Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-24-2022, 09:40 AM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2017
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 680
Portrait Lens - First Family Shoot

All,

I am doing a family photo shoot today - they know I'm new, and I'm not charging for the session - and I'm trying to decide which lens or lenses to use for the shoot. It will be outdoors, around 5:00 PM (EST), so I am leaning towards my DFA 28-105. However, other options I have are:

(1) SMC-A 50mm 1.7
(2) Tamron Adaptall 90mm f/2.5 52B
(3) Sigma 24-70 DG EX HSM
(4) Tamron 70-200 f/2.8
(5) SMC-F 50mm f/1.7

I anticipate there being enough natural light for any of these lenses.

Also, recommend a front flash for fill, or...?

--Jonathan

09-24-2022, 10:12 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,002
QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
All,

I am doing a family photo shoot today - they know I'm new, and I'm not charging for the session - and I'm trying to decide which lens or lenses to use for the shoot. It will be outdoors, around 5:00 PM (EST), so I am leaning towards my DFA 28-105. However, other options I have are:

(1) SMC-A 50mm 1.7
(2) Tamron Adaptall 90mm f/2.5 52B
(3) Sigma 24-70 DG EX HSM
(4) Tamron 70-200 f/2.8
(5) SMC-F 50mm f/1.7

I anticipate there being enough natural light for any of these lenses.

Also, recommend a front flash for fill, or...?

--Jonathan
Which size sensor? If FF (K-1) which I assume, the 28-105 should be nice for most shots if you can keep the background less busy or use the long end of the zoom range and keep the background a ways away from the subjects. This makes it easier to get sufficient depth of field and a nice background look.

The 24-70 will offer a little more opportunity for shallow depth of field but may be harder to keep groups in focus with at the lower f stop numbers.
09-24-2022, 10:15 AM - 4 Likes   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
vector's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Alberta
Posts: 665
There is no one right way to do this, it depends greatly on how you like to shoot and the looks you want to achieve. I assume from your lenses that you have a K1 (all FF lenses). Outdoors you generally have room to move so I tend to favour 50mm and just move back to fit everyone in. For groups you will want to use something around f4 depending on the size of group to keep everyone in focus but still let the background blur. Maybe 5.6 or higher depending on the setting and how much you want the background to also be in focus. Personally I would avoid wider focal lengths just due to how they can distort and exaggerate features, but it really depends. An environmental shot with the family smaller in the frame would be just fine at a wide angle. So this was not much help I'm sure, but there is so much variety in styles it's hard to tell you what you should do. If you can give more detail of the style of photos you are trying to achieve maybe you will get more specific advice.

---------- Post added 09-24-22 at 11:36 AM ----------

Here is a portrait of my mother her siblings and my grandmother at 140mm F8 with the Tamron 70-200mm. This was done to make the mountain large in the background.


---------- Post added 09-24-22 at 11:39 AM ----------

Here is a portrait with a 50mm at F4. The background is a little busy and F4 is just enough to drop it out of focus but keep 4 people in good focus. You might get away with F2.8 here but you have to be really careful how you line everyone up.


Another 50mm at F2 where the background blurs out quite a lot more but at F2 there is less definition on the people. Trees in the background don't always make the smoothest bokeh so you may want to try F2 or so.


50mm at F1.4 with a softbox fill using high speed sync.

Last edited by vector; 09-24-2022 at 11:50 AM.
09-24-2022, 10:51 AM   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2017
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 680
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Which size sensor? If FF (K-1) which I assume, the 28-105 should be nice for most shots if you can keep the background less busy or use the long end of the zoom range and keep the background a ways away from the subjects. This makes it easier to get sufficient depth of field and a nice background look.

The 24-70 will offer a little more opportunity for shallow depth of field but may be harder to keep groups in focus with at the lower f stop numbers.
Thank you very much!

I have a K-1, so FF. The background will be somewhat busy (woodland scenes), and I have only three subjects (mother, father, daughter).

---------- Post added 09-24-22 at 11:00 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by vector Quote
There is no one right way to do this, it depends greatly on how you like to shoot and the looks you want to achieve. I assume from your lenses that you have a K1 (all FF lenses). Outdoors you generally have room to move so I tend to favour 50mm and just move back to fit everyone in. For groups you will want to use something around f4 depending on the size of group to keep everyone in focus but still let the background blur. Maybe 5.6 or higher depending on the setting and how much you want the background to also be in focus. Personally I would avoid wider focal lengths just due to how they can distort and exaggerate features, but it really depends. An environmental shot with the family smaller in the frame would be just fine at a wide angle. So this was not much help I'm sure, but there is so much variety in styles it's hard to tell you what you should do. If you can give more detail of the style of photos you are trying to achieve maybe you will get more specific advice.

---------- Post added 09-24-22 at 11:36 AM ----------

Here is a portrait of my mother her siblings and my grandmother at 140mm F8 with the Tamron 70-200mm. This was done to make the mountain large in the background.


---------- Post added 09-24-22 at 11:39 AM ----------

Here is a portrait with a 50mm at F4. The background is a little busy and F4 is just enough drop it out of focus but keep 4 people in good focus. You might get away with F2.8 here but you have to be really careful how you line everyone up.
Thank you for the information and examples! I'll have a group of three (mother, father, daughter) in a woodland scene. The background will be busy, so I'll be looking for vague bokeh, rather than sharp definition. I think I'll lean towards the 50mm, or the 28-105mm, carefully set to 50.


Last edited by jawats; 09-24-2022 at 10:59 AM.
09-24-2022, 11:47 AM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
vector's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Alberta
Posts: 665
QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Thank you for the information and examples! I'll have a group of three (mother, father, daughter) in a woodland scene. The background will be busy, so I'll be looking for vague bokeh, rather than sharp definition. I think I'll lean towards the 50mm, or the 28-105mm, carefully set to 50.
I just threw another example up there with 50mm at F2 with trees behind. If you are careful and can shoot groups with the lens wide open to get as much blur as possible but at the risk of people being slightly out of focus. Also the further back you stand the deeper the depth of field so 50mm f2 from a distance that allows full body shots may still be enough depth to keep everyone in focus. You just have to play around and see what you like. For a first outing take a bunch at 50mm f4 to be safe and then try out whatever else you want.

As for fill flash the trick outdoors is balancing it against the ambient light which takes some practice, so if you haven't experimented with that much yet you may want to forgo it for today's shoot. I do it sometimes with a softbox and high speed sync and I like the look it gives. I can drop a portrait like that in the examples too.
09-24-2022, 12:23 PM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2017
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 680
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by vector Quote
I just threw another example up there with 50mm at F2 with trees behind. If you are careful and can shoot groups with the lens wide open to get as much blur as possible but at the risk of people being slightly out of focus. Also the further back you stand the deeper the depth of field so 50mm f2 from a distance that allows full body shots may still be enough depth to keep everyone in focus. You just have to play around and see what you like. For a first outing take a bunch at 50mm f4 to be safe and then try out whatever else you want.

As for fill flash the trick outdoors is balancing it against the ambient light which takes some practice, so if you haven't experimented with that much yet you may want to forgo it for today's shoot. I do it sometimes with a softbox and high speed sync and I like the look it gives. I can drop a portrait like that in the examples too.
Vec,

Thank you very much! For today, then, I will avoid the light sync.

My SMC-F 50mm 1.7 should work well for today. However, I think I will bring along a zoom as well, as I want to do some "walking in the forest" shots, where I am a bit farther away. The Tamron 70-200 should be versatile enough for that. The 150-450 I have might be a bit big / long for such a thing.
09-24-2022, 01:20 PM   #7
chd
Forum Member
chd's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 54
I don't have the Sigma 24-70 so I don't know how fast it is or what the image quality is like, but it seems fairly popular so I assume it's good, in which case that would probably be my first choice, with the 28-105 a close second. But as others have said, a lot comes down to your personal preference.

09-24-2022, 06:07 PM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2008
Location: Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 515
For three people go with the 50mm, nice soft head shots near wide open and about as good as it gets stopped down with very little distortion. Not sure where you're located but late afternoon/ early evening should provide for good light.
09-24-2022, 06:15 PM   #9
New Member




Join Date: Sep 2022
Posts: 16
QuoteOriginally posted by vector Quote
There is no one right way to do this, it depends greatly on how you like to shoot and the looks you want to achieve. I assume from your lenses that you have a K1 (all FF lenses). Outdoors you generally have room to move so I tend to favour 50mm and just move back to fit everyone in. For groups you will want to use something around f4 depending on the size of group to keep everyone in focus but still let the background blur. Maybe 5.6 or higher depending on the setting and how much you want the background to also be in focus. Personally I would avoid wider focal lengths just due to how they can distort and exaggerate features, but it really depends. An environmental shot with the family smaller in the frame would be just fine at a wide angle. So this was not much help I'm sure, but there is so much variety in styles it's hard to tell you what you should do. If you can give more detail of the style of photos you are trying to achieve maybe you will get more specific advice.

---------- Post added 09-24-22 at 11:36 AM ----------

Here is a portrait of my mother her siblings and my grandmother at 140mm F8 with the Tamron 70-200mm. This was done to make the mountain large in the background.


---------- Post added 09-24-22 at 11:39 AM ----------

Here is a portrait with a 50mm at F4. The background is a little busy and F4 is just enough to drop it out of focus but keep 4 people in good focus. You might get away with F2.8 here but you have to be really careful how you line everyone up.


Another 50mm at F2 where the background blurs out quite a lot more but at F2 there is less definition on the people. Trees in the background don't always make the smoothest bokeh so you may want to try F2 or so.


50mm at F1.4 with a softbox fill using high speed sync.
Love these photos.

Greeting from Historic Hastings in England.
09-24-2022, 10:32 PM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,002
As said earlier there are many ways to do this. I would personally have leaned toward the longest focal length of the lens 70 or 105) and shot with the group a little separated from the background. Id have tried to move back to allow for the framing needed. If that proved impractical Id have used wider but tried to stick to at least 40mm.

Using a flash to add fill light and get catch light to show in the eyes is a great way to really make the images stand out. Keep the flash subtle and no one will quite know why the images are better than normal.

Im interested in hearing how it went. Sample images if possible would add to the discussion.
09-25-2022, 08:50 AM   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2017
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 680
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
As said earlier there are many ways to do this. I would personally have leaned toward the longest focal length of the lens 70 or 105) and shot with the group a little separated from the background. Id have tried to move back to allow for the framing needed. If that proved impractical Id have used wider but tried to stick to at least 40mm.

Using a flash to add fill light and get catch light to show in the eyes is a great way to really make the images stand out. Keep the flash subtle and no one will quite know why the images are better than normal.

Im interested in hearing how it went. Sample images if possible would add to the discussion.
We're actually going do it today, weather permitting. I'm going to take my 50mm and my 70-200mm with me. I'll post some examples for thoughts / critique etc.
09-25-2022, 05:47 PM   #12
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2017
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 680
Original Poster
Okay, here are some examples - edited and cropped. 1 & 3 taken with my 70-200 F/2.8, the middle with my 50mm. I really preferred the versatility of the Tamron after a few taken.


-

F/5.6; 1/1000; ISO-6400; 115mm



f/6.7; 1/500; ISO-1600; 50mm



f/4; 1/1000; ISO-2200; 160mm

Let me know your thoughts. I know I would have dad pull his boots in a bit in the future.
09-25-2022, 07:03 PM   #13
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
vector's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Alberta
Posts: 665
QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Okay, here are some examples - edited and cropped. 1 & 3 taken with my 70-200 F/2.8, the middle with my 50mm. I really preferred the versatility of the Tamron after a few taken.
Hey very good. Like I said there is no single right way. 70-200 is a very commonly used portrait lens for good reason. The added focal length really helps melt away the background. For editing, again tastes vary, when I don't have fill flash or reflector to lift the shadows on faces I very subtly do it in post processing. It's super easy to overdo it though so subtle is key. As for posing, I am no expert there. I readily admit that as an amateur that is my biggest weakness shooting portraits.
09-26-2022, 06:54 AM   #14
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 24,002
Your images are overall very good. My one concern is that your iso was much higher than it needed to be. By lowering the shutter speed a bit you could have kept the iso lower which would give you lower noise and better dynamic range. How much of a difference in final images this would make depends a lot on how the images will be delivered and used.
09-26-2022, 08:52 AM   #15
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2017
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 680
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by vector Quote
Hey very good. Like I said there is no single right way. 70-200 is a very commonly used portrait lens for good reason. The added focal length really helps melt away the background. For editing, again tastes vary, when I don't have fill flash or reflector to lift the shadows on faces I very subtly do it in post processing. It's super easy to overdo it though so subtle is key. As for posing, I am no expert there. I readily admit that as an amateur that is my biggest weakness shooting portraits.
Thank you very much! And, I agree - one of the nice things about our tech age is the ability to do much in post-processing. And, I also agree that posing is something which will take me some time to develop.

---------- Post added 09-26-22 at 08:54 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Your images are overall very good. My one concern is that your iso was much higher than it needed to be. By lowering the shutter speed a bit you could have kept the iso lower which would give you lower noise and better dynamic range. How much of a difference in final images this would make depends a lot on how the images will be delivered and used.
UV,

I think you're right. I have a tendency to set my shutter speed too high - it's a habit from wildlife and sports photography. It's good advice, which I will keep in mind for my next shoots.

AFAIK, the client plans to print small images or keep them electronic. If they plan to enlarge, I will likely run it through a light denoising with Topaz Labs.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
50mm, background, camera, f4, ff, focus, images, iso, k-1, lens, lenses, mother, move, photography, portrait, portrait lens, post, shutter, tamron, technique
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice for first family small group portrait gsrokmix Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 5 09-04-2012 12:44 PM
People My first family pictures shoot (last fall) pgfilms Post Your Photos! 4 07-16-2011 11:48 AM
People First Family Shoot geoles2 Photo Critique 4 05-29-2011 01:44 AM
People First Family Portrait Session keithkdesigns Post Your Photos! 4 12-16-2010 10:32 PM
People First family portrait session candgpics Photo Critique 2 10-07-2009 03:54 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:47 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top