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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 07 Mar 2016 (Monday) 13:27
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Can you use 24 mm for full-body portraits?

 
timd35
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Mar 15, 2016 08:48 as a reply to  @ post 17936011 |  #16

No offense taken. I did post it for discussion purposes so no issues with it being dissected for this discussion. Just thought this was a good example.


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gonzogolf
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Mar 15, 2016 09:26 |  #17

The above discussion reminds me of previous discussions on what is the nest portrait lens. There was always a strong presence by fans of the 35L, but they always posted as proof shots of thin young women. While the wider lenses can provide a unique depth to images they are often seriously unflattering to non models.




  
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Mar 15, 2016 09:38 |  #18

gonzogolf wrote in post #17936044 (external link)
The above discussion reminds me of previous discussions on what is the nest portrait lens. There was always a strong presence by fans of the 35L, but they always posted as proof shots of thin young women. While the wider lenses can provide a unique depth to images they are often seriously unflattering to non models.

I used to shy away from wider lenses with wider brides because, as you say, the distortion can easily add weight that isn't there. But, it can also be much easier to photograph a fuller-bodied person with a wider angle lens if I want to shoot from a higher perspective (holding my hands over my head or standing on a chair has a much more dramatic effect from 4' away than from 15' away). I found that when I kept a longer lens on, I didn't take some shots from above that I would have taken with a 35.


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Mar 15, 2016 17:41 |  #19

I have a shot hanging on the wall that my daughter took as a selfie, using my old 20D with an 18-55 on it, at 18mm. This is pretty much a head shot taken at arms length. It works because at the time she was in the back of a Cessna having a flight, and is wearing a headset with boom mike out in front. That kind of fixes the real perspective issue with the ears, and the mike also helps reduce the noticeability of the nose to some extent. That it is also a photo of someone having a really good time, obviously in a confined space makes the image tell the story, making the issues with perspective subordinate.

Now would I suggest that a very wide angle lens, and I always considered a 28mm on the 35mm format was a relatively specialist wide angle lens back when I was shooting a lot in the late 70's/early 80's, was a good choice for a regular full body portrait lens? The answer is definitely not, it would encourage using far too short shooting distances for nice perspective, but there are times when you might get away with doing it, especially if you accept that the perspective will be difficult and actually use it as a feature of the shot. If I were looking for a lens at the extreme ends of the focal length ranges used for portraits then I would be looking for a long focal length, not a short one.

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Mar 16, 2016 02:08 |  #20

Alveric wrote in post #17935679 (external link)
Correction: Joel Grimes shoots his backgrounds with the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L. For the people he uses normal or telephoto lenses, not the 24mm focal length.

http://raw.tristanjud.​com …terview-with-joel-grimes/ (external link)

Joel Grimes wrote:
I am primarily a wide-angle shooter. For most of my sport subjects I am shooting with a 24mm lens. I love the forced perspective and the stretched proportions this lens gives you. Is very rare that I shoot with a lens longer than 50 mm.

I wish I could find the youtube video I once watched with him saying he primarily used the 24/1.4. It was a video where he shot Dennis Haysbert where he said he like the perspective making his arms look bigger and more pronounced giving him a look of power. Now this is old information like 3-5 years old and more recently I see him using the 24-70 II, 24-105, 16-35 but all still very wide.


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Mar 16, 2016 08:01 |  #21

FEChariot wrote in post #17936946 (external link)
http://raw.tristanjud.​com …terview-with-joel-grimes/ (external link)

I wish I could find the youtube video I once watched with him saying he primarily used the 24/1.4. It was a video where he shot Dennis Haysbert where he said he like the perspective making his arms look bigger and more pronounced giving him a look of power. Now this is old information like 3-5 years old and more recently I see him using the 24-70 II, 24-105, 16-35 but all still very wide.

In the The lit up series of youtube videos he uses a 24-105L.




  
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Alveric. (3 edits in all)
     
Mar 16, 2016 12:49 |  #22

He appears to be changing over the years. In the Framed video he was using a TS-E 24mm for the backgrounds and a normal or telephoto for the models (hence my comment above). In the Dramatic Portraits workshop at B&H he was using wide angles for the subjects as well. Do note, though, that he's perfectly aware of the distortions these lenses produce, and he uses said distortion to attain the effects he wants.

At length, yes, one can use a wide angle, even a fisheye, for portraiture, full body included. But, like with any other photograph, intention determines the chosen tool. For aggrandising people, perspective, or other effects, wide angles can be just what the doctor ordered; however, when you need images with correct proportions, say for catalogs or the like, a wide angle is not the tool for the job: if your space is so small that you can't use even a short telephoto, well you need to find/rent another space.


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt.
     
Mar 16, 2016 14:45 |  #23

Just thought I'd post a shot taken with equivalent of 16mm lens on FF camera, to illustrate perspective distortion. Note my right hand is twice as large (linear) as my left hand, and less than 1.5' separates them in this photo.

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/Principles/IMG_9879_zpsias6brpu.jpg

What one might want do for creative/artistic reasons might be equally bad news if portraying a portraiture client or a wedding group.

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Post edited over 2 years ago by OoDee. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 21, 2016 09:16 |  #24

Wilt wrote in post #17937506 (external link)
Just thought I'd post a shot taken with equivalent of 16mm lens on FF camera, to illustrate perspective distortion. Note my right hand is twice as large (linear) as my left hand, and less than 1.5' separates them in this photo.

QUOTED IMAGE

What one might want do for creative/artistic reasons might be equally bad news if portraying a portraiture client or a wedding group.

I think we're limiting ourselves if we're only considering the perspective distortion. Not all portrait are meant to be shot with the subject filling most of the frame.

Yes, perspective distortion is a factor which one absolutely must understand, and especially so when shooting portraits. But... I think wide angle lenses become hugely interesting when you want to go for environmental portraits. Sometimes I just love the perspective distortion. But I usually want that for the environment and not for my subjects. So, I keep my subjects farther away and allow for negative space.

So I think the answer to the thread starter's question is perhaps frustratingly vague: Yes, you can use 24 mm for full-body portraits. But it's challenging because you need consider both the perspective distortion AND everything else that will crowd you scene. But ultimately it's simply about using right tool for the job. And there are things wide angles can do which standards and tele's can't do - and that applies to portraits too.

Here's an example that I took. Though I cropped it vertically, the horizontal perspective is still 24mm.


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cristphoto
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Mar 21, 2016 21:14 |  #25

Can you? - yes.

Should you? - Probably not.


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Mar 22, 2016 02:35 |  #26

cristphoto wrote in post #17943810 (external link)
Can you? - yes.

Should you? - Probably not.

See, this is what I'm trying to say. Should you? I'm saying definitely should. But before that, know your gear.


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt.
     
Mar 22, 2016 08:45 |  #27

OoDee wrote in post #17942983 (external link)
I think we're limiting ourselves if we're only considering the perspective distortion. Not all portrait are meant to be shot with the subject filling most of the frame.

Yes, perspective distortion is a factor which one absolutely must understand, and especially so when shooting portraits. But... I think wide angle lenses become hugely interesting when you want to go for environmental portraits. Sometimes I just love the perspective distortion. But I usually want that for the environment and not for my subjects. So, I keep my subjects farther away and allow for negative space.

So I think the answer to the thread starter's question is perhaps frustratingly vague: Yes, you can use 24 mm for full-body portraits. But it's challenging because you need consider both the perspective distortion AND everything else that will crowd you scene. But ultimately it's simply about using right tool for the job. And there are things wide angles can do which standards and tele's can't do - and that applies to portraits too.

Here's an example that I took. Though I cropped it vertically, the horizontal perspective is still 24mm.

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by OoDee in
./showthread.php?p=179​42983&i=i168373201
forum: Canon EF and EF-S Lenses

^
One has to understand the purpose of the photio. When the surroundings are more important (or just as important) than the person, and the person is not close to the lens, WA such as 24mm make all the sense in the world.

AWARENESS on the part of the photographer - of what can happen, and when -- allows the photographer to be fully in control. That beats wrongly using a tool at the wrong time, and ending up with a portraiture client who has become angry at how you exaggerated portions of their anatomy that they happen to be very sensitive about!


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Mar 25, 2016 18:45 |  #28

Go do a search in the 17-40L thread for user sjyap? I think. Start on the last page, & work back. Then get back to us :)




  
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Mar 27, 2016 12:30 |  #29

In past I read lots of forums & posts, minimum was 35mm to avoid distortion for full body.
I started with 35L & 35 Art, but sold them both for a 50 Art (much better bokeh for portraits).
I still have my 24-70 2.8VC in case I need more background.

My advice is go for the 35 Art + a cheap manual UWA if budget is limited?


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Can you use 24 mm for full-body portraits?
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