Portrait Lens - Is there a prefered model?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by crowl31, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I love shooting portraits and I am trying to get better at it but I have cheap glass and want to upgrade but what is the right lens to use?

    My instructor told me to look into the 70-200 2.8, but i'm not sold on that as a portrait lens.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Aggressor

    Aggressor TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That lens will give you good portraits... If you don't already have the 50mm or 85mm in 1.8 or 1.4 flavors, you should look into those. Those are nice portrait lenses as well.
     
  3. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have the 50 1.8, but I wasn't sure if there is something better that wasn't a prime.

    Is prime the best lens for portraits, hands down?
     
  4. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Exit #5
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    With film, I use an 85mm f/1.8. With digital, I use the 85mm outdoors and a 50mm f/1.4 indoors (the f/1.8 is satisfactory and is significantly less expensive).
     
  5. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Exit #5
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's better for two reasons. One, it opens wider than a zoom Two, a prime produces better quality images because a zoom is, almost by definition, a compromise.

    The above is a generalization and certainly there are junk primes that are not as good as high-end zooms. I would hope that your 50mm is real Nikon or Canon rather than simply a lens that fits Nikon or Canon.
     
  6. DWS

    DWS TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    another vote for 50mm & 85mm, f/1.4 or f/1.8
     
  7. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,457
    Likes Received:
    2
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You didn't mention what system you have, but if Nikon you need to be careful with the poor background rendering of the Nikon f/1.8 lenses. It can be pretty harsh looking and ruin portrait photos if you're not careful. This applies more to outdoor type shots though where you can have a lot of light points in the background which will get rendered harshly (poor bokeh). In a studio environment it wouldn't really matter. The f/1.4 Nikkors are much better, and I hear even the Canon f/1.8's are fine. My Nikon 50mm f/1.4 is far better for portraits than the f/1.8 version just because of the nicer background rendering with light points even if you're not shooting wide open, and it's still relatively affordable.

    here's what a Nikon 85mm f/1.8 will do with a clean background.

    [​IMG]

    I have some other photos from this lens where portraits were ruined because of poor background rendering, which is why I sold it. but if you're careful and preferably indoors where you can control your background better it's fine.
     
  8. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have a Canon, and the Canon 50mm 1.8.

    If i were to purchase the 85mm would that work well both indoors and outdoors?

    Is a Prime lens only good for close up portraits? I'm concerned that if I want to include the background in some shots i'll be limited.

    Thanks!
     
  9. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Exit #5
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The 85 will work just fine indoors provided that you have sufficient room to back up. Otherwise, a "head and shoulders" shot will be "head" only.

    The whole purpose of these "portrait" lenses is to EXCLUDE the background.
     
  10. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Western NJ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can shoot it in any light you want. If you want more depth of field, simply stop the lens down to a smaller aperture.

    Incidentally, that 70-200mm lens your instructor told you about would make an excellent portrait lens with the added advantage of reaching 200mm.
     
  11. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Exit #5
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Naah. 70mm is too long and the lens doesn't open up wide enough.
     
  12. Jamesy

    Jamesy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    well an 85 won't be any better will it:thumbsup:

    ...anyway, I think a 70-200 would be the t1ts. and useful for plenty of other things.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
canon 50mm 1.4 bokeh portrait
,
is there a prefered f-stop for fashion photography
,
prefered canon portrait lens studio
,

why is the canon lens 70-200mm aprefered lens by photographers