Shooting Portraits

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mrtramplefoot, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. mrtramplefoot

    mrtramplefoot TPF Noob!

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    well today i got my flash trigger and my flash and stuff should be here next week so i was gonna go try to takes some portraits of my friend, out of these lenses which would you recommend for portraits? (i have a d40 btw)
    nikon 35 1.8 afs
    nikon 55-200 3.5-5.6 afs
    or an old sun zoom 85-210 4.5 MF(for me)
    __________________
     
  2. Muusers

    Muusers TPF Noob!

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    As a fellow new guy to the art of photography I'd say use the 35mm. Personally, for the 2 or 3 times I took portraits, zoom isn't that important whereas your minimum aperture size can really make the difference at higher shutter speeds. (But don't take my word for it, wait for the pro's.)
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    It depends on how much room you have to shoot.

    With enough room for me to back up and to get the model from the background, I would lean towards using the 55-200 myself.

    If space is tight I'd use the 35mm.
     
  4. Muusers

    Muusers TPF Noob!

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    ^ You see my point. ;)
     
  5. HannahRebekah

    HannahRebekah TPF Noob!

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    I'd go for the zoom of the second and the aperture of the first. ;) But since you can't mix and match, I'd choose the zoom and shoot with optimal lighting.
     
  6. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not a big fan of primes or shooting wider then 4 so I'd suggest looking into zooms. Plus 90% of the time I have lights and umbrellas for portraits so lighting isn't an issue for me.
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Space to shoot is an issue that helps decide on the lens you choose. So does the characteristics of the lens. Under 50mm and the lens tends to expand features. Longer than 50mm and the characteristic is to compress features a bit.

    If you are shooting classic portraits the typical range is 70-120mm. This range gives you different choices depending on your working distance while compressing features slightly, a desired thing in classic portraiture.

    Usually, primes are preferred over zooms for a couple of reasons. First, primes are almost always sharper that zooms. Secondly, the bokeh a prime produces is usually more pleasing than the bokeh from a zoom.

    As for choosing a lens, since you are using lights you should not have to worry about having a fast lens, however, depending on the look you are going for, a fast prime or zoom may be more desirable depending on the DOF you want.

    The way to choose from your three lenses is to determine which meets your needs the best. If working distance is a big issue, then the 35 is the choice. If not, then which lens has the sharpness you want with the bokeh you are looking for. You may have to play with your lenses a bit to determine which one provides the results that please you most.
     

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