Headshot photography - Gear

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by kdavis, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. kdavis

    kdavis TPF Noob!

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    It's time for me to invest in a DSLR. I have a max of $2000 to spend.

    My long term goal is to do actor headshots. Headshots and portraits are all I care about when it comes to photography, they are my passion.

    With this in mind, I have done research and it seems the more I do, the more confused I get. I also have a slight learning disability, so it makes it a little more difficult to grasp certain concepts.

    I hear contrasting statements from different people and am not sure what to be true. I have read that the camera body isn't as important as the lens for portraits. But I have also heard that an XSI doesn't compare to even a 40D. Does it really matter if the lens is what is the most important?

    -I will shoot handheld and outdoors in natural light 95% of the time.

    From my own research, I was going to buy the Canon XSI and Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM.

    Since the Canon body and this Canon lens do not have Image Stabilization, how much of a factor is that for headshot / portrait photography? Is it necessary to have an IS component?

    I was also looking at the 100mm f/2 lens.
    I'm also open to other Canon DSLR's or even Nikon.

    Thanks for reading, I appreciate any feedback!

    Kevin
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The lens is very important.
    DSLR camera's are essentially similar now ... the biggest difference being the size of the sensor (and some image processing qualities) ... but I would say the lens has a greater influence.

    A low quality lens on the best DSLR will produce a low quality image. There are many things about optics that introduce aberrations that will reduce image quality. The higher quality lenses attempt to correct as many aberrations as possible.

    From what I hear from others ... the Canon EF 85 f/1.8 or EF 100mm f/2.0 is a very good lens.
    I would assume Nikon makes similar lenses.
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    The EF 50mm f/1.4 is also a very solid lens. All of these shots were taken with it and my lowly 450D.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    In time, you'll discover that this will severely limit the quality of your portraits and thus your income.

    If you've ever seen a professional shoot, there are lights, modifiers and reflectors all over the place, especially outdoors, because of that one big light the photographer doesn't have so much control over, the Sun.

    But the images look as if they were shot in natural light which is why the pro gets paid the big bucks..

    But definately, jump in, get you some gear, make some portraits, and start learning the ropes. :thumbup:
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    XSi with 85mm F/1.8 USM is a good start. And I agree with KmH regarding lightning. You may start off with some reflectors and learn more about lightning down the road (that is what I try to learn now).

    You may seen this link a lot in this forum, because it has a lot of good information regarding lightning.

    Strobist
     

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