Best Lens for portrait/fashion photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Joshua_Lee, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Joshua_Lee
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    Joshua_Lee New Member

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    Wanting some advice on a good Nikkor (or Nikon compatible) lens for portraits and fashion photography. Not runway fashion, but outdoor/indoor clothing model fashion. New to this and there are so many lenses out there that I figured this is the best place to ask. I have the 50, but it is not good for tight spaces even outdoors.

    Cheers
  2. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    70-200mm f/2.8 VR Nikkor is extremely versatile. If restricted to only **one lens**, that is the lens I would choose. As you have seen a 50mm lens on a crop-frame body is "tight", even when used outdoors. So, if you need some wide-angle lengths, then you need something wider than 50mm for tight spaces...leading to the need for another lens,right? Wellllllllllllll.......
  3. MohaimenK
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    MohaimenK New Member

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    I 2nd Darrel! Although I have the Canon version of that lens
  4. sovietdoc
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    sovietdoc New Member

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    A friend of mine is doing the type of work you're looking to do, his 70-200 almost never leaves the body.
  5. inTempus
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    inTempus New Member

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    The 70-200 is a great lens, probably the one that I have glued to my cameras the most. Next up is a 85mm prime for portrait work. But if I had to choose one, I would take the 70-200.
  6. mooney101
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    mooney101 New Member

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    this is a trick question. If its truly for work ( a paid job) Go with he sharpest lens money can buy. If not then I would go with the 18-200 nikon lens (if on DX). Its not the sharpest lens out there but one of the most versatile. The 18-200 is the one reason I have not made the jump to FX yet. I just havn't seen a good replacement for it for FX (yet). I shoot mainly seniors and family and the versatile zoom range out ways any lose is sharpness.
  7. Joshua_Lee
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    Joshua_Lee New Member

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    Man that is a lot of money. Is there a Tamron/Sigma equivalent? I want sharpness, but also need to make a mortgage payment. haha That being said, I want a little more sharpness than the 18-200 offers. Maybe I just need to start saving. Also, I may be wrong, but wouldn't this lens cause to shoot even farther away from the subject, or is that the point? I felt in some situations with the 50 that I needed to almost zoom out to get my model in the shot, but of course I didn't have that option and had to give up some great full body shots because of it. Maybe I am going about this the wrong way. Someone please explain. Please keep in mind that I am not a professional and I am just getting into portrait photography. I do appreciate constructive criticism.

    cheers
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  8. Timothy
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    Timothy New Member

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    Well if you want to "zoom out" with a 50mm, just walk backwards.
    but I agree with what Darrel said, the most versatile lens would be the 70-200 and there are sigma equlivants can't remember if there are tamaron ones.
    but if you want a fixed length lens then a 135mm is quite good.... or so I've heard.

    Just to restate the 70-200 is your best option, as you can see from the amount of people that have already mentioned it.
  9. Joshua_Lee
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    Joshua_Lee New Member

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    Well that was my problem. There were some situations where backing up was not an option. So I guess my question now is, aside from the 70-200 is there a zoom lens that is sharp in the 24-70 range or something like that? Thanks to all for the help.

    cheers
  10. Tee
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    Tee Well-Known Member

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    Tamron makes a 28-75 full frame 2.8 lens that works really well on a DX body and has good reviews. I have a D90 as well and have used a friends 28-75 and was very impressed. I'm going to pick one up as an interim lens while saving for the 2.8 FX Nikkors.

    Edit to add: price ranges from $450-$500 depending on where you buy from.
  11. DanFinePhotography
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    DanFinePhotography New Member

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    Go check out a couple online merchants. If you just want a portrait lens and 50mm is too tight then look at some at some longer primes. Should be a little closer to your price range and yet get a great portrait lens. I only have had my 50mm for a week or so and its a little restrictive to me but has been great for some close up stuff and really good in lower lighting.
  12. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    I have the Tammie 28-75 on my Canon and its a great lens when shot f/5.6 and above. Not a great low light lens, its slow to af and such, but for portraits and fashion with good lights and all that, should be a fine lens.
  13. PenguinPhotoWrx
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    PenguinPhotoWrx New Member

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    Personally, I would avoid anything wider than 40 mm for portrait work. The subject starts to take up too little of the frame or you start to distort things a little when you get closer.

    For general work I would rank them this way:

    70-210 zoom for general work
    50/1.4 or faster if you can afford it
    85mm- this is probably the best focal length, IMO

    If you're going to set up a specific studio for portrait work, then I would go with the fixed focal length lenses. The fast 50mm makes for great intimate portraits in available light and allows for extremely narrow depth of field.

    But per your description, if I were you, I'd go with the 70-210 or thereabouts. That will give you the most versatility and is a great general lens.
  14. xsouthpawed
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    xsouthpawed New Member

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    Both Sigma and Tamron have their own equivalents to the 70-200mm f/2.8.. though I heard the autofocus on either isn't very good. (Sigma's newer 70-200mm has optical stabilizaiton)

    I use a 70-200 f/4 and I love it :) Though indoors tends to pose a problem since mine doesn't have IS.
  15. mrmacedonian
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    mrmacedonian New Member

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    I don't know the sensors on Nikon models but if you're working with a crop sensor then consider that. if the 50mm is to tight because its actually an 80mm equivalent (like on my 50D's 1.6x crop sensor) then get a 28mm which would be ~45mm equivalent. like others have said wider than 40-50mm you get distortions, though sometimes you may be going for that look so /shrug. primes are definitely the way to go for the sharpest photos you can get my 50mm has been glued on my body for a while now :)

    option to consider for wider prime, happy shopping!

    Nikon AF 28mm f/2.8D
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010

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