The purple hat portrait, revisited.

Inspiration, Pentax 645D, Portrait, Teaching point

Day 2 with the Pentax 645D.

A nice little beam of sunlight provided the illumination for this image.

The previous Purple Hat Portrait, which has a very different vibe, may be found here.

Yesterday, I posted a test shot taken with the new gear.  However, I’m more interested in portraits than in test shots, so I’m curious to find out what people think of the overall rendering in this portrait.


The purple hat portrait, revisited

↑Pentax 645D and Pentax 75mm @ f/2.8.

18 thoughts on “The purple hat portrait, revisited.

  1. The different moods and light make it a little hard to compare imo. However I’ll take a shot at it.

    The Noct and light in the original brings out a stronger 3D effect, which is to be expected. The contrast and darker background in shot 2 makes it hard to compare these aspects.

    However I prefer the rendering of the second shot in terms of skin tone. I would have added also how the colours from skin, through to hair and then zipper all seem to flow and connect a little better but that could be purely different light available?!

    I could be completely wrong as not very skilled in commenting on technical aspects about photos!

    1. I also prefer the rendering of the second image, although that might be “new equipment bias” affecting me. For what it’s worth, the full size image is quite remarkable.

      1. What will be interesting Peter is to what extent you “enjoy” using this camera vs. having access to that format and size of sensor (and output)? Only time will tell!

        I think if it finds a way into your “photographic” heart (if you get my jist!) from a experience perspective then it will be well worth.

        1. There’s no question that I enjoy smaller cameras more… so in some ways, the experiment is doomed. But I know I’ll learn something from it. And right now, I’m addicted to the image quality… it’s a bit of a “fool’s gold” situation though… photographic integrity has nothing to do with image quality.

          1. Image quality adds to it (photographic integrity) though, if all the other parts of the image come together! But you are right….it will only add to it, not ensure it’s success.

            On that note I have just received “The End of The Road” by Sebastiao Salgado and it is a very sad but moving book. Very relevant to your comments above! You wouldn’t care what his photos are made with….you just know it’s a very talented and passionate photographer (and person no doubt) behind the lens.

  2. I agree with Andrew that the skin tones seems to be more accurate/natural compared to the Noctilux. On the other hand, I prefer the bokehness of the first image over the second. But, because of the different lighting condtions, it isn’t a fair comparison yet imo.

    Overall, you caputered the Life’s Little Moments in a beautiful and very special way! Please continue to share portraits:-).

    1. Agree, the lighting conditions are totally different. I wasn’t trying to encourage a direct comparison between the two… just curious what people thought about the “look”. Thanks for the kind words Jeroen.

  3. This one wins on style, lighting, and composition, while the first wins on “dreaminess” and background rendering. Not sure I could pick a favorite though… What aperture was this second one shot at?


  4. Hey Peter,

    Truly not possible to do a fair comparison. The lighting in this picture is absolutely beautiful. The lighting with the Nocti was a flat overcast light. Moreover, while I’m sure you took both pics wide open – f/2.8 and f/0.95 creates a hugely different rendering. With portraits, unless you’re talking about commercial stuff, I much prefer the rendering in the Nocti.

    Also, I think a more fair comparison would be the MM with the Pentax – same aperture, same light.

    1. Hi Kevin, you are correct – it’s not possible to conduct a “fair” comparison (see my response to Jeroen). You are correct, too, about the type of lighting present in the two images.

      1. Might be some misunderstood — when I open your picture in Photoshop here says 1.6 sec; f/2.8; ISO 200… Of course your exif is right.

  5. Hi Peter,

    I think the Pentax gives a smoother image compared with the totally unique signature of the Noct. I think the Noct has the ability to lift any photo whatever the light. Whereas the Pentax, despite the undeniable IQ looks just that: a high IQ photo.

    I hope that makes sense.



    1. Hi Steve,

      I think I understand what you’re saying, and I believe you are making a very important point. In many ways, creating an interesting image with the Noctilux is easier… with this Pentax set-up I have to work harder, but the pay-off is a more “substantial” image.

      The dreaminess is lost. But, what replaces it may be as interesting, albeit in a different way.

  6. Yes I appreciate what you are saying. I think it would be interesting to see the oof rendering of the Pentax with a similar background to the original Noct picture. No doubt that the ‘substantial’ nature of the larger sensor is is a very attractive proposition in its own right.

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