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04-10-2020, 10:48 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Do you want to prove that 6MP is good enough, for you, for hobby, non-pro? Should we tell you that 24MP make more sense?
1MP wir und be enough as are 36MP. 6x6 format was developed to shoot 3:4 n portrait and landscape without rotating the camera. If 6MP make you have happy, 10-16MP make life easier. Now start cropping and 24MP becomes a minimum. Enlarge further and 36MP make sense, ...
Hello ZAPP

thanks for your comment

normal i shoot with 16 Mpx and yes my next camera will have more ....Mpx, i agree 100% with you.
the issue is that my "photo friends" say that I cannot make a good enough portrait today with a 6 Mpx camera.
of course 36Mpx is better than less, it does not say that 15 years ago they could not make a perfect portrait photo.
and that is what i try to do with this little challenge.

04-10-2020, 11:00 AM - 3 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by lenn11 Quote
the issue is that my "photo friends" say that I cannot make a good enough portrait today with a 6 Mpx camera.
They must belong to the "pores are beautiful" club.

04-10-2020, 11:06 AM - 1 Like   #18
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A 50mm 1:1.7 should be absolutely acceptable to get great portraits with a K100D!

I mostly shoot film, but I do have a K100D Super that I love.

I'm excited to see the outcome of what comes from your challenge!
04-10-2020, 01:10 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
I think the issue is going to be how big the output "print" can be with reasonable image quality. Print being an actual print or size on a monitor. An 8.5x11 print seems like a stretch here; 5x7 should be doable. I know others will have stronger opinions than I do as I've not had that many prints made.

Further, my own opinions; a DA 50 1.8 is a perfectly fine optic for this project. Another option would be the DA 70. A Tamron 90mm f2.5, either Adaptall or native k-mount with AF would be something else I would consider, as I quite like my copy for portraits and general use. None of these are expensive, relatively speaking, on the used market (only way to get the Tamron). I think shopping right could get you both the plastic 50 and the DA 70 in SMC for $325 or $350 USD for the pair.
Actually a K-x w/ 12.2 MP at 240 pixels per inch (my preferred resolution printing w/ epson printer) prints about 11.9 inch x17.9 inch. Thus a 6.1MP would print 8.4 x12.7. So 8x12 would be fine, and probably 50% larger (12x18) should be fine. I have printed K-x images at 2x3 ft (or 100% increase in lineal dimension), for a show of theatre productions for my college, and they were fine.

04-10-2020, 01:59 PM - 2 Likes   #20

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QuoteOriginally posted by lenn11 Quote
i had a discussion about how much ...Mpx you need for a 2020 quality portrait.
i own a 16 Mpx dslr, i don't need or want more i am convinced that a amateur don't need more
unlike my friends they shoot full frame 24 Mpx or higher, i cannot convince them that 15 year ago you can shoot good enough quality like today.
so i made a challenge for my self, i'm trying to proof that 6 Mpx is enough for portrait photography, like 15 year ago

step 1. buy a 6 Mpx pentax k100d, DONE
step 2. buy the correct lens for portrait, (i'm thinking SMC Pentax 50 mm 1:1.7) PLEASE ADVICE
step 3. get a model in and start shooting
step 4. share on
step 5. ask your opinion if i met the challenge

i will share my progression from time to time.

thanks for tips/comments

Leendert from Warsaw
Welcome to the forum!

6mp is quite enough resolution for portraits. In fact, razor sharpness is often not especially desirable anyway for such use. Having every skin pore in vivid detail is frequently not flattering. So just good sharpness is good enough, along with a lens of appropriate focal length that also is capable of good background bokeh, which is the out-of-focus smoothness.

The other consideration regarding 6mp camera models is they are of the earliest DSLR technology. One other factor than resolution, is dynamic range. This is the camera's ability to reveal detail in shadow areas while not blowing out the highlights. I shot with a K100D for quite a while, and liked it. When I got my K200D, I liked it much better. But the next generation K-5 was quite an advancement in many ways. The K200D, however, is still very worthy. It does tend to underexpose compared to the K100D (easy to compensate) although sometimes that is a good thing when using flash, especially indoors. I liked it very much with flash. And it features controls for DR as well.

I recommend the "F" or the "FA" 50mm f/1.7 which is sharp (but not razor sharp) even at wide open aperture. Fine for portraits. It becomes very sharp at mid-apertures. It is an autofocus lens and usually can be found at a reasonable price in fine condition. Just be patient and get a good one. The manual-focus one you mention is ok too, but if you go for this type, get the "A" version which allows more functions from your camera, and more accurate metering.

And do use flash, even with outdoor daylight shots. This will reduce harsh shadows and put a little catchlight in the eyes. Even the built-in flash will work for this kind of fill flash at short distances, but you might need to turn it up with the camera's flash comp control for outdoor daylight use, because the flash meter will probably reduce output when detecting a lot of bright daylight.

Last edited by mikesbike; 04-10-2020 at 02:04 PM.
04-10-2020, 02:29 PM - 1 Like   #21
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6 MP is definitely good enough to take great portraits.My first digital was 1.5MP and really enjoyed using it (although could only print fairly small images). I'm sure you will have a blast.
Although that said 36MP FF, certainly has its advantages - particularly for printing very large photos, low light shooting and ability to aggressively crop in post.
04-10-2020, 02:39 PM - 3 Likes   #22
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I shoot some H.S. events. Sometimes I need to do head & shoulder work. I will still use my Pentax istD body. Over 10+ years of doing this I have never had any complaints. People have mentioned how the new sensors will have better D.R. if you can controls your lighting there is no need to worry about D.R. 8x10 are the largest prints I offer at these events and 6mp is fine for this size of print. When doing these events I offer overnight turnaround (most events are Fri.-Sun & photos are taken on Fri./Sat.) by using the istD 6mb it makes processing lightning fast.
The main draw back with 6mb is its limits to be able to be blown up for very large prints/poster & billboards. Its also not good for pixel peeking 😊
04-10-2020, 02:50 PM - 1 Like   #23
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One of the best old portrait lenses IMHO is the m42 85mm 1.8. Optically the same as the K, can be had for <$200. Stellar lens even on full frame (if you go that way later).

04-10-2020, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Prints seem to have gone the way of the dinosaurs ... novelty items.

Advertising, editorial and people's looking at photos is online these days, a pro photographer who doesn't understand that will be unemployed rapidly.

Even giant billboards, the standard resolution for those was 2Mp, as I understand it.

You'll be able to go toe to toe with your 24Mp FF friends, Leendert, if you shoot with even an inexpensive lens in a studio situation.

Outdoors, you'll really benefit from something like the DA*55, designed by Jun Hirakawa back in the day to be *the* portrait lens for Pentax APS-C.
04-10-2020, 05:33 PM   #25
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6mp is fine. I found the 50 1.7 to have harsh bokeh though. Also manual focus through that tiny dim viewfinder is not fun. I'd recommend the FA50 1.4 as a cost effective alternate. And GOOD lighting.
04-10-2020, 10:14 PM - 1 Like   #26
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Years ago I got decent prints as large as 11X14 from my istD. As mentioned, however, the dynamic range of new cameras is much better and it really shows in portraits. My daughter was using my old K10 at school but needed an upgrade to a newer camera to deal with the low light work she was doing. It is not that you can't get good shots with the old cameras, you just need to understand the limitations.
04-10-2020, 11:09 PM - 1 Like   #27

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Either of the Pentax 50mm "A" (manual focus) or "F" or "FA" f/1.4 would be a fine choice, although more expensive. The f/1.4 would probably not be used all that often due to very shallow DOF, but f/2 would work fine for portraits. The current inexpensive DA 50mm f/1.8 is of cheaper plastic body, but offers quite good performance. Bokeh about the same as the older full-frame Pentax 50mm f/1.7 which means not bad when wide open, though not as smooth as the faster f/1.4 lenses at a comparable f/2 or at any aperture.
04-10-2020, 11:14 PM - 1 Like   #28
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I have portraits taken back in the days of the Canon D30* that in the early days of digital photography that sold quite well.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Even giant billboards, the standard resolution for those was 2Mp,
I have used 100Mp cameras for those kind of jobs, considering those prints use halftone elements the size of peas for each colour makes me wonder why they even bother.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Advertising, editorial and people's looking at photos is online these days, a pro photographer who doesn't understand that will be unemployed rapidly.
You're forgetting publication, there is still quite a commercial niche in print media.There has proven to be a commercial market in Fine art publications as well as print editions of art catalogues and designer fashion collections. A lot of people have no idea how miscalibrated their displays are, and in the realm of art reproduction and fashion, colour accuracy is a top priority. I also make pure Platinum prints which command pretty steep prices** I get reproductions printed Via Piezography at the end of the print run, these sell for a fraction of the cost - but they don't have quite the same lush tonality as the original platinum prints.

* the old 2000's era APS-C 3.1 Megapixel Canon EOS.
** mostly because I can only produce a limited number before the negative physically disintegrates and the materials aren't exactly easy to get a hold of or cheap,

Last edited by Digitalis; 04-10-2020 at 11:23 PM.
04-11-2020, 04:33 AM   #29
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Surely, 6 MP is plenty for many applications in photography, and portraits, especially of women, can seem a little unforgiving at super-high resolutions and larger print sizes.

However, moments are fleeting, and I've made it a habit of recording as much data as I can, always shooting RAW, even on a crop DSLR. Gives you so many more options. And you can always discard data while editing or on export, but what you have never recorded just won't be there to work with.

So, enjoy your challenge by all means, but I'm still happier with the 24 MP from my K-3 than with the 15 MP I used to get from the K-7. Whether you "need" or should even wish for way more than 24 MP from a crop sensor is another matter, given that there seem to be limits and trade-offs to how far you can push it.
04-11-2020, 06:39 AM - 1 Like   #30
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Although 6MP is enough for anything, there's also no reason to prefer it over 24MP (or 16MP...). The higher MP count gives way more leeway for cropping, which often can prove useful. There's also a lot a differences between the technologies. It's not just a matter of MP. Newer sensor will also provides better dynamics and way better sensitivity than 15 years old ones. All in all, although it's still definitely possible to make portraits with 15 years old equipment (or even older!), newer equipment will make your life easier.
You also have to take in account that cameras with newer sensors also have a lot of other features. For exemples, if you're into portrait photography, modern eye focus tracking technology is a blessing compared to older AF technologies or manual focusing. Even if it was, and still is possible to make excellent portraits by manual focusing, decent eye focus technology will make it a breeze and provides a much more higher rate of properly focused pictures, which in turn will leads to a higher probability of a good one, all other thngs being equal...
So, to make a long story short, even it's possible to make good portraits with a 15 years old 6MP camera there's also no reason to use one if better equipment is available. And certainly no reason to downgrade from a 24MP camera to a 6MP one.

Last edited by CarlJF; 04-11-2020 at 07:06 AM.

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