85mm: too close??

JaimeGibb

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So I just recieved my 85mm f/1.8 lens. I love it, except I feel like I have to stand so effing far away to get the shot I want. It's like I am taking an extremely zoomed in shot. I heard that this is a great portrait lens, hence the reason I purchased it. But when trying to take pictures of my 10 month old niece and nephew, I have to run practically to the other side of the room to get the shot filled, and by then they are crawling away!! Any suggestions? Should I trade it in for a different one? I am so bummed about this!! Thanks guys
 

bhop

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I have the same feeling with my 50mm f/1.8 (on digital body). Personally, I feel if you're not happy with it, and won't use it much, then trade it for something else.
 

memento

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I got a 50mm 1.8 and had the same problem.
I think we hear about the 'primes for portrait's' from people that shoot in controlled environments, ie. studio.
IMO, if you want candid shots of kids or pets you need a zoom.
I went back to using the kit lens(28-135) and am looking into a 17-50ish 2.8 zoom for chasing around my 2 year old daughter.
 

dbrandon

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If you genuinely feel the focal length is too long for you, then yes, trade it in for something more usable. Maybe a 50 ?

The 85 is meant to be very good though, and will give a pleasing perspective i'd imagine (i haven't used one).

Is your camera body using a cropped sensor ? 'Cos that's something to take into account when picking focal lengths.

Hope you sort it out :D
 

Big Mike

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It's a trade off.

Longer focal lengths usually make for more flattering portraits because they tend to compress features.
However, you need to be farther back from your subject when shooting with a telephoto.

You could use an 18mm lens to photograph your kids and be very close to them, but the wide angle distortion might make them look funny or weird.

Maybe try a 50mm lens.
 

memento

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Hey, I just noticed you're in Woodbridge.. WOOT!
Small world.
I grew up in Montclair. :cheers:
REPREZENT!! :lmao:
 

memento

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I'd be willing to let you use my 50 to see if that's what you want..
I'm in Falls Church.
 

jstuedle

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The argument has been made for decades weather to use the 85 or 105 for portraits when shooting full frame (film). I suspect the same argument well go on about the 50 and 85 when discussing portraits when shooting with the clipped chip. It all comes down to personal preference.
 

kundalini

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I'd suggest to stick with it a while longer and use in different environments, such as outside. It is a very nice lens (for me). I can get a tight head shot without getting up someones nose and nice "other" types of subjects from a distance where the 50mm is too wide. It is fast focusing and at f/1.8 low light shots are easily had.
 

Sw1tchFX

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The 85 is PERFECT for headshots
 

monkeykoder

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So what everyone seems to be saying is if you want something more than a headshot go with the 50. The 50 works great for my 2 year old if only he would quit running at the camera ever time he sees it.
 

Christie Photo

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So what everyone seems to be saying is if you want something more than a headshot go with the 50...

Well... Not exactly. At least that's not what I'm saying.

Before digital, I always used a "twice normal" focal length whenever possible.

kundalini mentioned outdoor settings. I would use a 180mm on my RB for family group sessions. That lens would be double the "normal" focal length for that format. Shooting at f 8, it achieved very nice separation from the background giving the image a deep look.
 

Jeepin59

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If after you keep it a while and then decide to trade it in you could also check out the 30mm lens. I have the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 which I like very much. It is about as close to a 50mm film lens as you can get. It also has a nice lens hood for head butts!! Its quite hefty and I think you will come out ahead until the terrible twos.
 

Fate

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Sigma 30mm 1.4 is a nice lens... equates to about 47mm on a digital body.

Used it for the first time today at school.. awesome low light performance and its sharp enough for use wide open IMO.... i dont plan on blowing pics up past 10X8 anyway
 

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