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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 24 Jan 2011 (Monday) 01:55
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What Is The Ultimate Portrait Lens?

 
Shockey
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Jan 25, 2011 09:19 |  #76

Whatever lens you have on your camera can take good portraits.
Having said that I like to use the 70-200 at 200mm at 2.8 or 4.


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george ­ m ­ w
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Jan 25, 2011 09:25 |  #77

Ok....considering we're posting up a few images, here's one that I suppose we could call 'environmental'. Personally I love trying get candids like this when folks are involved in the activities of the day. This with one of my "favorite lens for enviro portraits"....the 300 2.8. Shot wide open at ISO200, 1/250 sec

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IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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regards, george w

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Pasukun
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Jan 25, 2011 09:37 |  #78

I would say anywhere from 35mm to 200mm and use adequate DOF to control the background.
Meaning, don't over do it.

In theory, you could shoot portrait in any FL, but any wider would be too close to your model and any longer would present a communication challenge with your model.


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george ­ m ­ w
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Jan 25, 2011 09:58 |  #79

In theory, you could shoot portrait in any FL, but any wider would be too close to your model and any longer would present a communication challenge with your model.

True enough if you are shooting photos where you are staging/directing the shots.
However, many of my favorite shots are candids that the subject didn't even know I was taking. The shot I posted above, obviously Holly sought me out in the distance and gave me that million dollar smile, but in this one, Kate didn't even know I took this shot until later in the day when the horse show was over. This shot turned out to be one of her favorite shots of her and her horse....it's a 24x30 poster on her bedroom wall ( this is another with the 300 2.8 ).
It can also depend on the folks you are shooting. Most of the girls I shoot know when I'm shooting, and they all are a bunch of hams that love to play to the camera. Our communication is often non-verbal, because we are shooting in situations where there are lots of other folks and activity. A long lens can be useful to isolate your subject in an otherwise crowded venue. Believe it or not, she was in the arena with probably a dozen other horses and riders in this shot. I was shooting down thru/between several other competitors.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO

regards, george w

"It's also obvious that people determined to solve user error with more expensive equipment will graduate to expensive user error."
Dave N.

  
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airfrogusmc
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Jan 25, 2011 09:59 as a reply to  @ Pasukun's post |  #80

I've gotten some good environmental portraits with a 24 on FF to (I posted 2 example a while back). I think knowing what to use in each situation is the key and being able to see light and when its right and if its not then having the skills to use supplemental lighting in a way as to not detract from the visual statement. Most of my favorite portrait photographers use available light (Arnold Newman, Cartier-Bresson) and the one that don't(Marc Hauser, Irving Penn) are the ones that use supplemental lighting that mimics available light. Seeing light and knowing how to use it along with picking the right focal length and aperture to help enforce the visual statement is key. No one lens or technique is right for every situation.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Jan 25, 2011 10:00 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #81

Nice examples George and that F/L works very well in those specific situations.

I'll repost these two with a 24L on FF


IMAGE: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Portraits%20with%2024L/ShowenkeenBW.jpg

IMAGE: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y118/airfrogusmc/Portraits%20with%2024L/IMG_76242.jpg



  
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airfrogusmc
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Jan 25, 2011 10:21 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #82

So I'd say the ultimate portrait lens is the one thats right for each particular application. For me sometimes its a 24m F/L and sometimes its 200mm F/L and as you've seen it can be a 300mm F/L. There is no single answer to this question but I can tell you for portraits both formal and more environmental types my two work horses are my 35L and 85L. But in some circumstances I use both the 24L and the 200 2L.




  
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Pasukun
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Jan 25, 2011 11:00 |  #83

Excellent example.
However, in terms of general advice, it is hard to recommend that to anyone who is looking for a good portrait lens.
For that you need more than just a glass. You need to learn "know how".
I have taken portrait shot using 12mm FL before and it was fun and all and so was using 300mm for tight head and shoulder portrait. But I could not recommend that to all, unless that person was looking specifically for that kind of shots.

In my short years of photography..(still learning) I found the most comfortable(yet flexible) FL to be 35mm~200mm and that is usually the focal lengths that I recommend to others. But by any means it is not the rule of thumb.

george m w wrote in post #11710914 (external link)
True enough if you are shooting photos where you are staging/directing the shots.
However, many of my favorite shots are candids that the subject didn't even know I was taking. The shot I posted above, obviously Holly sought me out in the distance and gave me that million dollar smile, but in this one, Kate didn't even know I took this shot until later in the day when the horse show was over. This shot turned out to be one of her favorite shots of her and her horse....it's a 24x30 poster on her bedroom wall ( this is another with the 300 2.8 ).
It can also depend on the folks you are shooting. Most of the girls I shoot know when I'm shooting, and they all are a bunch of hams that love to play to the camera. Our communication is often non-verbal, because we are shooting in situations where there are lots of other folks and activity. A long lens can be useful to isolate your subject in an otherwise crowded venue. Believe it or not, she was in the arena with probably a dozen other horses and riders in this shot. I was shooting down thru/between several other competitors.


"the things we touch have no permanence.. as there is nothing we can hold onto in this world.. only by letting it go can we truly possess what is real.."

My Gears

  
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Nathan
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Jan 25, 2011 11:08 |  #84

The human aquula


Taking photos with a fancy camera does not make me a photographer.
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airfrogusmc
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Jan 25, 2011 11:28 |  #85

Nathan wrote in post #11711279 (external link)
The human aquula

With an amazing attorney. ;)

Also I don't and would never sell my work to stock.




  
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gasrocks
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Jan 25, 2011 12:39 |  #86

stu46 - what lens? I don't really like the bokeh in your second shot - but, yes, a matter of individual taste.


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airfrogusmc
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Jan 25, 2011 13:47 |  #87

gasrocks wrote in post #11711823 (external link)
stu46 - what lens? I don't really like the bokeh in your second shot - but, yes, a matter of individual taste.

I think its the 200 2L not 100% sure on that. I've never gotten bokek like that from mine but I watch how busy the B/Gs are. Just shows that even a bokeh king can in some instances give bad bokeh.




  
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cccc
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Jan 25, 2011 13:49 as a reply to  @ post 11705484 |  #88

I like having my perspective between 50mm and 100mm - it seems more personal to me.




  
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Ferrari_Alex
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Jan 25, 2011 15:26 |  #89

It is the one that you know how to use:-)


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NASS ­ Photo
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Jan 25, 2011 17:48 as a reply to  @ Ferrari_Alex's post |  #90

My 135L on my FF is the one I consider my best portrait lens. But, whatever works for you is probably your best lens.


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What Is The Ultimate Portrait Lens?
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