Zoom or Prime

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by Jay633, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Jay633

    Jay633 TPF Noob!

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    Hi! I am shooting with a 70D and I am stuck making a choice between two lenses. That is the Sigma 1.8 18-35mm art vs the Sigma 35 1.4 art. I'm looking to get some nice portrait shots where I can capture full body images and still throw off the background. I been asked to do paid sessions and don't know if I should go with the zoom or prime. Note: I understand it's not a real portrait lens and that's fine cause I don't like taking real tight shots. I already own a 50mm and my opinion is, it is way too tight on Crop Sensor. I have tried out the 35 and I like that focal length


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  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would strongly favor the zoom lens for portrait work over a 35mm single focal length...the single focal length will at times, be "the wrong length" for the situation and subject; the zoom lens on the othe rhandm, will be very flexible AND is also the world's first still camera, APS-C f/1.8 zoom lens.
     
  3. CdTSnap

    CdTSnap No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In this case I'd go with the zoom. Generally I would say primes for portrait work but that sigma 18-35 is good. Just make sure you test the copy you get and make sure it's not back or front focusing. We had quite a few come back of both those lenses for focus issues


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  4. Ssayeed Bin Mohiuddin

    Ssayeed Bin Mohiuddin TPF Noob!

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    I'd prefer prime lenses for portraits always. So form my opinion you can go with the sigma 35 mm prime! As you're getting the 1.4,it would make a great change in your portraits I think!


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  5. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I prefer primes as well, but I do not favor the 35mm for portraits. I want to be in the 50mm to 135mm range. I generally us a zoom when my working distance is erratic.
     
  6. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "nice"portraits are usually at longer focal lengths - 85mm, 100, 135, 200, etc.
    so what do you want - a 'nice' portrait or one that's not so 'tight'
     
  7. andrewdoeshair

    andrewdoeshair No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another thing to think about is if you'll go full frame any time soon. The 35mm will work on a ff, but the 18-35mm won't. I've often thought of giving up the endless quest for more gear and selling everything to get a 7Dii with that 18-35mm and Sigma's 50-100mm, and call it a day, but I've been bitten hard by the desire to keep getting too much, too nice (for me) gear.

    What they're all saying about longer focal lengths for portraits is something that I never wanted to believe until I experienced it. I gravitated toward wider lenses because they'd hit focus a little more easily and I'd lose less shots due to camera shake, but after goofing around and taking pictures of my wife with a 600mm lens at like, F8 (and still seeing beautiful creamy bokeh seemingly a million miles behind her crisp silhouette) I was sold on the longer focal lengths for portraits. The look is night and day after you really put in some effort with both. I sold my Sigma 35 to buy a Rokinon 85mm F1.2 and have had zero regrets. Sold my 16-35mm F2.8L ii to get a 70-200 (buying any day now, debating between F2.8 and F4). I also picked up a 100mm F2.8L macro lens which is crazy sharp for portraits. These days I almost want to ditch my 24-70 because I've grown to prefer the distance between myself and my subject.

    Give your 50mm another chance, and really try to find something to love with it. 85mm to 135mm takes pictures of people, 35mm to 50mm takes pictures of people in specific places. It adds context. I take a 50 on vacation so we can see the beach behind my wife, I take a 100mm for portraits, when the background isn't important.

    Sorry for the long winded reply, this topic just hits close to home with what I've been learning in my own experiences recently.
     
  8. mwilson263

    mwilson263 TPF Noob!

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    I think in your case the zoom would be more versatile. As mentioned above the shorter focal length would be good for shooting people in context of their surroundings. Wondering, are you limited in space (i.e. in a studio), or outside where you'd be able to back away from the subject to use a longer focal length but still not be real tight?
     
  9. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  10. sniper x

    sniper x TPF Noob!

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    I agree totally with Gryphonslair. I would not use anything in the 18~35mm focal length for a portrait lens. Too much rectilinear distortion and over eons of time, people have used a minimum of 50mm and usually 85~120 for portrait lenses for their more desired looks, and lack of distortion. I have a 50mm 1.8, 100 2.8, and a 135 f3.5 for portraits. I have taken street shots with a 24~35 because that is all I had but would never use ot for portraits.
     

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