July 22, 2014, 04:36:55 PM

Author Topic: Portrait photography - suggestions  (Read 4391 times)

bycostello

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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 10:51:54 AM »
+1 with unfocuses...

your body is fine...  and your lens, the 50mm is an 80mm wiht the cropped sensor which is perfect for portraits.

You want your lens close to your subject so your 430 is also fine.  If you want to get fancy a 2nd/ 3rd flash for har and backround lights.  But and off camera flash trigger of some sort is essential, the ste2 is great as you keep using ttl if you wish.

what you probably need more than anything is a light stand and light modifier such as a soft box or umbrella.

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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 10:51:54 AM »

ronderick

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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 10:34:06 PM »
Funny that there was a similar discussion in my office a few days ago involving one of my co-workers and an intern on this subject. ;D

To sum it up, the good thing with starting in portrait shots (as opposed to landscape) is that you have more factors that you can control (it's easier to arrange a photo session with your subject as opposed to waiting for Mother Nature to stop the rain at the National Park which is 8-hour drive away).

Like what others said, primes are great for portraits since you get faster lens at an affordable price, and there's no need to worry about using a zoom lens to cover places you cannot enter on foot.

However, u'll probably need to invest in gears such as reflectors, strobe diffusers, strobe cable, wireless trigger, multiple strobes, etc. (The good news is that you can buy several of these items for the same price of a Gitzo tripod).

It's also nice to have another friend along, who can hold the reflector for you when you take shots of the subject.

Lighting system? You can always start out with outdoor lighting if ur not ready to invest in a studio setup.
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NotABunny

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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2011, 04:34:15 AM »
What about the glass, I know it is most important, but what is best for this situation?


Portraiture isn't a simple situation as it may seem. The kind of portraits that one can make can vary wildly. But at the same time, portraits are quite forgiving in regard to lenses, focal length wise and f-number wise. There are however lenses that are more versatile, and those are the lenses with a small F-number because they allow you to get a good background blur regardless of subject magnification; but is less useful in a studio.

As for focal length, it depends on what kind of distortion you like: amplifying (short FL) or reducing (long FL) depth / tridimensionality. Around 50 mm on a full frame should about what the human eye sees. Here is what I mean: http://www.stepheneastwood.com/tutorials/lensdistortion/strippage.htm

If you like to shoot indoors in environmental light, the body's maximum ISO is going to make a big difference (your 550D has up to 12800, so no problems there), but you should buy a fast prime for your current body and learn from that experience.

I mean isn't anything above 85mm too much for a room?


No. But it really depends on the room size, obstacles, sensor crop, focal length, and subject magnification. They all conspire. I've used 85 mm (F1.8 ) on a 1.6 crop (which means 135 mm on FF) in 3 by 3 (meters) room. It's tight, but you get shoulders and above with ease. (I hear that the F1.2 is not focusing very fast, but I didn't compare it to F1.8.)

1982chris911

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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2011, 04:48:11 AM »
For portrait I guess the following would be a good equipment to start with nice results

Body: 5d MkII (more detail, better ISO) AF is not that important if you shot steady subjects so the 5d MKII one should work OK for you ...   

Lenses: 50mm f1.4 or f1.2L , 85mm f1.2L and 70-200 f2.8 IS II

So the 50mm is for indoor use and full body, 85mm tighter like shoulder or half body and the 70-200 makes a great flexible outdoor lens outperforming the 200 f2.8 L and being more flexible in regards of framing...

         
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dr croubie

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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2011, 06:24:11 AM »
Lenses: 50mm f1.4 or f1.2L , 85mm f1.2L and 70-200 f2.8 IS II

and if you can't afford all of that, try subbing out the 85 1.2L for the 85/1.8, sigma 85/1.4, or samyang 85/1.4, for a fraction of the price. Nothing wrong with no AF if it's a sit-down portrait :o
70-200 f/2.8 non-IS can also save you a bit of scratch, especially if you're outside, well lit, and for portraits you'll be at f/2.8 anyway.
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1982chris911

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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2011, 06:59:16 AM »
Lenses: 50mm f1.4 or f1.2L , 85mm f1.2L and 70-200 f2.8 IS II

and if you can't afford all of that, try subbing out the 85 1.2L for the 85/1.8, sigma 85/1.4, or samyang 85/1.4, for a fraction of the price. Nothing wrong with no AF if it's a sit-down portrait :o
70-200 f/2.8 non-IS can also save you a bit of scratch, especially if you're outside, well lit, and for portraits you'll be at f/2.8 anyway.

For the 85mm I agree the L lens is of course a little overkill but if the funds are available you won't go wrong with it ...

For the 70-200mm I disagree for two reasons. First the IQ of the IS2 is significantly higher making primes in the longer range obsolete, till it comes to the very professional ones (200mm f2, 300mm f2.8 and 400mm f2.8)  and together with Ext 2x III it will be quite usable till 400mm and secondly the IS2 will make it far better regarding the results as 200mm f2.8 is already quite hard to hold in low light without IS ... a third reason is that this lens is quite new and very stable in value, so money is not really lost as long as it in good shape. That is also true for the 85mm f1.2 compared with the third party ones...     
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ablearcher

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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2011, 11:37:29 AM »
It all depends on your style/desired style of home portraiture. For available light you will need primes. You will also benefit from a 5D/7D body.  However, if you are trying to build a studio-like setup, then you will mostly need lights & modifyers. And by lights I mean monolights, not the speedlights. The 550D will do just fine along with a decent zoom (personally, I am using 24-105L most of the time for studio shots). Don't get me wrong - I love primes, but for a studio setup they provide almost no benefit as you stop down anyway. I believe the most cost effective way to handle photography as a hobby is to know what you actually want to achieve and then picking up equipment accordingly.
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Re: Portrait photography - suggestions
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2011, 11:37:29 AM »