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Archive 2011 · Portrait lens help
  
 
misternikko
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Portrait lens help


I am slowly figuring out that my newly acquired 35L while great, is not really a good or true portrait lens. I find it good for environmental portraits like this:







But not so much for true portraits like this, which i shot with my 60mm macro on my old cropper:







I really miss my 60 and to be honest never wanted to sell it, however as we all know does not work with my newly acquired 5D.

The next lens in my lineup will be the 135L however I am thinking it may be a little too long, even on a FF and I may need something between. I had posted up this photo:







Before and was told that I had to watch my cropping when in fact I was aware of this however with my back against a wall could not get any farther away. The effective focal length was 60x1.6 = 96mm so I can only assume the 135L would have been worse in this same situation.

So I guess my question is, what would you guys recommend between the 35L and the 135L. The 85 II is totally out of budget and from what I read a little slow to focus (im very impatient). I had the 85/1.8 on my cropped but never used it much since it was "too long" for most situations. Being that Ive gone fully L I wasn't sure if the 85/1.8 would let me down in terms of color and clarity.

Sorry if this was long and drawn out. Basically I want a nice portrait lens and wanted to know what you guys thought. Thanks!





Edited on Dec 15, 2011 at 05:14 PM · View previous versions



Dec 15, 2011 at 05:11 PM
misternikko
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Portrait lens help


Not sure why third image isnt loading. But you get the idea based on the description

lets try this again, third image:











Dec 15, 2011 at 05:14 PM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Portrait lens help


Hey Nikko...One of my absolute favorite FF lenses was the 85 f/1.8 USM. I've recently been thinking that when I acquire another FF camera, I may give the Sigma 85 f/1.4 a shot or even rent a Zeiss 85 f/1.4 and give it a whirl. (Oh, and an NSFW label would be good...Nice shot BTW...)


Dec 15, 2011 at 05:22 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Portrait lens help


misternikko wrote:
Not sure why third image isnt loading.


"HTTP 403 -- Forbidden"

The site you linked to requires a log in.



Dec 15, 2011 at 05:36 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Portrait lens help


misternikko wrote:
I am slowly figuring out that my newly acquired 35L while great, is not really a good or true portrait lens. ...The next lens in my lineup will be the 135L however I am thinking it may be a little too long, even on a FF and I may need something between. ...I had to watch my cropping when in fact I was aware of this however with my back against a wall could not get any farther away. The effective focal length was 60x1.6 = 96mm so I can only assume the 135L would have been worse in
...Show more

Since you sometimes find your back against a wall but other times you have more room, I'd suggest a zoom lens to have some flexibility.

It's common to get locked into the idea that only prime lenses are "portrait lenses," but modern zooms actually do a great job.

Since you said you've gone to an L-lens only arsenal, I'd suggest the 24-70 first followed by the 24-105.



Dec 15, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Richard Nye
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Portrait lens help


I'd second the recommendation for the Sigma 85 f/1.4 followed by the Canon 85 f/1.8


Dec 15, 2011 at 05:50 PM
misternikko
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Portrait lens help


I have a 24-105 and I do use it sometimes for portraits, mostly outdoors, but Id prefer something a little faster for more separation.

I figured everyone would say the 85/1.8 which is why I brought it up. Maybe I should give it another try now that I'm on a FF. How is the color? I think I shot mine about 50 times and sold it a year later.

Brian - all the shots were taken from my blog which is why I'm baffled at why just the last one wouldn't load lol. I just ended up attaching it through FM during the post.

Sorry about the NSFW work guys!!



Dec 15, 2011 at 06:03 PM
scalesusa
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Portrait lens help


With a FF, 85mm-135mm is a classic portrait length, 35mm is a bit too wide. If you do not have room to stand back, find out which focal lengths you can use by using a zoom and noting the best focal lengths.

My 135mm L is my favorite, but, I am back quite a long way typically. I also use a 85mm f/1.8, but it gets frustrating when it picks up a reflection and shows a ton of purple fringing. If I used that focal length more, I'd go for the f/1.2.



Dec 15, 2011 at 06:12 PM
misternikko
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Portrait lens help


im thinking the 100mm 2.8L IS Macro might fit the bill as well...shorter than the 135mm and stabilized. It works out to being almost the same on a FF as the 60mm on a cropper...and i LOVED the 60. Anyone have experience with that glass?


Dec 15, 2011 at 11:03 PM
nixland
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Portrait lens help


Just wanna share different focal length perspective on portrait shots.
I use Rokkor 35/1.8 MD, Zeiss Biotar 75/1.5, Canon EF 135L, Nikkor 300/2.8 Ai-s.









Dec 16, 2011 at 03:24 AM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Portrait lens help


misternikko wrote:
im thinking the 100mm 2.8L IS Macro might fit the bill as well...Anyone have experience with that glass?


Oh yeah; love it. I've used it for portraits, and for close-ups of the wedding rings, etc. Great lens. I wouln't buy one instead of a zoom, only in addition to one, but that's a personal choice. I like zooms because of the framing flexibility I get when I can't always pick and choose my ideal shooting distance. (Pews in the way, not allowed to use the altar steps, etc.)



Dec 16, 2011 at 07:45 AM
Snopchenko
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Portrait lens help


I tried a Sigma 85/1.4 and loved it.
Also tried a Tamron 60/2 macro - and also loved it - but it's only usable up to APS-H sensor size.
85/1.8 USM is highly regarded here.

But short of these large aperture primes, I've been using my 70-200/2.8 IS for the occasional portrait shot, and it works very well.



Dec 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Gib Robinson
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Portrait lens help


The 100 macro has many uses and the IS is very useful. The 85 f/1.8 is reasonably fast and has competent IQ; but there are two good zooms, probably Canon's best zooms from my POV, the 70-200 IS lenses at f/4 and f/2.8. The f/2.8 is BIG but for wedding shooters or kids moving around it's often the best choice. IQ for the current version is excellent.

Luckily for you, the focal lengths commonly used for portraits are the ones where Canon has a number of very good choices.

--Gib




Dec 16, 2011 at 01:54 PM
misternikko
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Portrait lens help


Thank you for all the recommendations guys, it is clear there are a lot more options which makes this somewhat harder since I really didnt want to rent before buying as that would drive up the overall cost and I am so far from being able to afford all that, esp around xmas.

The 70-200 2.8L IS II is def out of the budget and not on the table unfortunately.

Never liked the purple fringing on my 85/1.8 which is why I sold it some time ago, this was on a cropper though and Im not sure if it would be diff on a FF.

I will always look to buy the updated version of a lens since it was obv updated for a reason, so the older 70-200 is out as well. I also never liked third party lenses, esp sigma after reading all the nightmare stories about its QC and hate relying on myself for focus so would rather a AF lens.

Ive played with my friends 24-70 though for a brief time and didnt really fall in love with it. It was kinda like the 17-55/2.8 that I had which I also dumped. That and the thing is a brick! I also read that it is due for an update soon.

This is so very confusing and I wish I could try out someones lenses for free before deciding and dropping my hard earned cash lol

I know the 60 was harsh for portraits, but it was DAMN sharp...down to the eyelash level...without even trying to be steady and unfortunately (i have no idea why) I am super pixel peeper and measure a good photo by how sharp it is in the right places. It drives my GF nuts as she sees me delete a ton of pics that she likes all in the name of "sharpness". This is why I though the 100L would be awesome for me.



Dec 16, 2011 at 02:25 PM
canonconvert
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Portrait lens help


Could you swing the 85L? It is super sharp and a great focal length on FF.


Dec 16, 2011 at 03:28 PM
adrianb
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Portrait lens help


What happens when you pay the bill for a 85L and still hit the back on a wall while framing ?


Dec 16, 2011 at 04:34 PM
WarrenL
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Portrait lens help


85L also has fringing


Dec 16, 2011 at 04:47 PM
canonconvert
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Portrait lens help


adrianb wrote:
What happens when you pay the bill for a 85L and still hit the back on a wall while framing ?


It's shorter than the 100L the OP is considering.



Dec 16, 2011 at 05:21 PM
adrianb
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Portrait lens help


the 85 1.8 will be a different story on 5Dc than on your crop...you should at least TRY it out before opting for a far expensive lens...




Dec 16, 2011 at 05:31 PM
misternikko
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Portrait lens help


^ that makes sense. I was told to try the 100/2 as well...should I just skip the 85/1.8 and go straight there?


Dec 16, 2011 at 06:02 PM
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