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04-08-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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Best Focal Length for Portaits

What focal length do you prefer for portraits and why? Post your best portaits along with EXIF data.

I am sure a lot of us have this question in mind. If we can see portraits at different focal lengths in a single thread, maybe it will help for comparison.

04-08-2010, 01:13 PM   #2
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Depends on the shot.

Whole body/Family: wide 28mm or 35mm.
Upper half/Couple: 35mm or 50mm
Head and shoulders/Single: 50mm or 75mm

Of course, you have shoot fun headshots at 15mm if you want or full body shots at 75mm. I don't think there is one perfect focal length for portraits. Use what you have creatively and your shots will be great.


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/180 sec
Aperture: 3.5
Focal Length: 28mm


Model: PENTAX K200D
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/60 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 75mm


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/60 sec
Aperture: f/5.6 I think (manual aperture)
Focal Length: 50mm


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/180 sec
Aperture: f/5.6 I think (manual aperture)
Focal Length: 50mm


Model: PENTAX K200D
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/500 sec
Aperture: 4.0
Focal Length: 75mm
04-08-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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Love those 75mm shots, enoeske. Is that with the long end of your Tamron zoom?
04-08-2010, 01:45 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Depends on the shot.
Whole body/Family: wide 28mm or 35mm.
Upper half/Couple: 35mm or 50mm
Head and shoulders/Single: 50mm or 75mm

My list:
Whole body/family: 28-40mm
Upper half/Couple: 35-70mm
Head and shoulders/Single: 55-135mm.

However, distortion/compression is not the main reason for suggesting these focal lengths. The point is to have a comfortable working distance to the people you're photographing.

Kind regards
.lars

04-08-2010, 01:46 PM   #5
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Those are some amazing shots enoske. I also like the 75mm shots the most, but the others are also superb.
04-08-2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vize Quote
What focal length do you prefer for portraits and why? Post your best portaits along with EXIF data.

I am sure a lot of us have this question in mind. If we can see portraits at different focal lengths in a single thread, maybe it will help for comparison.
there are quite a few magazines out there that sports nothing but portraits.

i think 50-135mm on APS-C is a nice lens to have. plus the 16-50
04-08-2010, 02:56 PM   #7
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enoeske: wow, amazing shots.

I use the FA43 for head and shoulders of up to three people in a group or more contextualised shots of individuals. I use the FA77 for dance or stage, when I cannot get closer.
04-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #8
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Roisin model shot



FA77 shot of my daughter. Highly processed but you get the idea.

04-08-2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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Schweppes in a serious mood



That's with the K50/1.2 which is great stopped down.
04-08-2010, 03:02 PM   #10
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I prefer my DA70 for portraits, but then I don't own a FA77 or DA*50-135.
04-08-2010, 04:07 PM   #11
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Heck, the DA70 is a great lens. Nothing at all to worry about there! But I do like the extra speed and shoot at f/2 often.
04-08-2010, 05:31 PM   #12
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I'm trying to save up for a da70 because I do tend to shoot at 75 on the tamron so much. I don't know if I want to get the da15 first though. I don't have a wide, while the tamron is covering the 70 okay for now.
04-08-2010, 06:50 PM   #13
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I'm a sucker for longer lenses, I shoot at 105mm for portraits and I know if I could afford a 180mm or 200mm /2.8 I would be using that. But I normally shoot partial face crops.
04-08-2010, 07:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Depends on the shot.

Whole body/Family: wide 28mm or 35mm.
Upper half/Couple: 35mm or 50mm
Head and shoulders/Single: 50mm or 75mm

Of course, you have shoot fun headshots at 15mm if you want or full body shots at 75mm. I don't think there is one perfect focal length for portraits. Use what you have creatively and your shots will be great.


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/180 sec
Aperture: 3.5
Focal Length: 28mm


Model: PENTAX K200D
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/60 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 75mm


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/60 sec
Aperture: f/5.6 I think (manual aperture)
Focal Length: 50mm


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/180 sec
Aperture: f/5.6 I think (manual aperture)
Focal Length: 50mm


Model: PENTAX K200D
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/500 sec
Aperture: 4.0
Focal Length: 75mm
I think the question was posed to us WITHOUT talent, okay?

I bet you're a lousy cook, or at least I hope so.
04-08-2010, 08:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I think the question was posed to us WITHOUT talent, okay?

I bet you're a lousy cook, or at least I hope so.
Sadly, I am a great cook. I am pretty good at everything I try. I think thats why I don't have a full time job yet. God, I need a job.
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