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Thread: Question on portrait lens

  1. #1

    Default Question on portrait lens

    I have read that the recommended focal length for portrait is about 80-100mm. Say for the Nikon D50, does this mean that a prime 50mm is best (Since the sensor size is <35mm)? Or am I mistaken about the focal length calculation and should be going for the prime 80mm lens?

    It seems that ppl are recommending prime 80mm or 105mm lens? Why is this so?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    you cannot take the crop factor into consideration
    it is the characteristics of the lens that matters

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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    you cannot take the crop factor into consideration
    it is the characteristics of the lens that matters
    wats the difference between the 50 85 and 105 primes apart from focal length?

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    angle of view
    and perspective

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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    angle of view
    and perspective
    which results from the focal length. moving closer with a 50mm will create the same image as a 85mm further away right?

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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by roti_prata
    which results from the focal length. moving closer with a 50mm will create the same image as a 85mm further away right?
    No...

  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by roti_prata
    which results from the focal length. moving closer with a 50mm will create the same image as a 85mm further away right?
    no,

    move closer with 50mm ≠ 85mm.

    you move closer with 50mm will have distortion.

    if you shoot the same subject with 50mm, and 85mm at the same distant, but you crop the image of 50mm to the same as 85mm, than the perspective will look identical.

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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    no,

    move closer with 50mm ≠ 85mm.

    you move closer with 50mm will have distortion.

    if you shoot the same subject with 50mm, and 85mm at the same distant, but you crop the image of 50mm to the same as 85mm, than the perspective will look identical.
    ok...i understand now thx for explaining unlike espn's 1 word 3 punctuation answer

  9. #9

    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    actually y they consider 85-105mm a "portrait" perspective is because the ear nose distance tt results from the lenses of these focal ranges due to the perspective is closest to what you would see in real life....

    tt's y they are called "portrait" lenses... wide angles and extreme tele perspectives however...can be pretty fun to play around with for portraits too.....

    cheers.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    I'll have to disagree with ortega, you have to take the crop factor into consideration. This is because the recommendation is based on 'ideal' subject distances for portraits. With the crop factor, the subject distance will change for the same lens.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Think for dSLR, using the 50mm prime is the most bang for buck lor... It's like you have a 75mm f/1.7, pretty close to your 85mm portrait and < $200 new.

    A portrait lens... a bit ex...

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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by roti_prata
    ok...i understand now thx for explaining unlike espn's 1 word 3 punctuation answer
    I can't help it if your question was an open ended one.

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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by drake336
    Think for dSLR, using the 50mm prime is the most bang for buck lor... It's like you have a 75mm f/1.7, pretty close to your 85mm portrait and < $200 new.

    A portrait lens... a bit ex...
    Problem is, there's no such thing as a portrait glass... ideal maybe, but not necessary.

    I used before 35 f/2, 50, 50, 85, 17-35, 18-35, 24-120, 24-85, 28-70, 105, 180, 70-200, 80-200, 200 f/2, 300, 400 to shoot portraits before... ok la.. maybe > 200 f/2vr onwards a bit exaggerated, but it can be done.

    So what's a portrait glass?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    Problem is, there's no such thing as a portrait glass... ideal maybe, but not necessary.

    I used before 35 f/2, 50, 50, 85, 17-35, 18-35, 24-120, 24-85, 28-70, 105, 180, 70-200, 80-200, 200 f/2, 300, 400 to shoot portraits before... ok la.. maybe > 200 f/2vr onwards a bit exaggerated, but it can be done.

    So what's a portrait glass?
    Aiyah, figure of speech... I know you can shoot anything with any lens, but most use the 85mm - 105mm primes for portrait for their perspective and DOF, hence their common name...

    Thread starter just wanted to know if 50mm was ok, so I tell him... no harm right?

    I can't possibly tell him go shoot with UWA if he was expecting a normal portrait shot...
    Last edited by drake336; 6th February 2006 at 10:49 PM.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    If anyone want to know, during film days, for 35mm cameras, 85mm lens is for full body shot, 105mm lens is for half body shot, 135mm lens is for bust shot, 180mm lens is for head shot.

    50mm is for group photos.

    Nowadays, rental is expensive, so studio become smaller, so bo pian, have to shorter focal length lens.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Aiya...so how??
    Some ppl argue must take crop factor into consideration, some ppl say should not.

    I can sort of understand both sides of the argument....but which is correct?

    In some comments for example here, the crop factor was considered.
    http://www.livingroom.org.au/photolo...ime_lenses.php

    Crop factor or no??

  17. #17
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    It depend on your taste, I have a Nikon 50mm and a Tamron 90mm, but now I'm using the Tamron for most of my outdoor portraits, regardless head shot only or full length.
    50mm is using in the studio, but will avoid using it for close up head shot.

    Hope this help.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    ok ...speaking from personal experience...i do half and full body shots with the 85mm now...both indoors and outdoors, coz i got the benefit of space.... but sometimes, when i'm on location where there is really no space...i'll switch to a 50mm instead..... its only when i want to play with distortions when i'll take out a 28mm......

    i tink crop factors, at the end of the day, still DUN change the perspective...for reasons i have mentioned earlier .....

    cheers.....

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by reflecx
    I'll have to disagree with ortega, you have to take the crop factor into consideration. This is because the recommendation is based on 'ideal' subject distances for portraits. With the crop factor, the subject distance will change for the same lens.
    personal taste lor

    if you shoot female subject then i would think that they will notice
    that they look just a little bit rounder.

    if can shoot with 200mm even better

    cheers

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    Default Re: Question on portrait lens

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    personal taste lor

    if you shoot female subject then i would think that they will notice
    that they look just a little bit rounder.

    if can shoot with 200mm even better

    cheers
    In commercial photography one has to use lenses to suit the subject. Most often used lens is the 17mm f/3.5 especially for industrial executive portraits and in pleasing the fat bride in bridal photography work.

    While in pleasure photography my portrait lens will be the 500 or 300mm lens. Using the focal length from 80mm to 135mm is too common a perspective much to my liking. Sometimes I would even try my 1000mm for that out of focus background effect even though it is tough when the lighting condition is low.

    ------------------------------
    In portraiture you use lens according to your taste but
    in commercial work catering to your clients you choose
    the lens that can deliver the required perspective.

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