Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 11 Dec 2012 (Tuesday) 10:13
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Portrait Lenses

 
mystik610
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
9,232 posts
Gallery: 36 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 9927
Joined Jan 2012
Location: Houston, TX
     
Dec 11, 2012 10:13 |  #1

I know this subject comes up a lot, but any comments on what the absolute ‘best’ lens for outdoor portraits would be? I recently picked up the 24-70 MKII, and while its great optically, I find that its not long enough, and does not have a wide enough aperture to create that ‘dreamy’ bokeh that people tend to like for portraits (unless I have a good amount of distance between the subject and background of course). I also have the 50mm 1.4, but I find that in order to really blow out the background, I have to stop down lower than I really want to, to get the desired effect (ie DOF is too narrow for the subject, and part of the subject is soft and/or out of focus). What I’d basically like to be able to create more consistently, are portraits with really nice bokeh, yet the subject is fully in focus, sharp, and ‘pops’ from the background.

Not ruling out that this could be a technique issue either.

I’ve rented the 70-200 2.8II a few times when hired for shoots where I needed the extra reach, and although I liked the versatility of it, it’s a rather huge lens that I’m not sure if it’s really something I’d reach for frequently enough to justify the price (would probably use it more frequently if I owned it though). I’ve handled the F4 IS before, and it’s a good size, but am not sure how much I’d miss the extra stop (both for DOF and low light ability).

Would an 85mm or 100mm prime be a better choice? Not sure how often I really need the long end of the telephoto zooms, but this might be a function of not using one regularly.


focalpointsphoto.com (external link) - flickr (external link) - Instagram (external link)
α7ʀIV - α7ʀIII
Sigma 14-24 f2.8 ART - Zeiss Loxia 21 - Sigma 35 f1.2 ART - Sony 35 1.8 - Sony/Zeiss 55 1.8 - Sony 85GM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
_igi
Senior Member
Avatar
262 posts
Likes: 52
Joined May 2011
Location: Warsaw, Poland
     
Dec 11, 2012 11:13 |  #2

You can simply use 70-200 f/4 for that, you get sharp model and blurred out background. Fast telephotos makes exactly the same thing - you have tack sharp eyes and blurred nose and ears.


1DsIII x2 | 1DIV | TS-E17/4L | TS-E 24/3.5LII | 24L | 35L | 50L | 100L | 135L | 28-70/2.8L | 100-400L

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
RPCrowe
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
8,209 posts
Likes: 1858
Joined Nov 2005
Location: San Diego County, California, USA
     
Dec 11, 2012 12:11 as a reply to  @ _igi's post |  #3

I love my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens for portraiture amd for a myriad of other work.

Shooting at a long focal length at f/4 provides me with the DOF I like for portraits...

Note how the subjects eyes and nose are in focus but that her ears are beginning to become OOF.

IMAGE: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/photos/i-6dwmgCf/0/L/i-6dwmgCf-L.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com …211335&k=6dwmgC​f&lb=1&s=A  (external link)

Here is an extreme example of selective focus...

IMAGE: http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Pets/Holly-Doodle/i-fzCffTf/0/L/Holly%20114-L.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com …684990&k=fzCffT​f&lb=1&s=A  (external link)

See my images at http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sdipirro
Goldmember
Avatar
2,207 posts
Likes: 45
Joined Dec 2005
     
Dec 11, 2012 13:12 |  #4

You did ask about the absolute best lens for outdoor portraits, and my answer to that would be the 200mm f2L. Second best and also great for indoor portraits: 85L. Great lens for just about everything, including portraits: 70-200 II.


Cameras: 1DX, 1D4, 20D, 10D, S90, G2
Lenses: Canon 10-22mm, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 300mm f2.8L IS, 200mm f2L IS, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L, 1.4x TC, 2x TC, 500D macro, Zeiss 21mm
Lighting: 580EX, Elinchrom 600 RX's, D-Lite 4's, ABR800, 74" Eli Octa, 100cm/70cm DOs, Photoflex Medium Octa and reflectors, PW's, Lastolite Hilite, Newton Di400CR bracket

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Leffe67
Senior Member
257 posts
Joined Nov 2011
Location: Connecticut
     
Dec 11, 2012 13:29 |  #5

I'm no professional, so you can take this with a grain of salt, but I'm in love with my 135L. I almost always have it set at f/2.0 and feel as if it's magic.

IMAGE: http://leffers.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v69/p1194165282-4.jpg

Leffe67

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Christina.DazzleByDesign
Goldmember
Avatar
1,973 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Mar 2012
     
Dec 11, 2012 13:59 |  #6

I'd say "the best of the best" would be the 85L, the 135L and the 200 f/2 L - however, the 200 f/2 means you are no where near your subject. You get the shot, but its not very personal if you know what I mean? It can affect how the model/person is feeling as well. Some like not having the photographer be RIGHT there, but some can feel awkward if your a ways away. Its a great focal length for those sneaky candid moments, but you are NOT inconspicuous with that beast on your camera. Trust me. I've used the 200 f/2 for horses, not on people. I rented it only the one time. It was a joy to use, but it costs a small heap of money.

Here is an example of the 200 f/2L

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8331/8080469350_2c19085081_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/78434343@N05/8​080469350/  (external link)
Spirit & Raven (external link) by ChristinaConway (external link), on Flickr

I own the 85L and I love it :) The focal range is just right, not too long or too short (on FF).

5D3 | 7D | 85L II | 70-300L | 24-105L | Nifty Fifty | 600EX-RT_______________
| Facebook (external link) | Website (external link) | Gear List |Flickr (external link) |

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
nightcat
Goldmember
4,532 posts
Likes: 28
Joined Aug 2008
     
Dec 11, 2012 14:14 |  #7

I believe the best lens (in the approx $1000 or under range) for outdoor portraits to be the 135mm f2. The runner ups would be the 100mm f2 and the 200mm 2.8. (choose your focal length).




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
chugger93
Goldmember
Avatar
1,203 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
Likes: 51
Joined Nov 2009
Location: Washington MI
     
Dec 11, 2012 14:21 as a reply to  @ nightcat's post |  #8

+1 for the 135


Jon | JMBPhotography
-------------
5D MK II / 5D MK III --- 24L II | 50L | 135L | Canon 85 F/1.8 | 430 EX II/Yongnou 560 Speedlites | Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
mystik610
THREAD ­ STARTER
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
9,232 posts
Gallery: 36 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 9927
Joined Jan 2012
Location: Houston, TX
     
Dec 11, 2012 16:48 |  #9

Thanks for the feedback. Currently torn between the 70-200 2.8II and the 135L!


focalpointsphoto.com (external link) - flickr (external link) - Instagram (external link)
α7ʀIV - α7ʀIII
Sigma 14-24 f2.8 ART - Zeiss Loxia 21 - Sigma 35 f1.2 ART - Sony 35 1.8 - Sony/Zeiss 55 1.8 - Sony 85GM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
les24preludes
Member
97 posts
Joined Nov 2012
     
Dec 11, 2012 17:15 |  #10

There's plenty of legacy lenses if you want to go manual focus. Too many to name, but Leica R and Contax near the top of the list. Even some of the older Pentax lenses like the Super Takumars which had great colour and feel. There's some classics between 85mm and 135mm, and good value now.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
drzenitram
Senior Member
824 posts
Joined Aug 2012
     
Dec 11, 2012 17:23 |  #11

The sigma 85 is a really, really amazing portrait lens for a fantastic price. I prefer it over the 135L.


| Bodies - 5D Mark II, T2i | Lenses - Helios 44-2, Sigma 35mm 1.4, Sigma 85 1.4, Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS, Tamron SP AF 1.4x TC | Lights - 430ex ii x2, Random 3rd party strobes

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Leffe67
Senior Member
257 posts
Joined Nov 2011
Location: Connecticut
     
Dec 11, 2012 17:24 |  #12

mystik610 wrote in post #15354745 (external link)
Thanks for the feedback. Currently torn between the 70-200 2.8II and the 135L!

I seriously doubt you would be disappointed with either of these.

Having a zoom of this quality can be incredibly useful, depending upon the application.

However, that extra stop on the 135L is just delicious. I have the 135L and wish I had a 70-200 f/2.8II as well. If my damn kids would just hold still for a minute, the zoom would probably be a little less useful for my portraits of them. Alas, 1.5yo and 3.5yo don't do "still" very well.

Do you have any way to rent these before taking the leap?


Leffe67

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
SiaoP
Goldmember
Avatar
1,406 posts
Joined Dec 2009
Location: Bay Area
     
Dec 11, 2012 18:11 |  #13

85mm f/1.2 II

The lens looks different than the 135L and 200L. You get some remnants of the background in the picture, but they are so well blurred out of focus. The 135 and 200 will completely knock the out of focus bits out which make the background look monotonous.


My Flickr (external link) | Gear List

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
mystik610
THREAD ­ STARTER
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
9,232 posts
Gallery: 36 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 9927
Joined Jan 2012
Location: Houston, TX
     
Dec 20, 2012 15:46 as a reply to  @ SiaoP's post |  #14

Just pulled the trigger on the 70-200 f2.8 IS II.

$400 rebates + free overnight shipping & another $100 off pushed me over the edge.

Stoked!


focalpointsphoto.com (external link) - flickr (external link) - Instagram (external link)
α7ʀIV - α7ʀIII
Sigma 14-24 f2.8 ART - Zeiss Loxia 21 - Sigma 35 f1.2 ART - Sony 35 1.8 - Sony/Zeiss 55 1.8 - Sony 85GM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
mystik610
THREAD ­ STARTER
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
9,232 posts
Gallery: 36 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 9927
Joined Jan 2012
Location: Houston, TX
     
Dec 20, 2012 16:00 |  #15

2Live4 wrote in post #15390737 (external link)
^Congrats! I have both 135L + 70-200 II. I've recently bought the 70-200 II from Amazon for $1730 after cash back, etc. :D

Even with the 70-200 II, I will never sell the 135L! It's just an awesome lens for portraits that the 70-200 II cannot match!

The 135L is still on my short list. Just wanted to establish some flexibility on telephoto end first!


focalpointsphoto.com (external link) - flickr (external link) - Instagram (external link)
α7ʀIV - α7ʀIII
Sigma 14-24 f2.8 ART - Zeiss Loxia 21 - Sigma 35 f1.2 ART - Sony 35 1.8 - Sony/Zeiss 55 1.8 - Sony 85GM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

10,365 views & 0 likes for this thread
Portrait Lenses
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is bsjacks
904 guests, 220 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.