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Photography Question 
Tammy M. Richards
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/25/2005

What lens should I use for senior portraits?

I was asked by a friend if I would be willing to take her son's senior pictures. This is the first time I have ever done this, so I was wondering what lens I should use when I photograph him. I have an Olympus Evolt E-500 digital SLR Camera with a 14-45 mm lens and a 40-150 mm lens. I will be taking the photos outdoors. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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6/15/2006 9:39:33 AM

Alan N. Marcus   On a 35mm film camera, the lens of choice for portraiture is 105mm or longer. This creates a prospective familiar to your subject. It is the prospective he/she perceives from the make-up or shaving mirror.

Your camera has a chip that is about the size of the standard 35mm film format. Therefore dividing 105 by 2 = 52.5mm. This reproduces the desired perspective. No need to hit this exactly right, in fact, longer is better.

Use the 40-150 lens, set it at about the 55 mm mark (about 1/3 up from wide setting).

You will do just fine, focus on the eyes. Shoot in open shade, use the flash on the camera to fill shadows.

This is your hobby so having fun is a requirement. Make no promises of greatness. Practice make perfect.

Alan Marcus

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6/15/2006 8:34:37 PM

Tammy M. Richards
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/25/2005
  Thank you so much Alan for your suggestions regarding the senior pictures! You have been very helpful and I feel less nervous about doing this for my friend. My main focus of interest is nature and landscape photography, but it will be a lot fun to do some outdoor portraits as well. :)

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6/16/2006 12:34:41 PM

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