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12-14-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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Lens for Portraits

The wife and I are donating our time for Xmas pictures of kids of poor familys.
I'm not a people picture taker but I might get lucky on one or 2.
These are my lens choices. Not much to choose from.

F 50 f1.7
D FA 100 f2.8
17-50 f2.8
DA* 60-250 f4
10-20 f4...
manual lenses
PENTAX SMC A 35-70/4
FIVE STAR 28/2.8

12-14-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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17-50 f2.8 or 50 1.7 would be great choices for portraits. I would choose the 50 1.7 over the zoom just because you can shoot wide open, depending on the background, you might get a nicer portrait.
12-14-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
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My choices would be the F 50 and D FA 100 out of your list.
12-14-2012, 10:46 AM   #4
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PENTAX SMC A 35-70/4 would be the bast range but no idea how good that lens is.

Else the 50mm and 17-50mm, i wouldn't go longer.
First you need more room for a longer lenses and the photos get less itnimate which you don't want with these photo's.

12-14-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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I'd go with the 17-50 2.8 or 50 1.7. Since they're kids I'd definitely want an AF option if I had one.
12-14-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Also if you're going to them (as opposed to them to you) that means a wide variety of lighting/background/options, in which case a zoom might be more handy.
12-14-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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Assuming you setting up in a fixed location you don't really need the zoom. Pick a spot on the floor and mark it or use a tripod so your lighting and everything stay fixed. Use the F 50mm or DFA 100mm either will work. I would go with the 50mm myself but take the 100mm along until you see how much room you have, if Santa is in a fenced area or there are props around that require you to set up further away the 100mm might work better.

You also need to consider how much will be in the shot, this is not going to be head shots and usually there are props around (sleigh, boxes of presents, reindeer, whatever) that you also need to include to make the shot in context so make sure you can get all of that in.

I would be more worried about lighting and flash gear than the lens. A flash and umbrella or softbox will go a long way to making a better portrait.
12-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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I would take the 28mm and the 35-70mm, planning on using the 28 but having the other in case. Quality of lens is not a big item but comfort for you and the sitter is. But most important is which lens you feel most comfortable with.

12-14-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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I should have said that this will be outside in a city park with lighting provided, not sure what kind of lights though. I will take my Metz flash too.

Last edited by Fl_Gulfer; 12-14-2012 at 02:56 PM.
12-15-2012, 04:44 AM   #10
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Nice gesture and I am sure it will be rewarding. Without knowing ahead the actual set up or lighting, it will be tough to know the perfect lens, so a lens that offers flexibility is the best bet. I suggest taking one of your zooms along with your FA100, the A 35-70/4 covers a nice range, but you would need to be comfortable with using it, or the 17-50 as it has the 2.8 advantage. This way you can cover a range of situations, small groups of two or three brothers and sisters, or individual poses of head and shoulder or wider to include background elements. Any one of these combos can give up to an 8x10 that will look amazing.
12-15-2012, 04:57 AM   #11
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One other factor to consider, when picking your solution, consider one that allows you to work handheld without a tripod. I have learned that tripods with their stability benefit are great for landscapes and probably pro models, but they can also be limiting for fast changing situations which you may encounter, also they can be intimidating to regular people sometimes. Kids are naturally hard to corral and if you can adjust on the fly to compensate you may get better results with a higher shutter speed, than the look up here at the camera and hold still method. Both work though.
12-15-2012, 07:31 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone, There were 8 other photographers that knew what they were doing. One of the guys left us a light setup as seen in the picture that worked great.
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12-15-2012, 09:23 AM   #13
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What lenses did you use?
12-15-2012, 09:30 AM   #14
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Yeah come on, which lens? Hope I guessed right, since I was late with a response.
12-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #15
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I used the Tamron 17-50 on this shot. and most of the night. The second shot was with my Metz Flash 58-1.
These are my first attemps at this type of photography.
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