Disadvantage of using macro lens for portraiture?


A Whale

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Jan 5, 2010
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#1
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? :bsmilie:
 

Nov 11, 2007
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Yishun
#2
This is a good thread for me to follow, I'm bout to get a Macro lens for my DSLR..
 

yrh0413

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Oct 21, 2004
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#3
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.
 

sabee

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Mar 12, 2009
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#4
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.
 

Numnumball

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Mar 6, 2009
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#5
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? :bsmilie:
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.)
 

Pinoy

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Jan 17, 2002
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#6
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,
 

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night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#7
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.
:dunno: i don't see how different it could be.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#11
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
 

Numnumball

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Mar 6, 2009
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#14
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 :devil:)
 

NovJoe

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Feb 15, 2009
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#15
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 :devil:)
I'm still saving up for my 70-200 :cry:. Nonetheless, my 100/2.8 & 50/1.4 served my well :D. Brought them to almost every country I go, not only for macro but for portraits as well ;).
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#16
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 :devil:)
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 :bsmilie:

ryan
 

Dream Merchant

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
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#17
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.
 

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Nov 13, 2006
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#18
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.
 

Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
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#19
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?
 

r0n1n

Senior Member
Mar 9, 2009
808
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Wild Wild West
#20
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 ;p
 

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