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  1. #11

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    If you have the opportunity, try a 50-135mm 3.5 AIS zoom. It is a great lens, although not as fast as some of the others under discussion. You might like the flexibility of variable focal lengths in that range in one lens during a shooting session.

  2. #12

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    Hallo,
    I believe that Nikon used to produce two DC (distortion control) lenses - 105 & 135mm I think. They had a seperate "focusing" ring that would alter the amount of background blur. They were designed primarily for portraits and could get the background blur of a 300mm with the 105mm lens. Might be worth investigating? Or have a look at a secondhand 200mm F2.0 - a cracker .
    Sim2

  3. #13

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    Mick - that is exactly the description of the different lenses that I needed! Thanks so much (and thanks to everyone else too!). I will now turn my attention to the 105 2.5 and expand from there.

  4. #14
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Honestly, if it's portraits you're going to be doing, I'd make the effort to get at least a 105 2.5 (I have it and it's terrific) or a wider aperture version. Or an 85 1.8 or 1.4 -- worth the money, if you're going to be charging money for your work.

    Close enough that you can have a rapport with your model, but far enough to get the right perspective. 300 is a nice lens but not suited for portraiture both in terms of perspective and how much more difficult it will be to communicate with your subjects.

  5. #15

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    Oct 2007
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    Lenses of vastly different focal length are usually not chosen because of 'Bokeh' or whatever but are chosen based on what one needs to accomplish. A 180mm and 300mm have vastly different uses. When you get over 200mm, the lens is usually used for Sporting Events or Nature Photography.
    Evaluate what you are going to use the lens to accomplish and then select the correct focal length and aperture. Nikon has produced Nikkor lenses to accomplish just about anything you can think of.-Dick

  6. #16
    narsuitus's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    I use the 105mm f/2.8 and the105mm f/2.5 as a portrait lenses. I also use the 180mm f/2.8 for head shots and tight face shots. I have never needed a longer focal length for portraits.

  7. #17
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    In Japan 300mm is a popular focal length for portraits. Don't quite know why, but Japanese paintings often have a very flattened perspective and so 300mm perspective may be seen as a natural for portraits.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  8. #18
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I was in the audience recently for a short demonstration (aimed at beginners) of head and shoulder portrait techniques. The photographer used a 200mm lens on a (APS-C I believe) digital SLR. By my calculations, that is equivalent to using a 300mm or longer telephoto on a 35mm camera, or a 500mm lens on a 6x4.5/6x6 camera.

    The camera to subject working distance was really long, and in my experience, really unusual.

    The photographer is a local pro, and appears to be both busy, and successful.

    He really depends heavily on his radio frequency flash triggers.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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