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How long are you?
Old 04-22-2007, 12:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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That is, when shooting full lenght (such as Cherry's latest maxim girl photos), what lenght do you normally use? I know this is a vague question. I know it will depend on the background and what you want to do with it. And the are practical concerns too. In some cases you can't use a long lens because of some obstruction, like a wall or something. I did a cheesey test this morning taking three shots at a pair of trees with brushy woods in the background. I shot at 100, 135, and 200mm @ f/2.8. Then, my battery played out. But, the longest shot had the best blur or bokeh. and compression, as expected. But I was deliberately trying to blur the bg. So, I guess, do you select a lenght based on the compression you wish to obtain? Is there any one who uses anything longer than 200mm?
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Re: How long are you?
Old 04-22-2007, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When I'm outdoors, I shoot as long as I can whenever I can, either 70-200 or sometimes 300.
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Re: How long are you?
Old 04-22-2007, 01:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Outdoors I have used everything from a 50mm to a 200mm to do full length, all on an APS-C sensor (1.5X crop).
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Re: How long are you?
Old 04-22-2007, 02:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm with John, outdoors I often shoot long when possible for glamour, especially beach. Indoors, you don't always have that potential. But really it comes down to a combination of factors for me. For the shots you referenced, I wanted to shot the background, but I still wanted compression on the girl so I split the difference. Not to mention, there was only so much room for me to back up!

But, having said that RobArtLyn really has it right. I think if you (not YOU specifically, the general all of us you) try to find absolutes, you'll short change yourself. It's like asking an artist which brush to use or what color to paint with, they all have their place. That's one of the nice things about working with primes, which I greatly prefer. I seem to learn the lens better when I have to adjust myself rather than it. It seems more organic to me somehow.
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Re: How long are you?
Old 04-28-2007, 08:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My general rule is this: the shortest long lens I can get away with that will give me separation of background without making the model look like a flat piece of cardboard.

When I used 35mm that used to be, for me, anywhere from 85mm to 135mm telephoto lens, and selecting the appropriate lens based on actual working distance.
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Re: How long are you?
Old 04-30-2007, 03:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Canon 300mm 2.8 will give you the sharp image on the subject and the background soft. Any thing less is just that less. That being said sometimes indoors I use a 200mm 2.8 because I can not get back far enough.
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Re: How long are you?
Old 04-30-2007, 05:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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For me my favorite lens when there is space is a 150mm lens on Olympus camera which equals 300mm on 35mm body. I love the effect, here is a sample:

Click for larger version
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Re: How long are you?
Old 04-30-2007, 09:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I too like the longer telephotos; like 105mm to 300mm.

But I'll mention that the size of the sensor, or film, does not change the characteristics of the lens. A 100mm lens will project the exact same image no matter if the image is hitting a 35mm film or a 1.5x sensor. The lens doesn't know what it is projecting onto and hence always makes the same image. But the sensor, or film size, does impact the cropping of that image, so a 1.5x sensor will crop to a smaller portion of the image.

People get confused and think that a 100mm lens will behave like a 150mm lens when shot with a 1.5x sensor, but that just isn't the case. It'll behave exactly like a 100mm lens with just a smaller portion of the image cropped to. The depth of field, bokeh, sharpness, contrast, etc will be the same with a given lens no matter what the sensor is.

PTL,
Lee
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Re: How long are you?
Old 05-03-2007, 02:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Not technically specific but I find that the longer the lens, the further away you have to be from the model which makes it damn difficult for them to hear you giving directions...especially if you are shooting in windy conditions. Then you have to resort to contortionist actions trying to illustrate what you want them to do...and you look damn silly doing this.

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Re: How long are you?
Old 05-03-2007, 08:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One of the things I like about this forum is that I frequently read comments which challenge my assumptions and make me think “Hmmm...perhaps I should refresh my knowledge on this topic before I shoot my mouth off” ... er, I mean, before I add to the general knowledge.

Most of what Zipper has stated is true, but with qualification.

Depth of field (DoF) is a function of aperture and shooting distance and is essentially independent of focal length (except in true macro applications). DoF will not change when you change to a different lens as long as distance to the subject (and thus image size on film or sensor) remains constant.

So to say that a 100mm lens projects the same image on 35mm or on 1.5x sensor is partially true - it projects the same target size - but herein lies the problem. I don’t want the same size image on my sensor as I have on my film, I want the same relative size image.

I am in front of my model and doing a head shot (let’s say she takes up 75% of the frame image), if I take my 85mm lens from my 35mm camera and put it on my DSLR she now takes up 108% of the frame (my smaller DSLR sensor has cropped this for me). I have to move back to get the same target size as with my 35mm, and so my 85mm lens has now become the DSLR equivalent of 128mm and since my distance has changed (let’s assume aperture has not) this will increase my DoF.

If I have both cameras in hand with an 85mm on 35mm format and a 55mm on my DSLR, I am seeing the same image (in relative size), but in fact the ACTUAL image size on my sensor is smaller. Zipper is correct, the sensor, or film size, does impact the cropping of that image, so a 1.5x sensor will crop to a smaller portion of the image. Based on this then yes, my 55mm lens on my DSLR does indeed behave like the 85mm on my 35mm, and both will have the same DoF since DoF is irrespective of focal length.

Sharpness and bokeh, that’s another issue. The statement is only true if my magnification for my final print is correspondingly smaller that I would make if I were shooting on 35mm. You have to compare apples to apples here. Bokeh is a function of the Circle of Confusion a lens lays down - let’s say 1/250 inch or so. It will be identical if my final print is only, say, 66% of the size I would normally print. I doubt anyone will substitute prints that are 5 3/8” X 6 5/8” for 8” x 10” prints just to get the same bokeh and sharpness.

As sensors continue to increase in resolution the effect will become less noticeable, but I’d estimate we’d need about 30MP on an APS sized sensor to become equal, based on one report I’d read that the equivalent resolution of film is about 20MP, and larger to boot.

Just my 2 centavos worth.
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