Portrait Lens (Maybe Macro Too?)

rap77oh

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So, like many of us, most of my photo gigs are portraits. I mainly shoot with my 24-105mm f/4L for portraits (on the long end) and I use that lens (almost) exclusively for my wedding videography. I am starting to get more work as a wedding photographer and thought getting a great prime portrait lens that also has macro abilities would be a great combo for weddings.

So with portraits being the primary driving factor, give me your wisdom on these lenses for photos:
  • Canon 85mm f/1.8
  • Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Canon 100mm f/2
  • Tokina 100mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Sigma 105 f/2.8 Macro
  • Something else I haven't thought of???
Thanks!

OOOPS- Realized I posted in the Camera thread and not the lens thread. Sorry but I can't figure out how to delete it or move it.
 
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Macro lenses are usually not very good portrait or field telephoto lenses. The focusing mechanism in all macro lenses that I have ever seen (except the MF Zeiss macros) have HAIR-TRIGGER focusing movement beyond about three feet. The focus on some can go from Infinity to 3 meters in as little as three to four millimeters of focusing ring movement. AF systems work on a "close enough" type of system...take a tele-macro or short macro out and use it for a full portrait session and you'll soon see the results disappoint, with MANY more OOF shots than a field tele will absolutely nail, dead-on in focus.

Tamron 90...has this problem. Canon EF 100/2.8 internal focus model has this problem. Sigma 180/3.5 EX HSM has this problem. Nikkor 55 and 60 2.8 macros have this issue...and the list goes on.

I cannot imagine using a tele macro for videography at weddings...no way. I would always look at something designed for people work.

I would strongly consider the Canon EF 100/2 as a nice people lens; a friend from years ago had one and it is an awesome people lens....truly a gorgeous imager, yet it has almost no following!! Probably because it does not have the L-series red ring, but it is a lens that creates really lovely images.
 
Macro lenses are usually not very good portrait or field telephoto lenses. The focusing mechanism in all macro lenses that I have ever seen (except the MF Zeiss macros) have HAIR-TRIGGER focusing movement beyond about three feet. The focus on some can go from Infinity to 3 meters in as little as three to four millimeters of focusing ring movement. AF systems work on a "close enough" type of system...take a tele-macro or short macro out and use it for a full portrait session and you'll soon see the results disappoint, with MANY more OOF shots than a field tele will absolutely nail, dead-on in focus.

Tamron 90...has this problem. Canon EF 100/2.8 internal focus model has this problem. Sigma 180/3.5 EX HSM has this problem. Nikkor 55 and 60 2.8 macros have this issue...and the list goes on.

I cannot imagine using a tele macro for videography at weddings...no way. I would always look at something designed for people work.

I would strongly consider the Canon EF 100/2 as a nice people lens; a friend from years ago had one and it is an awesome people lens....truly a gorgeous imager, yet it has almost no following!! Probably because it does not have the L-series red ring, but it is a lens that creates really lovely images.

I figured that must be the case (I've never used a Macro). It's weird that nobody seems to talk about the 100 f/2. I am currently leaning that way.
 
OOOPS- Realized I posted in the Camera thread and not the lens thread. Sorry but I can't figure out how to delete it or move it.
You can just send a mod a PM note, and the mod can move it.
 
(I've never used a Macro).
You have four of them listed in your signature. And you want a fifth one to use for something for which it may only be marginal at best. (see Derrel's post)

IMO, there's nothing wrong with a professional-quality zoom, so why have you decided against a zoom?
 
[/QUOTE]You have four of them listed in your signature. And you want a fifth one to use for something for which it may only be marginal at best. [/QUOTE]

He doesn't even have a signature line. He listed a set of choices for us to give him our opinions on....

On topic though, the OP didn't mention what camera he is using. Full frame or crop.... I wouldn't personally try to use a macro lens for portraits and vice versa. For a FF camera, I would shoot for a 85mm for portraits though.
 
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(I've never used a Macro).
You have four of them listed in your signature. And you want a fifth one to use for something for which it may only be marginal at best. (see Derrel's post)

IMO, there's nothing wrong with a professional-quality zoom, so why have you decided against a zoom?

I have a 6D and the 24-105mm f/4L. I will be adding something between the 85-100mm focal length for portraits (as that's the range I like taking portraits at currently). It seems like I should ditch the macro idea for the time being and just grab a solid portrait lens. It'll either be the 100mm f/2 or 85mm f/1.8 (most likely).

And yes, I was listing lenses I was considering. I don't own those.
 
6D? I'd go with the 85mm for portraits for sure then. Then save up for the 100 macro later. lol
 
I think you'd probably find the 85mm/1.8 Canon EF to be the handier, more-versatile lens, especially now that we have high-megapixel, high-resolution cameras that allow some post capture cropping without much loss of image quality. The 85 gives you the wider angle of view, which can be cropped down to simulate a 100mm angle of view pretty easily.
 

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