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Author Topic: Help me choose a camera & lens combination for beauty/fashion headshots  (Read 8272 times)

RobertG.

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Hi, for the light source a studio flash would be best but maybe a bit too big for your setting. Consider also a compact flash like the 430EX or the more powerful 580EX + a flash cable (at least 3') + a ring flash adapter like the Orbis for the flat even light.

Of course  ff camera would be the best choice but for the next 2-3  years the 600D or 650D + Ef-S 60mm macro + 18-135mm will do well for you. Better invest in a tripod, editing software and some training and/or good literature. A good camera alone doesn't maje good picture.

If you go ff, the 5DII + EF 100mm macro would be a great choice. BTW, there are good reasons why Canon doesn't make macro zooms: they worse than normal tele zooms and much worse than a proper macro lens.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 07:17:06 PM by RobertG. »
5DII | TS-E 17 mm L | TS-E 24 mm II | EF 35mm f1.4 | TS-E 45mm | EF 50mm f1.4 |
Tamron SP 24-70 f2.8 | EF 85mm f1.8 | TS-E 90mm f2.8 | EF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 L

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surfbum

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Thanks Robert

I recently got a coco flash adapter which is similar to the Orbis & RayFlash and I have use of an old canon 540ez flash (so no ttl metering) I have only tried some test shots so far but using the display histogram I can work out the best settings, distances etc for it.

I have a tripod which I find it essential as I can quickly and easily leave the camera to adjust a reflector, touch up make-up or remove stray hairs.

Yes while it's within budget and cheap I am also not that excited by the Tamron 70-200 Macro either due to it being heavy, non IS and of course non canon <IQ

The 5Dii & 100mm f2.8 Macro is clearly the popular recommendation so I am considering it very seriously.
My biggest concern with the 100mm macro is the distance I would have to be to fill the frame with their face. Neither of us would be comfortable if I must work 1 foot from their nose.
If someone could advise what distance I would be  for say mid neck to hairline framing (portrait on FF) for the 100mm Macro I would very much appreciate it.


kirillica

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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.

To be honest, these photos are "so-so" (mostly flat & dull). And post-processing is not impressing at all.
I had 550D and thought it's an amazing camera. Before I 've started shooting with 5Dm2 and primes ;)

surfbum

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To be honest, these photos are "so-so" (mostly flat & dull).
[/quote]

Heh I swear I could hear the theme music to, 'The good, the bad and the ugly' when I read that :)

Sounds like you're wanting to show us what you've got Partner - cool!

Do you have any tight headshots?

Kernuak

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I'd suggest a 5D or a 5DII refurb and a 100mm f/2.8 macro.

The macro will allow you to basically have no MFD when shooting, so you can get super close for details like eyes and lips. The 85 & 135 while great lenses, will keep you at a distance and force you to crop more for those detail shots.
You can get around that problem by using extension tubes. With a set of Kenko tubes, the 135 is something like 0.45x (I haven't done exact calculations, that's from experience), which is plenty for closeups of facial features. The tubes will have an even bigger affect on the increase in magnification on the 85, although I don't know off hand how the native MFDs compare.
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

surfbum

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A decision has been made! - well 1/2 a one anyway.

I'm going for Full frame and the the 5DII so at least that side of the equation is locked in.

This leaves me about $600 for the lens.

I have had a photographer friend test a 100mm lens and confirmed that the tight, just below chin to middle of forehead portrait that I'm after would require the lens to be about a foot from the persons face.
For 1 or 2 shots this wouldn't be such a problem but as it is the majority of shots I want then it would be a bit too (literally) 'In your face' to be acceptable.

Therefore I am now looking to something up to 200mm or perhaps even more, which with my remaining budget I'm having a hard time ignoring the non-canon options. I'm reasoning some of their latest higher end offerings should be better than canon's quite old low-mid range lenses in this same price sector.

I was hoping for a used Canon 70-200 f4.0 IS which has a reasonable MFD but they seem to fetch around $,1000 so not much cheaper than new anyway.
I also think stabilisation would be essential for me, especially at longer focal lengths outside, on the move. I have gotten quite spoiled by my little Powershots excellent IS.

PS. Kirillica, where are you? Don't be modest :)

wickidwombat

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A decision has been made! - well 1/2 a one anyway.

I'm going for Full frame and the the 5DII so at least that side of the equation is locked in.

This leaves me about $600 for the lens.

I have had a photographer friend test a 100mm lens and confirmed that the tight, just below chin to middle of forehead portrait that I'm after would require the lens to be about a foot from the persons face.
For 1 or 2 shots this wouldn't be such a problem but as it is the majority of shots I want then it would be a bit too (literally) 'In your face' to be acceptable.

Therefore I am now looking to something up to 200mm or perhaps even more, which with my remaining budget I'm having a hard time ignoring the non-canon options. I'm reasoning some of their latest higher end offerings should be better than canon's quite old low-mid range lenses in this same price sector.

I was hoping for a used Canon 70-200 f4.0 IS which has a reasonable MFD but they seem to fetch around $,1000 so not much cheaper than new anyway.
I also think stabilisation would be essential for me, especially at longer focal lengths outside, on the move. I have gotten quite spoiled by my little Powershots excellent IS.

PS. Kirillica, where are you? Don't be modest :)

save another $300 and get the sigma 85mm f1.4 its flatout awesome on the 5Dmk2
ive pretty much stopped using my 70-200 f2.8 since i got the 85 The only lens ive seen sharper than this is probably the 85L at 1.2 and by f2 I think the siggy wins and obviously the 200 f2L

here is a 100% crop from the 85 on 5Dmk3

its only a casual shot at dusk using ambient light at either f1.4 or f2
only VERY expensive L glass beats this lens and this lens beats the 70-200 f2.8L IS II by a lot
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 01:53:35 AM by wickidwombat »
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DCM1024

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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.

To be honest, these photos are "so-so" (mostly flat & dull). And post-processing is not impressing at all.
I had 550D and thought it's an amazing camera. Before I 've started shooting with 5Dm2 and primes ;)


You're right - I should re-edit these photos. Had not yet begun using levels when they were shot. It makes a big difference.

surfbum

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save another $300 and get the sigma 85mm f1.4 its flatout awesome on the 5Dmk2
only VERY expensive L glass beats this lens and this lens beats the 70-200 f2.8L IS II by a lot

Wow that's impressive! I shudder to think what a photo of myself with that level of detail would look like. I don't think I have ever had that few wrinkles, freckles, blemishes etc.

Looking at over $1100 for that lens though so if I were going to blow the budget so spectacularly on one lens then it would need to be something with a bit more length and/or range.

I have been warned that I will blow the budget by at least $300 anyway with various, 'must have' and 'should have' accessories.

Kernuak

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A quick search on B&H shows that these are your options between $500 and $750.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Lens+Types+for+Full+Frame+Cameras_Telephoto+Zoom&ci=15492&N=4288584250+4291570227+4293918093+4109120007+4109120004

And here's a range around the focal length you're looking for.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Lens+Types+for+APS-C+Cameras_Medium+Telephoto&ci=274&N=4288584247+4291570227+4109119982

If you can find a good used copy of the 135 f/2 or even the 200 f/2.8, couple it with a set of Kenko extension tubes (very cheap in the region of $100), then you have a bit more versatility, as both will also take the Canon extenders if you need more working room for some shots.
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

surfbum

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Thanks for the links Kernuak

The 70-300 looks wonderful with it's wide range and IS (cheaper & in budget too!)
but I don't think I should go past the 70-200mm f/4L
It seems to be a popular portrait lens and being an L series Lens should be easily worth the extra $130

I think we have a winner!

dickgrafixstop

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Look at the Rebel T3 package - it's 12 meg image (more than enough up to 16X20"), the kit lens 18-55, a 55-250, and a 13X19 printer
(the ipf9000 for about $600.  You can add either the 85mm f1.8 or 100mm f2.8 for less that $500 and still have a thousand and change
for a flash, studio lights, backdrop, tripod, bag, various filters (ND & polarizing for sure) and other unexpected expenses.  Don't rush into
full frame - just increases the costs with no relative image quality benefits for the stuff you want to do.  While the hardware is "sexy",
your best tool for image quality may well be photoshop and various add-in packages (onone, efx, others)  Unfortunately, all digital images,
no matter what camera you use is only the starting point for great photographs.  Good luck.

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