I need lens help!!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by brookie418, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. brookie418

    brookie418 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Canon 20D so the only lens I have right now is the 18-55 mm. What are the best portrait lenses to buy? I see websites where the photographer has these crystal clear pictures that are just beautiful...I know the photographer has a lot to do with it...but I also know having a good lens doesn't hurt!
    Within the next few months, I am looking to buy a new lens and would love some ideas on good ones...I photograph family, children, seniors, weddings (I know weddings require different lenses than just regular portrait sessions). I haven't been at this long, so all your help would be appreciated!!

    Also, I forgot to mention...being stupid and not thinking when I first got my camera, I found a 70-300 mm lens for sale, so I bought it not even knowing what I could use it for. Is this a good lens and what is the best portraits to use it for?

    Lots of questions I know, but thanks for your help!
     
  2. ernie

    ernie TPF Noob!

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    i would recommend a 50mm 1.4 or 1.8. costs about 150 dollars and is fast as hell. great bang for buck is what i hear.
     
  3. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    ^^ what he said.. mind you there is a drastic price difference in the 1.4 and the 1.8 at least there is with nikon.. the 1.8 is around 150 bucks but the 1.4 is like 400
     
  4. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    She has a Canon..the 50mm 1.8 is only about $80-$100 depending on where you buy and the 1.4 is about $300. You can't go wrong with either one, but if you're on a budget..the 1.8 is the way to go. I hear the build quality is not as sturdy as the 1.4, but still delivers sharp pictures. Oh and most photographers PP many of their images to have those sharp and vivid pictures, but it's not a bad idea to have a good lens also.

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-1-8-Camera-Lens/dp/B00007E7JU/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1223309664&sr=8-1[/ame]

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Standard-Medium-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B00009XVCZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1223309687&sr=1-1[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  5. brookie418

    brookie418 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I will def. look into the 50 mm.
    I only have Photoshop Elements 2.0 right now, so I am guessing that it's not the best program to be using to help create sharper images??
     
  6. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    I have Photoshop CS3 and have a high pass filter and smart sharpen, but I'm not sure about Elements. If you have a section with all your filters try and find "Smart Sharpen" or "Unsharp Mask" those are used to sharpen up pictures. You can also boost contrast and saturation to have more vivid colors.
     
  7. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Smart Sharpen and Unsharp Mask aren't going to bring out of focus shots into focus. The 50MM is a "sharp" lens, but thats all subjective anyway. However, optimally, if your lens isn't defective then you should get non-soft shots. Composition/aesthetic wise, you may not get the same results though.

    As for a portrait lens, the 50MM is good, and is also a good "walk around" lens. Also look at the Tamron 90MM macro or the Sigma 105MM macro.
     
  8. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmmmm... while the 50mm lens is GREAT, I wouldn't recommend it for portraits. It's too wide; typically when taking portraits you want a longer focal length to flatten out the perspective--a rule of thumb is to be at least 15 feet away from whoever you are photographing. A 50mm is really only good for group shots.

    I personally use a 70-200 f2.8 zoom for portraits, if I want a lighter lens I'll go with a 105mm or 135mm prime.
     
  9. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What the cheese? I think you're going to have to dig really long and hard to find anyone who thinks 50MM on a cropped sensor is anything close to "wide".
     
  10. Kenny32

    Kenny32 TPF Noob!

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    I work for the college I go to as a student photographer...For studio portraits we use a Nikon D300 with a 60mm F/2.8. The 60mm is a SOLID lens, and it produces great results. The college has also had the lens for quite a while (judging by the wear on the lens) and they've had no problems with it.

    I would definitely recommend something along the lines of 50mm F/1.4 or F/1.8...These two lenses are probably the best bang for your buck.

    Also, you might want to take a look at the 50mm or 85mm F/1.2...but that's REALLY expensive.
     
  11. brookie418

    brookie418 TPF Noob!

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    You're right!! haha..I just looked up the 50 mm 1.2 and it is VERY expensive!! Maybe one day...:)
     
  12. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I like the 85mm f/1.8 for portraits. Pretty reasonably priced too at about $350.
    That or one of the 70-200 L's.

    I agree that 50mm isn't very wide at all on a crop sensor, but I also agree that it is too wide for portraits.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008

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