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Rumors => Lenses => Topic started by: whaleofatime on November 20, 2011, 04:45:43 AM

Title: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: whaleofatime on November 20, 2011, 04:45:43 AM
If you had to choose both one zoom and one fixed lens as your go to portrait lens. What would they be?

Edit- I have purposely left this question open ended. I want to hear what you have and what your experiences are with both FF and crop sensors.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: willrobb on November 20, 2011, 04:53:25 AM
For a portrait prime, I love the versatility of the 50mm 1.2L. It's wonderful for individual/couple portraits and is pretty good for groups when you have space to manoeuvre. The bokeh is sublime.

For a portrait zoom, my 70-200mm F2.8L is great, it covers a great range of options in the portrait range. I know the 70-200mm f2.8L II IS is better, but I am happy with my glass.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: epsiloneri on November 20, 2011, 04:56:10 AM
If you had to choose both one zoom and one fixed lens as your go to portrait lens. What would they be?

For portrait I would choose the EF 85/1.2L II and EF 70-200/2.8L IS II, for both APS-C and FF, because those are my favourite lenses and are very good for portraits and suit the way I like to shoot. If I worked professionally with portraiture in a studio, however, a single EF 24-105/4.0L would probably be a better choice.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Old Shooter on November 20, 2011, 04:58:48 AM
Assuming a FF body, the 24-70 f/2.8L and the 85 f/1.2L II...
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: handsomerob on November 20, 2011, 06:03:14 AM
for prime, 85 f/1.2L II hands down. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II would be my choice of zoom as well.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: pwp on November 20, 2011, 06:21:20 AM
Hands down, the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II. No contest.
Prime? Maybe just sometimes the 300 f/2.8is

Paul Wright
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: briansquibb on November 20, 2011, 06:42:18 AM
For the 5DII and the 1D4 - prime has to be the 135 f/2.0 and the zoom the 70-200 f/2.8 II

Have to admit that recently I have been taking some cracking candids with the 400 f/2.8 :)
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: JR on November 20, 2011, 07:06:48 AM
I would choose the 85mm 1.2L II and the 70-200mm 2.8L IS II.  I would also like to pick the 135mm 2L but since you only asked for two, I would pick the 85 1.2 over the 135 for its lower light and effect capability.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: cpsico on November 20, 2011, 07:12:14 AM
I find my 70-200 F4IS is an incredible portrait lens and since it is just as sharp as anything else(including 70-200 2.8 II) its a great bargain. For group shots my 24-70 F2.8 is a go to every time. But of course the 50 1.4 and the 100 2.0 are sharp enough for surgery just not very convient. I am not a big fan of foot zooming :)
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: briansquibb on November 20, 2011, 07:16:21 AM
For portrait lens I dont find the low light capability any use at all - for candids maybe - but for portraits I would add more light to keep the iso below iso800
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: AG on November 20, 2011, 07:38:31 AM
On a crop body i like the 50mm f1.4, zoom would be a 24-70mm f2.8

Pretty much the same on FF but change the 50mm to an 85mm (which once allowing for the crop factor its about the same)
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: 92101media on November 20, 2011, 08:16:04 AM
Depends on several factors e.g.
- headshot or full length
- one person or several people or group
- amount of working room e.g. cramped indoors or spacious outside
- amount of available light (natural and/or artificial)
- cropped sensor or full frame sensor
- budget

I believe a rough guide for the generally accepted focal length range for portrait is 85mm - 135mm equivalent on a full frame sensor.

Having said that, I have used my Canon 70-200mm F/4L non-IS on my Canon 60D & 7D cropped sensor bodies (112mm - 320mm FF equivalent) much more than my Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (24-136mm FF equivalent) for model shots outside with good available light & sufficient room to maneuver. There have only been a couple of scenarios under those circumstances where I didn't have the desired room to back up, where the 70-200mm was a little bit longer than desired.

If you may be working in relatively tight quarters inside and/or full length and/or with groups and/or on a cropped sensor camera, you may well want a shorter focal length lens.

If you may be working with relatively limited natural and/or artificial light, or want a shot with more pleasing bokeh, you may want a wider aperture lens e.g. one of the f/2.8 zooms, or a prime lens.

As far, as zooms go:

So far, with the opportunities I have had, under the circumstances that were present, I have been happy with my Canon 70-200mm F/4L non-IS, especially given the value that that lens represents. Of course, I would quite like the IS version of that lens, which is supposed to be even sharper, in addition to having IS. 

I have also been considering upgrading to the relatively newish Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS, which wouldn't really net me too much from a portrait point of view, but would still be capable for portrait use, while being more versatile for other scenarios (especially when combined with a Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter, which would get me some real telephoto capability which I am currently missing, especially on a cropped sensor, but I digress, as that's not really applicable to portrait photography).

The other zoom I have recently been considering as a portrait lens is the Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS. On a cropped sensor, that's not a very wide lens (but I have a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens that I could use for general purpose use for the ultra wide end of things). However, on a cropped sensor, 24-105mm becomes 38.4-168mm equivalent on full frame, which handily covers the 85 - 135 mm typical full frame range for portraits, with room to spare on both ends of the focal range, and I'd gain IS. It also means that, in general, I'd typically be using it more in the center of that lens's zoom range, rather than at either end of the range, where the limitations of most lenses e.g. distortion & chromatic aberration etc. tend to be worse. As far as focal length goes, the Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS seems pretty ideal for portrait use on a cropped sensor. However, the downsides are: like my 70-200mm, F/4 isn't a particularly fast lens, so available light is a consideration; for general walkabout use, on a cropped sensor, the 24mm (38.4mm FF equiv) is not very wide; and also 'neuroanatomist' mentioned a while back (I have been lurking on CR for a while) in another thread, that there may be other lenses better suited for general use on a cropped sensor than the Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS e.g. the Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (that I already have), or the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. I need to follow up with 'neuroanatomist' on his comments regarding there may be better lenses than the Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS lens, on a cropped sensor, for certain scenarios, to get his feedback.

As far as primes go:
- a lot depends on budget, as well as the other considerations I mentioned at the beginning of my post
- if only or primarily using primes, ideally you'd want 35mm, 50mm, 85mm & 135mm full frame equivalents, or thereabouts
- Canon 85mm f/1.8 at around $400 is supposed to be a real performance bargain
- Canon 50mm f/1.8 is an undeniable bargain, at just over $100, but is all plastic & has relatively slow & noisy AF
- Canon 50mm f/1.4 has a metal mounting ring, and faster AF, but the AF mechanism has a bit of a reputation for being fragile & prone to breaking
- Canon 28mm f/1.8 does not seem to be that highly regarded, so a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (what I chose) may be a worthwhile option, if on a cropped sensor body only, and looking for a roughly 50mm equivalent

Depending on one's circumstances, an ideal setup may be a good quality zoom or two for flexibility in fast-paced rapidly changing scenarios, combined with a couple of prime lenses for low light scenarios. While I am sure the f/2.8 series versions of Canon's 70-200mm L lenses are exceptional, and are a full stop brighter than the f/4 series versions, the f/2.8 versions are relatively heavy & expensive, and there are those who opine that in situations where f/4 isn't bright enough, f/2.8 likely won't be bright enough either, and that you'll either have to add light and/or switch to a prime lens. However, there are also those who swear by the f/2.8 versions of Canon's 70-200mm L lenses, and love using them.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: elflord on November 20, 2011, 08:51:20 AM
If you had to choose both one zoom and one fixed lens as your go to portrait lens. What would they be?

On a crop, it's been the 50mm f/1.4. On a crop, I wouldn't use a zoom as a portrait lens because an f/2.8 zoom is dof-equivalent to f/4.5 on a full frame.

On full frame, I'm still figuring it out as I only recently purchased the 5D Mark II. For the prime it's between the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 and the Canon 135mm f/2. I like the latter but it needs a lot of shutter speed. I like the 50mm f/1.4 on full frame but it's a bit wide for a portrait. It is a nice lens for taking shots of small groups of people interacting.

For a zoom on full frame, 70-200 f/2.8 is an obvious choice.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: cdang on November 20, 2011, 09:13:36 AM
For me,

85L and 24 - 70L.

Edit : 24 - 70L for zoom because that's the only one I own. 135L comes close second to the 85.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: elflord on November 20, 2011, 09:22:07 AM
However, the downsides are: like my 70-200mm, F/4 isn't a particularly fast lens, so available light is a consideration;

It isn't just low light. It's that you won't really get a decent shallow dof effect out of a lens that has full frame equivalent to f/5.6 (well maybe you could shoot at the tele end of it and get an effective 168mm f/5.6, but that's a bit long). For portraits, control over dof is very useful to have. 

Quote
While I am sure the f/2.8 series versions of Canon's 70-200mm L lenses are exceptional, and are a full stop brighter than the f/4 series versions, the f/2.8 versions are relatively heavy & expensive, and there are those who opine that in situations where f/4 isn't bright enough, f/2.8 likely won't be bright enough either, and that you'll either have to add light and/or switch to a prime lens.

It's true that f/2.8 isn't really "fast enough" in dof terms, but it's as fast as you're going to get with a zoom. If you need the ability to zoom, you get the fastest zoom available. As far as low light is concerned, you get at least a stop out of IS -- you can shoot at 1/50s across the range whereas without IS you would need a faster shutter speed.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Canon Rumors on November 20, 2011, 09:37:23 AM
I use 3 lenses for portraits.


24 f/1.4L II
50 f/1.2L
200 f/2L IS


I skip the 85 because of the sluggish AF. It's an out of this world lens, but I find the 50 to be a bit more versatile. The 200 is just out of this world.

Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: JR on November 20, 2011, 09:54:14 AM
I use 3 lenses for portraits.


24 f/1.4L II
50 f/1.2L
200 f/2L IS


I skip the 85 because of the sluggish AF. It's an out of this world lens, but I find the 50 to be a bit more versatile. The 200 is just out of this world.



I am surprised you picked the 24 f/1.4L II over say the 35 f/1.4L.  The 24 is an amazing lens but when I tried to make portrait with it this is when I realized I was still a rookie at photography! 

Do you try to always use it levelled to the ground or do you instead like it to create special effects?  Just wondering...
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: AndersBorg on November 20, 2011, 10:01:30 AM
Of the lenses that i own I would say:

50mm 1.4
17-55mm 2.8 IS

- Both works very well for me, though I would like to have the 85L on a FF body for portraits :)
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Canon Rumors on November 20, 2011, 11:05:31 AM
I am surprised you picked the 24 f/1.4L II over say the 35 f/1.4L.  The 24 is an amazing lens but when I tried to make portrait with it this is when I realized I was still a rookie at photography! 

Do you try to always use it levelled to the ground or do you instead like it to create special effects?  Just wondering...

I pick the 24 because I like how it works with APS-H and full frame. I use the 24 for up close and personal candid portrait stuff. It can give great perspective as well.

Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: NormanBates on November 20, 2011, 12:04:11 PM
on 1.6x crop: Leitz Elmarit-R 50mm f/1.4
on fullframe: Leitz Elmarit-R 90mm f/1.4 (runner up: Samyang 85mm f/1.4)
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: bycostello on November 20, 2011, 12:54:24 PM
70-200 and 100 macro
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: koolman on November 20, 2011, 02:40:12 PM
I have a t2i crop. My choice is either 35L for half body shots - or 501.4 for head shots.

I also use the 60mm efs macro - SUPERB prime lens - but "only" 2.8

Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on November 20, 2011, 03:06:37 PM
If you had to choose both one zoom and one fixed lens as your go to portrait lens. What would they be?

First, you should tell us what body you use.  You could help get a better answer by explaining what gear you have available, and posting some exampoes of what type of portrait you like.  A prime lens will do a better job than a zoom, but a zoom has versatility and if you pose your subject far in front of the background, the background will be blurred.

You have received lots of answers, including many that assume you use the same body they use, whatever that is.

The answers from those who explain which body and lens to match they use should help you, it makes a huge difference, and  it shows that they understand the difference.

Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: AJ on November 20, 2011, 03:27:10 PM
I like my Tokina 50-135/2.8 and Canon 85/1.8

Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: CanonFanNum1 on November 20, 2011, 03:49:12 PM
70-200 f2.8\L II IS.  Excellent for candid or not, DOF at 200mm with f2.8 is striking.

And... same argument for 300 f2.8 if you can get your hands on one.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Harley on November 20, 2011, 05:53:04 PM
Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 with Ed Mika adapter on a 7D, which equates to 88mm on FF. 

(Images from this lens are posted in the Canon Rumors Forum Lens Gallery.)
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: briansquibb on November 20, 2011, 06:06:25 PM
70-200 f2.8\L II IS.  Excellent for candid or not, DOF at 200mm with f2.8 is striking.

And... same argument for 300 f2.8 if you can get your hands on one.

.... and the 400 f/2.8
(http://www.squibb.org.uk/pictures/b09g6938xs.JPG)
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: rocketdesigner on November 20, 2011, 06:09:30 PM
Hands down, the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II. No contest.

A well known blogger Jem Schofiled had a rather interesting response to this question in an on line interview:

http://bit.ly/thoNoq

He claims that the 70-200 L II F4 is his choice over the 70-200 L II f 2.8 because it "holds focus" better.

Since I just sold my f4 to get the f2.8, was I wrong ... is he technically correct?

I know lens choice is subjective, but he seems to make a fairly bold statement.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: GlamourDave on November 20, 2011, 06:48:13 PM
I use the 50 f/1.4, the 85 f/1.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8 II IS with my 7D body.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: MazV-L on November 20, 2011, 08:38:41 PM
for prime, 85 f/1.2L II hands down. 70-200 f/2.8 IS II would be my choice of zoom as well.
My choice as well. :)
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: wopbv4 on November 20, 2011, 11:09:27 PM
100mm EF f/2.8L IS USM Macro

This may sound strange, but it is not only a macro, but also a  lens with a relatively wide aperture, superb image quality, fast AF and  impressive IS. I just love this lens for head/shoulder pictures
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: wickidwombat on November 21, 2011, 05:33:22 AM
100mm EF f/2.8L IS USM Macro

This may sound strange, but it is not only a macro, but also a  lens with a relatively wide aperture, superb image quality, fast AF and  impressive IS. I just love this lens for head/shoulder pictures

i've been using this alot lately for portraits and its very sharp and so nice and light too!
still i think i use the 70-200 more but its quite heavy and i've hurt my arm so shooting with the bigger lenses is hard at the moment so the 100 is a nice fallback
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: ontarian on November 21, 2011, 11:29:07 PM
I only shoot 1.3 crop until the 1Dx comes out.  My favourite portrait prime is the FD 400mm 2.8 with my EdMika infinity focus 0.75mm EF-FD brass glassless adapter (soon to be replaced with the upcoming 0.5mm 90 degree rotated EF-FD brass glasses adapter). 
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6161/6146111935_09a3c607f3_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ontarian/6146111935/)
First test shots FD 400mm 2.8 L (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ontarian/6146111935/) by Ontarian (http://www.flickr.com/people/ontarian/), on Flickr

For zooms I'd have to say the only one I still have, my trusty 70-200 2.8 L IS II.

If you had to choose both one zoom and one fixed lens as your go to portrait lens. What would they be?

Edit- I have purposely left this question open ended. I want to hear what you have and what your experiences are with both FF and crop sensors.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 21, 2011, 11:33:25 PM
I believe a rough guide for the generally accepted focal length range for portrait is 85mm - 135mm equivalent on a full frame sensor....

The other zoom I have recently been considering as a portrait lens is the Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS. ... However, on a cropped sensor, 24-105mm becomes 38.4-168mm equivalent on full frame, which handily covers the 85 - 135 mm typical full frame range for portraits, with room to spare on both ends of the focal range, and I'd gain IS... As far as focal length goes, the Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS seems pretty ideal for portrait use on a cropped sensor. However, the downsides are: like my 70-200mm, F/4 isn't a particularly fast lens, so available light is a consideration...

Available light isn't the only consideration.  For portrait use in a studio, where you have pull-down or stand-supported backdrops, it would be fine.  But it's important to be aware that one consequence of that 38.4-168mm equivalent focal length is that to frame a shot where you'd be at 85mm on FF, you're equivalent focal length on APS-C is 136mm...and as a consequence, to get the 85mm framing you must be further away from your subject, which increases depth of field.

So...just as the 'crop factor' affects the effective focal length, it also affects the DoF - by the same 1.6x.  That means that for the same framing you'd get on FF, an f/4 lens on APS-C is equivalent to f/6.4 on FF.  That means very poor background blur unless you are very close to your subject and the background is well-separated.  Not that it can't be done...it's just not ideal. 
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: koolman on November 22, 2011, 03:03:26 AM
Hands down, the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II. No contest.

A well known blogger Jem Schofiled had a rather interesting response to this question in an on line interview:

http://bit.ly/thoNoq

He claims that the 70-200 L II F4 is his choice over the 70-200 L II f 2.8 because it "holds focus" better.

Since I just sold my f4 to get the f2.8, was I wrong ... is he technically correct?

I know lens choice is subjective, but he seems to make a fairly bold statement.

If you listen to  Jem Schofiled's video - he is discussing his choice of lens for shooting VIDEO INTERVIEWS with a FF 5d2. The reason for using the 70-200 f/4 is that when he shoots the interview - he wants the subject to be able to move around and retain focus - hence he is forced to shoot at at least f/5 - to avoid a situation where if the subject for example leaned forward - they would appear blurred in the video. (thats what he means by "holds focus")

This has NOTHING to do with shooting stills portraits.

 
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: whatta on November 22, 2011, 04:04:48 AM
efs 60/2.8 macro, very good portait lens, great value.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 22, 2011, 07:01:37 AM
Hands down, the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II. No contest.

A well known blogger Jem Schofiled had a rather interesting response to this question in an on line interview:

http://bit.ly/thoNoq

He claims that the 70-200 L II F4 is his choice over the 70-200 L II f 2.8 because it "holds focus" better.

Since I just sold my f4 to get the f2.8, was I wrong ... is he technically correct?

I know lens choice is subjective, but he seems to make a fairly bold statement.

If you listen to  Jem Schofiled's video - he is discussing his choice of lens for shooting VIDEO INTERVIEWS with a FF 5d2. The reason for using the 70-200 f/4 is that when he shoots the interview - he wants the subject to be able to move around and retain focus - hence he is forced to shoot at at least f/5 - to avoid a situation where if the subject for example leaned forward - they would appear blurred in the video. (thats what he means by "holds focus")

A 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II can be set to f/5 just like a 70-200mm f/4L IS, and I bet it would 'hold focus' just as well.  Imagine that.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Bob Howland on November 22, 2011, 07:35:07 AM
100 f/2.8 macro, non-L of a 5D. However, I have used the 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8 and 135 f/2 when shooting portraits of performers in rock and jazz groups in small clubs.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: mjbehnke on November 22, 2011, 11:18:05 PM
OK, This might be a little off topic..... I see some of the posts saying that a 2.8 is really a stop slower on a 1.6 crop camera? I'm not sure how you figure that? Doesn't it still let the same amount of light go to the APS-C Sensor as it would a FF Sensor? ...And no, I really am not that smart!!  And this is my next question.... Does the EF-S 17-55 F2.8 suffer the same thing as the EF lenses on an APS-C even though it's made only for the smaller sensor?

Thanks in Advance.
Matthew
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Meh on November 23, 2011, 12:10:07 AM
OK, This might be a little off topic..... I see some of the posts saying that a 2.8 is really a stop slower on a 1.6 crop camera? I'm not sure how you figure that? Doesn't it still let the same amount of light go to the APS-C Sensor as it would a FF Sensor? ...And no, I really am not that smart!!  And this is my next question.... Does the EF-S 17-55 F2.8 suffer the same thing as the EF lenses on an APS-C even though it's made only for the smaller sensor?

Thanks in Advance.
Matthew

Which posts are you referring to?  Using a crop sensor affects angle of view and depth of field.  Exposure is the same.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: wickidwombat on November 23, 2011, 12:25:16 AM
OK, This might be a little off topic..... I see some of the posts saying that a 2.8 is really a stop slower on a 1.6 crop camera? I'm not sure how you figure that? Doesn't it still let the same amount of light go to the APS-C Sensor as it would a FF Sensor? ...And no, I really am not that smart!!  And this is my next question.... Does the EF-S 17-55 F2.8 suffer the same thing as the EF lenses on an APS-C even though it's made only for the smaller sensor?

Thanks in Advance.
Matthew
neuro can probably explain it better but in simplest terms if you get a lens that works on both FF and crop let say a 17-40 f4L then fit it to each and frame the shot exactly the same so that both images filled each cameras view to the same extents. You would be standing closer to the subject using the FF and further away using the crop. Because you are closer to the subject you will have a shallower depth of field than the same lens taking the same shot on the crop since using the crop you are further away.

does that make sense?

since the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 only works on a crop body it behaves more like the 24-70 f2.8L so they are compared more to each other. So the 17-55 f2.8 doesnt suffer from anything
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: mjbehnke on November 23, 2011, 12:38:50 AM
Well.... This is one:

[/quote]
So...just as the 'crop factor' affects the effective focal length, it also affects the DoF - by the same 1.6x.  That means that for the same framing you'd get on FF, an f/4 lens on APS-C is equivalent to f/6.4 on FF.  That means very poor background blur unless you are very close to your subject and the background is well-separated.  Not that it can't be done...it's just not ideal.
[/quote]

If I am understanding it right, F4 on a Full Frame is about F6.4 on a APS-C? So, to truly get down to F2.8, I should go FF?  And the other part was, the EF-s 17-55 F2.8, is it like F4 on an APS-c, or is it trult F2.8?

Maybe I need to get to a website that explains this better..... 
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: mjbehnke on November 23, 2011, 12:42:03 AM
OK, This might be a little off topic..... I see some of the posts saying that a 2.8 is really a stop slower on a 1.6 crop camera? I'm not sure how you figure that? Doesn't it still let the same amount of light go to the APS-C Sensor as it would a FF Sensor? ...And no, I really am not that smart!!  And this is my next question.... Does the EF-S 17-55 F2.8 suffer the same thing as the EF lenses on an APS-C even though it's made only for the smaller sensor?

Thanks in Advance.
Matthew
neuro can probably explain it better but in simplest terms if you get a lens that works on both FF and crop let say a 17-40 f4L then fit it to each and frame the shot exactly the same so that both images filled each cameras view to the same extents. You would be standing closer to the subject using the FF and further away using the crop. Because you are closer to the subject you will have a shallower depth of field than the same lens taking the same shot on the crop since using the crop you are further away.

does that make sense?

since the EF-S 17-55 f2.8 only works on a crop body it behaves more like the 24-70 f2.8L so they are compared more to each other. So the 17-55 f2.8 doesnt suffer from anything


OK, That makes sense, since the 1.6 crop factor "brings things in closer" than shooting with a full frame......

Thanks very much for the Simple Terms!
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: briansquibb on November 23, 2011, 01:46:29 AM
Unless you are going to focus/recompose the set AF mode to Servo to hold focus that way. That way you can move as well as the subject.

Makes it easier when using a prime to get the framing right by the manual zoom (one step back and forward)

The 70-200 f/2.8 II makes a good lens for shooting those candids on both ff and 1.6


Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: koolman on November 23, 2011, 02:58:26 AM
Hands down, the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II or the 70-200 f/2.8is II. No contest.

A well known blogger Jem Schofiled had a rather interesting response to this question in an on line interview:

http://bit.ly/thoNoq

He claims that the 70-200 L II F4 is his choice over the 70-200 L II f 2.8 because it "holds focus" better.

Since I just sold my f4 to get the f2.8, was I wrong ... is he technically correct?

I know lens choice is subjective, but he seems to make a fairly bold statement.

If you listen to  Jem Schofiled's video - he is discussing his choice of lens for shooting VIDEO INTERVIEWS with a FF 5d2. The reason for using the 70-200 f/4 is that when he shoots the interview - he wants the subject to be able to move around and retain focus - hence he is forced to shoot at at least f/5 - to avoid a situation where if the subject for example leaned forward - they would appear blurred in the video. (thats what he means by "holds focus")

A 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II can be set to f/5 just like a 70-200mm f/4L IS, and I bet it would 'hold focus' just as well.  Imagine that.

Of course you can stop down any lens. He was saying that there was no advantage to the larger heavier 2.8 - hence he chose the smaller lighter f/4
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: koolman on November 23, 2011, 03:19:43 AM
A shallow depth of field is a function of a few factors:

1) The ACTUAL lens focal length - a telephoto lens produces a much more shallow DOF. Imagine shooting a 300mm lens focused on a tree, or a 50mm lens as such.

2) The distance between the camera and the subject

3) The distance between the background and the subject

4) The f stop of the lens. The larger the f/stop opening (the smaller the number) the more shallow DOF.

On Crops as apposed to FF:

The ACTUAL focal length of the lens is MUCH smaller to achieve the equivalent perspective of a FF. So if you are using a 50mm 1.4 lens on a 1.6 crop to receive a FF 80 mm perspective - because of the actual focal length - you are getting the DOF multiplied by 1.6 = 2.24.

If you use an identical 85mm 1.8 lens on a crop - compared to the same 85mm 1.8 lens on a FF - your DOF would increase for a different  reason - you would need to stand further away - hence once again 1.8 = 2.8.

Additionally - if you place the 85mm 1.8 on the crop - and stand further away - you would have trouble shooting at f/1.8 - it is harder to nail focus wide open from a distance - and you might be forced to stop down !

The crop factor on the other hand has NOTHING to do with EXPOSURE which is a function of the ACTUAL aperture size of the lens.

Portrait canon 50mm 1.4 rebel t2i

(http://)










Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: bainsybike on November 23, 2011, 07:02:05 AM
Thanks for that explanation, but:

Additionally - if you place the 85mm 1.8 on the crop - and stand further away - you would have trouble shooting at f/1.8 - it is harder to nail focus wide open from a distance - and you might be forced to stop down !

Is that correct?  Can anyone explain why, if so?
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: scottsdaleriots on November 23, 2011, 07:17:00 AM
I've never used a FF camera but can speak for the crop since I own one. I'd say either the 85L or 135L for the prime (85L over the 135L). And the zoom lens would be the 70-200mm 2.8 IS II (since I own it and I've taken some portraiture photos and it's not that bad, pretty good actually.) Never used it either but I hear great things about the 24-70L.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: koolman on November 23, 2011, 07:30:19 AM
Thanks for that explanation, but:

Additionally - if you place the 85mm 1.8 on the crop - and stand further away - you would have trouble shooting at f/1.8 - it is harder to nail focus wide open from a distance - and you might be forced to stop down !

Is that correct?  Can anyone explain why, if so?

You COULD have trouble nailing sharp focus - as since you are shooting wide open - and AF needs good contrast   to nail focus - since you are further away - the persons eyes for example are further away etc. so the AF might not be able to nail tack on.

You can try this yourself. Take a fast prime wide open, and focus standing closer and farther. Afterwords, compare the sharpness in both pics, especially of portraits, where eye sharpness is important.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Meh on November 23, 2011, 08:57:28 AM
Thanks for that explanation, but:

Additionally - if you place the 85mm 1.8 on the crop - and stand further away - you would have trouble shooting at f/1.8 - it is harder to nail focus wide open from a distance - and you might be forced to stop down !

Is that correct?  Can anyone explain why, if so?

In the context of depth of field that is being discussed, that is not correct.  Depth of Field is larger for a larger subject distance.   Whether the camera might not achieve focus as easily from a greater distance is unlikely but perhaps it might be harder for the photographer to hold the focus point steady on a particular spot such as an eye, but again the larger DoF would make that less critical.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: bainsybike on November 23, 2011, 09:48:13 AM
You COULD have trouble nailing sharp focus - as since you are shooting wide open - and AF needs good contrast   to nail focus - since you are further away - the persons eyes for example are further away etc. so the AF might not be able to nail tack on.

Not sure about this - if you frame the subject the same way, won't the camera see the same thing (I'm not talking about the background) whatever the focal length of the lens?  So why would it be more difficult to achieve focus with, say, an 85mm lens than with a 50mm lens for an identically framed subject and with the same aperture?
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Meh on November 23, 2011, 10:18:16 AM
Well.... This is one:

"
So...just as the 'crop factor' affects the effective focal length, it also affects the DoF - by the same 1.6x.  That means that for the same framing you'd get on FF, an f/4 lens on APS-C is equivalent to f/6.4 on FF.  That means very poor background blur unless you are very close to your subject and the background is well-separated.  Not that it can't be done...it's just not ideal.
"

If I am understanding it right, F4 on a Full Frame is about F6.4 on a APS-C? So, to truly get down to F2.8, I should go FF?  And the other part was, the EF-s 17-55 F2.8, is it like F4 on an APS-c, or is it trult F2.8?

Maybe I need to get to a website that explains this better.....

That comment is referring to depth of field.   When using an APS-C sensor, to achieve the same framing as FF you must stand 1.6x further away and if you also want the same DoF as a FF your aperture would have to also be wider by 1.6x (I believe this is an approximation that holds for typical subject distances, maybe neuro knows for sure? The calculation is different for the near and far field portions of the DoF).

So say you are composing a shot on a FF body with a 100mm lens and you are standing 5m from the subject and using f/6.4, the DoF will be 0.94m  To get the same framing with an APS-C body you would stand at 8m from the subject but if you still use f/6.4 your DoF will be 1.54m.  Change your aperture to f/4 and your DoF is now 0.96m so you now have the same framing and DoF.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 23, 2011, 11:20:47 AM
Well.... This is one:

So...just as the 'crop factor' affects the effective focal length, it also affects the DoF - by the same 1.6x.  That means that for the same framing you'd get on FF, an f/4 lens on APS-C is equivalent to f/6.4 on FF.  That means very poor background blur unless you are very close to your subject and the background is well-separated.  Not that it can't be done...it's just not ideal.
[/quote]

If I am understanding it right, F4 on a Full Frame is about F6.4 on a APS-C? So, to truly get down to F2.8, I should go FF?  And the other part was, the EF-s 17-55 F2.8, is it like F4 on an APS-c, or is it trult F2.8?
[/quote]

Yep, that was me, and wickidwombat's explanation was spot on.  Because the crop factor affects angle of view, for a given focal length you need to be further away to get the same framing on an APS-C camera, and that extra distance means a shallower DoF - by a factor of 1.6x (=1.3 stops). 

A shallow depth of field is a function of a few factors:
3) The distance between the background and the subject

On Crops as apposed to FF:

The ACTUAL focal length of the lens is MUCH smaller to achieve the equivalent perspective of a FF.

The crop factor on the other hand has NOTHING to do with EXPOSURE

These statements have a few inaccuracies.  Subject to background distance affects the OOF blur, but not the depth of field. 

Perspective is solely a function of camera to subject distance.  You mean equivalent field of view.

It depends on how you define exposure. If you mean shutter speed and f/number, it's true that the crop factor has no effect.  But if you mean the exposure triangle, which includes ISO, the FF sensor enables you to bump the ISO up by 1.3 stops and keep the same noise in your image.

You COULD have trouble nailing sharp focus - as since you are shooting wide open - and AF needs good contrast   to nail focus - since you are further away - the persons eyes for example are further away etc. so the AF might not be able to nail tack on.

Makes no sense.  As Meh states, from a greater distance with the same focal length, DoF is deeper, meaning more of the subject should be in sharp focus.  If the framing is the same, the extra distance doesn't matter to the camera's AF system, the subject will cover the same portion of the AF sensor.  If you're even further away, even less problem.  The place focus errors manifest is with close subjects and long focal lengths, where DoF is thinnest.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: branden on November 23, 2011, 01:14:05 PM
As someone who considers himself pretty good at visualizing geometry problems in his head, this particular problem is still very difficult to keep straight.

I never really *actually* understood what was going on until I went and experienced it for myself. I have all the tools -- if I remember I'll get an example posted here soon.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Meh on November 23, 2011, 02:22:28 PM
As someone who considers himself pretty good at visualizing geometry problems in his head, this particular problem is still very difficult to keep straight.

I never really *actually* understood what was going on until I went and experienced it for myself. I have all the tools -- if I remember I'll get an example posted here soon.

+1  excellent point... it's difficult for anyone to visualize because where DoF is concerned there is more than one variable and the relationship/math is not simple.  Angle of view is easier to visualize because it's a simple change in the angle and is the type of thing that is experienced in day to day life.   
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: branden on November 24, 2011, 04:26:42 PM
Ok, here's my attempt at a comparison picture. Although, the lower image quality of the lens on the crop camera makes the results a little difficult to see, there is noticeably more depth of field in the image on the right, and additionally the background objects are not blurred to the same extent.

31mm x 1.6 crop factor =~ 50mm.

(http://www.bf-photo.com/files/focalproj/depth-of-field-compare.jpg)

From this, you can conclude that to fully mimic the full frame camera, a narrower aperture is needed on the 1.6x crop camera if the framing and field of view is otherwise identical.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: branden on November 24, 2011, 04:35:58 PM
Here is another test. Unfortunately, my truck full of hot models and attractive backgrounds was stuck in traffic, so Bender's head in my backyard had to stand in instead.

This test shows two identically-framed loose "head and shoulders" portraits -- one on a full frame camera at 135mm f/5.6, and the other at 85mm f/5.6 on a crop camera. The 1.6x crop factor means the 85mm and the 135mm focal lengths should have very similar fields of view.

(http://www.bf-photo.com/files/focalproj/background-blur-compare.jpg)

You can see considerably more detail in the background in the crop frame shot, showing the relationship between framing, background blur, and frame size. For the 85mm crop frame photo to achieve a similar level of background blur to the full frame 135mm photo, an aperture 1.6x wider would be needed.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: dstppy on December 16, 2011, 09:31:36 AM
For the 85mm crop frame photo to achieve a similar level of background blur to the full frame 135mm photo, an aperture 1.6x wider would be needed.
Excellent statement.
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: pwp on December 17, 2011, 12:16:07 AM
If you had to choose both one zoom and one fixed lens as your go to portrait lens. What would they be?

Back to the OP...

These are easy questions to answer.

Zoom? The 70-200 f/2.8isII is my default portrait lens. This is THE wow lens of the entire Canon range. No photographer should be without one.

Prime? Right now it's the Sigma 50 f/1.4. My Christmas present to myself will be the 135 f/2L so definately that lens will get plenty of prime time too.

Paul Wright
Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: shermanstank on December 17, 2011, 12:55:02 AM
I carry (2) EOS 1V-HS film cameras---  One has the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and the other the 85mm 1.2L II. ----- This is my portraiture zoom+prime set-up.

Cheers!
Sherwin

Title: Re: Your Go To Portrait Lens?
Post by: Rampado on December 17, 2011, 09:26:09 AM
50mm f1.4 usm

If I have a lot of space, 250mm IS