-50 at F2.8, 1/30, ISO 1600 so I have not needed the faster aperture. The corners are pretty soft on that lens but since I am aware of that problem I just avoid putting the B&G in the corners of my frame.
11-05-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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How about trying to get some used FA*24 f2.0?
11-05-2010, 08:33 PM   #8
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My main lens is the Sigma 30 1.4 and I keep the 70 2.4 on a second body.

11-08-2010, 11:58 AM   #9
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Primes?

QuoteOriginally posted by jusfun21 Quote
Hi everybody,
I have a question. I want to know what wide aperture prime lenses will work well for portraits and weddings? I already have the pentax 40mm and 70mm limited and the sigma 50mm f/1.4 lenses. A co worker told me it would be a good idea to have some large aperture lenses f/2.0 or wider to work better in low light situations. what do you guys think?
I would have to go with CWOOD's recommendations. The difference between 2 and 2.8 is only one stop and the zooms will add a boat load of convenience when you are shooting the wedding, where changing lenses can be a bother. The lenses you have are a great start and add the zooms for candids and the ceramony (where you may not be able to use flash).

Although it seems like the faster lenses are a thing of the past, they are still quite necessary if you look into lens sharpness. A lens, generally, is sharpest at 2 stops down from its widest opening. And no one get nit-picky with me here, I said GENERALLY. This means an f2.8 lens is sharpest at about f4.

Next, diffraction starts taking place at about f16 (again, generally) which also reduces sharpness. With an f2.8 lens, you have f4, f5.6, f8 and f11, 4 stops of pretty good to excellent sharpness.

Now look at an f5.6 lens. 2 stops down is f11 and f16 starts giving you diffraction again. You have ONE stop of good sharpness. An f4 lens gives you 2 stops. To put it in golfing terms, the wider the maximum aperture, the bigger the sharpness "sweet spot" to work with!

Have fun!

BD
11-08-2010, 12:38 PM   #10
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well i have a FA 50mm f/1.4 which i generally use for lowlight work or to play with DoF on occassion. Its portrait soft at F/2 with F/3.2 being pin sharp. F/1.4~F/1.8 gives that dreamy effect. At F/2.8, it gives a considerable of sharpness without being so sharp that it needs to be softened in PP.
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