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Thread: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

  1. #1
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    Question lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Not sure if this is the right section to ask? Like to seek advice from the seniors & 过来人 here who do headshots & fashion beauty photography, what camera/lens combos do you use for your work? Appreciate if you can include the camera model so I know if the lens is used on FF or cropped. Thanks in advance

    Some egs below... Photos copyright & courtesy of their respective photographers.

    http://trendland.net/wp-content/uplo...iela-glunz.jpg
    http://trendland.net/wp-content/uplo...la-glunz-5.jpg
    http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/w...chedMG6269.jpg
    Last edited by voux; 25th January 2012 at 10:37 PM.
    VOUX photography - Photography & videography for major events/sports, and weddings.

  2. #2

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Actually, while some people may say you need to use a full frame camera and a 85mm/135mm lens, the truth is:

    You can do this with an entry level camera and the kit lens. In a studio you would normally shoot at f/8 or thereabouts, so a lot of the advantages of high-end lenses is lost.

    Also, all of these images were post-processed for contrast, color tone, sharpness, etc etc etc.

    In other words, DO NOT, FOR ONE SECOND, think that by buying the same gear you can get the same images. If you have even the most basic photographic skills, you will realize that these shots can be achieved with the most basic gear. All you need is skill.
    Alpha

  3. #3

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    200mm f/2!
    KF Photography
    Thanks for viewing!

  4. #4

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Those example you post are heavily or at least been touched up in PP.. So...If your PP skills and of cos photography skill is not up to it.
    No lens and camera can help you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Heavy post processing detected! Any camera+lens can do it as long as you are good enough in:
    1. Putting on makeup.
    2. Creating the right lighting.
    3. Post processing + Photoshop

  6. #6

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Quote Originally Posted by area0404 View Post
    Heavy post processing detected! Any camera+lens can do it as long as you are good enough in:
    not just any lens. you wouldn't be using a fisheye lens, UWA, tilt-shift lens, or any wacky lens (e.g. SLR Magic) for beauty/headshot images. these lenses can create weird distortions, weird perspectives, bad vignetting etc depending on what you're using and if you're shooting for clients, a HUGE majority of them wouldn't want those.

    worst still, if you're using a UWA and the lady is plump (no offense here), you'll make her look wider than she really is. how wide would depend on the distance you are from here and the angle you're shooting at. i don't think you'd want that to happen

  7. #7
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    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    You can do this with an entry level camera and the kit lens. In a studio you would normally shoot at f/8 or thereabouts, so a lot of the advantages of high-end lenses is lost.

    Also, all of these images were post-processed for contrast, color tone, sharpness, etc etc etc.

    In other words, DO NOT, FOR ONE SECOND, think that by buying the same gear you can get the same images. If you have even the most basic photographic skills, you will realize that these shots can be achieved with the most basic gear. All you need is skill.
    Much agreed Rashkae! Basic skills & proficiency in post-processing will be required for this kind of work. May I ask what gear do you use for your beauty work?


    Quote Originally Posted by Blur Shadow View Post
    200mm f/2!
    Thanks Blur Shadow, would love to have that lens but out of my budget :P


    Quote Originally Posted by TWmilkteaTW View Post
    Those example you post are heavily or at least been touched up in PP.. So...If your PP skills and of cos photography skill is not up to it.
    No lens and camera can help you.
    Thanks for sharing TWmilkteaTW, yep I'll need to brush up ALOT on my PP to reach this level for sure. That said, gotta start somewhere & try before I get there eh?



    Quote Originally Posted by area0404 View Post
    Heavy post processing detected! Any camera+lens can do it as long as you are good enough in:
    1. Putting on makeup.
    2. Creating the right lighting.
    3. Post processing + Photoshop
    hmm area0404, you brought up another good point. I need to find a good MUA! Will refine the lighting as I start doing I guess...


    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    not just any lens. you wouldn't be using a fisheye lens, UWA, tilt-shift lens, or any wacky lens (e.g. SLR Magic) for beauty/headshot images. these lenses can create weird distortions, weird perspectives, bad vignetting etc depending on what you're using and if you're shooting for clients, a HUGE majority of them wouldn't want those.

    worst still, if you're using a UWA and the lady is plump (no offense here), you'll make her look wider than she really is. how wide would depend on the distance you are from here and the angle you're shooting at. i don't think you'd want that to happen
    Good point kei1309! I guess my Q should be rephrased as what focal length do experienced photographers who do this regularly use for headshot, head & shoulder and close-up beauty work?


    Agreed on the makeup/lighting/post-processing points you guys brought up. Thank you!

    sorry don't whack me ah! I know there's no BEST or MUST-USE lens. Any lenses can be used with the right skill & know-how. however, if you are experienced in headshots & fashion beauty work yourself, what are your go-to camera/lens combos that you think are most suitable? or any optimum focal length?
    VOUX photography - Photography & videography for major events/sports, and weddings.

  8. #8

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    The examples you shown are done mostly in studio with good lighting. In those situation, usually people shoot at small aperture > f/8.0 and 1/250s depending on the flash sync speed and ISO 100 or 200 depending on your camera's lowest native ISO. Hence almost all DSLR and lens with that focal length (depending on the working distance) can do it. Almost all lens at sharp at small aperture. Plus what people don't tell you is that all fashion beauty are touched up.

    So what is more important is your lighting, posing and post processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by voux View Post
    Not sure if this is the right section to ask? Like to seek advice from the seniors & 过来人 here who do headshots & fashion beauty photography, what camera/lens combos do you use for your work? Appreciate if you can include the camera model so I know if the lens is used on FF or cropped. Thanks in advance

    Some egs below... Photos copyright & courtesy of their respective photographers.

    http://trendland.net/wp-content/uplo...iela-glunz.jpg
    http://trendland.net/wp-content/uplo...la-glunz-5.jpg
    http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/w...chedMG6269.jpg

  9. #9

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Quote Originally Posted by voux View Post
    Much agreed Rashkae! Basic skills & proficiency in post-processing will be required for this kind of work. May I ask what gear do you use for your beauty work?
    Honestly, depends on my mood. sometimes I'll use an A900 with a CZ 135mm. On other days, I'll use an entry-level A580 with the kit lens. I've even shot with the NEX (using optical slave triggers).
    Alpha

  10. #10

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Quote Originally Posted by voux View Post
    what are your go-to camera/lens combos that you think are most suitable? or any optimum focal length?
    Due to distortions, usually 50-135mm are preferred lengths. In fact, you might even want to use one or the other depending on a model's facial features, to either widen or compress her facial features.
    Alpha

  11. #11

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    not just any lens. you wouldn't be using a fisheye lens, UWA, tilt-shift lens, or any wacky lens (e.g. SLR Magic) for beauty/headshot images. these lenses can create weird distortions, weird perspectives, bad vignetting etc depending on what you're using and if you're shooting for clients, a HUGE majority of them wouldn't want those.

    worst still, if you're using a UWA and the lady is plump (no offense here), you'll make her look wider than she really is. how wide would depend on the distance you are from here and the angle you're shooting at. i don't think you'd want that to happen
    Sorry, was a little exaggerating. Most lens between 50-130.

  12. #12
    Senior Member UncleFai's Avatar
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    Default

    Lens is not the issue buddy. Here's the secret:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKz1WgyFAcw

  13. #13

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    I only know that Benjamin Kanarek does use a DA70/2.4 ltd for his work.
    But as a professional, he could have used any other camera/lens required for the task and the posted link.

    There is no one lens used for headshots.
    Because of perspective distortions the usual used focal lengths are 50mm to 135mm, with some opting for 200mm on 135 format.
    Working distance needs to be taken into account as well.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Quote Originally Posted by shelomoh View Post
    The examples you shown are done mostly in studio with good lighting. In those situation, usually people shoot at small aperture > f/8.0 and 1/250s depending on the flash sync speed and ISO 100 or 200 depending on your camera's lowest native ISO. Hence almost all DSLR and lens with that focal length (depending on the working distance) can do it. Almost all lens at sharp at small aperture. Plus what people don't tell you is that all fashion beauty are touched up.

    So what is more important is your lighting, posing and post processing.
    Thanks shelomoh, +1 on lighting & PP!


    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Due to distortions, usually 50-135mm are preferred lengths. In fact, you might even want to use one or the other depending on a model's facial features, to either widen or compress her facial features.
    Got it! thank you Rashkae


    Quote Originally Posted by UncleFai View Post
    Lens is not the issue buddy. Here's the secret:

    Fotoshop by Adobe - YouTube
    Well UncleFai, PP is only part of the equation IMO. Poor choice of lighting/FOV will likely result in longer hours on PS, having to liquify & PP more.


    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    I only know that Benjamin Kanarek does use a DA70/2.4 ltd for his work.
    But as a professional, he could have used any other camera/lens required for the task and the posted link.

    There is no one lens used for headshots.
    Because of perspective distortions the usual used focal lengths are 50mm to 135mm, with some opting for 200mm on 135 format.
    Working distance needs to be taken into account as well.
    thank you for sharing pinholecam... I agree there's no one lens used. thats why i asked what do those who's experienced in this USUALLY use as their go-to lenses. there's no one size fits all, but learning from others' experiences will hopefully shorten the learning curve
    VOUX photography - Photography & videography for major events/sports, and weddings.

  15. #15

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    Anything abt 70 usually is good. A 70-200 if its on hand. Practical and low distortion reason.

  16. #16
    Senior Member UncleFai's Avatar
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    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Quote Originally Posted by voux View Post


    Well UncleFai, PP is only part of the equation IMO. Poor choice of lighting/FOV will likely result in longer hours on PS, having to liquify & PP more.
    You may also want to consider purchasing and watching this:

    Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot DVD | Fstoppers

  17. #17

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleFai View Post
    You may also want to consider purchasing and watching this:

    Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot DVD | Fstoppers
    watched before. to those who know what they're doing, that's second nature. and that this is just a marketing ploy to make it sound like he's the only one who can do it.

    to those who are new. it's like "WOW! i've never thought to do it that way before"

    your choice. shell out your cash for that, or just shoot and learn. but from my experience, hands-on is better than listening to a smooth-talking ang moh telling you what to do.

    *no offence to bro Rashkae here*

  18. #18

    Default Re: lenses to recommend for beauty/headshots?

    85mm + dslr will do the job

    u need a concept, right model with good complexion and a good mua

    u need DI skills like amy dresser / natalia taffarel / natalie buskila
    anyone of the above DI artist i mention is good enough :P

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