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03-13-2011, 12:47 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Holy Smokes Paoerbag, you may have just set off a whole new trend in portrait shooting. Surely, with the various effects achieved in your demostration at various focal lengths, every woman could find a shot of herself with which she was happy--Think of It!!!


It's true!

I read an anecdote about a portrait photog who was working with a beautiful model with a very large nose. She was not happy with her photos, so he pulled out his super-tele (I think it was 300-500mm range) and shot her from across the lawn. She told him afterwards that she had never been so happy with a photo of her (I guess it really flattened her out).

I'd bet there is a good reason that 80mm is the standard... as one of you mentioned earlier... were you talking full-frame or digital converted focal lengths?

I'm pretty happy with the k55 1.8 for the most part, but I'm wondering if a longer focal length will be more flattering...

Or is it more, after you move a certain distance away from the subject, that perspective distortion is no longer an issue?

03-13-2011, 02:17 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Or is it more, after you move a certain distance away from the subject, that perspective distortion is no longer an issue?
Haha I think maybe some people just look better from a distance anyway?
03-13-2011, 02:46 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleAu Quote
Haha I think maybe some people just look better from a distance anyway?
How does that saying go?
Good from far....but far from good
03-13-2011, 03:54 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleAu Quote
Haha I think maybe some people just look better from a distance anyway?
Probably true. "Look, here's a picture of me at the Grand Canyon!" (points to a tiny speck on the rim of the Grand Canyon) "Don't I look great!"

03-13-2011, 08:48 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote

I'd bet there is a good reason that 80mm is the standard... as one of you mentioned earlier... were you talking full-frame or digital converted focal lengths?
I am not so sure it is a set standard.

Looking at i.e. the nikkor line up, then their two dedicated portrait primes are both longer than 85mm, the 105mm and 135mm DC (defocus control)

Same in the canon camp, they have a 135L too.

Sony is a bit of the same story, they have the 135 STF (smooth Transition Focus)

I am quite sure that 85mm was and is the standard short tele for 35mm format and very much used for portraits, but I do not see it as "THE" standard portrait lens.

That said, I like it for half body shots, but head and should shots I prefer something around 135mm or something in the 80-90mm range.

Same reason I adore the 77mm limmited on APS-C for portraits.
03-13-2011, 10:42 AM   #36
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~80mm is *a* standard not *the* standard. I happen to like ~80mm in various formats. I also like 35-55-105-135-180 etc. Sometimes 10mm or 1000mm are called for. It all depends.
03-13-2011, 10:55 AM   #37
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For me, 77 is the minimum--usually. I am not worried about the subject distance, but perspective. I suppose if I were wanting to take a flattering photo of someone with a very wide face, I'd go 50 or under on APS-c, and I've snapped at 200 to isolate from the background, but normally I just feel that something like my M75-150 covers the primary FL range for a portrait. The DA* 50-135 really would be an ideal portrait zoom among modern lenses, though I probably wouldn't use the widest settings much for that purpose.
03-13-2011, 01:22 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
~80mm is *a* standard not *the* standard. I happen to like ~80mm in various formats. I also like 35-55-105-135-180 etc. Sometimes 10mm or 1000mm are called for. It all depends.
Sure so do I,

But thing is tha the FOV is very different depending on format, thus the discussion about focal length is IMHO only meaningful related to format.

And yes I have shot portraits with anything from a 10mm fisheye to 300mm on my pentax system, so we agree on different focal length for different situations.

I was talking more in terms of what is considered classic portrait focal length and lens it was reflected in the lens lineups... not about what can or cannot be used

03-13-2011, 04:54 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duplo Quote
But thing is tha the FOV is very different depending on format, thus the discussion about focal length is IMHO only meaningful related to format.
Ah, not quite. As I've said, I find the ~80mm neighborhood quite good in formats from 135/HF (APS), 135/FF, 645, to 6x6, and even 6x9. Yes, in each format there's a different FOV. So, just adjust shooting distance to accommodate the FOV and perspective desired, depending on whether shooting full-body, 3/4, H&S, head, partial face, whatever.

QuoteQuote:
I was talking more in terms of what is considered classic portrait focal length and lens it was reflected in the lens lineups... not about what can or cannot be used
And it turns out that a *number* of focal lengths are 'classic' for studio portraits, depending on the portrait desired. In a similar thread, I cited an old Kodak studio portrait manual [STUDIO TECHNIQUES FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY, 1967] that hardly mentions lenses at all, focusing on lighting and posing instead.

What lenses *are* recommended? "In general, the focal length for head-and-shoulder portraiture should be from 1 1/2 to 2 times the diagonal of the [frame]. A focal length equal to the length-plus-the-width of the [frame] is suggested for three-quarter portraits." In APS terms, that's 45-60mm for H&S shots, 42mm for 3/4 shots. We could extrapolate that for head shots, a focal length of 2 1/2 to 3 times the frame diagonal, which on APS would be 75-90mm. Hey, that looks familiar!

There are many kinds of portraits. Thus, there are many classic focal lengths for portraits. On APS, they mostly fall into the 40-135mm range. My old M42 Sears-Tomioka 55-135/3.5 (US$8 shipped) is almost a real winner -- maybe the Tokina RMC 35-135/3.5-4.5 (US$9 shipped) is a slightly better fit for full coverage. So the Tokina is a little slower? Just move subject further from background.
03-13-2011, 06:03 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Ah, not quite. As I've said, I find the ~80mm neighborhood quite good in formats from 135/HF (APS), 135/FF, 645, to 6x6, and even 6x9. Yes, in each format there's a different FOV. So, just adjust shooting distance to accommodate the FOV and perspective desired, depending on whether shooting full-body, 3/4, H&S, head, partial face, whatever.
But if you change the camera to subject distance then you change perspective.
Thus getting a different image. and i would think a head and should portrait shot with an 80mm on 645 would look rather unflattering to most people, as it would be roughly the same as shooting it with a 35mm lens on APS-C.

QuoteQuote:
And it turns out that a *number* of focal lengths are 'classic' for studio portraits, depending on the portrait desired. In a similar thread, I cited an old Kodak studio portrait manual [STUDIO TECHNIQUES FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY, 1967] that hardly mentions lenses at all, focusing on lighting and posing instead.

What lenses *are* recommended? "In general, the focal length for head-and-shoulder portraiture should be from 1 1/2 to 2 times the diagonal of the [frame]. A focal length equal to the length-plus-the-width of the [frame] is suggested for three-quarter portraits." In APS terms, that's 45-60mm for H&S shots, 42mm for 3/4 shots. We could extrapolate that for head shots, a focal length of 2 1/2 to 3 times the frame diagonal, which on APS would be 75-90mm. Hey, that looks familiar!
choice of focal length is hardly what I would call studio technique... posing and lighting is though.

And it makes completely sense to evaluate it like this if format is unknown, and we are still talking well before the introduction of the AF lenses i mentioned.

What I mentioned was that the more modern specialised portrait primes designed for the 35mm format generally are longer than 85mm.

QuoteQuote:
There are many kinds of portraits. Thus, there are many classic focal lengths for portraits. On APS, they mostly fall into the 40-135mm range. My old M42 Sears-Tomioka 55-135/3.5 (US$8 shipped) is almost a real winner -- maybe the Tokina RMC 35-135/3.5-4.5 (US$9 shipped) is a slightly better fit for full coverage. So the Tokina is a little slower? Just move subject further from background.
We agree there are many standards, which was my objection in the first place, that it was only one standard and not really one reflected in the modern 35mm lens lineup.
03-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #41
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K55 @f/1.8


FA77 @ f/2.0


Depends on the face and features.

FA77 @ f/4.0


Generally I prefer the 77 for faces but the 55 comes in handy at times. Don't rule out the limited pixie dust either.
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