Nikkor 50mm f1.8G or 16-85mm f3.5-5. 6 for indoor portraits?


Aug 22, 2006
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#1
Dear All,

I am planning an indoor studio shoot for my wife's pregnancy and is wondering which of the above lens should I be using and why? These is the two lens which I have. If there is any must use lens which is ideal for the shoot then maybe someone could shed some light. I shall just rent it. I am using the Nikon D7100.

Would appreciate it if any added advice can be given pertaining to the shoot with regards to flash setup, poses and other points to take note etc if any.

Thank you.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#2
If you shoot in studio, any lenses can do, cos with with studio light set up, you are shooting f8 and above.
If just indoor ambient light or with small hot shot flash. Get the 50mm lens.
 

Aug 22, 2006
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#4
If you shoot in studio, any lenses can do, cos with with studio light set up, you are shooting f8 and above.
If just indoor ambient light or with small hot shot flash. Get the 50mm lens.
Thank you for your advice. I guess I shall stick with the 16-85. And probably try with the 50mm if there is time.
 

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Jun 2, 2012
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Singapore when back at home
#8
For portrait shots, when discussing about lenses it is more about the focal length of the lens used and the aperture size for subject and background isolation.

Lenses with focal length of 50mm and above typically have less distortion and provides some image compression which makes them ideal for portrait shots.

Lenses with focal length of 50mm and below gives a wider perspective but when used for taking photos of people up close will have exaggerated facial features.

Typical portrait lenses focal length are 50mm-200mm, 85mm being popular, so is 105mm and 200mm primes. My personal favourite is the el-cheapo 85mm f/1.8D. Most photogs choose primes over zoom for portrait shots because of image quality and personal preferences.

You can try to take a few test portrait pictures with the 50mm prime and the 16-85mm zoom set to 50mm and 85mm. Review the pictures and see which focal length works for you.

Flash set up.

You can get a or make a simple diffuser for your pop up flash. It work wonders in reducing the hard light from the pop up flash.

A simple two flash setup. Set up two SB700 with diffusers / umbrellas, light stands and use the D7100 as a master and vary the light output ratio of the two SB700 to highlight the facial features. The light output from the D7100 pop up flash can be dialled down to reduce the direct frontal light.

Back drop up to you....
 

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daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#9
I think for studio shots, primes or zooms matter a lot less. My defacto lenses for studio is 24-70 and 70-200.
 

Aug 22, 2006
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#10
Light Machinery: The 50mm when mounted on a D7100 gives around 75mm focal length which is rather ideal for portraits, no? Will play around with the 16-85 at different focal length as well. Thank you very much for the detailed explanation.

Daredevil123: 24-70mm f2.8 is an expensive lens. Will work with what I have first for now. That lens is a dream rather far away! :)
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#11
I shoot with 70-200 in studio mainly, occasionally with 24-70. using it cos already own it.

You can use kit lens to shoot portrait, won't be any issue at all, AFAIK, many studios are using consumers grade lens to shoot portrait, customers does not really bother about this.
 

Jun 2, 2012
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Singapore when back at home
#12
Yes, it does, the 50mm mounted on the D7100 with a 1.5X crop does give a 35mm equivalent focal length of 70mm.

It works well. I have shot many half body photos on the D7000 with the 50mm.

In photography there are no rigid rules that a photographer must use a particular lens for each genre of pictures. Just as catchlights mentioned, some studios uses kit lenses to shoot portraits.
 

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