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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 27 Jul 2014 (Sunday) 02:03
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Help me decide on a portrait lens

 
Oldschool1948
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Jul 27, 2014 19:39 |  #16

The Canon 85mm 1.8 was my go to lens until I purchase the Canon 70-200 f4 IS


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agedbriar
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Jul 28, 2014 07:40 |  #17

The splendid 70-200/4 IS was my initial portrait lens.

Now I prefer the 85/1.8 for indoors and the 135/2 for outdoors.

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dweazel
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Jul 28, 2014 08:09 |  #18

Sharpness IS important.

80mm 1.2 L is perhaps overkill on your body. It's heavy too.
50mm 1.8 is a plastic fantastic standard lens that's actually great - and you won't cry if you drop it in a puddle... it's light for travel too.... i'd start with that and see how you get on....
50 1.4 offers excellent value....and at 1.8 it'll be v sharp.
50 1.2 is a fantastic lens that's going to be razor sharp at 1.4 - which is pretty low light. It's pricey but it's an L series ...... a very good piece of glass.... but i'd start with the 1.8 Canon and see how it performs for you and your style.

Think about how you'll use the lens..... do you need low light non-flash settings for intimate portraits in dark places?.... if so you'll benefit from wider apertures.


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Romax12
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Jul 28, 2014 11:13 |  #19

dweazel wrote in post #17061086 (external link)
Sharpness IS important.

80mm 1.2 L is perhaps overkill on your body. It's heavy too.
50mm 1.8 is a plastic fantastic standard lens that's actually great - and you won't cry if you drop it in a puddle... it's light for travel too.... i'd start with that and see how you get on....
50 1.4 offers excellent value....and at 1.8 it'll be v sharp.
50 1.2 is a fantastic lens that's going to be razor sharp at 1.4 - which is pretty low light. It's pricey but it's an L series ...... a very good piece of glass.... but i'd start with the 1.8 Canon and see how it performs for you and your style.

Think about how you'll use the lens..... do you need low light non-flash settings for intimate portraits in dark places?.... if so you'll benefit from wider apertures.


some of my shots are at dimly lit places and sometimes I dont want to hussle with the flash so you are right, a fast lens is kinda important, how would you compare the sigma's to the canons?


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EverydayGetaway
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Jul 28, 2014 13:59 |  #20

Nonnit wrote in post #17060136 (external link)
Sharpness across the frame for the aperture you are using is very important for portrait lens, the head/eyes can get close to the edges of the frame.

Unless of course you always put the subject in the center of the frame :)

Again, I maintane that no, it isn't. Sharpness more often than not is not flattering to the subject, I've actually had to soften images in post before even with my vintage lenses (most of which aren't as sharp as the non-Art Sigma).

If you need a lens sharper than the non-Art then you must be doing some very large prints, for regular portraits it rarely matters. That difference in sharpness is much harder to see than the difference in the background rendering.


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Dlee13
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Jul 28, 2014 21:45 |  #21

EverydayGetaway wrote in post #17061899 (external link)
Again, I maintane that no, it isn't. Sharpness more often than not is not flattering to the subject, I've actually had to soften images in post before even with my vintage lenses (most of which aren't as sharp as the non-Art Sigma).

If you need a lens sharper than the non-Art then you must be doing some very large prints, for regular portraits it rarely matters. That difference in sharpness is much harder to see than the difference in the background rendering.

Nonnit is making it sound like the non art (which I still own) is soft yet it's definitely not, it can still hold it's own against the art version if you ask me.

I agree with you that too much sharpness can be a problem, especially if the person's skills in post aren't too good. When I first got my 100L IS I tried using it for portraits and the amount of detail it showed on faces was insane. I had no clue how to smooth out skin in CS6 so I had to learn before I could use it again.

To the OP, for what you need I can highly reccomend the 35 F2 IS. It is a great walk around lens and can be good for half to full body portraits too!


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Glenn ­ NK
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Jul 28, 2014 22:21 |  #22

awardticket wrote in post #17060150 (external link)
I see some of you guys feel that the 50mm 1.8 is decent on a crop camera like the Rebel t3i. That's what I am currently using on my rebel for portraits. Are the other lenses strictly for portraits worth the extra money for a serious hobbyist like myself who isn't selling their pics?

50 mm on a 1.6 crop body is like an 80 mm lens (1.6 x 50 = 80) on FF.

It seems to have been forgotten but once upon a time in the film era, on a FF body, the 80 to 85 mm lens was considered the best overall FL for portraiture.

The reason? For a head and shoulder shot, 80-85 mm FL would nicely fill the frame but more importantly, by doing that, the camera was far enough from the person's face to not distort the features. The distance from camera to subject was about six feet (2 metres). This was considered the minimum camera to subject distance that didn't result in noticeable distortion.

Ever notice the distortion in selfies? The grotesque distortion, most noticeably the enlarged nose, is the result of being too close. The human visual system uses two eyes and the brain corrects for the distortion of features when we are close together. Unfortunately the camera has only one eye and no brains.

So your crop + 50 mm lens is just about right - and you've recognized what used to be common knowledge but has apparently largely been lost.

Glenn


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Romax12
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Jul 29, 2014 02:14 |  #23

so does digma planning on releasing other 1.4 primes? like 85 or 135:lol:
maybe that could be a steller


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Jul 29, 2014 12:32 |  #24

Dlee13 wrote in post #17062797 (external link)
Nonnit is making it sound like the non art (which I still own) is soft yet it's definitely not, it can still hold it's own against the art version if you ask me.

I agree with you that too much sharpness can be a problem, especially if the person's skills in post aren't too good. When I first got my 100L IS I tried using it for portraits and the amount of detail it showed on faces was insane. I had no clue how to smooth out skin in CS6 so I had to learn before I could use it again.

To the OP, for what you need I can highly reccomend the 35 F2 IS. It is a great walk around lens and can be good for half to full body portraits too!

What I said was not about the sigma in particular, I have never used that lens and don´t know it.

I am just pointing out that good performance (sharpness) across the frame for the aperture you are shooting at is important.

If not you are very limited in your framing:

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IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/fz7c​EJ  (external link) Kristbjörg #2 (external link) by Nonnit (external link), on Flickr

My 135L and 100 macro can frame like this wide open.

My 50 F1.4, 35 F2, 85 F1.8 and 17-40 must all be stopped down some unless I put the face in the center of the frame.

This is on FF, those lenses might perform much better close to edges on crop.

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MalVeauX
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Jul 29, 2014 17:44 |  #25

Heya,

Walk around portrait prime on APS-C for indoors and all that? Keep it shorter, sharp, and wide aperture.

Sigma 35 F1.4 ART or Canon EF 35 F2 IS or Canon EF 28 F1.8

Very best,


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Jul 29, 2014 18:51 |  #26

I would suggest the 50L or the 100L
The 100mm may be too long indoors.
The 50mm is lightweight, and makes a great portrait lens on crop.
The 100L can be used as a macro lens as a bonus.


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Dlee13
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Jul 29, 2014 19:50 |  #27

Nonnit wrote in post #17064075 (external link)
What I said was not about the sigma in particular, I have never used that lens and don´t know it.

I am just pointing out that good performance (sharpness) across the frame for the aperture you are shooting at is important.

If not you are very limited in your framing:

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/fz7c​EJ  (external link) Kristbjörg #2 (external link) by Nonnit (external link), on Flickr

My 135L and 100 macro can frame like this wide open.

My 50 F1.4, 35 F2, 85 F1.8 and 17-40 must all be stopped down some unless I put the face in the center of the frame.

This is on FF, those lenses might perform much better close to edges on crop.

I get your point. In that case you also have to consider what lens you are using, on the wider lenses like the 17-40 which are prone to distortion you wouldn't really want your subject near the out edge of the frame anyway.

I definitely agree about the 135 and 100L, I own the 100L and it's in a class of its own. I think they would be a bit long for him on crop and 50 is probably the longest FL he should go for, otherwise the versatility of his shooting may suffer (especially indoors).


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Romax12
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Jul 30, 2014 07:50 |  #28

i watched digital rev's review and they say that the bokeh from the sigma 50 art is really harsh -
can anyone share their thoughts about this?
the main thing for me will be the overall image quality, including the out-of-focus areas.

also, do you think that a 1.4 aperture on a 50mm lens will give me enough blurriness in the background?
I took this photo with my 70-200, this was at 70mm f2.8:

what do you think, is the 50 1.4 enough or should i reach for a 85, maybe the L :D ?


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hiketheplanet
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Jul 30, 2014 07:58 as a reply to  @ Romax12's post |  #29

I would think 1.4 will give you plenty of bokeh at 50mm. If bokeh is your greatest concern however, you may want to go with a longer FL. The 85 or 135 should give you even more bokeh. On a t3i keep in mind that a longer, fixed-length prime is probably less versatile overall. 50mm on aps-c isn't typically what we consider a general purpose prime.




  
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mkoller
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Jul 30, 2014 08:02 |  #30

don't dismiss the EF 85/1.8 - its CA is rarely a problem with portraits.

This is an absolute gem of a lens for the money.

I have the 50 1.4 and am not super impressed. I do like it on full frame 5D mkIII. but on 50d that does not have the focusing points of the mkIII found I struggled with the combo to get sharp images. Big difference in image quality on this lens from 1.4 ----> 2.0 -----> 2.8


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