Taking Portraits

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Stacey, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Stacey

    Stacey TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nowhere, IL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hello hello! I was wondering...I want to take some portraits on my digital and I am curious as to which is a better lens- one with a zoom or just a prime lens? What do you recommend? Also, I'm looking into getting other lenses for my Pentax K100D and don't have the money to buy new digital lenses so I was, again, curious as to what film SLR lenses would be best to use for taking portraits on my digital? Also, what about wide angle photos in the same scenario (film lens to digital camera)? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Primes are usually faster so you can eliminate more of the background for example canons 85mm f/1.8. I shoot most of my portraits with either a 70-200 f/4 of 50mm f/1.8
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I shoot almost all of my portraits with my 80-200 f/2.8. There are the few though that I use the wide angle of my 17-55 on. The 17-55 at 55mm f/2.8 is a very capable portrait lens. I really like the bokeh with it.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can't go too far wrong with a 50mm f/1.7 or f/1.4. Plenty of the old manual focus ones available and cheap, and even the newer autofocus f/1.4 is very reasonably priced. Now a 50mm is not the best for head shots (you would have to be close and the perspective wouldn't be too flattering...) but great when including more of the body.

    You might also want to see if your budget can stretch to a 90 or 100mm macro lens. These could be pretty good for portraits too, and the Tamron or Sigma ones are a pretty good price (the Tamron in particular has been around in various forms for a while now so you could easily buy one used).

    Actually I imagine the ideal portrait lens would be somewhere in between the 50mm and the 100mm, something like the Pentax 77mm f/1.8 or 70mm f/2.4 pancake (I think Sigma have another macro around this length too), but it sounds like those might be out of your budget? I didn't mention fast zooms for the same reason, although the new Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 would probably be a great portrait lens too. A much more affordable zoom alternative would be the 50-200mm f/4-5.6, which would certainly work for portraits - I've seen some very nice ones taken with it - though it wouldn't be able to isolate the subject from the background as well as the faster lenses.
     
  5. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Messages:
    21,169
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    North Central Illinois
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think one question she is forgetting to ask is, on her camera, the k100D....what lenses ARE compatible? She was looking at some old lenses on ebay....I have no idea what's compatible with what in Pentax.

    (Sorry for askign this if you already found the answer to that somewhere, Stacey)
     
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm pretty sure that if it's K mount, it will work.
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hehe I think I'm going to cry - I posted an elaborate explanation of lens compatibility and it got wiped yesterday :lol:

    Basically yes any K mount lens will fit on the camera and work. Metering will be more convenient with lenses with an "A" on the aperture ring (or the newer DA lenses without any aperture ring), so it might be best to avoid the oldest ones (usually designated "M" lenses) and look for ones designated "A", "F", "FA" or "DA" all of which will retain full metering capability. There's manual focus "A" lenses, autofocus "F" or "FA" lenses; "DA" are the latest digital-only lenses, equivalent to Nikon DX or Canon EF-S. I'm on the way out now but will post some examples later.
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,071
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    in the middle of north carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The old film studio rule was a portriat lens should be between 85 and 95 mm to be a 'perfect' head shot portrait lens. Since it was in the studio nobody worried much about fstops. All backgrounds were lit and the subject was close. You didn't care if they were in focus or not. The big concern was getting enough light on the subject from the studio lighting scheme and getting far enough back so that the subject couldn't smell the hotdog with onions you had for lunch.

    I had a couple of options and found that a 28 to 80 zoom worked just fine. Preferably racked out to 80 for a single head shot. Down to about 50 for a couple. Full length I couldn't use it too much distortion, but I had a 35 to 70 that I could rack out to 35 and squeek by with. Idealy for studio all around portriats would be about 35 to 105 to cover about everything.

    I seldom made serious portraits outside, but I hear it is all the craze now. That gives you a whole new set of issues, but the software you have access to give you a whole new set of solutions as well.

    If it were me, I would worry more about 'the perspective' and 'fear of the camera' issues than blurring out the background. You can achieve that in the software if it is a real issue. Portraits aren't really all that much about hardware they are more about the subjects and how you see them.

    Just my opinion
     

Share This Page