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12-25-2015, 08:08 AM   #1
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Best portrait lenses

I'm getting close to making the jump to Pentax and buying a 645D. While it's easy to decide which camera is right for me (especially since the 645Z is way, way out of my budget), I'm having a very hard time with lenses. and I'm hoping you can offer some advice.

I currently shoot with a Nikon D800 and use a Sigma 85 1.4 for 90% of my shooting. I occasionally shoot wider but it's uncommon. I'd like to stick with something in the equivalency of 85-105ish. I am primarily a portrait photographer so I'll be using the lens for everything from full body to close up headshots. I'm looking for a lens with pleasing bokeh and accurate autofocus. I usually shoot around f3.2-f5.

I'm aware of all of the new FA lenses for sale on B&H, etc. but am definitely open to buying used. I saw this lens on ebay and almost but but wanted to get feedback here and to, of course, make sure it works on the 645D.
990 SMC Pentax FA 645 150 mm F 2 8 If w Hood Case N Mint Pentax 645 027075048577 | eBay

Many thanks & Merry Christmas!

12-25-2015, 09:39 AM   #2

Join Date: Apr 2013
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Your choices with AF are the FA120, FA150 and the DFA90.

The 90 is the sharpest and has the least CA and is sharp wide open, but you will most likely be shooting at f4 anyway as 2.8 on MF is hard to shoot due to limited dof.

The 120 can have odd out of focus areas, a bit busy. But very sharp.

The 150 is a little soft wide open and also longer than you asked for, stop it down and it's good.

For what it's worth I am selling a DFA90 used, if you are interested, but price is much higher than a used FA150.

I think that first you need to work out what aperture you will need and be comfortable shooting at. I would say f4-f8 for portraits on 645d, but maybe I am wrong. Work out your average subject distance as well and work back from there.
12-25-2015, 10:06 AM   #3
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85mm on FF gives a field of view of about 28.5. The same field of view on 645d would require a 108mm lens.
12-25-2015, 10:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback! I definitely wouldn't expect to shoot at 2.8 on MF barring being in studio with a seated subject and with the camera locked down on a tripod. I was expecting to be around 5.6 most of the time. I know it's challenging to make a direct comparison, but what would be the closest aperture in MF that compares to f3.2 of f4? Those are my most common f stops on the D800.

I'm thinking it's between the 120 and 150. I do a lot of extreme close ups so I wouldn't want to go too wide or I'll start getting facial distortion. I was initially planning to get the 120 but I've read several reviews which mention busy/unpleasing bokeh and that scared me off. Shallow dof and creamy bokeh are one of the reasons I want to move into mf.

12-25-2015, 11:03 AM   #5
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I have the 135mm LS lens. Great for portrait, but focus manual only. On the other side will gives you flash sync. up to 1/500sec. due to the leaf shutter technology.
12-25-2015, 01:26 PM   #6

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I would say you will be shooting at about f5.6 to f8.

Why not take a look at a FA80-160 instead. It's a strong lens stopped down and is only really poor past 150mm to 160mm.
12-25-2015, 01:36 PM   #7
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180 Zeiss Pentacon
12-25-2015, 04:16 PM   #8
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wedding photog here

Firstly, these lenses are not as sharp as the 85mm lenses available on your d800 at wide'ish apertures

But I think they have a better look to them. You'll also find that at 5.6 or so you still get quite nice background blur. I do shoot these at 2.8 a lot, I know the results won't be pin sharp. But for portraits, I don't mind.

The 75/2.8 is sort of like a 50mm on your d800. The 75 is great - it is tiny, super light, and nice glass. It's ok at 2.8 but gets pretty good from f/4 (at least my copy does)

The 120 macro is great, and prob the closest to your 85mm. But very slow AF if thats a issue.

The 150 is my pick. Pretty snappy af, and stacks of compression. Works great for people. This is roughly a 120-130mm lens equivalent on your d800.

If you are willing to use MF, and a adapter, you can use hasselblad v series lenses or Pentax 67 lenses.

If you can manage it budget wise, I'd get the 150 and 75.

btw you might find some info here useful -


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