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Author Topic: Portrait lens for canon  (Read 3590 times)
Robert DeCandido PhD
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« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2013, 01:04:59 AM »
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with the Canon 24-105 F4 lens - at F8...in Janakpur, Nepal in early December 2013

I have a love-hate relationship with this lens...It covers a lot of focal lengths, has IS, and is relatively small compared to others in this range - a great travel lens and if I lose (damage) it, it won't make me cry to replace it. On the other hand, I wish I had the Tamron 24-70 IS F2.8 or the new canon F2.8...
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jrsforums
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« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2013, 10:17:04 AM »
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with the Canon 24-105 F4 lens - at F8...in Janakpur, Nepal in early December 2013

I have a love-hate relationship with this lens...It covers a lot of focal lengths, has IS, and is relatively small compared to others in this range - a great travel lens and if I lose (damage) it, it won't make me cry to replace it. On the other hand, I wish I had the Tamron 24-70 IS F2.8 or the new canon F2.8...

I have two 24-105 lenses (two cameras, backup).  I recently got the new 24-70 2.8 II.....it has not been off my camera since.  You do not have to pixel-peek to see the difference....very impressive glass.
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John
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« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2013, 12:31:05 PM »
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The 135L is one of the fastest focuing lenses I've ever used, on everything from a 5D (good), 5D2 (less good), 1ds, 1ds2, 1ds3 (GREAT).

The 85 1.2II is slowish but accurate on a 5D, same on the 5D2, and great on the 1ds series. Its not an easy lens to use, at first.  At F2.2 the focusing errors, however slight, are generally covered by DOF.


I can't really explain this, but some lenses just work well with some cameras.  I guess because cameras are now the film.

Anyway.

I don't think just the focusing properties really match the look of a camera to lens.  I have the 1.8 and 1.2, used the 1.8 like crazy with the 1ds1, less so with the 1ds2,3 and not because of shooting wide open it just seems the 1.2 stopped down is prettier the later 1 series than the first 1ds.  I know that probably makes no sense but it does to me.

I use the contax 55mm all the time in horizontal orientation.

Kathy Ryan would love it if every photo was taken with New York available light and 50mm, with orange cheeks, and crushed down darks for the "I use to do heroin" now I live with my parents in Queens look. 

That look really wouldn't apply to a portrait studio in Omaha.

I think one thing that is important is to stick with one lens, especially for personal work.  There is something that happens when you only use one lens.  You start seeing the world through that frame and only that frame.

Switching lens all the time is like dating three people at once.   Eventually your going to get their names mixed up.

Maybe that's why I hate zooms (though I use the damn things).



IMO

BC
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2013, 12:57:32 PM »
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Allegretto asked me: "Do you have much experience with the Zeiss MF's?"

A bit. It depends on how you define "much". I think I have enough that I would not recommend the longer focal length ones for shooting a wedding with. The problem is not the lenses (they are great optical instruments and feel great in the hand) but manual focusing using the viewfinder on today's DSLRs . Maybe it's my eyes but I find a well tuned AF system (I tune the phase-based autofocus systems in my cameras'  to the AF lenses I deploy by using a LensAlign Mark II target and FocusTune software combination) is consistently more accurately than manually focusing through the viewfinder.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 07:15:27 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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TMARK
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« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2013, 01:04:37 PM »
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Kathy gets roped in by hype.  



Kathy Ryan would love it if every photo was taken with New York available light and 50mm, with orange cheeks, and crushed down darks for the "I use to do heroin" now I live with my parents in Queens look. 

That look really wouldn't apply to a portrait studio in Omaha.


BC
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2013, 01:08:22 PM »
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Do either of you ever work with Kathy?
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2013, 01:09:40 PM »
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In another life.

Do either of you ever work with Kathy?
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bcooter
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« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2013, 01:14:05 PM »
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Kathy gets roped in by hype.  


Ya think?


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TMARK
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« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2013, 03:01:02 PM »
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Perfect.

She usually has three catagories of images:  SVA MFA flavor of the month, usually looks like cheap versions of Jurgen Teller/Soth/Platon/Mary Mark/Martin Schoeller/T-Bone; relatively unknown shooter who is REALLY GOOD; and the usual suspects of editorial guys/gals, namely Jurgen Teller/Soth/Platon/Mary Mark/Martin Schoeller/T-Bone.



Ya think?


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bcooter
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« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2013, 03:21:14 PM »
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Perfect.

She usually has three catagories of images:  SVA MFA flavor of the month, usually looks like cheap versions of Jurgen Teller/Soth/Platon/Mary Mark/Martin Schoeller/T-Bone; relatively unknown shooter who is REALLY GOOD; and the usual suspects of editorial guys/gals, namely Jurgen Teller/Soth/Platon/Mary Mark/Martin Schoeller/T-Bone.




I like the work of all the photographers you mentioned, but from the cover I posted I'm amazed any of these subjects made the cover because I don't think they've hosted Saturday Night Live and at least one person is smiling.

Photojournalism has fallen.


BC
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MrSmith
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« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2013, 04:41:40 PM »
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Is that a low rent pastiche bargain basement austerity cover? Only I don't get all yank cultural references.
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TMARK
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« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2013, 07:19:11 PM »
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I like all the shooters I've mentioned very much. I see some people Kathy uses who are, uh hum, influenced by the shooters I mentioned.

And yes, the NYT Mag is for the most part far, far from photojournalism. 

I like the work of all the photographers you mentioned, but from the cover I posted I'm amazed any of these subjects made the cover because I don't think they've hosted Saturday Night Live and at least one person is smiling.

Photojournalism has fallen.


BC
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wnichols
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« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2013, 08:30:43 PM »
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If you are looking to shoot weddings, any kind of event action do not spend the money on the 85MM 1.2.  I have it, I love it, autofocus is slow and terrible, the lens is incredible though.

As someone mentioned the 100MM F2.8 Macro is a great portrait lens, as is the 135 F2, the 70-200 is a great lens to add to your 24-70.

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NickNod
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« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2013, 12:04:36 AM »
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Agreee. Damn it, there are hunreds of lens  Grin
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2013, 02:41:54 AM »
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I shot a gig last week. 5D3 + 70-200mm f2.8 IS was my main stay. It basically gets the job done. AF is reliable. The zoom give me the flexibility and f2.8 is sharp enough for most applications.

After I ticked off the money shots with the zoom I used my zeiss 100MP and new world class zeiss 135mm f2 Sonnar for a few. Wow, I nailed the manual focus on the leading eye with the 135mm @ f2 and the images were out of this world!

There is no right or wrong lens just what ever the photographer is comfortable with to get the job done.





 
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Lightsmith
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« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2013, 12:36:48 PM »
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In terms of a prime lens on a full frame camera my preferred lens is the Nikon 105mm f2 DC. It provides a better working distance than the 85mm and it is still short enough to be easily used indoors. I dislike the 85mm when I was using a crop camera that turned it into a 135mm focal length as indoors it was often too long. Outdoors I use the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm zooms.

It seems that few people think of the 70-200mm f2.8 as a portrait or people lens but it is in fact excellent for this purpose. Nice bokeh and blurred out backgrounds thanks to the shallower DOF with the longer focal length. A 50mm lens may need f2 for shallow DOF but at 150-200mm a smaller aperture can be used to the same effect.

An excellent Nikon lens is the 24-105mm f4 IS lens but it is too slow for general wedding photography during the ceremony or reception. I rented one and used it for 15 minutes during a reception and took it off as it was too slow for the available light. With low light my cameras need f2.8 glass to focus fast enough to catch the shots with proper framing. Outdoors the 24-105mm is not as good a choice as the 70-200mm lens.

I would not bother with the 70-200mm f4 lens as it is not fast enough for use in photographing wedding ceremonies or receptions 100% of the time whereas the f2.8 version is fast enough even in dimly lit churches, which seems to be the rule, and candle lit receptions which are also commonplace.

With both weddings and engagement sessions one needs to be taking pictures and not frequently changing lenses. With two cameras during the bridal prep I will have the 105mm on one camera and the 24-70mm on the other and I do not need to make a lens change. I have the option of switching out the 24-70mm for a 14-24mm 2.8 lens (or with Canon I used the much less sharp 16-35mm f2.Cool for broader environmental shots during the prep, ceremony, and reception. For engagement shoots the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm are all that is needed if used properly with care as to the backgrounds, shooting angles, and apertures used.

If in doubt about the usefulness of a particular lens it pays to rent one for a week and try it out. It is inexpensive to do this and you avoid the risk of having something you will seldom use and end up selling at a loss in a year's time.

I can get all the shots my clients want with the 16mm fisheye, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, and a +4 Closeup lens that I use on both zooms. I used to carry along a macro lens and 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 105mm primes. The primes were completely unnecessary and more of a crutch than must have lenses with today's cameras. 10 years ago f1.4 primes were essential but the autofocus and high ISO capabilities of DSLR's has greatly improved since that time.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2013, 05:50:30 AM »
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In terms of a prime lens on a full frame camera my preferred lens is the Nikon 105mm f2 DC. It provides a better working distance than the 85mm and it is still short enough to be easily used indoors. I dislike the 85mm when I was using a crop camera that turned it into a 135mm focal length as indoors it was often too long. Outdoors I use the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm zooms.

It seems that few people think of the 70-200mm f2.8 as a portrait or people lens but it is in fact excellent for this purpose. Nice bokeh and blurred out backgrounds thanks to the shallower DOF with the longer focal length. A 50mm lens may need f2 for shallow DOF but at 150-200mm a smaller aperture can be used to the same effect.

An excellent Nikon lens is the 24-105mm f4 IS lens but it is too slow for general wedding photography during the ceremony or reception. I rented one and used it for 15 minutes during a reception and took it off as it was too slow for the available light. With low light my cameras need f2.8 glass to focus fast enough to catch the shots with proper framing. Outdoors the 24-105mm is not as good a choice as the 70-200mm lens.

I would not bother with the 70-200mm f4 lens as it is not fast enough for use in photographing wedding ceremonies or receptions 100% of the time whereas the f2.8 version is fast enough even in dimly lit churches, which seems to be the rule, and candle lit receptions which are also commonplace.

With both weddings and engagement sessions one needs to be taking pictures and not frequently changing lenses. With two cameras during the bridal prep I will have the 105mm on one camera and the 24-70mm on the other and I do not need to make a lens change. I have the option of switching out the 24-70mm for a 14-24mm 2.8 lens (or with Canon I used the much less sharp 16-35mm f2.Cool for broader environmental shots during the prep, ceremony, and reception. For engagement shoots the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm are all that is needed if used properly with care as to the backgrounds, shooting angles, and apertures used.

If in doubt about the usefulness of a particular lens it pays to rent one for a week and try it out. It is inexpensive to do this and you avoid the risk of having something you will seldom use and end up selling at a loss in a year's time.

I can get all the shots my clients want with the 16mm fisheye, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, and a +4 Closeup lens that I use on both zooms. I used to carry along a macro lens and 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 105mm primes. The primes were completely unnecessary and more of a crutch than must have lenses with today's cameras. 10 years ago f1.4 primes were essential but the autofocus and high ISO capabilities of DSLR's has greatly improved since that time.


I pretty much agree with everything you say here - and in fact for weddings I could shoot everything on just two lenses, the 24-70 and 70-200, and for years that is what I did.  But then I got bored - the lenses are too bland (although excellent) and I needed a challenge.  Which is why I mostly use primes, some of them MF.
I don't really agree that you need an f2.8 rather than an f4 70-200 for interior shots.  I do have the 2.8, but with the way high ISO copes now I think an f4 would be fine.  I rarely use above 1600 on my five year old camera, but if I had the latest bodies I would go much higher I'm sure.

To go back to the original post, I think lenses are such a personal thing that you just have to try a lens and use it a lot to get a feel for it.  Life would be very boring if there was just one perfect lens and I like having a change now and then.  I find the harder something is to do the more I rise to the challenge and find ways around the limitations.  It's interesting to see all the different opinions in this thread about lenses, and what a great thing that is.  Each to their own.

Jim
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