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12-05-2013, 12:39 PM   #16
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Ok, now there is some clarification - head shots 100-135mm. So, then we are portraits that are headshots should be above 100 - agreed. Full length portraits I think are the 70-85 range, and group shots/scenery portraits should be the 35mm length. I concur though, if you are doing headshots 135 on APS-C is pretty nice for isolation.
For me as a semi-professional I would say that most my clients are not expecting magazine quality. What I hear repeatedly though is about the beautiful backgrounds "as if it is painted smoothly." Obviously distortion can cause some issues which is why you don't want to go wide. But if you are shooting a wider picture with multiple people in it, wider is appropriate because people don't treat those photos the same way they do with head shots. Which is why I chose the FA*24 - low distortion but has the ability to isolate background well (as good as a wide can). It has very low distortion for how wide it is.
I probably would also admit, your professionalism in portrait photography is quite a bit higher than mine. I haven't found many jobs that are in demand of head shots.

12-17-2013, 06:41 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
well when I was taught portraiture many years ago in the studio i was taught in as a assistant if we used 35 mm, which was not often , the lens for head shots was normally 100 - 135 mm,
i'm not going to spend hours typing so please have a read of the link below. i don't always agree with Mr Rockwell but this post does make sense and does bust some commonly held myths.

" Fifteen Feet
Our brains recall people's facial features as they appear to be from about 15 feet (5 meters) away.
Ask a human visual system researcher for the details, but our eyes don't actually see anything by themselves. All our eyes do is send signals to our brains which are then interpreted in ways about which we're still learning.
In the case of facial recognition, when our eyes see a familiar face, it triggers our brain to reconstruct an image of those features as they appear from about 15 feet.
If we see someone from only inches away, we don't see them distorted as a camera would; our brain perceives and reconstructs their features in proportions similar to a distant view.
Therefore we want to be at least about 15 feet away when photographing people in order to achieve realistic proportions".


Portrait Lenses
I decided to try the 100-135 range for shooting head shots indoors. I will admit, you are right on with this. While I believe the DA 55 is still one of the best portrait lenses, the isolation that the 100-135 creates makes a whole different look. Quite beautiful really! I was using my Tamron 70-200 which I am always happy with the results of it. Thanks for your comments, they do help on the long end.
12-17-2013, 07:32 AM   #18
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Whoo another convert to longer focal length portraiture
12-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #19
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People have said the FA 135 2.8 creates dreamy shots for portraits. I bet it does, but I really love the look of my Tamron 70-200 2.8 at the 115-135 range.

12-17-2013, 07:56 AM   #20
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The subject isolation is what makes this work so well. I haven't even used F/4, but I fear that it is too sharp as F/2.8 is pretty sharp too. I have an excellent copy of this lens. In my defense though of what I said earlier, I never got shots like this out of my Pentax A 135 2.8 or my Pentax M 135 3.5 and both of those are primes!
12-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #21
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I'm so glad we have another convert from the dark side of 50 mm users for portraits

Seriously you are just far to close with a 50 mm for head / head and shoulders , it makes the subject feel like they have the camera in their face, don,'t believe me? Go ask them next time you try a full face with a 50 mm
12-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #22
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While I agree that 50mm on a crop sensor is not enough for a typical head and shoulders portrait, I also reject the idea of shooting from a minimum of 15 feet using a long lens. Anything past about 135mm on 35/FF, or about 90mm on crop sensor flattens features to an unnatural degree, and tends to bring up the exposed ear unnaturally. While an f/5.6 lens might be fine in ideal conditions (soft light, distant background), creating a good dimensional effect is best accomplished around f/2.8-4 (some photographers like even wider apertures but that isn't my preference - super soft noses are distracting). If you are really serious about portraiture neither the 18-135 nor the 50mm are an ideal tool. Most zooms are a compromise for bokeh, but there are notable exceptions. Macro lenses are typically great at what they are designed to do, but portraits are neither intended to be shot close nor do they need to have critical sharpness across the frame.

From Pentax, based on photos I have seen - the 77mm especially, and 70mm are fine tools (I don't own either one). If you are on a budget, finding a used A-series 35-105 f/3.5 (shooting in the 75-90 range) will give you an excellent tool for portraits - it just yields a much nicer look and blur than the typical zoom. Another fine option - again MF - is the Samyang (Rokinon, Vivitar, etc.) 85mm f/1.4 - bokeh in the f/2.4 to 4 range is superb.

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 12-21-2013 at 09:46 AM.
12-22-2013, 05:12 AM   #23
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I would agree with Scooter on the Samyang 85 - incredible lens for portraits.

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