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04-08-2010, 10:36 AM   #1
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Portrait lens help please

I know there are lots of posts and threads and i have read a lot and read an awful lot of reviews.
Basically i will be shooting my soon to be born son and general family portraits.
I bought the K-x for its shake reduction and low light capabilities.
I was thinking of getting a 50mm 1.4 but have now been reading up on the SMC 100mm f2.8 and the Sigma 105mm 2.8.(also the tamron)
I have a budget of about 250 so can pick up a good second had version of some of these lenses.I was looking at the old manual lenses but i think i will be better of with Auto focus as i have never used manual focus before and dont want to miss any shots i will be taking by trying to get the settings right/focus.Also some reviews say the pentax does not have a limiter switch-would this make any difference as i would not be going staright from portrait shot to macro etc.
Can anybody who has both a f1.4 50mm and any of the 2.8macro lenses advise me on which they prefer for the tpye of pictures i require.
Many thanks.

04-08-2010, 11:13 AM   #2
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Let me begin my saying that I don't have these lenses, but I have had the pleasure of using both of them. For what you want to do I would say the the 50mm f/1.4 would be the better choice for the situation. It is faster then 100mm f/2.8 so it would be the better choice in the low light that you will most likely shoot in. However, both of these lenses are very good and you can't go wrong with either of them, but from my experience the 50mm will be the best for the situation.

Also, congratulations on the new son!
Cory
04-08-2010, 11:59 AM   #3
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I highly recommend the 50mm f/1.4 as a portrait lens. It's cropped at 75mm on your K-x so it's almost like a short tele.

This is my most used portrait lens in my cam bag because of the beautiful background blur (bokeh).

I haven't used the 100mm f/2.8 but seeing that it's 150mm on an ASP-C body I'm not sure how useful it will be indoors.
04-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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I use a SMC 50mm M 1.7 for the most part since i like the sharpness that comes out of it. It also have great bokeh but sometimes I do some some shots due to my inexperience focusing quickly. Guess I just need more practice.

04-08-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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Congratulations on the boy! You've got a lifetime of joy - and great pictures - to come.

Let me wholeheartedly recommend the 50mm for this. While 100mm is great for portraits, it is better for setup shots where you're a comfortable distance away. For newborns, your shots are often going to come standing over your baby, leaning over a crib, or lying on the floor at odd angles to get that shot of your baby falling asleep in his walker. The 50mm is great for this - and the 1.4 will give you tremendous play with artistic depth of field shots in those situations. You'll come away with some beautiful photos.

Best of luck on one of the greatest moments in your life.
04-08-2010, 12:16 PM   #6
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Many thanks to all for the advice.....looks like i will be going for the 50mm 1.4.
My son is not actually due until 07/07 so hopefully i will pick up a lens and get used to it before he pops out............hehe
04-08-2010, 12:23 PM   #7
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If you put 50 $ more you can buy a SIGMA 50mm EX DG Macro, it's costs 300 $ in internet. IMHO this is a very good lens for this price, of cours ist a Pentax DA 50 mm 1.4 better than SIGMA but not so much.
04-08-2010, 12:31 PM   #8
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i would suggest the 50 1.4 would be a good way to go.
The major pro would be the wide aperture allowing very effective lowlight, indoor shooting of portraits.
A very good lens which produces great results. Its extremely popular.

04-08-2010, 12:41 PM   #9
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I can find one of these pentax smc 1.4 for 220 second hand with 6 month warranty.
Does that sound like the average price for this lens in the uk?
04-08-2010, 12:49 PM   #10
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The Pentax fa 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7 will be a great choice. Once your kids grow up maybe you will want a longer tele to take those candid shots without being in their face
04-08-2010, 01:30 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vize Quote
The Pentax fa 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7 will be a great choice. Once your kids grow up maybe you will want a longer tele to take those candid shots without being in their face
I agree with FA or F 50/1.7. Which I like even more for portrait work is DA 70/2.4 limited. A little bit longer focal length works for me. But F or FA 50/1.7 is great choice and it is in your budged.
04-08-2010, 01:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jacos Quote
I can find one of these pentax smc 1.4 for 220 second hand with 6 month warranty.
Does that sound like the average price for this lens in the uk?
Not sure, but that's really no cheaper than the FA version, and since you mentioned wanting autofocus, I can't why why you'd spend that much on a version that doesn't have it (if you are willing to give up autofocus, you can get an M50/1.7 for *much* less than that - probably about 1/10 as much).
04-08-2010, 02:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Not sure, but that's really no cheaper than the FA version, and since you mentioned wanting autofocus, I can't why why you'd spend that much on a version that doesn't have it (if you are willing to give up autofocus, you can get an M50/1.7 for *much* less than that - probably about 1/10 as much).
Sorry i mean the Pentax SMC 'FA' 50mm F1.4 AF Lens for 220
04-08-2010, 03:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by shawnxji Quote
I highly recommend the 50mm f/1.4 as a portrait lens. It's cropped at 75mm on your K-x so it's almost like a short tele.

This is my most used portrait lens in my cam bag because of the beautiful background blur (bokeh).

I haven't used the 100mm f/2.8 but seeing that it's 150mm on an ASP-C body I'm not sure how useful it will be indoors.
I couldn't agree more with getting this lens as a portrait lens. I absolutely adore it and it has "saved my bacon" on more than one occasion, the pictures attached being one of them. I was very proud of this shoot, truly.

I love that you can use it at completely wide open for an artsy effect, like the tulips picture I attached, as well as all the way up to f/11 for tack sharp results.) At f/1.4 it is obviously very soft-focus, as this lens is meant to be. It's extremely shallow DOF there, but just at f/2, one can take great portraits if one is careful to get the eyes in focus.

It has extremely creamy bokeh, as well, which I LOVE! And it is the right price, in my opinion. It is the cheapest prime you'll probably ever buy that is autofocus!

Cindy
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04-08-2010, 03:14 PM   #15
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I prefer my DA70 over my others lenses for head & shoulders portraits, and my DA40 for full length or outdoor small group photos.
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