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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Portrait photography which lense...Hi folks, The more I read on this forum the more I realise what a novice I am. I was ...
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Old 27-08-2009, 06:40   #1 (permalink)
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Portrait photography which lense

Hi folks,
The more I read on this forum the more I realise what a novice I am. I was recently practicing some portrait photography on my family with my D40 with the standard 55mm lense. Then I experimented and used my 200mm lense which normally I would use for distance. I noticed that when I downloaded them that the 200mm image was very sharp, almost harsh, yet a friend of mine said that he would always use his 200mm for portraits. What do you all use for portrait photography.
Take care
Bev
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Old 27-08-2009, 09:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

So far I had only a 24-70 on my camera and used the 70mm for my portraits.

On the weekend I used the 70-200 of my friend and was just blown away by the sharpness but also how much more nice you can control the background with the subject. I used it for full body shots as well as for 3/4 or head shots.

This is my new favourite lens for straight portraits.

Not so much for environmental but certainly great for straight forward people shots.
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Old 27-08-2009, 09:13   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

My 18-70mm zoom copes quite well, but for head and shoulders sometimes I use my 105mm micro, when I am out and about travelling I stick to my 18-70mm.
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Old 27-08-2009, 10:50   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

The ideal focal length for portraits on a crop factor body is between 70 and 105mm, but it also depends on how much space you have and what sort of portraits you shoot. I've seen a pro using a 300mm prime in a huge studio. I use a 70-200 sometimes.

Longer focal lengths are not only more flattering to the subjects, they have a narrower depth of field so are more able to allow the background to be thrown out od focus.
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Old 28-08-2009, 09:37   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

I have the 18-55 lens that came with the camera that would have beem my automatic response to taking portraits... it does a brilliant job....
However...
I am, as ever, open to suggestions, and am thinking "Why not try" one of my bigger zooms, just to see what happens.
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Old 28-08-2009, 11:04   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

Well a cheap option with stunning optics is to go for the 50mm f/1.8 . Nothing will beat it for the money .
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Old 28-08-2009, 11:36   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
Well a cheap option with stunning optics is to go for the 50mm f/1.8 . Nothing will beat it for the money .
Can't disagree with that

If you are prepared to spend a bit more the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 is also great value.
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Old 28-08-2009, 17:40   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

http://www.pixalo.com/community/shot...ots-21065.html
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Old 28-08-2009, 21:17   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

I use 3 lenses for portrait.
24-70mm absolute topper
85mm 1.4 Brilliant lens
And the 105mm which is great as well.

I think the 24-70 is favourite as it gives me the flexibility to zoom.
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Old 28-08-2009, 21:17   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

Sigma 105mm or Canon 300mm
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Old 06-10-2009, 20:40   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

Hi
Has anyone used the Sigma 24-135mm f2.8-4.5 for portraits, and if so did you get good results. I have seen one for sale and wondered if if would be good for indoor shots.
Dave
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Old 16-10-2009, 13:17   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

Depending on what your camera sensor crop thingy bit is I have found over the years an 85mm lens is the best,
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Old 16-10-2009, 15:29   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

I'm looking at the 85mm as my next purchase. I either use my 50mm f1.8 which is really very good in the studio or my 25-105mm.
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Old 16-10-2009, 20:03   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

Gary do you know if it makes a big difference if you are a shooting with an 85 f1.4 or an 85 f1.8 for studio shots? I know outdoor it is nice to use the 1.4 but for studio work will there be much difference?
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Old 16-10-2009, 20:40   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

Really unless you are seriously backside retentive I dont think you will see a difference, but then most of my stuff is shot at f11-f16 anyhow.
When I was shooting film Id do all model portfolio stuff and glamour shoots pretty much with the 85mm and it was the perfect lens for the job.
If you have a zoom lens that will cover this focal length then im sure you will be fine, may be worth having a look at the exif afterwards to see which what focal length the lens was set to for your fave shots
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Old 02-11-2009, 23:09   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

i use my ef 50mm f/1.8 very fast and crisp - perfect for portraiture...
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Old 03-11-2009, 18:16   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Portrait photography which lense

Your lens choices will depend on the type of portrait (headshot, half shot, full body etc), how much working space you have, and your personal style as well as your sensor format.

In ideal conditions my workhorse (on a full frame camera) is my 70-200 f2.8IS. If I'm doing more full length shots, or if I don't have a lot of space, then the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 is a little cracker. For pets I often choose a nifty fifty. For weddings, I'll often have the 70-200L on a 5D, and the 16-35L on a 40D, and I'll simply grab one or the other as I need it.

But try not to be too swayed by what other people do - over time you'll learn what you're most comfortable with. The important thing is to build your photography skills, then your equipment choices will be more considered and easier to understand.

Last edited by LindsayD; 03-11-2009 at 19:24.
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