portrait photographers

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Dexter-1, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Dexter-1

    Dexter-1 TPF Noob!

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    This question is for those of you who do a lot of indoor portrait shooting. Do you use mostly a prime lens or zooms or both? Coventional wisdom is that an 85mm lens is ideal for portraits so do you just shoot with an 85mm prime or something like a 105mm zoom to give you a little more flexibility vice having to always move the camera around?
     
  2. budskiphotography

    budskiphotography TPF Noob!

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    Im not a indoor portrait photographer, but Im going to say it really just depends on the style or look you want. You should listen to lightsource podcast, a lot of the guest photographers will talk about the looks they have and how they got there.
     
  3. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    I do almost all my studio portraits with a 24-70mm
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used to do most of it with either the 50mm, but then moved to a Sigma 105mm F/2.8 and thought it was the cat's pajamas, then I started playing with the Nikkor 70-200VR F/2.8... but that was only until I picked up and used the Nikkor 85mm F/1.4 prime. It is so far above the others that I feel it doesn't have any competition at all. If ultimate portraiture quality is what you are looking for, I would have to point to this lens. In terms of sharpness, colour and contrast quality (not to mention its the best fix a bokeh junky can find... lol), I cannot see anyone being unhappy with this lens.

    No matter what you use, though, to avoid facial distortions, you want at LEAST a 70mm or greater focal length. Then you avoid things like chipmunk cheeks and all the other nuisances that come when you use a closer focal length.

    I'm still getting used to the 85mm, but already its at the top of my heap.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  5. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    I want to second the 85 prime. I put off buying one for too long, and I have had a really stellar experience with mine now that I have it. For a full body length shot indoors, a 24-70 is a good choice, as is a 35 prime. A 70-200 will do in some cases as well.
     
  6. Dexter-1

    Dexter-1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. What's the difference between the 85mm F1.8 and the 85mm F1.4 (besides price)? Is it really worth double the price? Also, any real difference between the grey market lenses and USA made ones?
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    An 85mm is good for portraits because it allows you to be close enough to the subject to interact but far enough away not to interfere with the lights. And there is just enough foreshortening to flatter the model.
    I used to use a 105mm on medium format.

    With the lenses you mention the difference of approximately 1/3rd of a stop at max aperture makes a bit of a difference in that you can shoot at a slightly lower light level - but this is not an issue in the studio.
    The slightly shallower depth of field is more important but again not that important.
    The thing to really look at is how well the two lenses perform against each other.
    It may well be that the more expensive lens has a bit more contrast and is sharper at every aperture, which would make the extra expense worth it.
    Check out the specs for each on the manufacturers web site or read some technical reviews.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IMHO it is. It is a much better lens (for example, the F/1.4 is much sharper at F/1.8 than the F/1.8 is). Rather than me just repeating what others have said, just do a google and see for yourself. :)

    Absolutely zero quality difference between the imported and other ones. It is 100% the same lens. I bought the imported one. Some people say that the imported ones will not be honored in a warranty request, but I called and spoke to the Montreal branch of Nikon Canada and at least for me I was told that my warranty is 100% in place.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  9. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    I plan to buy either the canon 50 1.2 or 85 1.2 at some point for the occasional portrait but for the cost right now I would rather rent them and spend the money on other more valuable equipment.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 50 does give a little of that chipmunk cheek effect, unless you are far enough to capture 1/2 body shots or more. Definately not the best bust portrait lens I would use. :)
     

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