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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 24 Nov 2011 (Thursday) 11:38
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Portrait Lens Suggestions

 
windpig
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Nov 24, 2011 21:32 |  #16

24-105, great portrait lens.


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kf095
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Nov 24, 2011 21:47 |  #17

I use 28-75 2.8 on Rebel and 5D it is sharp lens at 2.8 from 28 to 75.
At 75 and 2.8 it is excellent portrait lens. At 28mm it might be not wide enough to take picture of large family in 10 by 20 room.
No problem with kids going crazy, running dogs and jumping horses. But I know how to use AF properly.
I know another photographer who takes paid family shots in small studio. She using Tamron 17-50 2.8 with good results.
If you are happy with 55-250 upgrade it to 70-200 F4. It is great portrait lens for indoors with flash you have.
And this lens is capable of chasing of everything due to USM.
For macro keep 50 1.8 and buy Raynox lens. It works on 70-200 also.


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bberg
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Nov 24, 2011 21:55 |  #18

What IS the budget? I'd recommend saving a bit more and going for the Canon 17-55 2.8 IS. It's simply an awesome portrait lens and so versatile. I assume you shoot more than just portraits, and the 17-55 will allow for this easily while a prime likely won't.


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iamawinner
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Nov 24, 2011 22:54 as a reply to  @ bberg's post |  #19

the 17-55 is one of the few I have never owned but have heard GREAT things about; with the range you usually shoot in I would go for the 70-200 f/4 or just pick up the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and move a bit more! or both neither lens will let you down.




  
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Miss ­ Frizzle
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Nov 25, 2011 00:56 |  #20

We'll, I'd like to stay at about $500. I technically do have the money for the Canon in my savings, but the thought of spending so much on a lens right now is hard, especially since I'm going to need a new computer soon and I'm trying to save for a trip abroad!

I thought the 28-75 sounded best since I already have a 10-20 and the 50-250. The 28-75 is quite a bit shorter than the 50-250 so I think I might look at some of my shots and see what focal length I'm actually shooting at for portraits. I wish Adobe Bridge could just come up with a graph with that info for me. :) Also, I feel like if I get a prime, I just can't get one. I am probably going to need a couple for different focal lengths. And I don't want to purchases multiple lenses right now!


Canon XSi // 50 1.8 // 55-250 // Sigma 10-20 // 17-50 2.8

  
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windpig
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Nov 25, 2011 07:25 |  #21

I'd quit throwing money at lenses until you can buy something good in the focal length you think you will use a lot. As it's been said, good lenses hold their value and can create nice images. People swear by the 24-70, but that's pretty wide, even on a crop, for head and head/shoulder shots. Figure you want to be at least 6ft from the subject, then go from there. Even though the 24-105 is F4, you still get equiv FF of 38-168, you won't get as much out of focus background, but it's all a compromise. But this is just my opinion.


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ceegee
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Nov 25, 2011 08:16 |  #22

Miss Frizzle wrote in post #13448309 (external link)
We'll, I'd like to stay at about $500. I technically do have the money for the Canon in my savings, but the thought of spending so much on a lens right now is hard, especially since I'm going to need a new computer soon and I'm trying to save for a trip abroad!

I thought the 28-75 sounded best since I already have a 10-20 and the 50-250.

It's very easy, on a forum like this, to be persuaded that you "have" to spend $1000 on a lens to get a "good one", but in reality it's not true. The Tamron you're considering is terrific lens: constant f2.8, nice build, very useful range, excellent IQ. It will be a significant upgrade in many respects from your 18-55 kit lens, and its range seems to be more suited to what you do than the 18-55. Of course, it's not perfect. Focusing is a little slower than a USM lens (but the lens is still capable of focusing on moving subjects - I use it all the time for dogs and kids; I find it focuses at least as well as my 55-250) and a little noisier too. However, in my experience its benefits far outweigh its disadvantages. I've tried the "L" lenses in this range (24-70, 24-105), and while they're obviously awesome, they, too, have their disadvantages. The 24-70 is huge and bulky (not to mention extremely expensive), while the 24-105 is an f4, not an f2.8. The Tamron has neither of these disadvantages. Not only that, but it was difficult, if not impossible, for me to find any differences in IQ between them and the Tamron when I tried them out. Like you, I'm not a full-time professional photographer and budget is a factor. I've never second-guessed my decision to buy the Tamron. Over the years it's produced some outstanding images for me and it continues to be my "go-to" lens for people and portrait photography, outdoors and in the studio. Even if I had the money to replace it, I'm not sure I'd do so; I don't like bulky lenses (which kind of eliminates the 24-70), I'd be reluctant to lose the f2.8 capability in this range (which kind of eliminates the 24-105), and the 17-55 range wouldn't be nearly as useful to me - the need for more length on my basic lens was the main reason for replacing my 18-55. All of which makes the Tamron a perfect choice in my case. Whatever lens you choose, there are going to be compromises, even if you spend $1000 or more. So it's a question of deciding which compromise you can best live with. In my case, the slightly slower focusing was easier to deal with than the high price tag, bulk and weight, less useful range and loss of constant f2.8 that came with any of the more expensive alternatives.

As a side note, I bought my 28-75 used on this forum for just over $300, and consider it to be the best-value photography-related purchase I've made.


Gear: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4, Canon 24-105L f4, Canon 70-300L, Canon 60 macro f/2.8, Speedlite 580 EXII, 2x AB800

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FEChariot
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Nov 25, 2011 08:32 |  #23

Miss Frizzle wrote in post #13448309 (external link)
We'll, I'd like to stay at about $500. I technically do have the money for the Canon in my savings, but the thought of spending so much on a lens right now is hard, especially since I'm going to need a new computer soon and I'm trying to save for a trip abroad!

I thought the 28-75 sounded best since I already have a 10-20 and the 50-250. The 28-75 is quite a bit shorter than the 50-250 so I think I might look at some of my shots and see what focal length I'm actually shooting at for portraits. I wish Adobe Bridge could just come up with a graph with that info for me. :) Also, I feel like if I get a prime, I just can't get one. I am probably going to need a couple for different focal lengths. And I don't want to purchases multiple lenses right now!

Download a program called exposure plot. Google it. It will graph out which focal lengths, ISOs, AV and TV you used on every shot taken.


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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Miss ­ Frizzle
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Nov 25, 2011 11:32 |  #24

Thank you ceegee! I'm going to try to get to the camera shop today or tomorrow to check it out in real life! I actually pulled out some notes from a workshop by a Tamron presenter maybe a year or two ago. I have written down, "28-75 2.8 - Good lens for portraits/weddings!" :)

And thanks FEChariot, I will check out that program! Sounds cool!

And I mean, I kind of do know the focal length I usually use for portraits. I know I almost always have on my 50-250. I usually don't take super large group shots, maybe between 1-6 people, usually smaller groups. I just want to check and see if I use the longer end (76-250) very much.


Canon XSi // 50 1.8 // 55-250 // Sigma 10-20 // 17-50 2.8

  
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Miss ­ Frizzle
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Dec 11, 2011 00:58 |  #25

Just realized the 28-75 does not have image stabilization...... ack!


Canon XSi // 50 1.8 // 55-250 // Sigma 10-20 // 17-50 2.8

  
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watt100
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Dec 11, 2011 03:47 |  #26

Miss Frizzle wrote in post #13445718 (external link)
Thought about the Tamron 90mm because it would work for portraits and I would have a macro lens as well, which I would love, but I read that it's focus is too slow for portraits of wiggly children.!


actually macro lens have a limit switch and they work fine for moving people, even sports! I use an older Tamron 90 2.8 macro non-Di for people and small things but you're right in that a longer focal length can be tight indoors.

XSi (450D) with Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro (non-di)

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6025/5944235045_5b5401f847_b.jpg


XSi (450D)
with Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro - indoors


IMAGE: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4107/5171189033_b248ea725e_b.jpg



  
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Amamba
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Dec 11, 2011 15:13 |  #27

I thought I was the only one using 55-250 for portraits :)

85 1/8 is a great portrait lens for outside or when you only do head & shoulders. If you're looking at Tamron 90 /2.8 I strongly suggest 85 instead, it's faster and it has a superfast and accurate AF. Optically it's an outstanding lens. There's really nothing to complain about it if FL works for you. I don't find lack of IS limiting, at this FL and when shooting subjects close enough it's not a show stopper. If you want a wider lens Sigma 30 /1.4 seems very nice.

Another option is getting one of 17-50/2.8 zooms. Tamron non-vc is great for portraits - not the fastest AF but for portraits it's OK, and it's very sharp with good bokeh. I think they are around $350. Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS has faster zoom and stabilization, a tad better bokeh for $300 more. Canon is outside your price range.

Honestly I'd not spend any money on a new lens. Been there just to realize that there was nothing wrong with my kit to begin with. I just got some great portraits of my kids in challenging backlit conditions with a cheap ancient Olympus MF lens.

I'd rent a lens for a week before bying it. See if it worth spending extra money on your kit. I think most amateur photogs myself included don't ever come close to be held back by the limitations of their equiipment.


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Gel
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Dec 11, 2011 15:49 |  #28

85L


Chris Giles Photography

  
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wayne.robbins
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Dec 11, 2011 16:06 |  #29

Amamba wrote in post #13528049 (external link)
I thought I was the only one using 55-250 for portraits :)
...

Another option is getting one of 17-50/2.8 zooms. Tamron non-vc is great for portraits - not the fastest AF but for portraits it's OK, and it's very sharp with good bokeh. I think they are around $350. Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS has faster zoom and stabilization, a tad better bokeh for $300 more. Canon is outside your price range.

Honestly I'd not spend any money on a new lens. Been there just to realize that there was nothing wrong with my kit to begin with. I just got some great portraits of my kids in challenging backlit conditions with a cheap ancient Olympus MF lens.

I'd rent a lens for a week before bying it. See if it worth spending extra money on your kit. I think most amateur photogs myself included don't ever come close to be held back by the limitations of their equiipment.

For what you are asking, to get much better results, I'd agree, you would need to sink considerably more money into the abyss because you really need two lenses to cover a good percentage of the range.
My notes: It seems that a lot that upgrade to a Tamron 17-50 actually end up upgrading to a Sigma 17-50 OS... Just sayin...
For the longer focal range- like the 55-250, I'd think a 70-200 choice would be better- but it is definitely beyond what you want to spend.. The Sigma 70-200 OS is still pricey at roughly 1400 and the canon best of the line is about $2100.
Personally, I'd agree with renting what you are thinking about getting- trying it out for a few days, and see if the difference is worth paying for. You may want to consider trying different techniques with the lenses you already have- instead - like different lighting, strobes, etc rather than lenses... A good lens upgrade, imo, will cost you around $2k at a minimum..


EOS 5D III, EOS 7D,EOS Rebel T4i, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, Canon 24-105L, Canon 18-135 IS STM, 1.4x TC III, 2.0x TC III, Σ 50mm f/1.4, Σ 17-50 OS, Σ 70-200 OS, Σ 50-500 OS, Σ 1.4x TC, Σ 2.0x TC, 580EXII(3), Canon SX-40, Canon S100
Fond memories: Rebel T1i, Canon 18-55 IS, Canon 55-250 IS, 18-135 IS (Given to a good home)...

  
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Amamba
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Dec 11, 2011 16:10 |  #30

Another issue with switching from 55-250 to 70-200 is losing these 15mm on wide end. It seems like that's not all that much but I bet good 50% of all the portraits I took with that lens were close to 55mm. When cost is an issue, 85 seems a better option than 70-200 /4IS - muuuuch cheaper and faster, and you don't get to keep the 55-70 range either way. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get 70-200 /F4IS (only the IS version) someday, but I am not ready to pay the price yet.


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