what lens for portrait

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by zapman29, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. zapman29

    zapman29 TPF Noob!

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    what do you guys recommend for shooting a portraits? I have been using my little 50mm prime 1.8 and really like it. my sig box has what i currently own. since i have my little studio set up i am curious what you guys are using. I know their are some great L lens out their. but being just a novice i am not ready to fork out that kind of money yet.. Once i start shooting for money i might be interested in the future. Let me know..
     
  2. AmericanJesus

    AmericanJesus TPF Noob!

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    Sigma 105 EX DG Macro. Its fixed, but it makes an awesome portrait lens. Lots of detail. Will run you about 450 dollars, but it also doesn macro really well.

    Some Shots i used the lens for.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    My daughter does portraits and she used the Canon 85mm f1.8 USM. It's about $350. The Canon 100mm macro also is a nice portrait lens although not quite as fast.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Of the lenses you own, the 1.8/50 is the best choice.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, for most of us amateurs, the 50mm F/1.(anything) is nice, but when you are this close to someone looking to do portraiture, you accentuate the cheeks and noses a lot. The "gerble cheek" look is controlled/eliminated by increasing distance between you and your subjects.

    Traditionally, for indoor portraiture, the 105mm ranges were preferred and the outdoor people needed a little more flexibility, so they went the 70-200 route. I have all focal lengths between 10 to 200, and my best results are always at 85mm or greater. Also, in North America, our circle of personal space is about 3-4 feet around, and "invading" that area with a camera tends to make the subjects uncomfortable.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  7. ...which on a 1.6x sensor is what happens to a 50mm lens.

    But I agree with Pete, typically the 80 - 85mm range is great.

    I've shot some of my best portraits with the Canon 100mm macro lens.
     
  8. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    One of my favorite portraits was taken with a 50mm f1.7 and a cheapie 2X converter used wide open.
     
  9. Soonershooter

    Soonershooter TPF Noob!

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    It seems strange that this conversation is about which focal length to use for portraits. I think we're really talking about controlling the perspective of the photo, such as the relative size of a person's nose and face. For reasonable distances, this perspective is determined by the distance from the camera to the subject. We should really be discussing what subject distance we like to use. Having said that, there seems to be rough agreement that people look best when photographed from a distance of about 6 feet, more or less. This distance also prevents invading the subject's "personal space" that JerryPH mentioned.

    Therefore, for portraits, I say you should typically stand about 6 feet away and use whatever focal length will give you the framing that you want. It might be a 80 mm lens on a 35 mm camera or a 50 mm lens on a digital camera with a 1.6 crop factor. If you've got more than one person in the frame, you might need a wider lens.
     
  10. John_Olexa

    John_Olexa No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Agreed! Shoot a close up with a wide angle lens & your model might not be to happy with you LOL "The dog nose affect"

    But I have read where some say, 100mm/105mm is the Ideal portrait lens
     
  11. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Me too. 80~85mm (in 35mm equiv.).
     
  12. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Two shots, you decide which one makes my nose look bigger :mrgreen:

    50mm f 2 @ f 2

    [​IMG]

    18-180mm @ 86mm @ f 8

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, Don
     

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