Which one?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jennhunter, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. jennhunter

    jennhunter TPF Noob!

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    I want a lens upgrade but am having difficulty deciding between 2. I am a Canon user, and am debating between the 85mm prime, and the 24-70mm. Pros and cons anyone? I am mostly doing portraits (or learning to) of children, but some other stuff here and there. I have a family members wedding in June, that I am doing as a 2nd shooter, any suggestions are welcomed please! ???
     
  2. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    The 85mm f/1.8 has long been my absolute favorite lens. It's ideal for separating the subject from the background without the facial distortion of a shorter lens. I shoot Nikon.
     
  3. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    are you talking about the 85 1.2? Not to sure if you're just doing portraits then the 85mm might be your best bet but the 24-70 gives you more leeway being able to zoom and all and still have 2.8
     
  4. jennhunter

    jennhunter TPF Noob!

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    No not the 1.2, the 1.8, although I guess if I am spending the money on the 24-70, the price is not much different from the 85 1.2 huh? What to do what to do??? I am pretty much just portraits. No landscaping, macro, just mainly people.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, the 24-70mm f/2.8 would be the best overall choice for the Canon Rebel that you currently have. On a 1.6x body, to get a field of view that is 8.5 feet tall, the camera MUST BE positioned 34 feet from the subjects. Sooooo, if you want to photograph a man and wife, both standing up, and have enough room for their feet, and a little bit of room for head space above them OR you want to be able to make an 8x10 proportion enlargement, with the 85/1.8 on a Canon body, you will need to be 34 to 40 feet away from them. Seriously. Those are the facts.

    For people work on 1.6x or 1.5x bodies, the 85mm prime lens is very difficult to work with in many social photography situations. The Bob Atkins web site has a nice field of view calculator for those who are inclined to check results.

    The 24-70mm will be more useful in more situations, especially indoors or in smaller outdoor environments where you need to shoot full-length or group photos.
     
  6. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Then the 85 would be you're best bet. I don't shoot canon so i'm not to familiar with the 1.2 but if you got the 1.8 or 1.4(is there a 1.4?) the money you save could be put towards a nice flash and wireless setup if you don't have already.
    tj
     
  7. jennhunter

    jennhunter TPF Noob!

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    2 different opinions isn't helping me much:) But I am beginning to learn that photography is pretty much just a matter of opinions:)
     
  8. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    At the same time, it's ideal for isolating a single person in a social situation.
     
  9. Brian L

    Brian L TPF Noob!

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    If your only doing portraits then go for the 85mm f1.8. I own that myself and love it. I use it for so much stuff. Its pretty much always on my 30d. I am saving for the 24-70 and 135mm f2.0 for another protraits lens. Get the 85 your gonna love it.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    You know, this actual subject is one of my "pet peeves". The amount of pure misinformation on the 85mm lens is so widespread, I've even done a blog post on how the 85mm lens works on APS-C versus FF.

    Isolating a person in a social situation with an 85mm lens on a 1.6x Canon??YEAH--if you're 34 feet away! That's how far you have to be to show a six foot tall person with an 85mm lens on 1.6x bodies--thirty-four feet away. It's almost impossible to put 34 feet between the camera and a subject in many social situations--people come in between you, so it's very difficult to deploy an 85mm lens indoors in any home that's not a mansion. How big is the living room in an average home???? If a social event has people milling around, or the venue is not huge, an 85mm lens on a crop-body is nearly useless in many situations. "isolating them"? What? Here is the field of view calculator URL Field of View - Rectilinear and Fisheye Lenses

    Uh, no, 85mm on 1.6x is almost impossible to use in a social situation, unless the room is HUGE. And as we know, at longer shooting distances, depth of field on APS-C increases very,very quickly. With the aperture set to say f/8, DOF is from 28 feet to 43 feet, with a depth of field band of 15.4 feet in depth--there is virtually NO "isolation" whatsoever; that much depth of field will render the foreground AND the background quite recognizable. The visual effect is worse than the numbers might indicate.

    For a person who hopes to shoot family portraits/events/news/documentary work with a Canon or Nikon APS-C body, an 85mm prime lens is USELESS in many situations, but a 24-70mm f/2.8 will allow the photographer to actually have some flexibility at normal distances, in normal sized rooms. Sure, an 85/1.8 is inexpensive compared to a Canon 24-70-L, but it is also a one-trick pony, while the zoom lens offers like 46 different focal length and framing choices. The choice is obvious.

    Online Depth of Field Calculator
     
  11. iolair

    iolair No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You've already got the 50mm 1.8 and the kit 18-55?

    I guess if you've been shooting portraits with the 50mm, you have an idea if you need to get closer up - but as people have pointed out, on the crop body, the 85mm indoors will only be much good for head shots or head & shoulder shots. If that's what you want, you'll probably be very happy with the 85mm. I don't have the 85mm, but it's got great reviews - very sharp, very nice bokeh and very fast.

    Which is more important to you - the image quality of a prime or the convenience of the zoom? (Of course, the IQ on a quality zoom will be nothing to complain about).

    If it was me choosing, I'd get the 85mm.
     
  12. iolair

    iolair No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Absolutely! It's an art form ... and while the "accepted wisdom" for portraits is a certain range of lens sizes, you can shoot portraits with pretty much any focal length according to your personal style and tastes.
     

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