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12-12-2011, 05:42 PM   #31
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Another reason for a mild telephoto for head shot portraits, historically, is to not over-exaggerate large facial features such as noses.

12-12-2011, 05:42 PM   #32
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I interpret the results as being "anything between 28 and 135". i.e. there is no ideal or "best" FL.
12-12-2011, 06:57 PM   #33
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ideal focal length for portraits - Google Search
12-12-2011, 07:12 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I interpret the results as being "anything between 28 and 135". i.e. there is no ideal or "best" FL.
ye..agree..
with my 50-135..I feel it cover most potrait focal length..but I still feel 28-50 would be more useful for indoor

12-12-2011, 07:25 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I just tabulated the recommendations above.
They're overwhelmingly for 50-55mm. Your mileage may vary.
12-12-2011, 07:37 PM   #36
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It's interesting that most people are using the 50-55mm. When I look at the series of head shots that a few people here mentioned, the sample photos by Stephen Eastwood, I like the ones with a little more distance; 100mm+. But I suppose quite a lot of it has to do your subject. I think her face looked wider, more open and more attractive with the longer length.

It seems to me that for a head shot specifically, that perspective is critical. Perhaps not so much for different types of portraits, but if you are taking a close detailed, photo of someone's face, that you would want to eliminate any distortion and use the longer focal length.

All really great information-thanks very much.

Last edited by Drom; 12-12-2011 at 08:22 PM.
12-12-2011, 07:42 PM   #37
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actually..I like the look of 200mm a lot (135mm for aps-c)
but the 70mm (50mm for aps-c) look nice too..I mean really can not say which focal length look better....

ps: this is not my photo...

Last edited by liukaitc; 06-02-2013 at 12:04 PM.
12-12-2011, 07:54 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Drom Quote
It's interesting that most people are using the 50-55mm. When I look at the series of head shots that a few people here mentioned, the sample photos by Stephen Eastwood, I like the ones with a little more distance; 100mm+.
You need the D FA 100mm f/2.8 WR; portraits, fast telephoto, 1:1 macro, weather resistant, rounded aperture blades, metal construction, sharp, superb colour and contrast. Brilliant lens!

12-12-2011, 08:08 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
You need the D FA 100mm f/2.8 WR; portraits, fast telephoto, 1:1 macro, weather resistant, rounded aperture blades, metal construction, sharp, superb colour and contrast. Brilliant lens!
Well, you know, I have the FA 100mm 2.8 Macro. Just got it a few weeks back. I might try it out for some head shots and see what I come up with.

But that wouldn't give me any excuse to buy a new, sharp portrait lens.

Last edited by Drom; 12-20-2011 at 04:33 AM.
12-12-2011, 08:25 PM   #40
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DA*50-135 is a fantastic range for portraits.
12-12-2011, 08:40 PM   #41
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The results from the 200 are beautiful. There are some practical concerns, though:

1. Will you be in a large enough space to create the distance between yourself and the subject?

2. Will you be using a tripod? This this focal length, you may have trouble holding the camera still enough if your subject is moving.
12-12-2011, 08:50 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Drom Quote
Well, you know, I have the FA 100mm 2.8 Macro. Just got it a few weeks back. I might try it out for some head shots and see what I come up with.
Definitely, go for it.
12-13-2011, 12:29 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I interpret the results as being "anything between 28 and 135". i.e. there is no ideal or "best" FL.
Well, I'd say that the wider end of that should be reserved purely for head+torso shots - if you get any closer (for a head+shoulders shot) you'll exaggerate facial features, and your subject won't be pleased (especially if he/she has a big nose!). Minimum FL for a head+shoulders shot would be not much below 50mm, really.

And the longer end should really be reserved for when you don't want to get too close, or if you deliberately want to play down facial features (like if the subject has that big nose again!).
12-13-2011, 03:31 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by m42man Quote
Well, I'd say that the wider end of that should be reserved purely for head+torso shots - if you get any closer (for a head+shoulders shot) you'll exaggerate facial features, and your subject won't be pleased (especially if he/she has a big nose!). Minimum FL for a head+shoulders shot would be not much below 50mm, really.

And the longer end should really be reserved for when you don't want to get too close, or if you deliberately want to play down facial features (like if the subject has that big nose again!).
Other reasons to go with a shorter lens: Context shots, where background or surroundings complement the subject(s). Or for interesting effects, like shooting the subject and their reflection. Or sometimes that big nose demands exaggeration, eh?

Other reasons to go with a longer lens: To concentrate on just part of a face, not a full face. Or to exploit a distant background, especially if the lens gives good bokeh. Or sometimes the togger and the subject just aren't comfortable near each other.
12-13-2011, 04:16 AM   #45
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The problem with using macro lenses is that their flat field sharpness isnt really desired for portrait, and will odften lack the "pop" of
a specialised portrait lens.
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