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Thread: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

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    Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    I have a Sigma f2.8 105 Macro lens, can this be used for portrait photography?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 13th March 2009 at 07:58 PM. Reason: Change Thread Title to Something More Descriptive

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    Re: Just a question

    Nobby the only drawback of using a macro lens for portraiture is the slow auto focus. If your models are children then this lens may not do the job.
    john

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Thanks for this advice John I do have the 50mm f1.8 lens as well

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Using a longer lens and stepping back a bit often produces a better result for head & shoulders shots than getting too close to a persons face. They tend to relax a bit more when you are farther away. Professionals frequently recommend a 90 or 100 mm lens.

    But if it is a full length shot you end up 'on the other side of the road' so a 50mm might be better then.

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Now I am getting confused - I have a 70-210 f4 lens also the nikon kit lens 18-135 as well

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by nobby View Post
    Now I am getting confused - I have a 70-210 f4 lens also the nikon kit lens 18-135 as well
    As a rule, if you use shorter focal lengths, you need to be closer to your subject - and as a result you can end up with perspective distortion (eg in a face shot you can end up with the nose being disproportionally bigger that other facial features). If you use long focal lengths you then suffer from compression (where the nose might appear to be in the same plane as the ears). The optimal focal length (for full frame cameras) is generally considered to be somewhere in the 85mm to 135mm range). (take about 1/3 off for crop-factor cameras).

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    As a rule, if you use shorter focal lengths, you need to be closer to your subject - and as a result you can end up with perspective distortion (eg in a face shot you can end up with the nose being disproportionally bigger that other facial features). If you use long focal lengths you then suffer from compression (where the nose might appear to be in the same plane as the ears). The optimal focal length (for full frame cameras) is generally considered to be somewhere in the 85mm to 135mm range). (take about 1/3 off for crop-factor cameras).

    Hi Colin,
    On a similar topic I have doubt, How does 200mm macro and 200mm normal lens differ, on google I found some terms like reproduction ratio (1:1) etc, can you comment on the tech side please.

    Thanks
    Ajith

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajith.rajeswari View Post
    Hi Colin,
    On a similar topic I have doubt, How does 200mm macro and 200mm normal lens differ, on google I found some terms like reproduction ratio (1:1) etc, can you comment on the tech side please.
    In a nutshell, with the macro lens you'll be able to get much closer to the subject and still focus - on the downside they're typically slower (eg F3.5).

    The ratio you're referring to is simply the relationship between the size of the image -v- it's size on the sensor - a 1:1 ratio mean it's the same size on the sensor as it is in real life.

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    As a rule, if you use shorter focal lengths, you need to be closer to your subject - and as a result you can end up with perspective distortion (eg in a face shot you can end up with the nose being disproportionally bigger that other facial features). If you use long focal lengths you then suffer from compression (where the nose might appear to be in the same plane as the ears). The optimal focal length (for full frame cameras) is generally considered to be somewhere in the 85mm to 135mm range). (take about 1/3 off for crop-factor cameras).
    Thank you for the information Colin,one of these will be coupled with a Nikon D300!

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Nobby,

    If it is any help, I use a Nikon 105mm f2.8 micro (Nikon's way of saying macro!) for portraits and a lot more besides. It is a fantastic portrait lens at this size, and whilst I am talking about the Nikon rather than the Sigma, I really would be surprised if you noticed a difference in the length of time take to focus in reality.

    Such stats are often the result of lab tests etc and yet are imperceptible in use in real life. (ok Sigma users shoot me down there if I am wrong, but I doubt if it will make a lot of difference, even with quick moving objects, I use the Nikon 105 mm for a lot of other shots some of which move a lot faster than children and it isn't an issue)

    Ian

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    Re: Can a Sigma F2.8 105mm Macro Lens be used for Portraiture?

    Thank you very much for your imput on this Ian I appreciate it

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