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Old Jan 18, 2006, 8:18 PM   #1
tp
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I am about to buy Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM for my portrait shooting. I would like some advise if this lens is good for portrait , I have canon digital Rebel XT. thanks.


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Old Jan 18, 2006, 9:04 PM   #2
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The 35mm f/1.4L is a great low light lens and may be ok for full body shots. If you plan on doing any head and shoulder shots though,you may be better off going to a longer lens such as the 85mm f/1.2 L, fantastic bokeh with this lens too. You could save yourself about a $1000 though and get the 85mm f/1.8, it is a great portrait lens also and only around $350.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 10:14 PM   #3
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Caboose wrote:
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The 35mm f/1.4L is a great low light lens and may be ok for full body shots. If you plan on doing any head and shoulder shots though,you may be better off going to a longer lens such as the 85mm f/1.2 L, fantastic bokeh with this lens too. You could save yourself about a $1000 though and get the 85mm f/1.8, it is a great portrait lens also and only around $350.

Thanks Caboose for feedback. BTW , with this lens I can still get up close to the person and take the head and shoulder shots right ?. I am not very sure why this lens is nota good idea for portrait as you said. Thanks.
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 5:05 AM   #4
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tp.... here is a quote useful to you, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Choose-the...&id=127050

"There is nothing that beats a good portrait photograph. Especially when both the subject and the photographer are pleased with the results.

But, if you want to take good portrait photos you need to think about investing in the right sort of lens. If you want your subjects to be pleased with the results of your work, then make sure you get a lens fit for the job. And that means, one with the correct focal length.

Lenses with a focal length less than 80mm are no good. They make noses look too big because the photographer has to get in too close. The ideal portrait lens has a focal length in the range 90mm to 135mm. These keep the natural proportions of the face as you see with the naked eye.

Don't forget your sensor size when determining the equivalent focal length. Most modern digital cameras have a sensor that is smaller than the 35mm film equivalent. This means you have to factor in a multiplier to get the correct lens focal length. A film lens of 50mm would work out 80mm on a digital sensor with a 1.6 multiplier factor. Refer to your camera handbook for information on magnification factors for sensors.

A longer focal length means you can stand a bit further away and still fill the frame to your desire. This makes the nose more in proportion with the rest of the face and is very flattering.


Eric Hartwell runs the photography resource site http://www.theshutter.co.uk and the associated discussion forums as well as the regular weblog at http://thephotographysite.blogspot.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eric_Hartwell"

I own a Canon 350D with a 50mm lens. That becomes a 80mm with the 1.6x cropping factor. It is good for portraits. But 35mm will definitely be too small (make the nose and other parts of the face / portrait appear out of proportion).

Hope this is helpful!

All the best,

Paul
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 6:58 PM   #5
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Thanks both Caboose and Pj1974 for helping out.
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 7:55 PM   #6
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Even if it's against a professional's advise, I wouldn't shrug off the idea of using a shorter focal length lens (~30 or maybe even less) once in a while. The main reason is due to the limitations of physical space while indoors. I even find my sigma 30 a little too long in some cases (mostly when trying full body shots); let alone, trying to use a lens 50mm and up.

Also, a prime contributes to that limitation... in some cases, its too short, too long, etc.

So unless you have a LOT of control over your environment (either because it's a studio or outdoors with lots of walking space) or it's way too dark for f/2.8, then I'd say go for a zoom.

One last note is that I think a flash unit with a swivel head is very useful at times. I use to hate flash but it's a lifesaver when you need it.
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 10:25 PM   #7
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BoYFrMSpC wrote:
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Even if it's against a professional's advise, I wouldn't shrug off the idea of using a shorter focal length lens (~30 or maybe even less) once in a while. The main reason is due to the limitations of physical space while indoors. I even find my sigma 30 a little too long in some cases (mostly when trying full body shots); let alone, trying to use a lens 50mm and up.

Also, a prime contributes to that limitation... in some cases, its too short, too long, etc.

So unless you have a LOT of control over your environment (either because it's a studio or outdoors with lots of walking space) or it's way too dark for f/2.8, then I'd say go for a zoom.

One last note is that I think a flash unit with a swivel head is very useful at times. I use to hate flash but it's a lifesaver when you need it.

As you said go for a zoom, But I read some where it say FIX lens is sharper than ZOOM lens. Let me know if it not true. Thanks
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 10:45 PM   #8
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tp wrote:
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As you said go for a zoom, But I read some where it say FIX lens is sharper than ZOOM lens. Let me know if it not true. Thanks
It's used to be true with old lenses - but not anymore with modern zoom designs... At least in sharpness, all you have to do is to check the MTF's of the prime vs the zoom you're interested in
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