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Old Oct 17, 2003, 4:02 PM   #1
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Default What's the best Lens to use for Portraits?

I found someone who is going to give me portrait photography lessons next month. I'll be using his lighting and studio but I must provide my own camera and lenses. I'll be using my recently purchased Canon 300D with EF 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5 USM and an EF 70-200 F/3.5.-4.5 L USM lenses. Are these lenses good for portraits? If not what do you suggest? The camera store has given me 30 days to exchange these lenses.
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Old Oct 17, 2003, 4:57 PM   #2
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A 50mm f/1.8?
... that give you an excellent 80mm f/1.8 equivalent and enough defocus for headshots.
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Old Oct 17, 2003, 5:29 PM   #3
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NHL, is this a fixed focal length lens? If so, how does one "defocus" when shooting a portrait? Which brand would you recommend that's reasonably priced? (is there such a thing?)
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Old Oct 17, 2003, 5:33 PM   #4
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Is there such a thing as a 70-200 3.5-4.5L lens?

Anyways, NHL means the Canon $70 cheap-o-plastic-but-optically-excellent 50mm / f1.8. Typically people like a 50mm to 85mm lens for portraits on a full-frame camera. Thus the 50/1.8 on the 300D will get you to 80mm, which is at the high end of that range. Also, it has as nice shallow DOF, with the F1.8. Good for portraits!

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Old Oct 18, 2003, 1:11 AM   #5
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The new plastic 50mm/f1.8 lens is "cheapo-plastic". But plastic does not always mean cheap.

Through careful shopping, I found a Series-I 50mm/f1.8 (metal mount) lens on Ebay for $80.00-US. Best $$ I've ever spent on a lens. The fast f1.8 allows for shallow Depth of Field while shooting in many low-light situations not possible with any other lens. On my D30, it's the perfect 80mm Portrait lens too!
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 1:48 AM   #6
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I would blindly trust Kalypso's recommendations. Go with the 50 / 1.8.

You're lucky to find a series-I lens for $80! That sounds like a good deal.

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Old Oct 18, 2003, 9:22 AM   #7
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There's always the 50mm f/1.4... It's full (more expensive) metal! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 1:16 PM   #8
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The 50mm f1.8 is also extreme lightweight, this makes the iron cast less mandatory (unless you plan to use it for war and wild concert reportages, year in year out). I bought a plastic version secondhand, no wobble at all.
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