Lenses for Portraits

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by sillyphaunt, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    I got an Canon Elan 7e on Ebay for a good price, it comes with a 20-90mm f4-5.6 lens. THat will work for some of the shots I do, but I'm wanting to do portraits as well, I need a 50mm for that, correct?

    What lens would you recommend for shooting portraits? I know it will need to be at least a f2.8, I see a f1.8 Canon EF lens for about $73, but I wasn't sure if I'd want to go something better quality?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    Where are you plannin on doing your portraits at?
    If you're gonna be doing outdoor portraits, i'd say that a 4-5.6 could easily work. And as far as the focal length, i'm pretty sure 50 is inbetween 28 and 90. The main problems i'd see rising would be indoor photos w/out lights (which I wouldn't really recommend anyway.) and if the quality of hte lens is up to par. Just make sure you understand the relationship b/t distance b/t subject and background, focal lenght, and aperture to control blurriness of background
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For portraits of individuals and couples, the vast majority of my work is done with a "twice normal" focal legnth. This is important if you intend to use vignettes and certain diffusers. It also provides a good amount of "flattening," which is more flattering when photographing people. My primary recomendation for your camera is 100mm.

    http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=152&modelid=7310

    I hope this is helpful.

    -Pete
     
  4. ksmattfish

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

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    For 35mm I like 80mm+ for close ups and head shots. 50mm for shots that include most of the body. Your zoom lens should cover that.
     
  5. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    Hmm.. Okay, so you're saying that lens should work? I'm pretty lens amateur, I have 4 lenses with my Canon Ae-1, but they're the FD ones so won't work on this camera right?

    Thanks for bearing with me. :)
     
  6. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    Ugh, I think I just need to understand more about lenses and what they are appropriate for.. where can I go to learn that?
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes that's correct, your FD lenses will not work on your EOS camera.

    Appropriate lens is a relative statement. What is appropriate for one person's purpose may not work for another person.

    As pointed out, 100mm (twice normal on a 35mm camera) is a good rule of thumb for portraits. If you go with a really wide lens, it will accentuate the distance between elements (ie: makes noses look bigger/funny). A longer lens will "flatten" as Pete says. Thus giving the model a more flattering look.

    There are lots of good books and lots of things to read on the internet. Lots of practice will help too.
     
  8. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    Ahhh Thanks Mike, that makes sense. I guess I'll just use this one for awhile and then see what I need. :)
     
  9. ksmattfish

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

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    Put the lens on your camera, take a bunch of photos, take notes. ;) I would start out only using the zoom at 28mm, 50mm, and 90mm. It's too hard to learn/remember if you are all over the place. Take every shot with those 3 focal lengths. Try to keep the aperture the same, so you see how the focal length affects DOF. Sometimes stay in the same spot (same subject to camera distance), other times move and try to keep the general composition the same.
     
  10. sillyphaunt

    sillyphaunt TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Matt..I'll try what you said as soon as I get my camera (its being shipped right now)..I'm starting an online photography class and hope to learn everything I can about the camera this summer.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Matt had posted a series of shots...the same scene with different focal lengths. It was a great example of how focal length affects the photo. You might be able to find it with a search.
     

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