prime lens for portrait photos recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by fatboybrando, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. fatboybrando

    fatboybrando Guest

    Hi folks

    I've been looking at the canon 50mm f2.5 macro to use with my 350D and
    EOS5 cameras for portrait photos. Has anyone used this lens and have
    some advice on suitability and or quality or should I just opt for the
    50mm f1.8 mark2 lens?

    fatboybrando, Mar 22, 2006
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  2. fatboybrando

    C J Southern Guest

    I use a 24-70 F2.8L USM - it's very versatile, and produces very
    high-quality images on a 20D
    C J Southern, Mar 23, 2006
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  3. fatboybrando

    bmoag Guest

    You want a flat, slightly telephoto lens with a widish maximum aperture: the
    flattening effect tends to be more flattering, these lenses are sharper and
    have less distortion.
    All rules have exceptions if you know what you want and how to achieve it.
    Generally 35mm/dSLR portraiture works best with a slightly longer than 50mm
    focal length, usually in the 85-100mm category even on an APS sized dSLR
    sensor. You must experiment and see what works for you.
    I am sure Canon users have many personal preferences. I am not a Canon fan
    and express no specific recommendation.
    You most assuredly do not want a zoom lens for critical portraiture.
    IMHOP lighting and the mood you create for your subject are actually more
    important than the camera and lens.
    Also there are wonderful ways of modifying portraits with Photoshop that are
    very pleasing to subjects that probably also are more important than
    specifics of camera and lens.
    bmoag, Mar 23, 2006
  4. fatboybrando

    l e o Guest

    50/1.8 doesn't have the reputation of having good bokeh. Most people
    suggest 50/1.4 or 85/1.8.
    l e o, Mar 23, 2006
  5. fatboybrando

    Larry Guest

    The 85mm f1.8 would be a better choice. Much better bokeh than 50 1.8
    which has a pentagonal diaphragm.
    Larry, Mar 23, 2006
  6. Probably a bit too sharp, but the perspective will at least be right.
    Randall Ainsworth, Mar 23, 2006
  7. Today fatboybrando commented courteously on the subject at
    If you mean portaits of people, you might look to something
    longer. Pros often (but not always) use from 85 to 105mm lenses
    to do facial portaits to intentional foreshorten human features.

    People tend to like the look because it minimizes "defects" they
    don't like in themselves such as large noses, large ears,
    receding chins or hairlines, large Adams Apples, and other
    things that look a little more flattering when flattened some.
    The opposite is also true - taking portraits with a 35mm lens
    will make most people look like Alfred E. Neumann and the
    photographer won't get much business once the "word" gets
    All Things Mopar, Mar 23, 2006
  8. fatboybrando

    Skip M Guest

    It'll be right on the 350D, but not on the 5, a film camera. An 85, or a
    24-70 may be a better compromise for use on both cameras.
    Skip M, Mar 23, 2006
  9. fatboybrando

    Skip M Guest

    It'll be tough to get a lens that will serve as a portrait lens on both a
    1.6x crop digital camera and a 35mm film camera. A 50mm figures out to
    80mm, which is within the realm for a slight telephoto for portraits. Most
    prefer a length between 70 and 100mm, sometimes as long as 135mm. So, a 50mm
    will probably be too short for the 5, since you'll have to get very close to
    your subject to fill the frame, and that could lead to some distortion. But
    an 85 f1.8 or 100 f2, my personal preference on 35mm are too long, equaling
    a 136mm (at the long end of useful) and 160mm, only useful if you are
    shooting in a barn...
    Skip M, Mar 23, 2006
  10. fatboybrando

    Don Guest


    I was using the 50mm 1.8 yesterday evening for portraits of people and dogs.
    I had started out with the 24 - 105 L F4 but changed to the 1.8 to see how I
    could better manipulate the DOF. I was very happy with the 50mm. The bokeh
    seemed fine to me but maybe I am not to critical. Was shooting in the late
    evening and the colour and contrast of the 50mm was great. For the money on
    a 350D its pretty good value (I was using it on a 1Dmk2n).


    Don, Mar 23, 2006
  11. fatboybrando

    Peter Guest

    I've been looking at the canon 50mm f2.5 macro to use with my 350D and
    I second 50/1.4.

    Peter, Mar 23, 2006
  12. fatboybrando

    U-Know-Who Guest

    Wait a few days, and I'll post a picture with the results of the 50 1.8 II.
    I just ordered one from B&H. I've been meaning to for a while, but after
    reading how it's just too good a deal to pass on, I ordered today.
    U-Know-Who, Mar 24, 2006
  13. fatboybrando

    Taswolf Guest

    I love mine. (with my 350D)
    Works wonderfully for night/low light shots as well.

    Taswolf, Mar 24, 2006
  14. fatboybrando

    U-Know-Who Guest

    U-Know-Who, Mar 24, 2006
  15. fatboybrando

    U-Know-Who Guest

    Look here:

    I think the shots speak for themselves.
    U-Know-Who, Mar 24, 2006
  16. Randall Ainsworth, Mar 24, 2006
  17. fatboybrando

    AaronW Guest

    We do not look at people up close at very short distance. So for
    portrait usually you want a lens at least 2x as long as "normal", i.e.,
    85mm for full frame, 50mm for 1.6x. For tight portrait, you want
    longer, at least 3x, 135mm for full frame, 85mm for 1.6x. For flatter
    perspective, you want a even longer lens.

    But longer lens needs longer working distance. And if you want to
    change framing, you need to walk more. Longer lens is more difficult to
    stabilize. Longer lens has smaller aperture thus may not be suitable in
    low light. Longer lens is more expensive.

    Longer lens is easier to blur blackground out of recognition. If your
    subject move around a lot, with longer lens you might not need to
    change your position to keep the framing.
    AaronW, Mar 24, 2006
  18. fatboybrando

    Paul J Gans Guest

    The 50mm F/1.8 has saved me on any number of occasions. It
    is just fine in low light, is very sharp, and wrapped in an
    old sock fits rather nicely into a coat pocket.

    ----- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Mar 26, 2006
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