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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?

 
JeffreyG
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Jan 16, 2015 19:32 |  #16

DaveKosiba wrote in post #17386143 (external link)
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.

It depends on what the OP means by 'portraits', but if you mean posed, formal portraits then you are correct. In such cases it is best to keep yourself at least 12 feet back from the subject, which will require the use of a longer focal length to frame the shot.

But if you take a broader view looking at environmental portraits or other 'people' photography, there is no reason to believe that wide angles cannot be used. You can find specific examples of what I mean in this thread about using a 24mm prime on a FF camera here:

https://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=17377082

Specifically, the OP has a 70-200 zoom that he's perfectly happy with. He seems to be looking for a better lens to replace or use instead of his 24-70. I'm not sure how an 85mm or 100mm prime solves the OP's stated goals in any way.


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DreDaze
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Jan 16, 2015 19:39 |  #17

set your 24-70mm at 24, 35, and 50mm...keep it at each distance for a day or so in use...see which one you like more...once your preferred focal length is determined it will narrow down your lens choices a little bit


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ejenner
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Jan 16, 2015 21:00 |  #18

OP said he has everything covered from 50mm, so in that case he needs a 35mm - sigma 35 art of course.

Especially considering the 50mm options and what he already has.


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Sparrow19
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Jan 16, 2015 21:59 |  #19

Thank You everyone for your input. There is no doubt the 85 is probably the best choice. BUT, I'm wanting something I can shoot a family, 3-5 members, posed or not, and have a reasonable amount of scenery around them. Combining that for when I dont have the room to use my 70-200. My 24-70 on the short side is just not sharp really (user error, or lens error I dunno). That is why I was thinking maybe a 35 or 50 would do a better job. I can get the whole family sharp, some scenery when I need, and not have to be 20 feet back.

I see a lot of beautiful family shots on this site, and not sure how they are getting them so sharp a focus.

I also do a lot of weddings, and when I have large family group shots, the 24mm end or my 24-70 is not doing a great job. Or at least not in my opinion, and from what I see of others. I put it on a tripod, center point focused, settings correct for exposure, and its just not sharp. If i zoom in, closer to the 70 end, they look great.

So I dunno, maybe its me doing something wrong, but not sure why everything else can look great, but these dont.


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texkam
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Jan 17, 2015 01:36 |  #20

The shorter the focal length, the less flattering the traditional portrait. Do some research on it.




  
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DreDaze
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Jan 17, 2015 02:06 |  #21

if you're planning on taking shots of 3-5 family members, i would just use your tamron since you'll probably be stopped down to at least f2.8 anyways just to get them all in focus


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canonfaithfulforever
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Jan 17, 2015 15:27 |  #22

Strange that your tamron is soft on the short end, all the reviews ive read say its good there and softer as you go on, just unlucky i guess

Personally id be going with a 35 or 50 prime and ditching the 24-70 completely if i went 35, Probably the Sigma Art.

And for weddings, the 35 on one camera and either you 70-200 or the 100L is the ultimate combo imo for general coverage


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halitime
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Jan 17, 2015 18:53 |  #23

Also consider the Canon 35 f2 IS. Very nice bokeh and sharp wide open.


Here's a review with some comparisons: http://www.the-digital-picture.com …2-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx (external link)


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col_ccc
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Jan 17, 2015 23:40 |  #24

Use the 50mm 1.2 Canon quite a bit. Fast and crisp.

Chris




  
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artyH
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Jan 18, 2015 09:48 |  #25

ON full frame, the 35F2 IS will let you get group shots. It will give you environmental portraits. I usually like a 50 on full frame, but the 35F2 is a great lens....very sharp. The IS will let your get shots in very low light.




  
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JBlake
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Jan 18, 2015 09:59 |  #26

Sparrow19 wrote in post #17386297 (external link)
I also do a lot of weddings, and when I have large family group shots, the 24mm end or my 24-70 is not doing a great job. Or at least not in my opinion, and from what I see of others. I put it on a tripod, center point focused, settings correct for exposure, and its just not sharp. If i zoom in, closer to the 70 end, they look great.

So I dunno, maybe its me doing something wrong, but not sure why everything else can look great, but these dont.

Well if the 17-50 VC and the 24-70 VC lens are not working for you, then sell them, along with the 50 1.8, and buy a used Canon 24-70 L II, and be done with it. It will solve all of your problems in the 24-70 range; you will not have to worry about packing a 24mm, 35mm and a 50mm prime with you and constantly changing lens. You might think about adding a second 6D to your arsenal as well; I would get the 24-70 L II first. If you are still having problems with sharpness after acquiring that lens, then the issue is probably, unfortunately...the photographer.




  
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Sparrow19
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Jan 18, 2015 12:10 |  #27

Thanks for that information everyone.

So if shooting a family at 24mm, what f/ do you like? 2.8 I'd worry not everyone would be in focus, and use something more around 5.6 or so. Maybe that's my problem. I'll try it today.


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VirtualRain
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Jan 19, 2015 02:14 |  #28

Although lots of people use 24mm for family photos, I think you'll get more flattering shots with a 35mm and stepping back a bit. I would like to suggest the Canon 35L. It was my first fast prime and my first L lens and it really changed photography for me. It not only produced impressive results on its own, it inspired me to be more creative and really rejuvenated photography for me. Of course, not everyone will feel the same divine intervention I experienced and you already have a fast L prime, so maybe you've already seen the light :)

The 35L images are generally just stunning... Whether you just shoot across the dinner table or line em up. To the point where your family will likely wonder what photography class you attended ;)

And regardless of which prime you end up with, don't be afraid to shoot wide open or at f/2-f/2.8 (obviously depending on the situation and required DOF). After all, if you're paying good money for a fast prime, use it fast. :) If you're going to shoot people at f/5.6 you may as well just stick with your generic zoom. (BTW, If it's not sharp at f/5.6, it's got serious problems).


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yogestee
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Post edited over 6 years ago by yogestee.
     
Jan 19, 2015 05:43 |  #29

As you have both FF and APS-C sensor cameras I'd suggest two. EF 50mm F/1.4 for the APS-C camera, EF 85mm F/1.8 for the FF camera.

Both lenses are interchangeable with both cameras by the way.


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Ace ­ and ­ Deuce
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Jan 19, 2015 06:03 |  #30

GeoKras1989 wrote in post #17385927 (external link)
A head shot at f/2 is going to give you one eye in focus and the other not.

I don't shoot portraits, but it's something that I want to start doing (family). Is this true? If so, at 100mm, what is a good aperture to keep the eyes in focus, but still have separation? I would use a 100mm macro lens.

Sorry to ask in another's thread, but that statement really grabbed my attention.


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Which Prime lens for portraits?
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