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Thread: Canon Portrait lens 60mm 2.8 macro

  1. #1

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    MIKE

    Canon Portrait lens 60mm 2.8 macro

    Hi Folks,

    I am thinking of buying the 60 mm 2.8 macro lens to go with my Canon 7d.

    Could I have your views on how suitable you think this lens would be for portrait work?

    I believe it is a very sharp lens but would welcome your comments and suggestions on that and any lenses that you may think to be a better purchase.

    Many thanks,

    Mike Webster

  2. #2

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    Re: Canon Portrait lens 60mm 2.8 macro

    Hi Mike,

    Personally I like to use something a bit longer where possible to get more compression into the shot (which is more pleasing).

    My usual weapon of choice is 135mm in the studio (85mm equivalent on your camera), or 70-200 outside (44-125mm on your camera). So in summary, the one you're looking at isn't too bad, just perhaps not MY first choice.

  3. #3
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Kay

    Re: Canon Portrait lens 60mm 2.8 macro

    Hi Mike - it seems we are all up early this morning in the southern hemisphere!

    I have a 7D - I have an 85mm 1.8 which was purchased to assist with Basketball shots in a very dark gym we have here - but interestingly any people shots I have taken, that I & the subject have really liked - have been taken with the 85mm.
    It was a very reasonable price for a step into the fast lens group while one saves for the fast zoom (70-200).
    I don't know how the price of this compares with the 60mm though.
    1 other thing I have done is hire lenses when I know of an event where they would get a lot of use in the situation for which I need them and try them out.

  4. #4

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    Re: Canon Portrait lens 60mm 2.8 macro

    Of course the other option is a zoom lens - I normally consider primes as specialist lenses - there's certainly a LOT more versatility in a zoom. Admittedly they're usually not as fast, but then again, you often can't use the speed anyway because it'll limit your depth of field too much -- and the high ISO performance of todays cameras can more than compensate for any slight loss of speed.

  5. #5
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: Canon Portrait lens 60mm 2.8 macro

    Following Colin's thought path - maybe the 70-200 f/4 would be worth considering?
    You get the flexibility of the zoom with the 85mm 'portrait' length & more besides.
    If you don't need the 2.8 for the low light conditions - the f/4 are usually cheaper than 2.8.

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Canon Portrait lens 60mm 2.8 macro

    I certainly agree with Colin as to the focal length of a portrait lens... I enjoy using my 90mm f/2.8 Tamron Macro as a portrait lens and will often shoot head and shoulders portraits at 100mm or so when I am using my 70-200mm f/4L IS as a portrait lens.

    That said, while a lens of an 85-100mm focal length is perfect on a 1.6x format for shooting portraits outdoors and in a studio in which there is room to shoot; there are often places in which to focal length is too long to effectively be used for portraiture.

    Using an 85mm lens on a 1.6x camera or a 135mm lens on a full-frame camera requires somewhere in the area of 4 meters distance between the lens and the subject. Add to this some room in back of the camera for the photographer and room between the subject and the background, you will need a rather large shooting space.

    A zoom lens will often solve this space problem but, IMO, if you need to use too short a focal length in order to get a head and shoulders portrait in the location in which you are shooting, select a different location.

    Much is said about focal lengths and f/stops in choosing a portrait lens but, IMO, the quality of bokeh that the lens provides is also a very important factor in the choice of a portrait lens. A smooth, creamy bokeh is a big plus in portrait photography. My 90mm f/2.8 Tamron Macro produces lovely smooth bokeh by virtue of its eight bladed diaphram while the five blades of the Canon 50mm f/1.8 Mark-I aperture produce a somewhat ragged bokeh which, IMO, is not as pleasant to view. I am certainly not an expert on the number of shutter blades in every lens, but generally those aperture diaphrams with fewer blades produce a less pleasant bokeh.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 13th August 2010 at 03:31 PM.

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