Portrait Lens

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Leo, May 8, 2007.

  1. Leo

    Leo TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking to buy my next lens mainly for portraits. Which one would y'all recommend?

    Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro? or a Canon 70-200mm f/4L?

    Thanks
     
  2. Lars Leber

    Lars Leber TPF Noob!

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    The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is my favorite portrait lens. I don't use it for anything else though so the macro lens or the zoom lens would probably be more versatile.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 2.8 for the Bokeh. There's quite a bit of difference between the two. If you can get an f1.4 in the general range (85mm to 105 mm) that would be even better.

    mike
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    How about the EF 85 F1.2 L? It probably costs about as much as all the stuff listed in your sig...but F1.2...wow.
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    If mainly for portraits, I'd consider the 85mm f/1.8 the best value. If you can afford something even faster, great, but I definitely consider 85mm an ideal focal length for portraits on 'crop' sensors.
     
  6. Leo

    Leo TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your replies, I will definitely look into the 85mm f/1.8 lens. the f/1.2 lens is nice but that's a big chunk of change.
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To get more theoretical, choosing a focal length starts with choosing a perspective. Perspective is adjusted by moving closer to or further from the subject. The focal length then determines the angle of view or how much of the subject and surroundings are included in the final image. The appropriate lens could be a wide angle or super telephoto or something anywhere in between.

    If you want head and torso shots at an appropriate perspective, something in the 75-150mm range is typical for 35mm. That would be 50-100 on an APS digital. For full body shots you would go wider or lower in focal length. For group portraits even wider. I haven't done a lot of fashion work but when I did do it, I often used a 300mm lens on 35mm which would be about 200mm with an APS digital. Most of the commercial environmental portraits I used to do for annual reports were shot with modest wide angle lenses.

    So the answer depends on what kinds of portraits you have in mind. There is no single answer to a broad topic like "portrait lens."
     
  8. Leo

    Leo TPF Noob!

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    I do both head and torso shot, as well as full body shots. Most of my customers chooses full body shots for portraits. So to rephrase my question, what is a good portrait lens for both head/torso and full body shots. Right now I use my 28-135mm lens for portraits but some shots don't come out as sharp as I want them to. And I know that my 28-135mm is a slow lens. That's why I am looking for another lens.
     
  9. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    While I have only done a few portrait shots, I use my 50mm 1.4. Works pretty well for torso shots and decent for headshots (though sometimes awkwardly close) and very nice for full body shots.

    Have you tried using the 50mm for full body shots?
     
  10. Leo

    Leo TPF Noob!

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    no haven't shot with the 50mm yet for full body shots. maybe i should try and use it on my next portrait shoot. i mainly just use the 50mm lens occasionally when i can't use a flash indoors
     
  11. Benjamin_T

    Benjamin_T TPF Noob!

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    On 35mm film, wasn't the 85mm and 135mm lenses considered "portrait" lenses?

    Today on digitals, I think you need something like a 50mm and (or) an 85mm.

    It will all depend on the way you shoot the portraits though...to decide between the 50mm and the 85mm.

    Perhaps the 85mm is for head shots, and the 50mm is for half body portraits. (On the digital crop sensors.)
     
  12. RedDevilUK

    RedDevilUK TPF Noob!

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    sorry but its a newbie daft question...

    why do you all recommend a fast lens for pictures of something sat still posing for the photo???

    i thought fast lenses were needed to catch fast moving objects, like birds or racing cars etc.
     

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