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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 16 Jan 2015 (Friday) 13:37
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Which Prime lens for portraits?

 
Sparrow19
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Jan 16, 2015 13:37 |  #1

I am wanting to get into the prime lens' and I didn't know which one is the best bang for the buck. I currently have a Tamron 24-70 2.8, and although its ok, I'm not all that happy with it. Its great at the 50-70 range, but not real sharp below that.

So I was looking for something better for taking Family and Portrait shots. I also have a Tamron 70-200 2.8 that I love, but don't always have the room to use it.

Obvious choices are the 24, 35, 50, 85. I'm wanting really good glass, so I'm going to stick with Canon I think, although Sigma might be an option. I'm just not sure if I should go L or not. That may be a dumb question, but I've heard and seen good things from an 85 1.8, but in that case I could use my 70-200, and 85 might not work for a family group shot.

What do you find yourself using most, and what route would you recommend?


http://www.wesatkinson​photography.com (external link)
Canon 5D IV, 6D
Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, 70-200 2.8 VC
Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS

  
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longbeachgary
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Jan 16, 2015 13:39 |  #2

The Canon 85 1.8 is a fantastic lens and very affordable.


Canon 1DX, Canon 1D Mark iii, 20 F2.8, 100 F2.0, 200L F2.8, 300L F4, 400L 5.6, 17-40 F4, 24-70 F2.8L, 70-200 F2.8L, 70-200 F4 IS, and the 2nd 3rd party lens I've ever owned - Sigma 150-600 f5-6.3 Sport.

  
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rent
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Jan 16, 2015 13:57 |  #3

85mm f/1.2L II and 135mm f/2L are both really good glass. Best bang for the buck: 85mm f/1.8. I've occasionally used the 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS for casual portraits too and they've turned out well. -alex


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Trvlr323
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Jan 16, 2015 14:34 |  #4

The 85 1.8 is very good and budget friendly for portraits. I also use the 40 2.8 pancake on occasion. It isn't a bokeh beast but the IQ is very good @ F/2.8.


Sometimes not taking a photograph can be as problematic as taking one. - Alex Webb

  
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Sparrow19
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Jan 16, 2015 15:09 |  #5

Ok, Thanks..! I was heavily considering the 85 1.8, just based on what I've seen. My only thing is it still doesn't get me down below what my 70-200 can do. So I'm thinking the 35 or 50. Humm...


http://www.wesatkinson​photography.com (external link)
Canon 5D IV, 6D
Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, 70-200 2.8 VC
Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS

  
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Trvlr323
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Jan 16, 2015 15:25 |  #6

Sparrow19 wrote in post #17385821 (external link)
Ok, Thanks..! I was heavily considering the 85 1.8, just based on what I've seen. My only thing is it still doesn't get me down below what my 70-200 can do. So I'm thinking the 35 or 50. Humm...

I was going to recommend the 50 1.8 but I never shot it @ 1.8 because (at least on the copies I've owned) I found the IQ dropped off a lot when I went wider than 2.8 so I dropped it completely form my kit in favour of the 40 pancake. If you go 50 1.4 I would look at the Sigma. Personally I've had my 50 1.4s serviced too often to recommend Canon. I think the Sigma is on sale at B&H so they are both the same price at the moment.


Sometimes not taking a photograph can be as problematic as taking one. - Alex Webb

  
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ChrisNL
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Jan 16, 2015 15:49 |  #7

I highly recommend the 100 F2 non-L. It's a great piece of glass at a reasonable price. I foolishly traded mine a while back and I'm currently looking for another I miss it so much.


Two Canon 6D's w/ Canon 70-200L 2.8 II (w/ 2x extender), Sigma 35 Art, Sigma 24-35 ART, Sigma 50 ART, Canon 580/430 flashes.
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GeoKras1989
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Jan 16, 2015 15:54 |  #8
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ChrisNL wrote in post #17385883 (external link)
I highly recommend the 100 F2 non-L. It's a great piece of glass at a reasonable price. I foolishly traded mine a while back and I'm currently looking for another I miss it so much.

I agree with ChrisNL. I traded my 85 1.8 for a 100 2. I got the best end of that deal. The 100 focuses just as fast and accurately, has less CA, and to my eye has a nicer BG blur effect. It is also quite sharp wide open. My 85 1.8 was not as good.


WARNING: I often dispense advice in fields I know little about!

  
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Sparrow19
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Jan 16, 2015 16:07 |  #9

If I was going 100, couldn't my 100 Macro 2.8 do near the same thing? I realize the 2 is a stop faster.

I'm mostly wanting this for Family shots. So there will be 3-5 people. I'm afraid the 100 will not be wide enough to get everyone in, unless I am able to have some distance between us. But thats why I'm asking.


http://www.wesatkinson​photography.com (external link)
Canon 5D IV, 6D
Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, 70-200 2.8 VC
Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS

  
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GeoKras1989
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Jan 16, 2015 16:22 |  #10
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Sparrow19 wrote in post #17385914 (external link)
If I was going 100, couldn't my 100 Macro 2.8 do near the same thing? I realize the 2 is a stop faster.

I'm mostly wanting this for Family shots. So there will be 3-5 people. I'm afraid the 100 will not be wide enough to get everyone in, unless I am able to have some distance between us. But thats why I'm asking.

The 100 f/2 focuses faster than the 100 2.8. I think it also does less hunting. Neither of those is really an issue for portrait work. A head shot at f/2 is going to give you one eye in focus and the other not. If you already have a 100 2.8, both the 85 1.8 and 100 2 offer you very little. If I already had a 100 2.8, I wouldn't bother with the 85 1.8 or 100 2. Sorry, I didn't notice you already had the 2.8.


WARNING: I often dispense advice in fields I know little about!

  
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Sparrow19
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Jan 16, 2015 16:30 |  #11

Its no problem. I didn't list it in the original post.


http://www.wesatkinson​photography.com (external link)
Canon 5D IV, 6D
Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, 70-200 2.8 VC
Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS

  
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burb1972
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Jan 16, 2015 17:03 |  #12

that 100 2.8 L you have is pretty hot. Its probably one of the better portrait lenses. The only thing that i know that bests it are the magic ones. 35L, 85L 135L, sigma 70 2.8 macro, 50 sigma art(focus issues?). The 50 L is kinda on the edge of the magic ones.


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gear list 5dc, tamron 19-35, tamron 28-75, 50mm 1.8 mark 1, 28-70 3.5 canon(x2), 100 f/2 canon, 70-300 usm is, helios 44-2, vpk lens put into a m42 cap attached to a bellows, 430 ex

  
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agedbriar
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Jan 16, 2015 17:37 |  #13

I keep the 100L for macro.

For portraits I prefer the 85/1.8 (indoors) and the 135L (outdoors) although due to tighter framing of single subjects, I seldom go wider than f/2.5.




  
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MalVeauX
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Jan 16, 2015 18:49 |  #14

Sparrow19 wrote in post #17385688 (external link)
I am wanting to get into the prime lens' and I didn't know which one is the best bang for the buck. I currently have a Tamron 24-70 2.8, and although its ok, I'm not all that happy with it. Its great at the 50-70 range, but not real sharp below that.

So I was looking for something better for taking Family and Portrait shots. I also have a Tamron 70-200 2.8 that I love, but don't always have the room to use it.

Obvious choices are the 24, 35, 50, 85. I'm wanting really good glass, so I'm going to stick with Canon I think, although Sigma might be an option. I'm just not sure if I should go L or not. That may be a dumb question, but I've heard and seen good things from an 85 1.8, but in that case I could use my 70-200, and 85 might not work for a family group shot.

What do you find yourself using most, and what route would you recommend?

Heya,

Put a precision matte focus screen into your 6D.

And get a Samyang 85 F1.4 and maybe a Canon EF 35 F2 IS, or a Samyang 35 F1.4.

But 35/85 would be great for what you're trying to do.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
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DaveKosiba
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Post edited over 4 years ago by DaveKosiba.
     
Jan 16, 2015 19:10 |  #15

Nice to see not many people recommending lenses less than 85mm. After talking with several professional photographers, I have recently learned that none of them recommend shorter focal lengths due to distortion of the subject. They all like to see 85, or even 100 or more for portraits. At least for FF cameras. They joke about people who shoot portraits with 50mm or less focal length. Maybe it's time to trade in my Sigma 30mm/1.4 for something longer. I suppose for my 70D, I might be able to get away with a 50mm since that would be 80mm FF equivalent.


EOS 6D MkII, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, 85 1.8, 70-200L f/4 IS, 16-35 f/4L IS, 430 EXII, Luma Cinch Strap

  
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Which Prime lens for portraits?
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