Are there specific lenses better used for portraits?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by manda, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. manda

    manda instigator of pottymouthedness

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    ksmattfish and markc maybe u can help me
    both your portrait work i admire so much

    are there particular lenses that are designed with portrait work in mind?
    i have a canon EOS 300 SLR

    Any tips would be appreciated.
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I think the two lenses I use most at the moment are perfect for portraits with the Canon digital cameras. On my EOS-5, I always used my 85mm f1.8, which is considered a superb portrait lens even though it's not an "L" lens. It was designed to have a very pleasing "bokah" (warning, brain-melt matierial). On the digital cameras, it has the equivalant of 135mm. At 85mm, I could have troubles getting a real tight shot because the lens wouldn't let me get close enough to focus. It was usually fine for adults, but a tight shot of a baby had to happen with a crop afterwards. At 135mm, that problem is solved, and it is now on the longer end of the portraiture range.

    I never expected to use it as much as did when I bought it. I fell so in love with it that my three zooms stayed in the bag all the time, and then I sold two of them.

    The other great lens, if you have the money, is the 50mm f1.4. This lens becomes an 80mm on the digital cameras, almost up to what the 85mm was, so it fills in the gap for the 85 after conversion. The bokeh on this lens is also beautiful.

    If you are on a budget, the 50mm f1.8 is a good alternative for the digital cameras at a very reasonable price. It will allow you to get in for a head-and-shoulders shot, and it has a wide aperture for limiting DOF.

    Here's a comparison between the two 50mm lenses.
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    This is one from the 50/1.4 on the 10D at f1.4.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    even though i dohnt EVER use canon, i would have to agree with mark that my nikkor 50mm f1.8 is a suberb lens for getting in close to the subject. and the 135mm will really fill out the frame!!

    good advice mark!

    matt
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    For 35mm film I like to use 50mm for full body, environmental, and group portraits. Something around an 80mm for head shots and close ups.

    Many of my vintage cams are fixed lens cameras, so I have to work with whatever they built in. My Rolleiflex has a 75mm lens, which is actually a smidge wider than normal.
     
  6. manda

    manda instigator of pottymouthedness

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    Thanks very much Mark and Matt.
    I will look into them.
    Youve been very helpful, thanks you!
     

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