Portrait Lens


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shinji_45

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Aug 26, 2006
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Hi guys!
I am new here in CS as well as Photography, ard 3mths.
I want to buy a portrait lens, my two choice would be:

Tamron 90 f/2.8
Or canon 85 f/1.8

Previously i wanted to go for the Tamron as it can double up as a macro lens
i have even set up a WTB for the Tamron, but it seems that noone wants to sell
theirs:dunno: .
So i am taking this chance to ask for your expert opinion.
My main purpose is to take portrait,i was thinking of using this lens for the cosplay event
at the end of this year. I like to take tight head shots.

Of course you guys can recommend me other lens.

I own a canon EOS 350D for your information.
your Recommendation will be greately appreciated !
 

Jul 17, 2005
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#2
the 85/1.8 gets my vote. no doubt about it. it's fast, light, and sharp. the tamron 90mm macro tends to hunt for focus (from other user reports...people like shinken). but i've been using the 85/1.8 and i am very pleased with it. sharp at f/1.8, tack sharp at f/2.8. fast focus and the bokeh is great!...of course not as great as the 85/1.2L ;p
 

Tetrode

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Dec 29, 2002
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#3
I'd recommend the Tamron 90 instead. Why?
You don't really need AF for portraiture. As a matter of fact, you'd want to manual focus as you won't always have the luxury of having a focus point where you want it (on the subject's pupils).

Also the Tamron 90 is well known as having one of the nicest bokeh renditions out there. So good (and I have mentioned this b4) that even the photographers for Sport Illustrated use it for their annual calender shoots.
 

Deadpoet

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Oct 18, 2004
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I'd recommend the Tamron 90 instead. Why?
You don't really need AF for portraiture. As a matter of fact, you'd want to manual focus as you won't always have the luxury of having a focus point where you want it (on the subject's pupils).
yeah, the Tamrom 90mm is a nice lens. But, no AF for portraiture? ... no focusing point? What bullsh*t. Actually, if you are focusing on the pupil, the eyes are the easiest for auto focusing.

btw, why don't you go try manual focus with the 350D, or any AF DSLR, not an easy tast at all.
The screen was not meant for manual focus. So, what do you suggest? Oh, change it to a split prism finder ....

doubt OP will do that, so what is your advise?


shiunji_45, if you wnat the Tamron, get it, but get the AF version. My recomendation is if you want a portrait lens, go with the EF85 1.8.
 

Yawoo

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Aug 6, 2004
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#5
If u have ample $$ to spare then pls buy the super "bokee" portrait lens 85mm F1.2.. cost about3 over k... might be just peanut to you...:think: :bsmilie: :bsmilie: This investment can really lasts you for years of nice & wonderful photos as I know of many hardcore pro out there have this lens for sure..
 

Tetrode

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#6
yeah, the Tamrom 90mm is a nice lens. But, no AF for portraiture? ... no focusing point? What bullsh*t. Actually, if you are focusing on the pupil, the eyes are the easiest for auto focusing.

btw, why don't you go try manual focus with the 350D, or any AF DSLR, not an easy tast at all.
The screen was not meant for manual focus. So, what do you suggest? Oh, change it to a split prism finder ....

doubt OP will do that, so what is your advise?


shiunji_45, if you wnat the Tamron, get it, but get the AF version. My recomendation is if you want a portrait lens, go with the EF85 1.8.

The the f*u*c*k is OP?
Sorry mate, I don't use f*u*c*king low end dSLRs with their piss ass VFs. I use film cameras generally. But there are things called electronic rangefinders in these wunderplastic cameras or am I missing something here.
AF is the worse thing for focussing on pupils in my experience, you obviously haven't done much portraiture to know this.
 

shinji_45

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Aug 26, 2006
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#7
Ehh its so nice of you guys to give me ur opinions.
However pls do not quarrel.
Hmm for me , i am a poor NSF, the 85 f/1.2 is super but,
i dont think i am able to fork such an amt.
pls gimme more feedback, my mind's not set yet. :)
 

Tetrode

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#8
Ehh its so nice of you guys to give me ur opinions.
However pls do not quarrel.
Hmm for me , i am a poor NSF, the 85 f/1.2 is super but,
i dont think i am able to fork such an amt.
pls gimme more feedback, my mind's not set yet. :)
You won't go wrong with either lens in terms of picture quality.
If you want both a lens that can do Portraits and Macro - go for the Tamron.
If you want a lens that is faster than the Tamron in terms of aperture then the Canon is the go. The Tamron has a max aperture of f2.8.

I'd still recommend the Tamron because it is value for money (allows you to shoot Macro as well) and it's good reputation means getting rid of it (should you wish to upgrade in the future) isn't going to be an issue. Better still is if you can find one used.
 

PnS

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#9
The Tamron 90 is indeed a lens of outstanding, even legendary optical performance, however, you need very steady hands or a tripod and a patient subject, as the focussing is not only slow, the focussing plane is very thin, any small movement forward or backward will affect sharpness... I think for studio is possible as lighting is sufficient for small aperture but outdoor is more difficult as large aperture will result in sharp eyes but blur ears... A flash can help you get the dof but you'll miss the far background...
 

ExplorerZ

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Jan 9, 2006
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#10
The Tamron 90 is indeed a lens of outstanding, even legendary optical performance, however, you need very steady hands or a tripod and a patient subject, as the focussing is not only slow, the focussing plane is very thin, any small movement forward or backward will affect sharpness... I think for studio is possible as lighting is sufficient for small aperture but outdoor is more difficult as large aperture will result in sharp eyes but blur ears... A flash can help you get the dof but you'll miss the far background...
:think: than 85mm f1.8 will be much worse... :sweat:
 

student

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Jul 26, 2004
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#13
Given what you mentioned in post #7, and the fact that owners of the Tamrom are loathe to get rid of their lens, I would suggest you get the Tamron.

Regarding focussing.

It is a matter of personal preference whether one prefers auto or manual. A lot depends on the process of making images. Some people have really bad eyesight and would need to use auto focus. My eyesight is not great. But I can take sharp images if I want to. And I usually switch off the auto focus mode and just rely on the viewfinder to focus. Contrary to some opinion, the viewfinder is fine!
 

zemotion

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Oct 19, 2003
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#15
why don't you just use your kit lens? if you're afraid about the lighting (which is usually a problem) then get something like the 50mm f1.4(its the same price as 85mm anyway), or you'll be behind every other photographer when you wanna get group/full body shots. and if you need portraits and want tight crop, you'll just end up blocking alot of people and moving alot.. i think zoom lens is better for cosplays, if not 50mm should be pretty good. just my opinion. well if you wanna sneak snap.. feel free to use things higher than 100++++mm :bsmilie:
 

shinji_45

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Aug 26, 2006
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#16
Thank You guys i have read all your opinions, i will decide,
but for now i have to go back to camp, but please keep all the
comments rolling. thank you
 

muvouser

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Oct 2, 2006
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#17
I heard for those who wants to shoot moving models/children, the canon will always be more suitable for its faster focusing speed. Is the tamron really that slow? anyone can share in details? ThankQ
 

unseen

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Dec 14, 2004
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#18
I heard for those who wants to shoot moving models/children, the canon will always be more suitable for its faster focusing speed. Is the tamron really that slow? anyone can share in details? ThankQ
No it is not. unless of course, you switch between macro distances and normal shooting distances between every shot.
 

Scaglietti

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Jan 14, 2005
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#19
I heard for those who wants to shoot moving models/children, the canon will always be more suitable for its faster focusing speed. Is the tamron really that slow? anyone can share in details? ThankQ
Generally, Tamron 90mm is ok for me. However, it will be real slow if it misses the focus on the first try. It will search all the way to the limit and back to attempt to refocus. If you pick more prominent focal points, it will help somewhat.

Shooting in continuos focus mode on moving subject may pose a some challenge though for this lens, but generally it is still possible.
 

jdredd

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Mar 30, 2006
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#20
i would get the 85 1.8. its 1 stop faster so better low light/ indoor portrait taking ability. faster USM means faster focusing.

sure, it cant do macro. but if u want a portrait lens.. then this is the one i would recommend.
 

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