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Which lens for portraits

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July 4, 2005 7:07:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
Thanks for your help.

More about : lens portraits

Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:07:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
wrote:

>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>Thanks for your help.

No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.

This is what a good portrait lens is:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?prod...


*********************************************************

"I have been a witness, and these pictures are
my testimony. The events I have recorded should
not be forgotten and must not be repeated."

-James Nachtwey-
http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:07:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk> writes:

> I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
> reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
> though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
> range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
> d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??

Yes. The focal length range is fine; 70mm is more than long enough to
get headshots without being so close you distort the perspective, and
18mm is pretty decent for getting full-length even in somewhat crowded
conditions (and going significantly wider will be fairly expensive).
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Related resources
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:07:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> writes:

> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
> wrote:
>
>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>Thanks for your help.
>
> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.

I think those issues are quite unimportant for a *painter* taking
*reference shots*, though, which is what the OP said he was/was going
to do.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:07:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> writes:

> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
> wrote:
>
>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>Thanks for your help.
>
> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.

Oh, and those focal lengths are in the range normally used for
portraits *on 35mm film* (and most portrait shooters use something
bigger, but let's skip over that for now), wheras the OP is asking
about something for use on a D70, which is a 1.5x crop factor camera.
The 70mm end will give a FOV as a 105mm on 35mm, right in the middle
of that range.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:07:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
> wrote:
>
>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>Thanks for your help.
>
> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
> zoom but it will not be as sharp.

Zoom lenses *are* prime lenses, notwithstanding the popular misusage of that
term.

"Prime lens" means the camera lens as opposed to some other lens or
lenticular device used in front of it or behind it.

People who think "prime" means "fixed focal length" are generally
well-meaning but misled and/or ignorant people. If they persist in promoting
this misusage, sooner or later they will probably all have to be taken out
and shot.

N.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:07:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
>> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>
> I think those issues are quite unimportant for a *painter* taking
> *reference shots*, though, which is what the OP said he was/was going
> to do.

I have to agree. Every poster here, with the exception of the above, has
been way off the mark. We are trying to help a painter who wants to shoot
photos for reference, not a photographer who is going to make the photo his
final piece of work. The kit lens on a D70 will be more than adequate for
his needs. From a photographer's viewpoint the problem is that the kit lens
doesn't have a large enough aperture to blur the background for a good
"photo." True, but a painter can do whatever they want with the background,
and will probably interpret the subject as well.

What we don't want here is a wide angle that distorts the image, or a
telephoto that is so long it flattens the image. Taking into account the
smaller sensor of the D70 (x1.5), the kit lens should work fine, and the
lens gets excellent reviews compared to most digital zooms in that range.

He could buy just the camera body and add an inexpensive 50mm lens to save
some money, but the kit lens will give him a lot more versatility should he
decide to use the camera for other things.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:07:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
news:3vOdnYjDvLzc91TfRVn-vQ@comcast.com...
>
> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>Thanks for your help.
>>
>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>> zoom but it will not be as sharp.
>
> Zoom lenses *are* prime lenses, notwithstanding the popular misusage of
> that term.
>
> "Prime lens" means the camera lens as opposed to some other lens or
> lenticular device used in front of it or behind it.
>
> People who think "prime" means "fixed focal length" are generally
> well-meaning but misled and/or ignorant people. If they persist in
> promoting this misusage, sooner or later they will probably all have to be
> taken out and shot.
>
> N.
>

I've given up on trying to get that point across, I just stick to FFL (Fixed
Focal Length) when I'm talking about a lens with only one focal length.
Those who use "prime" as a synonym for that will argue vociferously with
you, it's a battle better left unfought. And it would be a waste perfectly
good ammunition to go out and shoot all of those who use the word "prime,"
there'd just be more taking their place... ;-)

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:15:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
> wrote:
>
>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>Thanks for your help.
>
> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>
> This is what a good portrait lens is:
>
> http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?prod...
>
>

I completely disagree. The 18-70 is outstanding and very sharp. It's an
excellent portrait lens. A portrait lens should not be TOO sharp or it will
show every flaw.

I do agree a narrow depth of field is a good idea, but I'd suggest the
poster consider an inexpensive 50/1.8 Nikkor on the D70 before considering a
$1500 85/1.2 that would be a BAD choice for digital SLR with a 1.5 or 1.6x
factor.

Who would shoot a portrait with the equivalent of a 130mm lens?

Tom
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:15:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tom Scales wrote:
> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for
>>> taking
>>> reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>> though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of
>>> lens
>>> range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the
>>> nikon d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be
>>> adequate?? Thanks for your help.
>>
>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you
>> can have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>>
>> This is what a good portrait lens is:
>>
>> http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?prod...
>>
>>
>
> I completely disagree. The 18-70 is outstanding and very sharp.
> It's
> an excellent portrait lens. A portrait lens should not be TOO sharp
> or it will show every flaw.
>
> I do agree a narrow depth of field is a good idea, but I'd suggest
> the
> poster consider an inexpensive 50/1.8 Nikkor on the D70 before
> considering a $1500 85/1.2 that would be a BAD choice for digital
> SLR
> with a 1.5 or 1.6x factor.
>
> Who would shoot a portrait with the equivalent of a 130mm lens?
>
> Tom

There you go again: How do you know what "Most portrait shooter " do?
As in "Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes ... "? That may
have been true in the olden, pre-cropfactor days. The majors made and
sold many, many 85mm "portrait lenses", some with "soft focus"
expressly built for portrait work.

In terms of today's 1.5 and 1.6 cameras, an actual 85mm lens is on the
long end of portrait use; even a 70mm lens is stretching it a bit. On
the other hand, Tom's recommendation of 50mm is very much in the
ball-park. An 18-70mm lens with a reasonably wide aperture will cover
the field admirably.

--
Frank ess
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:15:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <rocye.140904$VH2.136386@tornado.tampabay.rr.com>, Tom
Scales <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote:

> I completely disagree. The 18-70 is outstanding and very sharp. It's an
> excellent portrait lens. A portrait lens should not be TOO sharp or it will
> show every flaw.
>
> I do agree a narrow depth of field is a good idea, but I'd suggest the
> poster consider an inexpensive 50/1.8 Nikkor on the D70 before considering a
> $1500 85/1.2 that would be a BAD choice for digital SLR with a 1.5 or 1.6x
> factor.
>
> Who would shoot a portrait with the equivalent of a 130mm lens?

I'd like to try the Canon soft-focus lens. I used to use the soft-focus
lens for the RB and loved it.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 8:16:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Gary" <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:skgic1pm3fvdvq7vphomhaneqd8h7v3hhe@4ax.com...
> ..considering buying a digital slr for taking
> reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
> though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
> range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
> d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
> Thanks for your help.

The accepted 'correct' focal length for portraits is 105mm - so 70mm would
be just dandy on a d70.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 8:47:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Skip M" <shadowcatcher@cox.net> writes:

> "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
> news:3vOdnYjDvLzc91TfRVn-vQ@comcast.com...
>>
>> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>> news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
>>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>>Thanks for your help.
>>>
>>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>>> zoom but it will not be as sharp.
>>
>> Zoom lenses *are* prime lenses, notwithstanding the popular misusage of
>> that term.
>>
>> "Prime lens" means the camera lens as opposed to some other lens or
>> lenticular device used in front of it or behind it.
>>
>> People who think "prime" means "fixed focal length" are generally
>> well-meaning but misled and/or ignorant people. If they persist in
>> promoting this misusage, sooner or later they will probably all have to be
>> taken out and shot.
>>
>> N.
>>
>
> I've given up on trying to get that point across, I just stick to FFL (Fixed
> Focal Length) when I'm talking about a lens with only one focal length.
> Those who use "prime" as a synonym for that will argue vociferously with
> you, it's a battle better left unfought. And it would be a waste perfectly
> good ammunition to go out and shoot all of those who use the word "prime,"
> there'd just be more taking their place... ;-)

Hey, if you're going to consider shooting us (I use it because it's
what people understand, basically), you should know the other thing
FFL stands for, and it might be better to avoid that confusion too
:-).
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 9:29:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Frank ess" <frank@fshe2fs.com> wrote in message
news:ZPmdnfRAU-Ob_1TfRVn-gg@giganews.com...
> Tom Scales wrote:
>> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>> news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
>>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>> reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>> though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>> range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the
>>>> nikon d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be
>>>> adequate?? Thanks for your help.
>>>
>>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>>> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you
>>> can have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>>>
>>> This is what a good portrait lens is:
>>>
>>> http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?prod...
>>>
>>>
>>
>> I completely disagree. The 18-70 is outstanding and very sharp. It's
>> an excellent portrait lens. A portrait lens should not be TOO sharp
>> or it will show every flaw.
>>
>> I do agree a narrow depth of field is a good idea, but I'd suggest the
>> poster consider an inexpensive 50/1.8 Nikkor on the D70 before
>> considering a $1500 85/1.2 that would be a BAD choice for digital SLR
>> with a 1.5 or 1.6x factor.
>>
>> Who would shoot a portrait with the equivalent of a 130mm lens?
>>
>> Tom
>
> There you go again: How do you know what "Most portrait shooter " do? As
> in "Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes ... "? That may have
> been true in the olden, pre-cropfactor days. The majors made and sold
> many, many 85mm "portrait lenses", some with "soft focus" expressly built
> for portrait work.
>
> In terms of today's 1.5 and 1.6 cameras, an actual 85mm lens is on the
> long end of portrait use; even a 70mm lens is stretching it a bit. On the
> other hand, Tom's recommendation of 50mm is very much in the ball-park. An
> 18-70mm lens with a reasonably wide aperture will cover the field
> admirably.
>
> --
> Frank ess

You might want to learn a little about your computer before using it. I
DIDN'T say anything about MOST PORTRAIT SHOOTERS.

You quoted the wrong person. I said the 18-70 would be a GOOD choice as
would a 50 prime.

Geez.
July 4, 2005 9:40:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes."

Digital cameras have smaller sensors than 24x36 cameras, and have a lens
conversion factor of 1.5 to 1.6.
Useful focal length thus is more like 50-100 mm for comparable perspective.
But a fast lens (with large aperture ) is needed even more with digital,
because the shorter focal length for equal perspective gives deeper Depth Of
Field, DOF.
The suggested Canon lens falls nicely into this category, but 135mm may be
too long nowadays, but there is a bunch of 85-100 mm, fast lenses, to look
into.
A fast prime 50mm lens F1.2 or F1.4 could also be very useful as a budget
starter. (Equals 75-80mm for chemical style camera).
Anyway, don't even think F3.5 lenses for nice portraits.
"Bokeh" is the blur pattern of the lens for parts of the picture that is out
of focus. It should be smooth, without visible artifacts, such as triangles,
rombs, stars or light-beams.
Also, do a Google search for "lens bokeh" it may be very rewarding too.
/per
July 4, 2005 10:09:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

My favourite portrait lenses on my Pentax LX were the SMC Pentax-M 85mm f:2
and the SMC Pentax-M 135mm f:2. On my Pentax *ist D my favourites are now
the SMC Pentax-M 85mm f:2, and my SMC Pentax-M 50mm f:2, I replaced the
135mm with a ATX Tokina 60~120mm f:2.8 and it does work nicely

Examples with the 85mm:
http://www.darrelllarose.ca/gallery/Portraits/sarah0_00... and
http://www.darrelllarose.ca/gallery/Portraits/Linda
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 10:47:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 7/4/05 9:07 AM, in article skgic1pm3fvdvq7vphomhaneqd8h7v3hhe@4ax.com,
"Gary" <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk> wrote:

> I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
> reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
> though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
> range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
> d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
> Thanks for your help.

An 18-70mm would be _adequate_ if used at the 70mm end of the zoom range.
Better would be something in the 85 to 100mm range. For a full frame 35 mm
camera I would prefer a 135mm lens, or even a little longer. On a D70 this
would equate to a 90mm lens. I know that someone will point out Nikon's
famous 105mm lens (for full frame cameras) as an ideal portrait lens, but
that IMO was better for 3/4 to full length shots not ideal for head and
shoulders shots.
Chuck W.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 10:47:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <BEEEEE5A.2E502%wright9_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com>, C Wright
<wright9_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com> wrote:

> I know that someone will point out Nikon's
> famous 105mm lens (for full frame cameras) as an ideal portrait lens...

OK, I'll point it out - but he should really get a film body for it to
go on! <GRIN>

IMHO, the135+ mm range you suggest (for 24X36) is a bit too long;
perspective is already beginning to flatten a bit.

Back when I shot a lot of portraits, I used the Nikkor 105 and a soft
focus 85mm Fujinon made especially for this subject

For the type of reference shots the OP mentions, the stock 18-70 will
be just FINE.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 10:59:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:
> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
> wrote:
>
>
>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>Thanks for your help.
>
>
> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.

If Gary were a portrait photographer, you might have a point. But he's
a portrait painter who wants the photographs only for reference; his
skill as a painter will compensate for any minor deficiencies in the
camera-lens combination when he paints the portrait.

Gary, the camera and lens you mentioned should be entirely adequate for
what you intend to do. You might also consider the Canon Digital Rebel
300D with its kit lens, or the newer 350D (with the same kit lens), or
any of several other cameras.

--
Walter Luffman Medina, TN USA
Amateur curmudgeon, equal opportunity annoyer
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 11:11:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gary wrote:
> I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
> reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
> though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
> range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
> d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
> Thanks for your help.

That would be a good general purpose lens and I would suggest getting it
and keeping it. I would add a 50-55mm F1.8 or 1.4 lens for your portraits.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 11:13:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:
> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
> wrote:
>
>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>Thanks for your help.
>
> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes.

With film or a full size sensor, yes, but for most digitals, no. (I
might add that while most portrait work full frame 35 mm is done at about
70-85mm few would use a 135mm as the results would be far too flat for most
taste.

> You can use a
> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>
> This is what a good portrait lens is:
>
> http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?prod...
>
>
> *********************************************************
>
> "I have been a witness, and these pictures are
> my testimony. The events I have recorded should
> not be forgotten and must not be repeated."
>
> -James Nachtwey-
> http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 11:13:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:LTfye.46947$7X1.11246@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...
> John A. Stovall wrote:
>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>Thanks for your help.
>>
>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes.
>
> With film or a full size sensor, yes, but for most digitals, no. (I
> might add that while most portrait work full frame 35 mm is done at about
> 70-85mm few would use a 135mm as the results would be far too flat for
> most taste.
>
>> You can use a
>> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
>> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>>
>> This is what a good portrait lens is:
>>
>> http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?prod...
>>
>>

Won't fit too well on a D70, though. ;-) And that's pushing the outer limit
for focal length on a Canon 20D, at a 35mm equivalent of 135mm. Since I use
my 14' long family room for a studio, I'd be shooting from somewhere in the
kitchen to use that lens...

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 2:36:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Skip M" <shadowcatcher@cox.net> wrote in message
news:R9gye.3425$HV1.2295@fed1read07...
> "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
> news:3vOdnYjDvLzc91TfRVn-vQ@comcast.com...
[ . . . ]
>>
>> Zoom lenses *are* prime lenses, notwithstanding the popular misusage of
>> that term.
>>
>> "Prime lens" means the camera lens as opposed to some other lens or
>> lenticular device used in front of it or behind it.
>>
>> People who think "prime" means "fixed focal length" are generally
>> well-meaning but misled and/or ignorant people. If they persist in
>> promoting this misusage, sooner or later they will probably all have to
>> be taken out and shot.
>>
>> N.
>>
>
> I've given up on trying to get that point across, I just stick to FFL
> (Fixed Focal Length) when I'm talking about a lens with only one focal
> length. Those who use "prime" as a synonym for that will argue
> vociferously with you, it's a battle better left unfought.

Of course you're right, they will, they always do. For some perverse reason,
improper usage seems to be more furiously defended than any other personal
fault, defect or offense on earth, especially when it's jargon. Some people
*love* jargon and will use it for its own sake, even when it serves no
purpose whatever. So repeatedly we see "50mm prime," etc., the writer
meaning FFL of course, as if a 50mm lens might be something other than fixed
focal length.

Nevertheless, some people do drop it once they understand it's wrong. No one
*wants* to appear ignorant, and newcomers who've adopted it only recently
have often ceased and desisted once the error was explained to them. That's
why I keep harping on it from time to time. The people most reluctant to
give it up are those who've been using it for years. I guess this works on
the same principle as a stain--the longer it's there, the more stubbornly it
sets.


> And it would be a waste perfectly good ammunition to go out and shoot all
> of those who use the word "prime," there'd just be more taking their
> place... ;-)

Not if we shoot enough of 'em fast enough. ;-)

N.
July 5, 2005 4:34:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Gary" <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk> wrote in
news:skgic1pm3fvdvq7vphomhaneqd8h7v3hhe@4ax.com...
> I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
> reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
> though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
> range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
> d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
> Thanks for your help.

Would you like the reference pic to be plain documentary, showing the set in
the studio just as it was, or would you rather have an artistic touch to the
photo too? Are your studio bright so you plan to use the natural light for
the photos?
Canon EOS350d and Nikon D50 both give less noise in the pictures at low
light/high ISO numbers than the D70, but the D70 18-70 kit lens is sharper
and better than the EOS350d and D50 18-55 kit lenses.
/per
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 1:02:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gary wrote:
> I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
> reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
> though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
> range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
> d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
> Thanks for your help.

A lens in about 75-80 mm (35mm equivalent) is optimum for portraits. a
70 should be okay- it is not a hard fast thing.

There used to be special portrait lenses that gave a soft focus. You
can get the same effect with a soft focus filter, or some really good
digital editors can give the same effect.
July 5, 2005 2:31:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tom Scales wrote:

> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
>
>>On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>Thanks for your help.
>>
>>No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>>zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
>>have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>>
>>This is what a good portrait lens is:
>>
>>http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?prod...
>>
>>
>
>
> I completely disagree. The 18-70 is outstanding and very sharp. It's an
> excellent portrait lens. A portrait lens should not be TOO sharp or it will
> show every flaw.
>
Hmmm...
The 18-70 lens that I have is extremely sharp at 70mm even wide open -
but of course only f4.5. Boket I don't know - that's a subjective
thing, except to say that despite only a 7 blade aperture, the blades
are curved, so that open to about f5.6 or wider, the aperture is round -
at least out of focus highlights even if they are not rendered so
nicely as some lenses, will not be polygonal.
(The 18-70 is not a perfect lens though - it does have some annoying
faults - close focusing, vignetting, and nasty zoom action/ring)
50-70mm range is IMO spot on for a D70 for portraits.
A specific portrait lens - if you already have an 18-70 - may be a very
good exercise in learning about the law of diminishing returns. I
suspect a lot of money would need to be spent to improve on the 18-70.
For me, I would spend it on something else.

> I do agree a narrow depth of field is a good idea, but I'd suggest the
> poster consider an inexpensive 50/1.8 Nikkor on the D70 before considering a
> $1500 85/1.2 that would be a BAD choice for digital SLR with a 1.5 or 1.6x
> factor.
>
> Who would shoot a portrait with the equivalent of a 130mm lens?
>
> Tom
>
>
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 3:53:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in message
news:m264vqckgq.fsf@gw.dd-b.net...
> "Skip M" <shadowcatcher@cox.net> writes:
>
>> "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
>> news:3vOdnYjDvLzc91TfRVn-vQ@comcast.com...
>>>
>>> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>>> news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
>>>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>>>Thanks for your help.
>>>>
>>>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>>>> zoom but it will not be as sharp.
>>>
>>> Zoom lenses *are* prime lenses, notwithstanding the popular misusage of
>>> that term.
>>>
>>> "Prime lens" means the camera lens as opposed to some other lens or
>>> lenticular device used in front of it or behind it.
>>>
>>> People who think "prime" means "fixed focal length" are generally
>>> well-meaning but misled and/or ignorant people. If they persist in
>>> promoting this misusage, sooner or later they will probably all have to
>>> be
>>> taken out and shot.
>>>
>>> N.
>>>
>>
>> I've given up on trying to get that point across, I just stick to FFL
>> (Fixed
>> Focal Length) when I'm talking about a lens with only one focal length.
>> Those who use "prime" as a synonym for that will argue vociferously with
>> you, it's a battle better left unfought. And it would be a waste
>> perfectly
>> good ammunition to go out and shoot all of those who use the word
>> "prime,"
>> there'd just be more taking their place... ;-)
>
> Hey, if you're going to consider shooting us (I use it because it's
> what people understand, basically),

The problem is that they *don't* understand it, they misunderstand it, and
the more the misusage continues the more that misunderstanding will spread.

"Prime lens" in its correct meaning (i.e., to distinguish from some
secondary lens or device) is still useful and is occasionally used. If
people are led to believe it means fixed focal length, then when they see it
used correctly they won't understand what they're reading--and worse,
they'll think they *do* understand it. I think it's safe to say that's how
the misusage got started in the first place.


> you should know the other thing
> FFL stands for, and it might be better to avoid that confusion too
> :-).

Free French lunch? Formidable flying lizards? I give up. :-)

N.
July 5, 2005 4:22:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

T
On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 18:59:21 -0500, BucketButt
<bucketbutt@bellsouth.net> wrote:

>John A. Stovall wrote:
>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>Thanks for your help.
>>
>>
>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
>> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>
>If Gary were a portrait photographer, you might have a point. But he's
>a portrait painter who wants the photographs only for reference; his
>skill as a painter will compensate for any minor deficiencies in the
>camera-lens combination when he paints the portrait.
>
>Gary, the camera and lens you mentioned should be entirely adequate for
>what you intend to do. You might also consider the Canon Digital Rebel
>300D with its kit lens, or the newer 350D (with the same kit lens), or
>any of several other cameras.

Thanks to everyone for their responses - all have been extremely
helpful to me. As has been mentioned I'm not looking for a photo as
the finished article but only a reference. From what people are saying
it looks as though the 18-70 lens should work with the possibility of
50mm fixed lens. The only problem now is deciding whether to go for
the D70, D50 or maybe even the 350D

Thanks again
Gary
July 5, 2005 4:22:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 05 Jul 2005 12:22:55 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
wrote:

>T
>On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 18:59:21 -0500, BucketButt
><bucketbutt@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
>>John A. Stovall wrote:
>>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>>Thanks for your help.
>>>
>>>
>>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>>> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
>>> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>>
>>If Gary were a portrait photographer, you might have a point. But he's
>>a portrait painter who wants the photographs only for reference; his
>>skill as a painter will compensate for any minor deficiencies in the
>>camera-lens combination when he paints the portrait.
>>
>>Gary, the camera and lens you mentioned should be entirely adequate for
>>what you intend to do. You might also consider the Canon Digital Rebel
>>300D with its kit lens, or the newer 350D (with the same kit lens), or
>>any of several other cameras.
>
>Thanks to everyone for their responses - all have been extremely
>helpful to me. As has been mentioned I'm not looking for a photo as
>the finished article but only a reference. From what people are saying
>it looks as though the 18-70 lens should work with the possibility of
>50mm fixed lens. The only problem now is deciding whether to go for
>the D70, D50 or maybe even the 350D
>
>Thanks again
>Gary


Based on the reviews I read, they like the 350D but it looks to me
like many have purchased the D70 and I don't read many complaints
about their choice either. I guess if it were me, I'd pick from these
two. Maybe take a look at www.steves-digicams.com or
www.dpreview.com to be better informed.
July 5, 2005 4:22:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 05 Jul 2005 12:22:55 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
wrote:

>T
>On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 18:59:21 -0500, BucketButt
><bucketbutt@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
>>John A. Stovall wrote:
>>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>>Thanks for your help.
>>>
>>>
>>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>>> zoom but it will not be as sharp. You also want a fast lens so you can
>>> have a very narrow depth of field and one with good bokeh.
>>
>>If Gary were a portrait photographer, you might have a point. But he's
>>a portrait painter who wants the photographs only for reference; his
>>skill as a painter will compensate for any minor deficiencies in the
>>camera-lens combination when he paints the portrait.
>>
>>Gary, the camera and lens you mentioned should be entirely adequate for
>>what you intend to do. You might also consider the Canon Digital Rebel
>>300D with its kit lens, or the newer 350D (with the same kit lens), or
>>any of several other cameras.
>
>Thanks to everyone for their responses - all have been extremely
>helpful to me. As has been mentioned I'm not looking for a photo as
>the finished article but only a reference. From what people are saying
>it looks as though the 18-70 lens should work with the possibility of
>50mm fixed lens. The only problem now is deciding whether to go for
>the D70, D50 or maybe even the 350D
>
>Thanks again
>Gary


Based on the reviews I read, they like the 350D but it looks to me
like many have purchased the D70 and I don't read many complaints
about their choice either. I guess if it were me, I'd pick from these
two. Maybe take a look at www.steves-digicams.com or
www.dpreview.com to be better informed.
July 5, 2005 4:22:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 05 Jul 2005 12:22:55 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
wrote:

>T
>On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 18:59:21 -0500, BucketButt
><bucketbutt@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
>>John A. Stovall wrote:
>>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>


Sorry for the repeat post, my error.
July 5, 2005 4:22:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Rob wrote:
> On Tue, 05 Jul 2005 12:22:55 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
> wrote:
>
>
>>T
>>On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 18:59:21 -0500, BucketButt
>><bucketbutt@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>John A. Stovall wrote:
>>>
>>>>On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>>>wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>
>
>
> Sorry for the repeat post, my error.


Thanks Rob, I was beginning to think my news reader had the hiccups.

--
jer
email reply - I am not a 'ten'
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 4:30:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Nostrobino" <not@home.today> writes:

> "David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in message
> news:m264vqckgq.fsf@gw.dd-b.net...
>> "Skip M" <shadowcatcher@cox.net> writes:
>>
>>> "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
>>> news:3vOdnYjDvLzc91TfRVn-vQ@comcast.com...
>>>>
>>>> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>>>> news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
>>>>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the nikon
>>>>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>>>>Thanks for your help.
>>>>>
>>>>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>>>>> zoom but it will not be as sharp.
>>>>
>>>> Zoom lenses *are* prime lenses, notwithstanding the popular misusage of
>>>> that term.
>>>>
>>>> "Prime lens" means the camera lens as opposed to some other lens or
>>>> lenticular device used in front of it or behind it.
>>>>
>>>> People who think "prime" means "fixed focal length" are generally
>>>> well-meaning but misled and/or ignorant people. If they persist in
>>>> promoting this misusage, sooner or later they will probably all have to
>>>> be
>>>> taken out and shot.
>>>>
>>>> N.
>>>>
>>>
>>> I've given up on trying to get that point across, I just stick to FFL
>>> (Fixed
>>> Focal Length) when I'm talking about a lens with only one focal length.
>>> Those who use "prime" as a synonym for that will argue vociferously with
>>> you, it's a battle better left unfought. And it would be a waste
>>> perfectly
>>> good ammunition to go out and shoot all of those who use the word
>>> "prime,"
>>> there'd just be more taking their place... ;-)
>>
>> Hey, if you're going to consider shooting us (I use it because it's
>> what people understand, basically),
>
> The problem is that they *don't* understand it, they misunderstand it, and
> the more the misusage continues the more that misunderstanding will spread.
>
> "Prime lens" in its correct meaning (i.e., to distinguish from some
> secondary lens or device) is still useful and is occasionally
> used. If people are led to believe it means fixed focal length, then
> when they see it used correctly they won't understand what they're
> reading--and worse, they'll think they *do* understand it. I think
> it's safe to say that's how the misusage got started in the first
> place.

On the other hand, they *will* correctly understand the vast majority
of uses of the term.

>> you should know the other thing
>> FFL stands for, and it might be better to avoid that confusion too
>> :-).
>
> Free French lunch? Formidable flying lizards? I give up. :-)

Frequent Flyer Launch, actually :-).
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 7:04:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in message
news:m2k6k5upn4.fsf@gw.dd-b.net...
> "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> writes:
>
>> "David Dyer-Bennet" <dd-b@dd-b.net> wrote in message
>> news:m264vqckgq.fsf@gw.dd-b.net...
>>> "Skip M" <shadowcatcher@cox.net> writes:
>>>
>>>> "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
>>>> news:3vOdnYjDvLzc91TfRVn-vQ@comcast.com...
>>>>>
>>>>> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>>>>> news:g9jic15m2i4u5g6havrlodaeo4qhefba22@4ax.com...
>>>>>> On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 15:07:42 +0100, Gary <g.morrow@strath.ac.uk>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>I'm a portrait painter considering buying a digital slr for taking
>>>>>>>reference photos. Most shots would be indoors and about 3/4 length
>>>>>>>though head and shoulders may also come in handy. What sort of lens
>>>>>>>range would suit this application best. I've been looking at the
>>>>>>>nikon
>>>>>>>d70 which I believe comes with an 18-70mm - would this be adequate??
>>>>>>>Thanks for your help.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> No. Most portrait shooter use 85 to 135mm primes. You can use a
>>>>>> zoom but it will not be as sharp.
>>>>>
>>>>> Zoom lenses *are* prime lenses, notwithstanding the popular misusage
>>>>> of
>>>>> that term.
>>>>>
>>>>> "Prime lens" means the camera lens as opposed to some other lens or
>>>>> lenticular device used in front of it or behind it.
>>>>>
>>>>> People who think "prime" means "fixed focal length" are generally
>>>>> well-meaning but misled and/or ignorant people. If they persist in
>>>>> promoting this misusage, sooner or later they will probably all have
>>>>> to
>>>>> be
>>>>> taken out and shot.
>>>>>
>>>>> N.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I've given up on trying to get that point across, I just stick to FFL
>>>> (Fixed
>>>> Focal Length) when I'm talking about a lens with only one focal length.
>>>> Those who use "prime" as a synonym for that will argue vociferously
>>>> with
>>>> you, it's a battle better left unfought. And it would be a waste
>>>> perfectly
>>>> good ammunition to go out and shoot all of those who use the word
>>>> "prime,"
>>>> there'd just be more taking their place... ;-)
>>>
>>> Hey, if you're going to consider shooting us (I use it because it's
>>> what people understand, basically),
>>
>> The problem is that they *don't* understand it, they misunderstand it,
>> and
>> the more the misusage continues the more that misunderstanding will
>> spread.
>>
>> "Prime lens" in its correct meaning (i.e., to distinguish from some
>> secondary lens or device) is still useful and is occasionally
>> used. If people are led to believe it means fixed focal length, then
>> when they see it used correctly they won't understand what they're
>> reading--and worse, they'll think they *do* understand it. I think
>> it's safe to say that's how the misusage got started in the first
>> place.
>
> On the other hand, they *will* correctly understand the vast majority
> of uses of the term.

You mean "correctly misunderstand." :-)

What confusion will wrack their poor minds, though, if they happen on a
Zeiss or Schneider site describing those old and prestigious lens makers'
VARIABLE PRIME lenses (catalogued in just that way)! These are prime lenses
of variable focal length, of course. Presumably not *zoom* lenses, i.e. not
parfocal which a zoom lens must properly be.


>
>>> you should know the other thing
>>> FFL stands for, and it might be better to avoid that confusion too
>>> :-).
>>
>> Free French lunch? Formidable flying lizards? I give up. :-)
>
> Frequent Flyer Launch, actually :-).

Ah. New one on me. How do they launch frequent flyers? That sounds like
something it would be worth having a photo of. "Frequent flyer, are you?
Here, take a seat in the catapult."

N.
Anonymous
July 9, 2005 4:13:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Sheldon" <sheldon@XXXXXXXXsopris.net> writes:

someone...

>> I think those issues are quite unimportant for a *painter* taking
>> *reference shots*, though, which is what the OP said he was/was going
>> to do.

> I have to agree. Every poster here, with the exception of the
> above, has been way off the mark. We are trying to help a painter
> who wants to shoot photos for reference, not a photographer who is
> going to make the photo his final piece of work. The kit lens on a
> D70 will be more than adequate for his needs. From a photographer's
> viewpoint the problem is that the kit lens doesn't have a large
> enough aperture to blur the background for a good "photo." True,
> but a painter can do whatever they want with the background, and
> will probably interpret the subject as well.

What he said.

Also look at the room you use. You want to be able to frame the shot
like the portrait at your normal posing distance, so for that, a zoom
is a good idea.

What you have not mentioned, is doing a reference shot of the work
when it is complete. That is more a lighting thing though.

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