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Thread: Portrait taking help needed!

  1. #1

    Question Portrait taking help needed!

    Credit to bro BananaDiver for this shot. Just koped for example!

    Hi basically I hope to be able to take such portrait photos.

    I recently purchased a Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens (using 500D Canon DSLR currently) and I was wondering will I be able to take these kind of shots w/o external flash. The lens is supposed to be tack-sharp, unfortunately the min. focusing distance of this lens is VERY far, almost 50cm. It constantly has to hunt for its focal point if its too close. Being this far with such a short range, does it mean I won't be able to take such portrait shots?

    And would I be better off changing lens?

    And if so, what would be my best option to stay within this focal range? How about the Sigma 28mm f2.8 MACRO lens? I've also been eyeing the EF-S 60mm f2.8 MACRO but its abit long for indoor portrait shots...

    Thanks for your help guys!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    well i know that bananadiver uses an FX camera. Looking at the perspective, I don't think he used anything close to 30mm for this shot. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say 85mm.
    If you shoot portraits with your 30mm near to its MFD, good luck to you!
    Exploring! :)

  3. #3
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    why did you buy the 30/1.4 if you're interested to take such shots (headshots) ??
    Exploring! :)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Hey. I'm curious, how much did you get the 30 1.4 for?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by listener View Post
    Credit to bro BananaDiver for this shot. Just koped for example!

    Hi basically I hope to be able to take such portrait photos.

    I recently purchased a Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens (using 500D Canon DSLR currently) and I was wondering will I be able to take these kind of shots w/o external flash. The lens is supposed to be tack-sharp, unfortunately the min. focusing distance of this lens is VERY far, almost 50cm. It constantly has to hunt for its focal point if its too close. Being this far with such a short range, does it mean I won't be able to take such portrait shots?

    And would I be better off changing lens?

    And if so, what would be my best option to stay within this focal range? How about the Sigma 28mm f2.8 MACRO lens? I've also been eyeing the EF-S 60mm f2.8 MACRO but its abit long for indoor portrait shots...

    Thanks for your help guys!
    Whoa.. that's a nice shot from BananaDiver!
    I think should be able to achieve such result if you have the 60mm f2.8. Think 30mm would be more suitable for full-body portrait. Anyway, I'm also a newbie, maybe some gurus can help out?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    zerocool hi bro not that i want to take headshots just wondering about the level of detail on the man's face. just wondering if there is any non-L (no $$!) lens for canon mount that can take such high IQ shots that is around the focal length of 30mm so i can use for indoor portraits/half-body shots?

    the 30mm f1.4 can't really replicate this i've tried many times. unless maybe bananadiver used external flash to create such a strong contrast?

    lek i got it for ~700+? yup.

    wywysimba yes you're right a 60mm macro would definitely be able to take such shots. but the focal length a bit too tight for indoor portraits i feel.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sykestang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Avoid using a wide-angle lens to do portraits. Using a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 can do the job and it is a very good street lens.

    As for this picture by BananaDiver, but my best guess that he is using a 70mm - 85mm lens due to the good perspective.
    Last edited by sykestang; 23rd June 2010 at 09:20 AM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by listener View Post
    zerocool hi bro not that i want to take headshots just wondering about the level of detail on the man's face. just wondering if there is any non-L (no $$!) lens for canon mount that can take such high IQ shots that is around the focal length of 30mm so i can use for indoor portraits/half-body shots?

    the 30mm f1.4 can't really replicate this i've tried many times. unless maybe bananadiver used external flash to create such a strong contrast?

    lek i got it for ~700+? yup.

    wywysimba yes you're right a 60mm macro would definitely be able to take such shots. but the focal length a bit too tight for indoor portraits i feel.
    one minute you're talking about image quality, then the next you're asking about external flash to create contrast... I still don't get what you're trying to ask.

    bananadiver's lens and camera are good. But if you find the sweet spot on your lens, you can take very sharp pictures too... maybe the bokeh not so nice, that's all.
    This looks like ambient lighting. I know he has a number of light "accessories", but don't think they were used... maybe you can PM him? Otherwise we're all just guessing here.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by listener View Post
    zerocool hi bro not that i want to take headshots just wondering about the level of detail on the man's face. just wondering if there is any non-L (no $$!) lens for canon mount that can take such high IQ shots that is around the focal length of 30mm so i can use for indoor portraits/half-body shots?

    the 30mm f1.4 can't really replicate this i've tried many times. unless maybe bananadiver used external flash to create such a strong contrast?

    lek i got it for ~700+? yup.

    wywysimba yes you're right a 60mm macro would definitely be able to take such shots. but the focal length a bit too tight for indoor portraits i feel.
    different focal length can give different perspective. But the detail on the subject face depends on lighting and also pp to bring out. If you are going for indoor portrait, can I assume you have more control over lighting? it feels that the external limitation is kinda minimized compared to this shot, tt shd be easier comparatively.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    ovaltine bro unfortunately i have no experience with ext flash just started not too long ago :P so i can't really influence the lighting. i normally rely on ambient lighting..

    zerocool i think i mean so is there any chance of me creating this kind of shot with my 30mm f1.4? even at its sharpest arnd f5.6 i feel it cannot capture such details. or is there another lens arnd this focal length (20-30mm) that can capture such details?

  11. #11
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    I thought 30/1.4 is a very sharp lens?
    should be able to capture wat... but 30mm not flattering for portrait work, I tell you first.
    your friends all models issit, with super-smooth faces?
    Exploring! :)

  12. #12
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by listener View Post
    ovaltine bro unfortunately i have no experience with ext flash just started not too long ago :P so i can't really influence the lighting. i normally rely on ambient lighting..

    zerocool i think i mean so is there any chance of me creating this kind of shot with my 30mm f1.4? even at its sharpest arnd f5.6 i feel it cannot capture such details. or is there another lens arnd this focal length (20-30mm) that can capture such details?
    Many lens have sweet spot from around f8 onwards..you can try at that aperture?
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  13. #13
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I thought 30/1.4 is a very sharp lens?
    should be able to capture wat... but 30mm not flattering for portrait work, I tell you first.
    your friends all models issit, with super-smooth faces?
    I wanted to ask TS was he going to take portrait for elderly with wrinkles. Coz he was rather interested in the "details" posted by BananaDiver.
    TS, pls pardon me if you don't have that in mind.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    i also not sure maybe i got lemon but no issues with front focusing or back focusing leh. got such thing as lens can focus well but not "sharp" enough??

    mmm but if i use any longer focal length, then its quite tight indoors leh. like 30mm on a crop is 48mm so can take the person's face + some background for more composition. when i tried my friend's 50mm indoors must step back very very far just to take a group shot also..

    hahaha i wish all my friends are models also man (the girls la! :P)

  15. #15

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    HAHA no la but yes i tried to take a pic of my grandma with my 30 f1.4. the wrinkles not as clear as this photo leh.

    F8?? wow my hands not so steady bro lol everytime will have some blur. :P

  16. #16
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by listener View Post
    F8?? wow my hands not so steady bro lol everytime will have some blur. :P
    As you mentioned you shoot with ambient light. If lighting is insufficient, f8 gives slow shutter. On the contrary, if lighting is good, f8 can give high shutter speed withou blur. If you shoot with ambient and get underexposed, then you won't see much details.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by listener View Post
    i also not sure maybe i got lemon but no issues with front focusing or back focusing leh. got such thing as lens can focus well but not "sharp" enough??

    mmm but if i use any longer focal length, then its quite tight indoors leh. like 30mm on a crop is 48mm so can take the person's face + some background for more composition. when i tried my friend's 50mm indoors must step back very very far just to take a group shot also..

    hahaha i wish all my friends are models also man (the girls la! :P)
    I'm gonna guess you're shooting wide open at f1.4. At that kind of aperture the DOF is very shallow and quite easily miss the focus point. I have a 30mm f1.4 myself. Usually take a few shots cos my hands are pretty unstable also. I dun really have huge problem taking headshots either.

    Below is a shot of my daughter at f1.4. Shot that the same day I bought the lens for testing. If you want to get all details with everything in focus, you cannot shoot at such shallow DOF.

    Last edited by sherchoo; 23rd June 2010 at 10:30 AM.
    |SonyA700|T180mmf3.5|M70-210mmf4|S30mmf1.4|T17-50mmf2.8|T90mmf2.8|M5600hsdX2|

  18. #18

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    yes i understand what u'll mean by shooting at a smaller aperture (higher F stop) to get more things in focus. but at f1.4 even the spot where u focus on, the details cannot be seen as sharp as the photo i posted as an example. Even at f2.8, I don't think the sigma 30mm can capture such sharp details.

    hmm yes ovaltine i understand with good lighting can bring out better details but flash photography... haven't start experimenting yet maybe in months to come .. hehe.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by listener View Post
    yes i understand what u'll mean by shooting at a smaller aperture (higher F stop) to get more things in focus. but at f1.4 even the spot where u focus on, the details cannot be seen as sharp as the photo i posted as an example. Even at f2.8, I don't think the sigma 30mm can capture such sharp details.

    hmm yes ovaltine i understand with good lighting can bring out better details but flash photography... haven't start experimenting yet maybe in months to come .. hehe.
    why not try f8 and use your inbuilt flash and see if it's sharper to your preference?
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Portrait taking help needed!

    Ya agreed.... try at f8.... u might see the diff....
    |SonyA700|T180mmf3.5|M70-210mmf4|S30mmf1.4|T17-50mmf2.8|T90mmf2.8|M5600hsdX2|

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