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Cheap but good portrait lens? (APS-C)

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by scrowley91, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. scrowley91

    scrowley91 TalkEmount Regular

    48
    Aug 10, 2014
    New Jersey
    Sean Crowley
    I'm looking at portrait lenses for aps-c, and still haven't figured out exactly what I want. The Minolta Rokkor md 2.5 100mm seems good, but so does the Super-Takumar 105 f2.8 or Nikkor 105 f2.5. I'd go for an 85mm, but they seem to be quite a bit more money. Any suggestions, ideas?
     
  2. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    Both the Sony 50mm f/1.8 (75mm equiv) and the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 (90mm equiv) are excellent and inexpensive alternatives. (With a native you get auto focus.)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. mnhoj

    mnhoj TalkEmount Regular

    123
    Aug 19, 2013
    I just picked up a 60. Nice, sharp and $150 used.
    Here's one from one of my all time favs, the Nikon 100E 2.8. The small size makes it a delight to use with smaller bodies.
    11276399713_09e049eb12_h.
    jake e
    by mnhoj, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I second Sigma 60mm. Very hard to beat. As a cheaper alternative Canon 100mm 2.8 is hard to beat, got just one for 70 Euro. Not used it at all as I am really busy at work right now.
     
  5. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    The SEL 50mm f/1,8 and the Sigma 60mm f/2,8 are very good. The sigma is razor sharp! Very impressive and the colors and bokeh very nice! I love that lens. And it's the cheapest E-mount lens! I would also recomend the Rokinon 85mm f/1,4. It's very cheap for its quality! It's full manual and there is an E-mount version, nonetheless there is no AF.
     
  6. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Any legacy 50mm stopped down to f2.8 should produce great sharpness and bokeh. I'm yet to find one that disappoints.

    I think 100 and 135 mm is too tight for the inside, and often even for the outside. But they do produce great results. I had 2 different 135/2.8 and they both had creamy bokeh and sharp foreground (also low contrast so useless for SOOC JPEGs ) but I sold them because the FL was too limiting.

    However I lately prefer AF lenses as I take mainly informal portraits of people in motion and don't have the skill or patience to use MF for that. Sony 50/1.8 is very good, Sigma 60/2.8 seems excellent, Sony 85/2.8 on LA-EA2 could be a nice portrait lens and not expensive if you already have the adapter. Minolta 50/1.7 or 50/1.4 in A-mount are inexpensive and great, I had 50/1.7 and in good light it was every bit as good as Sony 50/1.8, of course Sony was better when OSS was required, plus it had faster and silent AF. But if you have the adapter, you can experiment with these Minoltas without spending much money.
     
  7. shaolin95

    shaolin95 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    942
    Jul 3, 2013
    The SEL50F18 is a very nice lens for sure! Very smooth bokeh. I prefer manual lenses usually but I wouldnt mind getting the SEL50F18 again specially for when I want some stranger to take a pic of me and my wife...easier to explain than using a manual lens! :D
    I added a sample of my Canon FD 50mm F1.4 with Lens Turbo 2. Got lucky as I was shooting over my head so couldnt see the peaking that well. :)
     

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    • Like Like x 3
  8. scrowley91

    scrowley91 TalkEmount Regular

    48
    Aug 10, 2014
    New Jersey
    Sean Crowley
    I've got a super takumar 50mm f1.4, so I'm good on the 50mm range, and the lens is drop dead gorgeous. I'm looking for something that can have the same effect but for a longer focal length. (not exactly the same, but something that is also beautiful)
     
  9. shaolin95

    shaolin95 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    942
    Jul 3, 2013
    I got the FD 100mm F2 which is my favorite Portrait lens but not cheap. I have seen great pics from the 85mm F1.8 though and without a Speed Booster I think that will be as long as I would like to go on APS-C. :)
     
  10. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Canon FD 85/1.8 should be extremely good if it's close to the modern EF version optically. KEH has them for $260 or so. Or you can get a brand new Rokinon 85/1.4 for that much. Some people claim it's closer to Canon 85/1.2 in performance, but from the samples I've seen I prefer the bokeh of 85/1.8.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    • Like Like x 11
  12. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  13. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Great shots, #2 exemplifies to me the special "painted" bokeh look that lens produces, and the way it renders colors.

    I'd get this lens if my portrait subjects were able to stop for one second and wait for me to focus without acting all annoyed. As it stands, I am without the 85, as I know that I would probably hate the Sony 85/2.8 after been exposed to Canon, and there's no more AF options that don't cost an arm, a leg and a firstborn.
     

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    • Like Like x 1
  14. mnhoj

    mnhoj TalkEmount Regular

    123
    Aug 19, 2013
    Here's one with the Rokinon 85 on a speedbooster. Large but fairly inexpensive and produces nice results imo.
    11830163716_027877ba16_b.
    DSCF2242.jpg
    by mnhoj, on Flickr
     

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    • Like Like x 3
  15. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    940
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I saw an SEL50F18/B open box in my local Best Buy last night... oh so tempting. If we didn't need a new dishwasher.... ;)
    (Maybe if it's still there next week....)
     
  16. mnhoj

    mnhoj TalkEmount Regular

    123
    Aug 19, 2013

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    • Like Like x 7
  17. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I love my 50 SEL for outside work and 20mm SEL for inside work.
     
  18. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    940
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Well, it tuns out that today Sony put the SEL50F18 (and a few other lenses) on sale.
    https://www.talkemount.com/showthread.php?t=8003

    Kind of makes the open-box I saw a tad irrelevant... unless I can negotiate them down even more. ;)
     
  19. scrowley91

    scrowley91 TalkEmount Regular

    48
    Aug 10, 2014
    New Jersey
    Sean Crowley
    I see people saying that 100/105 is too long for portraits, and it got me questioning if I would be ok with that focal length, so I borrowed a friend's Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS and grabbed some shots. (on a dumb adapter)

    14949400651_e73f616beb_b. August 17th by scrowley91, on Flickr

    14765885548_0ff858fa01_b. Ewa by scrowley91, on Flickr

    14952158952_7cc9a0e396_b. Pip by scrowley91, on Flickr

    14952158182_95a4821b52_b. Outlook by scrowley91, on Flickr

    14765886598_ac31b363a4_b. Long Day by scrowley91, on Flickr

    I shot these all wide open at about 100-135mm, no lights or reflectors, just quick snapshots during a video shoot. I think it's actually pretty much the perfect focal length for me! Odd how much people differ; gotta figure out which 100/105mm to get...
     

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    • Like Like x 3
  20. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I think that you're better off ignoring that sort of opinion, as I'm sure that all of us have taken many very pleasing shots at focal lengths that are considered "inappropriate" for their particular subjects. That first shot, for instance, is a great portrait of a beautiful woman. My guess is that she's pretty happy with it, even if the lens is totally wrong. :p