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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Advice on portrait lenses
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Showing posts 1 - 25 of 33, descending (reverse)
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01/30/2011 11:58:32 AM · #1
Originally posted by Artifacts:

Good news and bad news...

First, the bad news... After the shoot I gave my card to another team member for image post processing so will not have it back for a few days

The good news... I did not have problem one getting a soft BG. The setting was overcast at a rural farm and I took pictures of the birthday girl + husband to capture a bit of that.


Hopefully we get to see them soon :)
01/30/2011 07:49:20 AM · #2
Originally posted by Maggye:

Originally posted by Artifacts:

Coincidentally enough, I am going to photograph a birthday party gig this very afternoon! Other photographers have other focal lengths covered so I was planning to use my 70-200mm specifically for outdoor shots.

If I get anything worth sharing I will put some up for you to see.


I would love to see them.

Good news and bad news...

First, the bad news... After the shoot I gave my card to another team member for image post processing so will not have it back for a few days

The good news... I did not have problem one getting a soft BG. The setting was overcast at a rural farm and I took pictures of the birthday girl + husband to capture a bit of that.

Message edited by author 2011-01-30 07:49:50.
01/29/2011 01:38:21 PM · #3
One thing to think about that I didn't see mentioned is the distance that a 70-200mm (or 100mm) lens will require you to be from your subject. If you're shooting teens and adults, that's not really an issue. If you're shooting kids, though, and especially younger ones, a longer lens can put you out of a range that makes it easy to interact with them and keep their attention.
01/29/2011 01:29:35 PM · #4
Originally posted by Artifacts:

There isn't really any true optical differences between a lens on a 35mm vs. a smaller sensor. However, there is a big difference in the field-of-view(FOV). And it is edge effects that you wanna look for in a lens you are considering and if it is a zoom you wanna do it at the shortest and longest focal lengths. So never check out a lens on a small sensor camera.

You'd mentioned bulk weight as an issue with the 70-200mm f/2.8... I own the 70-200mm f/4L IS USM which I specifically bought because it is a lot smaller, lighter and more portable. That might be a possibility for you to, though you can't get as shallow of DOF with the f/4. I've read, though, that the image quality of the f/4L is better than the f/2.8L because it has fewer optical elements. I've never made the comparison myself so cannot verify that.

Coincidentally enough, I am going to photograph a birthday party gig this very afternoon! Other photographers have other focal lengths covered so I was planning to use my 70-200mm specifically for outdoor shots.

If I get anything worth sharing I will put some up for you to see.


I would love to see them.
01/29/2011 01:28:35 PM · #5
thank you guys, I thought about taking my camera but didn't consider actually taking pictures to look at them at home, I did considered renting them and use them for a day, but I couldn't find any local stores for that... anyways, if I had the money right now I would buy them both (hehe)
01/29/2011 12:20:24 PM · #6
Originally posted by kirbic:


I shoot the 70-200/2.8 IS wide open a lot, and I have never been dissatisfied with the sharpness. That said, your sensor is denser than mine, so you may see some slight softness that I do not. My recommendation is to take your body to the store, mount the lens and take some shots of a person, using flash, while in the store. Also take some shots of things with fine detail. Take shots at both 70mm and 200mm. Don't make any decisions in-store. Take your photos home, look at them critically on a larger monitor. I say to use flash because it eliminates questions of camera shake. You're not looking for a professional portrait, you're looking for a gauge of sharpness. If you can, take some shots with the 135/2 at f/2 and f/2.8 as well. Words of warning: The 135/2 is an addictive piece of glass :-)


Yeah... do everything kirbic says. I do that in camera stores a lot. :) You will never go wrong taking kirbic's advice.
01/29/2011 12:14:45 PM · #7
Originally posted by Maggye:

...
I went to a store today and I was looking at the 70-200mm f/2.8 and the 135mm f/2, the only thing they didn't have a full frame camera, so I would like to see them again maybe on mine. They guy at the store said that the sharpness on the 135mm opened at f/2 was really good, wich is not the case on the 70-200mm opened at f/2.8. Has anybody experience that?

I like the flexibility of the zoom lens, but would I be really loosing picture quality and sharpnes??

If I'm going specifically to look at lenses I always take my own camera... after all, that is where it will be used, right? :)

There isn't really any true optical differences between a lens on a 35mm vs. a smaller sensor. However, there is a big difference in the field-of-view(FOV). And it is edge effects that you wanna look for in a lens you are considering and if it is a zoom you wanna do it at the shortest and longest focal lengths. So never check out a lens on a small sensor camera.

You'd mentioned bulk weight as an issue with the 70-200mm f/2.8... I own the 70-200mm f/4L IS USM which I specifically bought because it is a lot smaller, lighter and more portable. That might be a possibility for you to, though you can't get as shallow of DOF with the f/4. I've read, though, that the image quality of the f/4L is better than the f/2.8L because it has fewer optical elements. I've never made the comparison myself so cannot verify that.

Coincidentally enough, I am going to photograph a birthday party gig this very afternoon! Other photographers have other focal lengths covered so I was planning to use my 70-200mm specifically for outdoor shots.

If I get anything worth sharing I will put some up for you to see.
01/29/2011 11:37:50 AM · #8
Originally posted by Maggye:



I went to a store today and I was looking at the 70-200mm f/2.8 and the 135mm f/2, the only thing they didn't have a full frame camera, so I would like to see them again maybe on mine. They guy at the store said that the sharpness on the 135mm opened at f/2 was really good, wich is not the case on the 70-200mm opened at f/2.8. Has anybody experience that?

I like the flexibility of the zoom lens, but would I be really loosing picture quality and sharpnes??


I shoot the 70-200/2.8 IS wide open a lot, and I have never been dissatisfied with the sharpness. That said, your sensor is denser than mine, so you may see some slight softness that I do not. My recommendation is to take your body to the store, mount the lens and take some shots of a person, using flash, while in the store. Also take some shots of things with fine detail. Take shots at both 70mm and 200mm. Don't make any decisions in-store. Take your photos home, look at them critically on a larger monitor. I say to use flash because it eliminates questions of camera shake. You're not looking for a professional portrait, you're looking for a gauge of sharpness. If you can, take some shots with the 135/2 at f/2 and f/2.8 as well. Words of warning: The 135/2 is an addictive piece of glass :-)
01/28/2011 11:26:13 PM · #9
Originally posted by Maggye:

Originally posted by Artifacts:

Friends that do portraiture work for a living - I don't - seems to like these lenses:

EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM ($2,199)
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM ($1,449)
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM ($1,999)

That might be their order of preference to. Its close between the 24-70 and the 70-200 as to which is their 2nd choice. I'd have never thought of a 70-200 as a portrait lens but they like its shallow DOF for zeroing attention to their subjects.

Personally, I couldn't afford even the street price for them, except possibly the 24-70. I tried out the 24-70 lens at a wedding once and I think it is a dynamite piece of glass!


I went to a store today and I was looking at the 70-200mm f/2.8 and the 135mm f/2, the only thing they didn't have a full frame camera, so I would like to see them again maybe on mine. They guy at the store said that the sharpness on the 135mm opened at f/2 was really good, wich is not the case on the 70-200mm opened at f/2.8. Has anybody experience that?

I like the flexibility of the zoom lens, but would I be really loosing picture quality and sharpnes??


the 200 f/2.8 prime is a sharp sharp sharp lens. Why bother with the zoom? :)
01/28/2011 10:57:34 PM · #10
Originally posted by Artifacts:

Friends that do portraiture work for a living - I don't - seems to like these lenses:

EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM ($2,199)
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM ($1,449)
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM ($1,999)

That might be their order of preference to. Its close between the 24-70 and the 70-200 as to which is their 2nd choice. I'd have never thought of a 70-200 as a portrait lens but they like its shallow DOF for zeroing attention to their subjects.

Personally, I couldn't afford even the street price for them, except possibly the 24-70. I tried out the 24-70 lens at a wedding once and I think it is a dynamite piece of glass!


I went to a store today and I was looking at the 70-200mm f/2.8 and the 135mm f/2, the only thing they didn't have a full frame camera, so I would like to see them again maybe on mine. They guy at the store said that the sharpness on the 135mm opened at f/2 was really good, wich is not the case on the 70-200mm opened at f/2.8. Has anybody experience that?

I like the flexibility of the zoom lens, but would I be really loosing picture quality and sharpnes??

Message edited by author 2011-01-28 22:59:22.
01/28/2011 10:54:02 PM · #11
Originally posted by paulbtlw:

Here's an example of the effect you get using the extremely narrow DOF ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' kirbic mentioned when using the 85mm at f/1.2:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/100393/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_932300.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/100393/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_932300.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Personally, I like the look and it allows you to shoot in places you wouldn't otherwise be able to shoot. This one was in very, very dark conditions - just a street lamp for lighting:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/100393/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_932301.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/100393/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_932301.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

But this is the picture I saw that made me purchase the lens (not a portrait but I just really liked it):

Canal St.


Thanks for the examples
01/28/2011 09:50:11 PM · #12
Originally posted by Mousie:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Peter! I've never seen a photo of you with a beard, but that one's so long it has to have been growing for years... What gives?

R.


Haha, It's only been a year and a couple months. It's fun! No other reason.


Well, gawd, it makes you look like a soul brother of mine or something, haunting resemblance to an old friend who lives on the Big Sur coast and is a sculptor. Makes me want to get to know you. I'm a sucker for the ZZ Top look I guess... Does that date me?

R.
01/28/2011 07:00:37 PM · #13
Friends that do portraiture work for a living - I don't - seems to like these lenses:

EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM ($2,199)
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM ($1,449)
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM ($1,999)

That might be their order of preference to. Its close between the 24-70 and the 70-200 as to which is their 2nd choice. I'd have never thought of a 70-200 as a portrait lens but they like its shallow DOF for zeroing attention to their subjects.

Personally, I couldn't afford even the street price for them, except possibly the 24-70. I tried out the 24-70 lens at a wedding once and I think it is a dynamite piece of glass!

Message edited by author 2011-01-28 19:01:13.
01/28/2011 05:54:36 PM · #14
Here's an example of the effect you get using the extremely narrow DOF ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' kirbic mentioned when using the 85mm at f/1.2:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/100393/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_932300.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/100393/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_932300.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Personally, I like the look and it allows you to shoot in places you wouldn't otherwise be able to shoot. This one was in very, very dark conditions - just a street lamp for lighting:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/100393/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_932301.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/100393/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_932301.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

But this is the picture I saw that made me purchase the lens (not a portrait but I just really liked it):

Canal St.

01/26/2011 08:46:32 PM · #15
Originally posted by front_element:

There is a school of thought that says longer focal lengths (200mm and above on FX format) are good choices for portraits. I find myself using my 70-200 at the long end of the range a lot nowadays and I like the flatter perspective it offers.

Most of the pics here were shot with the longer lens.

Paul.


Yeah, I think longer is quite useful for portraits. I found myself wishing for a little more reach on my 105mm just today. Had to get the camera pretty close at 100mm, and I like a bit more working distance.
01/26/2011 08:41:19 PM · #16
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Mousie:

An example at 75mm, focused by walking in front of the lens at F10 and crossing my fingers, with no sharpening at any point:

//www.flickr.com/photos/pkmousie/5389001384/lightbox/

It's my everyday lens!


Peter! I've never seen a photo of you with a beard, but that one's so long it has to have been growing for years... What gives?

R.


Haha, It's only been a year and a couple months. It's fun! No other reason.
01/26/2011 08:15:34 PM · #17
Originally posted by Maggye:

I've been wanting that lens, so I think I will rent it and give it a try. I mean, I was hand holding my 100-400mm, but at the end my arm would get really tired, so I'm not sure if the 70-200mm would be kind of the same on that aspect, but I'll never know if I don't try it, right? ;)


They can be a hefty piece of glass that is for sure. I use a camere mount in my small studio that is a counter-balanced boom, so I can walk away from the camera and leave it 'hanging' in mid air. The lazy way out :-)
01/26/2011 07:58:06 PM · #18
Originally posted by front_element:

There is a school of thought that says longer focal lengths (200mm and above on FX format) are good choices for portraits. I find myself using my 70-200 at the long end of the range a lot nowadays and I like the flatter perspective it offers.

Most of the pics here were shot with the longer lens.

Paul.


I've been wanting that lens, so I think I will rent it and give it a try. I mean, I was hand holding my 100-400mm, but at the end my arm would get really tired, so I'm not sure if the 70-200mm would be kind of the same on that aspect, but I'll never know if I don't try it, right? ;)
01/26/2011 07:32:37 PM · #19
There is a school of thought that says longer focal lengths (200mm and above on FX format) are good choices for portraits. I find myself using my 70-200 at the long end of the range a lot nowadays and I like the flatter perspective it offers.

Most of the pics here were shot with the longer lens.

Paul.
01/26/2011 06:12:32 PM · #20
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by lovethelight:

I would definitely get the 135mm 2.0L. The extra two stops are REALLY fun to have...


F/2.0 is 2 stops faster than f/4, 1 stop faster than f/2.8...

The hierarchy is: 1.0 / 1.4 / 2 / 2.8 / 4 / 5.6 / 8 / 11 / 16 / 22 / 32 / 45 / 64

R.


Thanks, I get mixed up since the camera shoots at 2.2
01/26/2011 02:58:37 PM · #21
Originally posted by lovethelight:

I would definitely get the 135mm 2.0L. The extra two stops are REALLY fun to have...


F/2.0 is 2 stops faster than f/4, 1 stop faster than f/2.8...

The hierarchy is: 1.0 / 1.4 / 2 / 2.8 / 4 / 5.6 / 8 / 11 / 16 / 22 / 32 / 45 / 64

R.
01/26/2011 02:52:39 PM · #22
Originally posted by lovethelight:

I would definitely get the 135mm 2.0L. The extra two stops are REALLY fun to have and the focal length is perfect for headshots and other portraits. The 100mm macros is a good lens, but 135 is definitely my go to lens. That way, if you save up you can also get the 85mm 1.2L and have two totally different lenses that both do incredible portrait work.


Great to hear from you Claire! I hope we'll get to see some more of what we know you can do with that lens before too long!
01/26/2011 02:32:18 PM · #23
I would definitely get the 135mm 2.0L. The extra two stops are REALLY fun to have and the focal length is perfect for headshots and other portraits. The 100mm macros is a good lens, but 135 is definitely my go to lens. That way, if you save up you can also get the 85mm 1.2L and have two totally different lenses that both do incredible portrait work.
01/26/2011 01:56:56 PM · #24
Wow!! thanks again guys. @ kirbic, that's a lot of great information. I have a lot of homework to do, but you guys made it all easy for me, I appreciate it.
01/26/2011 01:52:06 PM · #25
I agree with Robert that if you have the 100/2.8 macro, you seriously have to think about how your next purchase will bring additional value. Yes, the 85/1.2 is a wonderful lens, but it is close in focal length to the 100mm, so close in fact that the only real difference is going to be the additional flexibility in generating narrow DoF. FWIW, the DOF with the 85/1.2 wide open with a subject distance of 6 feet is about 0.6 inches for your camera, and at 10 feet it's 1.8 inches. You really have to ask if that kind of narrow Dof something that you will make good use of? $2 k worth of use? For comparison, shooting the 100/2.8 wide open at distances that would produce the same subject framing:
100/2.8 @ 2.8 & 7 feet: DoF = 1.4"
100/2.8 @ 2.8 & 12 feet: DoF = 4.3"
For my money, that's plenty thin.
I think you should consider a focal length that is further from the already fine lens you currently own. For FL shorter than 100mm, the Canon 50/1.4 is a great portrait lens at a very reasonable price. You could also consider the 24-70/2.8 zoom, which I find does very good portrait work at the longer end. For focal lengths longer than 100mm, I'd certainly consider the 70-200/2.8. I use it for candid stuff and I love the results. For primes, the 135/2.0 and 200/2.8 are both stellar lenses, and both are great values. The 135/2.0 in particular is something very special. the 200/2.8 may be too long for studio use. the 135mm may be too long for some smaller studios
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