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Thread: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

  1. #1

    Default What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    I am an amateur to photography and I'm abt to help a fren to do some editorial style photography for her portfolio.

    i'm having a problem deciding wat lens is best suited to achieve the magazine style effect? Will a Tamron 17-55mm 2.8f be good enough? Or do i have to look for something better? I heard 85mm 1.8f is oftenly used, but it will require quite a distance if i wanna take a full body shot.

    Currently, i'm owing a 18-70mm D70 kit lens. =)

  2. #2

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    It depends on which Nikon body you are using.

    For single or double page spreads, the most common lenses/focal length that photographers uses are:

    (prime lenses)
    1. 35mm
    2. 50mm
    3. 85mm
    4. 105mm
    5. 180mm

    U can sub with good zoom lenses to cover the range.

    Have a team of good makeup artiste, hairstylist, fashion/wardrobe stylist/art director and of course good lighting

  3. #3

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    In good hands, the Tamron 17-50mm should suffice!

    I'm no pro, but from what I can see, the stuff you see in magazines use all kinds of focal lengths, from wide, through to standard (50mm approx), to mid-tele (85mm ish) for head/shoulder crops. Of course if you want the best in sharpness and distortion control, go for the primes.

    IMO, what's more important than the lens in a editorial spread is the concept and lighting. Once you've got your concept, the best lens/focal length for the job will emerge. I don't believe in one lens fits all! Lighting is very important because it'll create your mood, bring out your textures, etc etc. The lens is just one piece of the puzzle.

    The tamron has a decent zoom range so you'll be able to cover many focal lengths. It's a sharp lens too. Just remember to stop down to f/3.5 or f/4 for optimal sharpness. good luck!

  4. #4

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckteeth LCL View Post
    It depends on which Nikon body you are using.
    U can sub with good zoom lenses to cover the range.

    Have a team of good makeup artiste, hairstylist, fashion/wardrobe stylist/art director and of course good lighting
    haha what he said

  5. #5

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    Thanks Buckteeth and cherps for the advise, they have been really useful. At least now i have a clearer idea on wat type of lenses i should go for.

    I manage to ask some frens to help me out in the makeup and outfits. So it shouldnt be a problem, rite now the onli thing i need to worried abt is lighting lol.

    Lets say if i'm gonna do a shoot in a interior space and it is poorly lit, will it be sufficent if i'm onli uses natural lights coming from the window and an external flash to fill in the shadows? Or do i need those professional light strobs to get the job done?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    You might need to specify what exactly you mean by editorial. It's very very vague - almost as vague as say, black and white photography, or commercial photography, or... ie. it's a whole branch of photography. People have probably done editorial work with everything from circular fisheyes through to supertelephoto...

  7. #7

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    The kind of effect i'm planning to achieve is something like those attached images. If i'm not wrong they were taken in a studio. But i will like to know whether is it possible to achieve this kind of effect using just natural lightings and a external flash.




    These photos were taken from http://www.richardwarrenphotos.com/

  8. #8

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    From the photos you have posted. I am speculating the lighting.It should be done using continuous lights such as kinoflow and HMIs with modifiers/scrimp/blocker etc I would have use the same equipment to achieve the same effect

    Alternatively, if I am using strobes, I would have used a beauty dish covered heavily with black cloth to control the amount/intensity of the light and spread while other parts can be lighted up by softboxes and snoots. Its a lot harder to achieve unless you have some experiences, especially in the area of lighting for MTV/filming etc....

    You can try it with what you have (natural light with scrimp, diffusing modifier and flash with modifier) but you will need a very good Digital touch up artiste and a really good model to pull off the shoot too

    Hope this will help ya

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    Based purely on those images, you could have taken them with a 17-50mm zoom lens on a DX sensor, yes.

    Editorial really is such a broad category that really encompasses almost anything I can think of...

  10. #10

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    minimum of 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8

    anyway the tamron lens is not so sharp too...which u may need to USM in PS then again the quality will be slightly compromised if u hafta sharpen alot

    get it sharp when u shoot, watch for distortions too and shoot with highest resolution available to u...in most editorial work...u may need the file to be in tiff format...the file size can go up to abt 60mb per photo

    with wat i said is only the photographer part...u still need a good team to support u

    i wish u all the best...show us the end product if u succeed

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumiere View Post
    minimum of 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8
    I didn't know there was a minimum requirement in the industry? I've never seen a commissioning editor list a minimum requirement of 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 lenses. I've done lots of editorial work, and none of which was done on either of those lenses. Maybe 0.01% on the 1.4 versions of those lenses.

    Again, on the basis of those pictures above, I don't see why the 50/1.8 or the 85/1.8 would give you any advantage in obtaining the pictures the OP has posted, over the 17-50 Tamron the OP has, barring a theoretical and not necessarily practical improvement in sharpness and distortion. Bearing in mind you would be shooting within the lenses' sweet spots in all probability, I doubt it would make any practical difference for 95% of production purposes. Spherical distortion isn't really a major issue with the chosen subject either.

    anyway the tamron lens is not so sharp too...which u may need to USM in PS then again the quality will be slightly compromised if u hafta sharpen alot
    You have to sharpen the 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 files too.

    And how bad is the Tamron? I just dug up a review or two to have a look; while it isn't the world's best performer wide open it certainly doesn't look all that scruffy stopped down a stop or two.

    Would we be having this conversation if he was using a Nikon 17-55/2.8 instead?

  12. #12

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    I didn't know there was a minimum requirement in the industry? I've never seen a commissioning editor list a minimum requirement of 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 lenses. I've done lots of editorial work, and none of which was done on either of those lenses. Maybe 0.01% on the 1.4 versions of those lenses.

    Again, on the basis of those pictures above, I don't see why the 50/1.8 or the 85/1.8 would give you any advantage in obtaining the pictures the OP has posted, over the 17-50 Tamron the OP has, barring a theoretical and not necessarily practical improvement in sharpness and distortion. Bearing in mind you would be shooting within the lenses' sweet spots in all probability, I doubt it would make any practical difference for 95% of production purposes. Spherical distortion isn't really a major issue with the chosen subject either.



    You have to sharpen the 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 files too.

    And how bad is the Tamron? I just dug up a review or two to have a look; while it isn't the world's best performer wide open it certainly doesn't look all that scruffy stopped down a stop or two.

    Would we be having this conversation if he was using a Nikon 17-55/2.8 instead?
    not really an industry standard...but a personal preference...perhaps that my copy of tamron is not so sharp...if he is to use the nikon's glass i think no doubt it will be of a better quality

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumiere View Post
    not really an industry standard...but a personal preference...
    Having a personal preference is perfectly fine! Might help if you stated it was your preference tho

  14. #14

    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Having a personal preference is perfectly fine! Might help if you stated it was your preference tho
    sorry my bad for not being clear...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What lens is best for Editorial Photography??

    not sure, probably kit lens stopped down would even do the job... most of the newer kit lens including the canon 18-55IS perform damn good in sharpness when stopped down.

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