Lens for portraiture/modelling work.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Oronare, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Oronare

    Oronare TPF Noob!

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    Hey all,

    Not been on here for a while, BA photog course keeping me busy bu I have a quick Q.

    I have a new favourite film - neopan 1600 - and will be doing some low light nude work with my friend, they will go towards my work of course but she also wants some to frame/possibly forward to agencies.

    Anyway, I have a few lenses right now, but I can always loan them from uni. The ones I have are a 24mm prime, 55mm prime, 28-100 and 70-300. I am trying to choose between the 24mm prime, and 55mm prime.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Too wide. Nose will look overly large.

    Can you get your hands on an 85mm f/1.8?
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    The 55mm may not be so bad deppending on the distance your going to be shooting from. If your in close you may get some unflattering distortions.

    Basically longer lenses tend to be more flattering. 85mm to 105mm is about the norm for film portraits. Some like to go even longer to like 180mm. Alot of it deppends on the model and her features.

    Also have to watch angles.

    An example of this would be a model with strong cheek bones. You would not want to be using a 55mm from an upper angle in fairly close. The cheek bones (and nose) would become extremely prominent (because of the angle and lens characteristics). And not a very good picture at all.

    You can use your 28-100 lens, but would need a tripod, and she would need to be still (not stiff as a board but still), due to the longer shutter speeds. Can do it though.
     
  4. Oronare

    Oronare TPF Noob!

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    Well the 55mm prime actually acts as an 82mm on my D200, due to the 1.5 sensor, so it may be ok for the digital work.

    For the film I could use the 28-100 but it is an auto lens, which means it will be stuck on a set aperture if I use it on my FM2.

    thanks :)
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :er:

    If you don't know how to control the distortion. I've shot at 10mm-15mm and the subjects don't have overly large noses.
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    This link will give you an idea of how various focal lengths may effect a portrait.

    http://www.stepheneastwood.com/tutorials/lensdistortion/index.htm

    Generally, and of course not always, photogs opt for longer focal lengths for distortion free images that are more flattering to the subject. I've met guys that won't shoot portraits at anything less than 200mm. Some even claim 300mm is ideal. :) It looks pretty funny watching them work because they're so far away from the subject, but it does have its benefits.

    But as with all things in photography, there aren't really any steadfast rules. Do what works for you. Doing things out of the norm can be considered creative. :)

    P.S. My personal favorite portrait lens is my 85mm.
     
  7. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Well, I guess a lot depends on what you consider to be "overly large." :lol:
     
  8. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    +1 on the 85L being the best :) I have so many other lenses now, but I seem to only use the 85. Its just amazing!!!
    70-200 is a great portrait lens too if you can get your hands on one.
     
  9. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Throw this idea out. Just toss it and the baby and that bathwater on out. When people make suggestions for lenses, this has already been factored into the equation, as the great majority of digital shooters are shooting on non-fullframe bodies. So while the 55 might be good (it wont be "bad"), they really do mean look at the 85 and up.
     
  10. maoparungao

    maoparungao TPF Noob!

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    try he 55mm for whole body shots and the 70 - 300 for tight shots.If I may ask, is the neopan 1600 a bit too grainy? Are you shooting in available light?
     
  11. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    "In Close and Shoot Wide". It's REALLY popular in photojournalism these days and frankly, I dig the look. I've had trouble mastering it, though.
     
  12. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    I love my nifty-fifty for portraiture. Then again I have a D300 with a crop sensor so it acts more like a 75mm. With my Konicas, I shoot portraiture with my 100mm. I'd say that for you, the 55mm is fine as long as you pay attention to angles and give a little more distance between the camera and the subject.
     

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