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member 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2004
 

the 85mm f1.2L II vs 135mm f2.0L??


hi, I just got Canon's 5D and want to buy a fixed lens for headshots and glam/beauty shots; i'll be shooting in a studio. I wanted to know if any of you have experienced either lenses. (obviously I need a nice fast lens. and nothing too distorting).

thanks in advance.


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9/20/2006 3:36:45 AM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  I don't specifically have experience with theses fixed focal length lenses but I would say that the quality of these lenses isn't what should be in question but the angle of view and how you tend to show. Oh, also how much room you have when you shoot. I love shooting with longer lenses but when I set up a studio I don't always have that much room to scoot back. Of course, if you have another lens you will use for full body shots, I guess this would probably be more for head and shoulders, 3/4, or headshots? If I had to go further I think I would go for the 135mm because 85mm isn't too far from 50mm but it's also a little wider than what I like to use for portraits. Personally, I don't think I'll be getting one of these lenses anytime soon because they are kinda pricy haha. Also, don't let the max aperture be a large deciding factor if you shoot a lot in the studio as you can control lighting but you probably know that. Also, I am generally able to shoot at something other than max aperture even with a 2.8 lens.

Good luck!

Andrew


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9/20/2006 10:32:07 PM

 
member 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2004
  hi andrew, and thanks!

i actually have pretty decent space to shoot in (about 3 feet worth of subject to background, and about 2 feet from subject to camera), and yes I certainly will be doing many types of shots including face, 3/4, and full-lengths. hence my inquiry on the 135mm lens.

but i'd also be doing some outdoors (not just studio).....would this lens also be good for that? (yes, luckily i've a budget for either of these lenses!)


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9/21/2006 1:58:41 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus   Hi mai,
Andrew is correct; you should be paying more attention to angle of view (prospective).
Your Canon is a full frame digital meaning the chip sensor is about the same size as the standard frame size of a 35mm film camera. This frame size is 24mm height x 36mm length and diagonal measure is 43.3mm. The diagonal measure is important because years ago it was determined that the best focal length for all-around picture taking is a lens with a focal length about equal to the diagonal. In the case of the 35mm film camera and your digital, the accepted normal focal length is the diagonal rounded up to 50mm. This give an angle of view of about 53 degrees, considered about the same as the human experience.

As to studio work, portraits and ¾ head shots, with your diagonal measure, it has been determined that a lens with a focal length of 105mm is best. Actually this is the minimum; a longer focal length is OK too. Why 105mm or better? Too short a focal length distorts the portrait prospective. A 35mm equipped with the standard 50mm, when used for portraits, causes the nose to reproduce slightly enlarged and the ears to be reproduced slightly too small. People tend to look at their portrait when taken with too short a lens and say, “I don’t photograph well”. Actually they have a mental picture of what they look like. This is their view from their make-up or shaving mirror. The 105mm on a 35mm camera duplicates this prospective. Shorter lenses do not so duplicate.

As an artist you are free to use whatever lens and technique you choose. There are no laws or standards for art. I am just telling you what is known to be within acceptable limits, and what sells if you plan to draw income (money) from your photo work.

Best regards,

Alan Marcus
Ammarcus@earthlink.net


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9/21/2006 7:14:46 AM

 
member 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2004
  hi alan, and thanks.

i understand that this is a bit hard for me, as i'm still very much all in the learning process and discovering the lovely advantages of renting too. but for this next lens I want to purchase, I plan to do everything from headshots to full-length fashion glam to portraits. (i have for now the 24-70mm zoom I use for candids, and plan to also get the 100mm macro for providing super close-ups for the makeup artists).

would the 135mm really distort *that* much? (Canon *does* have the 100mm, but i'm willing to spend for better quality glass as in a pro lens).

thanks again, for any help : )


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9/21/2006 9:26:49 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  Myself, I always heard that you wanted at least an 80mm lens for portraits though I think 80 would be good for full body shots and then for anything closer you could use longer, like 100mm or more. I think a new lens was released that was targeted for people buying the 5D but I'm not sure. I thought it was something like the 24-105mm f/4 L IS. It's not as fast but being L glass, I'm sure it's great. I mean, I have a Sigma brand 24-70mm f/2.8 lens similar to the Canon lens that you have and I can get some pretty good shots out of it when I stop down and don't use the ultra wide angle 24mm and f/2.8. Of course, I usually use this lens on my 20D as well but it also works quite well on my 35mm Canon.

Anyway, my main point that that I always heard that 85mm was a good portrait length though longer won't hurt, you'll just have to get further away. Also, if you shoot a lot of females, it's usually good to shoot just a little bit above them and if you have too long of a lens, you'll have to get higher up from further back to get full length shot. Personally, I would go for a really good zoom that includes 80-135. There is the Canon 28-135 that I've heard is very good. It's a little on the slow sie in terms of max aperture but it's also got Image Stabilization. Plus like I said, if you use studio strobes, you'll usually be over f5.6 anyways.

Andrew


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9/21/2006 10:36:25 PM

 
Alan N. Marcus   Hi againg mai and hellow to Andrew, Again mai, your camera is of the full frame 35mm size. Be careful of advice coming from others with experiences that stem from cameras with other size sensor chips.

Again the diagonal measure of your sensor chip determines what lens is normal and what lens is wide angle and what is telephoto. On your camera, 50mm is normal. Shorter is wide angle and longer is telephoto.

For your camera, the 105mm I talked about, considered ideal for portraiture and ¾ head shots. It is about 2.5 times longer than the diagonal measure of your sensor chip. This is a fact of physics and should be considered gospel.

Andrew, the Canon 20D has a sensor chip that is smaller by a factor of 1.6 than the 5D. This means the normal lens for thie 20D is about 30mm. For portraiture and ¾ head shots, the ideal for the 20D would be 2.5 times 30 or 75mm or rounded up, ideal is about 80mm.

Mai, why do you think a lens like a 135 distorts? Nothing could be further from the truth. Short lenses appear to distort when the resulting print is viewed from the wrong viewing distance. Long lenses appear to compress when the print is viewed from the wrong viewing distance. When image viewing distance is incorrect, a short lens appears to distorts by causing the nose to be too big as compared to the ears. A long lens seem to compress (telescope) distance. As an example, when photographing a distant automobile with a long lens, the rear bumper appears too close to the front bumper. This is called compression. The picture can appear weird but the image is actually true to life. The print is just being viewed from the wrong viewing distance.

Correct viewing distance is the focal length of the taking lens times the magnification used to make the final print (image). I know this is too complicated for you just now. Fpr now, know that you have lots to learn and years to do it in.

Best of luck,
Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net


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9/21/2006 11:42:19 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  I know that my camera's sensor is smaller but I DID start out with a 35mm slr so I, myself, know how this all works. I have heard I dont' know how many times on here that anywhere from 80mm to 135mm in the 35mm or fullframe digital format is a good good focal length for portraits. 80mm doesn't really distory. You can use this for full body shots and you can get closer and not have distortions for headshots. 135 definitly will keep you further away and will compress the field of view more but you will definitly have success with the 85 in terms of compression/distortion.

Either will do you well though the 85 will let you stay closer for full body and 3/4 shots though you will have to get a little closer that what you or the model might be comfortable with.

80-135 applies to full frame and normal 35mm.


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9/23/2006 5:22:36 PM

 
member 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2004
  HI ANDREW--

i had the 20D for a short period (w/the 18-70mm zoom I think). but i'd 'outgrown' my 1st digital which was the nikon D70. and had that nikon for over a yr--all too familiar w/the annoying factor adjustment tho LOL.


HI ALAN--

thanks, yes there *is* much still to learn for me lol. thanks, I do understand the focal lengths and the whole 'correct viewing' vs final print viewing. i'm also still *working* on that lol.

(btw, i've had *alot* of fun doing experimentals in distorting subjects w/my zoom @ 24mm and producing some really interesting effects: very editorial IMO).

the distortion I was referring to is that, I was told by another photographer who also shoots glam, that too long of a telephoto lens will stretch the subject too much causing the "head too big while body too thin". kwim? but I understand here what you're saying too, and will definitely look into Canon's 100mm lens (the closest Canon has).


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9/24/2006 1:43:12 AM

 
member 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/18/2004
  ps:

ANDREW - the only lens the 5D canNOT take are the ones designed for the factor adjustment, since the 5D is full-framed already and doesn't need any RE-adjusting. kwim? other than that, it can certainly take any of Canon's low-end or L lens.

(i really don't futz too much w/other brands. tamron, i've been told, is supposedly a great 2nd-rate/backup lens to have tho!)

: )


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9/24/2006 1:46:40 AM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  yeah I know :) I'm pretty familiar with Canon's cameras. Good luck on your decision! See if you can try them out of course. Use the salesperson as a trial subject in the store! haha.

Andrew


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9/24/2006 11:39:39 AM

 
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