Pentax Portrait Lens


I have Pentax K100D with the basic gear with Kit's len + DA 50-200. I narrow down to few choices for my 3rd lens which I plan to use for indoor portraits with my kids. And my choices are below, though the sigma 17-70 is not ideal for indoor portraits without flash, it is my top replacement choice for Pentax DA 18-55.
  1. Pentax SMC FA35 f/2
  2. Pentax SMC FA50 f/1.4
  3. Sigma 17-70 f/2.8
I know many people like 50 f/1.4 but I am concerned on the longer focal length. So far I like both the basic kit's lens and DA 50-200 but for indoor, I get soft and high iso 800 pictures such as these pictures taken with kit's len without flash. I could have tried lower iso and more windows natural lighting to get sharper pictures. Comments from others suggest that I may have front focusing on my DA 18-55.

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Anonymous said...

I was gonna recommend you buy an M 50/1.4 until I saw your update. Anyway, you can't go wrong with a 50mm lens for portraits, especially on a 1.5x crop sensor.

Portraits are really usually done with long focal lengths, but that shouldn't stop you from using shorter focal lengths for certain effects you have in mind.

Anyway, 75mm (50 with the crop factor) is a good number for both full-body and close-up portraits.

You'll have fun with your 50, trust me. One suggestion, though. You might wanna get a split-focus screen for your DSLR. Helps immensely with manual focusing, which I'm sure you'll get into after some time. ;)

Hin Man said...

Vince, thanks for visit and comment. I want to get M 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7 as well but I can't find the A 50mm for a reasonable price under $100 and that is why I went for the FA 50 f/1.4 instead. Thanks again for the tips and comments.

roentare said...

I think you would have to get a zoom to start with and find out what focal length you are most comfortable with doing protraits.
People like Darren Melrose uses Fa 31 ltd or even Zenitar lens to take street candids. Yeah, Street candids. He does his style of protraits very well using wide angle primes. So it is a personal question. How would you like your steak cooked? Rare medium or full...

Taufik Eko Yudanto said...

Dear Han,
I'm using 2 kind of pentax 50mm manual focus lens, the SMC-Takumar 50mm/f1.4 which is grear for low light portrait (got in from a friend for IDR500.000 or nearly US$50) and Pentax-A 50/f2 which is relatively small and goes well with the P-TTL flash (got it from my other friend for IDR250.000 or nearly US$ 25) and I'm very happy with them, especially when I purchase a split focusing screen for IDR450.000 or nearly US$45. I find the split focusing screen is really helpfull for focusing and I really recommend you to have this, so you can buy a cheap Pentax lens and still get the picture well focused. I put my picture on, please come over if you have some times.... Cheers...

Hin Man said...

@roentarre, thank you for the pointer, visit and comments on trying out for individual liking on focal distance. I am humbled to see your rich collection of photos in pentax gallery, you are the first person whom I visit with a enormous count of pictures. I am more than impressed with the pictures that you have taken.

@taufik, thanks again for the visit and the important suggestion on split screen which I am researching as we speak. I will visit your multiply site next. Thanks again.

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