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12-14-2011, 01:12 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
DA*50~135mm - did anyone mention that one yet?
Maybe 2 times, if one can afford, then it should be great, What I have heard I can't afford

Just as Rio Rico said thin DoF fast lens isn't everything. Depends on what kind a head shoulder shots you want. I'm hunting for 85-90/2 lens for portraits now(with in my budget, which is quite low ) But I like my A 35-105 at 80-100 range for head portraits, and my helios 44 M.

12-14-2011, 02:48 PM - 3 Likes   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by repaap Quote
I'm hunting for 85-90/2 lens for portraits now(with in my budget, which is quite low )
The days of cheap 85/2s are long past unless you get REAL lucky -- like when I got a Nikkor 85/2 for US$9, and modded it for PK. It's a favorite now! My Jupiter-9 85/2 was US$70 a couple years ago and that's impossible now.

Some possible strategies for cheap thin-DOF portraiture:

* Give up. Use something slower, with the background kept further away. My REAL CHEAP entry here is a Vivitar-LU 75/3.5 on macro tubes -- total cost, under US$15 shipped. I also put on tubes a Zeiss Tessar 80/2.8 taken from an old MF folder. Same price range.

* Finesse it. If you have a 50/1.4, look for a 1.4x TC, which will produce 70/2 optics. Alas, 1.4x TCs ain't cheap, at least none that I've seen, but I haven't looked real hard lately.

* Cheat a bit. A simple +1 dioptre close-up adapter costs a couple bucks and has a focusing range between 50-95cm / 20-38in. Put that on a DA18-55 and you get thin-DOF portraiture. Even better (but much more rare and costly) would be a +0.5 dioptre adapter. Its focus range would probably be around 1-2m.

* Another cheat. I just thought of this and I'm trying it now: A big not-shoddy 1.5x screw-on tele adapter, Sony VCL-1546A (cost: under four bucks shipped) with 46mm thread. The 49-46mm step-down ring cost almost as much. I put those onto my FA50/1.4. The adapter doesn't eat light. It's now a 75/1.4 optic. Focus range doesn't change. My test shots look good! I have a winner!

I love this about these forums: Answering questions and researching problems leads me to new strategies and tactics. BTW, this is now my 8000th post!

Last edited by RioRico; 12-14-2011 at 03:18 PM.
12-14-2011, 03:10 PM   #63
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Absolytelly, I agree, but what is even more important is that some one pops out several good and working suggestions of how to do it and how to do it with out severe financial suffering... Imagination is your limit and knowledge.

What do you want? Lets see how it can be achieved and with possible good results.

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The days of cheap 85/2s is long past unless you get REAL lucky -- like when I got a Nikkor 85/2 for US$9, and modded it for PK. It's a favorite now! My Jupiter-9 85/2 was US$70 a couple years ago and that's impossible now.

Some possible strategies for cheap thin-DOF portraiture:

* Give up. Use something slower, with the background kept further away. My REAL CHEAP entry here is a Vivitar-LU 75/3.5 on macro tubes -- total cost, under US$15 shipped. I also put on tubes a Zeiss Tessar 80/2.8 taken from an old MF folder. Same price range.

* Finesse it. If you have a 50/1.4, look for a 1.4x TC, which will produce 70/2 optics. Alas, 1.4x TCs ain't cheap, at least none that I've seen, but I haven't looked real hard lately.

* Cheat a bit. A simple +1 dioptre close-up adapter costs a couple bucks and has a focusing range between 50-95cm / 20-38in. Put that on a DA18-55 and you get thin-DOF portraiture. Even better (but much more rare and costly) would be a +0.5 dioptre adapter. Its focus range would probably be around 1-2m.

* Another cheat. I just thought of this and I'm trying it now: A big not-shoddy 1.5x screw-on tele adapter, Sony VCL-1546A (cost: under four bucks shipped) with 46mm thread. The 49-46mm step-down ring cost almost as much. I put those onto my FA50/1.4. The adapter doesn't eat light. It's now a 75/1.4 optic. Focus range doesn't change. My test shots look good! I have a winner!

I love this about these forums: Answering questions and researching problems leads me to new strategies and tactics. BTW, this is now my 8000th post!
12-14-2011, 03:23 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
* Another cheat. I just thought of this and I'm trying it now: A big not-shoddy 1.5x screw-on tele adapter, Sony VCL-1546A (cost: under four bucks shipped) with 46mm thread. The 49-46mm step-down ring cost almost as much. I put those onto my FA50/1.4. The adapter doesn't eat light. It's now a 75/1.4 optic. Focus range doesn't change. My test shots look good! I have a winner!
Thanks for the tip. I have the Hitachi 1.5x also 4 usd, but dont have any step down ring to play with it.

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I love this about these forums: Answering questions and researching problems leads me to new strategies and tactics. BTW, this is now my 8000th post!
Enjoy your research alot but haven't read all yours 8000...

I will have Tamron 70-150 soft focus in a week. My fav portrait focals, f2.8 whole range, and soft focus.. wowowo. I am the one getting soft here

12-14-2011, 03:47 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
Thanks for the tip. I have the Hitachi 1.5x also 4 usd, but dont have any step down ring to play with it.
I have some P&S gear with 46mm threads, so I bought a few cheap 46-49 and 46-52 rings, and they sure are good to have at times like this. Fortunately, these 1.5x tele screw-ons don't do nasty things to image edges -- unlike wide-angle screw-ons, which degrade IQ quite a bit. Nice, eh? Only problem (at the moment) with my Sony 1.5x is that its front thread is 77mm and I don't have any caps or hoods that large. [/me checks parts box again] Oops, that's wrong, I *do* have a short 77mm hood. So I'm saved -- for now.

EDIT: A few more test shots, and for thin-DOF portraits, the FA50/1.4+1.5x results look good. No, they are NOT sparkling crisp. This tele-on has better IQ than a wide-on, but it still softens the image a bit and reduces contrast a bit. This isn't a general-purpose alternative to TCs. This is specifically for thinning DOF in portraiture, done cheap, real cheap. Hmmm, I wonder what happens if I stick a +1 dioptre closeup lens in there too? Time for more test shots...

Last edited by RioRico; 12-14-2011 at 05:17 PM.
12-17-2011, 01:19 PM   #66
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Well I didn't get a holy grail portrait lens- just yet anyway. I just picked up a like-new copy of a little inexpensive lens that RioRico and Jatrax both said they liked. It's an F-35-70mm zoom. So now in addition to the FA 100mm 2.8 which will give me a 150mm FL, I will have something in the 50-105mm range that I can play with to try out different FLs. I might test them first on my horses because they are actually perfect subjects to use for seeing which FL will provide the best perspective. Their heads look really ugly and long when the perspective isn't right.
12-18-2011, 04:44 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by Drom Quote
Well I didn't get a holy grail portrait lens- just yet anyway. I just picked up a like-new copy of a little inexpensive lens that RioRico and Jatrax both said they liked. It's an F-35-70mm zoom. So now in addition to the FA 100mm 2.8 which will give me a 150mm FL, I will have something in the 50-105mm range that I can play with to try out different FLs. I might test them first on my horses because they are actually perfect subjects to use for seeing which FL will provide the best perspective. Their heads look really ugly and long when the perspective isn't right.
Just be aware, that perspective has nothing at all to do with the focal length of the lens. Perspective is only dependent on the distance between your camera and the subject. Then start experimenting and enjoying.

Ben
12-18-2011, 11:50 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Just be aware, that perspective has nothing at all to do with the focal length of the lens. Perspective is only dependent on the distance between your camera and the subject. Then start experimenting and enjoying.

Ben
Thank you! and thanks for reminding me that a slightly softer lens may be more desirable for portraits than the ultra sharp ones. So obvious-but I wasn't even thinking about that. Forgive me for sounding like such a dummy, but why then do some people say that lenses with longer FL are better for portraits.

12-18-2011, 12:11 PM   #69
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Did anyone mention that Portrait Professional is maybe your best tool for portrait and the lens is coming in secondary?
12-18-2011, 12:13 PM   #70
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Because the longer the FL, the further away you will tend to stand in order to take a portrait (assuming you want the head the same size in the frame). Because people take portraits from greater distances with longer focal lengths lenses, they often attribute the change in perspctive to the Fl, but it is indeed the distance. Even people who know that's the case will still often refer to the "perspective" of a given FL, even though they know that,s not really correct. Just as I know that technically, a kilogram is a measure of mass, not of weight, and that the usual formula for converting between kilograms and pounds only works on earth.
12-18-2011, 01:38 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Because the longer the FL, the further away you will tend to stand in order to take a portrait (assuming you want the head the same size in the frame). Because people take portraits from greater distances with longer focal lengths lenses, they often attribute the change in perspctive to the Fl, but it is indeed the distance. Even people who know that's the case will still often refer to the "perspective" of a given FL, even though they know that,s not really correct. Just as I know that technically, a kilogram is a measure of mass, not of weight, and that the usual formula for converting between kilograms and pounds only works on earth.
Thanks!!
12-18-2011, 01:40 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Did anyone mention that Portrait Professional is maybe your best tool for portrait and the lens is coming in secondary?
I have seen the ads for it on line.
12-18-2011, 01:51 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by Drom Quote
Thank you! and thanks for reminding me that a slightly softer lens may be more desirable for portraits than the ultra sharp ones. So obvious-but I wasn't even thinking about that. Forgive me for sounding like such a dummy, but why then do some people say that lenses with longer FL are better for portraits.
I may be in the minority, but I don't agree that a soft lens adds anything to portraits. I like pictures to be sharp, and I see no reason why portraits should be any different.
12-18-2011, 03:45 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I may be in the minority, but I don't agree that a soft lens adds anything to portraits. I like pictures to be sharp, and I see no reason why portraits should be any different.
A portrait is not necessarily a forensic recording, but a portrayal, a rendering of the subject. Some portrayals require detail; some don't. Some subjects wish to have every scratch, pimple, scar, smudge, wart etc show clearly; some don't. For many centuries, portraitists have seen fit to flatter their subjects.

Yeah yeah, I know, take a sharp photo and soften it in PP, sure. But that's not the same. The portrayals I shoot with the soft-wide-open Jupiter-9 85/2 vs those with the Komine 90/2.8 macro lens at f/4; or shots with my FA50/1.4 with a 1.5x adapter at effectively 75/1.4, vs those with the Schneider Componar 75/4.5 wide open -- the results are dramatically different, not just due to DOF, and those shot with flatfield-sharp enlarger and macro lenses aren't necessarily the most desirable.

No, soft glass isn't required for portraiture, but neither are brutally sharp lenses. Different tools, different purposes. I like an old M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 for varied people portraiture, and yes, it is sharp. But sometimes the Jupiter-9 is called for. It all depends.
12-18-2011, 04:02 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Because the longer the FL, the further away you will tend to stand in order to take a portrait (assuming you want the head the same size in the frame). Because people take portraits from greater distances with longer focal lengths lenses, they often attribute the change in perspctive to the Fl, but it is indeed the distance. Even people who know that's the case will still often refer to the "perspective" of a given FL, even though they know that,s not really correct.
I know what you mean. I happen to love close up with long lens . I find that a lot easier to gear for isolating subject and blurring up background. Here is one lately from FA135 with the lens wide open at F2.8. The subject I believe has found it a lot more at ease if not shot at in-your-face short distance. Shooting kids in greater distance definitely has advantages too



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