September 18, 2014, 07:48:14 AM

Author Topic: Help me choose a camera & lens combination for beauty/fashion headshots  (Read 8576 times)

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4506
    • View Profile
the 5Dmk2 and the 85 f1.8 will be fine for starting out as its not too tight to still be able to shoot full body with out being a mile away
APS-H Fanboy

canon rumors FORUM


DCM1024

  • Guest
My name is Debbie Moore. In addition to being a photographer, I am a licensed Cosmetology Instructor at a well-known school. I teach students how to apply makeup, eyelashes, cut, color, highlight, perm hair, etc. Based upon your budget and objective, I would go with 5d2, 100mm macro & 28-105. If your budget is tight, buy refurb from Canon. We've gotten "like new" gear that way. Rebel t2i can give superb results in good light - all professional models on my website shot with that camera and kit lenses, but 5d2 sharper, more detailed, better in low light. Good luck!

Smith

  • Guest
Fashion and beauty are not usually very demanding on high ISO performance. This means that one of the benefits of using full frame is not even a necessity for you. You will mostly be shooting at base ISO with smaller apertures. The most important thing for you is the lighting. If you're serious about shooting beauty you need to budget for decent strobes and modifiers. Alien Bees / Einsteins are a popular place to start. The lighting and modifier will have much more impact on beauty pictures than any DSLR or lens. I would save the money by not buying FF for now and invest in great lights. You can easily upgrade the DSLR later but it's important to hone your lighting skills.

Also, although this is a Canon forum I would recommend that you also consider Nikon if you're starting a new kit. For your budget the Nikon D3200 might be a great place to start. Although beauty is not demanding on the sensor you will be doing a crazy amount of Photoshop work. You need files that can stand up to a lot of manipulation. For editing it's helpful to have files that have higher resolution and are free from pattern noise. You'll be doing a lot dodge and burning.

In the order of importance for beauty I would say it's

1) strobes / modifiers
2) Photoshop skills
3) lenses
4) DSLR


unkbob

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 114
    • View Profile
5D2 + 100L. You'll find the IS handy and it's a great lens for close-up and portrait work. A used 5D2 is within budget, and there are plenty out there due to people upgrading.

surfbum

  • Guest
Wow and I thought I was getting overwhelmed before!
All this helpful advice is awesome and so long as my brain doesn’t explode and make a mess everywhere is much appreciated.

It now seems that I vastly overestimated the capability of normal lenses for the taking of fine detail and tight headshots which would be a majority of my photos.
If  I understand correctly either extension tubes or a specialised macro lens would be essential.
I am however a little confused by the science of macro lenses.
If the increased magnification is a result of the much closer focusing distances possible with macro lenses, wouldn’t this then also give an unattractive perspective and/or distortion? (fine for a bug but not so much for a model)
If this is the case would a 150or 180mm Macro be if not a solution a better proposition.
Also along those lines I discovered a discontinued however still available Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II Telephoto Zoom for $685.00
It looks to be very big and heavy with no stabilisation and non Canon which is a shame but is within budget and it would save getting and fiddling with two lenses or extension tubes. There doesn’t seem to be another lens like it either Canon or anyone else. It also doesn’t appear to be a 1:1 Macro which may or may not be a problem.

Also I’m sorry, I didn’t realise a 5Dc was the original 5D and not the 5Dii I will also consider that model however probably only if I can somehow get hold of a new one with warranty etc.

Thanks also for those great links – must study!

dhofmann

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Macro lenses are all telephoto lenses, so the field of view is so narrow that distortion is not noticeable. What macro gives you beyond non-macro lenses is the added ability to get so close that an eyeball would fill the whole frame and still be in focus. Plus, macro lenses tend to be very sharp.
t2i

koolman

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
    • Pictures Of Jerusalem
Here is my 2 cents. For shooting in a well lit area on a tripod - the t2i should be more then enough. I would invest more in the glass then the body. The canon 85mm on the t2i - should be fine, as you need to stand further away and have the magnification of a 135mm lens.

So t2i + 85mm = < $1,000.

I would add the 50mm 1.4 - as it is also an excellent portrait choice.

So you can get the whole set for $1,500. Save your cash, and add as needed.
Jerusalem Photographer (canon t2i, 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50 non VC, canon 60mm, canon 35mm L,Samyang 14mm MF,Voigtlander 20mm MF)

canon rumors FORUM


surfbum

  • Guest
Doh! I couldn't work out why my post hadn't come up till I realised there was a whole nuther page -  I think I need some sleep

OMG! lots more information too.

No pretensions about being a pro photographer more just to document various looks while I have girls in the salon. Unfortunately I wasted years and hundreds of wonderful clients  and creations by not photographing them. I started doing this last year and my clients and I love it.

I have found the flatter the light the better otherwise the make-up looks unbalanced and even different  coloured.
I use a fluro light box above and behind me and a reflector chest level in front of them.
I imagine getting a super close shot with a macro lens and not blocking the light will take some manoeuvring

I will study the comments some more, but first - must sleep!

kirillica

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 65
    • View Profile
    • LinnikVisuals
For those seeing no difference between crop and ff:
- difference exists, and it's huge: in DoF and DR/IQ.

If you want to start shooting fashion, you must have gear according to the fashion level you want to shot. If it's some school stuff, then it's Kiss camera. Going to pro means going to (at least) FF.

I would suggest kiss+85mm as starter level and 5dm2 or 3 + 100mm IS/70-200 f4 is as semi-pro/pro.

koolman

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
    • Pictures Of Jerusalem
For those seeing no difference between crop and ff:
- difference exists, and it's huge: in DoF and DR/IQ.

If you want to start shooting fashion, you must have gear according to the fashion level you want to shot. If it's some school stuff, then it's Kiss camera. Going to pro means going to (at least) FF.

I would suggest kiss+85mm as starter level and 5dm2 or 3 + 100mm IS/70-200 f4 is as semi-pro/pro.

Nobody said there is "no difference between crop and FF". The question was advice on a logical step up from a p&s on a budget. Sure for super quality on a full pro level the sky is the limit. For a person making their first step in the DSLR word, the t2i is a very good option.
Jerusalem Photographer (canon t2i, 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50 non VC, canon 60mm, canon 35mm L,Samyang 14mm MF,Voigtlander 20mm MF)

kirillica

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 65
    • View Profile
    • LinnikVisuals
For those seeing no difference between crop and ff:
- difference exists, and it's huge: in DoF and DR/IQ.

If you want to start shooting fashion, you must have gear according to the fashion level you want to shot. If it's some school stuff, then it's Kiss camera. Going to pro means going to (at least) FF.

I would suggest kiss+85mm as starter level and 5dm2 or 3 + 100mm IS/70-200 f4 is as semi-pro/pro.

Nobody said there is "no difference between crop and FF". The question was advice on a logical step up from a p&s on a budget. Sure for super quality on a full pro level the sky is the limit. For a person making their first step in the DSLR word, the t2i is a very good option.
BTW, that's what I'm talking about: amateur photographer for amateur fashion shots - rebel is the choice.

RLPhoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3450
  • Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
For those seeing no difference between crop and ff:
- difference exists, and it's huge: in DoF and DR/IQ.

If you want to start shooting fashion, you must have gear according to the fashion level you want to shot. If it's some school stuff, then it's Kiss camera. Going to pro means going to (at least) FF.

I would suggest kiss+85mm as starter level and 5dm2 or 3 + 100mm IS/70-200 f4 is as semi-pro/pro.

Nobody said there is "no difference between crop and FF". The question was advice on a logical step up from a p&s on a budget. Sure for super quality on a full pro level the sky is the limit. For a person making their first step in the DSLR word, the t2i is a very good option.
BTW, that's what I'm talking about: amateur photographer for amateur fashion shots - rebel is the choice.

Rebel Crop sensor with 18mp or A equally priced 5Dc with 12mp for fashion? I'd prefer the full frame option.

Full frame sensors will resolve more detail per MP than a crop frame. It makes terrible lenses look better and coupled with the 100mm F/2, would be a supreme setup.

DCM1024

  • Guest
Oh, I thought you were getting paid by someone else to take the photos. The T2i gives outstanding results in good light. All of the professional models on my website were shot with the T2i and kit lenses (18-55 and 55-250). If you want to see sample, please visit http://www.debbiemoorephoto.com I have just upgraded to the 5D3 as I am now shooting alot of weddings and needed the low light capability.

canon rumors FORUM


DCM1024

  • Guest
Meant to say 5D2, we are waiting for a 5D3 eval unit from Canon to see if we want to add that as well.

surfbum

  • Guest
Thanks for your advice Debbie, I love your photos and website. I also occasionally teach classes and when they’re all enthusiastic and keen to learn, it’s fantastic. When the parents have paid and forced them to do the course out of desperation some of those teenage girls can be a nightmare. One or two with attitude can disrupt the whole class and make it such hard work. As you know I’m sure.

As it must be ok to post personal links here, please come by my facebook page to see what I’m up to.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kylies-Professional/105262239524864

As I mentioned I have no desire to become a professional photographer, I already have too much to do and never enough time to do it. I do have a desire to take better photos however and believe moving to a SLR whether crop or FF is my next logical step.

I occasionally hire photographers and they hire me for hair and make-up. I’m discreet and they don’t mind me taking a few behind the scenes photos on shoots, some have even asked me for copies of shots of them working, which is pretty cool. I am a little worried their attitude may change if I am sporting a professional’s camera and big white pro L lenses  I have seen some get quite angry at other unofficial photographers, which I can totally understand.

Regarding the lighting which I have only just begun to appreciate and read somewhat. My salon environment is very cluttered with chairs, trolleys, steamers etc so I cannot get too fancy. My highest priority is to show off my make-up to best effect and I have found very flat, shadowless lighting seems to do this best.
I would love to get some of the recommended Alien Bees equipment and think that his ABR800 RingFlash and Moon Unit combo would be ideal for what I’m after. Though some of those ‘Moon Units’One are as tall as I am, which would make it interesting outside on a windy day.

I have found Tamron also do a 70-200 f2.8 Macro with supposedly better IQ though worse AF than the Sigma version. Smaller and lighter too though alas no stabilisation either. Also seems crazy cheap at around $700
I am surprised Canon is not bothering contesting this sector with macro also.  Perhaps they think it would cannibalise their Macro prime sales.

I had a play with a 5dii, the size and weight was a bit of a shock after my little toy camera. I didn’t get to try any of the big 70-200s on it but I don’t imagine I would want to carry that combo around for too long.
 Still no 650Ds or 18-135 STM lenses in the local shops to play and compare with so I will keep studying.

 Thanks everyone for the helpful advice, lots of good stuff to digest and confuse lol.

canon rumors FORUM