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Old Sep 24, 2005, 7:39 PM   #11
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As far as my lenses, I already have a minolta 50mm f1.7 and a promaster 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 and a minolta 80-210 f4.5-5.6 and a sakar 70-210mm f4.0 with macro zoom 1.1-2.0 . I do know that these lenses are not FAST, but its what I have picked up over the years on the cheap. Now that I have found BHPHOTO, I can work on getting some better lenses and some longer ones too.

I am not sure if I should think of the 1.5x factor of the camera as a good or a bad thing, I think it's good that my 210mm long lense not will give me 315mm of zoom. But then again I can't get as close with the 28mm short end since it is now 42mm effective.

Mike
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Old Sep 24, 2005, 7:53 PM   #12
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mikesjoint wrote:
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As far as my lenses, I already have a minolta 50mm f1.7 and a promaster 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 and a minolta 80-210 f4.5-5.6 and a sakar 70-210mm f4.0 with macro zoom 1.1-2.0 . I do know that these lenses are not FAST, but its what I have picked up over the years on the cheap. Now that I have found BHPHOTO, I can work on getting some better lenses and some longer ones too.

Also, check out theUsed Lenses at B&H (use the Minolta Autofocus-Maxxum Category for searches).

You can sometimes find some pretty good deals there (check often as stock changes frequently).

Your 28-80mm will be like starting out at 42mm after the 1.5x crop factor (as you noted) compared to the same angle of view you'd have on a Maxxum 5000i.

So, I just wanted to make sure you would be aware of that (some users may need something starting out wider, and some users may be fine with 42mm or even 50mm equivalent, depending on what they are shooting).


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Old Sep 24, 2005, 8:07 PM   #13
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I have always wondered, about what focal length is NORMAL for portrait shots, I do not know where, but at some point I think I was told that 135mm is about right, but do not really know.

I was looking at BH used lenses just now, GREAT MINDS HUH



Mike

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Old Sep 24, 2005, 8:37 PM   #14
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Well, you'll get lots of opinons on that one.

A longer lens tends to compress the background more (actually it's your distance to subject that impacts perspective).

A wider lens (again, it's really your distance toyour subject that impacts perspective) can distort features (making a nose or other body parts that are closer to the camera appear larger in comparison to the parts that are further away from the camera).

Some users deliberately do this for some kinds of shots (for example, making a foot or hand pointing towards the camera appear to be very large compared to the body behind it by shooting at closer distances with a wider lens).

Around 85mm is what many users consider to be about right for portraits (on a 35mm camera, so a shorter lens would work on a DSLR with a crop factor).

A 50mm lens is very popular on DSLR models for portraits (since the focal length after the crop factoris about right for preventing any perspective (or barrel distortion) problems, and you can get primes with relatively wide apertures for a shallow depth of field). The Minolta 50mm f/1.4 is popular for this use. Since you already have a 50mm f/1.7, I'd probably suggest it for portrait use.

But, a longer lens can give you better looking bokeh (quality of the background blur), since the compressed background can appear to be more blurry than it is due to perspective from shooting at further distances from your subject).

Although Focus Distance, Aperture and Focal Length all impact depth of field, focal length is not really a big factor determining Depth of Field (if you measured the actual depth of field with both lens types).

That's because if you shoot with a longer lens, you'd need to shoot from further away for your subject to fill the same percentage of the frame. So, true Depth of Field isn't changing if you use the same aperture setting and framing for your subject (the greater distance to subject needed with a longer focal length lens is going to cancel out it's shallower depth of field).

But, the perspective you get from the more compressed background shooting from further away gives the illusion of a shallower depth of field when it's out of focus. Hence, why some users prefer longer lenses for portraiture.

I've been impressed with the Minolta 135mm f/2.8 on a Maxxum 35mm camera (I bought one of theselenses of these from the used dept. at B&H). But, I haven't had the opportunity to use it on a KM DSLR. It's a bit long for what I'd typically shoot (especially since it would have a 35mm equivalent focal length ofaround 200mm on a DSLR). But, for a 35mm model, it works great for head shots, etc.

I have seen some pretty nice model shoots from a 7D photographer using this lens, too. The Bokeh is pretty goodwhen shooting wide open (or with the aperture stopped down just a bit).

The Minolta 85mm f/1.4 is probably the most popular lens for portraiture that I've seen good 7D photographers use. It's a very high quality lens with rounded aperture blades (and it's wider available apertures is great for controlling depth of field where you want your subject to stand out from distracting backgrounds). I've seen a lot of nice shots from 7D owners using this lens.

I went with a 100mm f/2 for when I may want a little longer lens for this purpose (which would be like shooting with a 150mm lens on a 35mm camera). Even this would be a little long for most of my shooting needs. But, for outdoor portraits, I could see it being a nice fit (and I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for it on the used market). I found mine at http://www.adorama.com (they also have a used department).

I also bought a Tamron 35-105mm f/2.8 that would probably work fine for portraiture on it's longer end, with greater flexibilty compared to a prime (although it'snot going to be as sharp at f/2.8 compared to the primes if I wanted to shoot wide open for a shallow depth of field).

It starts out a bit long for many DSLR uses, but I got one at a very good price from the used department at http://www.keh.com (and it tests much better on MTF charts compared toTamron's newer 28-105mm f/2.8 ).


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