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What would be the best lens for portrait photography

Mark Julian Mackay , Apr 03, 2004; 11:58 a.m.

Greetings all...

I have a Canon EOS 300D, my lenses are: 18-55mm came with camera, 75-300mm and 50mm f1.8, all canon.

I have noticed the improvement of quality using the 50mm f1.8, but unfortunately there is a wall stopping me going back the distance I need from the model, the 18-55 is ok but not as good as the 55mm.

Could anyone suggest a good alround lens for portrait photography, it must be able to capture animals / children etc. I mostly shoot inside. I have read about the canon 28-70mm f2.8, but this is expensive, Sigma offers the same but much cheaper, is this ok.....

I look forward to your replies, thatÂ’s if you understand me...

Regards

Mark

Responses


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.[. Z , Apr 03, 2004; 03:11 p.m.

Define what you mean by "portrait" -- headshot?

I don't shoot many portraits per se, but when I photograph people it is usually with 24mm, 35mm and 50mm lenses. I have a 135mm lens, which is acceptable for headshots, but that's pretty boring and it is not used nearly as much as the other lenses.

Bob Atkins , Apr 03, 2004; 03:52 p.m.

but unfortunately there is a wall stopping me going back the distance I need from the model

Then you're screwed. Get a hammer and knock the wall down. It's the distance to the subject that gives you the perspective you want, not the lens. Use the 50/1.8.

Bob Atkins , Apr 03, 2004; 03:52 p.m.

but unfortunately there is a wall stopping me going back the distance I need from the model

Then you're screwed. Get a hammer and knock the wall down. It's the distance to the subject that gives you the perspective you want, not the lens. Use the 50/1.8.

Bob Atkins , Apr 03, 2004; 03:52 p.m.

but unfortunately there is a wall stopping me going back the distance I need from the model

Then you're screwed. Get a hammer and knock the wall down. It's the distance to the subject that gives you the perspective you want, not the lens. Use the 50/1.8.

.[. Z , Apr 03, 2004; 04:04 p.m.

Bob must feel really strongly about this. Guess you gotta' knock down that wall....

Mark Julian Mackay , Apr 03, 2004; 06:05 p.m.

I think bob has a stutter (-: thanks for the comments though bob.

Scott Aitken , Apr 03, 2004; 08:49 p.m.

All stuttering aside, Bob is correct. Generally, you don't want to use wider angle than 50mm lens for portraits because wider angle lenses can result in unflattering distortion. It can make people look fatter, which many people are quite sensitive to. With the 1.6x crop factor of your DSLR, you will need to step back somewhat farther to use the 50mm lens. With 35mm film, many portrait shooters use something around 85mm, particularly for head shots. You can get away with slightly wider for full body shots, and with groups of people, you often have no choice but to go wider (though distortion on group shots isn't usually as noticeable as individuals).

The Canon 28-70mm f2.8 is MUCH sharper than the 18-55 you have now. It is an excellent lens, though quite bulky and heavy for that range. Generally, I feel that you get what you pay for in lenses. If you want the highest quality optics, you have to pay for the "L" glass. You've already noticed the quality difference between your inexpensive consumer zoom and the 50mm prime. I have not used the Sigma lens. If you live anywhere near a good camera store, I suggest a visit. Bring your camera body and a tripod. Take a few sample images in the store with both lenses. Shoot subjects with lots of fussy detail. Especially try the lenses at the extreme widest, and at f2.8 (this is where these lenses are at their weakest, and where they are most likely to show differences). Take your camera home and carefully examine your test images, and see if you notice a difference, and if this difference is worth the extra money to you. Only you can answer that question for yourself (for me it was yes).

James Castagno , Apr 03, 2004; 10:04 p.m.

I have the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and my initial tests show that it is very sharp, obviously not as sharp as Canon's 24-70 f2.8 but it does seem sharper than the 28-135 IS I used to own.I really wanted a Canon lense but Canon had nothing in my price range that was what I wanted, ie: a f2.8 medium range zoom. If they had a 28-75 f4 in an L lense for around $800.00 I would have made the stretch but all that is avaliable is darker variable aperture zooms. I shoot portraits with a 10D and at the long end those lenses get pretty dark at f4.5 or f5.6 when doing studio work with strobes.

Minh Thai , Apr 04, 2004; 04:15 a.m.

Save the wall. Go outdoor to do the portrait instead. Better lighting anyway. My 2c.


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