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Lens choice and distance?
Old 03-02-2005, 01:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Here are a couple of questions you probably don't hear much [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

For glamour and portrait type photography, what is your preferred lens and how far from the model do you usually find yourself when using it?

Do you have different preferences (lens and distances) for outdoor vs. indoor? Studio vs. natural lighting?

Looking to purchase a *single* high quality lens that would be a good compromise for the above.

Many thanks.
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Re: Lens choice and distance?
Old 03-02-2005, 03:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Dave

We have this discussion all the time. Use the search function to locate some of the old threads on preferred lenses.

My opinion of the best lenses to shoot portrait and glamour are longer lenses. Get a little compression and DOF in there. A 70 - 200 lens using the 70 in the studio and the 200 on location could be the best alternative. Shop carefully for a fast (2.8) lens.

Bob
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Re: Lens choice and distance?
Old 03-02-2005, 04:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Canon 85mm f/1.2 at a distance to give me the view I want.
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Re: Lens choice and distance?
Old 03-02-2005, 06:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My primary lens for (single subject) portraiture, fashion, and glamour is, in 35mm equivalence, a 75mm macro lens. It allows me work anywhere from many feet away to a couple of inches (1:1 magnification). I move in and out quite a bit depending what I'm trying to accomplish. If I were working in 35mm film I'd use a 100-105mm macro for increased working distance over the 60-65mm macro offerings. With a digital crop factor of 1.5, I would use a ~60mm (90mm equiv.) for the work I do. I also use the normal lens quite a bit.

Studio vs. natural lighting wouldn't change my focal length, it's about perspective, how I see, and how I crop in camera.

When outdoors, I like using a longer lens to isolate the model from the background. In 35mm film equivalence, I use ~135mm to ~200mm. Digital crop factor of 1.5 would make this ~90mm to ~150mm.

Again, for what I do, this is what works for me. Your needs are probably very different. If you want a single lens solution, you're probably looking at some type of fast zoom that covers a normal to moderate telephoto range.

-Chip
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Re: Lens choice and distance?
Old 03-03-2005, 05:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In 35mm format terms, 35, 50, 85, 105. In every format I shoot, nearly all my lenses are near these equivalents.

Why? Because they're natural, that's why.

Which to use? Depends on what you're doing, in what situation, and what you want. Want REALLY blurry backgrounds? Stand far away from the subject and use a long lens with a nice wide open aperture like my 85 1.4. Want more depth of field and some coverage around the subject to reveal environment (which I do more often than many people would think when shooting fashion)? The 35 or the 50 are nearly ideal for this.

Model have a huge nose that needs de-emphasizing. Use longer lenses (ie in the 85-105 range). Is she short and you're afraid of making her look stubby? Use longer lenses. When in doubt of your model's proportions, tend toward longer than normal lenses. If your model is nearly perfect with ideal proportions, then a normal 50 is outstanding.

Oh, lest we forget, lenses near the normal range tend to be the sharpest, fastest, smallest, lightest, and highest-performing in almost every case (sharpness, flarity, contrast, distortion). AND the cheapest. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Isn't that nice?

P.S. There is no magic formula here. Put a lens on the camera point it at a practice subject, move in, move out, replace it with another lens or use your zoom ring if you've got one to zoom in and out to different lengths at different distances to your subject. You can clearly see the effect it's having much better than from looking at example pictures or diagrams, and far better and more effectively than I could ever explain it.
 
 
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