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Archive 2008 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?
  
 
Paul Yi
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


Which portrait lens produce the best 3-D looking picture, from 85mm to 180mm range?

ca you share some sample pictures if possible?



Jul 16, 2008 at 02:19 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


There are a lot of portrait lenses. In the alternative world, Zeiss is always a good bet for 3D. So, 85mm f/1.4 Planar, 85 f/2.8 Sonnar, 135mm f/2.8 Sonnar.

I also love my Sigma 150mm macro for long range portraits...great detail with creamy bokeh...I feel it pops.

Of my lenses, here are two quick examples:

Zeiss 85 f/2.8 Sonnar:






Sigma 150mm:






Edited on Jul 16, 2008 at 02:38 PM



Jul 16, 2008 at 02:37 PM
brainiac
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


The Zeiss 135 f2.8 is another good cheap option. Always seems to have plenty of 3D.

It seems to me that the Sigma shot above isn't quite achieving the same 3D effect as the Zeiss here because there is a touch of veiling in the shadows/blacks. Maybe it's the glasses though. A natural portrayal of contrast is crucial for 3D effect, otherwise the eye thinks it is looking through a veil.



Jul 16, 2008 at 02:53 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


I bought C/Y Planar T* 100/2 after looking at John Black's picture where a lady is standing on the rocks facing the ocean.
I thought that was so incredible 3-D looking.

I've tried many times with the lens, but seldom gets that kind of result.
It's gotta be my technique...
Also, I think it has something to do with the distance of the subject as well as the distance of the background from the subject. Am I at least partially right?



Jul 16, 2008 at 03:02 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


If you can swing the $$, the Zeiss 100 f/2 Planar is supposed to be spectacular as well, though it's much more $$ than either the 85 f/2.8 or the 135 f/2.8. (and even more than the 85 f/1.4, though not by as much).

(and you respond just before I post this mentioning the above!)

Edited on Jul 16, 2008 at 03:04 PM



Jul 16, 2008 at 03:03 PM
brainiac
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


I think the noise floor of your camera body makes a difference too. The Contax lenses often seem to give really deep blacks, but a noisier sensor will waste that sense of depth in the shadows. I first noticed the 3D effect that I'm always ranting on about when I started using a 5D. The camera needs to be able to record the high contrast that the lens is transmitting. I get the feeling it's less often visible with crop bodies due to the higher per-image photon noise.

Edited on Jul 16, 2008 at 03:07 PM



Jul 16, 2008 at 03:06 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


This was posted elsewhere, but this was best I could do...


Image 260410 not found





Jul 16, 2008 at 03:15 PM
cogitech
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


Here's the Contax Sonnar 135/2.8

On 5D:







On 10D:
































Not sure how much 3D effect you'll see here, but I can say that large prints of these look very 3D.

Still one of my favourite portrait lenses. For the price, it is very hard to beat.



Jul 16, 2008 at 03:24 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


Before buying another gear, I think I need some lesson in picture taking technique....





Jul 16, 2008 at 03:34 PM
AhamB
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


@Paul:

In your picture, you are simply too far away from your subject to have a strong isolation from the background. With a closer focus distance, the background would have been blurred more. Jordan's two pictures are good examples of the kind of situation that you need to create a picture that is suggestive of depth. Make use of the shallow DoF of your lens at a focus distance where it actually is shallow.

The perspective compression will make the blurred background actually look more flat, like a layer behind the subject, but it simplifies the picture by removing the impression of intermediate distances (only subject and far background are in view). In your picture you basically still see a normal street view (slightly compressed) that is only blurred.

So, it's not really some magic trick that makes a picture give you the impression of depth. Just carefully select how much background you want to have in the frame and how much you put it out of focus (by selection of focus distance and/or focal length and aperture).

Edited on Jul 16, 2008 at 05:03 PM



Jul 16, 2008 at 05:00 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Paul Yi
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


AhamB wrote:
@Paul:

In your picture, you are simply too far away from your subject to have a strong isolation from the background. With a closer focus distance, the background would have been blurred more. Jordan's two pictures are good examples of the kind of situation that you need to create a picture that is suggestive of depth. Make use of the shallow DoF of your lens at a focus distance where it actually is shallow.

The perspective compression will make the blurred background actually look more flat, like a layer behind the subject, but it simplifies the picture by removing the impression
...Show more


Thank you for kind input.
However, I have a question regarding the distance you've mentioned.
I hope John doesn't mind that I borrow his picture here, but the distance of the subject here doesn't seem that close either. yet, there is incredible 3-D look to the picture.
This picture was the cause for me to buy Planar 100/2.


Image 260451 not found





Jul 16, 2008 at 05:08 PM
Daniel Heineck
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


Paul,

Observe the difference in layers in John's picture versus yours. The rocks in the background are much further away, and you can very clearly see the plane of focus on the woman, look at the rocks she's standing on.

Your picture shows similar effects in crushing the background, but you didn't quite nail the focus on the woman, so it doesn't have the same pop... nor do you have the same background :-) By the looks of it, I'd say you were focused just a little too short, but the lack of foreground means I can't find the plane of focus.

Hope this helps! I really think your picture would benefit from proper focus (tricky with moving targets and super shallow DOF) to get that pop.



Jul 16, 2008 at 05:38 PM
John Black
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


Paul - Some things to consider when try to hedge your bets for the "3D look" -

1) Background is important - both in content and distance. I think the background provides context. People know rocks are sharp, the rocks above aren't sharp. thus the Christina looks sharper in contrast (relative sharpness). Your picture above had the right mix.

2) Subject needs to be sharp. The subject needs a sharp edge against the blurred background. If the subject is OOF'd, then there isn't a crisp line/edge separating the subject from the background. I'm not saying this is a hard-fast rule, but in the case of the C/Y 100/2 it works for me.

3) Adequate DOF. F2 is not a must. Many of my shots are F4 to F5.6. I'm looking for backgrounds far enough way from the subject so I don't have to shoot F2 or F2.8. By shooting F4 to F5.6 I guarantee there's plenty of DOF to "wrap the subject", thus getting those sharp edges.

4) Lighting from the side. This seems to help in giving the subject a roundness - a sense of volume. This probably isn't as critical as some of the points above, but it helps.

5) Post processing! The above picture had its levels tinkered with and the plane of focus was selected (drawing an outline with the freehand selection tool and feathering it) and sharpened with USM.

Here's your picture with a quick levels edit (pulling down mid-tones), sharpening the edge of the person and amp'ing up some saturation. I did sharpen the edges more than usual because the image seemed like it had motion blur or maybe some front focus.







I'm not saying the above bullets are a guarantee, just some ways to improve the odds in your favor. I think the 3D effect is very dependent on lighting and background. Some lenses capitalize on those conditions better than others. After awhile you get an idea of which settings might net the look.

In regards to the C/Y 100/2 - try shooting F4 most of the time. F2 has really thin DOF and the keeper rate will reflect that. I'm really bad about this - I've got an F2 lens and.. damn it... I'll shoot F2. When I shoot F4 the keeper rate goes way up and on the whole I'm happier with the results because the DOF is more realistic. Also the 100/2 captures a wealth of a micro contrast - manipulating levels is like proverbial treasure chest of editing gold.

BTW - I'll take down your picture upon request. I just wanted to show that the elements were there.



Jul 16, 2008 at 05:44 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


Well...The picture you've edited looks a mile better.
Thank you for the short yet thorough leson.

I do need to learn post processing!!!

By the way, John, I still love the lens....and thank you for leading me to it.




Jul 16, 2008 at 06:02 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


I agree with all of the above, but would emphasize point no. 3. I've noticed the 3D effect with my CZ lenses even at apertures of 8 or 11 and even when the background is not very much OOF. Sorry I have no images online to support my claim


Jul 16, 2008 at 06:03 PM
AhamB
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


Thank you for sharing your insights, John. Very generous of you.

Benjamin



Jul 16, 2008 at 06:22 PM
jamesdak
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


This is not a pure portrait but check out the way the horns stand out of the image. Taken with the Contax Zeiss 85/2.8:







Same effect from the Contax Zeiss 100/2.0:







To a lesser degree here:







Another shot with the 100/2.0 ( I don't do portraits, lit by a window only)







The Contax Zeiss 135/2.8 has not really inspired me so far. This in one of the few people shots with it:







In my book, the winners are the 100/2.0 and the 85/2.8. To be honest though I shot a headshot of my teenager a month ago and found that I liked the look from my old Leica 90/2.8. It seemed to give me a better tonal range than the Zeiss.




Jul 16, 2008 at 06:32 PM
John Black
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


Yep, 90mm Elmarit is good one too. Very sharp. I like it because it's petite and has a built-in hood. Good travel lens for when space & weight are a consideration.


Jul 16, 2008 at 07:35 PM
cogitech
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


jamesdak wrote:
The Contax Zeiss 135/2.8 has not really inspired me so far. This in one of the few people shots with it:



I've never really looked to my lenses for inspiration, so I find this comment a bit confusing. Do you mean it hasn't impressed you so far? Is it the lack of "that Zeiss look"? (the reason I love the Sonnar).


Edited on Jul 16, 2008 at 07:46 PM



Jul 16, 2008 at 07:44 PM
jamesdak
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Which portrait lens with 3D effect?


cogitech wrote:
I've never really looked to my lenses for inspiration, so I find this comment a bit confusing. Do you mean it hasn't impressed you so far? Is it the lack of "that Zeiss look"? (the reason I love the Sonnar).


That's exactly right. I shoot with any of my other Contax lenses and it's like wow!! I don't see that with the 135/2.8. Yet it is a perfectly fine lens just not as impressive as it's siblings from my point of view so far. But, I mainly use it for landscapes yet figure it was designed to be more of a portrait lens and the way it handles contrast may make it better suited to portraits than my use of it.



Jul 16, 2008 at 09:09 PM
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