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Thread: Lens choice Dilemma - Portrait/photoshoot lens, any recommendations?

  1. #1

    Smile Lens choice Dilemma - Portrait/photoshoot lens, any recommendations?

    Hi guys, I'll try to keep this short. Thanks in advance for any recommendations coming my way.

    Current setup: 350D, IS Kit, 85mm F1.8
    Going to be: 350D, IS kit, 135L, in the further future will up the 350D to 40D, don't foresee a FF or 1.3crop body anywhere in 5 years. I usually like the range.

    Typically there is no problem, I'm more of a candid shooter, also interested in dance concert recital shoots, so 135L is like a dream, and otherwise have no need for another lens.

    Problem: 135L takes all my budget away, recently a few friends have approached me to do portraits & photo shoot for amateur portfolio sort of thing, or Amateur TFCD you could say. I'd really like to help, however suddenly I feel that 135L is abit too long for anything more than headshots, feels abit heavy to lug around too, and I would like to do half/full body shots nicely too.

    Unfortunately this question is not hard to solve myself, had there not been a wrestle between budget and image quality. Since I'm on budget, I want my lens quality to be worth every cent (135L is one such)...

    Basically, I'm looking for a good lens to cover half and full body shots. Currently only use IS kit, which is not bad, but thought of something with better colors and maybe introduce DOF into the picture.

    Thought about:

    Considering a budget lens like below 400.

    Tamron 28-75 F2.8 seems to be main consideration, I think its a neat range, positively reviewed. Downside is, the price point is quite close to 85mm F1.8... which obviously is better, alternatively 50/1.4 did cross my mind. Upside is convenience of a zoom, 1 lens solution. However, afraid that DOF may not satisfy for head/shoulders shots and end up having to lug the 135L out. -.-

    50mm F1.8, I had one and sold it. Nervous about the bokeh. Noisy and build adds on to the fussy reasons for selling.

    35mm F2, Sigma 30/1.4, both corners seems screwed for price point.

    Need recommendations for:
    1) Should use the 135L to do tight portraits? Or get another lens and dont bother bringing it for photoshoots.
    2) should get a 28-75 or just kit lens and 135L?
    3) Any other lens that should cross my mind? Budget isn't die die cannot stretch if its worth it. But definitely below 600. Hopefully its a prime (for sake of quality).


    Questions:
    1) What do you guys usually use for full body / half body shots?
    2) How important is depth of field in full body shots?
    3) How about half body shots?


    Sorry guys, in the end it didn't end up quite short. But thanks for your time anyway!
    Looking for Canon 100mm F2 USM :)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lens choice Dilemma - Portrait/photoshoot lens, any recommendations?

    I remembered we had a similar discussion about this?
    The lure of 135L is quite strong eh?
    I'm curious, why not stick to the 85 f1.8?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lens choice Dilemma - Portrait/photoshoot lens, any recommendations?

    Actualy I'd reccommend the 85/1.8 as you can always jsut step a little closer if you need it tighter. To answer your questions:

    1. 17-40 mostly if i got the space to move back then I use my 85. Never liked the 50/1.4
    2. Most of the time when you do full body shots you problaby want some part of the surroundings to be part of the composition. Just make sure no distracting elements can already
    3. Again depends on how much of the background is going to contribute to your compostion.
    Furry Photos - Photography for the Modern Pet

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lens choice Dilemma - Portrait/photoshoot lens, any recommendations?

    hmm when i was using 40D, my portrait setup was as following

    Sigma 30mm 1.4 (Full body shots)
    Canon 50mm 1.4 (slightly more than half body shots)
    Canon 85mm 1.8 (Half body shots)

    The 135L is a great lens, but for portraits on 1.6crop, i would suggest you keep the 85mm and get the 50mm instead.

    Questions:
    1) What do you guys usually use for full body / half body shots?
    - As above, 85mm and 50mm on 1.6crop
    2) How important is depth of field in full body shots?
    - it depends on what u are trying to achieve
    3) How about half body shots?
    - same as above, for me i normally shoot from f2 - f4 depending.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lens choice Dilemma - Portrait/photoshoot lens, any recommendations?

    Overall, thanks to everyone who replied.

    Anyway my main intention for the 135L is for longer shots, didn't have portraits in mind, so generally 135L back down to 85 isn't in the plan really. Maybe i'll just walk back another 5 steps.

    If it had to be Sigma 30mm F1.4 vs Tamron 28-75 F2.8, which should it be? Tamron seems more like a better general lens though, whereas I don't deny that the speed on sigma is tempting.

    Quote Originally Posted by ahbian View Post
    I remembered we had a similar discussion about this?
    The lure of 135L is quite strong eh?
    I'm curious, why not stick to the 85 f1.8?
    The previous discussion was slightly different as i was focusing on the long range aspects... now I've chosen to use 135L to cover my 55-250 at the long end.

    Why not stick to 85... I sort of consider it an 'overlap' to have 2 med-long primes, though each have a different purpose. The reason I chosed to upgrade to 135L is because I was torn between 55-250 & 85, don't know which lens to mount in daylight. And ultimately their prices add up close to justify for 135L

    Quote Originally Posted by raptor84 View Post
    Actualy I'd reccommend the 85/1.8 as you can always jsut step a little closer if you need it tighter. To answer your questions:

    1. 17-40 mostly if i got the space to move back then I use my 85. Never liked the 50/1.4
    2. Most of the time when you do full body shots you problaby want some part of the surroundings to be part of the composition. Just make sure no distracting elements can already
    3. Again depends on how much of the background is going to contribute to your compostion.
    I think 17-40 breaks my budget for just an F4 lens... I somehow share the same gut that 50/1.4 is not a very pretty lens either. Sigma's version seems to turn in excellent corner to corner sharpness though.

    Quote Originally Posted by wdEvA View Post
    hmm when i was using 40D, my portrait setup was as following

    Sigma 30mm 1.4 (Full body shots)
    Thanks, but wondering, hows the Sigma's corner performance? Heard its really bad and MTF reviews shows really really bad thru to F8?
    Looking for Canon 100mm F2 USM :)

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