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Archive 2011 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.
  
 
rharris75
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p.1 #1 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


Long story short, I am having to downgrade my equipment to cover a move cross country. I shoot mostly portraiture. I currently am in Florida and have plenty of sunshine year round to shoot outdoors. moving to Portland, OR is going to change that drastically, so I am going to have to start offering studio work, which means I need to get some lighting. Money is tight, and I just downgraded my 5D Mk ii to a 7D(no comments, I know already. I will get a 5D again when I get settled in.) The problem I am having is making a decision on what lens I want to shoot with. I currently have the 24-70L, the 50 1.4, and the 70-200 2.8 ii. I am going to get rid of the 70-200(again, I know), but I need some decent lights, and would like to possibly switch to the 85 1.8, or maybe go with another lens that will give me at least a little zoom, yet still be sharp, and let me work in low light. I hate to get rid of my baby, but, the lights are going to be important. One other option other than strobes I was considering, was grabbing a pair of 430 ex iis to go with my 580 since the 7 has built in wireless. I guess I could have split this into two topics, but if anyone has any suggestions, I am more than willing to listen. I trust the opinions of FM members more than any other site on the web.




Dec 04, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Lance Lee
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p.1 #2 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


Especially on a 1.6 camera, the 24-70 is all you need for portraiture. You may want something else, but you don't need it.

The problem I have with using the built in flash as a trigger that it is still going to flash in your subjects face, and that is pretty irritating inside. If it was me, I'd pick up a small Alien Bee monolight, use the 580 in the hotshoe bounced off a white ceiling for fill, then use the AB with a fairly large shoot thru umbrella(dirt cheap, even for a good one. I like Bowens) for main light. The 580 in manual triggers the AB optically.



Dec 04, 2011 at 09:19 PM
rharris75
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p.1 #3 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


Lance, I was actually considering this kit. For the price, it's not a bad kit, and has some good ratings. http://www.adorama.com/WEXVSGK.html

If not, I like your idea. I have most of my studio stuff already, except for strobes. Just never had the need to use any of it.



Dec 04, 2011 at 09:28 PM
trumpet_guy
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p.1 #4 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


The 24-70L is fantastic for studio portraiture on your 7D.
The 50/1.4 is as well.

You are all set for lenses.



Dec 04, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Lance Lee
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p.1 #5 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


It doesn't really matter, and Wescott is well made stuff, so that should be fine. Hotshoe flashes are fine for on the go location work, but in a studio they are not much fun.


Dec 04, 2011 at 09:33 PM
rharris75
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p.1 #6 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


I think I only posted this because I am doubting what I already know, and don't want to part with it because it's mine, not so much because it is important for my shoots. I have the 70-200 2.8 is ii, and use it a lot. But, I use it for fun, which makes it a pricey toy. All my money shoots, I generally shoot with the 24-70 or the 50. Do any of you know how the 24-70 f4 performs? I know it wont be everything the 2.8 is... but to be honest, i rarely stop it down to 2.8 when I do shoot with it. I might end up using it for senior portraits or something random.


Dec 04, 2011 at 09:47 PM
timbop
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p.1 #7 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


Getting a pair of ab400's or ab800's with cybersync triggers is a far better option than fooling around with canon wireless. I've been through most of the combinations of off camera triggering (st-e2, 580ex, 7d oncamer triggering, cybersyncs, pocketwizards, and radiopoppers), and the cybersync's have the best reliability and versatility. If you get the csrb+'s and plain old cst you will have to set power manually for now but can easily add the cybercommander later for remote power setting. For around a grand you can have a really nice light setup.

I would add an 85/1.8 if you could, but as mentioned the 24-70 will give you a lot of capability on the 7d.



Dec 04, 2011 at 09:56 PM
Monito
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p.1 #8 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


With the 50 f/1.4 and 24-70 f/2.8 you are well equipped. The 85 f/1.8 will make an excellent addition for face closeup portraits or head & shoulders beauty shots (all on crop factor like 7D). When you get full-frame again, the 85 f/1.8 will be great for head and shoulder portraits and upper body beauty shots.

Just get it. I have it and use it on both crop and full-frame.



Dec 04, 2011 at 09:56 PM
timbop
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p.1 #9 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


rharris75 wrote:
I think I only posted this because I am doubting what I already know, and don't want to part with it because it's mine, not so much because it is important for my shoots. I have the 70-200 2.8 is ii, and use it a lot. But, I use it for fun, which makes it a pricey toy. All my money shoots, I generally shoot with the 24-70 or the 50. Do any of you know how the 24-70 f4 performs? I know it wont be everything the 2.8 is... but to be honest, i rarely stop it down to
...Show more

did you meant the 70-200/4?



Dec 04, 2011 at 09:58 PM
rharris75
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p.1 #10 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


timbop, yes, nice catch. lol. precisely what i meant.


Dec 04, 2011 at 10:01 PM
 

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dtaylor52
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p.1 #11 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


If you are doing studio work, esp a lot of it, to me would be difficult without modeling lights. The Westcott kit above can be purchased for a little more than one 580 flash would cost. Not to mention it LOOKS more professional in a business where image is everything.


Dec 04, 2011 at 10:02 PM
timbop
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p.1 #12 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


dtaylor52 wrote:
If you are doing studio work, esp a lot of it, to me would be difficult without modeling lights. The Westcott kit above can be purchased for a little more than one 580 flash would cost. Not to mention it LOOKS more professional in a business where image is everything.


not to mention the quicker recycling and not running out of batts midshoot with speedlights vs ac strobes.



Dec 04, 2011 at 10:05 PM
rharris75
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p.1 #13 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


dtaylor, timbop... this is why I come on here. the advice is good. timbop. The alien bees are a doable option. I haven't really done a ton of studio work. what would you suggest for a background/hair light? a third ab400? or dont bother?


Dec 04, 2011 at 10:11 PM
dtaylor52
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p.1 #14 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


rharris75 wrote:
dtaylor, timbop... this is why I come on here. the advice is good. timbop. The alien bees are a doable option. I haven't really done a ton of studio work. what would you suggest for a background/hair light? a third ab400? or dont bother?


Having a hair light is a nice touch but to me seperation from the background is more importrant. (a light between your subject and the background lighting the background) You can also turn this around and get a nice rim light around your subject. For me, a hair light would be a 4th light, not a 3rd. Yes, I know, a hairlight is a seperation light as well. This may also depend on your "style." For me, I tend to photograph in a more traditional style so I look at lighting from the old guys



Dec 04, 2011 at 10:20 PM
rharris75
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p.1 #15 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


So, i am on a budget. i'm caving in. but, i have to keep in mind the cross country move in 13 days with a two year old. my 70-200 is ii is going to get listed today, if anyone is interested. lol. i think i agree with the both of you on the 85 1.8. a friend of mine shoots with one and he swears by it as much as i swear by my 50 1.4. so, back to the budget crisis. I know what ill get out of the 70-200. will the cybersyncs work with other lights, such as the westcotts i threw out here earlier? and, how important is that third light? i know alien bees reputation, and they are good, but how would the westcott kit compare to the ab400s?


Dec 04, 2011 at 10:29 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #16 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


I have never owned one before but I would think that the 17-55/2.8 would make a great indoor portrait lens. Having said that, either the 24-70L or 50/1.4 should work just fine on a 7D.


Dec 05, 2011 at 12:56 AM
Sp12
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p.1 #17 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


Sigma 17-55
Canon 70-200/4

Budget lenses with very good performance and price for all kinds of work. Way overqualified for studio.



Dec 05, 2011 at 01:17 AM
Daan B
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p.1 #18 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


For studio work: 24-105L all the way!

Convenient size/weight
Great IQ
Great focal range (from groupshots to tight head portraits)
Relatively cheap (compared to 70-200/24-70L)
In the studio you don't shoot under 5.6/8.0 anyway

Add a cheap prime for low light stuff, and you are good to go.

For studio work, get strobe power. They will give you more power, modelling lights, fast(er) recycle speeds and fast(er) flash duration.



Dec 05, 2011 at 09:10 AM
artd
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p.1 #19 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


The 24-70 on a 1.5 crop is a decent portrait solution but I do think it's just a tad short or what I'd consider to be the sweet spot for head and shoulders portraits which is around 135mm. An 85mm 1.8 will certainly get you close but my suggestion would be picking up a 70-200 f/4 to give you more flexibility. I only occassionally shoot portraits (corporate headshots mostly) but when I do that's what I use (albiet on a FF, but typically in the middle of the zoom range). The lens can be had relatively cheap on the used market and if you are using studio lights you certainly won't need a wider aperture.


Dec 05, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Monito
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p.1 #20 · Looking for a little advice on portrait lenses.


Corporate headshots and beauty shots can use longer focal lengths than portraits because they benefit from a little more distance.

Portraits are meant to be more intimate (friend-like) and thus need a closer viewpoint, but not so close that the nose is bigger than the ears.



Dec 05, 2011 at 10:52 PM
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