Board index Photography Technical Questions lenses for portraiture

Technical Questions

lenses for portraiture

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libertini
 
Posts: 2

lenses for portraiture

Post Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:25 am


I would like to have an idea of people's favorite lenses for environmental or editorial portraiture. I have a Canon Rebel with Tamron lens 28-75 and 18-55.
Thanks.

parpho
 
Posts: 235

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:53 pm


Interesting that 30 people would look at this and not jump in. Back when everything was full frame 85 through 135mm were considered portrait lenses for 35mm cameras. If you do the math appropo to your camera you should have your answer. With my gear I use my Tamron 35-105mm set somewhere between 50-105mm with expected results. Wider than 50mm starts to create fore-shortening issues with the wider the lens the bigger the issue for tight head and shoulder shots.
Hope this helps,
Michael

jypsee
 
Posts: 1245

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:29 pm


I use the Tamron 28-75 as a portrait lens all the time
this is on the full frame 5D
Image

but, I also use an 85 f/1.8 on the 5D
Image

the crop sensor cameras make your 50mm lens into a portrait lens; these were made on a K10D
Image Image

finally, you can use your 18-55 quite well at 55mm as a portrait lens
Image

click any photo for a larger view, all photos have exif

Mary in SW Florida, USA

libertini
 
Posts: 2

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:32 pm


Thanks for the info. I am specifically interested in "environmental" portraiture where some of the relevant surroundings, either in a room or outdoors would be in focus and pulled in close in such a way as to be of almost equal importance to the subject. That is, where the surrounding elements help define the subject. Perhaps I don't have the right photography vocabulary to express myself.
Thanks for any more info.

goodlistener
 
Posts: 37

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Sun May 10, 2009 1:13 pm


libertini wrote:I would like to have an idea of people's favorite lenses for environmental or editorial portraiture. I have a Canon Rebel with Tamron lens 28-75 and 18-55.
Thanks.


My personal sense is that your lenses are OK and that practice on the technique side of things including:
fill flash and
controlling for DOF
and use of higher ISO versus noise

would benefit you more than additional equipment.


The Tamron lens is very good!

strogoff
 
Posts: 2

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Sat May 16, 2009 7:08 pm


I wanted to mention that there is a nice example of portraiture with the 35/2 so I read the mir.com again. The photo I rememembered is from pbase. :D

henryt
 
Posts: 168

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Mon May 18, 2009 3:30 am


I like the 70-200 2.8 sigma.

madlights
 
Posts: 911

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Wed May 27, 2009 4:42 pm


Think your current lenses should do you well. I've used the lowly little 50mm 1.8 (it's a good lens for the price $70-80US for sure) for a portrait lens with good results on a cropped camera. On a 1.6 that lens becomes an 80mm which is right in that "portrait" range ( although many suggest that range - it's certainly not a hard and fast rule) . If you want an extended depth of field...to include background clearly, a wider angle than 80-135mm (35mm equiv.) might do you well, since the wider you go the more DOF you usually have at a given stop...if you go too wide then you run into apparent distortion of features, especially if your subject is close...which for portraiture probably would be close...and on a not so wide lens in order to get an acceptable DOF (to bring in background details clearly) you may have to increase the Fstops so much that you start running into diffraction problems which can soften the image (also asks the question of acceptable lighting at shutter speeds needed and the lighting setup available to you) there's a lot of trade offs. Just remember - wider lenses or a wider zoom setting = greater depth of field at a given stop to bring in background details...but too wide and too close to the subject with them and you start getting 'apparent' distortions...although with 35mm or so (as a starting point?) you'd have to be really close in, to do that "I think", probably closer than practicable...someone correct me if I'm wrong? That Tamron you have is supposed to be a really good lens, think I'd experiment with different combinations of focal lengths, fstops, and shutter speeds with it, although I personally don't have any experience with that particular lens. Here's a site where you can look up different values for including backgrounds sharply (as you seem to wish) or to soften them at given settings...I look at the values they give more as guides than as written in stone...since so much depends on how sharp or "in focus" you want it to be. http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html Have fun.

marcelloromeo
 
Posts: 3

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Sat May 30, 2009 10:31 am


I would never use a zoomlens for portraits but I do advise you to look for a EF 100mm F2.0 or 2.8 or a EF 85mm 1.2 or 1.8 to be sure that you can make pictures completely free from the background with a nice bockeh . I also use quite often a longer lens: the 70-200mm 2.8 IS to stay further away from your subject and creating a complete unfocused soft bakground !!!

madlights
 
Posts: 911

Re: lenses for portraiture

Post Sat May 30, 2009 12:45 pm


libertini wrote:Thanks for the info. I am specifically interested in "environmental" portraiture where some of the relevant surroundings, either in a room or outdoors would be in focus and pulled in close in such a way as to be of almost equal importance to the subject. That is, where the surrounding elements help define the subject. Perhaps I don't have the right photography vocabulary to express myself.
Thanks for any more info.

marcelloromeo wrote:I would never use a zoomlens for portraits but I do advise you to look for a EF 100mm F2.0 or 2.8 or a EF 85mm 1.2 or 1.8 to be sure that you can make pictures completely free from the background with a nice bockeh . I also use quite often a longer lens: the 70-200mm 2.8 IS to stay further away from your subject and creating a complete unfocused soft bakground !!!

Hello...yes I didn't see the OP's second posting at first either...where the original OP (libertini) said they wanted to include much of the background "in focus" a sort of non traditional portraiture...and that certainly complicates the issue...


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