Must have lenses for Portraits (Canon XS)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Derek Zoolander, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    I havent had my camera more than 2 weeks and I find myself most enjoying taking pictures of people.

    I just got a 50mm f1.8 for my Canon XS and I absolutely love it.

    What else would you guys recommend getting? I really liked the price range the 50mm was in, but I'm assuming there isnt much out there that costs that little.

    Either way, I'd like to know what you think I should get for what I like to shoot.

    What do you all think about after market lenses? should i just pay the premium and keep getting canon lenses?
     
  2. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    If you save up, some L glass is wonderful all around, once you save to the price range, then look around. Otherwise, you will just be wasting money.
     
  3. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    I think something like an 85/1.8 would be a good portrait addition, it's a real upgrade quality wise over the 50 in addition to the extra focal length.
     
  4. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Choosing a portrait lens is not just a best mm length issue. It really deppends on the subject. One of the best ways for a paparazzi to make money is to actually use the wrong lens to take pictures of celebs. These are the "shocking" pictures you see in the tabloids. Example would be using a wide angle for a fairly close in shot. The person would look like they put on some weight. Or using a long lens and the actor will look thin and gaunt looking as though they are sick.

    On a full frame camera 85mm is considered to be in the sweet range. As it has a slight slimming effect with little facial distortion. With a crop sensor it may be a little long and have a flattening effect.

    A wide angle lens used too close will have not only a fattening effect but will distort things for the worse close in. Like a nose seeming to be very large. So, its really good to have a range of lenses for portraits. Basically maybe a nice fast lens that covers between your 50 and 85 or so.

    I use a 35-70 f/2.8 for portraits (on my digital with crop sensor, 80-200 for film camera). They may not have the best quality as compared to fixed lenses in same aperature range or faster. But it gives me the ability to adjust the focal length to get the best "facial" effects. Then I move the camera closer or further to fill the frame. Basically using the lens opposite to normal use. The key is to have a pleasant flattering shot of the face. Some people are amazed from the shots I take of them, and its just purely due to adjusting the focal length. No magic needed in the darkroom or photoshop now a days.

    There is more too it than just focal lengh, but it is a big factor. Angles play a large roll too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008

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