Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 17, 2011, 3:19 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1
Default Best Lens for Portrait Photos

I have a Nikon D60 and just starting to get requests for portraits (mostly babies and kids). My experience is primarily outdoor scenic photography. Seeking advice for the best lens to use primarily with natural light / indoor photos. Considering FAST 50mm and 85mm.
thanks
BromleyJC is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 17, 2011, 3:39 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

In the days of film, the most popular focal length for portraiture was from 85mm to 135mm. On an APS-C dSLR, a lens with a focal length of from 57mm to 92mm would give a similar perspective.

But for 'head and shoulders" portraits of small subjects ("babies and kids") a longer focal length would give you more room to work with. You might consider a 70-200/2.8 for maximum flexibility, but otherwise, I think you'd get better results with an 85mm lens than a 50mm lens.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 17, 2011, 4:30 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,234
Default

Babies and kids. Indoors and available light. Your subjects will tend to move around quite a bit, usually when you are just about ready to snap the shutter. The faster shutter speeds needed can be provided by a fast portrait lens (as TCav suggests, 85mm should work well). The downside of using wide apertures in this situation is that the DOF is quite shallow, and your subjects can move out of focus quite easily.
Curare works well to slow the kids down, but parents often object to having it used on their children, so it may be necessary to stop down the lens, bite the bullet and use flash. My own recommendation would be to invest in lighting first, rather than a lens (or in addition, if you have the money).

brian
VTphotog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18, 2011, 10:07 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,396
Default

Agree a 85mm f/1.2 would be nice, though many use a normal 24-70 f/2.8 and decent off camera lighting ( a couple of good upper end speedlights that can be controlled from the camera would get you started, along with a couple of reflectors and a few stands.).

If you haven't met strobist give that site a read
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

Excellent info on getting pro quality results with relatively inexpensive speedlights.

That 85mm @ f/1.2 and 10 feet has a depth of field of 2.34 inches.
In that situation duct-tape comes to the rescue!
__________________
A smartphone is all the "camera" you really need.

Last edited by PeterP; Nov 18, 2011 at 10:10 AM.
PeterP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18, 2011, 12:25 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
tjsnaps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Posts: 652
Default

Personaly I think the Best portrait lens for a DX camera would be the 58mm f/1.2 Nikkor Noct lens unfortunately it's hard to find and exceedingly expensive.
tjsnaps is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:42 AM.