Pentax 6x7 Portrait Lens

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dazedgonebye, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. dazedgonebye

    dazedgonebye Member

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    I recently picked up a beater Pentax 6x7. I have the 105mm lens (in bad shape).
    I'm trying to decide what lens to ad for portraits. I'd like to be able to do head shots.
    The candidates:
    135mm f4 macro. Slower than I'd like and I'm concerned about f4 both for the light and the dof. On the plus side, it'll get close as it is.
    150mm f2.8. I'll need an extension tube to get close. f2.8 is nice. I see less about this lens than I do the 165mm and they seem to go for less. I'm wondering if it is as good as the 165mm.
    165mm f2.8. Again, I'll need an extension tube and I like f2.8. I see this one recommended frequently. What does it have over the 150mm f2.8?


    Anyone with experience with these lenses that would care to share advice and examples?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I have the 135 macro and the 165 2.8. I find the 135 macro pretty much covers everything you need in a portrait but it isn't sharp wide open and when you extend the lens for close up you have to remember to open up as much as a stop. Using flash it is kind of a pain in the rear as you have to be methodical and remember not to forget to open up. I think if you use the camera meter, which I never do, it will tell you to open up as you extend the lens.. not sure about that. The 165 is a nice sharp lens, kind of large but the newer version is light weight. You have to be quite a ways away for closest focus.. something like 4 or 5 feet. Once you put an extension on it you will lose the 2.8 so I am not sure it is an advantage over the f4 135. The 105 that you got is a very nice focal length and is quite sharp, at least mine is. If you are buying off ebay you might just try getting one of the lenses and then if you don't like it put it back on ebay and you should get most of your money back.

    I have never tried the 150.
    Dennis
     
  3. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have the 165 mm f4 leaf shutter lens which would be desirable if you wanted to use flash or strobes. For available light, it offers no advantage over the regular 165 mm f2.8. The lens is very sharp and would work well.
     
  4. raizans

    raizans Member

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    can the latest 200/4 focus close enough? i would think that's what you're looking for, since you're going to lose some speed with extension tubes anyway.
     
  5. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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  6. dazedgonebye

    dazedgonebye Member

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    Dennis,
    The 135 certainly seems the simplest option. I'm looking for image examples on flickr now. I doubt I'd lose an entire stop by adding 14mm of extension to the 165mm. Others have recommended a +1 diopter with this lens, but I'm wary of cheap diopters ruining good glass.

    Jerold,
    I seldom use flash, so the leaf shutter lens is not an attractive option for me.

    Raizans,
    The 200mm focuses slightly closer than the 165mm, so it must offer tighter shots. I wonder how tight?

    Mark,
    Nice shot from that 150mm. I'm begining to think it's a good alternative to the 165.
     
  7. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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  8. dazedgonebye

    dazedgonebye Member

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    Very nice stuff Dennis.
    Do you happen to recall the aperture for that Nico shot? I'm wondering what dof will look like. I've used dof master to calculate it, but seeing is so much better.
     
  9. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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  10. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    I wouldn't worry about losing speed when using an extension tube with the 165. I have a similar situation with my Bronica ETR/S cameras. If I use an E28 tube on one of my 150mm lenses I can get closer for portraits but this amount of extension is almost too much so I have to set the lens almost to the infinity mark to even things out. The net amount I have extended the lens by is less than 28mm. I finally found a 105mm f/3.5 Zenzanon which gets closer and is long enough compared to the standard 75mm lens to give a pleasing perspective. Adding an extension tube doesn't turn an f/2.8 lens into an f/4 lens. It simply reduces the amount of light hitting the film. If the f/2.8 lens had a long enough helicoid to get you as close as you want to be, you would lose just as much light. Most 6X7 shooting is not done hand held. For the purpose of portraits I think the Mamiya RB67 is easier. The built-in bellows can get you closer than you would get with most other medium format lenses which have built-in helicoids. I do hand held shooting with my Bronica GS-1 but I only have the 100mm focal length. For portraits I think I'd like to have a 200 but the 200 is more expensive, heavier and slower than a 150.
     
  11. Doug Webb

    Doug Webb Member

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    I have the 135 4.0 and the 165 2.8. For me, the difference between 4.0 and 2.8 is significant, especially when the light is low or I want less depth of field. I use the 165 2.8 with the shortest extension tube from the 67 auto extension tube set for tighter head shots, 3/4 portraits work fine without the extension tube. I don't lose a stop of light with the short extension tube, it's more like 1/3 stop. I make almost exclusively black and white portraits and, when I use the in camera meter and the short extension tube, no adjustment is needed for exposure. I occasionally make adjustments for exposure when I don't use the in camera meter. You will have to check the exposure issues out carefully if you plan to use color slide film and an extension tube. I bought the 165 2.8 for portraits because the 135 portraits I tried made faces looked more distorted than I wanted when I got up close for tight head shots. Some people like the distortion or don't notice it, others sometimes really don't appreciate the way their face looks with the 135mm. I have used the 165 2.8 hand held and tripod mounted with no problems. There have been many occasions when I wanted to use this combination in low light and I was able to make the shot work with Delta 3200 and the 2.8 lens but wouldn't have been able to with a 4.0 lens like the 135mm or 200mm. This usually happens when I am trying to hand hold the camera or my portrait subject is not so good at remaining motionless. I haven't tried the 150mm lens. The 135mm lens can work for group or environmental portraits without out introducing distortion issues, or you can back off a little when you take the photo and crop the negative when you print it.
    Good luck,
    Doug Webb
     
  12. k8do

    k8do Member

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    The interesting thing is that Dennis' portraits are first rate...
    And the discussion was a lens length for 6X7...
    And the portraits are all square...

    denny - old TLR shooter...
     
  13. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The links I gave as examples were rectangle full frame pentax 67 shots but if you poked around and looked at more stuff you will find that I use a Rolleiflex as well as 8x10 and 4x5. I never said everything I shoot is P67. And the only person allowed to call me Denny is my Grandma and she is dead. (not for calling me denny) I do find using a Rollei the most pleasurable of all cameras though it is more limiting than the P67.

    Dennis
     
  14. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    I'd go for the 200 (best perspective for close portraits), my ideal portrait lens is the 180mm for 6x7 format (different camera), I use a 250 for close portraits. Remember, the expression the subject gives you is sometimes a function of how close you are with the camera/lens. Close is intimidating; setting back further is more comfortable for the subject being photographed.
     
  15. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I've had a number of P67 lenses go through my hands over the years and found that the 150, 165's and the 200 all functioned well for portraits. I don't tend to crop real tight and don't recall close focus issues hampering me with any of these. My 135 has an "edge" to it that isn't always complimentary to middle-aged folk, the 150 is softish, the 165 LS I had was a bit soft, the 165 2.8 is sharp but somehow looks good in portrait duty and the 200 is sharp and the one that I use most often because of my lighting/background issues.

    If I've got a problem with the P67 in portrait duty it's that the noise and commotion give too many blinks in my results. Recently, I've been using a 150 on an RF system with better success, even though this isn't accepted practice by most people. I like seeing the eyes during the exposure and can easily see if I captured what I intended.
     
  16. dazedgonebye

    dazedgonebye Member

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    I've been lookinf flickr over for examples...mostly I'm seeing that I'd like to have several lenses...which may mean I'll be happy with any of them.
    I'm still sorting out some problems with my ttl finder. After that, I buy a lens.
     
  17. Samuel West Hiser

    Samuel West Hiser Member

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    You will enjoy the 150/2.8. Very sharp and affordable. A no-brainer. It is wide enough to step back and get some air around the subject but you can get close too and fill the frame with head & shoulders. If you want nose-hairs & pores, it'll be the 165/2.8.

    Consider the 165/4 LS if you want to use flash, as it is a leaf shutter lens and will sync at a variety of speeds.

    Any one doing a lot of portrait work would be justified having all three.
     
  18. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    How do you manage the cable release when using the leaf shutter and flash with the 165/4 LS?