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06-15-2011, 09:24 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Barely sort of adequate if you already have one in my opinion, definitely not worth spending money on because it's just too short for me. Others like the focal length.
I think the big confusion in this sort of discussion is what constitutes portrait.

The traditional description of portrait, head and shoulders, necessitates something longer, like a 70mm lens.

But if it is looser, (not really a "portrait" but people still call it portrait) then 50mm would be just fine... unless you just prefer to stand back .

06-15-2011, 09:27 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think the big confusion in this sort of discussion is what constitutes portrait.

The traditional description of portrait, head and shoulders, necessitates something longer, like a 70mm lens.

But if it is looser, (not really a "portrait" but people still call it portrait) then 50mm would be just fine... unless you just prefer to stand back .
Why does a bust shot require a 70mm or longer?
06-15-2011, 10:14 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think the big confusion in this sort of discussion is what constitutes portrait.

The traditional description of portrait, head and shoulders, necessitates something longer, like a 70mm lens.

But if it is looser, (not really a "portrait" but people still call it portrait) then 50mm would be just fine... unless you just prefer to stand back .
I find the 55mm (well, 58mm Helios) pretty good for such things, just as I did the 85mm in 35mm film. Most art directors used to piss and moan about the model's faces looking "fat" if you shot them straight on with anything much longer. Of course, the years of looking at paparazzi photographs of starlets has inured us somewhat to the compression provided by the telephoto distances.
06-15-2011, 10:15 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Why does a bust shot require a 70mm or longer?
Well, he said "longer *like* a 70mm", not "longer than 70mm". That said, I find 70mm a little long for portraits, myself.

06-16-2011, 04:49 AM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Most art directors used to piss and moan about the model's faces looking "fat" if you shot them straight on with anything much longer.
Interesting. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with art directors.
06-16-2011, 04:52 AM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Well, he said "longer *like* a 70mm", not "longer than 70mm". That said, I find 70mm a little long for portraits, myself.
Thanks for the quibble. My question was accurate and stands.
06-16-2011, 04:59 AM   #82
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Winder is correct.

QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
well it's not entirely true that 77mm on ff is equivalent to 50mm on crop......50mm is still 50mm, just cropped, so its angle of view is similar to 77. besides than - nothing in common
I expect that's what Winder meant, it was certainly what I understood from his post. Methinks you are the one who is confused, everybody knows a 50 is a 50 no matter what. We're just discussing FOV here. Winder is correct.
06-16-2011, 05:15 AM   #83
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I like to work in tight. My fav is my 85mm SMC Tak f1.8. But when I need something wider, 43mm Ltd. I can have only one? The 85mm. She's taken my favorite shots to date....will be the last lens I ever part with.

06-16-2011, 05:22 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think the big confusion in this sort of discussion is what constitutes portrait.

The traditional description of portrait, head and shoulders, necessitates something longer, like a 70mm lens.

But if it is looser, (not really a "portrait" but people still call it portrait) then 50mm would be just fine... unless you just prefer to stand back .
Joe, that does raise the question as to what it is we are all calling a portrait. My assumption was the same as yours (and my lens choice is similar), but if we are talking about full body portraits, then the field of lens contenders changes.

If it is a head and shoulders shot, then, short of being locked in the closet with the subject, it has been difficult for me to understand how ~70mm on APS-c can't be accommodated in most rooms. For head shots of children, I've taken portraits basically looking down at subject at my feet and the FOV was fine. However, if one is taking a "portrait" of the entire body, everything is different. One of my favorite focal lengths for full body is actually ~40mm--on film.
06-16-2011, 05:33 AM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Why does a bust shot require a 70mm or longer?
Perspective. If you are getting close with something shorter, the face and nose will appear more elongated. As Steve noted, getting farther away with a long lens may make the face look "fat."

Again, this all depends upon what you are trying to convey and personal preferences. We are talking about subtleties when we are talking about the difference between lenses that range from 55mm to 85mm. Frame the same head shot with a 35mm and a 200mm and the comparison will be obvious.
06-16-2011, 05:45 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Why does a bust shot require a 70mm or longer?
As we all know, perspective depends only on the distance from the subject and not on the focal length. It is widely admitted that, for classical portraiture, a nice rendition of facial features requires the film plane to lie approximately 1.5 meters from the subject.

As a 70 mm lens on a crop format camera has a vertical angle of view of 13 and an horizontal angle of view of 19.5, we can calculate that the field of view at 1.5 meter is 0.34 m x 0.51 m, which is about right for a head and shoulders shot in vertical format.

Cheers !

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06-16-2011, 06:16 AM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
As we all know, perspective depends only on the distance from the subject and not on the focal length. It is widely admitted that, for classical portraiture, a nice rendition of facial features requires the film plane to lie approximately 1.5 meters from the subject.

Abbazz
And at distances that give me the perspective I really want, the FOV on the crop format is often not ideal for my personal preferences. It is nice to have a choice of formats, and I find I use ~70mm a lot on everything from APS-c to medium format film (the same is true of ~40mm) to shoot at the distance/perspective I want, but that is another discussion.
06-16-2011, 06:29 AM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
And at distances that give me the perspective I really want, the FOV on the crop format is often not ideal for my personal preferences. It is nice to have a choice of formats, and I find I use ~70mm a lot on everything from APS-c to medium format film (the same is true of ~40mm) to shoot at the distance/perspective I want, but that is another discussion.
Yes, my point was only to show that it was easy to make the calculation. In fact, 70mm is a bit tight on a crop format camera for a bust portrait. I prefer 58mm, and 85mm on 24 x 36.

But it there is no dogma in portraiture. There have been so many great portraits shot with a 80mm lens on a 6 x 6 camera (Hasselblad, Rolleiflex) to prove that a slightly "wide" lens (equivalent to a 45mm lens on 24 x 36) can also deliver great results.

Cheers!

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06-16-2011, 07:02 AM   #89
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I guess we need to define portraiture before we can decide what the best focal length would be. If you are shooting for a high school year book in a studio you would select a different lens than if you a shooting an environmental portrait for a quarterly report of a major law firm.

The guy shooting in a studio with controlled lighting and background will approach the task differently than someone working in the field.

Since a "portrait" can mean so many things to so many different people it is next to impossible to pick a single focal length as the ideal.
06-16-2011, 07:16 AM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Interesting. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with art directors.
Neither do I, any more. Now I deal with network users and executives. I don't know which is worse.
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