Portraits

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by pandinus, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys and girls...

    I shoot a great deal of landscapes and a good deal of sports photos, but I'm curious about portraits.

    I'm planning on buying a 105mm lense for portrait photography, and macro. Would this be a good focal length for portraits?

    Does anyone have any ideas or tips on how to shoot good portraits?
    I'd really apprechiate any and all help you guys and girls could give me.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    What camera format are you shooting with?

    Generally, yes, that would be a very good focal length for portraits, provided that you have enough room to work.

    Lighting is important.
    Expression is important, the best portrait photographers create a good atmosphere or feeling with their subjects, so that they can capture natural expressions. (if that's what they are looking for).
     
  3. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. The camera is a Nikon D100, and the lense I'm looking at is a Sigma 105mm DG lense. I believe it's made for digital cameras.

    I don't have a studio, but I have a great deal of ideas for lokations and settings in mind. All the places I'm considering using for shooting portraits give loads of room to work.

    In the near future I hope to be able to buy an appartment. There I intend to create a studio in one of the rooms... Some props for people and portrait shots, lighting of course and equipment for shooting macro shots etc.

    Could you perhaps point me in the right direction as to some ideas and tips and triks to portraits and people photos?

    Like I sayed to start with, I really apprechiate all and any help. =)
     
  4. Zoso

    Zoso TPF Noob!

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    A good focal length but my only advice for portraits is get in close, real close
     
  5. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For 35mm film I like the 105, with digital I like the 85.
     
  6. GacAttack

    GacAttack TPF Noob!

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    Your camera uses a sub-frame image sensor (the image sensor is less than the full frame of a 35mm film exposure) so you'll need to understand how your D100 receives the light from your Sigma 105mm lens. It will simulate a longer lens; additionally, it will prevent vignetting on cheap lenses because what would have been the corners of a full-frame sensor are actually cropped off by your D100.

    Just something to be aware of, especially if you're actually desiring a true 105mm representation.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With a 105mm the picture will be close, but you'll need a megaphone to talk to your model.

    I have a 105 and used it for a few portrait shots, but when this lens is mounted I restricted the shot to head and shoulders only. This is all that fits in on a digital camera body. I actually suggest for a reasonably good all round portrait lens to look at the 50mm f/1.8, and or the 85mm
     
  8. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    The Sigma lense I've bought is made for digital, so luckily I don't have to think to much about the frame size of the sensor. I have a 35-105mm where I keep forgetting this... Thanks for your advice. =)
     
  9. FidelCastrovich

    FidelCastrovich TPF Noob!

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    Study light. Study paintings by artists like Rembrandt. Learn to identify shadows and light patterns, and see how they affect the image.
    Develop a personal style. Do you like shoulder+head shots? Do you like environmental portraits? Do you like dark, mysterious themes?

    About the lens - 85 is considered the perfect portrait lens. a 105 on a crop sensor will be too big. It will flatten the image and de-personalize it. On the other hand, with a 50mm or less, if you get too close to your subject, you will distort their face to some degree.
     
  10. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    I agree with this. I've taken note that quite a few on this forum are using the 50mm 1.8/1.4 for portraits and it is quickly becoming a favorite. I absolutely love mine and have gotten excellent results.
     
  11. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking at a 50mm lense f/1,4, would this be a good alternative?
     
  12. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    Alternative? It's faster than the 1.8, but I've heard they are both just as sharp. It's also 2-3x more than the 1.8. I shoot most of my portraits at 2.8-4.0 and currently don't have a need to go as low as 1.4.
     

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