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11-12-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
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Need help with a new lens choice?

Hello! I'm somewhat of a beginner, I've had my K-01 for almost a year now. I currently have a manual lens and an automatic lens. Pretty basic. My question is that I am wanting a lens that will put the subject more in focus and blur out or soften the background considerably. I'm hoping to start taking more pictures of kids and families and would like more of a variety with a lens. Any recommendations?
Thanks!

11-12-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine_Lynn Quote
Hello! I'm somewhat of a beginner, I've had my K-01 for almost a year now. I currently have a manual lens and an automatic lens. Pretty basic. My question is that I am wanting a lens that will put the subject more in focus and blur out or soften the background considerably. I'm hoping to start taking more pictures of kids and families and would like more of a variety with a lens. Any recommendations?
Thanks!
Take a look at this lens & video:
Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens 22177 B&H Photo Video

Hope this helps!

Adam
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11-12-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine_Lynn Quote
Hello! I'm somewhat of a beginner, I've had my K-01 for almost a year now. I currently have a manual lens and an automatic lens. Pretty basic. My question is that I am wanting a lens that will put the subject more in focus and blur out or soften the background considerably. I'm hoping to start taking more pictures of kids and families and would like more of a variety with a lens. Any recommendations?
Thanks!
Well, you don't say how fast your current lenses are, but you want a relatively fast lens. "Fast" when speaking of a lens means capable of wide apertures or numerically lower f-stops. This allows the shallow depth-of-fields that you are referring to. Fast generally means f/2.8 or lower, though depending on the focal length of the lens and the distance to your subject you can achieve the isolation that you are seeking with a numerically higher or smaller aperture. (Yes, there is a seemingly inverse relationship with apertures. The lower the number, the larger the aperture and vice-versa.) We'd need to know more about what you have now and what kind of distances you expect to be working at in order to give more specific recommendations.

I would also suggest that you look through the numerous photographic threads here to see examples of what you are trying to achieve. Most of the photos will have the focal length and aperture value (f-stop) given, so take notice of those figures on the ones that appeal to you.
11-12-2013, 09:51 PM   #4
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Welcome to Pentax Forums.

First of all, How much are you willing to spend?$?$

11-12-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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The DA35/2.4 and DA50/1.8 are good entry-priced lenses for this, and the DA*55/1.4 is spectacular. If you get it I'm almost sure you'll love it. But I have no idea what your budget is right now.

Two other lenses that are also more expensive but spectacular for portraits and similar use are the DA*50-135 and FA77.


If you're on more of a budget the M or A100/2.8 produce wonderful results and are a great place to start.


At this point I suggest you start looking at the photos others have taken with these lenses and see which ones you fall in love with:

http://pentaxphotogallery.com/photos/gallery/query?camera=&lens=490#/grid
11-12-2013, 11:22 PM   #6
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The 100mm lenses might be a bit tight for some portrait situations. The M 50mm F1.7 is readily available secondhand, maybe $60-80. The M50/1.4 is a little more. Either lens has good quality optics and able to give shallow depth of field which is what gives the blurred background behind the subject. Either is an economical way of starting to explore this area, and should be quite usable with focus peaking on the K-01. A 50mm lens on the K-01 equates to a 75mm lens on 35mm film in terms of perspective and distance from the subject, which is close to the classic 85mm portrait lens as used with 35mm film. These M lenses would be fine with stationary subjects. Metering is via the M for manual program mode and momentary stopping down of the lens via a press of the green button.

However, if you want to do informal portraits of children while they are moving about, then you should look at an auto-focus lens. This will also automate the exposure metering for you. The DA50/1.8 would be the bargain entry point. After that, the only limit to other quality choices is the size of your wallet.
11-13-2013, 12:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
The 100mm lenses might be a bit tight for some portrait situations. The M 50mm F1.7 is readily available secondhand, maybe $60-80. The M50/1.4 is a little more.
At these prices most people could afford both the 50 and 100mm lenses, which I'd recommend. I already had the A50/1.7, but when I got the A100/2.8 (non-macro) it changed the way I looked at photography. It gave me image quality similar to what I later got from the FA77, just not as fast. But that was when I began to prioritize the beauty of an image over the sharpness.
11-13-2013, 01:13 AM   #8
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I like the A50/1.4. The K55/1.8 is also good. I find manual focus better for portraits, since it is sometimes difficult to get a camera to autofocus on the subject's eyes.

11-13-2013, 02:03 AM   #9
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Don't forget to mention Pentax DA 40mm XS F2.8
It was made for the K-01 and will give you the result that you are looking for.
If you are on a budget I agree with Adam about the Pentax DA 50mm F1.8 and also DSims suggestion about the Pentax DA 35mm F2.4

I own DA 40mm XS and DA 35mm and both are very good lenses.
11-13-2013, 08:27 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine_Lynn Quote
Hello! I'm somewhat of a beginner, I've had my K-01 for almost a year now. I currently have a manual lens and an automatic lens. Pretty basic. My question is that I am wanting a lens that will put the subject more in focus and blur out or soften the background considerably. I'm hoping to start taking more pictures of kids and families and would like more of a variety with a lens. Any recommendations?
Thanks!
I think you need to read up on DOF (depth of field). It's all about aperture and distances; assuming your 'automatic' lens is the DA40XS, you can already achieve that affect. Make sure that you're relatively close to the subject and that the subject is far away from the background; use a wide aperture (low number); the last parameter that affects DOF is the focal length that you use. If you want to play a bit (theoretically), you can visit Online Depth of Field Calculator.

If you tell us in more detail which lenses you have, you might get better tailored answers; it's useless to advise on a DA40XS if you already have that lens and just can't achieve the desired affect with it.
11-13-2013, 08:52 AM   #11
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Really, Adam's video pretty much said it all. Personally, I tend to not focus so much on fast lenses, tending to disregard them, but that's because since 1967, I've always owned one. I take it for granted.

Of the suggestions out there so far, I'd discard the 35 2.4 for portraits. It's too wide and the out of focus areas can be un-attractive. I use an FA 50 1.7.

So I'd start with the 50 1.8, just to see if you like it.
If you want to spend more, I find 50mm a bit of an odd focal length for APS-c, I'd go to the 55 1.4,or even the 77 1.8. I have a Sigma 70 2.8 that I really like as a portrait lens, for it's focal length, but the 2.8 is a bit limiting in creating nice out of focus area on APS-c.

But it sounds like you'd really benefit from ƒ1.8 or faster.
11-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #12
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Maybe a bit out of left field, but what do people think about the Sigma 60 macro for the OP? F2 gives bokeh and 90 mm equivalent is good for portraits. Now available in Pentax mount.

Or maybe the DA70 Ltd. Unobtrusive and fast focussing.
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