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  1. #1

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    Portrait lens thoughts

    I am now considering a portrait lens again as I soon will hit the amount of money needed to buy one (I have thought of getting one before, but the money was needed somewhere else )

    I have always been hooked on the Canon EF 85 f/1.8, but before heading out and getting it I am looking some other options. I do that because I am thinking of getting a lens that both will be usable for portraits and macro work. Are some of the following lenses anything good for portraits or should I get individual lenses for portraits and macro?
    • Canon EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
    • Sigma MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG
    • Tamron SP AF90MM F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1


    Greetings Morten

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    Hi Morten.

    I haven't shot a lot of 35mm, until recently, and I have only one lens for my camera, a Tamron 28-200 aspherical f3.5-5.6, macro. One of those lenses that's supposed to do everything, and nothing well. I was surprised at how wel it works for portraits. The attached scan was shot with the above lens, handheld, with Foma 200, developed in 510-Pyro, and printed on Ilford MG WT FB, developed in DRU, untoned.
    Thanks for the reply. I use a 70-300 lens now for portraits, but would a prime because of the extra speed f/1.8, f/2.0 or f/2.8 gives me. I am almost happy with my zoom, but a prime is ideal for portrait I think.

    Morten

  3. #3

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    Honestly, I used two zooms for a long time. One being my primary portrait and that was a 70-300.. Very useful for kids and parties and people junk... For my more set up shots, I find that my 85mm 1.8 is perfect. I think a 105mm would be a nicer focal length but having that 1.8 is nice... My AF is supposed to work a lot quicker too, but I haven't tried it really...

  4. #4
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    This may be more of an issue on MF, I don't know, but make sure that if you don't get the macro, it focuses close enough for your taste. I need to get an extension tube for my Mamiya 150mm f3.5 to do head shots. The macro will definately do it and might be just the thing.

  5. #5
    titrisol's Avatar
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    The 90mm tamron macro used to be outstanding.
    It gave 1:1 magnification which can be a plus if you decide to do macro.
    Very flat field as well.
    Mama took my APX away.....

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sorensen
    This may be more of an issue on MF, I don't know, but make sure that if you don't get the macro, it focuses close enough for your taste. I need to get an extension tube for my Mamiya 150mm f3.5 to do head shots. The macro will definately do it and might be just the thing.
    Good point. The 85 mm from Canon has minimum distance from camera to subject of 85 cm. (a bit less than 3 feet) so it should be ok for headshots.

  7. #7

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    Try a Zeiss Planar. I think you can get an adaptor for it to be used with EOS.

  8. #8

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    The Zeiss is a bit too expensive for me...

    But thanks for the tip.

  9. #9
    roteague's Avatar
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    I've got the Sigma MACRO 105mm F2.8 EX DG that I use for macro. It is tack sharp, the focus motor is fast and quiet; the lens is just an all round pleasure to use.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  10. #10
    Peter Williams's Avatar
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    I have used both of the Canon lenses that you mentioned and found them both to be great lenses. When shooting the 1.8 wide open I soon learned what shallow depth of field means. I prefer to have my subject's entire head in focus when doing portraits and I often did not when using the 85 1.8 (no need to point out that it was highly likely my error, not the lens') and found that using the 100 2.8 wide open still did a great job of throwing the background out of focus, but freed me from having to think about how much, what parts of my subject were in focus. For my taste, I would go with the 100mm Macro.
    If you can't answer a man's argument, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.
    - Elbert Hubbard

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