Portraits, theory vs real life experience.

Started Sep 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Camancha Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Portraits, theory vs real life experience.

Hi guys,

Yesterday I discussed photography with a couple of retired journalists (who also were photographers). I asked about the focal length they used when photographing people on film, more specifically half-body or shoulder portraits. Their answer: We used a regular 50mm or 55mm. Only studio/fashion photographers used 85mm or 105mm. For more environmental portraits we often used a 35mm.

I find this rather interesting. After getting my Sigma 30mm F2.8 (60mm) I have tested different kinds of portraits and I can't really notice any significant distortion in half-body or shoulder portraits. I know that 50-85mm is recommended (on APC-S and m43) but as I don't do any fashion photography or face close-ups I fear that I am wasting money buying it. If you disregard all the so called "expert advice" and theories about distortions ...what is your own REAL LIFE experience with focal length and portraits?

Kind regards
.lars

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