What lenses do I need?

thiscityizdead

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Hello everyone, for a while I was so into portraiture photography. I ended up purchasing a 50mm and I just purchased an 85mm.

Well, I was shooting a family reunion the other day and these lens disappointed me. I had to step about, 40 feet to fit everyone into the frame. People were not as sharp in the photos. It was a struggle.

I did some research and found some images like these

Please do not post images to which you do not hold rights. You may post a link.

What lens do I need to achieve something like that.

I am shooting on a canon 5D M3 body. I own:
135mm lens
60mm macro lens (yes, I went through this phase too :( and these lens don't work on my 5D)
18-55mm
50mm
85mm

None are giving me these results. As much as I bump the sharpness using photoshop or Lightroom.
 
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Maybe you need a tripod and f/8?
I tried that. Lol. The photos don't come out blurry, they're just not crisp.

I was thinking maybe a 35mm or 20mm but I'm not certain.
 
Looks to me like the first was shot with a wide angle maybe a 16-24mm or something like that. The others don't look as wide to me so probably 24-40mm focal length or somewhere near there. I can't see the exif data though to be sure. Bear in mind that wide angles are seldom good for portraits as they tend to distort faces more than longer lenghts.

However if you can't get a sharp image from the nifty fifty or an 85mm prime something else may be wrong. Were you by any chance shooting wide open?

It may also help if you could post an example of the problem in an image you shot with your settings so we can see what you mean.
 
Looks to me like the first was shot with a wide angle maybe a 16-24mm or something like that. The others don't look as wide to me so probably 24-40mm focal length or somewhere near there. I can't see the exif data though to be sure. Bear in mind that wide angles are seldom good for portraits as they tend to distort faces more than longer lenghts.

However if you can't get a sharp image from the nifty fifty or an 85mm prime something else may be wrong. Were you by any chance shooting wide open?

It may also help if you could post an example of the problem in an image you shot with your settings so we can see what you mean.


My settings are usually:

f10
ISO 400

This is when I shoot outside in broad daylight. Like at the beach. It's annoying because I can't get the sky to show up. I normally have to take two desperate photos and composite them into one to get the sky as well.
 
My settings are usually:

f10
ISO 400

This is when I shoot outside in broad daylight. Like at the beach. It's annoying because I can't get the sky to show up. I normally have to take two desperate photos and composite them into one to get the sky as well.

What are you using for focus point and metering mode. If you are using evaluative metering, you will get an under exposed subject. If you are using spot metering on the face, you will most likely be blowing out the sky.
 
I believe how to light the subject is the key. A reflector maybe used in some of the photo, but artificial light(s) or both are used in some others. If you mean the sky are blown, then you really need to find a way to light the subject. (meter the sky)
 
Looks to me like the first was shot with a wide angle maybe a 16-24mm or something like that. The others don't look as wide to me so probably 24-40mm focal length or somewhere near there. I can't see the exif data though to be sure. Bear in mind that wide angles are seldom good for portraits as they tend to distort faces more than longer lenghts.

However if you can't get a sharp image from the nifty fifty or an 85mm prime something else may be wrong. Were you by any chance shooting wide open?

It may also help if you could post an example of the problem in an image you shot with your settings so we can see what you mean.


My settings are usually:

f10
ISO 400

This is when I shoot outside in broad daylight. Like at the beach. It's annoying because I can't get the sky to show up. I normally have to take two desperate photos and composite them into one to get the sky as well.
and what is your shutter speed ?

I can't see the attached pictures to check the EXIF on each of them.
Many times people's shutter speed isn't fast enough and pictures aren't "crisp"
 
Looks to me like the first was shot with a wide angle maybe a 16-24mm or something like that. The others don't look as wide to me so probably 24-40mm focal length or somewhere near there. I can't see the exif data though to be sure. Bear in mind that wide angles are seldom good for portraits as they tend to distort faces more than longer lenghts.

However if you can't get a sharp image from the nifty fifty or an 85mm prime something else may be wrong. Were you by any chance shooting wide open?

It may also help if you could post an example of the problem in an image you shot with your settings so we can see what you mean.


My settings are usually:

f10
ISO 400

This is when I shoot outside in broad daylight. Like at the beach. It's annoying because I can't get the sky to show up. I normally have to take two desperate photos and composite them into one to get the sky as well.
and what is your shutter speed ?

I can't see the attached pictures to check the EXIF on each of them.
Many times people's shutter speed isn't fast enough and pictures aren't "crisp"

I don't really have a steady shutter speed. I tend to go based on the exposure. What do you recommend.
 
My settings are usually:

f10
ISO 400

This is when I shoot outside in broad daylight. Like at the beach. It's annoying because I can't get the sky to show up. I normally have to take two desperate photos and composite them into one to get the sky as well.

What are you using for focus point and metering mode. If you are using evaluative metering, you will get an under exposed subject. If you are using spot metering on the face, you will most likely be blowing out the sky.


I zoom in and manually focus on my subjects. This is when I loose the sky because it's over exposed. Not to mention, I have to be a a great distance from my subjects. I am assuming I'm using a spot metering method. What are the differences.
 
My settings are usually:

f10
ISO 400

This is when I shoot outside in broad daylight. Like at the beach. It's annoying because I can't get the sky to show up. I normally have to take two desperate photos and composite them into one to get the sky as well.

What are you using for focus point and metering mode. If you are using evaluative metering, you will get an under exposed subject. If you are using spot metering on the face, you will most likely be blowing out the sky.


I zoom in and manually focus on my subjects. This is when I loose the sky because it's over exposed. Not to mention, I have to be a a great distance from my subjects. I am assuming I'm using a spot metering method. What are the differences.

Please don't take this as being mean because it is intended to help you. Get the manual for your camera and read it multiple times. If you have done this previously, then you can go to the section about metering modes and study what each does and how it functions.
 
thiscityizdead said:
I zoom in and manually focus on my subjects. This is when I loose the sky because it's over exposed. Not to mention, I have to be a a great distance from my subjects. I am assuming I'm using a spot metering method. What are the differences.

When you expose the subject, the sky is too bright, when you expose the sky, the subject is too dark. It is simply because the dynamic range of the environment you shot at was just too wide for the camera to handle. Since we cannot dim the sky, so people usually find a way to light the subject to a point that the highest and the lowest point of the dynamic range are within the range of your camera can handle.

Some people may bracket the shots and combine them in POST. Some newer camera can do that in the camera (HDR).

As for the lens, the 50mm and the 85mm are quit good optically, (unless you have a bad copies) and it should be able to produce sharp image. Do you have an example of the problem photo?
 
My settings are usually:

f10
ISO 400

This is when I shoot outside in broad daylight. Like at the beach. It's annoying because I can't get the sky to show up. I normally have to take two desperate photos and composite them into one to get the sky as well.

What are you using for focus point and metering mode. If you are using evaluative metering, you will get an under exposed subject. If you are using spot metering on the face, you will most likely be blowing out the sky.


I zoom in and manually focus on my subjects. This is when I loose the sky because it's over exposed. Not to mention, I have to be a a great distance from my subjects. I am assuming I'm using a spot metering method. What are the differences.

Please don't take this as being mean because it is intended to help you. Get the manual for your camera and read it multiple times. If you have done this previously, then you can go to the section about metering modes and study what each does and how it functions.
Oh, no problem. I just watched a couple of videos on this, and I was not aware of what this was. Haha. I was shooting in spot metering, which is probably a big mistake for what I wanted to shoot.

I'm just not exactly sure it was 100% of the problem.
 
Neither is right or wrong and could be used in multiple situations. Watching videos and reading the manual will help you to understand the options and let you make YOUR creative decision to get the look that you are wanting.
 

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