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Old 15th of October 2009 (Thu)   #1
Slitherbeth
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Default Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

I have been doing portraits with my 85mm 1.8 on a 50D, but I would like a lens that is better for full body poses. The catch is that my budget it around $500...any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 15th of October 2009 (Thu)   #2
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

Try to get a nice copy (no focus issues) of the Sigma 30 f/1.4... around $350-400$ used

or maybe a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
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Old 15th of October 2009 (Thu)   #3
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

What format...135/FF or APS-C? What distance to the subject? Set shots? runway?
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Old 15th of October 2009 (Thu)   #4
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

I am assuming you don't have room to back way up with your 85?

Anyway, I agree on the Sigma 30 1.4 or also look at the Canon 28 1.8. (assuming aps-c camera)

If you are in the studio with strobes and don't have to worry about blurring the BG to death, any decent wider zoom will do.
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Old 15th of October 2009 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

Sigma is very good for it's money!
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Old 15th of October 2009 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

There is no "best" lens for any sort of portraiture. It depends on how far away you are and what look you want.
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Old 15th of October 2009 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

I'm also assuming this is for use with one of the crop sensor cameras... (Rebel, 40/50D, etc.)

Canon 28/1.8, Sigma 30/1.4... However, both can impart some wide angle distortion if not careful. Keep people away from the edges of the frame and don't get in too close with them (makes for oversized noses and undersized ears!).

If you have adequate room to work get a 50/1.4, either the Canon or the Sigma. This focal length will render very natural perspective and little distortion. I saw comparative examples from each of these on some website the other day after a Google search... I have been using the Canon for years and had heard a lot about the Sigma, thought I might want to try it. Frankly, after seeing the sample images, I think I'll just stick with the less expensive Canon. I didn't see enough difference in head to head comparisons to make it worth the extra. The Sigma is better built, but the Canon isn't bad.
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Old 15th of October 2009 (Thu)   #8
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

I do most of mine around 50mm, but I've used 24mm and 135mm as well just about every focal length my lenses cover. "Best" is subjective and therefore has no single, definitive answer.
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Old 16th of October 2009 (Fri)   #9
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

Thanks so much everyone, I think I'll go with the 28 1/8
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Old 16th of October 2009 (Fri)   #10
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slitherbeth View Post
Thanks so much everyone, I think I'll go with the 28 1/8
WAIT. Don't be in a rush to buy glass if you don't know how it will work out for you.

I suspect you may find yourself getting a bit too close to the subject (for a proper perspective) with that focal length on an APS-C format camera.

Do you have any answers to the various questions above about intended camera-to-subject distances, etc?

Do you have a zoom lens that would cover the 28 through 50 or 60mm range? If so, test your ideas with that before buying another lens. Pay attention to the perspective in the test images. You may very well find that you need to change your distance and thus the focal length. After choosing the proper distance to get the desired perspective, THEN you should be choosing a focal length to get the desired framing.
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Old 16th of October 2009 (Fri)   #11
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amfoto1 View Post
Canon 28/1.8, Sigma 30/1.4... However, both can impart some wide angle distortion if not careful. Keep people away from the edges of the frame and don't get in too close with them (makes for oversized noses and undersized ears!).

If you have adequate room to work get a 50/1.4, either the Canon or the Sigma. This focal length will render very natural perspective and little distortion. I saw comparative examples from each of these on some website the other day after a Google search... I have been using the Canon for years and had heard a lot about the Sigma, thought I might want to try it. Frankly, after seeing the sample images, I think I'll just stick with the less expensive Canon. I didn't see enough difference in head to head comparisons to make it worth the extra. The Sigma is better built, but the Canon isn't bad.
Focal lengths, in themselves, do not create perspective distortion. It's the camera-to-subject distance, and nothing else, that causes that. Please read our "sticky" tutorial titled Perspective Control in Images - Focal Length or Distance?.
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Old 16th of October 2009 (Fri)   #12
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

There never was a reply about format, only presumptions about APS-C. So let me answer in that context and hope the OP has that camera format...

85mm is too long on APS-C for head and shoulders, forcing one to be positioned farther back than optimal to permit easy and quick adjustment to poses and lighitng...back and forth and back and forth.

Conversely, 28mm is a bit wide for full length, although it can work without problem. A 'normal' FL is usual for full length work, at 10' shooting distance it sees 7' x 4.7''

I would not worry about induced perspective distortion with 28mm, as I have found that one can work without much fear of that with a lens as wide as 74 degree angle of view (18mm on APS-C)
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Old 16th of October 2009 (Fri)   #13
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

well I have a crop body, so wouldn't 28mm be about "normal" . and I'd probably be about 10 feet away
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Old 16th of October 2009 (Fri)   #14
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slitherbeth View Post
well I have a crop body, so wouldn't 28mm be about "normal" . and I'd probably be about 10 feet away
Yes, a 28mm lens is approximately a "normal" lens on that format camera. However, it may not be appropriate for framing the portraits that you intend to make at the distance you choose to use.

The 10-foot camera-to-subject distance would probably be OK. Make sure you have at least six feet between the subject(s) and the backdrop if you're using a typical studio backdrop.

What lens(es) do you currently have that you could experiment with? If you could set a "kit" lens to 28mm, for example, you could confirm whether or not that focal length would work well for your intended setup.
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Old 16th of October 2009 (Fri)   #15
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Default Re: Best Lens for Full Body Portraits or Fashion?

I only have he 85 1.8, so its kind of hard to tell with that
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