Need advise from experienced Canon portrait photographers

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by angelusagendi, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. angelusagendi

    angelusagendi TPF Noob!

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    Good day,

    I'm looking for some insightful advise from experienced portrait photographers who use Canon cameras.

    Currently, I have Canon t5i eos camera (crop sensor camera). I am diving into portrait photography. I already have a lovely Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens that makes nice headshots. However, I find it challenging to do: a) group photo (2-5 people), b) full length photo. For the group photo, my focus often on one person only, and even if I increase f to 4.o I have a similar issue. Secondly, I have a hard time take full body length photos as I have to step out far away, and once I do it somehow the quality image goes down and often focus also is not good. I know that crop fact plays a role in it too because my 50mm probably becomes like 70mm.

    I'd like to purchase a new lens where I can do group shots (max 5 people) and continue doing beautiful single shots. Some people advised Tamron 70-200mm, f/1.8, but the reality is (also confirmed by Tamron advisor) that it will bring me to over 110mm. Same for any lens of 85mm...

    Could you please advise a good portrait lens to take photos of couples and family, and also do full body length shots, considering I have a crop cam (Canon t5i).

    Thank you so much for your advise. It means a lot to me.

    Nata


     
  2. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum.
    I think you need to do a little reading on focal lengths. If the 50mm is too long for you to get group shots and full body portraits, an even longer lens like the 70-200mm will be even worse. You need to look for a 35mm, or maybe a good zoom, like the 24-70mm. Also you need to understand that different focal lengths have different looks. The shorter, the more distortion you will get, especially towards the edges. Some people say 50mm is already too short for a portrait.

    BTW: your camera has a "crop factor" of 1.6x, so you have to multiply that with your focal length to get the full frame equivalent you are talking about. So 50mm will become 80mm and 70mm will become 112mm.

    When doing group shots, f4.0 isn´t really that big of a number. Stopping down to f 8.0 would help you get more people in focus.

    So all in all, you are quite well set with your 50mm lens. Keep practicing - you will like it sooner or later.
     
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  3. angelusagendi

    angelusagendi TPF Noob!

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    THANK YOU, you are so kind.
     
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  4. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As said above you need a shorter focal length. I'd recommend a sigma 17-50mm f2.8 OS lens. Its inexpensive for what it is.It will work as a fast standard lens good in low light and you can use it for groups by stopping it down to f5.6 or 8 or even 11, depending on how deep the group is
     
  5. OGsPhotography

    OGsPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    50 mm should be plenty short to get 5 people in a photo. Step back like 10-15 feet. Go tk certical orientation for full body. Otherwise obviosly you need a shorter lens, which may not be ideal for portraits due to distortion. Wide angles can make for some interesting portraits.
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A field of view calculator can show the focal lengths AND the picture area's size. At 34.5 feet, on 1.6x APS-C, an 85mm lens has a field of view about 8.47 feet tall; on a Canon full-frame, the same 85mm lens will have that same 8.47 foot tall field of view at 20.0 feet. These FOV calculators can be found on-line.
     
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  7. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    longer is better for portraits
    look at the FOV 'field of view' calculators
    Or just buy the best portrait lens and stand back ........ like this portrait photographer
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/desertrose76
     
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  8. angelusagendi

    angelusagendi TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your help. I am curious to understand the following. In comparison to the Sigma lens you suggest, what can you say about Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and also Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4?
    When picking from those 3 options, what would be the best choice and why?
    And thank you for your patience and explaining maybe simple things to the beginner.

    Nata
     
  9. angelusagendi

    angelusagendi TPF Noob!

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    Thank you :)
     
  10. angelusagendi

    angelusagendi TPF Noob!

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    Thank you, Derrel. I found many a field of view calculators online. I still need to learn how to implement the info I get from that calculator to my practice. I am new to the science of photography. Interesting how many people assume that photography is just having a good eye, and being able to press the button, but it is not the case, of course. Photography is also art married with science :)
     
  11. angelusagendi

    angelusagendi TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your reply and for the link. The photos are sooooo beautiful! I love it :) I am curious to know the following. Even if I buy the best portrait lens, will matter that I am using not so fancy camera - simple Canon T5I? The photos on that page are shoot by Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Could you please give me more insight about that so my learning? And do you think I could achieve such beautiful photos with my Canon t5i simply using the best portrait lens and of course playing with light, iso, aperture, etc? I appreciate your help.
     
  12. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The sigma 18-35mm lens is f1.8. Generally lenses with smaller f numbers are better (this is a generalisation but it's good enough) because lenses with smaller f numbers have the ability to leave in more light.This sigma lens can leave in a lot of light.....but, it's range is from 18mm to 35mm which is not much for a zoom and these lengths are not ideal for portraits, as wider angles of view tend to not flatter people in photos.

    The 35mm f1.4 is a lens with an even smaller f number, so more light, but as it's a prime lens it can't zoom, so it's probably excellent but not very flexible.

    The sigma 17-50 f2.8 has a larger f number, so is not quite as good at leaving in the light, but it's range 17-50 is more than the others. You'll probably find for group shots you will try to be as long as possible, probably at 35mm or a little more, for single people shots you'll be at 50mm (again not always, but generally longer focal lengths are better for people shots)

    This is why I recommend the 17-50 f2.8, because it's range suits portraits and people shots, f2.8 is pretty good, you have a 50 f1.8 if you need really narrow depth of field, and usually you'd stop down to f5.6 or 8 or 11 anyway for group shots as larger f numbers give you more distance in focus, or a larger depth of field
     
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