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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 21 Sep 2009 (Monday) 06:34
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Help with lens purchase decision - Portrait

 
Michael ­ O
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Sep 21, 2009 06:34 |  #1

I have about $2000 and I need to decide what lens to get for portrait use.
I will use it on a 5D. Right now I am leaning towards the 70-200 2.8 IS, but I am considering also a 35 1.4 and a 135 f2 instead.

My main concern with the 70-200 is weight and shooting distance for full body shots. Decisions, decisions....

I will be doing HS seniors, and family portraits, indoor in a studio and also outdoors.

Posting pictures will help. Thanks.

Mike


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bohdank
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Sep 21, 2009 06:51 |  #2

I'm sure there are a number of ways to do this that will reflect the person's shooting style and logistics such as size of studio, outdoor venues available for shooting, etc.

You are right about being concerned about the wide end. A 70-200 will not cut it for group shots, indoors, imo, and not the most convenient for outdoor groups, either.

I would get the 70-200 f4 and team it with something wider. I woudn't be concerned with how fast the wide lens is since speed is not all that important to the type of portraits you are going to be covering, imo. So, as long as it's good at f4 or something similar, go for it.

70-200 f4
85/1.8 (for those thin DOF shots)
Something in the 30-35mm range for groups.

That should all fit within your budget.

The wide lens will most likely require you to keep subjects well away from the edges of the frame so get wider than you think you will need, because you will be cropping.


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JustinTEleven
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Sep 21, 2009 07:00 |  #3

tekangel wrote in post #8680745 (external link)
I have about $2000 and I need to decide what lens to get for portrait use.
I will use it on a 5D. Right now I am leaning towards the 70-200 2.8 IS, but I am considering also a 35 1.4 and a 135 f2 instead.

My main concern with the 70-200 is weight and shooting distance for full body shots. Decisions, decisions....

I will be doing HS seniors, and family portraits, indoor in a studio and also outdoors.

Posting pictures will help. Thanks.

Mike

Unless you plan on using the 70-200L for more than portraits you're making a bad decision IMO. I would get an 85mmL for your use and team it with a 50mmL and 135mmL eventually. You will not regret this if you choose to do so.


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gasrocks
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Sep 21, 2009 08:40 |  #4

For portraits only, zooms may not be the best route to take. I'm a fan of working your way up to more expensive lenses myself. Especially if you are not getting paid lots just yet. EF 35/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 135/2.8 should keep you busy and happy for a while.


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JustinTEleven
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Sep 21, 2009 08:49 |  #5

gasrocks wrote in post #8681224 (external link)
For portraits only, zooms may not be the best route to take. I'm a fan of working your way up to more expensive lenses myself. Especially if you are not getting paid lots just yet. EF 35/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 135/2.8 should keep you busy and happy for a while.

You said it best... maybe even a 24L =) just to keep things interesting. Zooms seem to be the most attractive at first pass due to their various focal lengths but after one one tries the prime route they become addicted =) Atleast I did.


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Sep 21, 2009 10:32 |  #6

Forget about the 135mm unless you are planning to do tight headshots, or you are shooting outdoors where the longer shooting distance is not an issue.


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Scout_Pete
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Sep 21, 2009 10:38 |  #7

Agreed on the limitations of 135L, but when you need that focal length it's magic. Excellent for candids, if that had not been mentioned yet.


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Michael ­ O
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Sep 21, 2009 10:43 |  #8

OK, how about the 85mm 1.4 and the 50mm 1.4 ?


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JustinTEleven
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Sep 21, 2009 10:52 |  #9

tekangel wrote in post #8681929 (external link)
OK, how about the 85mm 1.4 and the 50mm 1.4 ?

Good choices....


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shooter ­ mcgavin
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Sep 21, 2009 11:54 |  #10

If I were in your shoes, I would go for the 35 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, and invest the money you saved in lights.




  
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Sep 21, 2009 11:57 |  #11

Definitely 50 f/1.4 or the 85 f/1.8.


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stathunter
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Sep 21, 2009 12:07 |  #12

There are a lot of good choices out there - I have shot a lot of portraits with 24-70 and 70-200 2.8 --- the primes are also great portrait choices -- but the zooms have much more versatility.


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mellowd
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Sep 21, 2009 12:08 |  #13

tekangel wrote in post #8681929 (external link)
OK, how about the 85mm 1.4 and the 50mm 1.4 ?

I assume you mean the 85 1.8? I have it and it's fantastic. I also want the 135L - but then I don't do group shots


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ed ­ from ­ pa
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Sep 21, 2009 15:41 as a reply to  @ mellowd's post |  #14

Ever consider the EF 200 F/2.8?




  
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bluefox9er
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Sep 21, 2009 15:50 |  #15

shooter mcgavin wrote in post #8682294 (external link)
If I were in your shoes, I would go for the 35 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, and invest the money you saved in lights.

yep, +1 to that


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Help with lens purchase decision - Portrait
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