Portrait Lens Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bizoey, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. bizoey

    bizoey TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,
    I am thinking of getting myself a lens that will do well for portrait situations.
    I have a somewhat-old-school olympus E-410, and already have the standard kit lenses (wide angle + the 40mm - 150mm zoom) along with a 25mm pancake lens.
    As happy as I am with my newest purchase, the super-sharp 25mm, I think I would rather go for something with a better DOF and mooooore bokeh. :sexywink:
    Because quite frankly, I don't really want to have to use my zoom for that.
    Anyways, if you have any recommendations, let me know! I will appreciate it very much. :biggrin:
     
  2. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

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    Not being familiar with Olympus equipment, I don't know the exact focal length, but for portraits, generally speaking you would want to be 85mm and above, and for the bokeh you are looking for a quality lens. This lens does not have to be a prime, but a lot of folks do like them for portraits.
     
  3. nickisonfire

    nickisonfire TPF Noob!

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    can't go wrong with a fifty
     
  4. bizoey

    bizoey TPF Noob!

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    so would it be worth getting a 50mm if I already have a 25?
     
  5. nickisonfire

    nickisonfire TPF Noob!

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    I have a 28mm and a 50mm and they serve different purposes, but that's just my opinion on the matter.
     
  6. jpeters

    jpeters TPF Noob!

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    I loved my 135, give your model a bit of space which I think makes them more comfortable plus having a nice shallow DOF at F2.

    That was my 135 f2L for canon so I am not sure what you can buy thats close for your olympus
     
  7. Wolverinepwnes

    Wolverinepwnes TPF Noob!

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    50 or and 85
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Unfortuately, bokeh is not something that comes in variable quantities. Bokeh is a subjective quality related to the characteristics of shape and form of objects in a blurred background. There are actually 2 types of bokeh, regular bokeh and Hollywood bokeh.

    Bokeh is almost entirely controlled by the number and shape of the aperture blades in a lens.

    Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia on 'Bokeh'

    Bokeh characteristics may be quantified by examining the image's circle of confusion. In out-of-focus areas, each point of light becomes an image of the aperture, generally a more or less round disc. Depending how a lens is corrected for spherical aberration, the disc may be uniformly illuminated, brighter near the edge, or brighter near the center. Lenses that are poorly corrected for spherical aberration will show one kind of disc for out-of-focus points in front of the plane of focus, and a different kind for points behind. This may actually be desirable, as blur circles that are dimmer near the edges produce less-defined shapes which blend smoothly with the surrounding image. Lens manufacturers including Nikon, Canon, and Minolta make lenses designed with specific controls to change the rendering of the out-of-focus areas.

    The shape of the aperture has a great influence on the subjective quality of bokeh. When a lens is stopped down to something other than its maximum aperture size (minimum f-number), out-of-focus points are blurred into the polygonal shape of the aperture rather than perfect circles. This is most apparent when a lens produces undesirable, hard-edged bokeh, therefore some lenses have aperture blades with curved edges to make the aperture more closely approximate a circle rather than a polygon. Lens designers can also increase the number of blades to achieve the same effect. Traditional "Portrait" lenses, such as the "fast" 85mm focal length models for 35mm cameras often feature almost circular aperture diaphragms, as is the case with Canon's EF 85mm f/1.2L II lens and Nikon's 85mm f/1.4D, and are generally considered exceptional performers. A catadioptric telephoto lens displays bokehs resembling doughnuts, because its secondary mirror blocks the central part of the aperture opening. Recently, photographers have found how to exploit the shape of the bokehs by creating a simple mask out of card with the shape that the photographer wishes the bokeh to be, and placing it over the lens. Common shapes are stars and hearts, but it is possible to create it with almost any shape imagined.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The WIKIPEDIA entry on bokeh is written by a person who has collected a number of half-understood concepts and posted it as a Wikipedia entry...
    it's a half-baked definition of the subject obviously written by somebody who's not really technically proficient enough to understand much about lenses. If a person wants to learn about bokeh, Wikipedia is not the best place.

    To the OP--you already have a 40-150mm zoom for your Olympus. Somewhere within that range you ought to find a good focal length for portraits.
     
  10. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey folks, the op has an E-410 which is a 4/3 size sensor. In terms of what we all like to go on and on about, the crop factor is nearly 2. A 50mm lens will give her a field of view equivalent to a 100mm lens on a full frame camera. An 85mm might just be too long for a portrait lens with that sensor. However, keep in mind that a portrait lens can be any lens you want to use, each will have strong and weak points in terms of perspective and working distance.
     
  11. dolphinstreet

    dolphinstreet TPF Noob!

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    I have an E-410 and I recently purchased the Zuiko 50mm F/2.0 and I got some nice portrait photos. Here is an example of our daughter, using this above gear.

    [​IMG]
     

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