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05-13-2012, 03:21 AM   #1
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FA 50mm1.4 or 35mm2.4

Hi, I already have pentax k-x with 8-55mm Kit Lens ,Tamron 70-300mm Di LD Macro ,SMC-A 50MM F2.0. Now I want to upgrade to good portrait lens since my 50mm is manual focus. I have budget of 400$ Max. If I go with 50mm 1.4 which costs 340$ I can have only 1 lens but if I choose 35mm 2.4 which costs 187$ roughly I can have 1 DA L 55-300 220$ with it. My biggest confusion is what I will be missing is I select the second option. Since I already have 50mm 2.0 MF I can use it with 35mm whenever I need. But 35mm has comparatively small aperture(2.4 vs 1.4) The Tamron lens which I already have is not so sharp and as per the reviews 55-300 will be a good upgrade, please suggest me..what decision should I take.

05-13-2012, 04:28 AM   #2

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I have FA50 & FA35/2 (variant of 35/2.4) I have some good portraits with both. However if I have to chose one for portrait, it will be FA50.
05-13-2012, 04:46 AM   #3
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The FA50/1.4 is my most-used prime lens. It gets shots that are impossible with other lenses. It is very good for half-body to head-and-shoulders portraits, with dramatically thin DOF (depth of field) when needed, and is very sharp when stopped-down slightly. I highly recommend it.

35mm on our dSLRs is convenient for full- and 3/4-body and small-group shots. We usually want thicker DOF with such shots so the subjects don't look blurry. The DA18-55 kit.lens is very good between 25-45mm and f/5.6-16.

On our dSLRs, 28mm is the optically 'normal' focal length. But many users accept lenses between 20-40mm as 'normal', so the term is flexible. Many think 35mm 'normal'. It's certainly convenient. But fast 35mm lenses are usually expensive. Good "true normal" 28mm manual-focus (MF) lenses may cost MUCH less. The Vivitar (Kiron and Komine) and Tamron 28/2 and 28/2.5 lenses are often quite cheap. After the FA50/1.4 I mentioned, my most-used prime lens is a Vivitar 28/2 CFWA (close-focus wide-angle).

My recommendations: Buy the FA50/1.4; it is great. Keep the A50/2; its MF is good for portraits. Use the DA18-55 within the limits I listed. Look for a fast cheap MF 28mm lens. Have fun!
05-13-2012, 04:48 AM   #4
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"I want to upgrade to good portrait lens since my 50mm is manual focus. I have budget of 400$ Max."
There is an unwritten rule that portrait is best done with 30mm for groups, 50mm for head, shoulder and torso, and 70-85mm for head.

I have the following primes: 31mm, 58mm and 85mm. In my opinion 31 mm is too short for portrait. I tend to prefer my 58mm f1.4 and 85mm f1.4 for portrait.

In any case I like a fast prime for portrait, to enable shootign without flash (more natural) indoor. A large aperture (f1.4 or f1.8) is then a good option IMHO, especially for children. (I found that my children are un-natural when I use the flash.)

Since you already have a 50mm lens, you may consider a 70-85mm prime to complement your lineup. This may include the FA77mm f1.8, Sigma 85mm f1.4 or Vivitar 85mm f1.4 (MF). If you do not mind MF, the Vivitar 85mm f1.4 may be an option within your price range:
Vivitar (Samyang) 85mm F1.4 - Review -

See also:
Sigma 85mm F1.4 HSM - Review -
DA 70mm vs FA 77mm Limited - Comparison: Introduction -

I hope that the comment may help.

05-13-2012, 06:50 AM   #5
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Double lens kit ... my vote


Given that you have a K-x, I'd opt maybe for the double lens combo, DA 35/2.4 & DA L 55-300. Why? The F 50/1.4 is a great lens by reputation, but it may be "overkill" for your needs and current body ... not to put down the K-x.

I have a DA 35/2.4 AL which puts out great photos (IQ, sharpness, etc - see the PF reviews) and with the approx. 1.5 ASP-C crop factor , it comes in as a "50"mm-ish, just like the good ol'days of SLR's... the DA L 55-300 will allow to have a lot of fun with a decent entry "long" lens, but then again you have your Tamron 70-300 already (worth the upgrade?) ... Maybe buy the 35 and a faster MF 28 like Rio Rico suggested (maybe see - ...good luck ... et bon courage.

Salut, John le Frog

Last edited by Jean Poitiers; 05-13-2012 at 07:13 AM.
05-13-2012, 07:03 AM   #6
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My next lens will be for portraits. After some extensive research, I think the Sigma 50 1.4 may be the best bet. It may not balance too well on the Kx, though, since it is a fairly heavy lens. The Pentax 43mm looks nice too, but it is much more expensive and I don't think it is as sharp as the Sigma.
05-13-2012, 07:47 AM   #7
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As RioRico said, 35/2.4 for full body and 50/1.4 if you mostly want to shoot upper body / head.

Below a link to the effect of different focal lengths for head portraits.
Comparison Of Tele To Wide Portraits | Orms Connect
05-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #8
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Maybe wait for the DA50 f1.8, it will be cheaper than the FA.

05-13-2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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Will you be shooting only portraits?
I think the 35mm might be a bit wide for portraits. I also have the M 50mm, which I like, but not necessarily for portraits. For portraits I would use a more tele lens, something like 85mm or 135mm. Now true, those are standard portraits focal lengths for full frame, and 135mm lenses are becoming rare (at least as primes)..
Also, if you already have a 50mm, why buy a new one? is AF really useful for portraits? You will be limited by the AF points (as they should coincide with the subject's eyes). And with portraits you usually have enough time to focus manually anyway. Can even use catch in focus if you really want focus confirm.

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