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Portrait lens.

StarScr33m
Posted 19/11/2012 - 10:44 Link
Hi all,

I would like some suggestions on what are some good portrait lenses with good quality sharp images.

Thanks.
_________________________
Pentax K3
Vivitar 28-200mm f3.5-5.3 A Macro
Tamron 90mm f2.8 SP DI Macro 1:1
Pentax smc DA 55-300mm f4.0-5.8 ED
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC
Pentax 18-135mm WR
womble
Posted 19/11/2012 - 11:34 Link
This is a bit of a "how long is a piece of string" question but here goes anyway...

The "traditional" portrait length for 35mm was an 85mm lens and all of the Pentax offerings at that length are superb, as is the FA 77mm Ltd. One alternative is the slightly longer SMC Pentax-M (or -A) 100mm f/2.8. These were, however, designed for film cameras and are probably a bit long for APS-C. The DA* 55mm seems to be the intended replacement lens and has a good reputation. If you want a modern autofocus lens, the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 is excellent choice which also gives some flexibility. Not the fastest AF in the world, but gorgeous image quality.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.
ilovesaabs
Posted 19/11/2012 - 11:37 Link
The DA* 55 is the 'replacement' for the glorious FA*85..

Pricewise - DA50 f1.8 is a good portrait, followed by the FA50....
Quality wise 55 and 77 are stellar...ultimate portrait lens is of course the FA*85...
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff
DaveHolmes
Posted 19/11/2012 - 11:44 Link
StarScr33m wrote:
Hi all,

I would like some suggestions on what are some good portrait lenses with good quality sharp images.

Thanks.

I'd've thunk your 90mm tamron would do a pretty sterling job???

Is it too long? Maybe look at a fast-50-ish offering (M/A/F/FA50 1.4 or DA50 1.8 or DA*55 1.4 or even DA70Ltd are all shorter) or maybe even a 35mm (FA's 31Ltd or 35-f2 or DA35-2.4)...

There's lots of suggestions but unsure of your usage or budget...
........................................................................
Digital:
Pentax K5- Vivitar 19mm 3.8; FA35mm f2; D-Xenon 100mm macro f2.8; DA50-200mm WR...
Flash:
Yongnuo YN-560; Vivitar 285HV; Cactus V4 triggers...
Film:
Pentax-MX & M50mm f1.4; Spottie & 55mm f1.8; MG & M40mm 2.8...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveholmesphotos/
ilovesaabs
Posted 19/11/2012 - 12:51 Link
I'd say re-mortgage house/wife/children and get the FA*85....
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff
LennyBloke
Posted 19/11/2012 - 13:07 Link
If cost is a main consideration you could do a lot worse than start off with an older 50mm lens. I would recommend the A series f1.7 (£35-65ish) or maybe an A f2.0 (£25-45ish) - the focal length is about right and you can take advantage of wider apertures to play with portrait style depth of field (shallow).

If cost is not a consideration then the DA* 55 f1.4 is the current Portrait offering from Pentax (as said earlier in the chain - the replacement for the FA*85) and has the advantage of being a digitally optimised, weather-resistant, SDM (advantage?) powered lens

Hope that helps
LennyBloke
gartmore
Posted 19/11/2012 - 14:47 Link
I use the Pentax F 50mm f1.7
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -
Posted 19/11/2012 - 19:25 Link
Star, you already have a great portrait lens in your collection, namely the Tamron 90mm Macro.
But if you want a very fast prime, then the 77mm Limited, Sigma 85mm F1.4 or DA*55mm. Also the Manual 55mm F1.8 in various guises is a cracker!
For zooms, the default choice for me is the DA*50-135mm - an Outstanding lens for studio work.
For full length shots, The DA35mm F2.4 is a little gem, and cheap too.

Hope this helps
Some Cameras
matwhittington
Posted 19/11/2012 - 20:07 Link
I have been taking a very large number of pictures of people recently and I find it really depends on how far away you are from the subject. If you are doing studio portraits, maybe this is less of a consideration. I find I get my favourite results with the FA50, although I also use the DA35 (non macro) when I want a slightly wider angle; and when a bit further away, the DA70, which I find is really good wide open at f2.4. I have also just recently got hold of a Sigma 85mm f1.4, which I'll be trying out this weekend. If I had to go with just one though, it would probably be the FA50. I echo that the 50-135 has stellar quality too, although it's a bigger lump than the primes (although the 85mm gives it a run for it's money!)

Cheers
Mat W

My Flickr: link
Mannesty
Posted 19/11/2012 - 20:39 Link
Offertonhatter wrote:
Star, you already have a great portrait lens in your collection, namely the Tamron 90mm Macro.

Isn't this going to be way too sharp for a portrait lens?

It'll surely show every pore, skin blemishes, and facial hair. 

It may well be a suitable focal length, but I think that too much post-processing would be needed to soften the pin sharp images.

Portrait lenses are normally designed to be somewhat soft wide open, as is the FA 77mm Ltd lens and I believe, the FA* 85mm.

I don't do portraits, so I may be completely wrong.
Peter E Smith - flickr Photostream
Edited by Mannesty: 19/11/2012 - 20:43
Don
Posted 19/11/2012 - 20:59 Link
Mannesty wrote:
Offertonhatter wrote:
Star, you already have a great portrait lens in your collection, namely the Tamron 90mm Macro.

Isn't this going to be way too sharp for a portrait lens?

It'll surely show every pore, skin blemishes, and facial hair. 

It may well be a suitable focal length, but I think that too much post-processing would be needed to soften the pin sharp images.

Portrait lenses are normally designed to be somewhat soft wide open, as is the FA 77mm Ltd lens and I believe, the FA* 85mm.

I don't do portraits, so I may be completely wrong.

weather with filters or other techniques, or photoshop it is always easier to make a sharp lens look soft than the other way around..
may fav lens for digital portraits is the Pentax 100 mm macro..followed by the 50 1.4 then the 16-45
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Edited by Don: 19/11/2012 - 21:00
Algernon
Posted 19/11/2012 - 21:10 Link
If you do prints from a 100mm lens Don, isn't it very flat
looking.

I used to hate using a 135mm on film anything bigger than
a postcard print looked terrible.

A general rule of thumb with prints from 35mm is that they
should be viewed from the same distance that they were
taken to show the proper perspective.... that's about 6ft
for a 10"x8" print.... It would be more for APS-C

I would use a 50mm/55mm.
-
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Edited by Algernon: 19/11/2012 - 21:12
Mal
Posted 20/11/2012 - 00:03 Link
Depends on how much you want to spend , If you already have the 90mm Tamron you don't to look any further , i get great results using it as a portrait lens between f2.8 - f5.6 .

I just got a Carl Zeiss 35mm F2.4 Flektogon the other week and i find it to be a wonderful portrait lens , but saying that you can pick up a lot of manual lenses that will do the job , like i say its what your willing to pay , I don't mind using manual lenses especially for portraits , its not like there going to run away lol
Don
Posted 20/11/2012 - 00:06 Link
Algernon wrote:
If you do prints from a 100mm lens Don, isn't it very flat
looking.

I used to hate using a 135mm on film anything bigger than
a postcard print looked terrible.

A general rule of thumb with prints from 35mm is that they
should be viewed from the same distance that they were
taken to show the proper perspective.... that's about 6ft
for a 10"x8" print.... It would be more for APS-C

I would use a 50mm/55mm.
-

I love the 100... and no they don't look flat...
Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
DaveHolmes
Posted 20/11/2012 - 00:24 Link
I also sugested the Tamron 90 macro that the OP owns...

I find my 100mm macro a joy for portraits...
........................................................................
Digital:
Pentax K5- Vivitar 19mm 3.8; FA35mm f2; D-Xenon 100mm macro f2.8; DA50-200mm WR...
Flash:
Yongnuo YN-560; Vivitar 285HV; Cactus V4 triggers...
Film:
Pentax-MX & M50mm f1.4; Spottie & 55mm f1.8; MG & M40mm 2.8...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveholmesphotos/

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