What would YOU buy for portrait shooting?

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by EJBPhoto, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. EJBPhoto

    EJBPhoto TPF Noob!

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    I am looking to get a new lens next month. Right now I'm thinking I'm going to get the 50mm. Right now I only have the standard kit nikkor lens for the d70 (which is a 18-70mm) and a 70-300mm (which I rarely use, as I mostly shoot people).

    I know some people will say 50mm isn't good for portraits but I'm torn between getting the 85mm for outdoors and like a 30mm for indoors... so I'm going to compromise at the 50mm.

    ANYWAY, I can ask for about 250 dollars worth of stuff for my birthday next month. What would you do...? the nikkor 50mm 1.4 which is supposedly a lot faster, sharper, and has a better DOF, or the nikkor 50mm 1.8 PLUS a new flash? Decisions, decisions.... The 1.4 is like $230 and the 1.8 is only $115 or so. Big difference but in the long run it might be worth it?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. gizmo2071

    gizmo2071 TPF Noob!

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    I'm a canon guy and I have the canon 50mm 1.8 and it's pretty much the only lens I use for portraits if I have the space.
    Certainly don't have the space for a 85mm, heh.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Do you use avalible light alot? if so, than i'd use the 50mm f/1.4. If you use strobes, than the 1.8.
     
  4. EJBPhoto

    EJBPhoto TPF Noob!

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    I shoot with natural light 100 percent of the time :) I eventually want to get the 85mm when it gets warmer out and I'm outside shooting more.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    than go with the 50 1.4
     
  6. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    50 mm is perfect for portraits. I actually got an old 50 mm 1.8 from old Zenit camera and bought an adapter, so that it fits to my canon dslr. and it works perfectly, although it is manual (no AF).

    and for me 1.8 is enough... with 1.4 you'll get very shallow dof and it may be difficult to cope with, with portraits, imo
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    On the D70, a 50mm will be similar to a 75mm on a 35mm film camera. That will be on the short side of things with portraits. I wouldn't do any face-only shots unless you crop. It will be better suited towards head/shoulders and head/upper-torso shots. The 85mm will be like a 127mm. This would be good for head shots, and if you have room (it doesn't require that much), would be fine for more.

    Mentos's avatar would be a good example of what the 50mm would be good for. Gizmo's would be a bit tight for it, unless you started bigger and cropped in. It may not even focus close enough to get a shot like that.

    I personally own both and use them pretty much exclusively.
     
  8. zhp-ly

    zhp-ly TPF Noob!

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  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Man.... can you hold out til then? Maybe if you kick in the extra $100 yourself. I truly think that's the lens you want for portraits.
    Tough call! Good luck.

    Pete
     
  10. theusher

    theusher TPF Noob!

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    1.8 and the flash imo. I like my SB600 a lot better than the on camera flash.
     
  11. EJBPhoto

    EJBPhoto TPF Noob!

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    These are all really good opinions, so thanks for your ideas. Heh unfortunately.... I don't think it really narrowed it down at all.
     
  12. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I think the choice is pretty obvious. You shoot with avalible light 100% of the time meaning you don't use on camera flash and f/1.4 would give you more light to work with. Unless you want to get into flash photography, grab the 1.4.
     

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