View Full Version : which lens

26-01-2011, 10:17am
hi everyone i am after a lens to take portraits of my baby and was wondering which would be best. looking at either a tamron macro, pentax macro, pentax 50mm, or the 50- 135mm i think is the other..

26-01-2011, 2:38pm
Disclaimer- I am only one level above 'hack photographer':) ........

but I love my Pentax FA 1.4 50mm for taking photos of the kids. I did all my baby shots with it. Like I said I am definitely not great but happy to post some pics to show you.

26-01-2011, 5:37pm
I'd agree with mopsy that the FA50/1.4 is great for the price-point....if you don't pay Aussie retail of course :wink:

I haven't been that happy with the portrait shots from my Tamron SP 90mm. Don't get me wrong it is OUTSTANDING for macro work, but on people it treats skin tones very cooly. The DA*50-135 will give you some versatility - especially if portraits are a mainstay for you. However, the usual caveats regarding the IQ from any zoom applies.

My recommendation for Pentax primes for portraits...so the best of the lot IMHO are either:
1. FA*85
2. FA77 Ltd
3. DA70

...probably in that order.



26-01-2011, 9:54pm

I am very happy with my DA70 ltd but you will probably do just fine with your existing 50 1.4 and/or 100 2.8.

Have a look at http://www.photozone.de/ to see how the different lenses perfom.

you wouldn't go wrong with any of the lenses on Stills's list



28-01-2011, 3:10pm
I have the Sigma 24-70 F2.8 on my K-x, and it takes superb shots.
Sharp as a tack, and no ca as far as I can see.
I use it mainly for product shots, but also use it for portraits and some advertising work.

The downsides are it's big and reasonably heavy and uses huge, 82mm filters.

Other than that, I can highly recommend it.

Lance B
28-01-2011, 5:12pm
How much do you want to spend?

I have had just about all the Pentax lenses there are on offer except for the DA21, DA40 and DA70.

I have had, and still have a few, of these Pentax lenses which are generally considered for portraiture use due to their focal length. The ones underlined are what I still have and occassionally use and probably never part with:

FA43 f1.9, DA*55 f1.4, FA50 f1.4, A50 f1.4, A50 f1.2, FA50 f2.8 Macro, DA16-45 f4, DA17-70 f4, FA77 f1.8, DFA100 f2.8 Macro, DA*16-50 f2.8, DA*50-135 f2.8, DA*60-250 f4, FA*28-70 f2.8, FA*80-200 f2.8, A100 f2.8 non macro, FA100 f2.8 macro. I have sample shots from each if you are interested to see some. :-)

If you want to stick with Pentax glass:

1) If money were no object, I would opt for the FA77 f1.8 or the FA43 f1.9 or maybe the DA*55 f1.4. Superb IQ from all of them.

2) If you are on a tight budget, then the FA50 f1.4 or the A50 f1.4 would be perfect. You would need to peruse the pages of Eekbay or some such place to get the A50 f1.4 as they are no longer made and are manual focus.

3) If you want convenience for future use, then the DA*50-135 f2.8 or even better the DA*60-250 f4.

4) If you want an all round zoom at a reasonable price, then the DA17-70 f4 is quite good as is the DA16-45 f4.

5) If you want or can get your hands on some old FF zoom lenses and can afford it, then the FA*28-70 f2.8 or the FA*80-200 f2.8 are both superb lenses that give IQ that is exemplary, IMO. They are expensive as they are no longer made and hard to get.

As Tim says above, you would do very well with your current 50 f1.4 or 100 f2.8. Here's one taken with my A100mm f2.8 on my K20D:


28-01-2011, 11:14pm
G'day Lance,

thanks for the detailed reply and excellent information.

Trevor, Lance's "keeper" lenses are a must to investigate to determine which works best for you

when purchasing my DA70 for portraits, I had a close look at the FA43 f1.9 and the FA77 but went for the DA70 as it is a bit cheaper, mind you the FA43 from memory is only about $100-$150 more. If you want a bit more flexibility and as Lance suggests go for the "DA*50-135 f2.8 or even better the DA*60-250 f4".

The DA*60-250 is probably my next purchase.


29-01-2011, 7:01pm
thanks for the replies i think i have decided on the PENTAX DA Star 55mm F1.4, the 2 i have on there the 50 and 100 are old manual ones..

02-02-2011, 10:14pm
good choice