Next portrait lens

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by misol, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    I am a portrait photographer, working. I have a canon 5D MKii with the kit lens, 85mm 1.8 IS, 70-200 f/4 L IS

    I am eyeing a new lens mostly for some more diversity in my photography. I am thinking maybe something even wider, and a nice low f/. Or maybe just upgrade the 70-200 f/4 L IS to a f.2.8.

    Any thoughts? Something else?


     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If you've got the 70-200 f/4 IS, don't bother spending $2500 on an extra stop. It's not even that sharper, if at all.

    Get a 35mm f/1.4 or 50mm f/1.2L. I'm REALLY fond of the 50L..phenomenal lens. I'm eyeing Elan 7's just so I can use that lens on a somewhat regular basis for shooting pictures of people.
     
  3. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I second the suggestion of the 35/1.4.

    Mark
     
  4. TheBiles

    TheBiles TPF Noob!

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    The 135L is a hell of a portrait lens. Personally, I would not buy the 50L given its optical performance. Even the cheap 50 1.4 beats in everywhere except bokeh. It's very sharp in the center, but borders always are not good, and it's not something I'd want to drop $1600 on.
     
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  5. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Okay, stupid newbie comment alarm: I thought the rockstar of Canon portrait lenses is the 85mm f/1.2 ?

    At least I've seen different professional photographers handling that lens during YouTube portrait photography introduction videos.
     
  6. TheBiles

    TheBiles TPF Noob!

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    Well, he said he already had the 85 1.8. That's a good $1500 difference between the two.
     
  7. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I tend to disagree with that. While the 85L has great OPTICS, it has a sluggish AF speed. I'd shoot the 135 f/2 on a full frame body before I shot the 85/1.2.
     
  8. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Keep in mind that the ability to create a de-focused background (if you're going for "bokeh") is not just related to the aperture... it's also related to the focal length. Short focal length lenses produce less background blur (and I have a 14mm wide angle which pretty much doesn't produce any background blur at all.)

    The 135mm f/2L that Tyler mentions produces a LOT of background blur at low focal ratios.

    Basically the only "ding" on a 135mm lens isn't so much the lens itself, but with that focal length you'll have to walk back farther to frame up the shot... and if you're using an indoor studio, it would need to be fairly long room (e.g. you may only find it suitable for outdoor portraits if you don't have a long room.)

    HOWEVER... when I looked at your post, it seemed to imply that you only own the two lenses (the 85 and the 70-200). Do you not own any lenses with short focal lengths or were you only listing the lenses that you'd use for portraits?

    If you don't actually have anything shorter than 70mm then I'd probably prioritize a standard zoom (e.g. the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II would be great if the price tag doesn't scare you off.)
     
  9. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You don't need another portrait lens. You already have a 85mm prime that's 1.8 and you got yourself a 70-200 which covers everything else related to a portrait. Getting 50mm f/1.2L is going to be a waste because you already have 70mm f/4 at wide and and 85mm f/1.8 which is close-by. 50 will give you better background blur but the focusing distance is very similar to that 70mm so it won't be much of an upgrade. And paying that much just for a better blur. well, it's up to you.
    35mm is much more of an upgrade than 50mm in your setup. It will give you great background but it will be most useful for full body shots. The downside is that it's too wide angle for close ups because of WA distortion. I personally don't think you need any of those very specialized lenses that only provide a marginal upgrade to what you have.

    What you need now is a 24-70 f/2.8L
     
  10. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Everyone keeps saying "zomg zomg zomg 85 f/1.2 AF is SOOO SLOW." I assume all the people that say that have actually used the lens for a few days right?
    Let's get a few things right, 85mil is a portrait lens, is it not? What do people do when taking portraits? They stand still and smile in the camera. Zo noes! 85mil's AF can't keep up with that? Of course it can, it locks onto the person bang on in a second.
    If you compare the AF to say, 70-200 II of course it is slow. It's stupidly slow, but compared to other lenses like even the 85mm f/1.8 it's not that far off. "Slow" is a relative term. But for what it's designed to do, it's just fine.
    I've used this lens at one of the weddings recently and I was expecting it to be super slow just like everyone says but it wasn't. It wasn't very good at shooting people moving around as it tended to hunt some, but subjects sitting or standing still it had no problem with, BANG and it focused within a second.
     
  11. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I suppose that depends on the type of portraiture you do. I can tell you that for all the applications that I use my Sigma 85/1.4 for, that my subjects are not always standing or sitting in once place not moving. Considering that the Canon 85/1.8 is faster to focus than the f/1.2 EVEN THOUGH it has one additional stop of light, I don't find it to be worth the price tag for the subject matter that I shoot.

    Glad that it worked for you. It doesn't work for me.

    Does that make my opinion invalid?

    Didn't think so. Carry on.
     
  12. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    I do really dynamic photography. I guess I should have added I am a natural light (for now) child and family photography. Action, unique shoots are important.
     

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