View Full Version : portrait lense advice
5th December 2008, 02:26 AM
Ive had my camera a while now and am fairly well versed in its use but im still at a loss when it comes to lenses. So my question is could someone reccomend a good portrait lense and give me a brief explanation as to why they are recomending it. I currently have a d80 with the 18-135mm kit lense and a sigma 105mm f2.8 macro, i have had some success with both these lenses but now want something more suited to portrait work, so any advice would be most appreciated.
5th December 2008, 08:25 AM
Although it won't fit your camera, I use an f1.8 prime lens on my eos400d and it's great! The shallow depth of field means that you can blur everything beyond the subject out, cutting down on background distractions and highlighting just the subject. And an aperture that size makes it a very 'fast' lens - no need for a tripod if youve got half-decent light.
So my advice would be to investigate what prime lenses you can get for your camera with an aperture of around f1.8, f1.4, something like that.
5th December 2008, 09:02 AM
can't imagine a better portrait lens than your Sigma 105/2.8. A Nikon 50/1.8 might be useful at about £80.
5th December 2008, 09:20 AM
The truth is any lens can be good for portrait work. I use a 90mm macro, 50MM f1.2, 70-200, 16-40, and my most adaptable 28-105. I have been known to use my 500MM mirror F8 as well as those A/M.
All are F2.8 or better - for good blurred backgrounds when required.
So what lens? Anyone really as all have their use, and limitations.
A good zoom is probably more adaptable as you can work around the subject or the subject is not at a fixed position. An F2.8 28-135 would be ideal in most situations and use the lens at F2.8 for nice blurred backgrouns.
Just my opinion - but practically any lens will do!!!:ok:
5th December 2008, 06:28 PM
looks like i might just have to have a play around with the lenses i have, quite possibly been blaming my tools to cover my inexperience with portrait work. I know the sigma can get some nice shots but its just a pain trying to use it in small areas. Cheers for the replies though guys
5th December 2008, 06:42 PM
An over-all focal length of 105mm is considered right for head + shoulders portrait, generally speaking. This is because it is slightly telephoto and gives a nice, but slight flattening affect to the face which looks right, it doesnt bring it right out and highlight any facial defects (to put it bluntly). On a full frame body this would be right, im guessing the Nikon DX is a 1.6x crop, so about 70mm is considered good (although 65mm comes much closer, at 104mm, rather than 114mm from the 70mm).
This might be a bit long for close range work, i have found my 50mm F1.8 prime to be almost spot on, till i can get hold of a 70mm prime (the sigi macro F2.8 would be good, much like your 105).
6th December 2008, 04:40 PM
Your 105mm should give you a lovely portrait, it's a touch on the long side but not by much. Save your money and get a D3x. Wayne
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