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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 19 Apr 2014 (Saturday) 22:39
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Portrait lens advice

 
nightcat
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Apr 22, 2014 14:17 |  #31

mystik610 wrote in post #16852587 (external link)
85L is a very nice lens. Be sure you're ready to commit to it though....its very expensive, and the focal length and AF make it very specialized, and difficult to use for anything other than of outdoor portraiture. I love mine, but its my least used lens. When I do use it, however, it does what its intended to do beautifully.

I'm not sure why you think the 85mm can't be used indoors? Over the Easter weekend, I took some indoor portrait shots with a 100mm lens and it worked out fine. The only issue I had is there were several shots where I really could have used my 135mm (f2) lens, but I didn't have it with me.




  
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Nick_Reading.UK
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Apr 22, 2014 14:18 |  #32

nightcat wrote in post #16853204 (external link)
I'm not sure why you think the 85mm can't be used indoors? Over the Easter weekend, I took some indoor portrait shots with a 100mm lens and it worked out fine. The only issue I had is there were several shots where I really could have used my 135mm (f2) lens, but I didn't have it with me.

Maybe he lives in a small house :lol: ;)


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RMH
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Apr 22, 2014 14:27 |  #33

I live in a 1 bedroom NY apartment, so yep, it's pretty small :)

Also, we were talking about chasing toddlers around the furniture, not posing adults. Pretty sure I could manage a headshot with a 300mm f2.8 if I stood out in the hall and the subject was over by the window :p



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mystik610
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Apr 22, 2014 15:52 |  #34

nightcat wrote in post #16853204 (external link)
I'm not sure why you think the 85mm can't be used indoors? Over the Easter weekend, I took some indoor portrait shots with a 100mm lens and it worked out fine. The only issue I had is there were several shots where I really could have used my 135mm (f2) lens, but I didn't have it with me.

I never said that you can't use the 85L indoors, just that it would be difficult/not ideal unless the conditions are right. (large room and/or tightly framed shots).

85mm in general is specialized focal length. I'm very much a fan of the FOV, as it offers a flattering compression without completely blurring out the background....but outside of portraits, its not long enough when you need a lot of reach, but at the same too long to use in tight spaces. Couple that with an AF that's fast enough for portraits, but too slow to focus on subjects in motion, and you have a very specialized lens.


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gonzogolf
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Apr 22, 2014 15:58 |  #35

RMH wrote in post #16853231 (external link)
I live in a 1 bedroom NY apartment, so yep, it's pretty small :)

Also, we were talking about chasing toddlers around the furniture, not posing adults. Pretty sure I could manage a headshot with a 300mm f2.8 if I stood out in the hall and the subject was over by the window :p

But chasing toddlers isnt really portraiture.




  
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RMH
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Apr 22, 2014 16:10 |  #36

gonzogolf wrote in post #16853490 (external link)
But chasing toddlers isnt really portraiture.

I'd argue that it is -- a portrait should try to capture the essesnce of a person. I'd say that a photo of a toddler running and playing capture far more of them than forcing / convincing one to stand still to be photographed.

I really don't think the 85L is a great lens for photographing kids indoors. I have tried it plenty and I don't like it. Even if they are still, there's always an invonvenient table in the way which means you need to be too close to use it etc.

I much prefer the 24-70. Since the op wants a lens for photographing his kids, it's a useful thing to know, no?



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gonzogolf
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Apr 22, 2014 16:13 |  #37

Portraits imply a degree of control over the circumstances the image is created. Chasing toddlers results in candids. Another noble pursuit, but different and it opens up a different too chest.




  
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frugivore
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Apr 22, 2014 16:24 |  #38

The word portrait means likeness of the face.




  
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RMH
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Apr 22, 2014 16:29 |  #39

gonzogolf wrote in post #16853526 (external link)
Portraits imply a degree of control over the circumstances the image is created. Chasing toddlers results in candids. Another noble pursuit, but different and it opens up a different too chest.

I actually agree with your definition, but the degree of control you have with a young child is significantly less than you have with an adult and I find a more flexible lens much more useful than a less flexible lens indoors - there's only so much foot-zooming you can do indoors before you trip over the dog :lol:



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gonzogolf
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Apr 22, 2014 16:32 |  #40

RMH wrote in post #16853574 (external link)
I actually agree with your definition, but the degree of control you have with a young child is significantly less than you have with an adult and I find a more flexible lens much more useful than a less flexible lens indoors - there's only so much foot-zooming you can do indoors before you trip over the dog :lol:

I understand. But asking for a portrait lens, to take candids is a bit off the mark. We care less about perspective distortion and more about expression, composition, and focus for candids of kids.




  
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InfiniteDivide
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Apr 22, 2014 16:50 |  #41

While this comparison is NOT directly related to the topic at hand, it gives you a visual comparison of the compression mentioned, from longer lenses.Credit to member SMORTER
All wide open.

IMAGE: http://galleries.clartephoto.com/img/s9/v86/p1792110076-5.jpg

While the 85L II is a GREAT lens, I chose not to get it because I like wider lenses, environmental portraits, not often indoors 85mm and 100mm is too long. I can take fine portrait, either candid or formal with the 100L and find the aperture give me enough bokeh and sharpness at the focal length. But these are often taken outdoors. While the 100L is not as thin of a DOF as the 135L f2 or the 100mm f2 either.
I will be testing more 'portraits' with my new 50L and see how that goes.
Another note about the 100L is the minimum focus distance is significantly less than the 85L and 135L. While the compression is great on the photos. I don;t always have much room the back up, even outdoors, depending on my location.
Just my personal thoughts based on my own use of my lenses.

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RMH
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Apr 22, 2014 16:54 |  #42

gonzogolf wrote in post #16853579 (external link)
I understand. But asking for a portrait lens, to take candids is a bit off the mark. We care less about perspective distortion and more about expression, composition, and focus for candids of kids.

Which raises a useful point...

OP, how old are your kids and where do you want to photograph them and in what scenarios.

The examples I posted up back on page 2, I would considder 'portraits' but others would probably term candids, so you may get mixed answers based on peoples interpretation of what it is you're actually after. If your girls are 15 years not 15 months then I completely retract my statement about the 85L indoors :p



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vengence
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Apr 22, 2014 20:42 |  #43

InfiniteDivide wrote in post #16853621 (external link)
While this comparison is NOT directly related to the topic at hand, it gives you a visual comparison of the compression mentioned, from longer lenses.Credit to member SMORTER
All wide open.
QUOTED IMAGE

I'm not sure if that's a testament to the 50L not being worth it or if it's a testiment to just how good of a value the nifty fifty is. But there's a hell of a statement there regardless.




  
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nightcat
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Apr 22, 2014 21:46 |  #44

RMH wrote in post #16853637 (external link)
Which raises a useful point...

OP, how old are your kids and where do you want to photograph them and in what scenarios.

The examples I posted up back on page 2, I would considder 'portraits' but others would probably term candids, so you may get mixed answers based on peoples interpretation of what it is you're actually after. If your girls are 15 years not 15 months then I completely retract my statement about the 85L indoors :p

I would not consider photos of running children to be portraits. I wouldn't even consider them to be candids. They would just be photos of kids at play. However, your 2 photos of the kids on page 2, I would certainly consider to be portraits, and very nice ones at that.




  
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InfiniteDivide
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Apr 22, 2014 22:34 |  #45

vengence wrote in post #16854183 (external link)
I'm not sure if that's a testament to the 50L not being worth it or if it's a testiment to just how good of a value the nifty fifty is. But there's a hell of a statement there regardless.

I completely agree. While I am not sure about the details of the shots,
I can say first hand that my 50L has smoother bokeh than my 50mm 1.4 did.
I posted a comparison in another thread myself. I have never used the 'nifty-fifty'
but users here as it can be tack sharp wide open. And some swear by it professionally.
I think in this shot at the same Focal length, the DOF is wide enough to show minimal differences between the two shots.
Had the model been at a closer distance in all shots, the bokeh characteristics may have shown clearer differences f1.8 to f1.2.


James Patrus
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Portrait lens advice
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