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Author Topic: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?  (Read 8848 times)

1982chris911

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2012, 01:29:39 PM »
Well as the OP does not know the 16-35mm by heart yet and wants probably a safe option to make nice portraits on his honeymoon without too many experiments I would advice him to really please take something in the suggested range of 35-105mm with him as safe backup when not able to achieve the intended shots with the 16-35mm ... It is a great lens for landscape - but portraits always carry a certain flavor that can ruin the pictures if not taken exactly within its limitations in this genre ... 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 01:47:17 PM by 1982chris911 »
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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2012, 01:29:39 PM »

The Bad Duck

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2012, 04:25:59 PM »
When it comes to lenses Jean Reno said it best in the movie Leon;

"The tele is the first lens you learn how to use, because it lets you keep your distance from the client. The closer you get to being a pro, the closer you can get to the client. The super wide angle, for example, is the last thing you learn. "

Ok so perhaps that was not the exact quote...

While focal lengths of about 80-135 will give the most flattering look on your subject, a wide angle combined with a lot of energy can give great results. But be aware of a few things - distortion gets worse the closer to the frame you get. So place your portrait subject in the centre if you want the face to dominate the picture. I think the best way to use a wideangle lens for portraits is to do full body portraits with lots of depth of field. When the head is smaller in the picture its harder to spot if the nose seems a bit too big.

So, CAN you do great portraits with a 16-35? Yes. But it is hard to make them look good. Does it really add anything to your 24-105? Not reall, for portraits. And the 24-105 @ 105 /4 is not too bad when it comes to portraits. So when it comes to your portraits, use the 24-105 most of the time and then go crazy with the 16-35 and try to build up loads of energy - then you really donĀ“t care as much if things looks a bit off.

TexPhoto

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2012, 04:56:50 PM »
When i teach photography i usually explain that long lenses are for taking pictures of things/people, and wide angle lenses are for capturing a whole scene.  Later I tell them this is nonsense, but is a good way to get started.

People will look fine at 16mm if they are part of a scene, not filling the frame.  Also, try to keep them close to the center.  You can stick one in someones face from time to time, but this captures a caricature, and that person had better have a good sense of humor.

16mm?  How about 15mm fisheye:

IMG_1637 by TexPhoto, on Flickr
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 07:38:58 PM by TexPhoto »

wickidwombat

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2012, 06:54:25 PM »
the 16-35 can be great for portraits you just have to be carefull of 2 main things
whatever part of the person is more to the edges of the frame will be more distorted than in the center
and whatever part of the person is closer to the lens will be exagerated / enlarged
you can use these to make interesting creative compositions and actually create quite flatering images if you choose the right angle.
as others have mentioned though you have to be carefull of any angel that makes someones nose grow
its one of my favourite lenses and I love how sharp it is wide open at f2.8
another thing i love it the internal zooming and that it doesnt extend, brilliant feature that i really wish had been incorporated into the new 24-70
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bhavikk

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2012, 07:07:37 PM »
For the OP.

I have the 16-35mm and have used it on a crop body and FF. I mainly shoot events and recently did a entire trip to USA using mostly my 500D and 16-35.

Things you will find when shooting people:
  • Shooting people under 20mm you'll get some wicked distortion of people especially at the wide end.
  • If you frame people at the edges their heads (mainly) will be really wide.
  • Try not shoot people with your camera rotated to portrait/vertical, their heads will usually be elongated and it looks very odd.
  • The closer you are to the subject, you will get interesting effects (don't shoot people like this). See the horse head picture or the babies foot

I prefer shooting horizontal for nearly everything, so I don't shoot vertical unless I want to capture entire body or if the object is just too tall (like a building/tower).

What I recommend is to shoot your wife, actually maybe not your wife since she will want to see the photos. Maybe a square cube, with the lens at different focal lengths and distance from the camera. This will give you a feel for the distortion etc.

This will give you a feel for the camera/lens before you go on your honeymoon and you'll get great pictures of you wife :)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 07:11:46 PM by bhavikk »
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elflord

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2012, 09:22:04 PM »
the 16-35 can be great for portraits you just have to be carefull of 2 main things
whatever part of the person is more to the edges of the frame will be more distorted than in the center
and whatever part of the person is closer to the lens will be exagerated / enlarged
you can use these to make interesting creative compositions

Yep. This thread wouldn't be complete without mentioning Platon http://www.platonphoto.com/, a portrait photographer who makes creative use of perspective distortion. However, this is not a task to be undertaken lightly, it's always a bit risky, and even he gets himself in trouble at times with his approach (e.g. the infamous "crotch shot" of Bill Clinton for Time magazine). So my advice to OP would be that, for the sake of your marriage, stick with nice telephoto shots for portraits when you're taking portrait shots of your wife (85mm-135mm or 50-85 on APS-C)  or  slightly wider (50mm on FF, 35mm on APS-C) for full body portraits.

If you or your friends end up having kids, they make very good subjects for wide angle shots.

dirtcastle

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2012, 09:32:44 PM »
A few strategies...

1. Shoot toward the long end.
2. Keep subjects away from corners and edges as much as possible.
3. Crop! On a 5D3 you could probably crop out half the image and be fine.
4. Experiment with lens correction in post (admitedly, I often find this unsatisfactory).
5. Try unusual angles and poses. This is where a wide angle can shine in portraits because sometimes the distortion can give the shot a more dynamic/energetic feel.

Here's an example...


birthday party by Eric Nord, on Flickr
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 09:36:42 PM by dirtcastle »

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2012, 09:32:44 PM »

dirtcastle

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2012, 09:44:45 PM »

Yep. This thread wouldn't be complete without mentioning Platon http://www.platonphoto.com/, a portrait photographer who makes creative use of perspective distortion.

Anyone know what lenses Platon uses? I'm especially curious about what he used for his UN world leader portraits.

Axilrod

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2012, 10:16:17 PM »

Yep. This thread wouldn't be complete without mentioning Platon http://www.platonphoto.com/, a portrait photographer who makes creative use of perspective distortion.

Anyone know what lenses Platon uses? I'm especially curious about what he used for his UN world leader portraits.

He shoots Hasselblad so I'm sure one of their very pricey wide-angle lenses.  It's probably their 28mm, which is about as wide as a 16mm on a Full Frame DSLR. 

As for the OP, yes the 16-35mm is a great lens and you can have a lot of fun with it.  It's not as great wide open in my opinion but at around f/4-f/5.6 it's pretty damn sharp. 
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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2012, 12:24:55 AM »
The 16-35 is a fantastic lens.  Good for lots of stuff, including portraits.  Just play with it a bit first and you will learn how to use it to avoid distortion.

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2012, 12:25:15 AM »
(e.g. the infamous "crotch shot" of Bill Clinton for Time magazine)

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Caps18

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2012, 12:33:24 AM »
Yes, you can use it, but make sure you are far enough away from the camera and like others have said, not near the corners on 16mm-20mm.  Most people use 28mm on their point & shoot cameras, and their pictures come out fine.

I would also take along a 50mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.8, but then again, it is a honeymoon and taking pictures shouldn't be the #1 priority.

Practice first.  And have some good example photos in mind.

If you get a UV filter, I recommend the B+W slim 82mm one...  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/132979-REG/B_W_66026943_82mm_UV_Haze_010.html
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1982chris911

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2012, 02:40:46 AM »
So my advice to OP would be that, for the sake of your marriage, stick with nice telephoto shots for portraits when you're taking portrait shots of your wife ...

I was really laughing when I read this cause I was just thinking the exact same ... Otherwise he would maybe end up with the choice of keeping photography as a hobby or his marriage after the trip when SHE sees the distorted results ... ;-)   
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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2012, 02:40:46 AM »

KeeFy

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2012, 09:20:54 PM »
If used correctly it's an awesome lens.



16mm f2.8 1/80 ISO12800
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 09:31:16 AM by KeeFy »

Danielle

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2012, 02:53:42 PM »
The 16-35 is approximately (or is that ironically) the same kind of point of view on ff as my 10-22 on my 7d.

Used well, it's awesome as others have said. I see 35mm full frame as only fractionally wide. Very usable for people.

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Re: Shooting people with a 16-35... Any good ?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2012, 02:53:42 PM »