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Old Mar 24, 2012, 6:21 AM   #1
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Default Advice on Sr. Portrait Cannon Lens

I've been asked to shoot some Sr. Pic's within the next several weeks.
I currently have a Cannon T1i and would like some feedback on what would be the best Cannon lens to use. I would like a lens that is very sharp.
99% of the pic's will be shot outside in different areas, hopefully on a sunny day, but will have to deal with Mother Nature.
Any feedback will be appreciated.
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 8:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hd4bmb View Post
I've been asked to shoot some Sr. Pic's within the next several weeks.
Welcome to the forum.

I didn't know what "Sr. Portraits" were until I checked Wikipedia.

Quote:
I currently have a Cannon T1i and would like some feedback on what would be the best Cannon lens to use. I would like a lens that is very sharp.
99% of the pic's will be shot outside in different areas, hopefully on a sunny day, but will have to deal with Mother Nature.
Any feedback will be appreciated.
Outdoors in good light, you can expect very good results from the standard
18-55mm IS kit lens. In poor light, a faster lens would be an advantage.

You have a few options.

Use flash. Preferably a 'proper' external flash. Off-camera and/or
with a diffuser will give best results.

Buy a fast prime lens. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 seems like an ideal
choice and it is dirt cheap. The focal length seems about right
for your intended purpose. A more expensive option would be the
Sigma 50mm f/1.4. If you need longer FL for head-and-shoulders
portraits, perhaps a Canon 85mm or 135mm prime.

Buy a better quality zoom lens. Tamron 15-50mm (non-VC version)
or Sigma 17-70mm. If your budget allows, the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
is a great lens. For longer FL, the Canon 70-200mm L lenses are
among the best. The f/4 non-IS version is pretty good. The f/2.8 IS
version is lovely but rather pricey.

The kit lens or any of those mentioned above will do a good
job. You mentioned that you are looking for exceptionally sharp
images. This is not always desirable in portraits, particularly
of women and children. However, if sharpness is a high priority,
some of the macro lenses are very good for shooting portraits.
The Canon 60mm f/2.8 and the 50mm f/2.5 are both razor sharp.
You will often find used macro lenses in as-new condition. Many people
buy macro lenses and then decide to sell them because shooting
macro turns out to be more difficult than they expected.
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 9:45 AM   #3
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Senior portraits have become more complicated that the typical sit-in-front-of-the-camera-and-get-your-picher-took shot. They are typically more involved than just 2-3 minutes per person. Taking them outdoors means that, over the course of the day, lighting conditions and the position of the Sun are likely to vary considerably. You'll need to avoid harsh shadows, and possibly even have supplimental light sources like flashes and/or reflectors.

In the days of 35mm flim, it was generally agreed that lenses with focal lengths of from 85mm to 135mm were best for portraits, with 105mm being very popular. On an APS-C dSLR, lenses with focal lengths of from 55mm to 90mm have about the same perspective. For environmental portraits, you could use something wider, but the kit lens won't help you for some of the more intimate shots. Something like the Tamron 28-75/2.8 might be a better choice.
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Tough highly competitive business seniors
here is a video of one seniors photo shoot
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpTNp4QHQYo

As far as equipment
based on Pro FF Camera, so adjust lenses focal lengths to match what you are using
lenses range from 16mm to 200mm, all capable of shallow dof (ie fast 2.8).
note pocket wizard on camera controlling 1 or 2 remote strobes.
reflectors and overhead scrims used to control lighting, and assistant handling the lighting placement.

You do need to know how to control light and light a subject well especially outdoors which is much more difficult that in studio to pull it off.
As well as pose & direct them, also consult with the subject on the appropriate clothing to bring and have good locations worked out.

Modern senior shoots are quite the production, not the good old sit in front of a fixed camera and pop off a few shots that sufficed years ago.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 8:01 AM   #5
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i have shot a few sr pics and i use the canon 24-105 f4 and the canon 70-200 f4 .does great job
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 8:35 AM   #6
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Also, let the subject know what you're doing and why, as you do it.

But more important, know what you're doing and why.
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 1:17 PM   #7
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good day the kit 18-55 will be ok if its not then you will need a flash and i would look at either sigma 17-70os or a 50 1.8. an external flash will also be a good idea
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 10:11 PM   #8
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Something that should have been asked or mentioned at the start.

Are you doing these senior shoots as a personal project, or are you taking any fee for the sessions and images?

The answer to that question changes the requirements big time.

For a personal project almost anything you have or can afford will do and it will be an interesting learning experience.

If taking fee, not the place to be learning light control, posing, directing or using consumer level equipment.

Once again good luck with your sessions!
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