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06-18-2011, 09:38 PM   #1
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Low light lense

i own a pentax K20D and am looking to purchase a wide-angle lense, I will be using it mostly for low light portraits and don't want to use a flash and dont want to have to use a tripod. suggestions on specific lenses to look at and what exactly should I be looking for? is a zoom lense a good idea.

06-19-2011, 12:40 AM   #2
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A few comments.

Your need for a "wide-angle lens" and "using it mostly for low light portraits" is somehow conflicting. Often portrait lenses have focal lengths betwen 30 and 120mm, while a wide angle lens would be around 10-25mm (at least for landscape).

If you want to shoot in low light without flash, I strongly recommend that you select a lens with f1.8 or f1.4. IMO any smaller aperture (or larger f) will not do. In turn this will restict your choice to prime lenses and there are some good ones.

If you need a low light lens with relatively wide angle, the FA31mm f1.8 is possibly the best option. It is not really a wide angle lens but the IQ is superb. I used mine on my K-7 for some indoor school parties without flash and the results were good. While pricy, I must admit that the FA31mm is my best prime lens investement and it is my most used prime.

If you do not need "wide angle", there are some excellent fast primes around 50mm focal length. I also like to use 85 mm f1.4 for low-light portrait. Ultimately you need to think carefully at your needs in terms of focal length.

Hope that the comments will help.
06-19-2011, 05:50 AM   #3
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Yeah i have to agree your information is a little vague to give a better response. However I will try. Low light can have very different definitions. Dawn/sunset indoors or night time, etc? In my opinion the DA35 2.4 should be considered if you need af. Its not as fast as a 1.4 but with newer sensors it can help out. Price wise it wont bust the bank. Another option is the sigma 30 1.4 a little bit more expensive. For indoors they are more forgiving room wise. I tried indoors on my 50 1.4 and there just wasnt enough space for it. Shoulders and head yes but upper torso ans head not so much. However you dont mention where in your post if it is outdoors then you could get away with a 50mm no problem but it is not really considered wide. Nor is 35 for that matter. At 28mm the largest aperture ive seen is 2 but that was mf.
06-19-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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As mentioned, your request is a bit contradictory. The fastest wide-angles I know of are the DA14/2.8 and Zenitar 16/2.8. Closer to the 'normal' focal length, besides the large Sigma 30/1.4, are various 24/2 and 28/2 and 35/2 lenses. (Mine are all manual focus.) But these are not usually considered as portraiture lenses, unless you're doing fullbody or group shots.

Fast headshot portrait lenses might range from 50/1.4 to 85/1.5 -- although at the long end, DOF is easier to handle with a 85/2 or 100/2.8. The FA50/1.4 is an excellent low-light halfbody-to-headshot lens. But these longer-than-35mm lenses are in no way 'wide'.

A no-cost option with your K20D is just to let ISO float. Shoot in TAv mode at 1/30 sec, wide open, with ISO range 100-1600. Maybe even pump the ISO to 3200, shoot in B&W, go for the pushed-Tri-X look.


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