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Thread: Best Lens for Portraits

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    Cool Best Lens for Portraits

    Hi Everyone

    I'm starting to do portraits (pregnancy, kids, families etc) mainly outside, but some in home studio...

    Just wondering what the best lens to use is?

    I currently have a Canon 450D with 2 lenses - 18-55mm IS & 55-250mm IS.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Melissa

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    70-200 2.8, 50 1.4, 85 1.4, 100 macro, there are many lenses but really depends on how much you want to spend. Post some pics for CC, both lenses though not the best should still give you good results. Your best results are achieved via experience, and you can get a lot from your current kit.

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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    Allan I see you haven't recommended the 600 f4 L
    Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Install One Today
    I shoot Canon
    Cheers, Mark


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    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    whats the best kind of cake to eat...


    ...the answer is there are alot andit all depends on taste and what you want it to do. 85/1.4 would be nice. 70-200/2.8 seems to be pretty much standard tho so that would be my suggestion.

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    what ^^ said. 70-200/2.8

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    On a Canon crop camera, you would be looking at something in the 50-85mm range (~85-135mm FF equivalent). If money is no issue, you should look for the undisputed king of portrait lenses - 85mm f/1.2L.
    1D MkIII | 5D | 17-40 f/4L | 24-70 f/2.8L | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8L IS | 70-200 f/4L IS | 35 f/1.4L | 135 f/2L

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwokask View Post
    On a Canon crop camera, you would be looking at something in the 50-85mm range (~85-135mm FF equivalent). If money is no issue, you should look for the undisputed king of portrait lenses - 85mm f/1.2L.
    I tend to disagree with the 85 1.2 on a 450D in fact any crop camera. It excels on full frame which can really get the best out of the lens. Might as well save thousands and go the 1.4 version with the camera body being used.

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    Canon do not have an 85mm f1.4 as some of u have mentioned, comes in f1.2 and 1.8 respectively.

    as a full time photographer, shooting a lot of portraits and weddings etc, heres my low down on some of the lenses for portraiture mentioned above

    70-200 series - simply way too long on cropped sensors, might be alright outdoors, but indoors, good luck

    135 L - as above, damn razor sharp and nice bokeh wide open

    100 F2 - I have one, will be 166mm on your cropped sensor camera, but its 1/3 the price of the 135 L and performs slightly better than the 85 f1.8, same performance as 135 L, I couldnt tell a difference

    85 f1.8 - good lens, but may be a bit long indoors

    85 f1.2 L - waste of money, unless you have money to burn then it is stunning, but slow to focus as a semi trailer doing a 3 point turn, will not function as a general purpose lens if u decide to shoot sports or something on a whim

    50 f1.4 - good focal length on cropped sensor for portraiture, gives u a bit of room to play with while maintaining a decent bokeh

    50 f1.8 - bargain lens of the century, good performance for its price


    I would just get the 50mm f1.4 and a flash or 2 with wireless triggers for outdoor and indoor shoots

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    Hi!

    Thought I'd put in my view. Any photographer involved in photographing people tends to see two zoom ranges as being very important - 24-70 and 70-200 (in full frame terms). Ability to have a narrow depth of field is also significant, so f2.8 is often where people aim for. (I am trying to steer away from discussion on primes, as there is a wider range based on personal preference, and so zooms seem to cover all these options).

    If money is no option then Canon has two beauties in their "L" series range, and many lust after these. However in the "real" world when reality bites the Sigma lenses that cover the same ranges and f stops are also good. How long do you want to save? The other option is to go for the Sigma initially and then save and re-sell the Sigmas if you ultimately want to move to the Canons.

    As you have an 1.6x crop factor camera you could also consider the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 Canon lens. It gets rave reviews and is less than the Canon "L" series 24-70 to buy and covers the same sort of range on a crop factor camera and the 24-70 on a full framer! Also the EF-S 15-85 is supposed to be an excellent lens, but doesn't go as wide a f2.8.

    I find my budget is often the big determining factor in my purchases. All the best!

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    Thank you everyone - obviously there is way more to know than I thought.... feeling a little out of my depth now
    Will get studying...

    Thanks!

    Mel
    xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladybug09 View Post
    Thank you everyone - obviously there is way more to know than I thought.... feeling a little out of my depth now
    Will get studying...

    Thanks!

    Mel
    xx
    I know the feeling Melissa, so many choices!

    A question in regards to doing indoor portraits and choosing a lens - how to people manage to shoot in a indoor shoot (like with families or even single person) with a 50mm lens without having to be in a really huge room? Or do they just use a wider one for this type of work? I know you are doing mostly outdoor work, but it may be helpful too.
    Cheers, Keith
    Sony A300, Tamron 70-200 2.8, Kenko 2x Teleconverter, Tamron 17-50 2.8, Sony 50 1.4, Strobes - Sony F42AM x 2, radio triggers, plus some studio gear.

    www.keithsmithphotography.com.au | flickr

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    Although I have the 24-70 which I love and the 15-85. The 15-85 has IS, cost much less, is very sharp and is a relatively light lens. If I had to choose between the two I would buy the Canon 15-85 mm lens
    Bodies : Canon 450D, Canon 7D
    Lenses : Canon 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon 100mm F2.8 Makro USM, Canon 24-70 L F2.8 USM, Canon 70-200 L F4, Canon 100-400 L F4.5-5.6L IS USM
    Editing : Photoshop CS5

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    I had a 50mm 1.8...cheap cost me about $120 i think and i LOVED it. Indoors it works reasonably well provided you still have room around you, down side to a prime lens i guess. I have used 70-300 lens and as long as you have a tripod it'll work too but without....too damn hard lol Not much more to offer you than that sorry
    Kind Regards, Deb


    Canon 1000D, 7D, Sigma 100mm Macro, Tamron 17-50mm, 18-55mm, 70 - 300mm, 50mm f1.8, Sigma 10-20mm

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    Member seandudding's Avatar
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    The 50mm F1.8 is great on a crop camera, if you have a little extra $$$ buy the f1.4 version, as it has USM, also look at the Sigma F1.4.

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    50 f1.4,
    85 f1.8
    100mm macro lens

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    re lens

    pod3009 mentions the 17-55 F 2.8,and the 24-70,unfortunatly there is little price difference in these two,I am about to buy 17-55 F 2,8 and by the time you buy the hood its about the same price.it does have IS.

    I am using the 450D like the OP.I think this will be a good lens for this type of photography(without getting into primes),The OP seems a a bit over wellemed with info.

    I hope this has'nt been to confussing for her,Given what gear she mentions she owns I feel a 17-55 F 2.8 would be ideal,(but prepare yourself for a shock when you check the price!)

    FB
    Canon 50D and 450D - Canon 10-22 F3.5-5.6, 17-55 F2.8 L, 70-200 F2.8 L, 400 prime F5.6 L, 60mm F2.8 macro, EX 430 Flash,and all sorts of other bits and pieces

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    well, lets go back to basics

    What's the issue with the lenses you have now ?

    you have a focal range already of 18-250mm
    Darren
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    Member FeedMeTrance's Avatar
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    a nifty fifty is your best bet - good for the price and good optics

    CAMERA | NikonD90
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    What I suggest you do is take a bunch of portrait pictures, then use a program (Exposure plot) to work out the focal length you use the most. I think that way you choose a lens that you feel more comfortable to work with.


    With the lenses you have you should be able to cover the distance from 24 - 200mm to decide. I have the 70-200mm f2.8 it is heavy but its sharp. I also recommend getting the 50mm 1.8, its cheap and not an issue if you don't like its not a big loss.
    Last edited by Nige; 03-05-2010 at 5:33pm. Reason: Added my 0.02c

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    Thanks Everyone! Overcome by all the choices.
    I have picked up the Canon 50mm f/1.8.

    Ladybug Photography
    www.ladybugphotography.org

    Gear: | Canon 450D | 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 | 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 | 50mm f/1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 |

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