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01/26/2011 12:05:25 PM · #1
Hi guys

So ..I sold some of my equipment in hopes to get some good portrait lens, at first I was thinking of getting the Canon 70-200 mm f2.8 but it seems like it might be a bit heavy for the job. So, what would be a great option for portraits, should I go with the prime or zoom lenses, what would give me the best quality? I have a bit more than $1,200.00 and I can get a bit more ;)
01/26/2011 12:15:03 PM · #2
I've just had this. I knew it was supposed to be good but it has exceeded my expectations.
01/26/2011 12:28:01 PM · #3
Strongly recommended: Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro

100mm is a classic focal length for portraiture on a full-frame camera. This lens is outstanding, with the very latest in IS technology.

R.
01/26/2011 01:10:47 PM · #4
Thank you both, I already have the 100mm, so I'll be looking into the 85mm. Seems like primes are the way to go huh?
01/26/2011 01:11:35 PM · #5
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Strongly recommended: Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro

100mm is a classic focal length for portraiture on a full-frame camera. This lens is outstanding, with the very latest in IS technology.

R.


I just noticed this is a different one, that what I have, I'll look into this too.
01/26/2011 01:17:15 PM · #6
Originally posted by Maggye:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Strongly recommended: Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro

100mm is a classic focal length for portraiture on a full-frame camera. This lens is outstanding, with the very latest in IS technology.

R.


I just noticed this is a different one, that what I have, I'll look into this too.


Hey, if you already have the 100mm f/2.8 macro, that does the job very, very well. Functionally, the only difference between it and the newer one is the IS, so unless that's been an issue for you no need to change. The earlier-referenced 85mm f/1.2 is a great piece of glass with razor-thin DOF wide open, so it's worth a look. You have to be comfortable with really precise focusing, though. At head-shot distances, at f/1.2, DOF is only an inch or so, seriously.

The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is a great, great lens, and wildly useful for much more than portraiture. It's heavy, granted, but the quality is so much better than the consumer-oriented, compact zooms... I have the f/4 version, which is equally good and quite a bit lighter, but that f/2.8 is very desirable if you can swing the price.

R.
01/26/2011 01:30:14 PM · #7
I get good results with the 24-105mm F4 L IS, if you're looking for something a bit more flexible. At times it can be a tad soft, but I've dropped mine on the ground before. Concrete, actually. Oops. Maybe it was sharper before!

Then again, a little softness can actually be nice for portraits.

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!

Message edited by author 2011-01-26 13:36:54.
01/26/2011 01:43:54 PM · #8
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.
01/26/2011 01:52:06 PM · #9
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
01/26/2011 01:56:56 PM · #10
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 02:32:18 PM · #11
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 02:52:39 PM · #12
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 02:58:37 PM · #13
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 06:12:32 PM · #14
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 07:32:37 PM · #15
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 07:58:06 PM · #16
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 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 08:41:19 PM · #18
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 08:46:32 PM · #19
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.
01/28/2011 05:54:36 PM · #20
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.

01/28/2011 07:00:37 PM · #21
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 09:50:11 PM · #22
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 10:54:02 PM · #23
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 10:57:34 PM · #24
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 11:26:13 PM · #25
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? :)
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