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08-19-2015, 12:23 PM   #16
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You'll not regret it, the K50 is a great offer with better ergonomics than K-S1. K-S1 was a trial for differents ergonomics and didn't sell that well.

As for lenses, a prime lense like the DA50 will be great if the child doesn't move and wait for the photo and is not distracted to have the photographer near to him. DA35 is a truely great lense but less interresting for portraiture to me, you might not need it.

While the DA50 f/1.8 would do it, I'd ask myself it you'll could work with a DA70 f/2.4 the forcal length might be better... To complement the 18-55, you might also think of a basic 70-300 or 55-300 (a non WR version can be brought used for a good price on ebay). The zooms might help a lot when the child are moving everywhere (playing a game for example !).

I would start with 18-55, DA50 f/1.8 + a cheap 70-300 or 55-300. That should not be more than 300-400$ in lenses in addition to a K50 kit. If you find out you don't like the 50mm focal length as a prime, if you find it too short... You'll always be able to invest later on a used DA70.

08-19-2015, 01:19 PM   #17
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Oh thanks for the lens recommendations Nicolas. I got the 18-55 kit lens, and found a great deal on a Rokinon 85mm f.18 for outdoor portraits on the marketplace. However it's a manual focus so I hope to learn how to do that. If I cannot handle manual focus, then I can always sell it without losing money. I will probably buy Tamrom 28-75 f2.8 for portraits, a DA40 xs as a walk-around lens, and maybe even a wide angle Sigma 10-20. Even though I'm mostly into portraits, we have such nice landscape here since I'm right by the water. But the wide-angle can wait, I will use kit lens for now as my landscape lens. I have the least interest in macro photography so I feel no desire to own that focal length (which is great news for my wallet too!). If I find I can handle manual focus, I may get a Pentax-A 50mm f1.4 or f.7 to save a bit of cash-- although I'm not sure I need it if I get the Tamron.

Also, the DA40 xs has great reviews and a good price-point, but I'm afraid it will be too zoomed in as a walkaround lens. I'm used to shooting on the iPhone, which I think has an equivalent focal length of 20mm on DSLR?

Last edited by thaliagoo; 08-19-2015 at 01:34 PM.
08-19-2015, 01:40 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by thaliagoo Quote
Thanks all for the valuable feedback. I did indeed ordered a K-50 in white Can't wait to get it and I'm sure I will come back to the forum to ask a million photography questions...
The k-50 is indeed pretty snazzy in white. You'll certainly get some looks.
08-19-2015, 02:11 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by thaliagoo Quote
Oh thanks for the lens recommendations Nicolas. I got the 18-55 kit lens, and found a great deal on a Rokinon 85mm f.18 for outdoor portraits on the marketplace. However it's a manual focus so I hope to learn how to do that. If I cannot handle manual focus, then I can always sell it without losing money. I will probably buy Tamrom 28-75 f2.8 for portraits, a DA40 xs as a walk-around lens, and maybe even a wide angle Sigma 10-20. Even though I'm mostly into portraits, we have such nice landscape here since I'm right by the water. But the wide-angle can wait, I will use kit lens for now as my landscape lens. I have the least interest in macro photography so I feel no desire to own that focal length (which is great news for my wallet too!). If I find I can handle manual focus, I may get a Pentax-A 50mm f1.4 or f.7 to save a bit of cash-- although I'm not sure I need it if I get the Tamron.

Also, the DA40 xs has great reviews and a good price-point, but I'm afraid it will be too zoomed in as a walkaround lens. I'm used to shooting on the iPhone, which I think has an equivalent focal length of 20mm on DSLR?
The rokinon 85 is a fantastic lense but MF. I would think it is an f/1.4 lense, not f/1.8 through..

You'll likely want to change the view finder of your camera or use live view for focussing. But the results will be impressive. That mean that your subject must pose for you through. A zoom like a 17-50 (or better a 28-75 if your are more after people and portraits than landscapes) is a good complement for when you don't have the time to fine tune your pictures. My advices were based on a slightly lower prices characteristics through so I proposed lower end than that.

Anyway if you had brought a very expensive 85mm f/1.4 with AF instead of the Rokinon (like the old FA* or nearest to that available new: a FA77 f/1.8) the K50 AF would strugle a bit due to its lack of f/2.8 AF sensor and also from the fact that the off center AF points are quite large. Typically many here would correct the AF manually when they work with very shallow deph of field (a headshoot at f/1.8 for example).

From my experience, not using MF at all, only K3 or a K3-II would ensure the best focussing experience for appertures like f/1.4 or f/2. This would be even more true in low light (but you don't care) and for of center AF sensors. So don't feel bad you didnt take an AF lense if you can manage MF... An AF lense would have much more expensive and to leverage fully the AF would have required a more expensive body.

If your portraits keep the whole face in focus, this already mean quite some deph of field (more like f/2.8, f/4 or maybe even f/5.6 depending of conditions) and then focussing should be signifcantly easier either manually either with AF. K50 would have no issue here.


Last edited by Nicolas06; 08-19-2015 at 02:17 PM.
08-24-2015, 11:56 AM   #20
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Yes, you're right it's 85mm f1.4. That's very interesting about AF and and face portraits-- thanks for sharing. I hope it will be easier as you say, since I intend on keeping the entire face in focus, with a manual lens. I did also pick up a Tamron 28-75mm (as well as a 55-300) to my collection. Still waiting for my subject though-- that one is not coming until next year ;-) I'm happy with what I have now and I didn't break the bank to get it.

Do you think a flash is needed for portraits?
08-24-2015, 12:27 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by thaliagoo Quote

Do you think a flash is needed for portraits?
Puts you in control of the contrast ratios - even with natural lighting.
08-24-2015, 12:43 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by thaliagoo Quote
Yes, you're right it's 85mm f1.4. That's very interesting about AF and and face portraits-- thanks for sharing. I hope it will be easier as you say, since I intend on keeping the entire face in focus, with a manual lens. I did also pick up a Tamron 28-75mm (as well as a 55-300) to my collection. Still waiting for my subject though-- that one is not coming until next year ;-) I'm happy with what I have now and I didn't break the bank to get it.

Do you think a flash is needed for portraits?
Flash is key element for portraiture and improving the light. You don't use flash so much to get more ligth, but to express what you want. Ask you subject to take the right position and mood and the proper lighting and you get something really impressive and near impossible to get otherwise. There really a big difference.

If you are serious about it, you'll need at least 1 cobra flash with the associated umbrela and flash holder + cable to trigger the flash. Of course a pro would have at least 2 or 3 flashes etc but that start to be expensive and complex.

You could get a flash + umbrella and accessories for something like 150$ I think.

As for babies, that many not the best subject for flash... Better to wait until they are a bit older but nothing prevent to put them in good light when you want some nice photo of them.

If you are interrested in ligting, natural and artificial and flashes, there quite some interresting books to checks. You could train before your subject arrives.
08-24-2015, 01:15 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
If you are interrested in ligting, natural and artificial and flashes, there quite some interresting books to checks. You could train before your subject arrives.
Do you have book recommendations? I'm learning by reading (mostly on the internet) and practicing with the camera.

08-24-2015, 03:19 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by thaliagoo Quote
Do you have book recommendations? I'm learning by reading (mostly on the internet) and practicing with the camera.
Well depending of your needs and current knowledge, I'd advice to get 3 books:

- A book as in introduction to the basics of photography. Apperture, focal length, shutter speed, exposure and so on. For me it was "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. Not the book I liked the most, but it is good. Beware if you buy several book from the author... They tend to repeat and share lot of content.

- Then you should take a book on composition. How to compose your photos. This is really key and one of the most important aspects of photography, more important than the technique because this what will make your photos boring or interresting. The excelent book "The photographer's eye" by Michael Freeman is really a reference. Many people here will insist on the technique they learned, frightened when a more modern camera make half of what they learned unecessary. Still this is the creativity and the ability to make interreting photos that count.

- Then if you are after portraiture and flash photography, you could take a book on the subject. Michael Freeman again has a serie "Photo school" were each book focus on a subject. There one for B&W, one for landscape, one for portraiture, one for flash photography and so on. For me the one on portraiture would make sense for you. But to me this should not be your only book on photography if you don't already master the fundamentals of photography and at least composition! Even through portraiture is really a special subject.

Take some time maybe to check a few reviews on the internet or on the forum, could be helpfull !

Last edited by Nicolas06; 08-24-2015 at 03:32 PM.
08-24-2015, 03:38 PM   #25
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Last but not least. Taking the photo right the first time is really important but that not always practical and you' can't do everything on camera.

Post-processing is a key aspect of taking photos. And thanks to digital and computer this is now far easier than before were it was necessary to develop the photo yourself to control the processing.

Now with software like Lightroom, DxO or Apperture you can really improve your photos thanks to post processing. There things that are purely technical like how to get back some details in highlight or shadows but things that are purely creative: control the colors, constrast, exposure and so own to participate to the things you want to express with your photos. Don't dismiss post processing. All the wonderfull photos you found here and here and think that was only possible thank to a better camera/lense are often due to post processing.

If you are computer savy, there even RawTherapee that is completely free and does quite a descent job.
08-24-2015, 06:59 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Last but not least. Taking the photo right the first time is really important but that not always practical and you' can't do everything on camera.

Post-processing is a key aspect of taking photos. And thanks to digital and computer this is now far easier than before were it was necessary to develop the photo yourself to control the processing.

Now with software like Lightroom, DxO or Apperture you can really improve your photos thanks to post processing. There things that are purely technical like how to get back some details in highlight or shadows but things that are purely creative: control the colors, constrast, exposure and so own to participate to the things you want to express with your photos. Don't dismiss post processing. All the wonderfull photos you found here and here and think that was only possible thank to a better camera/lense are often due to post processing.

If you are computer savy, there even RawTherapee that is completely free and does quite a descent job.
I agree and here's an example:

Original shot:




Contrast/Sharpness adjustment:




Color adjustments:



If you're shooting in raw you should at least be doing contrast and noise adjustments to your photos.

This pic was shot with the DAL 18-55.
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