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INFANT/FAMILY PORTRAIT LENS ADVICE FOR 20D

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Thread started 13 Aug 2005 (Saturday) 03:51   
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findlay
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Joined Aug 2005
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NEW ZEALAND
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I realize that there are probably threads covering what I am asking but I have spent hours getting sidetracked and absorbed in all sorts interesting topics and still require some specific advice so I thought I’d be brave and directly ask for help…

I come from an Art Education background and want to setup a home based business making portraits of babies, toddlers and families.
I am aiming at slotting somewhere in between the professional studio photographer and the kind you find at your department store (called PixiePhoto here in NZ).
I have pretty much decided to upgrade from my Canon 300D to the 20D due to the technology advances, price, size/weight, it’s sturdiness and it being reviewed as "almost like a baby1D".
I would appreciate advice on Canon lenses specific to the 20D and suitable for portraits of babies, toddlers and families for use in; basic studio type situation, environmental portraits, indoors and location shots (beach etc). I would like to achieve very shallow D.O.F and close ups of body parts (baby feet, hands etc).

I understand that fixed focal lenses have the edge in quality and achieving shallow D.O.F but to what extent??? I like the flexibility and range of zoom lenses, but want to know how much I would be compromising in image quality and achieving shallow D.O.F?
Would I be better off getting a range of fixed focal lenses?
I am currently considering the following Canon lenses; 70-200 f/2.8L USM, 24-70 f/2.8L USM, 16-35 f/2.8L USM (this last one maybe later due to limited$$)
Do I need a specific macro lens for close-ups of body parts or can I achieve this with the above?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :D

Post #1, Aug 13, 2005 03:51:21




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Carzee
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Joined Mar 2005
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Welcome and thats got to be the Best First Post of 2005. All the central newbie questions are there and you are clear about what you want to do...

You could start with only the bare minimum and add the 'L' glass as your income comes in. If you get good income, you'll need some expenses or you'll be paying a lot of tax... thats when to buy more goodies.

On a 20D you'll need a 50mm 1.4 at a minimum. Its the portrait length (near 85mm with crf) and with the shallow DOF work you'll want nice bokeh that makes the customers coo. Get some good flashes and umbrella lighting... good backdrops... before you get the zoomy 'L's.

Close ups of hands and sentimental hand-me-downs, wedding sigs etc. Besides the obvious thing of a new macro lens, you could do it cheaper by using the 50mm and cropping (perhaps) or getting a split finder and using a n older MF macro...

Then there's the question of a quality printer and papers...

Post #2, Aug 13, 2005 04:06:55


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findlay
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Hatchling
Joined Aug 2005
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Thanks Carzee, I appreciate the suggestions. I am looking at leasing the gear along with Apple Powerbook 17" Superdrive and am also comparing printers at the moment too...Canon Pixma IP8500 vs Epson R800 at A4 format. Not sure whether to go up to A3???
Anyway, Cheers :-)

Post #3, Aug 13, 2005 04:53:54




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Future ­ Blues
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Joined Jul 2005
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I'd definately recommend the 50mm f1.4. It's a dreamy portrait lens.

Post #4, Aug 13, 2005 15:36:33 as a reply to findlay's post 10 hours earlier.


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grego
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50 1.4. It's not an L lens, but its sharpness rivals some L lens. Great for what you need. Good investment.

Post #5, Aug 13, 2005 15:50:32


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I ­ Simonius
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findlay wrote:
Thanks Carzee, I appreciate the suggestions. I am looking at leasing the gear along with Apple Powerbook 17" Superdrive and am also comparing printers at the moment too...Canon Pixma IP8500 vs Epson R800 at A4 format. Not sure whether to go up to A3???
Anyway, Cheers :-)

I would go for the set up I've got, 17-40L for group shots, 50f1.4 standard portrait, 85f1.8 close ups. You can also get macro close up with the 17-40, it focuses to a couple of inches!

I would questoion whether you really need to spend the extra for the faster 16-35, as the f4 17-40 will do fine. If you use a 1dsMk2 then it might be worth getting the 35f1.4 for 'pop off the page' shots, instead of the 17-40, but I doubt with the 20D you'd notice the difference

Post #6, Aug 13, 2005 16:38:14 as a reply to findlay's post 11 hours earlier.


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Wilt
Wilt is an old fart who has extensive experience with many brands and many formats of cameras, and extensive lighting knowledge of both studio lighting and speedlights
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From experience with FF 35mm and with Medium Format, the following focal lengths are good rule of thumb for different portraits with best perspective and shooting distance to subject...

(standing full length) 75mm FF , 90mm 645 format, 45mm 1.6 crop
(head and shoulders) 100mm FF, 150mm 645 format, 60mm 1.6 crop
(tight head shots) 135-150mm FF, 180-200mm 645 format (0r 150mm on short extension tube to shoot close), 85mm 1.6 crop

Pick your lens arsenal to suit.

Post #7, Aug 24, 2005 16:51:07


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