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Thread: Portrait Lens

  1. #1

    Portrait Lens

    Need some advice friends. I want to purchase a portrait lens for professional work. I shoot with a Canon 7D. I have budgeted for a L Series lens and leaning towards the EF 24-105. This is not to say I have made up my mind or that I'm dead set on a Canon lens. Opinions on this lens, advice, and suggestions on alternate options please.....

  2. #2

    Re: Portrait Lens

    I'm also looking at the Canon 24-70mm EF f/2.8L USM Lens...

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Lens

    I like longer focal lengths for head and shoulders portraiture so I would select the 24-105mm over the 24-70mm. However, I personally like a 70-200mm lens for head and shoulders work. The 70-200mm f/4L IS and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS Mark ii both have rounded aperture blades which provide very nice bokeh...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 4th April 2011 at 09:38 PM.

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    Re: Portrait Lens

    It's going to depend on the type of portraiture that you'll be shooting, and the room you have to shoot it. I shoot mainly head and shoulders + out to 3/4 length portraiture, and the lens that's mostly on my (full frame) camera is the EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II.

    On a 1.6x crop-factor camera like the 7D this would give you stunning portraiture if you have enough room to backup (the compression afforded by longer focal lengths is generally very flattering), otherwise, I'd be looking at something like the EF24-70mm F2.8L USM or the EF24-105mm.

    You might like to have a look at the EXIF data in some of the shots in my gallery - multiply that by 1.6 - and get a feel for the lengths you're going to need if this is the kind of portraiture you plan on doing.

    Hope this helps

  5. #5

    Re: Portrait Lens

    My shooting style is much like yours. Very few full length shots. My sessions are often fast paced and sometimes in tight quarters, mainly urban backdrops. I'm leaning toward the versatlity of the 24-105mm. I have many lenses on my wish list and someday hope to aquire them all. For now I need as close to a great all around top quality lens as possible. Thanks for the tips and advice guys.

  6. #6
    DH59's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Lens

    I was choosing between those same two lenses, and eventually went for the 24-105. I figured I needed the IS more than the extra stop. It's also the lighter of the two, and a bit cheaper. I love it.

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    Re: Portrait Lens

    On a crop, you're less likely to see the corner weaknesses of the 24-105 (it has more vignetting, CA, and distortion @24mm than the 24-70L) and will probably be very happy with it. But if you plan on moving to full frame with it, you may want to go spelunking for reviews. You'll find that full-frame shooters tend to be more mixed about the 24-105L than about the 24-70L.

    E.g., http://www.thoreauphotography.com/ph...70v24-105.html

  8. #8

    Re: Portrait Lens

    Ya'll are awesome. Thanks so much. In an ideal world I would be wealthy and buy every lens known to man. But, I'm not so it's the versatility I seek. I think the 24-105 is the leading contender

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Lens

    I just did a portrait session with some models using my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens on my new 7D camera with very good results. There were several photographers shooting and two of them were using the 24-105L on full frame cameras...

    I intended to get head and shoulder images and the 70-200mm f/4L was great for that type of work. However, although the full frame shooters with the 25-105L "could" get a full figure in, at 24mm there was more perspective distortion than I care to deal with.

    My solution to shooting full figures, when I don't have enough camera to subject distance to use a longish lens, is to shoot somewhere else or don't shoot full figures at all.

  10. #10

    Re: Portrait Lens

    Well after much deliberation and consideration of all responses, as well as some additional research I have decided on the 70-200mm and later add the 24-70mm. Now the question is the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens or the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Telephoto Zoom (IS is financially out of the question) Lens....here we go again, lol.

  11. #11

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    Re: Portrait Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by wcjacobs View Post
    Well after much deliberation and consideration of all responses, as well as some additional research I have decided on the 70-200mm and later add the 24-70mm. Now the question is the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens or the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Telephoto Zoom (IS is financially out of the question) Lens....here we go again, lol.
    Always go with IS if you can -- even at the expense of 1 stop of speed, in most circumstances.

    If you're shooting outside at base ISO, often you won't get a high enough shutterspeed to avoid camera shake; a 200mm lens on a 1.6x crop-factor camera will require a minimum of 1/320th sec to minimise (not eliminate) camera shake without IS. With IS the shutterspeed can drop to as low as 1/20th (assuming 4th generation IS unit, which the EF70-200mm F4.0L IS USM has).

  12. #12

    Re: Portrait Lens

    Good point Colin. I believe a conclusion has been reached
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 7th April 2011 at 08:22 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: Portrait Lens

    Let me second Colin's very valid point regarding IS. I can hand-hold in lower light levels using my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens than I could using a 70-200mm f/2.8L (non-IS) lens despite the one-stop advantage of the f/2.8L non-IS lens...

    I can hand hold my f/4L with IS turned on at 200mm using 1/60 second with 100% expectations of sharp imagery. The equivalent exposure at f/2.8 would be 1/120 second. I cannot successfully hand-hold any 200mm lens at that shutter speed and get sharp images with virtually every shot. I am able to get a goodly percentage of keepers hand-holding at 1/30 second. I could get no keepers when hand holding at the equivalent 1/60 second of the f/2.8 non-IS lens. We won't even include the f/4L non-IS lens in this equation. I use my IS version 4-5x more often than I was ever able to use my non-IS f/4L lens. I was simply a slave to bright lighting conditions with the f/4L non-IS lens...

    We also won't even speak of the pixel peepers who say that there are certain 70-200mm versions which provide noticeably better imagery than others. I seriously doubt if you could pick out which of the five Canon 70-200mm cousins shot which image if shown a selection of real-life imagery shot with the five different lenses. They all produce great imagery but, the f/2.8L IS II and f/4L IS are certainly not at the back of the pack quality wise even for pixel peepers...

    BTW: I think that longer focal lengths are quite flattering for portraits of females...

    Portrait Lens
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 9th April 2011 at 02:21 AM.

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