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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 28 Nov 2008 (Friday) 19:49
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Best lens for portrait photography?

 
brooksobx
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Nov 28, 2008 19:49 |  #1

I shoot with a Rebel XT and I would like to get in to some portrait photography. (I've mostly done sports photography for local baseball leagues and I use the Canon 70-300 IS USM for that.) I live at the beach, so I would be doing most of my work there, but I would also like to shoot some studio portraits also (I'm using the word studio loosely - I should just say indoor). From what I'm reading, everyone loves the 85mm 1.8. Would this be a good choice for me? Thanks for your help.




  
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cbjim
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Nov 28, 2008 20:09 |  #2

I use a canon 24-70 2.8 lens and am pleased with it.




  
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Jarrad
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Nov 28, 2008 20:32 |  #3

Depends on what you mean by portrait photography. It can range from environmental portraiture to close up beauty shots. You certainly could use your 70-300 for some of it. Lighting gear might be a more useful investment for portraiture than a new lens, depending on what your goals are.

:)


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T.Hogan
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Nov 28, 2008 20:57 |  #4

Welcome to the forum brooksobx. I use the XT and use the 50 1.4 alot. also use the Canon 10-22 at times for something different.


7d gripped, canon 10-22. canon 50 1.4, canon 135L, Mamiya equipment.

  
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joe ­ mama
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Nov 29, 2008 00:23 |  #5
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brooksobx wrote in post #6776199 (external link)
I shoot with a Rebel XT and I would like to get in to some portrait photography. (I've mostly done sports photography for local baseball leagues and I use the Canon 70-300 IS USM for that.) I live at the beach, so I would be doing most of my work there, but I would also like to shoot some studio portraits also (I'm using the word studio loosely - I should just say indoor). From what I'm reading, everyone loves the 85mm 1.8. Would this be a good choice for me? Thanks for your help.

The 85 / 1.8 was my favorite lens for portraits when I had a 20D (1.6x):

http://www.pbase.com/j​oemama/85mm_gallery (external link)


--joe

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viet
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Nov 29, 2008 00:33 |  #6

85 and up is the best for portraits as it compresses the image and provides a nice bokeh. You don't want wide angle because of distortion.




  
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joe ­ mama
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Nov 29, 2008 00:49 |  #7
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viet wrote in post #6777575 (external link)
85 and up is the best for portraits as it compresses the image and provides a nice bokeh. You don't want wide angle because of distortion.

Despite having said above that the 85/1.8 was my favorite choice for portraits on the 20D (1.6x), I acquired quite a love for "portraits" with UWA after I got the 5D:

http://www.pbase.com/j​oemama/1635 (external link)
http://www.pbase.com/j​oemama/24lgallery (external link)

It's all a matter of what you're trying to achieve. I've said before that "there's no such thing as a portrait lens -- there's only a portrait". Which FL(s) you prefer, if any, is a personal thing.


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silvex
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Nov 29, 2008 02:41 |  #8

70-300 could be use for portrait work with the proper distance. I have used my 100-400L for portraits/headshots @400mm...:shock: with nice results.

@400

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@275mm
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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.
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AndreyD
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Nov 29, 2008 03:41 as a reply to  @ silvex's post |  #9

You easily could do it without "L" :-)
I use Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
And happy with it

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2315/2075737505_d8209de483.jpg

Andrey
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mrfourcows
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Nov 29, 2008 03:46 |  #10

Jarrad wrote in post #6776435 (external link)
Depends on what you mean by portrait photography. It can range from environmental portraiture to close up beauty shots. You certainly could use your 70-300 for some of it. Lighting gear might be a more useful investment for portraiture than a new lens, depending on what your goals are.

true, i use everything from 17mm to 35mm to 50mm to 85mm to 135mm to 300mm. but that's me, and i don't do posed portraits, but more candid ones.

BUT if you're into studio stuff, then as jarrad said, a good lighting set would be very useful.


gear | flickr (external link)

  
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mrfourcows
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Nov 29, 2008 03:48 as a reply to  @ mrfourcows's post |  #11

a 70-200mm lens is useful if you're doing candids:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3144/2904118557_f3f0d0ceab.jpg

straight from my 30d with no pp.

gear | flickr (external link)

  
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yogestee
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Nov 29, 2008 05:58 as a reply to  @ mrfourcows's post |  #12

There is no wrong or right portrait lens in terms of focal length.. I have seen some wonderful portraits shot with a wide angle just as I've seen some wonderful landscapes shot with a tele lens.. 6 of one, half a dozen of the other..


Jurgen
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fWord
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Nov 29, 2008 06:37 as a reply to  @ yogestee's post |  #13

Just about any lens from a fisheye through to telephoto can do portraits. It all depends on the effect you're looking for. But if you're after thin DOF and creamy bokeh for head and shoulder shots, then the 85/1.8 or 135/2L are some of the common ones to look into. Do bear in mind that they could be rather 'long' on your camera so check if the focal length is right for you. Otherwise you'd be backing right up against a wall everytime just to get the framing you want.


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John ­ E
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Nov 29, 2008 08:02 |  #14

I find my 85 f/1.8 is a little long for a portrait lens indoors on a crop camera such as a 30D. However, it is wonderful for head/shoulder shots when you have a little room to work with. The 50 f/1.4 is also wonderful lens for portraits. My favorite zoom is the Tamron 28-70 f/2.8. I am constantly blown away at how sharp it is. It also tends to have a warmer tint than my canon lenses. Many lenses will work for portraits. Proper portrait lighting is paramount.


John E.
Canon 5D MK II; 30D; EF 85 f/1.8; EF 70-200L f/2.8 IS II; EF 24-105L f/4; EF 135L f/2; EF 24-70L; Canon 580 EX II(x3).

  
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Car2n
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Nov 29, 2008 08:10 as a reply to  @ John E's post |  #15

I watched a guy on TV take beach shots and he was so far away that he had to use a 2 way radio to talk to his assistant with the reflector and the model.


Canon 1D3 / 70-200mm f/2.8L IS / 17-40mm 4.0L / 50mm 1.4 / 580EXII / Manfrotto 055XPROB/488RC2 / PixmaPro 9000ii / StylusPro 3800

  
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Best lens for portrait photography?
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