which lens for head shots?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by nomav6, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. nomav6

    nomav6 TPF Noob!

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    looking to take some head shots of someone wanting to get into acting and was wondering if this would be a good lens for such shots.

    Sigma Zoom Super Wide Angle 18-50mm f/3.5-5.6
    or should I go with a
    Sigma 28-70mm F2.8-4

    the 28-70 is about $50 cheaper, but I can afford either if the 18-50 is going to be better for the job, but not able to afford the really expensive high end ones.

    thanks.
     
  2. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    im not sure why you would want wide angle for a head shot or any portraiture for that matter. i would stay with a fixed prime. something like 135mm or even down to the double digits...even 50mm would be better, in my honest Op.




    md
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The typical portrait lens is close to 100mm. You could go longer if you only need to do head shots.

    The reason you don't want to use a wide angle lens is because wide lenses tend to show more distortion. They make objects farther apart than they would look with a longer lens. So if you used a wide lens on a head shot, the face would look distorted and the parts that are closest (the nose) would look bigger than it is (compared to the rest of the face. This can be a cool effect, but it's not typically what someone would want for head shots.

    Longer lenses tend to compress image and make objects look closer together. This is usually more flattering for people.

    As MD said, a 135mm prime (non zoom) would be ideal. Prime lenses will have bigger maximum apertures and therefore allow you to really shorten the DOF, which is usually pretty nice for portrait photography.
     
  4. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I typically use the Canon 50mm or the 70-200 depending on how much space that I have. I have a 35-70 but don't use it much for head shot photos.
     
  5. nomav6

    nomav6 TPF Noob!

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    I'm working with a 35-80mm right now which isn't to bad on head shots and such, but I really want to do these the best I can but can only afford so much when it comes to lenses, so I'll be looking for some 135mm and prime 50mm and not to sound to much like a newb but I kinda am when you say prime does that mean that thats just 50mm or what ever it happens to be, cant zoom in or out?
    anyway thanks for the help so far :)

    something like this?
    http://www.adorama.com/CA5018AF.html
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, Prime lens...means a lens that has a fixed focal length. It does not zoom.

    Besides the benefit of a bigger aperture, prime lenses are often much better optically than consumer level zoom lenses. The Canon 50mm F1.8 is the least expensive EF lens, yet it is one of the sharpest.

    Anyone with an EOS camera should have that lens. If you buy it, you will soon come to love it.
     
  7. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

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    I have a 50mm f/1.8 MkII on my 10D and love it. I think it's perfect for that sort of thing. It is a little on the short side (effectively 80mm at the 1.6x multiplication factor) but works nicely. The DOF is great and the Bokeh is nice and creamy :wink:
     
  8. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    well, when it comes to medium format I would use a Biometar 120mm lens for my Pentacon.
     
  9. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest


    show off.


    md
     
  10. nomav6

    nomav6 TPF Noob!

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    ok just ordered the 50mm f1.8 and yes I used the adorama link at the bottom hehe, went ahead and got a backpack to so I can take both my camera's with me and my lenses, just wished I had more to pack around lol, but the collection is growing :)
     
  11. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you! :)
     
  12. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    LOL, I should have known...I was trying to figure out what you could have possibly posted in this section :lmao:
     

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