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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:27 am 
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Hi,

I have a Sony Alpha 350, and am currently looking for a very good portrait lens with minimum to no distortion. The latter preferred.
The quality of images I am aiming towards are high quality, indoor, outdoor, and low light conditions. This is for capturing single individuals and not groups.
What would be the ideal specifications to look for to help me achieve this aim?

Many Thanks

Steve J


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:06 pm 
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50mm f1.8. Enough said :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Welcome Steve to the Camera Labs forum!

Or if you're willing to invest a little extra, the 50mm f/1.4 is highly recommended. In my opinion, it's worth the higher price.
The Zeiss 85mm is another option, but I find that's often a bit too long a cropped-frame camera (such as your A350).

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Oh, by the way, I've moved your thread to the Sony section, since more Sony users will see your question here.

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:41 pm 
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Thank you very much for your replies and help Jeremy and Bjorn, and for the kind welcome too.

I am wandering how big a difference could I expect with an f1.4 over an f1.8, would it really be that noticably different to the human eye?

many thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:08 pm 
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In terms of specifications, not much, I think there is half a stop in it, so thats not too big a difference.

I think the main difference (at least it is with its CaNikon equivalents) is the build quality and focus speed of the f1.4.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Thank you very much Jeremy.
Now that you have said it I think I can see it. The f1.4 would be particularly benefial when the subject is moving, due to the faster responce, but not so noticable when not moving.

Is that right?

many thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:11 pm 
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Hi,

I strongly recommend you purchase a portrait lens based on the focal length over sharpness/image quality. I am saying this because this affects the perspective you are after. Longer focal lengths such as 85mm and 100mm will cause the photos to look flat (distant object appear bigger and closer together to your main subject). Since you own the A350, I assume that you don't have the budget (I could be wrong) for very expensive portrait lenses like the 35mm G and the Zeiss 85mm F1.4. If you want double duty, 50mm and 100mm macros are respectable choices because they offer macro capabilities as well.

One lens that I recommend is the Sony 50mm F1.8 DT SAM or a used Minolta 50mm F1.7 on ebay. I prefer the Minolta because of the build quality which is better than the Sony (metal mount, very hard plastics, screw drive AF) and image quality for the dollar. I used it more than my Zeiss 85mm because the focal length at 50mm is more useful. Even though it is cheap (at around $110 for a good copy), the image quality is stellar and the focal length is particularly useful. It has nice balance of perspective between wide and tele focal lengths and offers very little distortion. I have the circa 1986 version of the Minolta and it has been a great performer.

If you are planning to shoot mostly indoors in a small house, I recommend going a little bit wider than that (28mm and 35mm), but unfortunately those lenses can be more expensive than the 50mm counterparts.

If you have no money for a new Sony, search Minolta equivalents on ebay. The only difference are purely cosmetic and the optical coatings, which is very minor image quality-wise.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:38 pm 
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Thank you very much Jsiszero,
apologies for not getting back sooner. You have said a number of things that are worth taking in to consideration.
I think Minolta are the better lens, so it will probably be one of those.

thanks very much.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:59 am 
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Minolta 50mm AF f/1.7.

Every bit as good as the more expensive Sony options. You'll find them on ebay for $100 or less. I have one, and it's rarely off my A200 - The kit lens only ever gets a look in when I need wide angle, I also have a 70-300 zoom but that only gets put on when I really need the distance.

You'll love the 50mm whichever you opt for. Cannot beat the quality for the price.

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