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Thread: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

  1. #1

    Default Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Besides the slightly narrower aperture + lesser bokeh, what are the distinct disadvantages when using it for portraits?

    IMO, 60mm/85mm/90mm seems to be a better reach + sharper seems makes it justifiable for the purpose at the expense of the disadvantages listed. Is there anything else I need to know before being poisoned by the macro lens?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    This is a good thread for me to follow, I'm bout to get a Macro lens for my DSLR..

  3. #3

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    from my experience, macro lens are too sharp for portraiture and you need to go through lots of PP on the model's skin. That's the only disadvantage I could think of.
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Macros lenses are not inherently sharper than regular lenses. The "disadvantage" you're looking at is actually a (usually) smaller maximum aperture which might give you problems when you want "more bokeh" and a narrow DOF like 1.2, 1.4, 1.8 which is rarely required by a macro lens.

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    Senior Member Numnumball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by A Whale View Post
    Besides the slightly narrower aperture + lesser bokeh, what are the distinct disadvantages when using it for portraits?

    IMO, 60mm/85mm/90mm seems to be a better reach + sharper seems makes it justifiable for the purpose at the expense of the disadvantages listed. Is there anything else I need to know before being poisoned by the macro lens?
    it can be unflatteringly sharp and color contrast too well corrected making it unsuitable for portraiture work (it will show the flaws in people's skin, blemishes, etc.)
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    I used a 100mm f2.8 Macro on a recent shoot out of curiousity and was happy with the results. The lens is sharp wide open and as Numnumball mentioned, the clarity shows flaws in the subject's skin, if any. However, it's nothing that can't be easily fixed in Photoshop.

    Here's a sample shot of Mable in a cheongsam shoot organized by Jusgaki recently. Taken with 100mm f2.8 Macro, and post processed in Photoshop.



    Personally, I love the lens for portraiture and I won't hesitate using it on any upcoming shoot...

    :Later,
    Last edited by Pinoy; 15th February 2010 at 01:54 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by yrh0413 View Post
    from my experience, macro lens are too sharp for portraiture and you need to go through lots of PP on the model's skin. That's the only disadvantage I could think of.
    i don't see how different it could be.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i don't see how different it could be.
    I used to compare my 100mm macro against 70-200mm at f/2.8. The macro lens is definitely much sharper
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by yrh0413 View Post
    I used to compare my 100mm macro against 70-200mm at f/2.8. The macro lens is definitely much sharper
    Fixed focal length vs zoom? :/ Try comparing it against any other prime.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by yrh0413 View Post
    I used to compare my 100mm macro against 70-200mm at f/2.8. The macro lens is definitely much sharper
    no, for editing skin.

  11. #11
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Macro lenses are typically designed with flat field correction to ensure great sharpness. some folks complain that they are too sharp too critical of facial complexions when shooting portraits. Try and see if u r bothered by it. I am not

    ryan

  12. #12

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Thanks for the comment guys

  13. #13
    Senior Member NovJoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Personally, I also use my 100mm/2.8 macro lens for portraits which I pretty like it.

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    Senior Member Numnumball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by NovJoe View Post
    Personally, I also use my 100mm/2.8 macro lens for portraits which I pretty like it.
    To each their own, but nonetheless, mid tele macros lens are known for its versatility and its stand out in this field

    For me i still prefer my 70-200 for now (until i lay my hands on the 85 or 135DC )
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    Senior Member NovJoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Numnumball View Post
    To each their own, but nonetheless, mid tele macros lens are known for its versatility and its stand out in this field

    For me i still prefer my 70-200 for now (until i lay my hands on the 85 or 135DC )
    I'm still saving up for my 70-200 . Nonetheless, my 100/2.8 & 50/1.4 served my well . Brought them to almost every country I go, not only for macro but for portraits as well .

  16. #16
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Numnumball View Post
    To each their own, but nonetheless, mid tele macros lens are known for its versatility and its stand out in this field

    For me i still prefer my 70-200 for now (until i lay my hands on the 85 or 135DC )
    The 135/105mmDC and the 85mmf1.2L are lovely lenses to play, but with abit of learning curve and can be a monster to tame. get the 135DC and u might lay ur zoom aside for portraitures.

    what r u waiting for Numnumball

    ryan

  17. #17

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Depends on what one defines as a 'good portrait lens'.

    I have to admit at times, the clinical sharpness and contrast of a macro lens has it's appeal, but not always.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 15th February 2010 at 06:06 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    The characteristics of a 100mm 2.8 macro is nothing that can't be modified in ACR. Often, it's just the softening of facial features for me, but you know what, I love the inherent sharpness of this lens especially when I need to blow up the pictures BIG.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    I used a 100mm f2.8 Macro on a recent shoot out of curiousity and was happy with the results. The lens is sharp wide open and as Numnumball mentioned, the clarity shows flaws in the subject's skin, if any. However, it's nothing that can't be easily fixed in Photoshop.

    Here's a sample shot of Mable in a cheongsam shoot organized by Jusgaki recently. Taken with 100mm f2.8 Macro, and post processed in Photoshop.



    Personally, I love the lens for portraiture and I won't hesitate using it on any upcoming shoot...

    :Later,
    Good photo.
    I wonder is it possible to post up the before pp photo so that we could compare how much clarity have been shown on subject's skin?

  20. #20
    Member r0n1n's Avatar
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    Default Re: Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?

    i'm using a 50mm macro lens before for portraits and I loved its sharpness. now that i have a new cam body, i will not hesitate getting another macro lens not just for macro photography but also for portraits
    I shoot with my A7II . I shoot with my Kalashnikov AEG. I just love shooting ;)

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