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Thread: New lens suggestions.

  1. #1
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    New lens suggestions.

    Hi all. I'm getting a fair bit of my tax back and thought ill get a new lens. So I would like your input on a new lense as I'm hopeless. I want a decent lens for indoor & outdoor portraits to go onto my canon 60d. My budget is $800-1000 Australian. So any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Hey Allen. Like every other thread that asks about which lens one should buy, I think you'll get a few good replies.

    I just got my hands on a 60mm macro. I actually purchased it for underwater use, as my 100mm macro is just a bit too unwieldy for diving.

    I think it's a pretty cool lens. Very sharp, you can use it for macro (obviously), if you ever want to play around, 60mm is great on your crop sensor body for portraits, and at a modestly quick f2.8, I think you'll find it handy for indoor use too. And, at a reasonable $420USD, you may even be able to pick up some other toys with the rest of your $$!

    Like I said, there are many good lenses, but I've been quite happy with this one!

  3. #3
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Hi Allen,
    How about this one.
    Nice fast prime lens at a pretty good price

    http://www.camera-warehouse.com.au/c...85mm-f-1.8-usm

  4. #4
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Thinking about prime lens. Was also thinking of a Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    I would like you to get a very cheap and very very soft lens for your self portraits -

    New lens suggestions.


    but EF28-70mm F2.8 would be great for a lot of your other work.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 2nd August 2013 at 06:16 AM.

  6. #6
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenlennon View Post
    Thinking about prime lens. Was also thinking of a Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens
    Don't think you could go too far wrong with that lens either. I'm really happy with the Sony 28-75mm f/2.8 i bought a few months back.
    It pretty much is my go to lens at the moment.

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    So is it safe to say you only own the kit lens? Indoor portraiture may require a bit more than just a lens.

  8. #8
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Yea. I only got kit lenses. And I got strobist gear

  9. #9
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    i had a look at a few reviews for the canon lens and they all said its not ideal for portraits, any help? Would something likethe 85mm lens greg suggested?
    Last edited by allenlennon; 2nd August 2013 at 12:24 PM.

  10. #10
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    or what about the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, a fair bit more but looks interesting?

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    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Allan,

    It would help if you could be more specific. For example, do you mean posed portraits, where the subject stays put, or candids? Do you want very narrow DOF? Will you be using flash? These influence the choice. E.g., if you don't want to use flash, will have posed subjects, and want very narrow DOF, then a fast lens makes sense. For my shots of people, which are almost always posed. f/2.8 is plenty fast enough, and I often shoot candids a bit narrower, say, f/3.5-4.5, to guarantee that the depth of field is sufficient, given that I have to work fast.

    The lens I use most for candids, with bounced flash indoors, is an inexpensive Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. It does not have AF the quality of the best lenses, and it does not have full time manual focusing, but it is very sharp, particularly on a crop sensor like yours. It's an excellent focal length range for portraits on a crop, so any of the more expensive competitors, such as the Tamron or Canon 24-70s, would be great as well. I'll post two:

    at f/2.8:
    New lens suggestions.

    at f/3.5
    New lens suggestions.

  12. #12
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Short lenses tend to enlarge the subject's nose, which is varying degrees of objectionable depending on how formal the portrait is, how flattering the result needs to be, etc. For portrait work, you may want to look in the 100-300mm range. The downside is that you need to get the background fairly far from your subject with some lenses that long.

    If you can afford it, I sincerely doubt you'd regret getting the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L II. That is a fantastic bit of glass, generally sharper than previous-generation primes. I've been lusting after it since its release. A tad beastly, but good glass often is. In addition to that, I'd look at one of the following three lenses.

    • Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro: Right answer for portraits and macro on a mild budget.

      Around 550USD. Macro lenses generally produce very good detail, and the longer focal lengths make excellent portrait lenses. This is probably your cheapest prime option. Not incredibly wide, but I think you'll find f2.8 is plenty wide enough 99% of the time. A macro also opens the door to trying macro photography, and this focal length and aperture make it a pretty good indoor action lens.
    • Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro: Right answer for portraits, macro and indoor action plus weatherproofing with a relatively high budget.

      Around 990USD. Pretty much an L version of the previous lens, with many of the same advantages. Image stabilization, plus slightly improved image and build quality. Excellent indoor action lens.
    • Canon EF 135mm f2L: Expensive, but the best portrait-only prime, with an edge in very low light or shots where you need razor-thin depth of field.

      Around 1,050 USD. Slightly longer and wider than the other two. Quality comparable to the 70-200mm f2.8L II, but with a wider maximum aperture. Good choice if you want less depth of field than f2.8 can provide (can be handy with crop-sensor cameras) with a slightly longer, more flattering focal length than the other primes.


    The 70-200mm f2.8L II is certainly the most flexible lens, focal-length-wise, but these specialized primes have unique advantages. Naturally, there's no absolute right answer. Ultimately, it's up to how you think you'll use the glass.

  13. #13
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    thank you everyone, and thank you lex. If you were me, which one would you go for? Im nearly certain i know which one i want, but want to know what you would get?

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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Lex,

    Do you shoot with a FF? The OP shoots with a crop. The focal lengths you listed suggest that you probably shoot FF. I have the 100L, and I would find it rather long for portraits on a crop, although I do shoot some with a 70-200.

    Re the perspective/nose issue: the traditional advice in the film days, which fits with your advice, is 90-135 mm. However, with the reduced FOV, wouldn't the OP would need 1/1.6 those focal lengths to be at the same distance and therefore to get the same perspective?

    Dan

    Dan

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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    I think Lex has offered you some really good advice - but here's something to consider - 100mm on your 1.6x sensor equates to 160mm - although I think his suggestions were great, the amount of physical space you have for your 'indoor' portrait sessions would be a concern for me.

    I've used the 70-200mm on a crop body camera, and to shoot 3/4 portraits, your talking about a 15' separation between camera/subject. Minimum. I'm sure it'd be ok for head shots though.

    EDIT - Dang it, Dan can type faster than I!

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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Just about any lens "can" be used for portraits. Which lens you select should be determined by the type of portraiture you want to accomplish and the space you have in which to shoot...

    Dubaiphil does some really wonderful environmental portraiture using wider focal lengths. Off the top of my head, I think that Phil does a lot of his work with a 35mm lens.

    However, if you are thinking about head and shoulders portraiture, you might be better served with a longer focal length lens. The portraits using longer focal lengths usually will produce less distortion than those shot with shorter focal lengths. Actually, the focal length doesn't have anything to do with distortion "EXCEPT" that we tend to shoot from closer distances when we use wider lenses than when we shoot with longer lenses. It is the lens to subject distance that controls distortion NOT THE FOCAL LENGTH... But, as I mentioned, we shoot from shorter distances when we are using a wider lens.

    Some photographers want lenses that have a very wide aperture, such as f/1.4 or even f/1.2, to be able to blur the background. I personally don't like razor thin DOF in portraiture but, realize that there are those photographers who enjoy shooting with DOF measured in millimeters.

    Where you shoot is also a prime consideration regarding the focal length you will use. Some homes or apartments are quite small and you don't have the luxury of a long lens to subject distance along with the additional space behind the subject and behind the camera to use long focal length lenses.

    If I were in that situation, I would rather do outdoor portraiture than work in cramped quarters which necessitates using a wide angle lens.

    I really like the 70-200mm focal zoom range for portraiture. I generally use my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens but, would also recommend the f/2.8L IS II version. I like both of these lenses because of their versatility as well as because of the bokeh they produce. It is generally thought that you need a really fast lens to blur background. That is not necessarily true if you are shooting with long focal lengths. Additionally, the f/4L IS and f/2.8L IS II canon zooms incorporate rounded aperture blades producing a very smooth, creamy bokeh...

    These are not human portraits but, will give you the idea of the selective focus you can obtain when using a lens as slow as f/4 when shooting at long focal lengths. They also are examples of the smooth bokeh produced by the rounded aperture blades of the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens.

    New lens suggestions.

    New lens suggestions.

    New lens suggestions.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 2nd August 2013 at 04:22 PM.

  17. #17
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK
    Do you shoot with a FF? The OP shoots with a crop. The focal lengths you listed suggest that you probably shoot FF. I have the 100L, and I would find it rather long for portraits on a crop, although I do shoot some with a 70-200.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76
    I think Lex has offered you some really good advice - but here's something to consider - 100mm on your 1.6x sensor equates to 160mm - although I think his suggestions were great, the amount of physical space you have for your 'indoor' portrait sessions would be a concern for me.
    I shoot crop. Same 1.6x as the OP. Obviously I'm in the school of very long lenses for portraiture. But I prefer working outdoors, and lenses like that would be a concern for space-constrained indoor shooters. That said, I regularly use my 100mm f2.0 USM (160mm equivalent) indoors. Just takes a little location planning. Generally, if I can't shoot above a 100mm equivalent, I go straight down to about a 35-40mm equivalent, just to make sure I'm either getting a flattering focal length, or a good slice of the environment. Anything in between doesn't sit well with me, but it's entirely possible to get good results with 40-100mm equivalent lenses.

    My advice? If you can afford the EF 70-200mm f2.8L II, get it. That's a massively flexible, wickedly sharp, extremely capable lens that can handle a crazy number of situations with aplomb. A tad long on crop, but it can handle just about any situation except macro work. And that kind of versatility is rare. If you can't afford that, I'd go with the EF 100mm f2.8L IS Macro. Second-best on versatility, it'll be flattering for portraits, almost as good as the 70-200mm for indoor action, and with the bonus of a very short minimum focal distance for macro work.

    But bear in mind that that recommendation is based on the gaps and pre-existing lenses in my kit. If you own relatively few lenses (only a kit lens, for instance), then in my opinion, the 70-200 will expand your arsenal better than the 100mm Macro. But crucially, I don't think you'd regret either purchase. Just a question of how much you want to spend.

  18. #18
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    I shoot FF. I own the 100mm L macro, 85mm f1.2L macro and the f2.8L 70-200mm Mk II. If I could only have one lens for portrait work (my favourite thing) it would be the 70-200 without a shadow of a doubt. No hesitation at all. It is a very flexible tool and well worth the money. If I were using it only for portrait and on a budget and could be sure of using a tripod most of the time, the older non IS version is much cheaper and also excellent.

  19. #19
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: New lens suggestions.

    I'm thinking of getting the 70-200 canon. And I may get a prime lense as well later on

  20. #20

    Re: New lens suggestions.

    I agree with the Canon 70-200 2.8 II if you are able to afford it. Borrowed my mates one and the end results are amazing. Cant wait to get it. If its too expensive I have the 70-200 4 non IS and love it - the 2.8 will of course let you shoot in darker environments.

    The Canon 135 2.0 L is until recently my most used lens. Fantastic overall quality for what you pay. My new Canon 24-70 2.8 II just taken a little of its affection XD

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