slowest acceptable portrait lens?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Osmer_Toby, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Osmer_Toby

    Osmer_Toby TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,768
    Likes Received:
    5
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think it really depends on the look you are going for. It doesn't give you much choice as far as DOF goes, so it wouldn't work well for the style I like to use. Since I have some fast primes, I'd be happy to own one when I wanted more reach, but I don't think I would use it for portraits often.
     
  3. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I wouldn't really consider f4.0 to be fast enough for a portrait lens. I'm not sure what the contrast and sharpness is like on that lens, so that is another thing to consider.

    The 85mm 1.8 lens is a wonderful portrait lens.
     
  4. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    I also wouldn't consider that fast enough to be a good portrait lense. F4.0 doesn't give a shallow enough DOF for my liking. You also have to remember that most lenses are sharpest at their sweet spots. When you get more to the ends of the lense range the sharpest starts to drop off.

    I've been told that a good rule of thumb is to stay 1-2 stops above or below your max range. So for f4.0 you'll probably want to shoot at f4.5 which will make it even slower. It's something to keep in mind when buying lenses. For example, if you want to shot at f2.0 then get a f1.8 lense or faster.

    I consider anything slower than f4.0 as more of a landscape lense where you'll want more DOF so that you'll have everything in focus.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think it depends a lot on what kind of portrait you are taking. The DOF of f/4 will be pretty shallow if you are out past 150mm. When I'm shooting landscapes or similar subject matter, or when I'm printing in the darkroom, I always try to stop down at least 2 stops more than wide open to get maximum sharpness, but with portraits, I usually don't worry about it. With any decent lens the images will still be very sharp.

    That said, I guess I don't really think of a 75-300mm lens as a portrait lens. I usually stick to fast primes for portraits, and think of zooms as more all around lenses. So if you want a good, all around lens that will also do portraits, then get it. If you very specifically want a portrait lens then I'd say get an 85mm to 135mm prime lens (for 35mm film).
     
  6. Osmer_Toby

    Osmer_Toby TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,768
    Likes Received:
    5
    is the 85mm long enough to avoid distortion?
     
  7. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think I heard 75mm + will provide distortion free frame filling portraits. I'm not sure what the barrel distortion specs are on the 85mm vs the zoom you're looking at... but I'm sure the 85mm is better.

    I'm saving up to buy the 85mm 1.4 lens someday. Sure it's 3 times the price of the 1.8 but the bokeh is so damn perty :D
     
  8. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Just wanted to make a correction in my last post. I was refering more to the bokeh as opposed to shallow DOF. I love the bokeh from my 50mm 1.4, which I can't get from my 28-200mm.

    Voodo's post jogged my memory to the correct wording. ;)
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

slowest lens

,
what's an acceptable portrait lense
,
which type of lenses would be considered the slowest?