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Thread: Portrait Lens

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    Member rcp8's Avatar
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    Portrait Lens

    I've got a Canon 450d that came with an 18-200 lens... what's an ideal portrait lens to purchase??

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    Portrait lenses for small sensor digital SLR's usually range in focal length from 40mm to 135mm, and your existing lens covers these focal lengths.

    If you want nice bokeh in your portraits, you would be better suited with something a little "faster" (ie a 1.4 to 2.0 lens) within these focal lengths.

    Canon make an EF 50mm 1.4 and 1.8 lens, either would fit the bill. With a 50mm prime lens you could take full length portraits, or get in close for just head and shoulders (let your feet do the zooming for you).

    I'm not a Canon SLR user however, others might advise on better lenses, but the principles are the same.

    Cheers from Jack
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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I'd say don't buy anything just yet until you've understood what you're choosing and why.
    Play with the 18-200 to figure out what focal lengths u like to use for your portraits.
    There'll be a wide range from the wider focal lengths for environmental portaits to the classic portrait range from about 85mm-135mm. For you since u're using a cropped sensor, don't forger to apply the multiplier.
    Or u might prefer a compressed look and go for a longer focal length eg. 200mm.
    Next look at dof and see how aperture amongst other factors can help u achieve the desired look.
    Then set a price. And u'll have your ideal portrait lens.

    Or if u just wanna sink ur teeth in and buy a lens straight away, some good 'cheaper' portrait lens for your crop sensor includes the Canon 50mm 1.8, tamron 60mm f2, canon 85mm 1.8, tamron 90mm f2.8, canon 105mm f2. Just a few suggestions but there r many more. Note the two tamrons r actually macro lens that double as good portrait lens too.
    Nikon FX

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    Thanks - you've given me lots of advice to work with!

    So... I can use a macro lens for portraits??

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Of course, just don't stick the lens too close to their face and get a photo of a zit instead of the person :P
    Macro lenses just allows you to focus closer hence get an enlargement of what you're photographing.
    In reality, any lens can be a portrait lens depending on how u use it. Your 18-200 will work well at many of it's focal lengths, particularly stopped down and perhaps with off camera strobes. It probably won't do available light shallow dof portraits though like some of the other lens suggested.

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    50 1.8

    If you then want to do macro, you can add kenko extension tubes
    Darren
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    Member shahkedar's Avatar
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    Hi. I bought the 1.8mm Canon 50mm and I must say I am very impressed by this lens. Costing only AUD 150, it is a lot cheaper to its 1.4mm cousin but takes great pictures specially at low light and creates good Bokeh. Although 1.8mm pictures are a little softer, I think the once you go above 2.4, images start getting sharper. two_studio.jpg

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    Member shahkedar's Avatar
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    50mm Canon prime at 1.8f

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    Ausphotography Regular wmphoto's Avatar
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    It's a good little lens for the price but you should have shopped around, got mine for $115 a couple of weeks ago and they're even cheaper off the net. Found mine to be sharpest at 2.8

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    Mate get the nifty fifty canon 50mm 1.8. got mine two weeks ago and have not taken it of my camera. Love it and then I bought a 28mm f2.8. I am now hooked on prime lenses.


    I liked this about your photo.......To improve on it you could........Well done and keep posting



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    The 18-200 will serve you well for now. At the focal length you will likely hover around, you may not yearn for too much more speed. Once you narrow down your style, then start to look at some more expensive glass. Sharpness isn't normally too desirable for portraits, so cheaper lenses can work well.

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    As everybody above has said, the 50mm 1.8 is around the cost of dinner for 2. Mine, like most, is soft around 1.8 so I have to go above 2. At the price though it is a worthy addition to any Canon owners kit and can be had for around $127 AU stock. This will then give you a cheap entry into Canon prime lenses. Even though I overlap with other lenses I still use it quite often.
    Lloyd
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    Ausphotography Regular crafty1tutu's Avatar
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    The 50 mm 1.8 is a wonderful lens for portraits and as someone said before, you can add Kenko macro extention tubes for macro shots.

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    Either EF 50mm f/1.4 or EF 50mm f/1.8 should suit your purposes well. The EF 50mm f/1.2L should be avoided, because it is a lens that requires a substantial amount of skill and knowledge to get the most out of it.

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